Every 40 seconds, someone commits suicide. Civilization has advanced leaps and bounds, our standard of living is better than ever before, and yet people are killing themselves at unprecedented levels. That says a lot about today's society. And to add fuel to the flame, there is also a growing trend of people who encourage others to commit suicide. You'd think that the natural response when you hear about someone who wants to take their own life is to try and convince them not to. But this often just isn't the case these days. Many times, when people find out about someone's suicidal thoughts, they actually egg them on, pushing them closer to the edge, rather than helping them get through their hard times. What is wrong with people today? Now we're not only left wondering why so many people are killing themselves, but also why so many people are encouraging it.
But the answer is right before your eyes: The Internet. No one is ever alone anymore. It used to be that when school ended, you'd get a rest from the bullying you'd experience for most of the day. But nowadays, the bullying only begins when kids get home and log on to their social media pages. Cyberbullying is a real issue. If it keeps continuing like this, it will end up being one of the world's biggest killers, right up there with car accidents, drugs, and wars. These people were convinced to kill themselves by those close to them. If we want to stop this, we need to deal with behavior like this, first and foremost.
15 Isaiah Gonzalez - The Latest "Blue Whale" Victim
One of the most disturbing social media trends is one that ends in suicide, the "Blue Whale Challenge" has resulted in numerous deaths, all young and impressionable people like Isaiah Gonzalez. Like many children his age, Isaiah followed the Blue Whale Challenge closely, and it cost him his life. This challenge is a fifty day ordeal where people are instructed to do a variety of self-harming tasks, such as cutting themselves, drinking bleach, and eventually killing themselves on the final day.
It is thought that the Blue Whale challenge originated in Russia, where it has already claimed the lives of many teens in that country. Isaiah Gonzales was only 15 years old when he committed suicide, following the horrific instructions of this dark social media trend. As many can tell you, it starts when one friend "tags" another with the Blue Whale challenge, thereby challenging their friends to do it. According to his sister, Isaiah was sending pictures of himself partaking in the challenges to his friends, but they did nothing. She said, “They blew it off like it was a joke and if one of them would have said something, one of them would have called us, he would have been alive." Isaiah was found dead after he hung himself inside his bedroom closet.
14 The Case Of Michelle Carter
Perhaps the most well-known case of someone encouraging another to commit suicide is the case of Michelle Carter. She was instrumental in the suicide of her long distance boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, who was only 18 at the time. Michelle Carter was 17. She was the subject of a lengthy court proceeding, which only now is being wrapped up. Conrad Roy III died in 2014 of carbon monoxide poisoning, something that Michelle Carter actually helped him do, even though she wasn't present. It's clear by the text messages sent between them that Michelle Carter was making "helpful suggestions" on how he could commit suicide, rather than doing the right thing and discouraging this behavior.
Recently, Michelle Carter was charged with manslaughter. I don't think anyone would be too surprised or argue in her favor, but the law community has argued that this ruling sets a precedent for future cases. Part of the main reason she was treated so harshly is because she actually told Conrad to get back in the truck and finish what he'd started after he texted her saying he had gotten scared and exited the truck.
13 Veronika Volkova And Yulia Konstantinova - More "Blue Whale" Victims
Isaiah Gonzalez isn't the only one falling victim to the Blue Whale challenge. The situation in Russia is actually much, much worse. A particularly brutal case was one which involved two young teen girls, Veronika Volkova and Yulia Konstantinova. Both girls fell to their deaths after committing suicide after jumping off a building. Yulia was 15, while Veronika was 16. They both regularly posted sad messages on social media that hinted at their upcoming suicides. One particularly gruesome social media update features a blue whale which had been sliced into the forearm of one of the girls.
The FSB in Russia is now facing a serious crisis when it comes to rising suicide rates. Police investigated the girls' friends and family, looking for a motive, but found none - except for their involvement in this game. Two boys who allegedly filmed them jumping to their deaths were detained by police as well.
12 Boy Told To Kill Himself In Notes Left On Yearbook
This story might not involve any deaths, but it's still very disturbing. An unnamed seventh grader in Buckley, Washington made headlines after sharing what his classmates had written in his yearbook. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous to avoid further bullying, revealed that his peers had written things like, "Do yourself a faver and die," "Piece of sh*t," and "Kill yourself." The student was so hurt by these comments that he went to a local river and actually contemplated suicide. Luckily, he changed his mind and his mother found him sitting on a curb by the river.
His mother revealed, “His yearbook was returned to him by getting hit in the back with it, he turned around picked it up off the floor and walked out of the lunchroom and left campus." She also revealed that he didn't even want a yearbook to begin with, saying “I knew why he didn't want one...the mean kids, not having many friends and the insecurity of not having anyone or many sign it."
11 Tysen Benz - Convinced To Kill Himself After His Girlfriend Faked Her Own Suicide
One of the most tragic stories involving suicide is the death of Tysen Benz. This 11-year-old boy was essentially tricked into taking his own life after his girlfriend made him believe that she herself had committed suicide. The girl, who was 13 at the time, staged her own suicide on social media and made all her friends play along. When Tysen found out, he was so distraught that he took his own life. The girl responsible, whose identity is not being revealed by police, is being called "manipulative" by many, including the boy's mother.
Tysen's mother is furious at the 13-year-old girl, and revealed: "I’m quite angry. I feel like, yeah, they’re young and all that, but I feel like when you’re 13, you’re completely knowledgeable of your choices and you know right from wrong. You can make your own choices. I do feel like she took advantage of a younger boy to control and manipulate him. I don’t feel like it should be taken lightly. She should be held legally responsible for this horrific prank."
10 Poison Ivy - Cruel Seductress Who Convinces "Weak" Men To Commit Suicide
One of the most infamous encouragers of suicide is a camgirl who goes by the name "Poison Ivy." The girl, who is still only about 18 years old, has been the subject of many news articles that highlight her strange way of manipulating men she considers to be "weak." She targets socially awkward men in the online gaming community, winning their trust before goading them into sexually humiliating tasks that are then posted publicly on the Internet.
While there are no confirmed cases of her actually causing people to commit suicide, many people who are familiar with her activities say it's just a matter of time. She has also made quite a few comments about suicide, basically romanticizing the act of taking one's life, and saying her "ideal man" would be willing to do that for her. Examples of humiliating tasks she's given men include shaving their eyebrows off and writing her name on their foreheads with permanent markers.
9 The Case Of Amanda Todd
Another very well-publicized case of teen suicide is that of Amanda Todd. This 15-year-old girl from Vancouver, Canada was harassed so badly that she felt like she had no choice but to take her own life. Most people who hear this story get very angry about this injustice, and the infamous hacker group Anonymous were some of the most enraged people who heard about this. They were so angry, in fact, that they decided to do something about it.
You see, Amanda Todd was basically blackmailed into killing herself. When she was just 12 years old, a man started talking to her on an Internet chat and convinced her to flash her breasts for him. Years later, the man tracked her down and threatened to share the pictures with the world unless she "put on a show" for him. She refused, and the man created a Facebook group, invited all her friends to join, and put a picture of her breasts up as the profile picture. After numerous failed suicide attempts, she hung herself at age 15. Anonymous claims to have tracked down the man responsible, and says that he's a 32-year-old Canadian man.
8 Shaun Dykes - Onlookers Urged Him To Jump
Sometimes the general public acts in a way that makes you completely lose faith in the human race. Such was the case when Shaun Dykes, a 17-year-old boy, climbed to the top of a building, clearly contemplating suicide. A crowd gathered at the bottom, but instead of trying to talk him down from the ledge, a large number of them started to encourage him to jump. These were people of all ages, some young children. One onlooker shouted up, "Let's see how far you bounce!" The police were quickly dispatched, but they obviously had a hard time convincing him to come down while he was being bombarded with abuse from below. Inevitably, Shaun jumped, and died instantly upon impact.
The actions of these people were widely condemned. The police, the local clergy and mental health professionals were all disgusted by the actions of these people. His friends and family all remember him as a happy kid who was popular at school, so clearly there were some major problems he was keeping secret from the world, problems that were really bothering him.
7 Jolynn Winter And Chantel Fox - Bullied Into Suicide
Not many people realize how big of a problem suicide is in certain regions of Canada, where First Nation communities are facing what is being called a "suicide epidemic." Some of the most recent casualties were Jolynn Winter and Chantel Fox, who were residents of Ontario's Thunder Bay. Both girls were only 12 years old when they took their own lives. But the most disturbing details regarding this case is the fact that the girls were bombarded with hateful messages on social media before their deaths. These messages were clearly encouraging them to commit suicide.
This is another clear example of just how cruel children can be. While this kind of behavior might be expected among older kids, like those in high school, the fact that these two girls were only 12 years old when they were encouraged by their peers to take their own life is simply stunning. Members of the Thunder Bay community are now revealing that this is a common occurrence, with many girls like Jolynn and Chantel being victimized over social media.
6 William Melchert-Dinkel - Encouraged People To Kill Themselves
We've focused mostly on teens for the majority of this list, and while it's true that teens are particularly vulnerable when it comes to suicide, they're not the only ones who participate in the barbaric act of encouraging people to take their own lives. One of the most infamous examples of this is William Melchert-Dinkell, a Minnesota resident who was recently found guilty of assisting the suicide of two people.
This man posed as a compassionate nurse on the Internet, first winning the trust of depressed individuals, and then slowly pushing them towards suicide. Finally, when they were willing to go through with it he would instruct them on how to do it, all while watching them take their own lives via webcam. He revealed that this was the part he found especially "thrilling." He was found guilty of assisting the suicide of Mark Dryborough, who was 32 when he took his own life in England. He also faces similar charges for assisting the suicide of 18-year-old Nadia Kajouji, who took her own life by jumping into a frozen river in Ottawa, Canada.
5 Abraham Biggs - Thousands Egged Him On While Watching Him
The Internet has a growing reputation for being a very dark place. We all know that it's possible to stumble upon very disturbing things on the net, usually by complete mistake. But there is in fact an entire online community of people that actively seeks out these gruesome disturbing videos on the "darknet," seeking a perverse thrill that most of us will never understand. Those people were out in numbers when Abraham Biggs livestreamed his own suicide on the Internet when he was just 19 years old.
1,500 people tuned in to watch Biggs take his own life after he posted the link on a popular bodybuilding website. Everyone ignored it and failed to report it, believing it to be a hoax. Even worse, people in the comments section of the stream actually encouraged him to go through with it, egging him on. In the video, he consumes pills before lying on his bed, facing away from camera. At the end of the stream, a police officer enters the room with his pistol drawn, only to find Biggs dead.
4 Hannah Smith - Cruel Comments Pushed Her To Suicide
Hannah Smith was another victim of cyberbullying, something that got so bad that it eventually pushed her to suicide. She was only 14 when she was found dead in England. She had hung herself in her room, and her sister found the body hanging next to a note which read, "I wonder if it's ever going to get better." It was later revealed that the girl had been frequenting a site called ask.fm, which has gained a huge reputation for cyberbullying. Her father later revealed that it was these messages which encouraged her suicide, pushing her over the edge.
He asked, "How many more teenagers will kill themselves because of online abuse before something is done? These sick people are just able to go online and hide behind a mask of anonymity while they abuse vulnerable teenagers." Even worse was the reaction on the Internet following her death, with 4chan users commenting on her photos with fake accounts, making fun of the fact that she had taken her own life. Truly, the Internet is a dark place.
3 Lori Drew - Posed As Teen On MySpace, Convinced Girl To Kill Herself
Another strange case of someone who encouraged an innocent person to commit suicide was the case of Lori Drew. At first glance, she looks like a normal middle-aged mother. But lurking behind that exterior is a monster of a woman that decided to do something inexplicable. Lori Drew hatched an idea to pose as a young girl on MySpace to learn secrets about gossip that was being spread about her daughter. She hatched this plan along with her accomplice, Ashley Grills, who created the fake account and started conversing with 13-year-old Megan Meier.
The plan was initially just to find out more about how Lori Drew's daughter was being treated by this girl, but later evolved into something much darker. The women began to humiliate and insult the young girl, to the point where she took her own life. The last message the two women ever sent the young girl read simply: “The world would be a better place without you.” The girl was later found hung in her room. Lori Drew was charged with multiple offenses, each of which carrying a long prison sentence.
2 Honor Killings - Women Told To Kill Themselves In Order To Spare Their Fathers Prison Time
Many women all over the world are speaking out about their own personal experience with the barbaric and savage practice known as "honor killings." This practice, which is most prevalent in Muslim societies, is an unspoken law that encourages the murder of women who have brought "dishonor" onto the family. Reasons for this range from refusing to accept an arranged marriage to being the victim of rape. Yes, they kill women because they were raped. I guess that helps them sleep better at night. In all honestly though, there's no point trying to explain this practice. It makes absolutely no sense.
One particular story was shared by an 18-year-old Turkish woman, who wanted to be known simply as "Elif." She revealed that she was actually asked to kill herself by her father after she refused to accept an arranged marriage that she had no say in. She revealed: "I loved my father so much, I was ready to commit suicide for him even though I hadn't done anything wrong. But I just couldn't go through with it. I love life too much. I managed to escape. When I was at school, a few girls I knew were killed by their families in the name of honour – one of them for simply receiving a text message from a boy." The father asked her to kill herself because he knew that he would face prison time if he killed her.
1 Islamic Militants Force Reluctant Young Men Into Blowing Themselves Up
Suicide bombings are incredibly prevalent right now, and what we often forget is that the suicide bombers are often very reluctant to go through with it. Many times, they are quite obviously forced into doing it. What makes no sense about this is the fact that these are often young men being forced to do it by older men. You'd think that if it was "such a great honor" the older men would be more willing to take the place of the suicide bomber. But it seems like a task they delegate to the most vulnerable of their people.
One particularly disturbing video was captured during the ongoing Syrian conflict. The rebels film one of their fighters, who is seen crying as he is about to kill himself by driving an armored car full of explosives into a crowded area. The boy, who was later revealed as Jafar al-Tayyar, was in his early 20s. The men filming the video encourage him to go through with his task and to "think of Allah."
Sources: independent.co.uk, aljazeera.com, dailymail.co.uk