By Calvin Palmer
A 19-year-old South Florida man committed suicide live online and in front of a reported audience of 1,500 people.
Abraham K.Biggs, from Broward County, died on Wednesday from a combination of opiates and benzodiazepine, said medical examiner’s office investigator Wendy Crane.
Biggs had told users of a body building Web site that he would be committing suicide and invited them to watch on Justin.tv – a live video Web site.
Some of the other users of the Web site were encouraging him to go ahead with the suicide, others tried to talk him out of it.
With Biggs lying motionless on the bed for several hours, it is believed one of the forum members contacted police who broke down the door, found Biggs on the bed and turned the webcam off.
A video clip posted on the Internet shows a police officer entering the room, his handgun drawn, as he checks for any sign of life.
Biggs was a member of the bodybuilding.com forum and posted under the name CandyJunkie. He was also known as Feels Like Ecstasy on Justin.tv.
On Wednesday, he went to the forum and detailed the amount of drugs he was going to take. The moderators of the forum apparently did not take him seriously because he had threatened to commit suicide before. Other forum members encouraged him to carry out his threat.
Biggs then posted a suicide note, where he said he had hurt other people and hated himself for being a failure. “I am an a@#hole. I have let everyone down and feel as though I will never change or improve. I am in love with a girl and I know that I am not good enough for her,” he wrote.
As he lay motionless on the bed after taking the pills, many forum members continued to insult him, believing that it was staged.
One forum pleaded with the other forum members to contact the police and tried to e-mail the Miami-Dade police. He borrowed his father’s cell phone and spoke to police who directed him to the Broward County Sheriff’s Department. About an hour late, police arrived at the teenager’s house.
San Francisco-based Justin.tv is an open network of thousands of live streaming channels and is named after its first “star,” Justin Kan.
“We regret that this has occurred and respect the privacy of the broadcaster and his family during this time,” Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said in an e-mail. “We have polices in place to discourage the distribution of distressing content and our community monitors the site accordingly. This content was flagged by our community, reviewed and removed according to our terms of service.”
The video feed has been taken down but video clips have been posted elsewhere on the Internet and copies of the suicide note can also be found.
Many of the insulting posts on the forum have been deleted by those who made them.
There are none so brave as those who sit in front of a computer screen, except when their cover of anonymity is likely to be blown. It strikes me the Web site should name and shame these poor imitations of humanity.
Welcome to the 21st Century.
[Based on reports by The Times, The Daily Telegraph and Associated Press.]