Seemingly ripped from the pages of a early 2008 film, Untraceable, thousands of people were able to watch the live broadcast of a Florida teen committing suicide. The victim, 19-year-old Abraham Biggs, a Broward College student from Pembroke Pines, had a web cam on him when he took a fatal dose of prescription pills while people watched live on the Internet. Of those watching, some took amusement at it, some doubted if he took enough to kill himself, some urged him on, while others tried to stop him, but it would take hours for the authorities to be notified and respond to find him lifeless in his bedroom.
The cause of death was an overdose of various medication used to treat depression. According to his family, Biggs suffered from some sort of mental disorder whether depression or bipolar. He had threatened to kill himself, but it was hard to take him serious because he had threatened to do it before.
Approximately 3am, Biggs announced his attentions and posted a suicide note on the website Justin.tv, a site that allows live streaming video from a web camera. After taking the fatal dose, he laid on his bed 12 hours before police arrived and found him deceased, the camera rolling the whole time. The camera showed when police arrived and then it was turned off. Online chatter went up with disbelief of what they had watched unfold. It remains how many people were watching at this time and throughout the morning.
Not for nothin’, but although its tragic, public suicides are not new. But this new online web hosting way of doing it does have a surreal effect to it because not everything you see on the world wide web can be trusted. Naturally his family is upset because they believe that the amount of people that saw this should have known it was real and should have done something earlier, but seriously, what is the most you can expect someone viewing this website with a juvenile way of thinking to do? As long as there are people who continue to chronicle their lives via the Internet on sites like Myspace and Facebook, then we likely will not see the last of incidents like this.