April 12, 2012 12:49 PM EDT
Update (2:11 p.m. ET): The official police report with details into Jerry’s death has been locked, so we are waiting to confirm some of these details with the city of Tukwila. Stay tuned.
Update (5:04 p.m. ET): The request has been temporarily denied by the city of Tukwila, “as it is still an open investigation, and is therefore exempt from disclosure pursuant to Revised Code of Washington 42.56.240(1).” We will update you with more information when as it rolls in.
Update: 7:11 p.m. ET): It appears as though the official police report of the suicide in Seattle does not match upwith Black_Vision’s reported threat of suicide on Reddit.From NYMag, Tukwila Police Department spokesman Mike Murphy: “The case detective and the victim’s family confirm that the victim in the Tukwila Doubletree suicide was not named Jerry. He did not have a sister, an ex-wife, or a daughter. We are not going to release his name until after the case is closed, probably in a few months.” We still do not know the status of former Reddit user “Black_Vision,” who announced he was quitting Reddit shortly before he threatened to kill himself. If the suicide was a hoax, then the other account “u/sisterofblackvisions” was made as a cruel joke. We at the IBTimes deeply apologize for any confusion this story may have caused, and while some users may have actually egged on this seemingly suicidal user, it appears the suicide portion of this story is a hoax. Once again, we apologize.
In March, a 51-year-old Reddit user named “Black Visions” — Jerry, in real life — wrote a post in the “Men’s Rights” subreddit called “A lot of trolls tonight.” He had been writing frequently about depression and suicide, but when Jerry announced his final post on Reddit and also threatened his own suicide, others decided to egg him on even further. That turned out to the be the last straw: Seattle news soon reported Jerry had jumped eight stories from a hotel room in the Double Tree in Tukwila, Washington.
On Wednesday, Jerry’s sister Sandy — “sisterofblackvisions” on Reddit — announced she has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against nine Reddit users who egged him on, but Reddit will also be subpoenaed in identifying the information of another three individuals.
“Jerry had a fairly troubled past, and had been suicidial before those final few days of his life,” Sandy said. “His ex-wife, who is the mother of his disabled 20 year old daugther, took a lot of his money for support and never let Jerry see his daughter.
“Our family has decided to take legal action not only against his ex-wife, but those who urged him on to take his own life. Next week, our lawyer will be filing a wrongful death suit in Washington State against nine individuals. Our lawyer hired a private investigator and three of the individuals have been identified from those who urged Jerry to kill himself. Subpoenas will be issued to find the identiy of the other three, though it is possible that they were the same people. We don’t know yet. We were told by our lawyer not to give any other information out such as our full names or the people to be named in the lawsuit.”
In Jerry’s last post, he encouraged others fighting for men’s rights to “keep it up [because] one day you will get people to realize the truth.”
“I just wanted to say that, before I check out,” Jerry wrote. “This is probably my last post with this account. I just can’t see any reason to continue this existence any more. Time to add another notch to the statistics. I guess SRS and 2X can rejoice, one less man, one less MRA in the world. For those who fight on, keep to your ideals, keep to truth, and remember they only win if you let them. Rock on r/MensRights, men out there need you, whether they know it or not.”
Responding to his post, a few rude users — “trolls,” to the Internet-savvy — questioned the veracity of Jerry’s post, and wondered if it was just a sick joke. Jerry angrily responded that he would never joke about killing himself.
“You know I wasn’t planning on posting any more, but this post just pissed me off,” Jerry wrote.” No its not a sick joke, as soon as I get the right tool for the job I’ll happily blow my brains out. … it doesn’t get better, nothing changes. I’m done.”
The local newspaper in Tukwila, Washington, was quick on the scene:
“It appears a man who fell from the eighth floor from the eighth floor of the Doubletree Suites in Tukwila today committed suicide,” wrote Rose Egge, the communities reporter with Tukwila KOMO. “The 51-year-old man, whose identity will not be released, fell from the eighth floor of the interior atrium and died instantly. No one else was hurt. There is no evidence of foul play but officers are on the scene investigating.”
Jerry’s sister Sandy detailed her brother’s death in more detail:
“He wrote an email to me a couple of hours before he died,” she said. “In the email, Jerry said ‘I do not hate anyone. Why do they say I hate? I only hate myself. They say that if ended my life, that it would be 1 down and 30,000 to go. I feel very helpless.’ He also called his ex-wife to tell her that he was about to commit suicide, when she told him to ‘fuck off and die already’ according to his email. Jerry jumped to his death from the 8th floor of a hotel in Washington State about an hour later. He was 51 years old.”
Jerry’s sister Sandy looks to take all of the money won from the impending lawsuit and build a trust for Jerry’s daughter Sarah, who currently lives in an assisted living facility in California.
“I wanted to thank those on here who tried to reach out and attempt to help Jerry. Your group meant a lot more to him than maybe you all realized. It was important to our family to let you all know what happened to Jerry, and to thank you for showing him friendship when others did not.”
Reddit closed its announcement with one final message: “Drama has consequences.”
- Stopping Suicides Online (thedailybeast.com)
- Missouri House Passes Bill to Reduce Jail Lawsuits (stlouis.cbslocal.com)
- Figure In West Hartford Assisted-Suicide Case Dies In Maine Accident (connecticut.cbslocal.com)
- More on Kenny Wolf (ronskemp.wordpress.com)
- Preventing Subway Suicides (drvitelli.typepad.com)
- Is suicide covered by a life insurance policy? (pinnaclelife.co.nz)
- How to commit suicide (apathyandselfdestruction.wordpress.com)
- Seeding Link Bait: Using Reddit (epiphanysolutions.co.uk)
- The Nature of the Beast (thoughtsunthinkable.wordpress.com)
- Coroner: Famed Guitarist Committed Suicide (huffingtonpost.com)