What are your thoughts on suicide?
Have you attempted it? Do you know someone who has? Or what are your overall thoughts on suicide?
Back in December of 2004 - doesn't seem real it's been almost ten years, I was living in Portland Oregon attending college. I was sitting at home one night, writing my last research paper for the term. I had my Yahoo IM up, chatting to a few friends when a message from someone NOT on my list pops up. "Have you ever thought about suicide?" Uh, ok - weird, but hey it's almost midnight on a Sunday night and stranger things have been asked to me before "Can I see your tits?" etc. So I message the stranger back for kicks, "Sure who hasn't at some point why?" Well asking that question opened pandora's box - he battered me with questions about how I wanted to die, why did I want to die, would I want to die with others etc. Obviously, getting creepier and creepier as the conversation continues. But I play along, assuming the guy is just screwing around with me. I ask him his name, he say's it's Jerry and I ask to see a picture. He sends me to a profile pic on Hot or Not and asks me if I think he's good looking. I tell him sure, yeah your cute whatever. He asks to see a picture of me - I send him a random old photo of a girl on my myspace friends (yes it's that old, I realize now). And he tells me he thinks I"m a 10. Awesome - thanks Jerry, who is obsessed with suicide. As the conversation continues he tells me he's sick of life and women don't seem to be attracted to him, so he wants to end it all. I tell him the things you're supposed to say to people in this situation - relationships are nothing, you're more important to the people in your life - don't do it, blah blah blah - I'm not heartless, but I just don't feel like talking someone off of a ledge at now, 1am. Jerry tells me he's met a lot of women online that want to kill themselves, and that he's planning a party for Valentine's Day (1.5 months from now) so everyone can come and do it together at his house in Klamath Falls Oregon. He asks me if I'm interested in joining. I say, yeah sure but make an excuse that I don't have a car to get down there for it. He tells me there are a few women from Portland coming down for it, and one of them has a van, he's sure I can catch a ride. He say's he's built a beam in his home that will hold up to fifty bodies at once, but that I shouldn't wear shoes because they'll weigh me down. By now, yes I"m starting to realize this guy is acting very serious - and this is in fact NOT a joke. So I start asking him specifics, what his address is, what his full name is, who are the women traveling from Portland. He tells me their names, and that one of them is bringing her five children with her - and that they want to die as well. HUGE RED FLAGS are up at this point. So while I"m still chatting with him, I call a friend of mine back home in Eastern Oregon who works as a 911 dispatcher. She's actually at work when I call her and after telling her the whole story, she advises me to hang up and call Portland Police Department right away - at least give them the info to pass to Klamath Falls. She makes a record in their system that I've called just in case. I keep talking to Jerry and call the Portland Police - they send 2 officers out about an hour later and they pretty much laugh at me when I explain to them what's going on. I print out our chat log, give them the guys full name and address I've already verified through google as being legit - (as far as google can) and they tell me to just quit talking to him. Simple as that and go about their business. Don't I feel stupid now? I call my friend back home and tell her what Portland PD did and she said to keep an eye on things, if he keeps talking just keep saving the conversation. So I do. For another two hours - and things just get to the point where I can't handle him anymore. He's battering me with questions about how do I want to die, wearing clothes or naked? Do I want to have sex before I die? Would I have a problem killing kids before? Would I want to hold hands with others while we hang? Finally I just told him I'd be in touch closer to Valentine's Day. For the most part, I laughed it off with some friends - because Portland PD never got back to me about anything, so of course I assumed it ended up being a very strange prank. Fast Forward - February 10th 2005 a friend of mine calls me while I'm on campus on my way to work, and tells me some guy down in Klamath Falls has been arrested for trying to set up a mass suicide pact for Valentine's Day. I'm floored - I run to my office, log into a computer and sure enough it's everywhere on all news forums. Gerald Krien arrested for plotting Mass Suicide Valentine's Day Party. My friend from back home see's the news and calls me, tells me I need to call back to the Portland PD and tell them I called this in back in December. I make the call, and an hour later two FBI agents are coming to pick me up at my job, taking me home and taking my entire computer to be analyzed. We sit in my living room and I'm questioned over and over about my involvement and if I was really planning to commit suicide. I kept telling them over and over that I just talked to the guy as a joke - thought it was some sort of prank and that I only called the cops when he started talking about some woman from Portland bringing her kids too - and I'd given all the info to the Portland PD officer's back in December, how was I supposed to know they never did anything with it? Which they didn't - they sat on it - probably shredded it, and never even sent any of the info to Klamath Falls. The agents tell me the story has gotten a lot bigger and that Krien had contacted hundreds of people, at least thirty had agreed to come on Valentine's Day to his house and commit suicide together. One woman, her parents found some emails between she and Krien and called the police; that's how they finally got involved - not from me nearly two months ago, this happened less than week before Valentine's Day. I'm freaked out, they drop me back off at the college and I tell my boss everything that's happened. She tells me that reporters have been calling non-stop since I left wanting to talk to me - she said she didn't give them my cell phone number, but that she thought it was only a matter of time before they showed up at the office. I was a student worker, my name is on the campus website/directory etc - if the AP got a hold of a police report, there was no saying how fast they could start tracking me down. I call my mom, tell her what's happened - she tells me she'll be up that evening to come get me and bring me home for a break. I take four days off , turn in what assignments I have left - the FBI has the rest on my tower and head off to Eastern Oregon to wait out the media. BIG mistake - HUGE. Because by the time I made it back home that night they'd already tracked down my brother, and my sister in law thought it was so cool that ABC and CNN wanted to talk to me she gave them my parents address and my cell phone number - she's an idiot. I was harassed, chased down and semi-terrorized until I FINALLY gave an interview to Good Morning America. I hoped it would die down then, the story was out - WHO CARES. Wrong - WRONG! Apparently every freakin' out let cares until you give them the 15 seconds of conversation the others didn't get. I had my 15 seconds of fame, and I never want to deal with that shit again - Krien is still sitting in the Salem state hospital for his crimes of solicitation to commit murder. Mr. Have you ever thought of Suicide? Let's not meet in real life.
It felt sad. That after 38 years, this is all my life had become. A misery I could no longer stand to be in. I had been suicidal since I was fourteen years old, because of something that happened to me (at my father's hands). Since then I had behaved in a manner that indicated a real lack of care regarding my own survival. I joined the Marines, and volunteered for dangerous things, drove too fast, got involved in things that might get me killed, and on and on. I just didn't care about being alive. Along the way, the one constant companion to my life was the idea, "if things get too bad, I'll just kill myself". This constant daily thought consumed everything I did, and also allowed me to be reckless and carefree about far too many things. The idea that I had a free pass to behave in anyway I chose to, led me to harm a lot of good people. I didn't love myself and couldn't understand why anyone else could. I always assumed that there was some other motive behind their affections. I went out of my way to destroy every relationship I ever had. Once my third wife and I separated , I really had nothing to lose anymore. She had been the first woman I had decided to stay in love with, and things went south anyway. I gave up. On everything. I committed a bunch of "white collar" crimes, stole a lot of money from some local banks, and hit the road. I had 19 warrants by the time I was done with life. At this point, I really had nothing left to lose, and in my mind something to gain from suicide. I would at least be spared spending the rest of my life in a prison cell. Which is where I was headed if I got caught. On the evening of my death, I purchased 22 Xanax ladders, and a fifth of Jose Cuervo. I lived on Sanibel Island, about a half mile from the beach. I drove out to the beach, took my Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic, the Xanax, and the tequila, and went for a walk. I sat down on the sand, and had a talk with a god I didn't believe in, I remember saying, "God if you exist, and you love me, you'll save me". I didn't see how anything could stop me at this point. I was on a deserted beach at 3 AM, the draw bridge had just gone up, so no ambulance was coming to save me, even if I was found. I swallowed the Xanax, and drank as much of the tequila as I could, in a hurry. I carried it with me as I walked out into the water. When I got about waist deep, I drank some more, built up some courage and put the gun to my head. My idea was, I will shoot myself and die, but I have heard so many stories about people messing this part up, so I took out insurance. Even if I messed up the gun part, I would drown in the water. If that didn't do it, I knew the tequila-xanax cocktail would surely finish me off. I passed out before the gun went off. Unbeknownst to me, a Sanibel K-9 officer was walking his dog on the beach that evening. He later told me at the hospital that his dog never raises any hell at night, and usually just sleeps through the evening. This night was different. The dog would not stop barking to be let out, and when he let him out, the dog went to the gate and began barking again. He reluctantly put on some shorts and a shirt and took him for a walk on the beach. The dog spotted me as I fell into the water. Once the dog took off after me, about 300' from his recollection, he noticed something in the water too. The dog got to me first, and then the officer. They pulled me out of the water, and by now I had already drowned. He radioed for assistance, and began CPR. I woke up three days later from a coma, and I was bewildered to say the least. I was alive in spite of my best efforts. I am glad I was saved. I consider it a miracle, but you can chalk it up to an excellent first response infrastructure if you like. I am no longer suicidal, and even though I spent seven years in prison for my crimes, I have more going for me now than I have ever had in the past. I have learned that life is an experience and there is nothing better than experiencing life. With all of its tragedy, joy, and enlightenment. There is more to life than we can ever fit in a sentence, paragraph, or even a library. I love being alive.