Swedish man dies in live ‘cyber suicide’ broadcast

A Swedish man hanged himself during a live broadcast on the internet on Monday morning, a phenomenon that police described as rare in Sweden.

Similar incidents have occurred in other countries, but it is still a relatively unknown phenomenon in Sweden.

“I have never heard of such incidents in Sweden,” Anders Ahlqvist of the National Investigation Department (Rikskriminalen) told newspaper Expressen on Tuesday.

Marcus Jannes, 21, posted on popular internet forum Flashback on Monday morning that he wanted to kill himself and sent pictures of the event every two seconds. Jannes’ family members have asked to make his name public to stop the rumours and inaccuracies that they claimed were spread about him.

At 11.51am, Jannes started a new thread on the forum, writing that he had taken painkillers several minutes earlier and would broadcast his suicide live on a webcam. He also provided an FTP link with login information to access the photos of the event.

He wrote a second post at 1.02pm describing himself.

“I am a guy, 21 years old. I have a good life, studying at my own pace, have my own apartment, good income from the regional social insurance office (activity benefits + housing supplement).

Have Asperger syndrome / high-functioning autism.

Am overly vulnerable (emotionally)…

Have really poor social skills, which make me a somewhat lonely person.

Think that I have had a good upbringing despite a lot of difficulties at school.

[in English] Makes no sense [in Swedish] that I want to kill myself? No, I know [tongue smiley]”

Four minutes later, he posted again, saying that he feared that he was about to change his mind and wanted to speed things up. He provided the FTP link, including the username and password, then edited the post, saying he was waiting for more people to arrive, signing off with a laugh.

At 1.13pm, he wrote in English, “alright lets do it”. In the video, Jannes is wearing a red Nike “Just do it” t-shirt.

In addition, Jannes posted his final thoughts on Facebook, wondering where he would end up and saying that he loved his family more than anything else, but that one cannot live for others.

His last words were, “I do not think my life is bad at all. It is actually really good. But sometimes it is simply too hard. I do not have the strength to write more now. Goodbye [open-mouth smiley]”

Police received tips from the public at 1.44pm and arrived at 2.05pm at his apartment in Järna southwest of Stockholm, but it was too late.

“Police performed CPR until the ambulance arrived, but his life could not be saved,” Lotta Thyni, a spokeswoman for Södertälje police, told Expressen.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident, which is routine after every death.

“We can only regret that people who knew that he planned to kill himself did not act to save his life,” said Thyni.

In March 2007, a 42-year-old father of two hanged himself live on the internet in Britain’s first “cyber suicide,” while a 19-year-old Florida college student killed himself online in November 2008, with his webcam still running 12 hours after he threatened to overdose on prescription drugs.

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