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As Suzanne's family started investigating the details of her suicide, they made a shocking discovery. The Suzanne they thought they knew so well had been leading a secret life online, visiting a website that describes itself as "pro-choice" toward suicide.

Suzanne's parents found nearly 100 postings on the website that she had written prior to her death. Her first messages express what seems like normal teenage angst. "I'm bored," she wrote. "I'm bored with life. I cannot possibly think of anything I want to do that is worth doing."

Her later posts reveal a newfound determination, and, in one of her final posts, she shares the method she's chosen to end her life: "Potassium cyanide," she wrote, "because it seems relatively painless and quick-acting." To that, one poster responded, "I hope your method works for you."

Suzanne's posts reveal concern for the effect of her suicide on her family. In one message, she expresses regret that her dad will have to deal with her death so soon after the death of his own father. In another post, she mentions postponing her suicide so that it didn't coincide with her sister's birthday. In her last message, Suzanne says goodbye to the people she chatted with on the website, "Bye everyone, see you on the other side."

The family believes Suzanne was convinced by the website that suicide was the only way to ease her depression. Although the Web is home to several sites that provide suicide methods and advice, Suzanne's family, like many others, had no idea such an online community existed. "I was shocked that there was something like that website," Mary says.
FROM: The Bank-Robbing Dad and the Shocked Sons Who Turned Him In
Published on January 25, 2006