Man fakes webcam suicide

When Joseph Shepherd decided to fake a webcam suicide, he didn’t expect to get arrested. But that’s what N.Y. State Police officers did after Interpol spotted the public stunt in a web chatroom. Heres WKBW, from Lockport, NY:

Individuals that run a chat room website contacted the local authorities in England and stated that several members that were in the chat room observed Shepherd apparently commit suicide via webcam. Interpol London was in turn contacted by local law enforcement in Gwent England and advised them that a white male had committed suicide while broadcasting his webcam over the Internet.

When contacted by troopers, Shepherd was found to be “in good health and not deceased,” and promptly booked for second-degree Aggravated Asshattery.

Here’s the rule on hoaxes: would it be cool if Borges had done it? If not, don’t do it.

STATE POLICE ARREST LOCKPORT MAN FOR HOAX WEB SUICIDE [WKBW via Giz]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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15 Responses to Man fakes webcam suicide

  1. mudpup says:

    Here’s the rule on hoaxes: would it be cool if Borges had done it? If not, don’t do it.

    Borges done it?
    Right over my head.
    Borges the poet?
    Garden of Forking Paths?
    Maybe I should read more.

  2. guy says:

    umm… who’s borges?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wikipedia has a list of Borgeses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borges_%28disambiguation%29) but none of them seem to be well known for any hoaxes.

  4. captain says:

    what a f***k! i think it’s not very funny.

  5. Rob Beschizza says:

    You guys should consider reading something other than the Internet.

  6. JPW says:

    Ironically, Lockport NY is precisely where Yahoo! just broke ground for their most ambitious data center, powered by the Mighty Niagara.

    Until this, it was American corporations committing suicide along the Niagara Frontier. . . .

  7. Anonymous says:

    Gwent is in Wales, not England.

  8. rick386 says:

    i think it’s just too funny. don’t believe anything you hear and 1/2 of what you see, especially on the internet. How many people believed the Blair Witch Project was a documentary?
    Also, why get involved and call cops? You don’t know the guy, and if he’s already dead, there’s no emergency. Someone will find him later.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I believe the illegality has more to do with the presentation than the video itself. You can search YouTube and others to see scores of fake snuff films or suicide films.

  10. Anonymous says:

    *groan*

  11. vamidus says:

    I can see how it’s wrong, stupid and irresponsible.. but is it really illegal? Should I now make my stabbed corpse costume for Halloween look less realistic?

  12. joeposts says:

    Vamidus – only if you go out November 1st and lie in the street, waiting for someone to call the authorities. Basically wasting EMS time is and should continue to be a crime. It’s like a fake 911 call or a yanking a fire alarm.

  13. Jim says:

    “Gwent, England?”

    FFS.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It is not a crime to waste ems time, etc unless they prove it was your intent to do so. Many times simple misunderstandings / misinterpretations result in calls to emergency services by concerned people erring on the side of caution all the time but when the person thought to be hurt is found to fine no one is arrested unless they think they can make a case for one of the involved parties intentionally wasting their time (caller or ‘victim’). A little checking finds that many times the charges are eventually dropped if the “guilty” party puts up a real legal fight since it is often a hard case to make.

    Cops have been called over realistic halloween displays before (think it may have gotten BB coverage as well)

  15. phisrow says:

    I wonder if he was just being a dickhead, or if he’ll be joining the illustrious “mentally ill and in prison” population…

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