Entries in Suicide (9)


Famous French Lawyer's Body Found Washed up on Shore

Hemera/Thinkstock(PARIS) -- One of France's most notable lawyers was found dead of an apparent suicide on Sunday.

Olivier Metzner's body was found at about 9:00 a.m. Sunday, floating off the shore of an island that he owned in Brittany's Bay of Morbihan. Metzner left behind a note, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office told Bloomberg News.

The 63-year-old Metzner represented a number of high-profile clients during his career, including former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. He also defended Continental Airlines in the case of the Concorde crash in 2000.

According to Bloomberg, Metzner began his career defending gang members and gained notoriety by getting his clients freed on technicalities. Financial law was considered his expertise.

The results of an autopsy will be announced on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


City Apologizes to Family of Bullied Teen Who Committed Suicide

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TOKYO) -- Facing mounting public scrutiny for their handling of a bullying case that drove a 13-year-old boy to commit suicide, the Japanese city of Otsu signaled they would settle a lawsuit filed by the victim’s parents on Tuesday, acknowledging for the first time a direct link between the harassment and the teenager’s death.

Defense lawyer Yuichi Shiraki offered an emotional apology on behalf of the city outside a packed courthouse.

“The school’s insufficient actions and probe by the board of education…led family members and the victim to the depths of despair, leaving no choice but death,” Shiraki said, his head deeply bowed. “On behalf of the city of Otsu, I deeply apologize.”

The acknowledgement came less than a week after police launched an investigation into the boy’s suicide last fall, amid growing suspicions the school and board of education tried to cover up the incident.

The middle school student jumped from his 14th floor apartment last October after enduring excessive bullying at the hands of his classmates.  In an anonymous survey conducted by Otsu’s board of education, students reported the victim was pressured into shoplifting, and had his legs and arms tied while bullies duck-taped his mouth.  

Some reportedly watched as their classmates forced the teen to eat dead bees, “pantsed” him and forced him to “practice” committing suicide.  Other students reported seeing teachers join in on the harassment, laughing at the victim as he was choked.

In one of his last acts, the victim texted his tormentors and left voice mails saying, “I’m going to die.”  They texted him back to say, “You should die.”

Those revelations sparked national outrage with angry parents accusing teachers of looking the other way.

The number of bullying cases have declined in recent years, according to data from the Education Ministry, but critics argue those figures just provide a snapshot of the scope of the problem, since many victims are too afraid to come forward.

On Monday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda denounced bullying as an “embarrassing and dirty” act during a live interview with Fuji-TV.  He then addressed the victims directly.

“There are people who care about you.  I promise you there are people who want to protect you,” he said.  “Please believe that and report the abuse to your father, mother, teachers, friends, anybody.”

In court, the three students accused of harassing the victim denied doing anything harmful, saying “We were just playing around,” according to Japanese media reports.

The Board of Education has maintained they could not prove a direct link between bullying and the student’s suicide, though chair Kenji Sawamura denied saying the abuse was not a factor.

The city has launched a new investigation into the case, while police plan to interview hundreds of students and parents before deciding whether to proceed with their own criminal case.

The teen’s parents, who are seeking more than $950,000 in damages, acknowledged the city’s apology but called for the truth to come out so other victims could be saved.

“Watching the press conference by the city and board of education, I cannot help but think my son was betrayed by them,” the father wrote in a statement read by his lawyer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Japan: Teen Kills Himself Following Torment from Classmates, Teachers

Ron Chapple Studios/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The suicide of a 13-year-old boy in southern Japan after classmates systematically bullied him — even making him “practice” suicide — while teachers ignored the abuse or laughed has prompted soul-searching among educators across the country.

One of the boy’s last acts was to text his tormentors and leave voicemails for them to say, “I’m going to die.” They texted him back to say, “You should die.”

The middle school student, whose name has not been released, jumped from his 14th floor apartment in the city of Otsu last October after enduring heartrending tales of abuse at the hands of his classmates.

His father filed several reports with the police, but officers never accepted them, saying that they could not prove that bullying led to his suicide, according to Japanese media reports.

Details of the harassment are coming to light eight months later, following a student survey conducted by the city’s board of education. In that anonymous survey, students write the bullying escalated to “punching and kicking” in September last year, about a month before the teen jumped to his death. The victim was pressured into shoplifting, had his legs and arms tied while bullies duck-taped his mouth. Students watched as their peers pressured the teen into eating dead bees, “pantsed” him, and made him “practice” committing suicide.

In the survey, some classmates report alerting teachers to those “practices,” but say nothing was done. Instead, teachers reportedly laughed as bullies tried to choke the victim.

“He was forced to eat paper, students choked him. Teachers only gave a verbal warning, but then joined in on the bullying by laughing,” comments in the survey read.

Today, the tearful mayor of Otsu, Naomi Koshi, said that she would launch a new investigation into the teen’s suicide to “seek the truth,” calling the board’s survey “inadequate.”

“I feel awful I have to put students through this again,” Koshi said. “I cannot apologize to the students enough.”

Local media report Otsu has been bombarded with hundreds of calls and emails from angry parents since the bullying came to light on July 4. A bomb threat was called into the board Thursday, forcing students to go home early.

The teen’s family has not commented publicly on the case since the new details surfaced, but in a letter sent to Koshi, the boy’s father called on the mayor to “seek the truth” and come up with a new anti-bullying policy.

“I want bullying to disappear from every school in Japan,” he wrote. “I want schools to become a safe place again.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oklahoma City 911 Dispatchers Save Woman in Ireland

iStockphoto/Thinsktock(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- A 911 team in Oklahoma is being lauded during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week for saving the life of a woman 4,000 miles away.

During the early hours of March 2, the distressed woman called the seven-digit, non-emergency number for the Oklahoma City dispatch.

“She was suicidal, had a gun and said she was going to kill herself,” David Shupe, director of 911 services, said. “Her biggest concern was making sure someone was contacted so her child would be OK.  She said repeatedly she was trying to get out of the life of prostitution.”

Shupe said he had no idea how the woman got the number for emergency services or what, if any, her familiarity with Oklahoma City was, but his dispatchers knew they needed to help.

Because she called the seven-digit number instead of 911, dispatchers were unable to track her location. “We managed ultimately to keep her on the phone for 30 minutes,” he said.

During that time, the 911 supervisor contacted AT&T, which traced the call to the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. The supervisor then contacted their police department, which, in turn, was able to trace the call to Dublin, Shupe said.

Police visited the woman’s home where they found her with a stab wound to the arm. She was transported to a hospital for treatment.

“This was a pretty interesting piece of work from our perspective,” Shupe said.  “We don’t typically get involved with overseas departments. It was pretty innovative how the supervisor handled it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Former KGB Chief Found Dead in Moscow, Police Say

Creatas/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Russian police confirmed Friday that former KGB chief Leonid Shebarshin was found dead of apparent suicide in his apartment in Moscow, Russian news agency Interfax has reported.

The 77-year-old former head of Soviet foreign intelligence was found dead Friday with a gunshot wound and a pistol at his side, according to police.  A suicide note was also found at the scene, according to BBC News.

"Preliminary findings indicate he shot himself," a law enforcement official told Interfax.

Shebarshin was a career KGB agent, recommended to the agency after serving as an interpreter to the Russian ambassador to Pakistan in the late 1950s into the 60s, according to Interfax.  He was later appointed to the post of deputy chairman in 1989.  Shebarshin later served as the acting head of the Soviet spy network for just two days in 1991 after his predecessor Vladimir Kryochkov joined a group that tried to overthrow then Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.

Shebarshin would be nearly the last KGB chief, as his successor, Vadim Bakatin, stepped in to dismantle the organization.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


First Suicide Reported at World's Tallest Building

MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- A man killed himself in a jump from the world’s tallest tower Tuesday, marking the first time anyone has committed suicide from Dubai’s new Burj Khalifa.

Emirates 24|7, citing a resident who claimed knowledge of the suicide, reports that the man, described as “an Asian worker,” leapt from the 147th floor and plunged 39 floors before landing on a deck on the 108th.

The Burj Khalifa, which totals 160 habitable floors, opened in January of 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wife of Pakistani Fatally Shot by US Man Commits Suicide

Raymond Davis. Photo Courtesy - Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images(LAHORE, Pakistan) -- The wife of one of the Pakistani men allegedly shot and killed by an American official in Lahore took her own life Sunday after ingesting poison, her doctors reported.

Shumaila Kanwal committed suicide by taking a tablet usually used to keep grain in a silo from going bad in the winter.  Before passing away, her doctors allowed her to speak to reporters on camera from inside the hospital, and she delivered a diatribe to describe why she tried to take her own life.

"I do not expect any justice from this government," Kanwal told reporters.  "That is why I want to kill myself."

"I want blood for blood," she said.  "The way my husband was shot, his killer should be shot in the same fashion."

Kanwal's husband, Mohammad Faheem, was among three men killed on Jan. 27.  Raymond Davis is accused of shooting and killing Faheem and another man who he claims were attempting to rob him in Lahore.  A third Pakistani man died after he was struck by a vehicle that was reportedly racing to Davis' aid.

Davis is being held in a prison in Lahore.

The U.S. State Department has called the shooting self defense.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Suicide Bomber Arrested in Pakistan Ahead of Planned Detonation

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(ISLAMABAD) -- Police in Islamabad arrested a would-be suicide bomber and an accomplice on their way to their target Friday. One of the men was wearing an explosives jacket.

Authorities tell ABC News the likely targets were the parliament building and surrounding government buildings.

The arrest came as the result of a tip provided to police earlier this week about a possible terrorist attack.

Police are said to be in the process of getting more information from the apprehended to make further arrests.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Strangers Connect Online to Commit Suicide

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images.(LONDON) -- A woman and a man found each other through an online posting looking for a partner -- to end their lives together. Shortly after meeting in person, Joanne Lee and Stephen Lumb got into Lee's car and committed suicide.  The double suicide of two strangers has stunned Great Britain where it occurred and surprised suicide experts.  "It's very, very unusual," said Essex Police press officer Heather Watts who said she's never seen anything like this in her 20 years on the police force. "We have had double suicides, but not under the circumstance where they'd never met in person....I saw it as a sign of the times when people meet and do things on the Internet."  Lee, 34, and Lumb, 35, are believed to have met on an Internet forum that discusses suicide when she put up a notice seeking a partner to help her die.  "I haven't the strength to do this alone. I have all the ingredients and want to do it ASAP," Lee wrote, according to London's "Daily Mail." Britain has about 6,000 suicides per year, low compared to many other countries like Japan. It also does not have a culture of suicide with strangers that has grown rapidly in Japan in recent years. The suicide rate in the U.S. is 11.5 per 100,000, about 35,000 people per year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.

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