Sunday, February 13, 2005

St. Valentine's Day Suicide Party Foiled

A man used an Internet chat room to try to set up a mass suicide on Valentine's Day, involving more than two dozen women across the United States and Canada, authorities in the US state of Oregon said. Gerald Krein, 26, was arrested on Wednesday at his Mother's Mobile Home in Klamath Falls and faces charges of solicitation to commit murder, sheriff's deputies said. Detectives learnt of the plan from a woman in Canada who said she saw the message in a Yahoo chat room that had the words "Suicide Ideology" in the title. The woman told detectives she was going to take part in the suicide but had second thoughts when another chat room participant said she would do it and talked about killing her two children before taking her own life, said the Klamath County Sheriff. A student in Portland, Oregon, who just identified herself as "Jamie" also indicated on Friday that she had had chats with Krein, but had become suspicious. The chat room participants planned to log in on Valentine's Day and commit suicide while keeping in touch over the Internet, the Sheriff said. Krein was looking for women and children to join in the suicide, police said. Investigators believe the total number, including Krein, was 32. Deputies seized Krein's computer and a web cam and investigators are issuing a subpoena on chat room records to try to contact people who may have planned to take part in the suicide. The chat room is no longer active and the suspect is being held without bail. Krein was said to have moved to Klamath Falls from the Sacramento, California, area about a year ago to take care of his ailing father.
Gerald Krien, 26