Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Doug Ault, baseball player suicide

The December 28, 2004 issue of The Toronto Star is reporting that the Blue Jays' 1977 opening day hero Doug Ault, 54, was found dead at his Tarpon Springs, Florida, home, in what police are calling a suicide.

This appears to be the first known overt suicide of a Major League Baseball player since the wave of baseball suicides in 1989-1990, as discussed in chapter 14 ("Suicide Squeeze") in The Copycat Effect.

Our prayers and sympathy to his family and friends for the loss of Doug Ault.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Stabbing Crime Said to be Movie Copycat in Korea

On December 24, 2004, the Korean newspaper, The Chosun Ilbo published an article, "Copycat Murder in Japan Seems Based on Korean Movie." A multiple stabbing of a Vietnamese-American on Dec. 2 at a consulting firm in Tokyo is felt to be a copycat of a scene in the Korean blockbuster movie "Friends." The victim was found in a pool of blood after being stabbed over thirty times. The knife's handle was wrapped in tape and bandages, a rare practice in Japan. The foresnic details and the ferocity of the attack were similar to the well-known movie scene in "Friends," which opened in theaters in 2001. It was a huge box-office hit in Korea and was also aired in Japan.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Eight Days a Week: Concerts and Death in December 2004

December 8 is the anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon in 1980. For heavy metal fans, it will now be recalled also as the date on which Pantera founder "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was gunned down while performing. And it kicked off a strange week of music location-related violence. Is this all coincidence or the copycat effect at work here?

First there was the shooting of Darrell Abbott by Nathan Gale. On Wednesday, December 8, 2004, Gale charged the stage at a show by Abbott's new band, Damageplan, at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. Gale shot and killed four people, including Abbott, before a police officer shot Gale to death. Reports are now out that Gale was a paranoid schizophrenia.

Then on Saturday, December 11, in Colombo, Sri Lanka (please note the twilight language here - Colombus - Colombo), a hand grenade was lobbed into the VIP section of the audience at a Bollywood concert led by Indian film star Sharukh Khan (also spelled Shahrukh Khan). Two people were killed and 11 others wounded. Since the 12/11 grenade attack, Khan has been back in the news , promoting her desire to appear in the James Bonds films (which have been linked with the twilight language before).

Then four days later came the breaking news that there was "random shooting" immediately before a concert. The incident ended in a suicide. In Garden Grove, California, Johnnie Carl, 57, the longtime conductor of the Crystal Cathedral Orchestra - a composer and arranger who worked with Celine Dion and John Tesh - shot himself to death at the soaring glass-and-steel church Friday, December 16, 2004, after a nine-hour standoff that started just before a Christmas pageant was to begin. Carl got into argument Thursday evening, December 15, 2004, with another employee, fired four shots, barricaded himself in a bathroom, and then died by suicide as police officers tried to talk to him.

Is this concert-death-suicide media cycle finished?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Five killed in rampage in Columbus

The media is filled this morning with news of "Five Killed In Nightclub Shootings In Columbus" and it is getting first place coverage in the morning shows. Other stories are being headlined "Band Member Targeted; Gunman Killed By Police" - see


This may not have a copycat effect, because the media is quickly saying this was a "grudge shooting" - thus taking it out of the traditional unknown shooter randomly killing people.

However, the explanation behind the shooting may disappear in the wake of repeat showings of the results of the carnage. We will have to see if there's any kind of outburst in three days or a week.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Japan: Internet spurs outbreak of group suicides, says British Medical Journal

'Internet spurs outbreak of group suicides'

December 02 2004 at 12:47PM
Paris - A rash of group suicides that has shaken Japan is a worrying sign of the Internet's potential for encouraging suicide pacts, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) says.

Full details here: