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You've got mail: I'm going to kill myself


December 22, 2000

If it has done nothing else for humanity, email has given us another medium to write suicide notes in. An effective method of communication, albeit a less dramatic medium than a letter scrawled in one's own blood.

This lessening of drama did not deter jilted teenager Philip Dowden from announcing his intentions to his ex-fiancйe in an email.

The 16 year old sent a message saying it would be "unthinkably unbearable" to go on after the relationship ended. He then took a double-barrelled shotgun and shot himself in the head, dying instantly.

His ex did not receive the email until he had died, and said in a statement that he had threatened suicide when they had split up on a previous occasion.

The Sun reports that the suicidal sixteen year-old had spoken to a female friend shortly before he killed himself. She said: "He said that if they were apart for seven days he would kill himself. He said that he would use a gun and even that he would take it into school."

An inquest ruled that his death was suicide

Lucy SherriffThe Register


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