TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Man Accused of Arranging Mass Suicide For Internet Users

Man Accused of Arranging Mass Suicide For Internet Users

Lisa Minter (
12 Feb 2005 11:08:11 -0800

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - An unemployed Oregon man who police said
used an Internet chat room to arrange a mass suicide pact with dozens
of people on Valentine's Day was charged on Friday with trying to
solicit aggravated murder.

Authorities seized the man's computer and are scouring it to identify
and contact potential participants in the mass suicide to make sure
they are safe, Klamath County Sheriff Capt. Chris Montenaro said.

"They are doing welfare checks on all of them," Montenaro said. "There
is a very extensive investigation involving a lot of jurisdictions."

Gerald Krien, 26, was charged with solicitation to commit attempted
aggravated murder. He could face 10 to 30 years in prison if

Participants in the planned group suicide appeared to be people "not
happy with that date (Valentine's Day, Feb. 14) and not happy with
their own personal lives," Montenaro said.

The police were tipped off by a Canadian woman who learned that one
mother was allegedly planning to kill her two children and take her
own life.

The chat room was designed for people interested in suicide,
Montenaro said.

Krien lives with his parents in the southern Oregon town of Klamath
Falls. He has had no prior contact with local law enforcement and is
being held on $100,000 bail.

"There is no evidence of a religious or cult following with this
group," Montenaro said.

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