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The Lies Issue

Teenage Suicide

A couple of days later, another body was found, about one week dead. Are you seeing a pattern here? It’s like, whaaaaat? 13-year-old track-and-field player Jean DaBord had overdosed on his infirm grandmother’s prescriptions while lying in bed beside...
February 1, 2006, 12:00am

Heathers is coming to life in France. Sort of. Still courtesy of New World Entertainment

It began on the morning of January 12, 2005, when Denis Sauvagnac of the Rhône Alps placed a call to the police saying his son was dead. Authorities found 15-year-old Guy Sauvagnac lying in bed with postmortem lividity in his back, buttocks, and penis, and seminal fluid in his rose-colored undershorts. After a great deal of confusion, Guy’s family admitted that they had found Guy hanging—an apparent suicide—and had taken his body down and placed it in the bed, so as to suggest a death of natural causes. Forensics investigators said the lividity and swelling were consistent with hanging, as hanging victims have it in their arms and feet, but if they’re cut down within a few hours, it goes to their backs. Hanging victims also usually ejaculate (jizz). No criminal charges were pressed against Denis or his wife, Isabelle. Two days later, 14-year-old Thomas Micheland of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur killed himself. His father was out of town on business and found the body a week later. Due to putrefaction, it was already unrecognizable. Thomas’s face was dark purple, and he was purging blood through his nose and mouth. His hands and nails were shredded to the point of resembling what the coroner’s report described as “Mickey Mouse hands,” and the skin of his legs was falling off in what was described as “burnt stockings.” His father thought he was a black man. A week after Thomas’s body was found, a French slum dweller whose name has yet to be released to the press started doing internet searches for the grossest possible way to kill yourself. Ultimately, he found a story about an old German man who died while taking a bath. The man went undiscovered for days, and when he was found, the corpse was so bloated that it had corked up the tub. Forensics expert and crime-scene cleanup specialist Mark Snider said that although water generally will preserve a corpse, the story was “eminently plausible.” Asked how he’d clean something like that, he said, “I’d probably stick a hole in the corpse and drain it using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.” The unnamed French slum dweller shot himself in the tub and was found that evening completely nude. A couple of days later, another body was found, about one week dead. Are you seeing a pattern here? It’s like, whaaaaat? 13-year-old track-and-field player Jean DaBord had overdosed on his infirm grandmother’s prescriptions while lying in bed beside her. It was five days before she was discovered, and in that time, her grandson’s body had evacuated its bowels and begun to mummify beside her. She was unable to reach a phone and was severely dehydrated by the time she was found. As it turns out, this kind of suicide pattern is common. It’s called a suicide cluster and the recent spat of dead bodies is only one of many since the year 1961. It isn’t generally made up of friends, but of strangers who live near one another, or are a part of the same network of information. According to Madelyn S. Gould, PhD, MPH, suicide clusters account for between 16 and 89 percent of all suicides in Europe. What distinguishes this one from the rest is that it appears the suicides were attempts to create the most disgusting corpses possible. The cluster has been nicknamed “Ecrasez le Vermin” (“crush the scumbag”). Guy Mierrault is one of several interns employed by the Centre de Prévention du Suicide to locate and deactivate websites devoted to the cluster. According to what he told us, there is a tiny community of suburban French kids now combing forensics textbooks to uncover and trade information about how to leave the most puke-inducing corpse imaginable. They exchange such tidbits as not to shoot yourself in the heart because your lungs will absorb the blood, and not to be dehydrated as that slows decomposition. Also, eat a full meal, as your body starts evacuating waste in 12 hours, and be sure to be in a warm, humid room. Also, use a high-power gun for the strongest splatter. Guy even told us that there was a whole string devoted to trying to get your spinal cord to make a “fuck you” finger. We’re not sure what these frogs are trying to accomplish with all this carnage, but if grossing out the rest of the world was anywhere on their plates, congratulations kids. We’re barfing. BARRY MAROLDA