A man who police believe may have attacked multiple victims as part of a dark obsession with Asian women was found dead of apparent suicide this week. But if some eerie posts that were published online last week are true, his blog may live on for another decade.
On Monday, police discovered the body of Tyrelle Shaw, who had apparently hung himself in an elevator shaft in a building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Police had been looking for Shaw as a potential suspect in a series of attacks against four Asian women around the city, according to the New York Times.
In the days before (and possibly after) he died, the 25-year-old bowtie designer described his intent to kill himself on his Wordpress blog, where he had regularly written for more than five years, along with chilling writings about his anger toward women.
And if one of the most recent posts is true, he has enough writing queued up to continue publishing posthumously for the next decade.
It's not clear exactly when Shaw killed himself. On June 16, he wrote that he was in the process of hanging himself and was "moments away" from dying.
"I've scheduled posts to my blog—so for the next 10 years I'll be posting from the other side," he wrote. This exact post was published four times in a row on the same day.
Then, on June 17, two posts were published on his blog: one that appears to be an excerpt from a book Shaw was writing and another that details his anger with Asian women and decision to kill himself. The next day, another post appeared further detailing his frustration with what he considered rejection from Asian women and his description of attacking women with a steel rod.
Police did not discover Shaw until almost a week later, but said it wasn't clear how long his body had been in the elevator shaft before residents of the building noticed a smell and alerted police.
Because the exact time and date of Shaw's death is still unknown, it's unclear whether his suicide note or any of his recent posts were actually published after his death. And without logging into his site, there's no way to know—unless another one shows up.
Shaw's blog started out pretty harmless, if a little strange. Over the past few months, however, his posts shifted from random copy-and-pasted news stories and posts about trying out different brands of bottled water, to documenting a growing obsession with Asian women.
In April, he posted dozens of furtive photos he captured of Asian women on the streets of New York. Earlier this month, he wrote that he was "only talking to Asian women the rest of my life until I get married to an Asian girl." Shaw posted logs of Asian women he saw walking with white men, and said he approached 150 Asian women in one week.
"They all rejected me," he wrote. "Is there something wrong with me?"
In the days immediately after Shaw posted his intention to kill himself, two posts were published that described attacking Asian women with a steel rod. Shaw wrote that he had been rejected by women all his life and decided to use violence to "get the response" he desired.
"I never agreed with violence, but I knew the only way I could overcome that sense of rejection would start by assaulting the women that carelessly rejected me," the blog post reads. "I'm infatuated with the idea of having an Asian wife and raising children. [...] I just couldn't understand why Asian women didn't find me attractive. Suddenly, I assumed the ones that I am attracted to use cocaine so I decided to play a game. Bash Asian Women in the Nose so that they could stop sniffing cocaine and give me a chance."
He referred to the assaults as "the Nose Game" and said one victim was "asking for it."
Meanwhile, the NYPD was investigating a series of attacks against Asian women that took place between June 10 and June 15 around Manhattan. All four victims had been hit in the face with a hard object wrapped in a white plastic bag by an unknown black man. None of the victims were seriously injured.
Shaw's family alerted the police last week after seeing his blog posts apparently confessing to the crime. They also thought they recognized him from surveillance photos and video circulated by police, according to the Times.
If the three most recent blog posts were indeed published posthumously, it wouldn't be the first time someone had posted online from beyond the grave. Terminally ill people often pen personal reflection pieces to post after they die (usually with the help of a living family member or friend). Some people have queued suicide note updates and tweets to appear after they've taken their life. And there are even apps that will post pre-written social media updates for you after you die, or automatically create new ones based on your previous online presence.
But considering the attacks he has detailed on his blog and his own violent death, Shaw's possibly posthumous writings are particularly grim. At one point, he wrote that the NYPD should stop looking for him because he was planning to commit suicide.
No posts have been published since June 18 and it's not clear whether the decades' worth of posts Shaw promised will ever appear. Automattic, the company that owns Wordpress, wouldn't comment on Shaw's blog specifically but sent me a statement saying it "does not remove posts unless they violate terms of service or user guidelines." Those guidelines include prohibitions on "direct and realistic threats of violence," but Automattic wouldn't tell me whether or not Shaw's posts might be removed.
One woman who claimed she was acquaintances with Shaw wrote an anonymous reaction to his recent writings on Refinery29, saying she found his recent posts disturbing.
"Reading this hateful manifesto sends shivers down my spine, and not only because I could actually be one of the 1,500 Asian women whom, the blog says, rejected him," she wrote. "This fetishization of my ethnicity is very familiar."
Given the content of the most recent posts, there's a chance even darker writings are yet to emerge.
If you're having suicidal thoughts, Crisis Text Line provides emotional support 24/7 via text. It's confidential and free.