Friday, March 24, 2006

A Wild Thursday

Let me start this story with EVERYONE IS OK... Now... the story...

Yesterday afternoon, a bit before 5 p.m., Martha called on my cell phone and asked if I was near a computer and if I'd seen the email from Julie. I started to pull it up but before I did, Martha said the email was very odd and said Julie had written that life wasn't worth living, she had a gun to her head and... At that point I interrupted her and said, "Oh my God, call 911. I'm going over there."

I live across town, with many stop lights in-between. While I was going over there, my cell phone continued to ring from others who had gotten the email. I, of course, called Julie's house, but got no answer.

By the time I got to her house, some other people were there and the police. Julie's daughter was there with her babies - 1 and 4 years old. The police went to look for Julie's car. Sarah called her husband home to stay with the babies - I had offered but the older one was sleeping and she didn't want her to wake up and be with someone she had only met a few times.

As soon as he arrived, Sarah went to look for Julie. She called in just a little bit and said she had found her mom shopping at Dillon's. Julie was freaked out when she saw her daughter, assuming something was wrong. She had no idea she was the star of this drama.

Apparently, Julie checked her yahoo email at HCC around 4 and it didn't log out completely. So, at 4:49 someone thought it would be humorous to send this email to everyone in Julie's address book.

It was terrifying, of course. None of us thought there was any reason Julie would have wanted to kill herself, but, of course, you cannot ignore something like that.

I hadn't seen the email until after it was all over, but it had many hallmarks of being written by a teenager or early twenty-something. However, I would have said to call 911 anyway because you have to take that seriously.

Five people called 911. Julie is obviously very cared about, and that's wonderful, but we have better ways to express it.

Police are investigating and hopefully will be able to hold someone responsible for their actions. This is the internet version of crying fire in a crowded theatre.

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