A Facebook Friend is threatening a murder/suicide...

…I hope to heck he’s joking, but he’s made several status updates in the last two weeks about needing mental health help/meds, and one about schizophrenia (which I don’t know if he has, or if he was being funny). I don’t know this guy well at all. Met him only once, in fact. But I’m scared he might be for real, or at least really be crying out for help.

I called the police in his hometown, gave them the address I have for him, and they went by the house and no one’s home.

I don’t know what else to do. Any ideas?
(Mods, I have no idea what forum this should be in. Move as you see fit.)

I don’t know what to do either. But do you know friends who know the guy? Maybe someone could call him and figure out what’s going on.

Go through his friends sites, maybe? See if there is anyone listed as a family member and write them and ask them to get involved.

I’ve tried both the home and cell numbers I have for him, and he’s not answering. I’ve begun tracking down family members who are also his Facebook Friends and calling them (with numbers from whitepages.com), but so far no luck. Getting lots of voicemails - which is understandable since none of them will recognize my number on their caller ID - and I don’t know what the heck to say in a message.

Am I overreacting? I don’t want to go into a dramaspin here, but I don’t want to ignore it, either. Let him hate me, I don’t care.

You’re not overreacting. In college a not-very-close friend called me and said she was depressed and had just taken a whole bottle of her mom’s heart medication. I hung up and tried to call 911 (which is how I found out you can’t do it from another area code), then called the police nonemergency number and explained. They sent over a squad car, and she ended up in the ER having her stomach pumped, and then in inpatient psych for a while. It was late at night when she called - nobody else in the house was awake, so by the time anyone there figured out what she had done, it may well have been too late.

Just tossing the obvious things out there in case they’ve been overlooked: You could also comment on the relevant status updates on his Facebook page pointing out that you’re worried about what he appears to be saying. That way the statuses might rise in newsfeeds and come to the attention of other people who know him (and, in the ideal case, it might even prompt him to explain why it was all a big misunderstanding).

Okay, I left a voicemail with his mother (or at least, a woman old enough to be his mother, with the same last name as his and both his Facebook Friend and linked on Linkedin) saying, basically, “I need you to contact me regarding your son, XXXX. Oh, and I’m not a bill collector.” :smack: It’s not perfect, but I hope it gets her to call back.

And yes, I posted on his Facebook, as well. So did a bunch of other people, mostly things like “CALL ME!!!”, and a few weisenheimers who assumed he was joking. (I hope they’re right!)

And…yeah, privacy is DEAD in the internet age. I’ve got working phone numbers and street addresses for half the family of a guy I met once. That’s a little freaky.

Why is that so freaky> You can still get all that information in the phone book.

Glad you are doing the right thing for your friend.

No, I wouldn’t know who they were. It’s a common last name, and they’re spread over at least three states. I only know they’re (probably) related because of Facebook and LinkedIn.

But thank you, I hope I am doing the right thing. I just called the police department again (the first call was this morning) and threw a bit of a hissy fit when they said, “Oh, yeah. We went by this morning and knocked on the door. No one answered, so we left.” They didn’t want to pursue it any further. I think they’re going back now after my fit.

I mean - hello? Sure, I believe in the right of people to kill themselves if they want, but this guy is planning a murder, as well! Get your asses out there and *find *him!

Not much to do now but wait, I guess.

I’m unlisted in the phone book, though. Deliberately.

Say you are overreacting - he is talking about murder/suicide. Better to overreact in this case at least.

You are being trolled.

If it wasn’t for the history of comments in the last two weeks, I’d think so, too. And boy, do I hope you’re right! But I’m willing to be embarrassed in the event that you’re not.

I don’t really have any advice to add here. I just wanted to give you props on being a wonderful friend.

Who was he going to murder? Has anyone checked on THAT person?

Heh. That’s actually the person I’m least worried about, and if he had only posted that he was going to murder him, I’d have rolled my eyes and moved on. It’s the CEO of BP. :rolleyes: THAT’S either trolling or delusional, I’m sure.

But my concern, if this is a schizophrenic episode or psychotic break, is that he might “recognize” any man on the street as his intended target.

You called the police they did a well being check on him and found him not to be in.

You can’t do anything more. If someone really wants to kill him/herself there’s very little you can do to stop it.

Just to update: one of his local real life friends called the police again this morning (it’s not clear if they made a second visit yesterday or not) and, while he still refused to answer the door, apparently he was home, because he called his estranged wife when he heard the knocking. She either gave permission to the police to go into their home, or he came out voluntarily, not sure which.

Either way, he’s in the hospital now getting treatment. Thank goodness!

Whew! I agree that you did do the right thing. Glad things worked out.

Good for you – our culture has a real prejudice to look the other way in stuff like this, and it’s very rarely the right thing to do. I’m glad you fought through that, and he’ll be glad about it too once he’s under treatment.


Good for you. Too many people are willing to look the other way and hope that things aren’t as bad as they suspect, or to do nothing and assume someone else will step in to help.

Yes, there are trolls and attention whores who would mimic this sort of behavior for a stunt, but we shouldn’t let them ruin things for people who genuinely need help.