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April 7, 2007

Where do MySpace users end up when they die? MyDeathSpace

At first blush, the MySpace profile for the girl known as LaCy is much like tens of millions of other such pages.

LaCy is one Lacy Seitz, 18, of Mansfield, Texas.
Her funky-punctuation motto: “girls jUst WannA hAve fUn.”

Her listed interests include “hanging out with my friends, shopping, beach, blockbuster nights, gettin’ crazzzy, road trips . . .”

Favorite movies: “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Pretty Woman” — “chick flicks are def my fav as for most girls lol . . . but i love everything!”

LaCy says “Harry Potter is the greatest book in the world.” Under the “Heroes” category, she writes:

“I would have to say my mother, she’s the most amazing person to me. . . . I love her so much she will always be in my heart!”

The profile page includes numerous pictures of the blond, smiling girl and her friends, and all sorts of personal information, from her astrological sign to her height and body type to the fact that she’d like to have children “someday.”

This is the way it works with MySpace. It’s essentially a high school yearbook and then some for the entire world. You can learn more about a person by viewing his/her MySpace profile than you’d learn by attending class or working with someone for a year.

MySpace goodbyes
Of course, LaCy has lots of friends, real and virtual, on her page. There are more than 130 comments from her friends — and it’s only when you read the comments that you realize what has happened to LaCy.
“We will all be there to say goodbye to you today but not forever as you know,” writes Candice.

(Note: All of the comments noted here were posted last week.)

“Hey baby, so tomorrow I get to see you. I’m a little scared but I know you’ll be there with us all,” writes another friend.

“I can’t believe tomorrow is when I have to say bye to you. Don’t worry though, because it’s not forever.”

“Tomorrow is going to be hard for everyone but we all need it. … Love you Lacy.”

“I just can’t believe you’re gone. It was only yesterday that we were in 8th grade meeting each other for the first time. You could always make everyone smile, girl we love you and we miss you so much. R.I.P.”

“Your cousin just told me it’s going to be a closed casket tomorrow. I wanted to see your beautiful face one more time but I guess it will be a little easier since I won’t have to see you like that. I love you babygirl with all my heart!”

LaCy’s friends are talking to a young woman who is no longer with us.

This is a fairly commonplace thing on MySpace. It would be impossible for MySpace employees to monitor some 100 million pages and take down profiles of those who have died — so unless one’s family contacts MySpace and requests that a page come down, your page will live on after you’re gone.

So how does I find out about the death of a teenager in Texas?

By perusing MyDeathSpace.com.

A link to the recently deceased
It’s a morbidly fascinating site: MyDeath Space.com, a catalog of recently deceased MySpace users. (The site is not affiliated with MySpace.)
The matter-of-fact headlines are stunning because the victims are so young, and the causes of death so myriad.

From recent editions of MyDeathSpace:

“Parisa Biglari (18) and another teen burned to death when their SUV collided head-on with a truck”

“Marcellus Haley (18) was shot to death because he asked out the wrong girl”

“Gregory Jacobs (18) was killed in a skiing accident when he struck his head”

“Molly Fitzgerald (14) was found unconscious at the bottom of a 4-foot-deep, above-ground pool”

“Wade Steffey (19) was electrocuted in a high-voltage utility room after a frat party”

“John Bowden (16) collapsed and died after running 3 miles at a soccer camp”

“Adrian Masalko (17) died after a battle with cancer”

“Shelby Armstrong (16) drowned in her bathtub after ‘dusting’ ”

“Savannah Zimmerman (18) died in a house fire while trying to save her ailing grandfather”

“Lacy Seitz (18) was thrown from an SUV”

It’s a big world. Most teenagers like to party a bit, but they emerge unscathed and reach old age. Most teenagers don’t get fatal diseases or collapse suddenly. Most teenagers are lucky enough to avoid serious accidents.

Still, if you’re the parent of a teenager, there must be days when it takes all your strength to stop yourself from wrapping your kid in a five-minute hug before she walks out the door.

Chicago Sun-Times

  1. Anonymous
    April 7, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Its really sad to see kids to leave the earth too early.

  2. anonymous
    April 30, 2007 at 8:53 am

    If mydeathspace was only an online obituary as it claims, it would be fine. But if you look at the forums where members discuss the death, you will find them full of defamatory and disrespectful comments about the death. Many deaths are commented on with jokes or, what a dumb ass and even the occasional he/she deserved to die. The members, and the site administrators relish when a family or friend of the deceased stumbles across Mydeathspace. Then it’s open season on the grieving.

    Many family members write in to complain and Mike Patterson and the other moderators and administrator post these letters in the hate mail section so they can be derided and ridiculed by the forum community. Sometimes he will even post the email and or home address of the person complaining, opening them up to harrassment and threats from community members.

    It is truly disgusting.

  3. agreed
    November 12, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    When my best friends husband was brutally murdered,she found a link to his profile on mydeathspace by googling his name. The comments were truly disgusting and not anything close to the respectful obituary the site claims to be. Members commented that her son must not be his(she was pregnant when he died),that he must have done something to deserve it,and even made jokes about his death. She was horrified that those kinds of things would be said about someone she loved so much. They attacked her when she posted and asked that his profile be removed. This site should be banned. Everyone that has a loved one on there should contact myspace and have their profile removed or at least made private.

  4. Anonymous
    April 3, 2011 at 5:02 am

    This is sick

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