MySpace Profiles Become Online Obituaries for Teens at New Site

On Wednesday morning, Chris Quartaro allegedly strode into Janet's Bakery in Corpus Christi, Texas, and shot his girlfriend, Lisa Rose, in the head.

Without saying a word, Quartaro walked out of the shop and led police on a 60-mile car chase before turning the same gun on himself, Corpus Christi police said.

He's currently in a serious condition at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial — the same facility where Rose was pronounced dead not long after the shooting.

The following day the tragic story was one of the hottest topics on MyDeathSpace.com. An Internet site that posts the MySpace profiles of deceased youths, MyDeathSpace started as an experiment in December 2005, and officially launched in January. Already, it is an Internet phenomenon.

Its founder, Mike Patterson, a 25-year-old San Francisco resident, originally came up with the idea when reading about the murder of 17-year-old Alexa Richards, whose father killed her, then stuffed her corpse into a freezer.

Keen to learn more about the girl, Patterson searched for Richards' profile on the popular social networking site, MySpace.com, and once he found it, posted it to his original test version of MyDeathSpace.com.

"After that, whenever I read an article containing the death or suicide of a young person of MySpace age, I'd look them up," Patterson told ABCNews in an e-mail interview.

"Some people on the forum said checking MDS is now part of their daily routine...," Patterson said.

Part of the site's popularity comes from participation in the "Death Discussion," a chat board providing surfers with the opportunity to talk about the deaths, which are numbered according to their date of posting.

"I just saw the death of this girl, Lisa Rose," forum participant TraptJuggalette wrote. "That is one of the saddest deaths I have seen on here. My boyfriend and I are having some problems and he has a shotgun...."

"I'm glad he didn't succeed in killing himself and has to live with this...," wrote JayJay, another user.

For friends and relatives, the site serves a different purpose, acting as a memorial to those who have died.

"I have lost a few friends and now a family member," Nicole Lambert of Fairchild, Wash., wrote to ABC News in an e-mail. "It is nice to be able to view their profile and remember and leave comments. It is a nice way for friends and family to get condolences and see how loved and how missed that person will be."

Patterson hopes the site will help remind teenagers that they are not invincible.

"MyDeathSpace should be an eye-opening experience to teens, and the tragic and often-times preventable deaths should be taken to heart by young people," he said.

Judging by the comments in the site's forum, it seems at least some people are sitting up and taking note of Patterson's message.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...