Around 7% of teenagers have attempted suicide before the age of 17. Almost one out of four teenagers claimed to have self-harmed in the past year. The pandemic has largely caused this. While most lean towards self-harm, others get more creative. In 2003, a teenager tried to convince his best friend to kill him.
A suicidal teen from the UK used several fake online personas to persuade his best friend to kill him. He survived the attack and became the first person in UK history to be charged with inciting their own murder.
The Boy Who Plotted his Own Death
This is the story of two regular Manchester teenagers whose remarkable friendship resulted in one of British history’s strangest and most puzzling criminal cases.
On June 29, 2003, just before 8 am, the police were alerted to a stabbing that had happened in an alleyway hidden behind a row of stores in the Greater Manchester town of Altrincham. When they came, a 14-year-old boy was bleeding to death from many stab wounds and was battling for his life.
The 16-year-old boy who called the police about the crime was present and standing nearby. These boys’ real names cannot be revealed; they are just known as John and Mark.
Mark reported to the police that he had seen a hooded knifeman stab his friend without reason before fleeing. The investigation began as any other would. The cops confiscated nearby CCTV footage while making a plea for witnesses.
But the situation unexpectedly changed a few days later. Only John and Mark were seen entering the alley in the video that was taken of the entrance.
After being made a suspect, Mark admitted that he had stabbed John after being shown the CCTV footage. When asked to do it, he’d corresponded with a British spy mistress Janet Dobinson via an online chat room.
If he succeeded in his mission, he would join the British Secret Service, collect £80 million, meet Tony Blair, the Queen, and enjoy sexual favors from Dobinson, who was supposedly a married 44-year-old who led a double life for the Queen and country.
If the operation had to be abandoned, Mark had even been given the abort number 6969 and the pseudonym 47695. After the computers of both boys were taken, Sally Hogg, a criminal intelligence analyst, looked through nearly 58000 texts sent between the two boys and messages between Mark and Janet.
In an unexpected turn of events, detectives could connect John to five or six of Mark’s internet buddies because of similarities in misspellings and text tones. It was later discovered that John had orchestrated his own demise using these false accounts, including Janet as one of the characters. Janet is not real, and Mark was fooled into murdering his best friend. (Source: Crime and Investigation)
What Happened After the Incident?
John was given a three-year supervision order and was prohibited from using the internet without an adult’s supervision after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice and inciting his own murder. Likewise, Mark, who admitted to attempted murder, was given a two-year supervision order. (Source: Medium)