Hi Kathie, thank you for reading and responding to my paper which explores crowd behaviour.
Keith Cowley
11

Thank you, Keith, for your prompt response and for your including the list of expert crowd psychologists. I am already FB friends with Prof Stott and a great admirer of his work. I was also delighted to learn about the work by positive psychologists Heffron, Lomas, and Ivtzan regarding post-traumatic growth. As you can imagine, Dylan’s death has been the most seminal and horrific event of my life. In addition, I now know several people who experienced his 2–16–10 death firsthand and have reported it was traumatic and life-changing for them as well. Of the 241 witnesses I have identified so far, I communicate with some of them on a regular basis. Even though we were all strangers prior to this, many of them feel as both you and I do — that what happened was a depraved act and work must be done to address ways to eradicate this cruel behavior. It is interesting that you said suicide baiting “should be a criminal act” since it already IS a criminal act in California (Penal Code 401). This is the biggest part of my lawsuit. We are convinced that Dylan would not have jumped to his death if the crowd had not taunted him in his most desperate hour. It is difficult to prove that suicide baiting crowds CAUSE people to kill themselves — this “nexus” of activity has only anecdotal evidence to offer as “proof.” Nevertheless, I do not think anyone could argue that it “helps” the victim either. I am so very grateful to have met you and read your work! I am receptive to and welcome ANY writing and research regarding suicide baiting. Your strong conviction that suicide baiting should not simply be a “local story for people to mull over in disbelief” BUT rather serve an impetus for formal investigation to prevent future episodes gives me great hope.

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