10:37 EST 3 December 2013
Friends of a university student who livestreamed his suicide attempt online have hit out at the voyeurs who egged him on and the internet trolls who continue to post vile abuse in the aftermath, MailOnline can reveal today.
Dakota Moore, 21, who had been studying Criminal Justice and Public Policy, logged onto notorious anonymous chatroom 4chan on Saturday night. Naming himself ‘Stephen’ he filmed himself downing pills and vodka before setting fire to his dorm room.
His actions were watched by 200 viewers – the maximum number permitted on the 4chan forum. And though the video runs for more than 40 minutes none who witnessed the room filling with smoke reported the incident. Instead they encouraged and mocked him and they continue to do so.
In a heartfelt statement, Cheyenne Vivian, a friend of Dakota’s from his hometown of Orangeville, Ontario, attacked those now taunting the 21-year-old who was pulled from his dorm room after setting it on fire on Saturday night.
She said: ‘Have some respect and stop. We are friends with Dakota, I was supposed to be seeing him after exams. Did any of you eggheads cheering him on think to help him and say stop? What if that was your sister? Your friend? Would you be saying this s***?’
Another, Emma, who has known Moore since childhood described the poster who has set up a fake Dakota Moore Facebook page as ‘an insensitive bastard’ and revealed she has reported him to the police in a bid to have it shut down.
As Moore begins his recovery from serious but non life-threatening injuries in Guelph General Hospital his Facebook page has become a target for trolls who have also taken to a plethora of online forums.
Lighthearted pictures and posts made by Moore as recently as two weeks ago have been deluged with comments from trolls.
Dubbing him ‘Toaster Steve,’ – a reference to the face that Moore started the fire in his room using a toaster hidden beneath his bed – one poster, calling himself Dakota Proutt writes: ‘Congrats, you f***ed up one of the easiest things in life.’
Another calling himself Caspar Christmas wrote: ‘Who gives a f*** about OP (original poster), is Toaster okay?’
Elsewhere Moore is referred to as a ‘full retard,’ and criticized for putting other students’ lives at risk by starting a fire.
For many who have known Moore throughout his youth the sheer volume of bile has become too much to bear silently.
A friend who asked not to be named said: ‘I’ve known Dakota for years and it makes me physically sick that people could be this cruel. He obviously has mental health issues and it is absolutely not okay to be making jokes about it.’
According to former University of Guelph student Kate Schievnik, the online hectoring and behavior of the 4chan voyeurs is ‘sick.’
She said: ‘Anyone making a joke out of this is absolutely disgusting. Pretending that this wasn’t real, sharing, making memes…this is someone’s f****ing life. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.
‘You’re living in an altered reality where something like attempted suicide has become ‘fun’. You people need help. Enjoy your fun while it lasts because what goes around comes around and I pray to God that you’ll get what’s coming for you.’
Friends who have stepped in to defend Moore and attack his detractors have found themselves the victims of the trolls.
One poster taunts Dakota’s unnamed friend with the question: ‘If you knew Dakota so well why didn’t you try to help him? Why didn’t he come to you?’
Similarly Miss Schievnik is asked: ‘Where the f*** were you when OP was seemingly in the last moments of his life..?’
Disturbingly the poster, Justicen Carrier added: ‘We were right here, feeling with him, joking with him and he was all smiles too.’
The extent to which others contributed to Moore’s attempt and may be deemed culpable is a troubling aspect of the case currently under investigation by Guelph police.
According to Cheyenne Vivian: ‘All of your encouragements and rude comments I’m sure will be seen by police throughout this investigation, whether you delete them or not. So acting soooo cool and tough over the internet won’t be so funny. Have some respect and stop.’
Speaking to MailOnline, a spokesperson for Guelph Police said: ‘We are still in investigation mode. Right now we’re just looking at the incident itself – it’s a big incident all on its own.’
He did not rule out looking into the actions of those who had egged Moore on online though admitted: ‘We would have to look into the legal code there.’
It is illegal to counsel or aid suicide in Canada, though suicide itself is not illegal.
There is no precedent in Canadian law for a case where a person is charged with encouraging another to kill themselves online but in 2010 Minnesota nurse William Melchert-Dinkel was found guilty of encouraging Ottawa university student Nadia Kajouji to commit suicide in 2008 while he watched via webcam.
Ottawa police did not lay charges in the case that was heard in a Minnesota court but it was their work that was credited with bringing the case to trial.
Moore’s mother is at his bedside where her son is being treated for serious but not life threatening injuries. A family member declined to comment.
But why Moore did it is still a mystery. Just weeks before the weekend’s shocking events his online activities gave every impression of a normal, happy youth – glad to have finished the classes of the semester and keen to get his exams, due to start this week, over with.
Moore is a popular student and keen supporter of the University’s football team, the Gryphons – frequently wearing the team colors in his many online posts.
He is pictured beaming next to a member of the University police on the night of the Homecoming Kick Off.
And only two weeks ago he posted his support of Guelph University athletes’ ‘Get Real’ campaign in which 41 students including members of the lacrosse team, football team, women’s soccer team and many more, ‘took a stance against homophobia.’
On Remembrance Day Moore expressed his public spirit in a touching testimony to his grandfather’s service in World War II, noting that the date was also the seventh anniversary of the older man’s death.
He wrote: ‘I have nothing but the utmost respect for the men and women who dedicated their lives to serving their country.’
It is hard to equate this noble sentiment with the warped boast he made of doing ‘an hero’ – internet slang for committing suicide – on Saturday night.
He wrote on 4chan: ‘I thought I would finally give back to the community in the best possible way. I am willing to an hero [commit suicide] on cam for you all.
‘All that I request is for you guys to link me to a site where I am able to stream for you guys.’
Moore himself has hinted at a dark and disturbing side to his online life, well hidden from those closet to him as he admitted to having been on 4chan – once described as ‘one of the darkest corners of the web’ – since 2004.
If true then Moore has been exploring a site referred to as ‘dark and lawless’ filled with porn, extremist views and violent images since the age of 11.
On Saturday as the cameras rolled he crawled under his bed and typed: #imdead #omgimonfire’ and ‘I’m f*ck3d.’
‘Stephen’ used the username LOLDoge, a reference to a meme featuring a photo of a Shiba Inu dog that is popular on 4chan.
The Daily Dot reported another user set up a video chatroom on streaming website Chateen which ‘Stephen’ joined.
With 200 viewers – the maximum allowed on Chateen – watching him and even more trying to get in, Stephen downed booze and pills before setting his room alight.
A number of viewers disturbingly encouraged ‘Stephen’ during his suicide attempt, while others clamored to view the horrific scene.
One wrote: ‘Let’s all of us use his photo as wallpaper for one week. He’s doing it.’
Another who was frustrated at not being to watch the suicide attempt because the chat room was full wrote: ‘Leave someone so we can join.’
More than 100 students were evacutated from the Dundas Hall, East Residence when a fire was reported at 7.40pm.
Firefighters and police discovered Moore inside his burning room – seriously but not fatally injured.
Most had returned to their rooms by Monday but 42 students who live on the fourth floor remain in alternative accommodation while police conduct their investigation.
Two university police treated for smoke inhalation have since been discharged.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
how he loses his heart’s desire = DE = 45 = Scary stuff.
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