I was on Facebook tonight (trolling through my feed in the wee hours of the evening, as one does) when I saw someone had re-posted the following status:
Today, our son, Frederick Eugene Buhl (@freddy_E), age 22 years old, took his own life with a rifle shot to the head. Our family is saddened beyond words; our loss is great; this tragedy is enormous and unforseen. Not only our family, but the world has lost a talented, sensitive, brilliant young man who lit up our existence with his. We love him a great deal, and he will be sorely missed.
The original status was posted by the father of Freddy E., the young man who killed himself.
I went to the @freddy_E Twitter page, mostly because I was wondering why a father would identify his son in a death notice by his Twitter handle.
The first thing I noticed were the heart-wrenching tweets Freddy E. had made leading up to his suicide. In essence, he came as close as possible to live-tweeting his own death.
The second thing I noticed was that Freddy E. had an enormous number of followers and was apparently a well-known YouTube comedian and rapper (which explains why his father identified him by his Twitter handle). His videos regularly got over 100,000 views and he was extremely popular in the Seattle area.
Other than the Facebook notice from his father, the only information about Freddy E.’s death comes from a blog post made Saturday night by someone who knew him. In the post, this friend of Freddy’s says that he also looked to Freddy’s Twitter for answers, and found:
“…you said something about being alone and all that shit so I went on your lil crushes twitter, Honey Cocaine. And she talking about being single and how she didn’t tell anybody to fall in love with her. And looking at the tweets and the post you said on facebook a few weeks back about you in love with her and you’ll take a bullet for her, I am praying you didn’t do this over a bitch.”
And then, all hell broke loose on social media. Someone is trending on Twitter right now and it’s not Freddy E., it’s Honey Cocaine, a Cambodian rapper and Freddy E.’s girlfriend? Ex-girlfriend? Never really girlfriend?
The Internet has decided that Honey Cocaine killed Freddy E. No one disputes that he did, in fact, die from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. But though Freddy E. pulled the trigger, it was surely Honey Cocaine who killed him.
There are thousands of tweets and Facebook posts just like this from the past few hours.
Even more bizarre, over and over again people are insisting that Honey Cocaine caused Freddy E. to kill himself as a sacrifice to the Illuminati (the 18th century Bavarian secret society of powerful people that has snuck its way back into modern conspiracy theory). The Illuminati, if they accept Honey Cocaine’s sacrifice, will make her a true star.
As for Honey Cocaine herself, at first she tweeted several things about “being single,” probably trying to distance herself from the inevitable ensuing shitstorm. When the attacks started coming, she started backpeddling, posting the following:
Besides this being NONE OF OUR DAMN BUSINESS, it can become our business in a weird future-dystopia way. Because even someone who doesn’t know anything about either of these people, their relationship, or their lives, can flit around various social media outlets gathering the information they made public over the past two weeks. I should know, I spent the last hour doing just that.
On his Facebook a week ago, Freddy wrote about how Honey Cocaine was his “future wife.”
The fact remains, whether or not Honey Cocaine was the most insane heartless harpy she-witch in all the land, she did not kill Freddy E. She is not responsible for his death. Because it simply doesn’t work like that.
What is it that she did this week? What’s the worst thing we can come up with? Maybe she cheated on him! Maybe she told him she didn’t love him! Maybe she ignored him on Twitter! Maybe she plotted with the Illuminati to make him feel bad about himself!
The bottom line is that it does not matter what she did. Acting like not the best girlfriend does not a murderer make.
As a mortician I’ve seen the “I’ll show you, you’ll see!” suicide at work. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it in my own private life as well. Each time it is horrible and senseless and leaves you looking for a scapegoat, someone to goddamn blame.
But Freddy’s girlfriend cannot be blamed under any circumstances. It sets a shameful precedent. Especially since I’m not sure that it would be the same situation if Honey Cocaine had killed herself and Freddy E. were still alive.
The history of the depiction of female hysteria shows us that surely Honey Cocaine would have been called “unstable” and “overly emotional” and “clingy” and “crazed.” Freddy would not have been getting hundreds of tweets a minute about how he had literally and directly caused her death. That he was responsible. And that he was going to be killed for what he had done.
The pitchforks of the townspeople are out. The mob is forming. But it is online. And the world is becoming a strange place, indeed.