Three children hang themselves after watching Saddam Hussein hanging video

News: A 10-year-old boy in Texas, a 9-year-old boy in Pakistan, and a 15 year-old girl in India all died this week — after they hanged themselves. Each had watched the Saddam Hussein hanging video. It’s not clear whether any were attempting suicide, or were merely mimicking what they saw on the video. (More from ABC News)

Analysis: In one case, the boy saw the video on the news. There’s been no suggestion that any of the children saw the video on the Internet (or YouTube for that matter). But the tragedies do raise a legitimate question about the hundreds of copies of the Hussein execution on YouTube. Even if they are flagged and restricted for users over 18, there’s no real way to verify age on YouTube.

Off topic, but check out this cool new site called Toobla:

48 Responses to Three children hang themselves after watching Saddam Hussein hanging video

  1. Age has yet to prove that it is a measurement of maturity and mental strength.

  2. Saddam Hussein is still hurting people.. and he’s gone! That’s absolutely insane and horrible. What a horrible way to go. Nice story and blog, I like it a lot.

  3. slimslaby says:

    I was watching one of those Oprah-ish shows and they were talking to kids who were inhaling Raid bug spray and air freshners.

    These were teenagers. I would think that the skull and crossbones on the can would be enough, but apparently not.

    Point being, kids are stupid sometimes for no reason at all.

    I am going to teach my son about the dangers of hanging tonight, anyone have any ideas on how to go about that ?

  4. evanpalmer says:

    Captial Punishment has been abolished in most of the civilized world and
    one of the reasons is that violence encourages more violence. It also makes a statement that violence is a solution. Having the execution take place on the holiest day on the Muslim calendar was not an accident either.

    It’s a tragedy that these children took their lives. This video may have been a trigger but if not Saddam’s hanging then perhaps some other disturbing images or experience would have had the same effect – but then we would have never heard of it. Apparently, suicide by hanging is often associated with intense anger – it may have been triggered by this video but it couldn’t have just happened without already being in a state of readiness. There may have also been adults, esp. Muslim adults, who were similarly affected.

    Much of the official outrage in the US and UK is directed at the fact that the particulars of this travesty of justice became public. Varoius parties would have obviously preferred if it had been kept secret.

    Let’s also remember the daily outrages being perpetrated across the world especially in war-torn places like Iraq. What is that provoking?

    The Way It Can Be
    Evan Palmer

  5. Blurr says:

    If I’m not wrong there was nothing to indicate any direct relationship between the three and the hanging of Saddam. As such I don’t understand why it had became a topic related to the hanging.

    Surely they would be more hangings and we shouldn’t try to waste time looking for clues whether there are any relationship to Saddam’s hanging.

  6. mandy says:

    i think saddam should of got tied up and scrached deeply with touth pics he was a horrible man and am glad he died and his spiret will be unfogetable

  7. peakaction says:

    Some would call this a prime example of natural selection. Speaking as a father of an eleven-year-old boy, I know how dumb kids can be. Plus, I was also a child once myself, as were many of us. Sure, I did some stupid crap when I was a kid, but I think it takes an extra special kind of child who doesn’t understand that hanging oneself can only end poorly. A lot of kids don’t understand the concept of death, but they all understand the concept of pain, and hanging by the neck certainly doesn’t look like it feels good.

  8. TooCool says:

    how do we now that its legit.

    but why would these kids do this anyway? i doubt this has something to do with Saddam Hussein.

  9. madmouser says:

    Has anyone taken the time to examine these children’s backgrounds and establish if they had any mental problems or problems of any kind that might put them into a frame of mind to do something this horrible. Children are not usually brave when solo, that is way gangs are so popular. I believe there is more to these stories.

  10. Skinny says:

    Well, that’s sad news. I believe that the video itself was not the trigger itself for such act – but instead it served to aggravate whatever angst these children were feeling. Still, the fact cannot be denied that watching someone hang can be disconcerting.

  11. redneckarts says:

    So we’re all living in a world where we watch hangings on the equivalent of the street corner. So let’s ban street corners, okay?

  12. Shoulung says:

    Peakaction, right on, the Darwin Effect at work.

  13. raincoaster says:

    What kind of a parent would let their kid watch the video of a hanging? I thought we’d moved beyond that, but apparently I was wrong.

    Kids do stupid things. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that these don’t prove fatal.

  14. imikrimarika says:

    Parents are responsible if their kids see videos on internet.They shoud use password for parental control.For tv news ,unfortunately ,it’s more complex.But they still could do something.Like choosing together their programs until a certain age.

  15. Gena says:

    the children were old enough to know what they were doin that should of nt been on utube in the first place.

  16. missingmarbles says:

    Everyone’s criticizing these kids that are hanging themselves. I agree that it’s sheer “not thinking” on their part. (I hate to use the word “stupidity” to describe children.) But, that’s the definition of a kid: they don’t think. Hell, most adults don’t think as well as they ought to. A parent’s direction can only go so far. Kids are exposed to things we’d be shocked and downright terrified to find out. Kids are kids; they need to be forgiven for their mistakes, not attacked. How about these idiotic adults that are dying by suffocation because they want a better orgasm? Sheer stupidity fits in well there!

  17. […] January 19th, 2007 Three children hang themselves after watching Saddam Hussein hanging video […]

  18. vkilla says:

    This might sound horrible. I think these kids are not smart enough for life. If they did not die hanging themselves they would of died in some other tragic way. It’s sad but sometimes you just wonder WTF.

  19. Gabriel says:

    I think its horrible but they that did this those kids should have a mind of their own to think not to kill themselves.

    Even though they were under a lot of pressure probably from this. My heart goes out to the family of these kids and many more that died under the oppression of Saddam Huessien.


  20. melissa says:

    I believe they were mimicking the video except the 15 year old, she should know better, she was probably tired of living in India.

  21. This is very sad. My heart goes out to the friends and family.

    I don’t think it’s possible to definitively prove a connection between watching the hanging and what the children did, but I think it’s at least likely that there is one. How often do you hear of children hanging themselves at any other time? I doubt it’s very often. The Indian girl may have been suicidal for reasons unrelated to the hanging, but maybe the hanging was what “pushed her over the edge” somehow. The younger kids were probably playing, goofing off, or whatever and while mimicing the execution accidentally take the game to far to the point of actually killing themselves. It’s hard to tell when we know so little about the circumstances.

    I would also like to add my disgust for those who made natural selection jokes and otherwise acted like this was a good thing. How heartless do you have to be for the accidental deaths of children to be a good thing?

  22. magnarc says:

    Who was responsible for allowing cameras into the event? Another error of judgement to go with all the others in that sad situation that we call Iraq.

  23. psydetect says:

    if we look at the psychological point of view in some manner, hanging executions for the some people are defined as a half image of suicide specially to those who have deep depression and problems in life. “they ( 3 childrens) are only stimulated” for what they saw and convinced themselves to do this without any understanding about the true meaning between of suicide and execution. -they only have 1 definition about this sort of scenariors which obviously reflects to their immaturity and lack of infomation about this kind of actions.. we are strongly recommend that parental supervision and control must always implemented…

  24. bob says:

    there stupid and shouldn’t of done it there just plien dumb

  25. Just “plien” dumb? Lol. Maybe people who spell “plain” wrong are stupid enough to deserve to die, but I don’t know about those little kids. 😉

  26. TJ says:

    mimicing the video? Did they not watch through to the part where he DIED??

    This ia a lame excuse for suicide. I understand that the parents would love to shift the blame but give me a break.

  27. Chin says:

    Yay! Natural Selection strikes again!

  28. unitedcats says:

    Sociologists noted as long ago as the twenties that a well publicized execution seemed to briefly raise the suicide and homicide rates. Saddam’s case is no different, there’s always going to be people to immature or on the edge enough to copy/be influenced by something they see in the media. Sad, but that’s life. Or death as the case may be, sorry for the families of these kids. JMO —Doug

  29. joanie says:

    Yeah, sure, saddam is the cause for all of this. give me a break!! so you’re telling me that all those violent television, video games, or what have you, couldn’t have possible influenced them, but that, specifically, watching this particular execution lead them to kill themselves? that’s ridiculous. it’s a correlation, not a a cause. do not infer causation from such events. 3 young suicides, coincidentally through hanging, occured sometimes after watching the execution of saddam hussein–big fucking deal. no significance whatsoever.

  30. I disagree. If they were mimicking violent tv/videogames/etc. they would have done something violent, not hang themselves.

    As far as inferring causation, well, it’s not technically possible to be sure about it, but I’d say that given the young impressionable ages of the kids I would say it’s a strong possibility.

  31. joanie says:

    replying to abyssalleviathin:

    I disagree; whether they are at an impressionable age or not, it is not a strong possibility. especially when you consider how the suicide rates in Canada alone are pretty high for children 10-24 years of age. it’s the 2nd cause of death in fact for that age group (

    think of it logically; 3 random children, *sometime* after watching the execution (think of the things that could have occured before watching the clip, and from that time to their actual death) ended up killing themselves by using such a method. there is an extremely high likelihood that other variables influenced their act of suicide, including their own inner motivations that have probably existed long before watching the saddam video.

    also, if you consider how they know who saddam is (bad guy=deserves to be put to death by law) you’ll find it to be nonsensical to attribute their death to viewing his exection. they simply wanted to die. watching the execution only acted as a primer (through “priming”) to the method that they chose to utilize.

    no child would say, after watching the video, “oh hey, look at how he died. let me go try that hanging thing to see what happens to me.” no. (normal) kids would be afraid of the memory of the noose alone. the video could not have encouraged them to hang themselves simply because they were at an “impressionable” age. especially when you consider the sheer amount of children (in the world) who have had the chance to watch it. out of all children that could have possibly watched the video, 3 killed themselves by hanging at some point after watching the execution.

    we know nothing about these children (emotional/mental stability, iq, etc.), but we know that it is a POSSIBILITy that seeing the video influenced them to USE hanging as a method TO kill themselves, which is different from simply experimentation with the noose.

    again, no room for: “this video may cause children who watch it to hang themselves to death”

  32. mydigest says:

    The execution took place a few hours BEFORE the ‘holy day’ that was well explained at the time.

  33. mydigest says:

    Bob, you forgot to tell Abyssal Leviathan (reminds me of Dan Dare in The Man From Nowhere) that by ‘there’ he means ‘they’re’ short for they are.

  34. mydigest says:

    Correction: it is Bob that is making the typos, not Abby. The points that emerge are (1) why do some of us (who are idiots) comment impulsively and (2) why is it not possible to edit one’s own comment? Happy days are here again.

  35. I think it’s very sad that a child would hang himself. To me it says something about the parents too. The violence shown on television, in movies, and on all forms of media must be very confusing to children as to what is right and what is real. The concept of “death” is already estranged to children.

    As far as saddam, he truly was an evil man. My father worked in Iraq over 30 years ago and he told me horror stories about him at that time. I am no one’s judge, but I think it would behoove
    the American justice system (I use that term lightly) to use hangings instead of keeping people on death row for years -costing citizens millions of dollars -during which time the inmates are fed,
    given dental and medical help, publishing books and learning a trade. I know many folks
    who can’t even afford any of these things!

  36. unitedcats says:

    Here’s a kid who set himself on fire copying a movie he saw:

    Kids sometimes aren’t too bright. Doug

  37. Rachael says:

    Thats what everyone gets for letting children watch violent videos and if violent things weren’t even on the internet that probably wouldn’t of of happened

  38. mohammed a khan says:

    i think its sad,very sad.

  39. kati says:

    wow!! thats crazy¿ i would never…i cant believe that they looked up 2 him thats probably why the children hung themselves also.. cuz they probably thought it was the right thing 2 do.

  40. bobcat says:

    we’ve been watching people being hung ever sence we’ve invented tv. cowboy westrens hang every show so dont blame tv for hanging! people get hung every day on tv.people should watch there children better they wouldnt find them on the end of a nuce!!!!!!

  41. mw23 says:


  42. […] killings than Video Games, even if you look at movies since video games became present. From MTV to CNN, it wouldn’t even surprise me if the percentage of viewers to actual acts of violence was […]

  43. *Star* says:

    What is truly appalling is the fact that parents have no influence or part of their children’s life. My parents allowed my young brothers to watch it, but afterwards there was a discussion about saddam’s cruelty and corpal punishment. Your children are your legacy, the only part of you that will be left when you when you are gone. So, take the time to impact your guilliable child’s life… for the good.

  44. Anonymous says:

    If the children hung themselves after watching the video, then they, as well as their parents, are obviously not fit to live in this world. Better off without them…we don’t need any more fools who can’t think for themselves or properly survive mucking up our planet.

  45. Ibrahim Rifat says:

    I don’t think kids should watch things like this. Simple things like scary music in a play would scare the hell out of me when i was young, i really doubt i could’ve accepted watching a real murder when i was 11 or under and i don’t think we should expect kids too either.

  46. danger mouse says:

    parent train up your child in a godly way so that when they grow up the would be better person

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