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Archive for Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A fatal game

Teen’s death highlights danger of playing ‘pass out’

August 16, 2005

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Tim and Carol Wilson found out too late their 15-year-old daughter, Kimberly, was playing something called the "pass out game."

"We didn't know," Tim Wilson said Monday, in the hours before Kimberly's funeral.

Kimberly, a popular, fun-loving student at Veritas Christian School in Lawrence, was found dead in her bedroom last week.

"The cause of death was compression of the neck," said Douglas County Coroner Eric Mitchell.

Wilson said his wife found their daughter Tuesday morning. The girl had wrapped a plastic-coated bicycle chain lock around her neck, looped the chain over a dresser drawer, and seated herself in a position that cut off her air supply.

"We now have reason to believe our daughter had engaged in this behavior for at least a year, maybe two," Wilson said.


Carol Wilson, second from left, mother of Kimberly Wilson, is hugged by Carrie Mayhew, left, and Lauren Mayhew, 19, as Rebecca Mayhew, 17, waits at right to extend condolences Monday afternoon at the Free Methodist Church in Lawrence. Kimberly Wilson, 15, died accidentally last Tuesday at her Lawrence home while playing a "pass out" game alone.

Carol Wilson, second from left, mother of Kimberly Wilson, is hugged by Carrie Mayhew, left, and Lauren Mayhew, 19, as Rebecca Mayhew, 17, waits at right to extend condolences Monday afternoon at the Free Methodist Church in Lawrence. Kimberly Wilson, 15, died accidentally last Tuesday at her Lawrence home while playing a "pass out" game alone.

Among teens, this behavior - getting high by causing themselves to pass out - goes by several different names: "pass out game," "fainting game," "dream game" or simply "black out."

And it is not uncommon.

"This is going on in every junior high in Lawrence," said Tami Radohl, a Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center counselor at Southwest Junior High School.

Growing trend

"It's important for parents to realize that it's not just one type of child who does this," said Carise Riemann, Bert Nash counselor at Central Junior High. "It's not just the so-called troubled kids, it's all kids. Nobody is immune."

Pass-out games are not new, Riemann said. But in recent months, she said, increasing numbers of Lawrence teens appear to be trying it.

"I don't think most kids understand how serious the consequences can be," she said.

Usually, the game involves one person causing another to pass out and, seconds later, reviving the unconscious peer.

"It's like anything else that creates a high or a buzz; it can lead to addictive behavior," said Dr. Paul Loney, an emergency room physician at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

When addiction reaches the point of passing out alone, Loney said, "they're in deep trouble."

At the coroner's office, Mitchell agreed: "If you've put something around your neck and you're alone and you lose consciousness, there's no one there to correct the situation."

Mitchell said there was no indication of foul play or suicide.

"We know our daughter did not commit suicide," Tim Wilson said. "She had a history of playing this game. Her death was accidental."


Reverend Wayne C. Anderson conducts the funeral for Kimberly Wilson, 15, Lawrence Monday afternoon at the Free Methodist Church in Lawrence.

Reverend Wayne C. Anderson conducts the funeral for Kimberly Wilson, 15, Lawrence Monday afternoon at the Free Methodist Church in Lawrence.

Spreading the word

Kimberly was the third of the Wilsons' four daughters.

Tim Wilson, who's a software specialist at the Kansas University Endowment Association and pastor at the River of Fire Church, said the family was committed to warning others.

"We are very close to our children, and we did not know this was going on," he said. "There were no outward signs - this isn't like drugs or alcohol use, which a parent should be able to detect.

"We want parents to know this is out there."

Taelyr Shelton, 14, said Kimberly - her friends called her Kimber - was a devout Christian who loved going to church.

"She was so full of joy, she had the most beautiful eyes, really big eyes," Shelton said. "She liked going to my church, she just loved getting in there and worshipping. That was her favorite thing."

Shelton said she, too, did not know Kimberly had been causing herself to pass out.

"She was my best friend," said Shelton, who will a be a freshman at Veritas. "I've heard of the game, but I didn't know she had played it. If I had, I would have told her it's really dangerous."

Comments

Suenell 8 years, 7 months ago

In the 60s I was introduced to this type of "game" by a cousin. We'd hyperventilate then hold our breath hard, causing us to lightly faint or slump onto the floor. We stopped doing it because we got scared we were damaging our brain because of the pressure we'd feel in our neck & head. Glad we did. We had no family problems, it was simply a stupid game that we experimented with.

I need to comment about those saying that this girl is now in Heaven. This is misleading & not Biblical truth. Satan has led many to believe this myth to make way for mysticism. This child is now asleep, she has no memories. She will rest till the day Christ comes to resurrect her along with others to their judgement. The breath of life which some speculate to be the soul, is now with God who made her. But by all means she is NOT looking down upon her loved ones grieving her absence. What kind of hell would that be? The Bible makes it clear that dead people know nothing. Read it & may the Holy Spirit shed some light upon you who say that dead loved ones are now with God.

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fairylight 8 years, 8 months ago

It is terribly frightening to think your kids may be doing this. I don't understand it, and didn't 35 years ago!...yes..I am 50 and when I was in junior high, some of the kids would play a game like this.

They didn't use chains or hands to choke..but would hyper ventalate themselves then put their thumb in their mouth and blow hard. This would cause them to pass out. Dangerous? Could be if there was a weak spot on an artery, ect. The point is, when parents and teachers discovered this, they made it their daily point to approach this subject every chance they had to pound into our heads why it was stupid to do.

The death of this child is a heartbreak for many. If nothing else, I hope it saves a life somewhere down the road.

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victoriaelainem 8 years, 8 months ago

I just want to say that I think its very heartless for anyone to be commenting on the article title, or the photo, or complaining at all about the newspaper for comments on this story. The focus here should be the fact that young people are dying due to this new addiction and we as a community need to come together and find a way to stop anymore unnecssary deaths. Send a letter to the editor if you have an issue with the LJW. I hope everyone has read or will read this article and take it to heart.

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Calliope877 8 years, 8 months ago

I apologize if my question or comments seemed cold or offensive. It wasn't my intention to bash anyone. I stated my opinion and a question. And my heart and prayers still go out to the Wilson family.

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BajaRon 8 years, 8 months ago

I attended the Funeral service for Kimberly. Believe me there were plenty of opportunities for the news media to capture grieving individuals and groups. This included a very tired and devastated Tim and Carol Wilson (Parents of Kimberly). And I am sure these pictures were taken.

Instead, LJ World selected a positive picture instead of a negative one. It is unfortunate that this has caused questions in some minds.

This picture reflects Tim and Carol's determination to turn a family tragedy into something positive. Even in their grief they hope to seize this moment to warn parents everywhere of the danger to their children that took the life of their daughter.

Though it may be difficult to understand a smile on the face of a parent in this circumstance, there is always reason for a Born Again Christian to rejoice.

God has provided a purpose in the death of Kimberly. I believe that through the efforts of the news media and the sacrifice of Tim and Carol, lives have already been saved.

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Jesyka 8 years, 8 months ago

I think that we're all missing the point here. A little girl has died. Her family is in pain. Her friends are in pain. Please do not use this forum as a means to bash them, or each other. Respect the people around you, please.

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Calliope877 8 years, 8 months ago

First of all, my prayers go out to the Wilson family for their loss. I can only imagine the pain they feel, and I hope that nothing I say will contribute to that pain. But since this discussion has taken a theological turn, I strongly felt the need to state my opinion. Even though the child didn't commit suicide (which is by Christian faith considered a severe sin), isn't there a passage somewhere in the Holy Book that says something like, "Don't be a fool, and die before your time.."? Despite how tragic this is, it was very foolish on her part to practice something that is the equivalent to "Russian Roulette". I hope she rests in peace, and I admire her family for trying to send the message out to other parents about this dangerous game.

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scary_manilow 8 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I'm not implying that at all... If you knew how to interperet what you read, you could clearly see my meaning: That ALL people, Chrisitan or not, are subject to family tragedy. The tone of the article seemd to be: "Look, see? Even NORMAL families have problems..." I was simply trying to maintain that there ARE no normal families, that the word "normal" is just a transparent catchphrase.

And guess what? I have children. So much for the power of prayer, huh?

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ECM 8 years, 8 months ago

I am curious why you, or you and your friend, feel the need to continuiously repost this when it is removed?

Again the Wilson family and no one that posted here said the family was above this happening to them because they are Christians. Yet you seem to be determined to demean the family and Christians implying their faith and this tragedy are connected.

While I am sure you are perfect and all knowing your pointless post is meant only to hurt people. I pray you have no children!

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quisp 8 years, 8 months ago

Um... I believe Ryno was trying to say that just because a family is perceived as being normal (ie: upper-middle class, white, Christian) doesn't mean that they aren't subect to the same failings that plague the rest of us heathens. There is no such thing as a "perfect" family, regardless of how normal it might appear on the surface. And I certainly don't think that being Christian automatically excludes a family from interior rot-- just look at Marty Miller.

Not to sound cold-blodded or anything, but so what? You mean to tell me that kids are suffocting each other just to get high? This isn't tragedy-- it's stupidity. You can't tell me these kids "don't know the dangers"-- it's a NATURAL INSTICT. You are BORN KNOWING THAT LACK OF OXYGEN WILL KILL YOU. This is no more or less tragic than those Judas Priest kids playing records backwards and shooting each other over imagined satanic messages.

My heart goes out to her family, but PLEASE...

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jstevens1979 8 years, 8 months ago

First of all, may this poor girl rest in peace. In this ever changing world kids are taking alot more risks to escape the pressure of everyday life. I didn't think it got any worse than huffing paint,butane,gasoline and so on, but apparently it does. What this town needs is a safe alternative to getting high. Like a family fun center. I don't think there is a drug in the world that can beat the thrill you get form riding go carts,bumper boats, arcade games. Kids and people in general need something to do in this town other than getting wasted.

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raine 8 years, 8 months ago

as a christian and as a mother who has sent a daughter onto heaven i can only say to all these comments thank God it is not your child, while grace gets us through it can't replace our child... tim and carol peace and love to you..

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Joker 8 years, 8 months ago

Its funny how the mass media puts out info about "latest fads" then....what do you know....more kids do it..... This "passing out" has been around for at least 20 years....I did it.....once- no rope or strangluatlion....too bad, eh? I didn't start it...

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Heistheway 8 years, 8 months ago

Listen, I am family, I was with them on Tuesday and saw Tim (my cousin) come out of the office of the police station in hysterics, sobbing and whaling, crying his eyes out. I saw Carol trying to keep herself in check and I saw the sisters in shambles. I am family. I was there. This picture was taken a WEEK after Kimber's death and when you know your daughter is dancing in heaven before Jesus, a week later you tend to smile at her celebration of REAL life. Only a Christian really understands this but the paper has done just fine in this case. They would have had a hard time a week later getting a picture of them in mourning. Kimber's death will save many and Tim and Carol are doing exactly what God's call is on their life. Tim and Carol, I love you, keep on smiling and if you need to...cry also.

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justanothervoice 8 years, 8 months ago

One would think that this tragedy; an innocent life lost among our youth, would spark a more compassionate, constructive conversation than that of a picture. My condolences to the family.

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trueninetiesgirl 8 years, 8 months ago

i was talking to my teens about this game and found that one had try a game some what like this one but you us your friends hands on your neck they hold you till you pass out. how scary to find out this.

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

Touche - that sentence does pass a whiff of blame. Movin' on, Phaty. Since my point was missed almost entirely all day, I will be satisfied with the results of one individual actually understanding my intial comment - a journalist who obviously cares about quality journalism, as do I!

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phatybrown99 8 years, 8 months ago

"The photo chosen to demonstrate the grieving family does not match the tragic situation. They appear to be smiling and celebrating, and without the headline, one would guess just that. Not that I would expect more from the Journal World. Just seems like the family deserves it, in this situation."

I think this comment from the thread does indicate that the paper some how disrespected or hurt a family that didn't "deserve it." So I think some people were saying that the paper did something either malicious or at least without feeling.

Side note Sylvie, I was just trying to add to the conversation and I don't thing there was anything to "get." It's not a gaffe. It's a story package that didn't work for you. Move on.

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

NO one said it was malicious or spiteful. I said it didn't fit the story. I've seen this kind of gaffe lots. Maybe phatybrown works for the Tonganoxie Mirror (via the World Company)? If you think you're being creative by matching up diametrically opposed images in order to make a story interesting, I am here to tell you that most people won't understand.

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shortone 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree with you phatybrown99, but the paper should get these people talking about how to STOP this terrible tragedy from happening in this community, not the photo. I'm sure the family would prefer productive discussion on saving someone's life instead. Just my opinion:)

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

I don't know who said it was malicious or spiteful of the Journal-World. I merely think it is bad journalism to confuse the reader. I know lots of journalists and also used to be one, and that to me is one of the pillars of the business. No one said they should have a "sad" photo, but do you not think the headline "A fatal game" over that particular photo is a little bit odd? Put it in the context of the reader, not the story.

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phatybrown99 8 years, 8 months ago

Just a word, or several, about the picture. I'm an editor at a paper that is in no way affiliated with the Journal World. People often make way too much of photos and the expressions folks have on their faces (i.e. smiling for a story that is sad, or frowning for a story that is happy.) But here's my take. If we only used frowners with sad stories and smilers with happy stories it would suck the journalism out of a story package. In my mind a photo for an event story, in this case a funeral, should give you a brief look at what was happening at that event. People at the service were smiling at that moment and that's the snapshot in the paper. It is something that happened and was recorded, it's a true image of the event. Also, keep in mind that journalists and editors are just like you at your job. Often it's a stretch to get everything done. Maybe that was the best picture the photographer got. Maybe it's the one for which the photographer got the names of everyone. Maybe there wasn't much time for thought and editors didn't think about how it looked. Maybe they thought long and hard and said "what the heck, this is the picture that tells the story." It's always amazing to me that people believe that paper folks go out of their way to humiliate or hurt people. Or believe the Journal World would print that photo to hurt someone's feelings or out of malice. I don't know these paper folks but I am familiar with the criticism. So many of the journalists I know, and yes I know there are those who do it for the wrong reasons, want to put you in the moment, show you what was happening. That's why the criticism of the picture actually makes the journalist in me smile. It evoked a reaction. It led to a comment and that comment lead to a thread of responses. That's what papers do, they get you talking. The Journal World did that in this instance. Remember that.

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BigMitch 8 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for not paying attention to my last one.

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

BigMitch - I have the right to comment on whatever I like about this story, a point made earlier that apparently sailed over most people's heads. Unless LJW imposes some sort of ban on free speech, it won't be the last time I do. Do you work for the frickin' organization?? Forgive me for trying to analyze another angle - my bad for assuming I could bring this up with a crowd who'd wade past the emotion, which had NO part in my original comment.

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BigMitch 8 years, 8 months ago

You are right about you can express your own opinion, I didn't re-read mine good enough to catch that after I put it in.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

BigMitch, this is a place to express your opinions concerning the articles here. Unless you can show me a badge, I really do not think you are the "comment police." The beauty of this feature is to EXPRESS YOUR OPINION, whatever it may be. If you don't want to read a comment, then don't read it. You are not the only opinion in here. Not to mention that no one was criticizing the mother in the photo, or the girls for that matter, but were criticizing the use of it in this context and how it seemed to have a disconnect with the headline. Get your facts straight.

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BigMitch 8 years, 8 months ago

You cannot define a family as "normal". Why? Because every family has its differences in the way they act towards each other and others outside the family. This is what separates families from other families and allows them to be called a family, if we were all "normal" then the world would be perfect and tragedies would not occur. If you think you must say there is a "normal" then it is simply a family that has some kind of error whether it be noticeable or behind the scenes. A family with nothing wrong, where everyone is fine and has no problems what so ever, I have yet to see exist outside their own minds.

The problem with allowing us to post on here and talk about it is that at some point someone makes a comment that, maybe not on purpose, mentions something else about a related subject and then the whole discussion changes and the point of the article and anything about the original subject is hard to talk about anymore because we're too busy talking about something else that really ends up having no relevance.

Kimber made a decision that cost her life; we all grieve for the family and their loss. I believe one reason that LJW shows the mother smiling is because that is something we're not used to seeing at funerals, we expect to see weeping and grieving. They wanted to show the difference in people's reactions and how amazing it is that her own mother can find happiness in this time of sorrow. So way to go LJW in showing something that may not seem to fit to us, but shows the emotions of the family like they are, not how we might imagine them.

Don't turn this into an argument about the Newspaper or whether or not the picture should be there or anything. Comment on what happened and how it happened, not how we think it should have. If you want to complain or argue why don't e-mail each other or do it somewhere else and stop wasting space on here.

Sorry I know that was long but it needed to be said.

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Rob Gillaspie 8 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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princess 8 years, 8 months ago

Now why were scarymanilow's comments removed? While I did find them insensitive, I did not see cause for removal. It contained no threats and no foul language.

We do not have the right to not be offended.

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scary_manilow 8 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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megorama 8 years, 8 months ago

I disagree...it isn't just the weirdo kids doing this! I absolutely did this, in my home, when my parents were there over 15 years ago as well. The problem with people is that they think these kids are trying to fill a void or their "strange Christian" lifestyle is drawing them to do crazy things.

I have news for everyone, kids are stupid...and they do stupid things because they feel good! There is nothing my parents could have done to prevent me from doing this 15 years ago...and I doubt 1 more hug from mommy could have saved Kimber...

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Harry_Manback 8 years, 8 months ago

I would like to disagree with saying "normal kids don't do this..." When I was 13 or 14 (which was about 8 years ago; this is not a new trend) all of my friends used to do this. We were all smart kids who got good grades, and didn't do illegal drugs. Luckily nothing bad happened to us, and looking back I realize how stupid it was. We just didn't know that anything bad could happen from it, and when 10 of your friends are doing this at a party, and you're 13, you don't want to be the only one who doesn't. This has been a somewhat popular activity for years; it's only now that it's really getting attention because of the deaths or lack of other news, I don't really know...

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Norma Jeane Baker 8 years, 8 months ago

ryno, you are as off-base about the Wilson family as you can be when you comment about them "not providing the the love that this girl really needed". You admitted that you don't know the family. Put away your match-book pop psychology diploma and stop diagnosing.

And when you say that auto-asphyxiation as a form of "high" is utterly ridiculous, you are wrong again. Hope you didn't pay too much for your education.

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ryno 8 years, 8 months ago

I realize that it sounds like that, but that was not my intention. I was only intending to shed some light on a different perspective.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

it still comes across as judgment. Also, "normal kids do not do things like this to themselves unless they are filling a void in their life" seems pretty judgmental. Just saying.

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ryno 8 years, 8 months ago

I was suggesting that it was a possibility, not that it was the case with this family, hence the word "perhaps".

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

Ah, well that's not what it sounded like you were saying here:

Posted by ryno on August 16 at 1:16 p.m. (Suggest removal) Auto-asphyxiation as a form of a "high" is utterly ridiculous and possibly a form of deeper psychological issues. I'm not intending to downplay the death of this young girl, but perhaps this "close" Christian family is not providing the love that this girl really needed. I do not know the family at all, but normal kids do not do things like this to themselves unless they are filling a void in their life. I hope this family will be seeing counselors to deal with the death and hopefully this help the family to fill any emotional voids.

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laughingatallofu 8 years, 8 months ago

ryno,

What an AWESOME PSYCHOLOGIST YOU ARE! what do you charge an hour? 25 cents? 30 cents? You don't know the family. You observe that this behavior is not "normal". Do 15 year olds surrounded by "abnormal" friends/peers know what is "normal"? How many parents even know that this type of behavior is going on?

Oh my! It's too bad that it is Tuesday, because your are the perfect Monday Morning Quarterback.

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ryno 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm not trying to define normalcy within a family as that is impossible. It is just a word. My point is that some things go on in certain households that no one on the outside is aware of and I'm certainly not implying that this is the case with this particular family. I am only raising the issue to make people think about this situation from a different perspective. I do not know these people personally and it is a tragedy that something of this nature happens to anyone.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

But by your standards, those accidents, such as the death of this girl, are caused by a lack of your idea of "normalcy" within a family? Do you really not see where your logic is flawed?

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kimber 8 years, 8 months ago

ryno-have you read that children who do this type of thing are not the usual at risk type kids? Kids across the country have died from this "game". To some kids this seems to be a way to get a feeling like being high without doing anything illegal. Bravo to the Wilson family who during this wretched time in their lives are trying to help other parents talk about this with their kids. You'd rather kick the family while they are down by suggesting that something was wrong in their family. I know this family and you are WAY OFF to think there was any emotional void. And for those of you who think that there must be something "funny" about Veritas, be thankful that Satan doesn't have his sights set on bringing you down!

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ryno 8 years, 8 months ago

I was just saying that all of the things listed below have different causes. Some are accidental, while others could have been managed/prevented with the proper care.

Posted by sixtwelvewest on August 16 at 1:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I know perfectly "normal" families who have had tragedies like car accidents, suicides, teen pregnancies, depression, mental health issues, drug problems, etc. It's not necessarily an indication that something huge is "wrong" with a family. You're getting a little "Desperate Housewives," no?

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hammysammy 8 years, 8 months ago

We did this when we were in middle school, about 14 years ago, and I mean lots of kids, from all walks of life. Even at birthday parties, it felt wrong, and we hid it from our parents obviously, and I think its safe to say, I had a normal family, and if not me, then at least one of the dozens of kids I saw do it, one of them was bound to be normal. Kids do stupid things, parents can't be there every second to protect them from errors in judgement. It isn't natural, it isn't "normal", all kids have to learn by their mistakes. It is so normal for kids to screw up, lets just hope that it doesnt' have to be as tragic as to result in death.

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Genetic02 8 years, 8 months ago

Yes, please define what normal means to you, so we can better understand your point of view.

Personally, I've always thought that it was "normal" for people to be curious and, consequently, experiment.

Regardless of how good/bad a job the LJW did covering the tragedy, I think it's important that parents are aware that such activities may be going on behind their backs. Additionally, children need to be aware that the long-term consequences of such an activity are far greater than any temporary feelings they may experience.

My condolences go out to the family.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

Not sure I understand your point here.

"Posted by ryno on August 16 at 1:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not exactly. Some of the things that you have mentioned are accidental, while others would be treated with regular psycho therapy."

Can you explain further?

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

We're alone out here, sixtwelve. Your understanding and wisdom is appreciated by me. May the child indeed rest in peace.

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ryno 8 years, 8 months ago

Not exactly. Some of the things that you have mentioned are accidental, while others would be treated with regular psycho therapy.

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ECM 8 years, 8 months ago

So Ryno your point was to make sweeping judgement about topics you know nothing about?

I agree Sixtwelvewest, tragedy occurs in good, bad and "normal" families.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

I know perfectly "normal" families who have had tragedies like car accidents, suicides, teen pregnancies, depression, mental health issues, drug problems, etc. It's not necessarily an indication that something huge is "wrong" with a family. You're getting a little "Desperate Housewives," no?

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ryno 8 years, 8 months ago

My guess is that if this is happening in "normal" families, then they are not so normal. My intention is to point out that while families may seem "normal" on the outside, there may be things happening/not happening that others are not aware of at all. Emotional abuse has many forms and does not have the tell tale bruising that physical abuse does.

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larryville_79 8 years, 8 months ago

I like to consider myself "normal" and I could describe some things I used to perform on myself when I was 15 and still do today whenever I know noone is looking. Maybe these sort of behavoirs have been around and they are FINALLY being brought to the open. Tragedy may bring triumph.

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ECM 8 years, 8 months ago

How nice of you to judge others. Actually this is happening in "normal" families all over this country. Maybe you should consult a psychologist. According to several this is being practiced by kids of all economic, religious and educational backgrounds.

But then again you just wanted to knock a family you don't know based on the religious beliefs. Hope you don't have any kids.

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ryno 8 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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princess 8 years, 8 months ago

I think that you meant, "whining"

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warcraft1975 8 years, 8 months ago

oh who cares all ready!!!!stop wining about the pic.....

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princess 8 years, 8 months ago

All I am saying is that there is the possibility that the LJW covered the funeral as it actually happened. Just because it doesn't fit what you (the royal you) feel such an event should look like doesn't mean it wasn't covered as it actually happened.

The person on here that was actually at the funeral said that the media was very discrete. I think that is evident in the video and pictures. They seemed to be staying out of the mourner's faces while the service was going on. If they had published a photo of the wailing, grieving parents in the front row during the service people would have complained that the LJW was being invasive and insensitive.

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Terry Bush 8 years, 8 months ago

On the topic - what a concept - of this type of practice...I just wanted to add that WAY BACK WHEN (in the early 1970's) my little sister engaged in this type of behavior, in fornt of me a few times, and it FREAKED ME OUT no end to see her faint dead away (no pun intended). I sent her a copy of this article to say "SEE - I told you it was a BAD idea!!!" Just wonder how many other STUPID things young (or old) people do in order to get in an altered state and how many of them realize that each time they do so they are risking death.... Guess no one thinks it will happen to THEM.....

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mlemiller 8 years, 8 months ago

Such a sad story, but I am so glad the word is getting out about this. When I was younger I actually used to do a lesser form of this... never with a rope and always with friends around. And I was one of those kids who never, ever tried alcohol or drugs. I didn't understand back then that this was a bad thing. Seems like common sense now, but we just thought it was fun and it didn't seem like we were doing anything wrong. (But we must have known, deep down, that our parents would not approve because we never did it in front of adults.) I never thought of it as "getting high" because I never wanted to label myself that way. My point is, this is a far-reaching thing and kids that you wouldn't expect to be "getting high" could be doing it. I hope parents will talk to their kids about it. I told my mother the other day that I actually used to do this when I was a kid and she was horrified. She wouldn't have ever had a clue. I'm so grateful that nothing like this ever happened to me or my friends.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

Snappy! Apparently you aren't interested in having a conversation. Relax, 'K?

Yes, I feel terrible for that girl's family and friends. A senseless tragedy.

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merrywidow033 8 years, 8 months ago

was i not clear enough when i said "(this comment is about no one in particular, just people i hear saying how much they hate this town)"?

did i say that people are not allowed to complain? i just feel poopy when people slam my almost favourite town left and right. i feel lucky to be in such a great town.

by the way, it's really rotten that had to happen to that girl. i knew people when i was in middle school that did that too (around 10 years ago). it scared me so much, but i was unaware people used chains to do it. the kids i knew did it with bare hands. i send my deepest condolences to her family and friends.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

Again, princess: No one is judging their grieving process. They are criticizing the newspaper's lack of cohesion. Would you show a picture of someone crying out of grief in an article about the sidewalk sale? Learn to separate the difference between discussing the media and discussing a girl's death and a family's pain.

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princess 8 years, 8 months ago

I am with you merrywidow. I have lived many places and so have other members of my family and we always come back to Lawrence. It is home.

Oh and not everyone grieves in the same way. Perhaps these are the only photos that the LJW had from the funeral to publish? (by only ones, I mean style/type/subject) How dare anyone judge someone else's grieving process.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

merrywidow, no one is criticizing Lawrence here. I am a native and I no longer live there, and I often miss it. People in general, if you haven't noticed, enjoy complaining and also have the right to criticize anything they want to. It's the beauty of the First Amendment, and it's what makes discussions like this possible. Freedom of speech is one of our most precious rights. Just as you are free to express your opinion, we are free to express ours. Thanks.

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merrywidow033 8 years, 8 months ago

merely asking. i've just noticed many people complain about the paper and city so much, it makes one wonder such things. no one is forcing anyone to read the paper. as no one is being forced to live in lawrence. shrug i've lived many places, and prefer it here.

(this comment is about no one in particular, just people i hear saying how much they hate this town)

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nlf78 8 years, 8 months ago

I would like the family for sharing their grief instead of hiding the way their daughter died. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

I can't believe that teenagers now believe this is the best way to get high. It scares me to think that there are alot of children trying this to get high. What happened with teens drinking and smoking pot instead of choking and strangling. Drinking and smoking are alot easier for the families to see and deal with.

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

Bless you, sixtwelvewest! Bingo and bingo. Last I checked we were still living in a democracy. It asks for "comments" and I gave one. Geez!!

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

As someone who studied and worked in journalism, it's a perfect highlight to the fact that you cannot make an unbiased comment when people become offended if you criticize a NEWSPAPER and not the ISSUE. I love Lawrence very much and always will, but it's the little things like this that drive me batty. No one is debating the sadness of the family or the importance of the issue or the unforunate loss of a young life. People are merely commenting that the Lawrence Journal-World has created yet another inconsistency in journalism.

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

Curiosity about the goings-on in which the town I live sometimes gets the best of me; hence, the reason I read it online (only). If their phone jockeys wouldn't have been so heinously rude when they were trying to solicit, I might've signed on when I moved back here 3 years ago. Since LJWorld is a monopoly in every sense of the word, sometimes I am left with little choice. Ahem.

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merrywidow033 8 years, 8 months ago

why read LJ World if you dislike it so much? i think they do a decent job, especially for a small town.

i also think celebrating someone's life is a much better way to portray someone's life than just to cry. (crying is good, yes, but so is remembering the good things the person has done).

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

News media at the funeral - now there's your sensationalism. What is so "unbelievable" about having an opinion about a newspaper's presentation of a tragedy?

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SarahSota 8 years, 8 months ago

i'm not bitching. i just thought it was weird. perhaps the parents think it's weird too. i wouldn't want people taking pictures at my family member's funeral.

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popabob1954 8 years, 8 months ago

sarasota, yes, that is how they got the video and the photo. But they were very discreet.

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quitbitchin 8 years, 8 months ago

bitching about the picture? unbelievable.

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SarahSota 8 years, 8 months ago

I thought the photo of everyone smiling was kind of weird- not necessarily inappropriate. The more disturbing picture, I thought, was the picture of the actual funeral. That seems a little bizarre to me. I'm wondering if there were actual members of the news media at the funeral??

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popabob1954 8 years, 8 months ago

All God's children have got problems. Kimber is now living in a perfect place with Jesus. I thank the LJW for their efforts. If you don't like it the Trading Post is free at most gas stations.

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

Is this town so small that a person cannot make a completely objective observation without offending someone? Popa, meant no harm. Just looking for intelligent discourse about an issue that is obviously untouchable at this point. Adios!

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

OK - at least sixtwelvewest "gets" what I'm pointing out about consistency. The story's importance isn't the issue here (of course it's important). Neither is the fact that they're Christians. Not looking for sensationalism here, just a photo that makes sense journalistically from a reader's POV.

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popabob1954 8 years, 8 months ago

I have known and loved Tim & Carol for 20-years. After seeing them greeve and weep so deeply over Kimber's death it is refreshing to see them smile again. They are very loving and compassionate people as are their lovely daughters. I suppose you would have to live the experience to understand. Please leave the picture alone. In response to SRJ's comment to VERITAS. Take a look at the public schools and KU.

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Steve Jacob 8 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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sixtwelvewest 8 years, 8 months ago

While I agree that the photo does not match the story (it IS poor journalism -- no, a wailing mother is not necessary, but when I saw the headline and the photo on the homepage, I was confused), it is better that the J-Dub publish things like this and get the info out there in the first place. I am impressed by the sensitive way that Mr. Ranney handled this difficult topic.

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SAHM2tylrnathan 8 years, 8 months ago

I can't believe how many stories are out there about this! Part of me is wondering if kids see this as a "better" way to experiment with getting high--wondering if their rationale is, hey, I'm not breaking the law by drinking or doing drugs! Kind of like huffing--if I can get the stuff legally, I'm really not doing anything wrong. And of course, kids think they are invincible--death never even crosses their minds. Just makes me realize how wide open I will have to keep my eyes and my mind as my kids get older.

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ECM 8 years, 8 months ago

This isn't "happening" to people with Veritas. There have been several deaths of this type in Lawrence. The Wilson's are the first to be brave enough to try to help others

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jaystork 8 years, 8 months ago

It is a true example of how the world loves to see things sensationalized. Why does the mother have to look like she is wailing to make a point to a story? I personally think the photo and story are tasteful. The mother probably appreciated not having a camera in her face during her times of displaying grief.

Good job, craigers, explaining that people DO move on to a better place.

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craigers 8 years, 8 months ago

It isn't an odd thing to see Christians smiling at a funeral. I know we all greive and it really sucks that she had to die at such an early age, but it is a celebration because where she is, is much better than where we are now. Death is not a stopping point for Christians merely the beginning of a better chapter in our lives.

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Steve Jacob 8 years, 8 months ago

I hate to bring this up, but why are these thing happening to people with Veritas?

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

Bluedog, I knew someone was going to say that. Truth is though, it's lousy journalism. I get sick of this paper (tired of ALL papers who do this, actually) blowing their horns about how many awards they receive, when anyone who's ever seen a really well-put together and informative rag knows the true difference. Off-topic, yes, but still relevant in this instance.

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onehotmomma 8 years, 8 months ago

The Wilson family has my heartfelt condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with them and any family who has suffered through the death of a loved one.

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bluedog 8 years, 8 months ago

You're too critical. Yeah, I slam the LJ-World too, but I don't think the photo is overly inappropriate. So what if they're smiling? Maybe their celebrating the life of Kimberly. Do you want to see a grieving mother?

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offtotheright 8 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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sylvie 8 years, 8 months ago

The photo chosen to demonstrate the grieving family does not match the tragic situation. They appear to be smiling and celebrating, and without the headline, one would guess just that. Not that I would expect more from the Journal World. Just seems like the family deserves it, in this situation.

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trueninetiesgirl 8 years, 8 months ago

this is all around sad case, but thanks for the insite i have two teens myself. thank you thank you may your rest in peace.

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