The Online Graveyard

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/07/evergreen-thumb.jpgStephen Blackmoore at L.A. Noir points us to MyDeathSpace.com, a site that provides recent obituaries with links back to the deceased’s actual MySpace profile. Its morbid yet fascinating, and the debate at Blackmoore’s blog is whether this is tasteless or not.

I believe the site is a great tribute to the dead – being able to see someone’s MySpace page after reading a third person’s account of how they died provides a bit more humanity and compassion than a dry obituary. And perhaps more importantly, the site allows us to identify better with the deceased and reminds us of the preciousness of life.

Among those who’ve recently passed who are from around Los Angeles and also have MySpace pages…

  • Carrie Philips, a 24 year old teacher who was killed when a car “barreled onto a sidewalk”, and injured a number of her students.
  • Drive by shooting victim James Paredes, 25, of Lawndale.
  • Musician/Producer J Dilla, who was recently eulogized here by Ben High, died after a three year battle with Lupus disease.

  • DevinAdair, 21, of Manhattan Beach died of a staph infection while attending the University of Tulsa where he was a member of the football team.
  • Casie Hyde, 16, and her boyfriend crashed into a utility pole after she apparently lost control of her car, leaving him in critical condition but immediately killing her.

And proving that you should be careful what you believe on the internet, James Lockwood, 24, of Los Angeles was reported as deceased by someone claiming to be his mother.

…my son, was killed in a horrible car accident on June 4th. He was on the way to see his father for a buisness meeting and was on a buisness trip in Los Angeles. James had his myspace account information available on the computer. I thought it would be best for everyone of his friends to know this way.

His MySpace page has since been pulled, just like the legs of some of the site’s readers, and possibly some of his friends. Skeptical readers were vilified after news of James’ demise were proven to have been exaggerated – his page on MyDeathSpace.com remains… but with a complete strike-thru (the bloggers equivalent of a retraction).

(photo from mike3dphotos via Flickr)