On February 14, 1975, a teenage body was found dead in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. He committed suicide by hanging himself with a bed sheet from a persimmon tree. He was about 16 or 17 years old and wore yellow and maroon shirt, blue pants, mismatched socks and no shoes. Leaning against the tree was a jar filled with papers.
The papers turned out to be a lengthy suicide note. It was addressed to "Mom and Dad". He wrote in part: "When you stop growing you are dead. I stopped growing long ago. I never did develop into a real person and I cannot tolerate the false and empty existence I have created".
In his note to officers who found his body, he said: "You are bound to preserve domestic peace and order. If you pursue who I was (and spend hundreds of dollars) you will accomplish little. There are no legal consequences of my death or any kind of entanglements. All that can happen is that you will shatter the domestic peace and order of two innocent lives. Do not deprive them of the hope that their 'missing' son will return . . .Let me be, let it be as if I wasn't ever here. Simply cremate me as John Doe."
Among other things, he stated: "It is best if I cease to live, quietly, than risk that later I will break and shatter by violence or linger years under care. I implore you to see a psychiatrist in order that you might understand my death and my life. Ask thoroughly about what I was and you will see that it is not tragic that I am gone, but more natural than if I continued."
The young man included a section of the note entitled "Why you should not feel responsible" in a which he explained "I was born with a definite pervasive melancholy . . .what frustrated me most in the last year was that I had built no ties to family or friends. There was nothing of lasting worth and value. I led a detached existence and I was a parody of a person - literally and figuratively. I didn't tell jokes - I was a joke".
The note even cited the works of Emile Durkheim, the famous philosopher and psychologist. According to the by, Durkheim defined suicide as "an inner direction of homicidal feelings against someone else."
The note concludes with "I am no longer interested in the world and know that it is not interested in me. When you stop growing you are dead. I stopped growing a long time ago." On separate paper, he told his parents "You have provided me with excellent advantages and privileges and experiences. I am extremely grateful for all of your sacrifices, time and support. I am now repaying you with an arrogant act. In this light, I do see it as criminal. I can only hope that you see that it was me who caused it."
Unfortunately all records to his case have been lost in the 90s due to Hurricane. There is a theory that the John Doe is that of Baynard Cousins who went missing on February 1, 1975
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