Boy Hangs Himself After Seeing Reports of Hussein’s Execution

By MAUREEN BALLEZA

HOUSTON, Jan. 4 — A 10-year-old boy hanged himself accidentally on New Year’s Eve after watching reports of Saddam Hussein’s execution, the police and relatives said Thursday.

Family members discovered the body of the boy, Sergio Pelico, hanging from his bunk bed and called the police in Webster, between Houston and Galveston.

The boy watched television reports on Saturday and asked about the execution, said an uncle, Adolfo Chavez.

“He asked, ‘Is this how they killed people?’ ” Mr. Chavez recounted in Spanish. “We said, ‘No, but they did it to this man because he’s bad.’ ”

Mr. Chavez said his nephew had said nothing more about the hanging.

The next night, as adults prepared supper and his cousins played, Sergio went upstairs to his bedroom. Another child found the body, Mr. Chavez said.

Capt. Thomas Claunch of the Webster police said there was no reason to suspect suicide.

“It was nothing more than a tragic accident,” Captain Claunch said. “I think he was trying to mimic the behavior, and it got out of hand. There were no indications of depression, no problems within the home. He was very positive.”

The captain said Sergio, an only child who was in the fifth grade, had given his mother a belated Christmas card. “In it,” Captain Claunch said, “he says he will do better in school this year, that he wants to get her a better Christmas present next year.”

Captain Claunch said that the authorities were awaiting autopsy results but that he believed the death would be ruled accidental.

Mr. Chavez said the family would ship the boy’s body home to Guatemala for burial.

Source: nytimes.com

Human Element: Curiosity. Share your thoughts, please.

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5 Responses to “Boy Hangs Himself After Seeing Reports of Hussein’s Execution”


  1. 1 Vijay January 5, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    This is so sad… another example of graphic scenes on TV influencing children.

  2. 2 vanessa January 6, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    I think the boy was messing around trying to imitate the scene!! he was playing the bad guy!! i don’t think its such a huge deal!! its just like kids who think the are batman or spiderman!!

  3. 3 Alex E. Sidoro January 6, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    He was “messing around” and “trying to imitate the scene,” but why? What was it that helped him rationalize such an act? There has been a report of a boy in Pakistan committing a similar act and supposedly a third boy somewhere as well.

  4. 4 Alicia January 11, 2007 at 9:29 am

    This is so sad. We should try and hide stuff like this from kids. When he asked “Is this how we kil peole” his aunt and uncle should have explained to him how wrong it is and why this man had it done. We need to watch out for all the news like this so no more kids try to copy what the see on the television

  5. 5 Vijay January 12, 2007 at 10:31 am

    There have been a couple of instances here in India as well..


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