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Australian Girls Took Instructions to Commit Suicide from Internet Site

Internet abuse is by now well documented. The latest is that it can also tell you how to commit suicide.

Two Australian girls, Jodie Gater and her friend Stephanie Gestier, were found hanging from a tree in a national park near Melbourne last month. They had been missing for a week before their bodies were found. The apparent suicide pact had sent shock waves across the country.

They had taken instructions from an internet site, Rob Gater, father of Jodie Gater, said in a TV interview.

It was 'just wrong, absolutely wrong' that his daughter and her friend had consulted a website showing 'which particular rope to use, how to do the knots, how to test that the rope won't break under your weight, under the weight of both'.

Speaking publicly for the first time since their daughter's death, Gater and his wife, Jennifer claimed they had not seen any signs that Jodie was unhappy.

Three days after their disappearance, Rob Gater had made an emotional media appeal for his daughter and her friend to get in touch. 'Jodie, if you're watching, please make contact with us. We miss you and want to hear from you,' he said.

At the time, Mr Gater said his daughter had seemed completely normal when she left to go shopping with her friend. 'She was quite happy to go out - made sure she had her mobile phone with her and that was the last I've seen of her. The last thing we said to her was, 'Make sure you're home for tea,'' he said.

His daughter had been in a good mood, having recently turned 16 and started driving lessons. During his appeal, he told reporters that although he did not think Jodie had met new friends, he was not sure. 'She keeps using MSN Messenger and MySpace stuff. It's hard to keep track of exactly what's spoken.'

The two had indeed posted depressed notes on Internet sites including MySpace in the months before their deaths.

Gater had written se
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