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Paralegal’s Project: MyDeathSpace

Posted Mar 3, 2008 12:33 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A Texas paralegal has applied his research skills to an unusual public purpose.

Michael Patterson's MyDeathSpace website, which collects information about deaths of young people and offers their friends and relations—and total strangers—a chance to comment about them.

The site, which is not affiliated with the MySpace social networking site, attracts thousands of visitors, especially teens and young adults, reports the Miami Herald. Some observers see it as a helpful outlet. Others wonder what benefit is derived from focusing online on the deaths of strangers.

Patterson, 27, says publicizing the details of how young people died helps others recognize and avoid risky activities, according to the newspaper.

"He also said the site was able to help a Florida teen who was threatening suicide in April," reports the Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an earlier article. "She e-mailed Patterson to reserve a spot on the site, and he called police, who intervened."

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