‘Youth’s suicide note which caused media storm may not exist’

There are real doubts about whether the dramatic suicide note left by a Dutch youth and reprinted in his newspaper death notice actually exists, according to Vara journalist Bert Molenaar.

The suicide of 20-year-old Tim Ribberink became headline news in November after his parents included the text of his suicide note in a newspaper death notice.

The note stated: ‘I have been teased, bullied and excluded my whole life. You are fantastic. I hope you are not angry’. It led to a storm of comment on social media sites and Twitter. Even prime minister Mark Rutte commented on the tragedy.


But Vara reporter Molenaar, who has investigated the case since the story broke, says he is now convinced the youth did not leave a note at all. Instead, the message may have been taken from an unsent text message or note found on his mobile phone.

One of Ribberink’s uncles said: ‘There is no suicide letter, but what is the defintion of a letter? If it is a piece of paper which someone wrote on then there is no letter.’

Instead, it appears someone typed out the mobile phone text and it was placed in his coffin.

Molenaar also says he has failed to find any evidence the youth was bullied. ‘As well as the parents, I have spoken to many people who were involved and no-one can give me a serious example of bullying,’ Molenaar says.

The results of Molenaar’s research are being broadcast in a two-part Radio 1 documentary.

Earlier stories
Parents stunned by reaction after publishing son’s suicide note
Parents of suicide youth want investigation into online bullying

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