“Sorry For All The Mess”: Oregon Audience Applauds As Teen Commits Suicide In Mistaken Belief It Was Performance Art

An Oregon audience at open mic night were shocked after applauding what they thought was performance art of a teen pretending to kill himself at the Strictly Organic Coffee Company. It was not a performance, but a suicide. After playing a song called “Sorry For All The Mess,” Kipp Rusty Walker repeatedly stabbed himself in the chest with a six-inch knife.

The suicide has raised questions of his treatment by state psychiatric authorities.

One of Walker’s friends said that he had been planning to kill himself in a public place for some time: “It was almost like he wanted to prove a point, like there’s no point in being scared of death because it’s going to happen to us anyway.” The friend reportedly told Walker’s parents who had him committed St Charles Medical Centre in Bend. The friend is quoted as saying
“I actually told him, I was like, ‘Dude, this is going to mess a lot of people up.'”

Beyond the tragedy itself, there is a question of the responsibility of state officials and the coffee shop. I believe the shop is not likely to face liability -assuming (as appears to be the case) that they had no reason to expect such an unforeseeable act. It would be hard to establish the basis for a negligent infliction of emotional distress claim as an audience member.

The hospital could be more vulnerable if a reasonable doctor would not have released Walker. However, again, such acts are hard to predict and make generally for a poor basis for legal action.

From a public policy perspective, however, there are increasing complaints over the treatment (and release) of potentially violent individuals. It is a difficult balance for a state. We have moved away from the large-scale institutionalization of the mentally ill.
After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in O’Connor v. Donaldson in 1975, states were ordered that they cannot involuntarily hold a person who is not imminently a danger to himself or others and able to survive on his own. That decision ended abuses across the country and allowed mentally disabled individuals to have functional lives. In any such case, there can be problems particularly if an individual does not receive or take necessary medication.

Source: Daily Mail

Jonathan Turley

14 thoughts on ““Sorry For All The Mess”: Oregon Audience Applauds As Teen Commits Suicide In Mistaken Belief It Was Performance Art”

  1. thanks ak-pride…

    you surely are his friend, for you showed us something about him that this whole “mess title” did not…

    thanks also for sharing his song with us, for most of the hype here is for the “mess” or “sadness” left by Kipp… whereas it would be better if it were for his lyrics…

    by what I read, he was far more in tune with himself and the cosmos than most living humans, and probably extremely more apt to do what he did than most people would think…

    I appreciate your time in writing your note with his lyrics, since for all I could predict, the “State” does not have a clue as to why he did what he did… they just want to have the right to recriminate him for doing what he thought was right for him to do, take his own life and move to another realm of existence…

    I wish I had known Kipp and had had the chance to see life as he saw, but his “song” showed me enough to be happy for him…

    so… most people still don’t get that he was not just perfoming, but so what… life is a performance in it’s ultimate state anyway…

  2. This is cute, finding you guys talking about Kipp on a website about shrooms.

    I’m his friend.
    just thought you guys would appreciate actually seeing some of his words
    instead of hearing bullshit news thats all wrong..

    “If I leave you guys with anything, itd be for you to be able to see this whole thing from my view. Try and do that for me if you can. Death is no big deal, its really no different from life. All the atoms that you would consider “mine” are still there, just no ego will exist to try and possess them, to somehow own them, and believe them to be “mine.” Don’t miss me, i am really not anything, just another speck of sand, drop of water, and any other metaphor that insinuates my being insignificant on the cosmic scale.
    But what do i know, im just a human, with a very limited understanding of the universe and how it works. lol.
    In any case im pretty excited, to either take the last step and be done, or to find out if theres some new shit after this life shit, be it what i would consider “good” or “bad” in my current living state.
    Anyway, “cyadude”…”

    the song was not called sorry for the mess it was just some made up song on the spot that he played on the piano.

  3. I wonder if the audiance demanded an encore. Did the bill clearly state, “One night only!”?

  4. BelgianBrain:

    “Exercise is the best one,”

    For so many different things.

  5. Call me crazy but I don’t believe in anti-depressants.
    Exercise is the best one, studies say.

    And how can you not tell a fake from a real suicide?
    Simple: short… attention… span.

  6. Sadly this nearly happened to one of my friends. He did not intend for suicide. He threw down the mic, whipped out the steak knife he had carefully dulled over the last week and slashed at the blood packet they taped to his wrist.
    Too bad an uncle had bought a new knife sharpening kit and had to sharpen every knife he could find – including the one in the milk crate in the garage labelled “Props”.
    3 stitches later and a lot of head shaking. Close call, though.

    I had to make this post in reply to erykah.
    You can’t blame the people for not realizing it was not a stunt.

  7. It sounds like a reaction many people had as 9/11 was taking place,they thought that was a movie.

  8. This is sad in more ways than one. First, there is the obvious. The guy killed himself in a public act of suicide. While I am sure the audience was traumatize when they discovered that what they were seeing was no joke, it also speaks to our sick sense of entertainment. Even if this was not a real act of suicide, I would not have found this entertaining in the least. I mean, guy stands there stabbing himself repeatedly while audience applauds? He was not the only one sick in that building.

  9. Such a sad story. I have seen cases where individuals don’t take their medication and all hell breaks lose. One case involved an attorney in court who lost control and threatened the judge and spent some time in the county lock up.

  10. A tragedy for all involved… My heart goes out to his family, as well as those who witnessed his suicide. A very sad story.

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