College senior Jaime Shockman was at home working on her computer when an instant message popped up at the bottom of her screen. It was an invitation to die.
“Do you think of suicide?” the stranger asked. “Do oyu want to die with others,” he went on, according to the instant message transcript.
Bored and convinced the message was a joke, the young woman replied. For two hours in December, she answered questions posed by 26-year-old Gerald Krein, who is now accused of attempting to lure emotionally fragile women to his Oregon home for what police are calling a Valentine’s Day sex and suicide party.
It’s not clear whether any of the women he allegedly contacted were sincere about killing themselves. For her part, Shockman says she engaged Krein in the conversation as a prank.
“I was convinced it was a joke,” Shockman said, who believes the man picked her out because her screen name — KillToriSpelling — refers to killing.
The Portland State University student decided it was something more sinister when he told her that a mother from Portland was coming to his home in southern Oregon to commit suicide along with her five kids.
Now, Shockman is one of five women — from Canada, Georgia, Oregon, Missouri and Virginia — out of more than two dozen allegedly contacted by Krein who have identified themselves to police. According to authorities, the women were invited to the “suicide get-together” at his house, where they were to hang themselves naked from a beam.
Krein, who was arrested Wednesday, told investigators he had been in touch with 31 women. He was indicted Monday while deputies kept watch over his house to make sure no one arrived to kill themselves.
“It was suggested that they come here, that they hang with him, that they have a sex party, and if they couldn’t come he would certainly entertain them, doing it over the Internet,” Sheriff Tim Evinger said.
Shockman printed a copy of the instant message communication — in which he identified himself first as “Jerry,” then as “Gerald Krein” — and showed it to The Associated Press. She also has shown it to police.
After he divulged his plan to commit suicide along with 15 others, Shockman asked him: “How do you want to die?”
“We was thinking haning,” he wrote back, according to the transcript.
“All at the same time in the same place?” she asked.
When he answered yes, she kidded him that the weight of the bodies would break the structure they were hung from.
“No,” he replied. “Got a thing bult to hold bodys.”
He said it was strong enough to “hold 50” and added he had quit his job at Blockbuster to plan the party — and build the beam in his house in Klamath Falls, Ore.
In the final hour, Shockman said Krein peppered her with questions on how she wanted to die.
Did she want to hold hands with the other women? Did she want to be blindfolded, or see the expression on the other women’s faces as she died? How high should her body be above the ground? What did she want to wear?
Krein instructed her not to wear shoes because the shoes would “wegh you donw.”
She felt on edge when he asked her whether she wanted to die in the nude. But it was when he mentioned that children were to be involved that she dialed 911.
“One woman is bring her kids,” he messaged.
“How many kids?” asked Shockman, from her room plastered with horror movie posters.
“5,” he messaged back.
When asked why he wanted to die, he answered: “hate everything.” He asked to see a picture of her. Shockman sent him to an Oregon newspaper Web site and sent him to the image of another woman. He rated her a “10.”
According to the transcript, he said that women hate him.
Then he asked: “Am I a dog to you?”