Suicide of Ronnie McNutt
This article contains content that some may find shocking.
The Suicide of Ronnie McNutt incident took place on the Facebook Livestream, broadcasted at 9 pm on August 31. The live stream depicts a 33-year-old war veteran, Ronnie McNutt (May 23, 1987–August 31, 2020), playing his favorite game, until he shoots himself in the face with a single-shot rifle and soon dies of a self-inflicted wound. Like Gleb Korablyov's suicide live-stream, it has spread across many social media sites, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and many more. This has caused many controversies, including trolls setting up account impersonations of Ronnie, being used for fraudulent scams, or being used as a bait-and-switch to lure people.
This live stream features 33-year-old Ronnie McNutt playing his favorite game (offscreen). After a while, he gets a phone call from a person he knows (either his ex-girlfriend). After that, he hangs up the call and
mindblows misfires himself with a hunting rifle (confirmed by his friend in an interview), blowing his brains out with blood splatters on the screen. The full video would stay on his corpse for a few minutes, until officers arrived to his home after someone alerted the department, only seen in the full video.
Ronnie had recently broken up with his girlfriend on the night of August 31, his final day of suicide. Ronnie himself also tried drinking some beer that night. He sent his final message on Facebook at 7:32 p.m., stating: "Someone in your life needs to hear that they matter" and "that they are loved. That they have a future. Be the one to tell them. TobyMac #SpeakLife", referring to Toby McKeehan's song "Speak Life". His suicide happened on his live-stream on Facebook broadcasted at 9 p.m. local time. In the live stream taking place at his home in New Albany, Mississippi, Ronnie appeared very drunk and depressed. There were over 200 viewers who advised him to get help, which Ronnie ignored. Minutes before committing suicide, Ronnie receives a phone call from a person he knows, whether it be his ex-girlfriend or his mother. At 10:30 p.m. Ronnie pointed the rifle to his head and misfired, blowing off his face completely. New Albany Police Department was shortly alerted by his friends after he threatened to or after he kill himself during the stream, which they didn't arrive to his home until his death. Facebook stated that this "completed broadcast was on the platform for 2 hours and 41 minutes."
Ronnie's friends, including his close one, Josh Steen, tried to report the live-stream to Facebook before he killed himself. At 11:51 pm, Facebook later dismissed one of the reports because it did not violate its guidelines. The video was not taken down by the platform until eight hours later. However, it was too late for the video to be taken down that it was shortly re-uploaded to many platforms, such as YouTube, Twitter and TikTok. TikTok was also criticized for having the suicide appear on the "For You" feed. Media outlets also stated that some re-uploads of the suicide were also disguised as clips of cute animals. Steen blamed Facebook for failing to remove the video late. Facebook responds that they were "reviewing how we could have taken down the livestream faster."
In the comments of the live stream, Ronnie's close friend Josh Steen found most of them as "harassment" and reported them to Facebook. Facebook, still suffering from failure, had dismissed it for not being an account holder. Similarly, trolls were also setting up accounts to impersonate Ronnie on platforms. Ronnie's mother, Elaine McNutt, also stated that there were many false GoFnudPages about Ronnie Mcnutt appearing, and none of them "are legitimate!".
Ronald Merle "Ronnie" McNutt was born on May 23, 1987, in Mississippi, United States. He was one of five children born to Mr. Cecil Ronald McNutt and Elaine Rooker McNutt. Ronnie McNutt was a member of the Celebration Church in Tupelo and also enjoyed or was involved in performing theater plays. He was an Iraq War veteran who served in the United States Army Reserve and was employed as a worker at a Toyota plant in Blue Springs, New Albany.Ronnie was also a member of the Comicons club and wrote some comic book reviews on websites. According to his close friend, Joshua Steen, he was later diagnosed with PTSD shortly after his military service.
During the early 2000s, Ronnie McNutt met Joshua Steen at a community theater production of Footloose, which was located in the city of Mississippi, while they were in high school. Ronnie McNutt joined JustUs Geeks, a podcast by Josh Steen, with the intention of connecting "with the millions of geeks and pop culture nerds all across the globe." He started writing some reviews for the official website in 2014. During the live stream, Steen also tried calling Ronnie with two phone numbers that he could easily recognize, only for Ronnie to decline the call on the stream. Some media said that the gun that he used to shoot himself with was a shotgun, but Steen stated to the media that it was a single-shot rifle.
On October 11, 2020, a 1-hour podcast titled "Ronnie McNutt Revisited: An Interview with Josh Steen" was uploaded to YouTube on The Misery Machine's channel, which features Joshua Steen explaining details about Ronnie McNutt.
He was predeceased by his father, they were buried in the same cemetery.
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- Wakefield, J. (2020, September 20). "Friend Challenges Facebook Over Ronnie McNutt Suicide Video". BBC News.
- Steinbuch, Y. (2020, September 9). "Ronnie McNutt Shared Heartbreaking Message Before Suicide". New York Post.
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- Kitching, C. (2020, September 9). "Man Who Live-streamed His Own Suicide Left Tragic Last Post On Facebook". Mirror.co.uk.
- McEvoy, J. (2020, September 9). "Friend Of Ronnie McNutt, Whose Livestreamed Suicide Went Viral, Says Facebook Could’ve Stopped It". Forbes.
- Warnock, C. (2020, September 8). "Ronnie McNutt’s Friend Speaks Out About Facebook Suicide Video". Heavy.
- Coldewey, D. (2020, September 14). "Graphic Video Of Suicide Spreads From Facebook To TikTok To YouTube As Platforms Fail Moderation Test". TechCrunch.
- Gramenz, J. (2020, September 10). "Why TikTok Suicide Video Horror Will Happen Again". News.com.au.
- Steinbuch, Y. (2020, September 8). "Army Veteran Ronnie McNutt Commits Suicide In Facebook Livestream". New York Post.
- Warnock, C. (2020, September 7). "Ronnie McNutt: Man Dies By Suicide On Facebook Live Stream. Heavy.com.
- #ReformForRonnie Hashtag
- Steinbuch, Y. (2020, September 8). "Ronnie McNutt's Friend: Facebook Could've Stopped Suicide Livestream". New York Post.
- "Ronnie McNutt Revisited: An Interview with Josh Steen" October 12, 2020 - via YouTube.
- Flappy Bird - A popular Scratch copy of the mobile app with the same name, but it was hacked to display the same video when the player dies.