An apparent double suicide in Putney is being touted as a 'copycat', following the suicide in Essex of two people who met online. After being saddened by the tragedy, two things leaped out at us: firstly, that coverage of the original deaths happily bandied about the gas involved. Last year, Ben Goldacre wrote a column explaining that suicides increase following a high-profile suicide case and deplored the media's habit of reporting details of methods, which serves little but to cause distress to the families and offer an instruction manual to others.
As such, we're a little constrained over point two. Locals are being quoted as saying it was known one of the women was preparing for a suicide of this method (which does cast doubt on the 'copycat' tag), and that made us gape. There are always rumours and hearsay after an incident like this, but we do hope that if the suicide plans were known about, someone tried to do something instead of afterwards going round telling the neighbours like a latter day Ena Sharples. However, the only source we can find to point you at, so you can make up your own mind, that doesn't go into detail about the method, is the Daily Mail. Sorry about that.