It’s a scary story, a story born two years ago in Canada, spread to the United Kingdom and has now arrived in Italy. Interpol has already obtained the photos taken by the carabinieri of Borgo Valsugana (Trento) at the home of A.D.L. 63-year-old teacher originally from L’Aquila. They found her on April 4 in her apartment in Ronchi lying on her bed. Beside her, she had a note for her family: “I’m sorry. I’m too sick, too much pain, I had no other choice, goodbye.’ And then a letter explaining how she had managed to take her own life.
Thus, the Central Directorate of Criminal Police, investigating further, discovered that the woman’s name was in the client list of an Ontario man named Kenneth Law, a former aerospace engineer and then chef in Toronto, who for two years managed some websites (now closed) selling “poison” for would-be suicides: face masks and sodium nitrite. In Italy, his kits have already been purchased by nine citizens (the teacher who died in April was among them), so now a race against time is underway, entrusted to the police headquarters and the Arma companies throughout Italy, to track down the eight more names on the list before it’s too late.
An apparently harmless product, sodium nitrite, used in the food industry as a dye. However, a few grams, diluted in water, tasteless and colorless, are lethal. A product that is also easy to buy, cheap, without any kind of constraint, which arrives at your home in a few days.
The Times of London, a few days ago, reported the words of Kenneth Law intercepted outside a pharmacy in Mississauga, Ontario. The man said he entered the business after watching his mother suffer from a stroke, and also boasts of having shipped his products all over the world, including to “hundreds” of customers in Britain, adding that some buyers they had told him he was doing “God’s work.” “But they are committing suicide themselves. I’m not doing anything wrong – he thus defended himself against the objections of his interlocutor -. I’m just selling a product. I am not witnessing anyone’s suicide. It’s your choice. I’m not forcing you to buy anything.’
The story exploded two years ago. Indeed, there was the name of one of Law’s sites on the packet of sodium nitrite found near the body of Tom Parfett, 22, a philosophy student found dead in October 2021 in a hotel in the London area. His father David appealed to the authorities: «Any online sale of the substance makes it dangerous. Thus it becomes too easy for the most vulnerable people, without any medical supervision, to take their own lives.
And a Law site also appeared in a coroner’s report last October, following the suicide of 23-year-old Neha Raju in Surrey. However, the British police concluded in a subsequent statement that they had found “no evidence that the items on that site were advertised or knowingly sold for the purpose of suicide”.
Now the focus shifts to Italy. And eight people, with the kit already available at home, are still in time to be saved.
This article is originally published on oma.corriere.it