Parents Share Story on Son's 'Choking Game' Death on WISN

Wauwatosa parents join other parent to talk about the auto-asphyxiation death of their children.

Judy and Mike Doyle of Wauwatosa lost their son, Jack, at the age of 13 in October of 2006.  Police initially determined Jack had taken his own life after Judy found him in his bedroom closet.  Jack was slumped over on his knees with a guitar strap around his neck. 

Jack's death was linked to a deadly game called “The Choking Game,” where a person cuts off oxygen for a high.

Channel 12, Patch's new media partners, talked to five families about their sons who died from “the choking game." The goal of the "game," popular among some young teenagers, is to achieve a quick high by temporarily cutting off the flow of oxygen to the brain. It's called auto-asphyxiation, and is usually accomplished by one person choking another or a person using a rope or other material to induce their own choking.

Craig Wittek of Oak Creek also shared the story of his son, Gage, a 12-year-old who died in September, with WISN's Christina Palladino. Craig found his son with a plastic bag over his head and a belt around his neck.

In Racine, a mom whose 15-year-old son died in December while playing the game has launched an initiative aimed at increasing awareness about the problem.

Young Conservative February 05, 2013 at 07:25 PM
I must have lived a very boring childhood since I never heard of the choking game. We played baseball and cowboys and indians mostly.
jbw February 05, 2013 at 08:49 PM
It's in the same family of disorders as forcing yourself to inhale toxic fumes to get high ("huffing" I think it was called). I guess everyone forgot about David Carradine. You need the right combination of personality and peer pressure for these things in children - both daring enough to do something that sounds stupid and dangerous and eager to fit in with others who do it.
Ray Ray Johnson February 06, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I had just talked to my son about this a few days ago. He has a friend who is suspected of having tried to hang himself recently. I told my son that I will wholehartedly buy him weed if he needs to get high that badly. I told him to be honest with me and tell me if his desire to catch a buzz is that strong and that if it is, I'd rather see him smoke a joint than put a belt around his neck. And he knew that I meant it, which I DO, if faced with a child that bent on getting buzzed. A lady from our church had a teenage son who killed himself the same way a few years ago. They found several broken belt buckles in his closet, If you find broken belt buckles in your house, intervene! If you find a guitar strap not on guitar, intervene! Don't pretend this just happens in other houses. Talk to your kids about this. Can you imagine seeing your child dead in their closet? Is it not worth the conversation?


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