A college student in Missouri, who allegedly gave five young adults "advice on how to commit suicide" is being sued by the parents of two of the victims, the Daily Beast reports. The lawsuit implicates Truman State University, Brandon Grossheim, and his fraternity Alpha Kappa Lambda.
According to the allegations set forth in the suit, Grossheim counseled students who were dealing with mental health issues and considered himself a "superhero" and a "peacemaker." During his conversations with fellow students, Grossheim allegedly gave students "step-by-step instructions" on how to "deal with their depression," and encouraged them to excercise their "free will." Among the counsel he provided to the victims, Grossheim gave them “advice on how to commit suicide,” per the Kansas City Star.
The parents' attorney Nicole Gorovsky alleges Grossheim's “psychological manipulation” was a danger to the five students who died during the 2016-2017 academic year. She argues that Grossheim “had access to all five victims, was one of the last people to see each of the victims before their deaths, and was repeatedly found in the proximity of the deaths.” According to a police investigation Gorovsky cited, Grossheim had keys to four of the victims' homes or apartments.
Fellow fraternity brothers told police they had issues with Grossheim, who they allege “had a known fascination with death, wore the clothing of one of the suicide victims after his death” and started dating one of the victims' girlfriends “shortly after his death.”
The parents have also named the university in the suit, given the “victims were vulnerable and suffered from depression,” and despite that, “still allowed the suspicious fraternity brother to be alone and have unfettered access to the victims.” Warren Wills, general counsel for Truman State, said Wednesday that after the victims' passing, the institution “provided counseling for members of the fraternity. And there has been a group formed to provide ongoing support for the fraternity to help them get their house in order, and that is ongoing.”
He added that because the fraternity house is owned by Alpha Kappa Lambda, the university has no concrete jurisdiction outside of allowing the house to remain a active student organization on campus, which it still is.
The mother of one of the victims, Alex Mullins, said her son went to Truman to begin his adult life, but instead it's where it ended. “When Alex died, our hearts and our world split wide open; at college, in a ‘brotherhood,’ you think your kids are ‘safe and cared for.’ Within just months, there were four more young people gone," she said in a statement. "There were too many similarities, one person in common and so many questions.”
The two families are seeking a jury trial, and unspecified damages.
For information on suicide prevention, head here.