Martin Manley's Family Pleads With Yahoo to Repost His Suicide Website (UPDATE)

Thumbnail image for Martin_Manley.jpg
MartinManleyLifeandDeath.com
Martin Manley expected his site to stay up for five years after his death.
Update: Daily RFT just spoke with Barbie Flick, Manley's sister. She's come to a resolution with Yahoo.

Last week, former Kansas City Star reporter Martin Manley killed himself in the parking lot of the Overland Park Police Station. Soon afterward, the world discovered he'd left behind a meticulously assembled website called "Martin Manley: My Life and Death." The voluminous writings catalog the rationale behind Manley's final act, his childhood and life, and his views on everything from crime to his favorite pizza toppings.

The site went viral last week, but by Friday evening the link was dead. It turned out that Yahoo removed it, despite the fact that Manley prepaid for five years.

Now Manley's family has weighed in on Yahoo's decision.

See also:
- Martin Manley, Former Kansas City Star Reporter, Posts Website Explaining His Suicide

Almost as quickly as it disappeared, several mirror sites popped up reposting Manley's content exactly as it had been laid out before. That includes the group Anonymous, which created the website MartinManley.org. The link initially leads to a statement from the group:

Anonymous is many things. We are legion. We are empathetic towards all those who have lost faith in the system that is constructed around us. We appreciate all offerings to the internet as the internet is our home and domain. We are here to protect, contain and display all information that can be progressive towards humanity.

Slate also heard from Barbie Flick, identified as Manley's sister. Here's the statement she issued:

I am very saddened that Yahoo would dishonor my brother's contract that he made with them. I learned from my brother posthumously that he had worked on this web site for over a year. Martin had been a very private person in many ways. It was incredibly important to him that all who cared for him be able to see who he really was. I speak for all of his friends and family, when I say that we want to be able to have access to this site.

A cursory read will tell the reader that Martin was not advocating suicide for others. There is nothing offensive about his site. While it is painful for me, I believe that he handled the topic very appropriately. Since Martin did have a pre-paid contract with yahoo for the next five years, I am pleading with Yahoo to either republish the site, or allow the family to have the files so that we can find another way to carry out Martin's wishes.

Here's the statement Yahoo sent us yesterday:

After careful review, our team determined that the site violated our Terms of Service and we took it down. Here's the relevant language from our ToS behind our decision to take down the site: "You agree to not use the Yahoo! Services to: a. upload, post, email, transmit, or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable."

Any conversations with Mr. Manley's family will happen privately.

Specifically, Yahoo's spokeswoman tells us the site was deemed "harmful." When asked if the family would receive a refund of Manley's money, she reiterated that those discussions are "private."

Update: Barbie Flick, Manley's sister, says she's come to a resolution with Yahoo -- they've returned Manley's domain name, his files and his money.

"We are rebuilding it elsewhere," she says. "One of his best friends is a developer. He's building it. He'll probably do it as fast as he can."

Flick confesses that not even she has been able to read through all of Manley's original website, but she noticed that the mirror sites that are currently online are missing some of Manley's original content. The new MartinManleyLifeandDeath.com should rectify this.

Flick says she's not certain who will host the site as of now, but they'll need someone who won't object the way Yahoo did.

"It would have been easier if they put it back up," she says.

What do you think? Should Manley's site be allowed back up or do you consider its existence encouragement for others to follow his example?

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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28 comments
Blake Harris
Blake Harris

What a tool, guy went to his grave still not understanding gun control is about the control, not the guns. He was one ugly SOB, if i looked like him I'd eat a bullet too. Not a .380 though, he's lucky he didn't end up a veggie.

Lee Collier
Lee Collier

He paid for it, it was his final work and wish. Leave it up.

Nikki Vacant
Nikki Vacant

If someone wants to die, that never has anything to do with one dude's website...It's ridiculous to think this would encourage people to commit suicide.

Cascadia
Cascadia

This story interested me and I read the entire mirrored site.  This guy is wow, unbelievable.  He was so afraid of getting old and deteriorating that he did the most violent this possible to a perfectly good body and soul by blowing out his brains.  It just makes no sense to me whatsoever.  How can one be so afraid of the gradual aging process, but not be afraid of the immediate and violent gunshot?  I think he must have had a mental illness.  He says that he could not find happiness, but was 'tight' on money when it came to taking a vacation with his family.  He was happy to be giving his money to someone that could really use it.  My view is that he did not know how to use his money to buy things that would make him happy.  All of the people that dealt with him on a regular basis and regarded him as a friend, he just ended all of those relationships without any regard.  The relationship that he had with his second ex-wife and her children that he remained close to, and I believe he said that lived just a mile or so from him and he saw regularly, how can he justify the shock and dismay that he has caused such young people?  He wanted to go out with a bang that everyone would talk about and I think he failed and did something that is grotesque, unimaginable, selfish, and wrong.  He said he had none of the classic reasons for suicide, but still wanted to do it.  Why?  It can only be summed up to mental illness.  He seemed to have a pretty regular life with wanting for nothing.  It is certainly an interesting story and I guess he gets credit for that, but beyond that it is nothing but failure of a perfectly regular life ended for no reason at all.  I hope he's happy, but all of that going to Heaven bs is just nothing but a crock.  He blew his brains out and is in a casket six feet under for no reason at all.  We are all given one life to live to its fullest and he failed to do that.  He had another good twenty years to play poker, watch his investments, enjoy life and he decided he wanted to be buried six feet under instead.  Not me.  I'll drink and smoke and party as long as I am allowed.  Maybe that was his problem.  He had a drinking problem - he didn't drink!   Sometimes just letting it all out and putting down a few and reflecting is a good thing.  This story has only made me happier to be alive and sorry for the poor bastards that can't accept this life for what it is.

Justin Poole
Justin Poole

If his family wants it online it should be online

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

I know- it's so obvious why would he have to point it out. He was right about a lot of things.

Cody Kreitner
Cody Kreitner

I read the site, and I don't think it would persuade others to do as he had done. It is a autobiography site for him. It was interesting reading it and seeing as he paid to have the site up for five years it should not be taken down until the five years are up. That site was worked on by him for a couple years, lots of time and effort went into it. If it had been a book would it have been destroyed due to his death?

Carolyn Burke
Carolyn Burke

Hey - he paid for it until 2018. What's the difference between this and other websites that help people make BOMBS or pro-RACIST, or ani-ABORTION sites. Freedom of speech in the USA.

Jason Brock
Jason Brock

It should be allowed, only assholes would take it down & Yahoo is nothing but assholes.

Debbie Taylor
Debbie Taylor

I read a lot of his site last week and yes found it interesting yet very sad. It is hard for me because I lost my son just barely a year ago to suicide. I chose to stop reading his site because for me the decision to do this to yourself and your family is just to heart wrenching to understand from the prospective I believe this man wanted us to. However, I do feel that this mans site should be left up for those who wish to read it. I agree with this being freedom of speech and last respects. I agree with my daughter Be a parent. Monitor your child's Internet activity. Don't suggest everyone's freedoms be taken because you don't want to do your job as a parent. I hope that something can be learn from his site to help others in the future.

Jay Ejh
Jay Ejh

Check out the "911" section of his website.... he condemns anyone doubting the official story as "insane". LOL, yeah, OK.

Duell Lauderdale
Duell Lauderdale

it should definitely be left up, free speech and last respects.

Kathleen Wilson Griswold
Kathleen Wilson Griswold

I've read about half of his site when I can find it. It's very interesting. He seemed to be a brilliant, yet tortured individual. He claimed to have no medical reason for committing suicide, but Wikipedia alluded to him beginning to suffer from dementia which he didn't mention outright, but said he was sick of forgetting things, etc. He was analytic and needed to be in control, so taking his own life while he was in control made perfect sense to him. I say put the site back up. He left a link to a suicide help site, among other things. His sister wants it back up as well.

Katherine Taylor
Katherine Taylor

And seriously if people are concerned about copy cat situations they need to consider that whether or not we agree with it or it effects many other people it is an adults personal decision and you can't stop them because you took one site down because those considering have usually don't the research and there are PLENTY of other sites out there doing way more encouraging. And if the concern is children seeing this then my advice to those with that issue is do your damn job. Be a parent. Monitor your child's Internet activity. Don't suggest everyone's freedoms be taken because you don't want to to your own job yourself.

Katherine Taylor
Katherine Taylor

It should be posted. For starters we shouldn't be so censored and the Internet should be free. With that being said this man pain for five years of service prior to his suicide with the intentions of the site remaining as so for that time. And he released all rights to EVERYONE. NOT yahoo. So now they get the site down and they can claim everything? I think this guy had some issues and I'm not sure I completely understand what he did or why he did it, I've lost someone very close to me to suicide a year ago, but I do know if I was left an entire site with an explanation I'd want my freedom to see it.

Courtney Ringle
Courtney Ringle

I think what he has to say should be read. If anything it could help someone.. it could convince others who share his problems to get help. who knows.

Billy Rhodes
Billy Rhodes

Basically you are asking if we approve of censorship.

Pywackett
Pywackett

@Blake Harris  You are no beauty yourself!

Cascadia
Cascadia

@Jeff Willett You're right.  We all have the same shit - growing up, going through school, becoming an adult, working in a career, etc.  He thinks he's special or something and someone wants to read about his unique experience with this life?  I can't believe a guy like him thought blowing his brains out was a good idea.  Pathetic

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