Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What killed Jake Stiles? The news isn't good

The DMN has the results of the toxicology tests on sophomore Jake Stiles, 20, who was found dead in his frat house bed on campus here a couple of weekends ago.

If you can't get past the paper's "register log-in" to read online, here's the basic rundown: a mixture of alcohol, cocaine and a pricy "synthetic opiate" called fentanyl that is ingested via loaded lozenges meant for cancer patients.

"This form of the powerful synthetic opiate is designed to help manage pain of cancer patients who have trouble swallowing. But to abusers, the products are known as 'perc-o-pops' or 'lollipops,' and because of their potency they can plunge users into a stupor. Mix it with other drugs and the combination can be lethal, experts say."

Live fast, die young and leave your parents wondering what happened to you at the fancy frat at the fancy college in Dallas....

34 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is always sad...

4:44 PM  
Anonymous David Reitter said...

For a year, I worked at a hospital part-time, helping you in the operating theaters. My job was to keep track of the narcotics we used to put patients to sleep. Fentanyl was one of them.
We needed to keep books about every drop used. At least I know now exactly, why!

6:52 PM  
Anonymous david said...

oops. "helping you" -> "helping out" !

6:53 PM  
Anonymous katysmu said...

You know, I think you should refrain from the negativity used in your story. If your son had died in a frat house accident, I'm sure you wouldn't be referring to his brothers as a "fancy frat". I know many frat guys on campus, and they're all pretty good people. Respect for the death of someone's son would be in order.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should stop judging people the way you do. He lost his life, his parents will have to mourn and deal with those feelings. Not you, so get off your soap box and see that this is human life, not something witty you can comment about.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One less SMU frat boy douchebag in the gene pool. What will the world do with one less business major?

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First and foremost, thank you for the respect towards other people's pain. I'm a business major too, and I can feel for the family.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Anonymous two posts up. Ironically I'm the douchebag. I deeply apologize for my remarks above. They we're glib and hurtful, and reveal my own prejudices all to starkly.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Illinoisan said...

"Live fast, die young and leave your parents wondering what happened to you at the fancy frat at the fancy college in Dallas...."

OK, I'm a little curious here. Have you been able to make any mental linkages between comments like this and your less-than-satisfying relationships with other people? You've had some earlier blog entries where you wrote about dates who seemed inexplicably eager to escape. I kept wondering if it had just been a matter of you opening your mouth.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Literary Studs we call that 'sarcasm'. But then, it is just a generational thing.

Or was that 'irony'?

Oh well... Purely and definitively at a loss here

Lola

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First and foremost, thank you for the respect towards other people's pain. I'm a business major too, and I can feel for the family."

You'll never make it above it above a low-ranking manager with that kind of attitude. Time to switch to women's studies before it's too late.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm yet another "anonymous". Phantom Professor, it's brave of you to print all of these comments. I'm impressed.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Illinoisan said...

"In Literary Studs we call that 'sarcasm'. But then, it is just a generational thing.

Or was that 'irony'?

Oh well... Purely and definitively at a loss here"

If Lit Studs people find wit and sarcasm appropriate in a situation like this, I'm even more relieved that I'm not in your field.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous highskoolkid07 said...

Guess what, PP? I got accepted into SMU!!

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Dolores H said...

I can't believe some of the comments I am reading. (By the way, this is another Dolores).

Being one of the very few proud Mustangs who has not (and will not) go Greek (events like these not withstanding), I have to say that this was a stupid move on the part of Mr. Stiles. As soon as word had gotten out about his death everyone I knew said "yeah, it can't be anything else but drugs". People do stupid things and if he had survived I would hope he would get 100% of the punishment. It's an expensive drug, too, so I would assume that it's not easy to get (although we all know what "assume" makes you and I out to be).

On the other side, this was a kid. Someone's brother, someone's son, someone's friend. He was a college kid getting used to a whole new chapter in his life, and the timing of his death has got to be a major blow to his family, especially with it being the holidays. The fact that it happened on SMU does not mean that this is a random, once-in-a-lifetime act. Sadly, it happens on other campuses. *looks to Denton*

We should learn from this instead of trying to solidify all our prejudices about rich kids, frat boys, and greeks. And I'm one of the first ones who will gladly poke fun at these groups, but something like this is too tragic to joke about. He was just as stupid and selfish as a drunk driver and he didn't live to tell the tale. Now his family and friends will deal about it during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

3:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hardly think Phantom is being glib or unsympathetic here. Phantom's point, and it's a good one, is that Mr. Stiles was found dead in his fraternity house among people he probably referred to as his "brothers." His parents paid a lot of money to get him into this school, and into the fraternity, presumably in order to tie him into a network and a community. He got the drugs from somewhere. I suspect he took them along with somebody. Thus the community failed him as much he failed it, and there should be some questions about the accounability of that community.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chaser, far be it from me to say anything good about the fraternity system. I was as GDI as you can get. But to blame the young man's death on the fraternity as a whole for not being "their brothers keeper" is a bit of a reach. Stiles may or may not have taken the drugs with someone. We don't know. Plenty did it both ways when I was in college and high school, and I doubt much has changed since. But no one can reasonably expect anyone, fraternity member or not, to keep watch on a college kid 24 hours a day.

Likewise, I'm sure it's bad publicity that SMU would just as soon do without. But absent some serious evidence that this sort of thing happens in significantly disproportionate numbers there, I don't think you can blame the university either.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thing is, we know the guy died...

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His parents probably do wonder exactly what the professor notes.

Do you think we hear more about the cases in which greek kids die as opposed to the cases in which unaffiliated kids die?

Is it that frat kids dying is harder to dismiss as simply druggies who miscalculated?

I'm not saying that anybody reading this dismisses the deaths this way, just that when all that is known about a student is that he or she died of a drug overdose, I haven't seen quite as much of the "other people should have been looking out for him or her" kind of rhetoric.

With the death of students in the greek system, people seem to want to indict others as responsible. Don't most drug users have friends who use drugs with them? Why would the idea that they had fraternity friends make them (or the university) more responsible?

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Lance Webb said...

The death of Jake Stiles has its eyebrow raising merits. However, we must be careful to accurately direct our concerns towards appropriate sources. First, Greek affiliations aside, Mr. Stiles was young. Young people tend to make mistakes. Some recover, some don't. Mr. Stiles' death is not surprising or controversial in this way. It's only when his class and social attributes are brought to the table do people begin to say a few tongue-in-cheek
comments. This is inappropriate merely because these types of comments fail to address the truly suspicious aspects of the event. Once again, it is not sensational in the least that Jake Stiles died of drug misuse. All people, fratty or not, make mistakes. It is truly regrettable that not everyone survives their own fallibility.

However, what is sensational is the way SMU handled the situation. While watching the news, the almost first statement from SMU was essentially "we don't know what killed Jake, but we know for damn sure it wasn't hazing."

Seems a bit insensitive to me.

What was also strange, was that everyone on campus seemed to know that a combination of drugs caused Jake's death. Quite a few students knew this weeks before the toxicology report was returned. Yet, while the press was hot on the story, SMU refused to acknowledge what most already knew. Rather, it would wait until the toxicology report returned many weeks later in order to address the cause of Mr. Stiles death. No surprise, the press had shifted interest by the time the report returned.

The point?
In a a time of tragedy on campus, SMU decided to cover its own ass and run.

That, to me, was what should have raised eyebrows. Not the fact that a fraternity boy fell into a common mistake one night at a party. That's tragic, yes. But not controversial, and definitely not in need criticism.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Jake and if you would have had the opportunity to meet him and didn't know better, you would have never of guessed he was in a frat or that he had enough money to go to SMU.
Nicest Kid! A kid most likely battling multiple addictions....I call it a tragedy.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a tragedy.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew jake, and if you had just met him you would never have know that he had been doing all of this. All of you people that find the need to be insensitive assholes. You need to realize that yes, a friend and brother and son of someone died. All of you that take this jokingly are pathetic and can go to hell. You truely have no lives, and are horrible people.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck all of you that love another dead kid. this guy was better than all of you just based on what uve written here. fuck u

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone on this site who was unfortunate enough to not know Jake Stiles the way that I did and seem to enjoy commenting negatively on his death, let me enlighten you. Jake was one of the most influential and amazing people in my life. I met him in middle school and fell in love with him instantly. His joy and love for life and his friends captivated me, and his respect for himself and others was enormous. Jake was one of those people that you could call at 4 in the morning for homework help, and he would help you until you were finished. Jake was one of the smartest people that I have ever known, and to see many of you ridicule and make inappropriate remarks about my friend that are unjustified are very hurtful.

I am sorry that you all didn't get a chance to meet my amazing friend, however, the 6 years that I knew him and spent with him were the most amazing times of my life and it was all because of him.

So please put all of your judgments aside, and realize that Jake is a person, he was a loving and caring brother and son, and an amazing friend. Look at it that way, and instead of taking the time to write negative comments about my friend, please take the time to talk to someone who knew him and reflect positively on his life.

Thank you.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep your pathetic useless comments on other peoples lives to yourself. You didn't know Jake Stiles and neither did the SMU paper.... no one want to hear about your depressing life or your shitty opinions. Jake Stiles deserves to be left in a good light.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for being a bitch! Nice job getting fired!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a bunch of self righteous pieces of shit...hell reserves openings for ass backwards people like you

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