Tuesday, May 31, 2011
“Is it the book and the kit?” asked the first police officers to arrive on the scene. The paramedics nodded knowingly. “Yep.”
These materials were assembled and sold to Klonoski last June for $60 by a company that calls itself the Gladd Group, which is not really a group at all. It’s a woman from the San Diego suburb of La Mesa, California, named Sharlotte Hydorn. She is 91 years old.
Each of the kits Hydorn assembles by hand is a simple contraption designed for a single purpose: people kill themselves with it by encasing their head in a bag of helium, which is lethal in pure form. People like Klonoski, the son of a U.S. district judge and whose funeral was attended by more than a thousand people. The Gladd Group’s estimated annual sales are $98,000. That means Sharlotte Hydorn sells more than 1,600 suicide kits every year.