Teen Commits Cruise Ship Overboard Suicide After Hate Crime



On this day in cruise history: Ten years ago today, on  July 1, 2007, David Ray Ritcheson, 18, from Texas ended his life by deliberately jumping overboard on a five day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Ecstasy. While we don’t usually glorify suicides, because we consider it a selfish act which victimizes others. This case is much different. If you don’t know this case, please read on.

Ritcheson had been recovering from a racially motivated attack by skinheads. He is Hispanic. He was beaten and sexually assaulted repeatedly during the attack. After the attack, Ritcheson had undergone 30 surgeries to repair his injuries while in the hospital for three months. In the beginning, he had not been expected to live.

Ritcheson’s death came less than three months after he testified before Congress about how two teens nearly killed him on April 23, 2006.

The House debated H.Res. 535, Commending David Ray Ritcheson, a survivor of one of the most horrific hate crimes in the history of Texas, and recognizing his efforts in promoting Federal legislation to combat hate crimes. Ritcheson’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee helped spur passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a bipartisan vote of 237-180.

That bill is focused on enhancing the resources of state and local law enforcement to prevent and prosecute hate crimes, and will close gaps in federal law to help combat hate crimes committed against persons because of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

WARNING: The details of this “white power” Texas hate crime are disgusting, nauseating and graphic. The full story. 

Video: Rep. Jackson-Lee on Commending David Ray Ritcheson