I don't know if it was the result of a prank, or payback, but the suicide death leap from New Jersey's George Washington Bridge by a gay Rutgers student has shaken residents of shock-proof New Brunswick and sent reactionary ripples around the world.
The campus is one of the state's notable colleges. Its student body is a mosaic of the hustling polyglot population, reflected in the background of its prime participants.
The dead victim, an 18-year-old White boy, an Asian roommate and his Oriental girlfriend.
According to national and local news reports and online buzz, the fiddle-playing youth had sexual liaisons with another male friend. Unknown to him, his roommate, using a hidden webcam hooked-up with his girlfriend's computer, recorded and streamed the resulting action online.
A few days after revealing their actions, the fiddle-player left a cryptic note on his Facebook page: “Going to jump of Washington Bridge – sorry”.
Police found his body several days later. The roomie and girlfriend faced privacy invasion and broadcast of lewd acts, then were released on bond.
However, the campus is a seething mass of protests by both gay and straight students. The governor of the state (a replacement for a married predecessor who publicly confessed to his homosexual affair)is “shocked, saddened and dismayed”. The victim's parents are devastated, and his accusers parents lives will never be the same.
This is Week One of a saga which, based on previous media performances, promises to become a three-ring circus. The ripples will keep expanding – until the next pebble is thrown into the pool.
One final footnote in a bizarre succession of events. The oldest building on the historic campus, dating back to the 1776 beginnings of the American Revolution, is nicknamed after the original seat of learning – Queen's College.