Boyfriend of internet death 'cult' host died after epileptic seizure

Islington Gazette, UK/July 29, 2009

The 16-year-old girlfriend of a Finnish man found dead at his flat after a night out runs an internet death "cult" with almost 500 members.

Tapani Ronkainen, 27, an IT consultant and keen DJ, died at his home in Sussex Way, Holloway, after suffering an epileptic seizure at around 1pm on May 3.

On Tuesday, an inquest heard how student Jessica Moos had been "in denial" over her boyfriend's death - failing to call an ambulance for nine hours after he suffered the blackout.

The alarm was raised when Mr Ronkainen's flatmate Martin Traverse arrived home to find his lifeless body at 10.15pm.

Mr Traverse told St Pancras Coroner's Court: "I found him lying face down on the bed. His arms felt cold to touch. I checked for a pulse in his neck. It felt slightly warmer."

Mr Ronkainen - who rarely drank and never took drugs - had partied until 7.30am with Ms Moos, Mr Traverse and friends at Slime club night at Electrowerkz, in Torrens Street, Islington.

The Finn had a history of epileptic blackouts in his native Helsinki but took no medication, telling Ms Moos to let him rest following the seizure.

Detective Constable Tony Shaw, who interviewed the teenager, said: "Mr Ronkainen had a seizure [at 1pm]. She let him rest as per his instructions. At around 8pm, she checked again. She said subconsciously she knew something was wrong and she did know he was dead. She didn't call an ambulance. She was in denial."

Ms Moos, who had been seeing Mr Ronkainen for around three months, hosts an online chat room called City Morgue on website Vampire under the alias of Ms Mia Hyde.

Ms Moos runs "discussions, morgue-themed contests and games", describing the site as a "haven to all those who do not fear death but rejoice in it."

DC Shaw said: "She was old for her age. There was something strange about her but she didn't strike me as malicious."

A police investigation was dropped and no charges were made against Ms Moos.

Pathologist Freddie Patel told the court: "I am satisfied it was an epileptic seizure."

Coroner Gail Elliman said: "I am satisfied he died of natural causes."

Ms Moos was not present at the inquest. On her Myspace page, she wrote: "I've never cared much what other people have thought of me. Whether people would like to believe it or not, I was Tapani's girlfriend and we cared a great deal for each other."

Verdict: natural causes.

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