A Study of Gothic Subculture

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Updated 3-12-2009
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Deseret News
October 18, 1997
By Don Rosebrock, Staff Writer

2 teen boys not guilty in death of diabetic youth at 'Goth' party

Two juvenile boys were ruled not guilty of negligent homicide Friday in the March 10 death of 14-year-old Jens Martin Dietz, who went into diabetic shock and died during a four-day "Goth" party at a West Valley home. But 2nd District Juvenile Judge Robert Yeates did find the two boys, 14 and 15, guilty of a charge of failure to report a body. The boys were tried last week by Yeates in a closed hearing, and his findings were announced in a juvenile court hearing Friday afternoon. Yeates ordered both boys to serve five days of detention and stayed another 25 days as part of their probation, according to juvenile court spokesman Rick Davis. He ordered them to perform 150 hours of community service, to stay in school and to have no contact with each other. One teen is undergoing treatment, and the other has 30 days to complete a drug and alcohol evaluation, Davis said.

According to police, the 14-year-old boy hosted the Goth party, and the 15-year-old was Dietz's best friend. The older boy was a Goth, police said, although Dietz apparently was not. "Goth" takes its name from the word gothic, and participants in the subculture often dress in dark clothes and makeup, listen to brooding rock music and focus on death, darkness and the occult.

The party involved six to eight teens from 13 to 18 years who spent the four days drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and taking LSD. Dietz had run away from home twice previously, according to police, and left again on March 6, assuring his mother he had an adequate supply of insulin for his diabetes. But police believe he ran out of insulin the next day and began getting sick that evening. The teens told police they did not report Dietz becoming ill out of mistrust for authorities and because they feared Dietz would be taken into custody. On the fourth day of the gathering the 14-year-old's mother sent everyone home. Two boys hauled Dietz, now in a coma, out of the house and put him in a car in the garage, according to police, where he apparently died March 10. The death was discovered the next day when one of the girls at the party told her older sister, who called police.