The pattern has become eerily familiar. After forging a pact with strangers over the Internet, young people get together to carry out a carefully planned task -- suicide.

Just as others may use the Web to plan a vacation or perhaps find a date, some people are turning to it to form death pacts. They trade tips on which rooftops are the best to jump from, which over-the-counter drugs are the most lethal.

Officials say suicide pacts have been made over the Internet since at least the late 1990s, and have been reported everywhere from Guam to the Netherlands.