Nation & World

A father’s wishes answered: Facebook to create lookback movie following dad’s tearful plea to see deceased son’s video

NEW YORK (PIX11) – A mourning father’s plea to Facebook to see his deceased son’s biggest moments has been answered.

John Berlin of St. Louis, Mo., uploaded a video to YouTube this week, making a plea to Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team to gain access to his son’s profile. His son, Jesse Berlin, 22, passed away on January 28, 2012. The video went viral on Reddit and PIX11 News helped connect the father and Facebook.

In the 1 minute, 24 second video titled “My appeal to Facebook,” John Berlin fights back tears as he explains why he is sharing the video.

“You ever do something crazy because you just don’t know what to do anymore?” he asks. “Well that’s what I’m doing right now.”

RELATED: Go to and make an instant video about YOUR life

 “I’m calling out to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. You’ve been putting out these new movies – these one minute movies that everyone has been sharing, and I think they’re great,” Berlin said, referring to the short, personalized videos the social networking site has generated for millions of its users, in honor of its tenth anniversary.

After seeing the video on Reddit, PIX11 News reached out to Facebook regarding the video.

Initially Facebook told PIX11 that they had been looking to contact Berlin and wanted to make the video happen.

“We have people working on it now,” Facebook spokesman Jonathan Thaw told PIX11 Wednesday evening. Facebook had a phone number for Berlin, but hadn’t been able to reach him. PIX11 then provided Facebook with four telephone numbers it had found in its research for Berlin.

Within 20 minutes, PIX11 received another phone call from Thaw saying they contacted Berlin and his wishes were being granted.

“The video will be ready either tonight or tomorrow morning,” Thaw told PIX11 News.

Berlin told PIX11 that he was amazed that creating the video worked.

“I thought I’d just give it a shot,” Berlin said.

Berlin also said that Facebook is now looking into helping other families who have lost loved ones.

The 62-second “look back” video notes the year you joined Facebook, then shows a handful of your most-liked posts and a seemingly random selection of your photos — all set to instrumental music. To see yours, go to

Alyssa Zauderer contributed to this story


48 Comments to “A father’s wishes answered: Facebook to create lookback movie following dad’s tearful plea to see deceased son’s video”

    tehpeggy13 said:
    February 5, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    This let me make a book of a deceased friend's facebook without knowing her password. Please tell this man.

    debra cortright said:
    February 5, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    I will do all that i can possibly do to help you get your deceased sons look back profile…i am so sorry for your loss…God Bless you and your family

    Rebecca Stone said:
    February 5, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    I would love to be able to see my mom's. She has been in heave for 3 years. She passed away very suddenly. I have tried to get into her facebook page but it won't let me.

    Cheri said:
    February 5, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    My son has also passed away. I would LOVE to have one of these videos.

      Rosemary Oligino said:
      February 5, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      I hope they listen and try to help all of you. We have all lost people close to us, including me, and would love nothing more than to see this happen. I think we might have overwhelmed them with this. But it's a great thing to do. :-)

    Rosemary Oligino said:
    February 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    I am so happy to see that people do listen to others, and care. What a great place we live in. :-)

    Mary McCabe said:
    February 6, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    Maybe we do live in a world where others do actually care about one another. Thanks Facebook for helping this dad & all the other families!

    Kim House said:
    February 6, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    My son took his own life August of 2009. I didn’t have Facebook at the time. Ever since, I have been trying to figure out how to access his Facebook page just so that I could friend my own son! I have so many unanswered questions as to why he would do such a thing. I had hoped by having access to his account I might find some answers and if not at least be able to see his pictures and past posts and posts that his friends left after his passing. I miss my son so much! And as if losing one son wasn’t enough, I lost my stepson in 2012 to a boating accident. It would be great to see their life movies. Just really wish Facebook had someone I could contact. I’ve looked everywhere!!! Facebook please help those of us who have lost our loved ones??

    joann van hise said:
    February 6, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    I lost my youngest daughter stephanie last year and would love to see her look back video from Facebook. Esp since I lost my oldest daughter in 2009 and my middle daughter in 2007. All three died due to cystic fibrosis. Joann Van Hise

      URMOM said:
      February 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM


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    February 6, 2014 at 6:51 AM

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    LaDonna P Dapremont said:
    February 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I lost my mother on Sept 17 2013. I came across this blog and wanted ti know if I could get her Facebook video. I am the oldest of 6 and I know they would love if I could share this with them!
    Thank you, LaDonna Dapremont

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    Carolyn said:
    February 6, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    My sister passed away over a year ago and still has a Facebook account. I could not find anyway to contact Facebook to have them remove her accout. It was really sad for me when her birthday reminder popped up in June. There has to be a way to contact staff a Facebook so these type of things can be corrected.

    Traci Altman said:
    February 7, 2014 at 1:44 AM

    So happy for him. I would love to see my brothers. He was killed in a wreck. His name is Joshua Todd. That would be so wonderful. I miss him so much!!!!!!!

    phil said:
    February 7, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    There is no way I would want ANYONE to see my old communication, either video or email!
    They would need a power of attorney signed by me, before I died in order to gain access to my stuff and that is NOT going to happen!

    Linda Pearce said:
    February 8, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    My son was in a motorcycle acciddent at 19 years old, we were not fb friends, We would love to watch his video also. His name is Tyler Lee Pearce 9-18-90 – 8-27-10 Please help us <3

    Rita Kinney Randall said:
    March 14, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    My son Nickolas Laime Smitj, DOB 10/4/81 passed away yhis past August 23 2013 at the age of 31. His 5 yr old us devadtated as are all our family. & friends . I am 67 & it woulddo me so much good to see his lookback movie. We were FBfriends but I csnnot locate his movie. Please help this grieving family. God bless.

    Rita Kinney Randall said:
    March 14, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Nickolas Laine Smith, I have eye problems and misspelled his name, please correct & help me.

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