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Thread: Teen on trial for goading and urging her boyfriend to commit suicide

  1. #1
    delicate #!&@*#! flower Perks's Avatar
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    Teen on trial for goading and urging her boyfriend to commit suicide

    I read about this case before it went to trial and it's one of those things where the more you know, the heavier it gets.

    Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy were, essentially, in a virtual relationship. They'd met a couple of times over the course of two years, but according to the official reports, the pair spent much time talking on the telephone and had exchanged thousands of text messages.

    But it's the only last several dozen of them that are pertinent.

    Conrad Roy was a depressed young man. Their talks often turned to his contemplating suicide. Last summer, Michelle Carter made a project of prodding him onwards.

    Here's a sample -

    "You have to just do it," she texted him, according to the documents. "You have everything you need. There is no way you can fail. Tonight is the night. It's now or never."When Roy expressed hesitancy at going through with his plan, Carter sent him text messages expressing her frustration.
    "You always say you're gonna do it, but you never do," she texted. "I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing."
    The teen went so far as to help Roy research the best method of siphoning carbon monoxide into his truck. Carter told Roy he was making up excuses not to go through with the suicide when discussing the siphoning plan. “But I bet you’re gonna be like ‘oh, it didn’t work because I didn’t tape the tube right or something like that,’" she texted. "I bet you’re gonna say an excuse like that...you seem to always have an excuse.”
    And if carbon monoxide poisoning didn't work? "Try the bag or hanging," she told him.
    CONRAD: I just don't know how to leave them, you know.
    CARTER: Say you're gonna go to the store or something
    CONRAD: Like, I want them to know that I love them.
    CARTER: They know. That's one thing they definitely know. You're over thinking.
    CONRAD: I know I'm over thinking. I've been over thinking for a while now.
    CARTER: I know. You just have to do it like you said. Are you gonna do it now?
    Not only did he "do it", but records show that she talked him back into the truck when he jumped out once he started feeling the effects of the carbon monoxide.

    He died in his truck on July 13th of last year. Now Michelle Carter is on trial for involuntary manslaughter - which, in my opinion, sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Court documents show that Carter had no idea idea that the police would look at his phone records, since it was a suicide. She sent panicked, incriminating texts to a friend when she realized what sort of trouble she was facing.

    Carter sent a frantic text to her friend after she spoke to Roy's mother, who said cops would be looking at the boy's cellphone.
    "It's something [cops] have to do with suicides and homicides and [Roy's mother] said they have to go through his phone and see if anyone encouraged him to do it on text and stuff," she told her friend. "[If] they read my messages with him I'm done. His family will hate me and I can go to jail."
    Her defense attorney is trying to get the charges dismissed.

    It's such a mild charge for the coldness of the crime, but I imagine that was all they could charge her with.

    Regardless of the outcome of the trial, though, I'm stuck in a facet of this case. I can't get past imagining what her family must be thinking and feeling. How do you view such a creature that you've spawned? They can't even have the refuge of sanity-saving speculation that it can't possibly be as bad as it sounds, because technology has taken away that island paradise and afforded them an exact transcript of her utterly evil machinations.

    I'm pretty good at constructing a "what if" cage-n-stage for myself to hazard a guess at how I might react to all kinds of things. But this one defeats me. I can't even imagine it.
    Last edited by Perks; 08-29-2015 at 07:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    As someone who has talked more than their fair share of random internet friends down from suicidal thoughts, that's fucking murder.
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  3. #3
    Loves interplanetary chaos. Brutal Mustang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    As someone who has talked more than their fair share of random internet friends down from suicidal thoughts, that's fucking murder.
    Same here, and same sentiment.
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  4. #4
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Yep. Murder. I spent the better part of last year being on a suicide watch for my best friend, who is better now with meds and therapy. What this predatory douche did is unconscionable.

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  5. #5
    Bright and Early for the Daily Race Chrissy's Avatar
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    She's got to be a psychopath.

    ETA:

    Re: her parents' feelings... I'll wager they suspected something was... amiss... with their daughter before this.
    Last edited by Chrissy; 08-29-2015 at 07:56 AM.

  6. #6
    All about that action, boss. ElaineA's Avatar
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    This was a topic of conversation on a local talk radio show yesterday and I was shocked at the fact that there were actually people who called in and felt she shouldn't be held responsible. "She didn't kill him, she didn't start the generator..." blah blah blah. I don't see how anyone hearing the trail of text messages could come to any conclusion but that she goaded him into suicide.

    According to the texts I heard read, she did tell him to delete his texts the night he died, but he never said in texts that he complied. She also sent texts to his sister the next morning asking if the sister knew where he was (the sister was surprised Carter had her number) and to Conrad's mother asking the same question. This young woman is pure evil as far as I'm concerned. Manslaughter isn't nearly enough.
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  7. #7
    Revolutionize the World kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    I came in here hoping this was some misguided teen hoping that by pushing him to do it, she'd get him to realize he didn't really want to die.

    I was wrong.

    Fuck.

  8. #8
    Are you gonna finish that bacon? Vince524's Avatar
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    Scuze my language, but what a cold bitch.

    I can remember spending nearly an entire night on the phone with a girl once who was contemplating suicide and the desperation I felt because she was nowhere near me. I couldn't stop her if she decided to go through with it. Even once she assured me, I couldn't sleep until I heard from her again to know she was okay. This is just disgusting.

  9. #9
    Dragon of the Multiverse AW Moderator Zoombie's Avatar
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    It's weirdly comforting to know that I'm not the only one whose had to talk down desperate friends - even if I've never met them, or known their names, I hope I made their lives better.
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  10. #10
    Are you gonna finish that bacon? Vince524's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
    It's weirdly comforting to know that I'm not the only one whose had to talk down desperate friends - even if I've never met them, or known their names, I hope I made their lives better.
    I don't know if I ever shared this story. She wrote to a rock magazine about how she was thinking about suicide, had a bad relationship with her mom who was a single parent. Then her mom gave her tickets to see Bon Jovi, her favorite band and somehow that changed her mind, but there was a definite note of "For Now" in her letter. I wrote to her because the magazine printed her address (At least I think that's how it happened. Seems unreal these days.) She and I became pen pals. This was back when I was a teen.

    It was pretty scary for me. It wasn't my only time in a situation like that, but it was the only time it was with someone I didn't know.

    I've also been on the other side of that conversation as well, so I know how incredibly alone and hateful of yourself you have to be to be at that place, to think it's just not worth it.

    That someone who was supposed to be his friend would encourage that, it's just staggering.

  11. #11
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Very disturbing, cold, and repulsive, but a couple of things to consider: 1, She's a teenager, and therefore her brain is not finished developing and she's not necessarily finished developing as a person. 2. Things can seem a lot less real over the internet when someone's on the "dishing out" end of things like cyber bullying.

    I do wonder if there was a sort of Von Munchhausen thing going on here, though. Being the poor girlfriend of a guy who killed himself? That's a great way of being the center of attention and concern, isn't it? Or maybe some other disorder. It's impossible to know, though, without being her psychologist or psychiatrist.

    Mental illness or not, there should be consequences, just as there should be with other teen crimes that lead to death or trauma of their peers. But I'm not sure we should try them or treat them as if they were adults in these cases. Unlike adults, the things that lead teens to lack empathy and behave with cruelty are sometimes temporary or fixable. She may be a true antisocial personality type, or she could be someone who could still turn into a better human being over the next few years. Hard to say without more information.

    I often feel like the people who should really be on trial in some of these cases are the parents, for not raising their kids well or supervising them adequately. But I've known parents who try to do everything right and still end up with out of control teens, and it can be impossible to keep up with everything their kids are doing. The ones that get me are the deep denial ones who blame their kids' victims, though.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 08-29-2015 at 08:14 AM.
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  12. #12
    tiny hedgehog JetFueledCar's Avatar
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    Encouraging suicide is a crime of its own, which is something I remind online bullies every time I see them spreading "kill yourself" messages. I'm surprised they can't get some kind of depraved indifference charge to stick, to be honest. (Can you tell I watch a horrifying amount of Law and Order?) This is an obscenely mild charge for what this girl did.
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  13. #13
    delicate #!&@*#! flower Perks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    Very disturbing, cold, and repulsive, but a couple of things to consider: 1, She's a teenager, and therefore her brain is not finished developing and she's not necessarily finished developing as a person. 2. Things can seem a lot less real over the internet when someone's on the "dishing out" end of things like cyber bullying.

    There should be consequences, just as there should be with other teen crimes that lead to death or trauma of their peers. But I'm not sure we should try them or treat them as if they were adults in these cases. Unlike adults, the things that lead teens to lack empathy and behave with cruelty are sometimes temporary or fixable. She may be a true antisocial personality type, or she could be someone who could still turn into a better human being over the next few years. Hard to say without more information.
    I tried to go there with the mitigating factor of her youth, but couldn't quite make it stick.

    Cyber-bullying on social media has a "performance" aspect to it. The taunts and jibes mostly play out where at least a select group can watch the spectacle. Michelle Carter operated completely in private. When he was dead, she texted his family to ask if they knew where he was. She played the grieving girlfriend on social media. She sought attention by organizing a baseball tournament in Conrad's honor.

    Check out this exchange:

    CARTERíS FACEBOOK POST: Hey everyone, as some of you already know my boyfriend Conrad Roy recently passed away on July 13. He suffered from mental illness and depression. Conrad's death was a wake-up call for me. I want to speak out to fight the public stigma and to give a clearer picture of what mental illness is all about. Even though I could not save my boyfriend's life, I want to put myself out there to try to save as many other lives as possible, and if I can through my experiences shed light on a way out of a difficult situation that I know so many people are going through, then that is what I need to do.

    Court documents report that the tournament was ultimately held in Plainville and was mainly attended by Carter's friends and family. Conrad's friend Tom learned about the tournament, and in August, asked to participate. He also asked Carter why she was holding the tournament in Plainville, a town considerably remote from Conrad's home.

    She answered, "[i]t's in my town, ha, ha," and that she "didn't know how to organize it in [Mattapoisett because she] didn't know anyone[there] and it was going to be a long drive to keep going back and forth."

    When Tom proposed moving the Plainville tournament to Mattapoisett, she responded, "I can't change it, like, I already have made it up here and I have people advertising here and supporting it and I'm sure everyone will come from your town ... Like, this was my idea. I created it to be here."

    Later, when Tom shared the Facebook event through his Facebook account, Carter contacted him and asked,

    CARTER: "You're not taking credit for my idea though; right? LOL."
    TOM: "No. I'll credit you if you really want."
    CARTER: "Ha, ha. Well, I mean, I'm hosting it. Like, it's my idea. But you're like my co-captain now."
    And she knew full well the danger of the consequences, as evidenced by her reaction to the police investigation.

    I think a case for Munchausen by Proxy is fairly easy to make and that seems far more Bad Seed than underbaked good-girl.

  14. #14
    Are you gonna finish that bacon? Vince524's Avatar
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    She's 18 years old and an honor student. She's old enough to understand what she did. Her age does nothing to explain or excuse her cruelty.

  15. #15
    Searching for dragons Blinkk's Avatar
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    I read this article yesterday and I just couldn't stomach it. The worst part is that she knows what she did. The way she panicked when the police said they needed to search his phone proves that she knew exactly what her actions meant.

    Hopefully, if nothing else, this will continue the cyber bullying conversation. Does anyone know if cyber bullying is a criminal offense? It should be if it's not already.

  16. #16
    Delerium ex Ennui Xelebes's Avatar
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    I have a weird relationship with suicide. I would want to know the meat of the discussions prior to that and how they discussed the matter of suicide and the depression. There isn't enough information for me to decide.

    (Yes, I do support doctor assisted suicide.)
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  17. #17
    delicate #!&@*#! flower Perks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
    I have a weird relationship with suicide. I would want to know the meat of the discussions prior to that and how they discussed the matter of suicide and the depression. There isn't enough information for me to decide.

    (Yes, I do support doctor assisted suicide.)
    I also support doctor assisted suicide, and with wider margins than many people would give, but I can't invent a hypothetical conversation that would make this scenario in any way acceptable. This 18 year old kid repeatedly demurs from his own suicide and she chides him “But I bet you’re gonna be like ‘oh, it didn’t work because I didn’t tape the tube right or something like that,’" she texted. "I bet you’re gonna say an excuse like that...you seem to always have an excuse.” and tells him he's over-thinking it, and actually talks him back into a carbon monoxide-filled truck after he's leapt out to save his life.

    Will you share what kind of information would soften this for you?

  18. #18
    banned as an incurable tosspot
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    This is cold-blooded murder. She wasn't supporting him in his own decision, which especially for a teen I could maybe feel a but of sympathy for. She was egging him on over and above his own desires, and she knew it, and it doesn't seem like she cared for him at all. If she was frustrated with his behavior, the right choice would have been to dump him, and (hopefully,) tell someone about his issues. Involuntary manslaughter is a fucking slap on the wrist for this.

    I've talked friends, online and in person, down from suicide, and I've been talked down from suicide. I do actually believe that suicide may be the right choice for some people. But those cases follow the same criteria for me as terminal patients looking for help in dying. This is nothing even like that. He was clearly hurting and using the ideations as a release valve, and she took a boy who could have been helped and maybe even saved and verbally abused him until he went through with it. She is an ugly, ugly person, and irredeemable in my eyes.

  19. #19
    Joker Groupie Celia Cyanide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineA View Post
    This was a topic of conversation on a local talk radio show yesterday and I was shocked at the fact that there were actually people who called in and felt she shouldn't be held responsible. "She didn't kill him, she didn't start the generator..."
    I imagine some people are concerned about one person being charged with another person's suicide, simply because so many people kill themselves over breakups, firings, and other things like that. And while I can understand that concern, I have always felt that it should be a crime to do anything with the intention of driving another person to suicide.

    It may be hard to prove in many cases, but if you could prove that one person knew the victim's emotional triggers and used them against him/her, that person should be charged with a crime.
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  20. #20
    figuring it all out Tora Uran's Avatar
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    That's just sick. If she cared she would have tried to get him to go seek help for his depression, not to give in to it. Or at least not try so hard to push him into committing suicide. That is outright manslaughter to me as she fully well how things were going to go if she just kept at it.

    And looking at what she's said to him, about his death and that exchange about the fundraiser it is hard to believe that she cared for him at all. It looks more like he was the prop she needed to fulfill a plan of hers to get attention.

  21. #21
    Back at it again. Teinz's Avatar
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    Having been, like many of you it seems, on both sides of similar stories, I think I've never heard a story quite as cold as this.

    "You have to just do it," she texted him, according to the documents. "You have everything you need. There is no way you can fail. Tonight is the night. It's now or never."When Roy expressed hesitancy at going through with his plan, Carter sent him text messages expressing her frustration.
    "You always say you're gonna do it, but you never do," she texted. "I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing."


    CARTERíS FACEBOOK POST: Hey everyone, as some of you already know my boyfriend Conrad Roy recently passed away on July 13. He suffered from mental illness and depression. Conrad's death was a wake-up call for me. I want to speak out to fight the public stigma and to give a clearer picture of what mental illness is all about. Even though I could not save my boyfriend's life, I want to put myself out there to try to save as many other lives as possible, and if I can through my experiences shed light on a way out of a difficult situation that I know so many people are going through, then that is what I need to do.
    I wonder how she rationalised all this, how she made it feel like it was okay to do it. I mean, encouraging someone to kill himself and then using that for self gain. It's hard to spin that into a positive story for ones ego.


  22. #22
    Nasty Woman AW Moderator regdog's Avatar
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    Her lawyers are arguing what she said was protected under free speech. I doubt that will work, freedom of speech still does not allow for someone to walk into a crowded theater and yell 'fire'.

    She is a guilty, cold sparked, murderous bitch.
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  23. #23
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    Absolutely it is murder, (morally, though, alas, probably not legally) and her age is no excuse.

    Anyone who has wrestled with depression and suicidal thoughts, or knows someone who has, knows that there are times when it wouldn't take much to tip you over the brink. She got back there and shoved.
    Last edited by CassandraW; 08-29-2015 at 05:55 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    Things can seem a lot less real over the internet when someone's on the "dishing out" end of things like cyber bullying.
    Taking aside that they'd met in person, they constantly messaged for two years. Over the course of thousands of exchanges, people tend to become real to you, assuming you're not a sociopath -- especially if you are calling them your boyfriend.

  25. #25
    Sockpuppet Errant Lobe's Avatar
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    If individuals have been previously convicted and even been sent to the chair because of circumstantial evidence alone, how is this not murder?
    It's the same principle as someone orchestrating and arranging for somebody else's death over a long distance and from an attempted place of concealment.

    The evidence is there for the whole world to see.

    The cold-hearted determination demonstrates her motive.
    Last edited by Errant Lobe; 08-29-2015 at 04:02 PM.

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