“You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing.”
UPDATE: On Friday, June 16, 2017, Michelle Carter, now 20, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. She will be sentenced in August and faces up to twenty years in prison.
UPDATE: Michelle Carter, sentenced to 15 months for involuntary manslaughter for persuading her boyfriend to kill himself, was released from prison on January 23, 2020, months ahead of schedule due to good behavior.
I feel the judge made the right call by finding her guilty. Not everyone agrees. Some are of the opinion that his decision was wrong, that somehow it jeopardizes free speech, that it’s some sort of slippery slope that will land people in prison if they tell someone to drop dead in a moment of anger. They say that Michelle wasn’t there when he died, so there’s no way she can be responsible.
All of this is ridiculous. People who say these things don’t understand coercion, and they don’t understand how vulnerable Conrad was, or how Michelle knew that and cruelly took advantage of it.
Michelle Carter purposely and relentlessly manipulated a depressed–and therefore vulnerable–young man into committing suicide. That has nothing to do with free speech. It has something to do with murder.
I don’t know if she’s a psychopath, but if she isn’t one, she might as well be. Her actions were psychopathic. What she did was so cold, so calculating, so morally reprehensible that it defies comprehension by anyone with a conscience. I feel terrible for Conrad’s family, for their loss and for their struggle to make sense of something that makes no sense.
“I don’t believe she has a conscience,” Conrad Roy’s mother, Lynn Roy, said. “I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions because she knew exactly what she was doing and what she said.”
Another thing I’m hearing (and heard all along) is how this jeopardizes assisted suicide, or how what she did was legal because there’s no law against assisted suicide in Massachusetts. What does this have to do with assisted suicide?! It would never be considered ethical to assist a person to end their life when their primary problem is depression. The only ethical thing to do would be to treat the depression. And it would NEVER be ethical or acceptable to “assist” someone to end their life by relentlessly harassing, coercing, manipulating and even commanding them into doing it, no matter what was wrong with them.
“I thought you really wanted to die but apparently you don’t. I feel played and stupid,” Carter wrote.
Conrad got out of the truck. He wasn’t sure he wanted to die. Michelle responded by ordering him to “get back in.” I find myself at a loss for words when I contemplate that. Maybe none are needed, because it speaks so clearly for itself.
Conrad got out of the truck. He wasn’t sure he wanted to die. Michelle responded by ordering him to “get back in.”
TAUNTON, MA – JUNE 6: Michelle Carter listens as ADA Maryclare Flynn makes her opening statement, displaying many texts between Carter and Conrad Roy III, as the trial of Carter proceeds in Bristol County Superior Court in Taunton, MA on Jun. 6, 2017. Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for encouraging the 18-year-old Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
What follows is the original blog post.
It looks like Michelle Carter’s psychopathic cat might be out of the bag.
Carter, 18, of Plainville, MA, was 17 when police say she encouraged her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, 18, to commit suicide. Roy, who had a history of severe depression and previous suicide attempts, was found dead in his car behind a K-Mart on July 13, 2014. He had used a generator to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.
“His death is my fault. Like, honestly I could have stopped it. I was the one on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I fucken told him to get back in…”
(Quote from Carter’s text messages to a friend)
If this information is correct it seems she is callous, amoral, and without a conscience.
A judge will now decide whether Carter will face charges over his death. She will appear in court again on October 2. For an in-depth look at this case: NY Magazine, “Death by Text”.
“You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain,” she told him in one message. “It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die.”
According to prosecutors, for almost a week Michelle Carter pressured Conrad to commit suicide until he finally gave in. She sent him over 1000 text messages alternating between harassing him into acting on his suicidal ideation, to counseling him to overcome his fear of death. At the same time she lied to police, his family, and her friends about his whereabouts before and after he poisoned himself with carbon monoxide in his pickup truck.
According to court documents, Carter talked with Roy on the phone for 43 minutes just before and during his suicide. At some point during the call, Roy exited his car (which was filling with carbon monoxide fumes) out of fear, but Carter convinced him to get back in.
His body was found in his pickup truck after his parents reported him missing.
“If the police read my messages with him I’m done. His family will hate me and I can go to jail.”
A text message exchange between Michelle and Conrad:
MICHELLE: You’re so hesitant because you keeping over thinking it and keep pushing it off. You just need to do it, Conrad. The more you push it off, the more it will eat at you. You’re ready and prepared. All you have to do is tum the generator on and you will be free and happy. No more pushing it off. No more waiting.
CONRAD: You’re right.
MICHELLE: If you want it as bad as you say you do it’s time to do it today.
CONRAD: Yup. No more waiting.
MICHELLE: Okay. I’m serious. Like you can’t even wait ’till tonight. You have to do it when you get back from your walk.
CONRAD: Thank you.
MICHELLE: For what?
CONRAD: Still being here.
MICHELLE: I would never leave you. You’re the love of my life, my boyfriend. You are my heart. I’d never leave you.
MICHELLE: I love you.
CONRAD: Love you, too.
Carter told Roy via text message that he would go “Straight to heaven, guided by God.” It is alleged that she asked him to delete the text messages before he died, in an apparent effort to cover her tracks.
After Conrad’s suicide, Carter sent a message to Roy’s mother dated July 25, 2014 — twelve days after his death. She wrote, “There was nothing anyone could do to save him no matter how hard they tried. I never tried harder at something in my life.”
What a liar.
Then she went on to use his suicide to make herself look like a caring and benevolent person. She muscled her way in and took over a fundraiser in Conrad’s name on behalf of suicide prevention.
Why did she do it? She wanted the power and control to manipulate a vulnerable, depressed person into his death. Making herself look good afterward, by playing the grieving girlfriend and good-hearted suicide fund raiser, was only a secondary gain (and an extra chance to get a thrill from duping others). Her image as an honor student and do-gooder was nothing but a cover for what she really was.
Carter was 17 at the time of Roy’s death, but she could still face punishment as an adult – up to 20 years in prison – if convicted. She is currently free on $2,500 bond, and while she awaits trial she’s been to the prom and to Disney World, as evidenced by photos on her Facebook page. No shame, no remorse. A judge ordered her to stay off social media until her trial is over, but her Facebook page is active — her mother is posting for her. This woman either has no sense, is in complete denial, or passed on her own psychopathy genes to her daughter.
Unfortunately, prosecutors have an uphill battle ahead of them. The case doesn’t neatly fit into any statute in Massachusetts.
“It’s not cyberbullying, it’s not harassment, it’s not stalking. So the prosecutor says, ‘This is reprehensible conduct, disgusting conduct, must-be-punished conduct,’ so he goes forward and says, ‘Let’s call this involuntary manslaughter.’ Does it neatly fit in that definition? Not so much. We really are going to have a test case here,” said CBS News’ legal analyst and former Massachusetts prosecutor Rikki Klieman.
Wait a minute. Involuntary manslaughter?
When a person is killed by someone who did not have “malice aforethought,” the killer is charged with manslaughter. Manslaughter is separate from murder, recognizing that people can occasionally kill each other without meaning to, and it tends to carry a reduced sentence. Involuntary manslaughter occurs as a result of negligence. The killer was not provoked, and did not mean to kill anyone, but his or her negligent actions led to a death. If someone can prove that the negligence was intentional, the charge may be upgraded to murder.
From the information available at this point, it is very clear she meant to kill him. Her negligence in not calling police when she could have saved his life by doing so was certainly intentional. Not only didn’t she try to stop him or get help, she mercilessly harassed and coerced him into committing suicide.
It seems a more appropriate charge would be depraved-heart murder, a much better fit than involuntary manslaughter. She acted knowingly and with depraved indifference. Her actions caused Conrad Roy’s death. Why should it make a difference that she did it via text messaging? To constitute depraved indifference, the defendant’s conduct must be wanton (without regard for what is right, just, humane, etc.; careless; reckless), deficient in a moral sense of concern, and lacking in regard for the life or lives of others. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by the defendant’s conduct, not the injuries actually resulting.
“In United States law, depraved-heart murder, also known as depraved-indifference murder, is an action where a defendant acts with a “depraved indifference” to human life and where such act results in a death. In a depraved-heart murder, defendants commit an act even though they know their act runs an unusually high risk of causing death or serious bodily harm to someone else. If the risk of death or bodily harm is great enough, ignoring it demonstrates a “depraved indifference” to human life and the resulting death is considered to have been committed with malice aforethought. In most states, depraved-heart killings constitute second-degree murder.” ~ Wikipedia
“If she really loved him as she said she did, why didn’t she try to persuade him not to. Every day you wake up and think why, why, why.”
Janice Roy, Conrad’s grandmother
Some legal pundits are saying what Carter did was immoral, but not illegal. Her defense attorney is citing freedom of speech laws and denying she had anything to do with his death, because she wasn’t physically present. “It’s a sad story, a tragedy, but it’s not manslaughter,” Cataldo says. “What we have here is a young man who made a voluntary decision to end his own life. It was his voluntary decision. His death was not caused by Michelle Carter.” He also claims that she was brainwashed into encouraging his suicide. Unless information becomes available that supports that claim, it doesn’t look very likely.
“In the interest of justice and the lives of other people who will be manipulated in the future, I hope this case has a favorable outcome in the name of justice. It will only if it serves to protect others from the manipulation of sick, twisted people.” Anonymous commentor, CBS News website
If you’re feeling suicidal, please get help right away. The numbers below will connect you with someone who will listen and help you consider other options. You and your life are never hopeless. Feeling this way is intense but temporary, and you will move beyond it, even if that’s hard to believe right now.
♥ Thank you for reading.