"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Lost Soul

(Megan's mother, Tina, holding photos of Megan)




I cannot remember when a story has enraged me the way the case of Megan Meier did. In case you don't remember, this is what happened:

Megan was a 13 year-old-girl, like many 13 year-old girls, battling self esteem issues, and in her case, struggling with depression. She had been close friends with a girl named Sarah Drew, but they had suffered a recent falling out (also characteristic of 13 year-olds). The story turns here when Lori Drew, Sarah's mother, decides to get way too involved. Lori, a forty something midwestern mom, thought that Megan had been spreading rumors about Sarah and decided to get to the bottom of things by, and hold your breath here, helping to set up a fake My Space account in the name of a boy named Josh Evans, and then using that account to communicate with Megan.

Lori and some of her daughter's friends then went on to communicate with Megan as Josh, "flirting" with her, supposedly gathering information, although I have never seen evidence of any of that. What I have seen evidence of is a grown woman toying with the emotions of a child. Lori was aware of Megan's battle with depression and that she was on medication for it. The group continued to communicate with her, posing as Josh, pretty much having an online relationship with her as him--Lori wrote many of the messages directly to Megan--and then abruptly turned on her, saying viscous things, ending with "Josh" saying to her in a final message: "the world would be a better place without you".

Megan hung herself in her closet shortly after this message, and died not long after.

The hate in my heart for Lori Drew has not lessened one bit since this happened, and has only seethed because she has never seemed to show any remorse. If other kids Megan's age had been the only ones involved, it would have been tragic, but not quite as heinous. When adults get too involved in their children's affairs and become children themselves, and then TEACH this vindictive behavior to their children, then, I am sorry, I think we all have to stop and make these people pay, make an example out of them, so no other idiots do this ever again.

At first, there seemed no law that could prosecute Lori Drew, mainly because our laws have not caught up with the technology. But, she has been taken to court. It is a shaky case based on the written law, but I am just glad this has dragged on, even if she is not sent to jail, just so this case is not forgotten, and everyone is reminded of what happened to Megan. I feel for Megan's parents, and I hope this trial gives them some sense of closure, or at least some feeling that some fight has been fought in Megan's name.

Here is a piece on yesterday's court proceedings:

MySpace Trial, Day 2: Lori Drew Says, "It's Not Like I Pulled The Trigger"

By Jessica, 9:30 AM on Fri Nov 21 2008

Yesterday was Day 2 of Lori Drew's federal trial for cyberfraud in the tormenting of 13-year-old suicide victim Megan Meier. Day 1 focused on the emotional testimony of Megan's mom, Tina, who described her daughter's depression and last words. Day 2 involved Tina's cross examination by defense lawyer H. Dean Steward and the initial testimony of Drew's accomplice in Megan's tormenting, Ashley Grills, who testified with government immunity. Lori Drew's hairdresser also took the stand, and her testimony about Drew's glee while mocking Megan was perhaps the most damning of all.
When Lori Drew helped set up the fake MySpace account because Megan had allegedly been mean to her daughter Sarah, she
bragged to her hairdresser Christina Chu about it. Chu was so upset over Drew's callousness she had to retreat to the back of the salon.
"After Meier's death, on the day of her wake, Drew showed up again to have her hair done. Chu asked Drew why she was going to the wake, given her role in the cyberbullying. Drew's response, Chu said, was, 'It's not like I pulled the trigger,'" Wired reports.
In his cross-examination of Tina Meier, Drew's lawyer
pummeled her on Megan's past internet behavior. According to Wired, before the Meiers' started monitoring Megan's internet usage closely, "Megan created a MySpace profile as an 18-year-old woman, and swapped sexually-charged banter with other users, he said, citing notes he'd obtained from Megan's psychologist." The lawyer pointed out that Megan had also violated MySpace's terms of service at one point by lying about her age.
Drew's lawyer also pointed out that Megan was taking a trio of antidepressants when she died. "One of them, the antidepressant citalopram, has a reported side affect of contributing to suicidal behavior in children and adolescents suffering from depression, he noted."
Ashley Grills, the then-18-year-old who was Lori Drew's assistant, said that the creation of the MySpace account was initially
her idea, but that Lori Drew agreed and "thought it was funny," the L.A. Times notes.
Grills said that Lori Drew was present when they agreed to the terms of service, but neither woman read them.
From the L.A. Times:
Grills testified that she, Drew and Drew's daughter were trying to figure out a way "to expose Megan" for rumors she'd allegedly been spreading about Sarah…She said Drew also helped formulate messages that were sent to Megan and at one point suggested that they have 'Josh' arrange a meeting with Megan at a local mall at which Sarah and her friends would 'pop out' and tease Megan.
This part also hurts the case of MySpace fraud against Drew: the final contact between Megan and "Josh" took place on AOL Instant Messenger, according to testimony by Grills.
Grills also testified that she had no idea that Megan had
had emotional problems in the past, until Drew told her shortly after Megan's death, "We could have pushed her overboard because she was suicidal and depressed.'"
When the Drew family and Grills got word that Megan had
killed herself, they got off the internet and turned on the TV. Shortly thereafter, Wired reports, "Curt Drew started yelling at them to get rid of the MySpace account. When asked what Lori Drew did at that moment, Grills said at first she sat quietly and was consoling her daughter, then she, too, started yelling at them to delete the account and told them not to say anything to anyone."

article courtesy of Jezebel.com

3 comments:

Paula... November 22, 2008 at 3:53 PM  

I remember this story - it hit the headlines over here as well!! My heart goes out to the mother - teenagers have so much "going on" in their heads as it is without callous people like this contributing to it.

Even if there is no conviction over this, hopefully the laws will change to stop this happening to some other poor soul.

Cheri Pryor November 23, 2008 at 1:21 PM  

Why in the world would a mother freakin' do that. Good Lord! If she would have given the "falling out" a month the girls would probably have been bff again.

I can't believe she is not being held accountable for this on a legal standpoint....but I would be willing to be she and her dd have been ostracized by the community where they live. I would hope so, anyway, especially when there is no remorse.

That just makes me sick.

Chelcie August 1, 2009 at 5:12 AM  

Not to be a heartless bitch but. I'm not going to put all of the blame on the mother of the other girl, because ofcourse it is unfortunate and it's very tacky to do something as appauling as that, the girl who hung herself should have been taught on how to be more confident and not give a care in the world of what jelouse, tacky, imature, sceeming, people say about her, he's beautiful as I see in the picture, But her mother should have raised her to be a lot stronger. My heart still goes out to the family.
---XOXOXOCHELCIE

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