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Megan Meier Family Picture  (Source: CNN)
Teen hangs herself after MySpace visitor says she is mean

For many teens and pre-teens, the Internet is an integral part of daily life for social gathering and meeting up with friends. Problems can arise for kids when parents aren’t aware of what’s going on online.

This was evidenced when Facebook was subpoenaed after complaints that minors were being solicited for sex using its site.

More recently, a 13-year-old girl from Missouri named Megan Meier killed herself after she received a critical message on MySpace.

The New York Times claims Megan's 47-year-old neighbor, Lori Drew, gained access to an 18-year-old's Myspace user account that Megan believed to be a boy named Josh.  However, nobody is admitting if Drew or the minor left the final messages that drove Meier to suicide.

Using the Josh account the 18-year-old woman left a message on Megan’s MySpace page accusing her of being mean to her friends. According to CNN messages on Megan’s MySpace page were mundane matters, like which sports the two enjoyed.

Jack Banas, Prosecuting Attorney for St. Charles County Missouri said the messages changed in tone on October 15, 2006. Someone using the Josh account posted a message saying Meier was mean to her friends and added "I don’t know if I want to be your friend anymore."

Later that week the person using the “Josh” account left another message saying, “This place would be better without you.” Megan’s mother reported finding Megan at the computer crying when she returned home and when trying to find out why Megan was upset, the mother criticized Megan for inappropriate language used in her postings on MySpace.

Megan reportedly remarked to her mother, “I can’t believe you’re not on my side” and ran upstairs. Megan was later found upstairs where she had died from hanging herself. According to Banas, there is no proof that the users of the “Josh” account intended to cause Meier emotional harassment that a jury would believe. Prosecutors also point out that the Missouri harassment statute doesn’t cover the Internet and state stalking statutes require repeated conversations therefore neither statute applied in this case.

Banas says just because he can’t prosecute this instance doesn’t mean no one gets punished. He later told CNN, “The loss of a life of a person that they once talked to as a friend, I'm sure, is just twisting them all up inside.”

Banas might be right, but Drew sure isn't showing it.  In another report to the local authorities, Drew stated that she felt the hoax “contributed to Megan’s suicide, but she did not feel ‘as guilty’ because at the funeral she found out Megan had tried to commit suicide before.”

Analysts are split in their feelings on where the blame lies in this case. Others feel that if the simple statements made on Megan’s MySpace page that were reported were enough to drive her to suicide, there were much larger issues going on in Megan’s life her parents should have noticed.

The 47-year-old who posed (or at least endorsed the 18-year-old to pose) as Josh claimed she created the account to see what opinions Megan Meier had about her daughter, another teenager.

The only thing that anyone can agree on is that Megan’s death could have been prevented.

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By Bioniccrackmonk on 12/4/2007 6:03:24 PM , Rating: 5
An 18-year-old woman gained access to a user account that Megan believed to be a boy named Josh.

According to the news, the woman actually created the account for the sole purpose of harrassing Megan. I will find the link, but all you have to do is search MSNBC for myspace and you can read the whole thing. If I was a parent of Megan and found out a former friend of hers mom created an account to harrass my kid and she hung herself, I would be finding my own justice.

By Zirconium on 12/4/2007 6:10:54 PM , Rating: 5
To follow up, the following is an article on this mess:

Also, it wasn't an "18-year-old woman" who "gained access to a user account" - what kind of lie or innacuracy is that? It was an account created by a 47-year-old mother living down the street, with the express purpose of spying on and harassing Megan.

By Zirconium on 12/4/2007 6:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
One thing this summary does get right is that it would be difficult to prosecute them based upon the laws on the books. However, everybody in the community knows who the woman behind Josh, her husband who was in on it was fired from his job, and no one will do business with the wife (she is self-employed). The family will have to pack up, leave and change their names, but if I was Megan's father, I'd keep following them putting up billboards wherever they go.

By 16nm on 12/4/2007 6:34:12 PM , Rating: 3
The family will have to pack up, leave and change their names

They can simply escape their uncomfortable situation. That's nice.

but if I was Megan's father, I'd keep following them putting up billboards wherever they go.

Amen to that!

By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 7:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
They actually don't escape. They only spread their way of behavior/thinking to others.

By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 8:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, let me rephrase my bad english here:

They actually don't escape. They'll keep spreading their way of being to others - which in the end will lead to distinction!

Unless they change, of course. Theres ALWAYS a way out :)

By ImSpartacus on 12/4/2007 9:14:16 PM , Rating: 4
I wouldn't mark one bad decision to represent the entire family. They probably will lay low for years, maybe the rest of their lives. I kind of feel bad for the others members of their family that had nothing to do with it.

By mikeyD95125 on 12/4/2007 9:39:04 PM , Rating: 3
It sounds like this girl was having issues. The big problem with our teenage brains is making irrational decisions. It probably didn't cross her mind that she would never be able to exist again. Not even be able to to think about how she doesn't exist. Maybe she thought she had an afterlife waiting for her.

I'm just surprised that many teenagers make it to adulthood.

By jtemplin on 12/4/2007 10:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
The thought process you describe is very naive and highly unlikely that late in her cognitive development. The concept of death being irreversible is well known to a teenager of her age, I can assure you.

I don't think you have studied this subject enough to be making statements like
It probably didn't cross her mind that she would never be able to exist again.

I will direct you to start by reading about piaget's theory of cognitive development as a jumping point.

By derwin on 12/5/2007 12:34:02 AM , Rating: 3
Shoot, Im 22 and I still dont act as if I understand the irreversiability of death. Of course they CAN conceive it at 13, but its a good point to bring up that only much later DO you really understand it.

By feraltoad on 12/5/2007 3:57:35 AM , Rating: 5
I agree with derwin, I think many teenagers think theirs is a semi-invulnerable life, and thoughts of an opiated afterlife is reassuring to many. Think of all the You-Tube videos of teenagers doing insane stuff like jumping off roofs. I don't think someone who nudges a pipe bomb while wearing a flip-flop is heavily involved in action/consequence style thinking.

Also, while I agree that that 47yr old lady is a serious POS. I don't see how you can charge her with anything but some kind of misdemeanor harassment. It's not exactly hard to make many teenage girls cry, and like it or not that girl had a screw loose. Also, I have depression and I've had plenty of boohoo/shotgun sessions, but I don't think it would be fair to charge someone if they were a d*ck to me that day and perhaps set my mood in motion, anymore than it would be fair for me go and kill them, their family, and burn their house down. Uh-oh, time for medicine.

By Blight AC on 12/5/2007 3:04:10 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed! How many of us here on even DailyTech have insulted someone. We don't expect anyone to kill themselves. Would you want to be hunted down by someones family just because you rated someones post here down and they killed themselves over it?

Really, the girl had a history, trying suicide once before. If the mother had any wits about her, she wouldn't of left her suicidal daughter alone in such a distressed state.

Although, I think the only real reason this got any media was due to it's tie with MySpace, the only thing that trumps that is Paris Hilton.

By soydeedo on 12/6/2007 11:08:07 AM , Rating: 2
I just wanted to say your post rocks, but since it's at 5 already I can't add a vote. =P

But one comment I'd like to add is that the reason people are so upset about this woman doing this is not that she triggered the suicide so much, but that she went to such great lengths to torment the girl. It wasn't a casual insult or anything of that sort; rather, she got herself close to the girl with a fake persona with the sole purpose of tearing her down. That's downright malicious and pretty damn deplorable behavior for a 47 year old. Or maybe I'm just too nice.

By ManuelX on 12/5/2007 3:01:57 AM , Rating: 1
If someone is terminally ill and you shoot them, that is still murder!

By theapparition on 12/5/2007 9:58:14 AM , Rating: 4
If they pulled the chair out from her feet, after she had already put the noose on, they I'd agree with you. But all they did was insult the girl.

If you break up with your girlfriend on the street and she runs across the street crying and gets hit by a bus, does that make you at fault??

I think not. This girl obviously had issues, and the mother-daughter confrontation may have pushed it over the edge. Maybe if mom took the girl's side, she'd still be alive. We could question this indefinately, what is important is to learn from this, take an active role in your childs life and friends (virtual ones too), and recognize when they need professional help.

By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 10:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
True. I exaggerated a bit, just to point out branches of social behavior that could happen.

Yes, it's ALWAYS sad for the whole family when something like this happens. A lot of situations end on a one way road because of whatever reason triggers it.

What a shame we don't invest more care-taking time in each other.

By DM0407 on 12/5/2007 10:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
Although this supposedly mid-aged women acted completely immature, I don't think it is reason to prosecute. Like the article said, if she was driven to suicide by that messages then there were much deeper problems that the parents missed.They are at as much a fault as anyone. In fact the neighbors intent to create an account to monitor her child is more responsible than someone who had a suicidal child (who had previously attempted to kill herself) and not monitor her online use at all.

If I walk down the street and call someone a name and then they go home and kill themselves does that make me an accomplice to a murder? What ever happened to 'sticks and stones'?

I'm not saying what she did is right, and I'm sure she feels guilty, but she should not be charged.

By mmntech on 12/5/2007 11:24:43 AM , Rating: 2
There is, it's criminal harassment. I suspect the prosecutors are just lazy or aren't sure who was behind it. By the sounds of the article, there doesn't seen to be any solid proof the woman did it. Assuming it was her, a 47 year old woman should know better than to do stuff like this to a 13 year old. Some people get online and all their sense goes out the window.

Still, this 13 year old girl obviously had other problems. It is possible her death could not have been prevented. She was probably having mental issues, looking for a way out, and this was a good excuse for her. It doesn't excuse what this woman did of course but you can't just look at the story from one side.

By Orbs on 12/4/2007 8:29:27 PM , Rating: 3
I can't believe the neighbor/friend's mother chose to create a false identity to spy on Megan rather than teaching her own daughter that spying is wrong and that what other people say about you doesn't matter so long as you are a good person.

Sad that we live in a world where a mom is so eager to have her little girl so sheltered from the possibility that someone might say things about her that aren't nice, that she'll lower herself to this course of action.

And the daughter is clearly learning horrible lessons from her parents if her reaction to this tragedy is that she feels 'less guilty' by the fact that Meagan had previously attempted suicide. How about feeling beside yourself with guilt for driving someone who is unstable to end her life because of your own insecurities?

Finally, how could Megan's parents not have noticed that things were as bad as they must have been? I find it extremely hard to believe that this was the first time Megan was crying about what people might be saying about her given that she ended her life over it. If her mother was truly concerned, why didn't she press the issue? Perhaps hindsight is giving me more visibility than her parents had, but it's terribly sad no one was more vigilant about her (presumably) obvious pain the day of her death or more aware of the larger issues prior to this incident.

By masher2 on 12/4/2007 8:32:58 PM , Rating: 3
> "I can't believe the neighbor/friend's mother chose to create a false identity to spy on Megan "

Then don't believe it. I've already read four different accounts of this situation in as many different papers. And I doubt any of them are totally accurate.

The media is wonderful at sensationalizing situations. Take what you read with a grain of salt.

By masher2 on 12/5/2007 9:40:19 AM , Rating: 2
> "You seem suspiciously comfortable substituting ...your own version of the story."

Don't be asinine. I haven't substituted anything; I've merely pointed out the media has already presented us with several different versions of events.

You, however, are already prepared to act as judge, jury, and executioner for this woman...without ever hearing a single word from her side of the story. All based on a few sensationalistic news stories? Why not drop the lynch mob mentality?

> "A 13 yr old who is known to be mentally not capable of the kind of rationality you propose

All the more reason for the rest of us to display it. Let me point out a few facts.

a. We don't know who created this account or why. The media has given us at least two different versions, and neither sounds fully convincing.

b. We don't know exactly what was said to this girl, and how much, if any, bearing it actually had on her suicide. Quite obviously the mother wishes to minimize her own culpability in the events. Judging the situation based solely on her own account is childishly unreasonable.

c. According to the mother, the girl never even knew "Josh" didn't exist. Therefore the "fraud" portion of this had no bearing on her suicide. Whatever was said, I can guarantee you it wasn't as bad as what a real 16 year old boy could have come up with in the circumstancess.

d. Rude things get said in cyberspace. If someone kills themselves over a comment you make, you're not responsible.

e. Believing this girl killed herself over no more than a rude comment or two is rather gullible in any case. She had a long history of instability, was medicated, had a fight with her mother that day, and had god knows what else going on.

f. Why on EARTH would a mother let such a girl have unsupervised online affairs with unknown individuals in the first place? Even if we are being told the whole story (which we almost assuredly are not) that right there is the proximate cause of this event.

By theapparition on 12/5/2007 10:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
Please stop letting facts get in the way.

Now, where are those torches and pitchforks? The media told me I'd need them.

By BMFPitt on 12/5/2007 12:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
a. We don't know who created this account or why. The media has given us at least two different versions, and neither sounds fully convincing.
I haven't been following any official accounts, but my understanding is that she openly admits that she did it.
f. Why on EARTH would a mother let such a girl have unsupervised online affairs with unknown individuals in the first place? Even if we are being told the whole story (which we almost assuredly are not) that right there is the proximate cause of this event.
If a parent lets their kid sleep over at Michael Jackson's house and they get molested, the parent's culpability does not detract from Michael Jackson's.

By ImSpartacus on 12/4/2007 9:16:56 PM , Rating: 4
Man that's frustrating. This is a good example of journalism propaganda. I'm sure one story is correct, but I bet it's not the "juiciest."

It's a pity they don't accurately report on such a sad tragedy. Cmon, do the girl her justice.

By stmok on 12/4/2007 6:33:28 PM , Rating: 5
Bioniccrackmonk says:
...I would be finding my own justice.

From the Punisher:

In certain, extreme situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacy, it is necessary to act outside the law. To pursue - natural justice. This is not vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive, it's an emotional response. No, not vengeance. Punishment.

By amanojaku on 12/5/2007 12:29:38 AM , Rating: 2
Vigilante justice is illegal, which is unfortunate in this situation. It's been made clear that Lori Drew, the mother of a former friend of the deceased, is responsible and for that she should pay. The law, however, claims there is no precedent for Internet harassment and let this woman, and her daughter, off the hook. If there was an apology and an admission of going to far I think I could forgive; to be so cold is unforgivable. Human life is nothing to waste.

By BigPeen on 12/5/2007 1:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
People can't be held responsible if someone kills themself because someone said something mean to them. I'm sure every suicide could be blamed on someone else people are stupid. People need to be held responsible for their own actions. No one held a gun to her head to make her kill herself. Life sucks sometimes, but you can't always blame other people for it or make a new law. Some people are just emotionally weak, the gene pool has been cleansed, LIFE IS TOUGH.

By NT78stonewobble on 12/5/2007 2:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
Actually accoring to some real researchers dealing with evolution and DNS (which I'm not) humanitys strength lies in our genetic diversity and adaptability.

So "cleansing" the genepool is actually a bad thing.

By Malhavoc on 12/5/2007 9:55:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yes life is tough. Perhaps it would be a little easier if EVERYONE took responsibility for their actions, or if they actually thought of the outcome of doing/saying something hurtful to another.

Not feeling guilt for this matter shows some sort of maladjusted social behaviour in my opinion.

By CascadingDarkness on 12/5/2007 2:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
Second. Life it tough, but that's no excuse for people to treat each other like garbage. That is one of the reasons life is so tough to begin with. Selfishness like this truly irks me.

By djkrypplephite on 12/5/2007 6:07:44 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. If I were that bitch, I'd watch my back. And it wasn't even another kid, it was a PARENT. I mean shit and if I were the parent that did it, I'd feel horrible. I'd do whatever I could to help their family through this, not say that I didn't feel guilty. While yes, there must have been bigger issues, if I personally drove one of my child's friends over the edge so that they'd kill themselves, that would be pretty big on my conscience. Of course then again 1/10 people are born without one, so maybe she doesn't have one.

By Polynikes on 12/5/2007 2:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
I would be finding my own justice.

You bet your ass I would've. I'd take an assault charge over no justice any day.

OK, mod me down now.

Sad situation
By Gnoad on 12/4/2007 6:04:42 PM , Rating: 3
I find myself torn on picking sides, because I think whoever posted those false messages were clearly acting with malicious intent, even if they didn't intend her to kill herself. But at the same time, someone not wanting to be your friend and insulting you is no reason to kill yourself. In fact, there's almost never a good reason to kill yourself.

Both sides just went too far.

RE: Sad situation
By Dactyl on 12/4/2007 7:05:54 PM , Rating: 1
"Both sides just went too far"?

An adult screwed around with a little girl's head, drove her to suicide, and "both sides just went too far"?

It shows that you can say something 100% true and still miss the point 100%.

RE: Sad situation
By retrospooty on 12/4/2007 7:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with him... Why?

I know it was an absolutley crappy thing for the old lady to do, but come on... Death was not the intention, and if someone kills themselves over petty stuff like that, it was likely going to happen anyhow. The girl was not stable. Teenage suicide happens all the time, even before the internet.

RE: Sad situation
By The Sword 88 on 12/4/2007 8:09:46 PM , Rating: 1
I agree if she killed herself because someone from the internet didnt want to be her friend she was probably suicidal anyway and her parents just hadnt noticed/done anything about. It is not the 47 year olds fault. They ar ejust an asshole not a criminal

RE: Sad situation
By The Sword 88 on 12/5/2007 12:36:51 AM , Rating: 2
And why do you disagree with my comment?

RE: Sad situation
By NT78stonewobble on 12/5/2007 2:27:22 AM , Rating: 1
Still IMHO the assholes ought to get some kind of fine for the harassment part.

They hurt that girl (obviously) but agree that they cannot be called solely responcible for pushing her to suicide.

RE: Sad situation
By The Sword 88 on 12/5/2007 4:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
I agree about the harrasment thing, I believe there are reasonable laws that invloves fines and such for that, I mean the woman did not kill the girl, the girl killed herself. But to say that internet harrassment causes suicide? Thats seems farfetchted to me. There had to be smething else that was the primary cause such as clinical depression or serious family troubles.

A few years ago being made fun of at school made people suicidal and I thought that was ridcolous, now if people are going to be depressed and suicidal from being made fun of or harassed online then we live in a very, very sad world.

RE: Sad situation
By masher2 on 12/4/2007 9:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
> "An adult screwed around with a little girl's head, drove her to suicide"

Let's take a step back towards reason and rationality, shall we? A girl received a critical text message from her teenage boyfriend. That's something that happens hundreds of thousands of times a day. She didn't even know the "boyfriend" wasn't real. If she's going to kill herself over that, its likely something else would have set her off eventually anyway.

And, even by to the girl's mother's account, it sounded like she was as much upset with her mother's criticism of her actions as she was any messages she received.

Finally, please remember that, so far, we're only hearing one side of the story, further amplified by the media's desire to sensationalize. I strongly suspect the real situation is somewhat different than what we've, so far, been led to believe.

RE: Sad situation
By Keeir on 12/5/2007 12:02:59 AM , Rating: 3
mmmm... I think your off base here Masher.

When an adult chooses to create or sponser the intential deception of a known mentally ill child... that adult is clearly in error. Its even worse in that the adult chose to take advantage of insider knowledge such as the victims low self-esteem and difficulty in confrontations. The "details" of potentially mitigating events does not change the underlying blame.

I have the advantage of hearing parts of a direct interview with the mother of the victim. Sure, the media has sensentialized this store and mangled it beyond easy repair, but thats mostly because there has been some time for memory diverenge and the lack of police/court charges means there is no definative story. No one person has all the story and most parties have something to gain by small deceptions.

Oh, and according to the mother's interview, the "critical" text message was (I paraphrase) "I hate you. The world would be better off without you."

RE: Sad situation
By jtemplin on 12/5/2007 12:11:49 AM , Rating: 2
Glad I'm not the only one.

RE: Sad situation
By tmouse on 12/5/2007 8:44:15 AM , Rating: 2
Well to pour some gas on the fire, I have not seen anything that indicated that the harassing mother knew about the teen’s mental instability, as a matter of fact her callous remark about finding out about it at the funeral seems to prove she did not. Don’t get me wrong she was totally wrong and an absolute A*hole but when we make stupidly a crime we are all in trouble. The teen’s mother on the other hand knew about her daughters previous attempt(s) saw her crying over a stupid remark on an internet site, and then she criticizes her for her reply? This person has a lot more blame; she should have seen 100 red flags go up. Before anyone replies how the mother has suffered enough and I do not know anything about these types of situations I will point out that I have had members of my family who were victims of suicide and murder so I most certainly understand the feelings involved. I do not think any other laws are needed (unless we can get McDonalds to do drive thru courts mean talk laws are unenforceable and any age impersonation law would have to include intent to do harm else there is a lot of people I know who shave years off of their real ages who will be in trouble ;). The harassing mother is one messed up person but the family is also paying a steep price and what she sows she will reap; probably from her own daughter.

RE: Sad situation
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 9:55:12 AM , Rating: 2
> "When an adult chooses to create or sponser the intential deception of a known mentally ill child"

As another poster points out, it seems no one knew of this girl's mental illness except her parents. Furthermore, we don't know all the facts here. Middle-aged mothers don't create accounts to "spy" on teenage neighbors unless there's a whole lot more going on than we're being told. While the rest of you may be ready to show up at her door with shotguns and baseball bats in hand, I'll wait until I hear the rest of the story.

> "according to the mother's interview, the "critical" text message was (I paraphrase) "I hate you. The world would be better off without you." "

My teenage son regularly receives far worse than that on his own Myspace page. I strongly suspect this message wasn't even sent by the 47 year old neighbor, but rather the 18 year old girl who apparently had mental problems herself.

And finally, once again, we don't know how much bearing that message actually had on the suicide. We do know she didn't kill herself immediately after this online exchange...she did so immediately after a fight with her mother.

RE: Sad situation
By mindless1 on 12/5/2007 5:02:00 AM , Rating: 2
While she had to be an emotional wreck to have killed herself, it is not necessarily true that something else would've set her off anyway.

Lots of teens are an emotional wreck, but do struggle through these years as they gradually build coping skills dealing with more and more significant emotional situations so long as the emotional load isn't too much for their own, individual mental development.

RE: Sad situation
By Loc13 on 12/4/2007 7:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
The mother and her daughter knew Megan had mental issues, and still said those ugly things. And the words were a lot harsher than what's in DT article.

I watched the whole thing yesterday on CNN when Anderson Cooper was covering the story and interviewed Megan's mother.

RE: Sad situation
By masher2 on 12/4/2007 9:09:25 PM , Rating: 4
> "I watched the whole thing yesterday on CNN when Anderson Cooper was covering the story and interviewed Megan's mother"

You didn't see "the whole thing". You saw the account of a distraught mother, who herself is apparently complicit in the situation. Is it any wonder she wants to shift the blame to someone else?

Now, lets review what we know from the mother's account (remember, that the neighbor's version is probably quite different):

a. She had a daughter regularly seeing psychiatrists and medicated for emotional problems.
b. She allowed said daughter to conduct unsupervised online affairs with unknown individuals.
c. When said daughter came to her upset over one of those relationships, instead of consoling her, she further criticized her actions, then sent her away alone.

I'm sorry, but even from the mother's account, this was a time bomb waiting to happen.

RE: Sad situation
By NT78stonewobble on 12/5/2007 2:30:21 AM , Rating: 2
Well I still say that the "provocateurs" should get fine / punished some way. What they did was wrong...

Now If only we could do the same to bad parents eh?

RE: Sad situation
By retrospooty on 12/5/2007 9:02:36 AM , Rating: 2
"a. She had a daughter regularly seeing psychiatrists and medicated for emotional problems.
b. She allowed said daughter to conduct unsupervised online affairs with unknown individuals.
c. When said daughter came to her upset over one of those relationships, instead of consoling her, she further criticized her actions, then sent her away alone."

Thank you... So many people always want to place the blame externally. This girls mother made alot of mistakes here, her daughter had emotional problems and she was allowed to have unsupervised online affairs with unknown individuals. the other lady who was harrassing her was a complete beeotch, but the death was not her fault.

Its just like blaming ID software for school violence. Its not goinf to happen to healthy normal people, it will happen to emotionally disturbed people, and if parents are taking care of that type of thing, they are not doing thier job.

RE: Sad situation
By ImSpartacus on 12/4/2007 7:41:35 PM , Rating: 3
While I value human life, something should've been done for this girl before this happened.

I honestly doubt that the mother intended to hurt the girl in any way. I read that the lady took the girl on vacations with her and her daughter. Something is wrong there. I personally wouldn't be surprised if the mom was simply trying to end relations with the girl for whatever reason, and it got nasty. I heard that both sides of the argument were profanity laden.

I want to think that the girl was totally innocent but the 47 year old mom physically did no harm to anyone. You should not be penalized for something like what she did. I think that stalking someone is wrong, but this mom seemed like she was just ending a relationship. It was a very mean, and rude thing to do, but that happens all the time on the internet (what does the word 'flame' mean in context to an online forum?) and many people are fine.

I find it hard to believe how a girl could honestly believe that a boy with internet access could not have a phone. There's a point where logic plays into this. You shouldn't be talking to anyone on the internet. They can be anyone, and they can be manipulative.

I'm very sorry if this offends anyone, but this girl seems like an idiot to me. She needed help, did not get it and no one else helped her. Even so, that is no excuse to try to have a relationship with someone you know nothing about, and then feel bad when they do something mean.

If we all acted like that girl, then half the people that get on xbox live would've committed suicide and a huge amount of general computer nerds (forums and such; 4chan, tech forums, etc.) would have severe emotional problems.

In conclusion, both sides did something wrong, and it was just a random mix of the wrong people that turned the results for the worse. This is a freak occurance, and both sides are equally wrongful.

I reference this version of the story

RE: Sad situation
By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 8:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
I personally wouldn't be surprised if the mom was simply trying to end relations with the girl for whatever reason, and it got nasty.

End relations over the internet?
- Delete Contact in MSN, ignore user at MySpace, no answer to eMails etc.

A 47 year old (playing someone else btw.) TRYING to end relationship - with a 13 year old IDIOT(??) - over the net in a nasty way? A 47 year old does better than that, unless a total moron herself.

An IDIOT is the one who teeses - Not the teased!

RE: Sad situation
By ImSpartacus on 12/4/2007 9:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
End relations over the internet?
- Delete Contact in MSN, ignore user at MySpace, no answer to eMails etc.

I think you owe someone the respect to "say goodbye." Remember, this is totally hypothetical.

A 47 year old (playing someone else btw.) TRYING to end relationship - with a 13 year old IDIOT(??) - over the net in a nasty way? A 47 year old does better than that, unless a total moron herself.

It is quite possible that the woman was troubled herself, possibly mentally. I am no expert on the subject.

An IDIOT is the one who teeses - Not the teased!

So anyone that teases someone is an idiot? There are hundreds if not thousands of evil people on the internet. I am not trying to debate that they are intelligent people (which is unlikely), but they aren't automatically idiots if they tease someone over the internet.

Remember the "teasing" went both ways. Regardless if it was started by the older woman, someone could've been the more mature person. So if "Megan" returned in the teasing, could she be considered an idiot for that? I don't like to think so.

RE: Sad situation
By masher2 on 12/4/2007 9:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
> "It is quite possible that the woman was troubled herself, possibly mentally"

The follow-on story I read said the 18-year old who most regularly used the account was herself under mental care.

By VashHT on 12/5/2007 10:23:16 AM , Rating: 2
This will probably get rated down but I don't care at all. For people to suggest that this wasn't a crime because she was depressed anyway, you really are completely idiotic.

If you see someone who is depressed to the point of suicide, how can it not be wrong to push that person even further, to tell them they don't deserve to live, especially under the guise of a friend. If you don't think that is wrong then you have some serious mental problems.

Obviously this isn't directed at everyone on here, but I saw enough posts saying things like, "Oh she was suicidal anyway so its not that bad," to make me post about it. It's bad enough to tell someone to kill themself when they're not depressed, but when they're suicidally depressed it's a totally disgusting act. If we can prosecute people for things like slander I don't see why they couldn't prosecute someone for this. The person probably thought it was funny, of course until she was dead and then they hide, someone like that should definitely pay for what they have done.

RE: Pathetic
By masher2 on 12/5/2007 10:43:34 AM , Rating: 2
> "If you see someone who is depressed to the point of suicide, how can it not be wrong to push that person even further"

If anyone (other than the girl's family) knew of this girl's condition, you may have a point. By what we've been told so far, hoewver, they did not.

Based on a little common-sense reading between the lines, let me propose a more realistic version of events.

1. 47-year old neighbor creates account not to harrass or spy on Megan, but simply as a means to secretly monitor her own daughter's online activities. She joins up with all of her daughter's Myspace friends, and once in a while asks questions like "hey whats going on with you and (insert her own daughter's name here)".

2. At some point, neighbor gets too busy to monitor the account, and asks 18-year old teenage girl to, "check on this once in a while and tell me if you see anything suspicious. I'll even pay you".

3. Megan sees "Josh"s cute picture, starts sending him adoring messages. 18-year old teen (who herself is being treated for emotional problems) plays along for a bit, then the flood of overly-emotional dribble annoys her, and she tries to put an end to it. A fight escalates from there, and she says something mean.

4. Megan is upset, but does nothing for several hours. Her mother comes home, bitches her out, and sends her to her room alone. Megan, now feeling like she has no friends or family on her side at all, kills herself.

All supposition of course, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than the media version.

RE: Pathetic
By Master Kenobi on 12/5/2007 11:07:55 AM , Rating: 2
I concur, people want to side with the so-called "victim". Another goodie today was when 2 men tried to robb a house in houston. The neighbor called 911, 911 told him to stay inside and not do anything or else he might be shot. The neighbor goes out side and shoots dead both of the burglers trying to make an escape, he walks away without injury. Now many people are claiming the robbers were victims, and the man should be charged with a double homicide. I don't know about you, but frankly I want this guy as my neighbor. There was a time when this would have been completely acceptable, and the police and Attorney General would have simply stated, if they did not break into a house and commit a crime, the neighbor would not have intervened to stop them from escaping. Both were killed in the commotion, end of story.

Everyone wants to side with the "victim" and go after anyone who might have had a hand in that person becoming a victim.

RE: Pathetic
By BMFPitt on 12/5/2007 12:41:05 PM , Rating: 2
The neighbor goes out side and shoots dead both of the burglers trying to make an escape, he walks away without injury. Now many people are claiming the robbers were victims, and the man should be charged with a double homicide.
They're coming right for us!
Everyone wants to side with the "victim" and go after anyone who might have had a hand in that person becoming a victim.
I categorically refuse to call someone who kills themself a "victim." But if the girl had instead gone to school and shot 10 people, I think she should have been charged with something.

RE: Pathetic
By CascadingDarkness on 12/5/2007 4:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you to a point. Deadly force shouldn't be used unless there is reasonable threat to life though. Shooting someone in the back as they carry away a TV isn't cool. Now if were coming out, had some type of weapon and there was a possible threat to life go for it.

Main thing I'm saying is someone is going to die, I damn hope it's the bad guys. That being said, stuff can be replaced.

Note: In some places deadly force is allowed if perpetrator is within 15ft. Bare handed someone can rush and beat you to death from that far before there's time to aim.

RE: Pathetic
By VashHT on 12/5/2007 10:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
I honestly don't see what you're talking about. Hardly anyone on here is siding with the victim, they all call her irrational and say she went too far, and she's selfish for killing herself. I mean, have you ever been suicidally depressed? Its so easy for someone to sit in their chair at work and call her irrational like certain people on here, but if you were in the same situation i really doubt you'd sit back and calmly assess your situation.

People who insult someone who is that far depressed are pathetic as I said before. People on here seem like they don't even care, depression isn't an illness, it needs support from friends and family, not some pathetic attempt to force them to get over it by blaming them for it and telling them they're selfish and irrational.

Btw your story holds no point here, people don't always side with anything, generalizing all people and saying they all act the same is ridiculous.

Look at the comments on here, people are calling the girl irrational and mentally ill and trying to rationalize her suicide, did it ever occur to you that maybe she was depressed? Maybe instead of insulting a dead child you should show some compassion. She's dead, and even her mom didn't do anything to help her, and people try to blame her for it, its crazy.

RE: Pathetic
By VashHT on 12/5/2007 10:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
So I had to add to this more. Blaming fragility, iraationality are pathetic cop outs. Blaming the girl is pathetic and disgusting. She is a victim, I'm tired of people treating depression like its the depressed persons fault. Depression isn't their choice, its not something they decide to go through. To sit on here and act like you're immune to depression is pathetic, everyone goes through it, no matter how tough and cool you want to act on the internet. It's pathetic that people can turn depression against the person, it only makes them more depressed. Maybe instead of mocking people who are depressed you should you know, be nice to them so they feel better. People get over depression, but not when they;re insulted and told they should kill themself, that obviously makes it worse.

And to suggest she would've killed herself anyway is absolutely insane, think about how many teenagers would be dead now if that was true, its obviously not even close to true.

Sorry to put all of this in one reply, I'm commenting on multiple other comments I have seen on here. If you have never been that depressed then its hard for you to see it from her view obviously, but as someone who has and has lived on to live a successful life it really pisses me off to pass this off as her fault. If my friends and family hadn't helped me, if they had told me to kill myself I might not be alive, but they helped me out. Even kind comments from strangers always helps. Mocking people for their depression is pathetically weak. If you can only bash people who is so depressed that they would agree with you than you really are pathetic, there's no other word for it.

RE: Pathetic
By jtemplin on 12/6/2007 12:04:40 AM , Rating: 2
Well put!

Reading these comments just shows how out of touch some people are with the human mind. If I passed around the comments made by masher who is supposedly a respected member (at least I used to think he was) of this community to my peers at the University of Maryland Psychology Department I can assure you would find almost unilateral opposition. Everything you write drips with ignorance of all things psychological. I would submit that your ignorance makes you the asinine party. Ad hominem attacks could only further this charge.

Hey is this guy asinine too masher? He seems to disagree with you also.

Better add him to the list.

RE: Pathetic
By VashHT on 12/5/2007 10:42:50 PM , Rating: 2
Im sorry, I think I have a point even if they didn't know. Telling someone to commit suicide is never right, its not something that should be joked about. And telling someone to do it under the guise of their friend is pretty demented.

RE: Pathetic
By retrospooty on 12/5/2007 10:45:17 AM , Rating: 2
I dont think anyone was defending the acts of the 47yr old lady who was harrasing... Just that there isnt a legal leg to stand on.

If I said those things to you right now, would you go kill yourself? Of course not (I hope not anyhow). The point is, that if someone is suicidal, it is because they have mental issues. You cant legally go after another person that harrased them. Granted the 47yr lady is an aweful person, for doing what she did, she cant really be blamed for the suicide.

RE: Pathetic
By jtemplin on 12/6/2007 12:07:14 AM , Rating: 2
You just don't get it. Repeat after me:
I don't know what it means to feel empathy. I cannot feel another human beings pain, and I cannot understand how someone can feel such despair that they would wish to kill themselves.

RE: Pathetic
By retrospooty on 12/6/2007 9:51:19 AM , Rating: 2
ya, I guess that I dont get it then, your empathy quote did little to explain what you mean. I have read it and repeated it as asked, and I still dont know what you mean.

Like I said, that lady was aweful, but I don't blame her for the suicide. If anything this girl had known emotional issues and was left alone to maintain relationships - which are inherently painful.

Sadly, teen suicide has always been a problem, some kids just cant take what the world dishes out... I dont think anyone is to blame for emotional disorders, but if anything, blame her parents for not getting her the help she needed. It is a common theme for parents like that to place the blame externally, partially through their own pain and loss, and partially through denial. "my child is dead, it can't possibly be anything I did or didn't do, lets look externally for fault".

RE: Pathetic
By jtemplin on 12/6/2007 4:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry if I was being a bit harsh...

I don't really care who there is to blame. Anyone who contributes to this nasty problem is to blame IMO. I never explicitly said that I was defending the side of the story the media knows, but we all know she is dead, and we all can see that things could have been done to help prevent it.

It just really makes me sick when I see people saying "who cares if some adult may have contributed to her suicide, she was going to do it anyway". Suicide is not a normal outcome, it is a breakdown of mental life. Our minds are our greatest advantage.

Our orbitofrontal and prefrontal cortices which are proportionally larger than almost any other animal (except perhaps those of monotremes, which are conspicuously unconscious--a good example of functionally divergent evolution) are what separates us from all other animals. We are conscious, and we can plan series of behaviors, imagine future events, have theory of mind which is to imagine the thoughts of others(which some members of this community seem to also conspicuously lack), and many other things which give us the huge advantage that has brought us where we are. When this system turns on itself (read:suicide), it should be viewed as a pathology. I am very compassionate when it comes to sick people, and I don't tolerate victim blaming.

Next time you (not necessarily you, just anyone who wants to blame a victim) meet smoker who has lung cancer please remind him that it is through his actions alone he is sick. As if that will accomplish much. People forget how crystal clear hindsight can be. There are myriad reasons for every state of mind, every unforseen outcome, never just one simple explanation. Nothing in life is ever this simple, and if you start with just a little compassion it may take you a long way.

Here is a good abstract on executive function, albeit a bit technical but it has a tidy list summing the features of the prefrontal cortex

Playing the devils advocate
By dflynchimp on 12/4/2007 8:17:28 PM , Rating: 3
I'm probably going to catch alot of flak for the next few sentences, but here goes:

Seriously, someone bitches you out on line...solution: you hang yourself?

what kind of a answer is that? I hate to bash on the deceased, but this Megan needed to understand that people will say all kinds of crap on line, you have to learn to ignore or at least not take too seriously that kinda stuff. I mean if I get -3 neg modded for this post it's not like I'm going to hang myself. If that was the case I'd probably be dead already.

Also, this fiasco could seriously impede my ability to b**** at people online, for fear that they might just kill themselves. Come on, friends all have their bash-fests once in a while. You're not supposed to take that kind of stuff seriously.

On Megan's behalf, though, I'd like to say that her mother really didn't help matters. If you find your daughter crying over being insulted online it is really tactless to further aggravate her by criticising her language...adults...they never learn...

RE: Playing the devils advocate
By GhandiInstinct on 12/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Playing the devils advocate
By ImSpartacus on 12/4/2007 9:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
People modding you down are christians.

Lol, way to be openminded.

I think Christian principles are decent, but too much of a good thing isn't always good.

By amandahugnkiss on 12/5/2007 3:32:02 AM , Rating: 2
Someone else mentioned you were not being open minded, but your comment is pretty naive and you pretty much disrespect Ghandi as such.

RE: Playing the devils advocate
By ImSpartacus on 12/4/2007 9:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, you have to have some thick skin on the internet. You just have to learn how to take it, and try not to get close to anyone you don't know.

RE: Playing the devils advocate
By JoshuaBuss on 12/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Playing the devils advocate
By Clauzii on 12/5/2007 1:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
Good point there :)

By NT78stonewobble on 12/5/2007 2:42:59 AM , Rating: 2
Shame she didn't learn that in time. :S

But yeh the mother doesn't sound too good IMO.

I don't have kids but IMO you do have to accept kids feelings on the same line of adults.

So a crying teen IMO needs consoling and not a lecture. That, if needed, can be addressed when the child is feeling better and you can have a somewhat more rational (with a teen?) discussion.

By Masterrer on 12/4/2007 6:21:27 PM , Rating: 1
Nothing like being beat up at school just because you wear cheap clothes, and having your mom beat the crap out of you for getting a bad mark, and seeing your dad return home drunk in the middle of the night, and then hearing your parents shout and fight till about 3am...

Ahh, I love life, and I'm still here...

And my personal opinion is that life is what you make it, and it is up to each person to make his life as miserable or as wonderful as he can...

RE: Life...
By firewolfsm on 12/4/2007 6:28:15 PM , Rating: 1
You got beat up because of you, not your clothes.

The rest is the stereotypical shitty childhood, good to see you got through it.

RE: Life...
By Masterrer on 12/4/2007 6:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
Well, yes, you are right...

I guess it is just natural of people to blame something/someone for their problems (like I did) when in fact, most of the problems are being created by their personality... like you said

RE: Life...
By SoCalBoomer on 12/4/2007 7:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
good thing you know him and the petty cruel kids that beat him up and can say for a certainty that it was him and not the image of the poor kid, with cheap clothes, who is withdrawn and has nobody to stand with him making him the easy victim.

Wonderful how you take the responsibility away from the bullies and drop it directly on the victim.

I bet you blame rapes on the victim as well.

Nice. You're EXACTLY the type of person that I want to associate with. . .oh wait.

RE: Life...
By jamdunc on 12/5/2007 2:16:37 AM , Rating: 1
I got picked on at school because of my clothes, not because it's just shitty childhood.

The school had a policy of voluntary uniform. My parents decided I would be wearing it, and I think I was 1 of about 4 people to wear it. And that made me stick out like a sore thumb and I became the target for the bullies.

I did get so down that after just 3 weeks I refused to go to school unless I wore normal clothes because of it and my parents relented, but the damage had been done. I'd stuck out and they remembered that.

So stop your crap!

RE: Life...
By NT78stonewobble on 12/5/2007 2:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
I was fat when I was a kid and got picked on severely through 4-5 years of school.

Now 12 years after this I'm still suffering from low selfesteem and in a way still a very fragile self.

You gonna say that people not accepting others as they are is my own problem?

PS. I actually was one of those who got fat due to hormonal medicines I had to take...

RE: Life...
By retrospooty on 12/6/2007 9:58:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone is saying its right or its nice to pick on people, but it is real and does happen, and always has happened, nothing new here. The point is you are still here with us. you didn't end it all, and that shows that you faced the issue and got through it like most people do.

Bring on the blame game!
By gtrinku on 12/4/2007 7:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one here who thinks that since the girl committed suicide (as in KILLED HERSELF), the sole blame of her death falls on herself? If she had mental issues strong enough to lead her to hanging herself, anything else could've been the trigger, so I don't see any reason to blame either her neighbor, her mother, or social networking sites.

RE: Bring on the blame game!
By themadmilkman on 12/4/2007 10:40:53 PM , Rating: 1
You may think that. The law doesn't agree with you.

By NT78stonewobble on 12/5/2007 2:49:31 AM , Rating: 2
Ah so parents doesn't affect their kids?

Neither do other people?

We just all coexist without ever affecting other peoples lives?


But yeh the other woman can't be said to be directly responsible for pushing the girl to suiside.

By CascadingDarkness on 12/5/2007 4:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to miss this girl was 13. Parents should always be held up along with their kids to an extent (if you disagree don't have kids. It's a choice). Until 18 she is the parent's responsibility. I admit preventing this kind of thing would be hard, but it would take a lot more info to convince me more couldn't have been done.

By cobaltb on 12/4/2007 7:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
This is why and many other social networks will be filtered on my daughters computer. Not only can it be a danger socially, it promotes mediocrity in my opinion. There are many more fun/productive things one could be doing. The world would be better off without it. Social networking is important in life, but is dangerous when used to build one's self esteem. Should that network breakdown, so does the person.

RE: MySpace
By ImSpartacus on 12/4/2007 7:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
How many users of myspace (and other networking sites) are there? How many of them have taken their own life?

While myspace (and such) can be extremely dangerous, the odds of serious trouble to an individual is comparable to the odds of dying from a surgery.

However I still agree that social networking sites are destructive and shouldn't be used (personal opinion).

RE: MySpace
By BMFPitt on 12/5/2007 12:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
This is why and many other social networks will be filtered on my daughters computer.
Unless she's home schooled, I doubt that makes much of a difference. (And if she is, that might be worse.)
Not only can it be a danger socially, it promotes mediocrity in my opinion.
If I was exposed to viewing MySpace pages for more than an hour, I would start contemplating suicide. My hideous 1997 GeoCities homepage was a work of art in comparison.

other things going on...
By dubldwn on 12/4/2007 6:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
if the simple statements made on Megan’s MySpace page that were reported were enough to drive Megan to suicide, there were much larger issues going on

Absolutely. Just another example of how emotionally fragile some young girls are regarding their social lives. That's a shame. Very pretty girl.

RE: other things going on...
By Master Kenobi on 12/4/2007 7:16:11 PM , Rating: 3
I have to agree. Young girls are extremely fragile. They can't take the pressure of being disliked. Popularity is everything to the majority of them. Most around that age would rather die then deal with not fitting in with the rest. It's really a peer pressure situation. She couldn't take the pressure, she took her own life. The hard truth is that, people have absolute control here. This little girl believed it was worth it to take her own life, and nobody could have prevented it. We deal with it and move on. What if it wasn't this 47 year old woman, but infact her daughter who was around the same age as this girl? It's not like it's out of the ordinary for girls to do that to each other at this age, it happens all the time. Would we try to press charges against her daughter for it? No. Her mother? Well as far as the laws go, it would be impossible to charge them with anything. We would like to charge her mother as an accomplice to suicide, but it's not quite like that. If I tell someone tomorrow that they should kill themselves and do us all a favor, it is their choice to listen to me or tell me where to stick it. They ultimately make the decision, and follow through with it. Blame lies purely on the kid who took her life, and the parents for not being there to help their child through this textbook time in her life where things are very emotional, and typically fragile.

This is stupid
By phatboye on 12/4/2007 6:05:43 PM , Rating: 3
I blame the mother, the lawyers should sue the mother for not being on Megan's side.

RE: This is stupid
By Comdrpopnfresh on 12/4/2007 6:13:27 PM , Rating: 1
whether you're removed from the situation or not- someone died, which is no reason to be an ass. You don't know if this girl was being harassed at school and her parents just weren't involved in her life enough to know. It's sad, not funny.

take her to the cleaners
By TomCorelis on 12/4/2007 7:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
I would think that Megan's family would have some kind of case in civil court. Sure the woman can't prove her actions compelled Megan to commit suicide, but she still inflicted emotional distress....

RE: take her to the cleaners
By themadmilkman on 12/4/2007 8:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
if the neighbor has any assets at all, or insurance that will cover such a suit, then yes, there will be a civil suit.

Can a lawyer prove that the neighbor's actions were the proximate cause of Megan's suicide? I don't know. If they can, that will lead to the largest reward. But I think that they can definitely meet one of the lesser degrees of causation and still win.

The most important thing to remember is that this thing would be tried in front of a jury. That fact alone, given the nature of this case, is a huge asset for Megan's family.

Some people take the internet too seriously
By InternetGeek on 12/4/2007 7:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
- "Hey, I made a Facebook!"
- "It sucks"
- "Ooooh, woe is me..." /BANG

Sad as this event is, it takes nothing away from what I said.

By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 8:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
True that!

The problem is when it's kids and finding friends, they don't 'filter-out' the same way as an adult would (even though some adults never learned!), bringin 'possible enemies' in close, as I see with the 47 year old in this case.

Adults, normally, also have more insight into how to 'psychologically trick' a 13 year old than the other way around (even though kids CAN get smart too!).

I have a question:
Can this case (by US-law) be considered as a possible way-pointer (test-case) for the judging in future cases like this ie. rewriting the laws?

the girl was screwed up already
By fearsjohn on 12/4/2007 8:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
if the girl is so unstable to kill herself over this then she was going to later anyway. i don't know about you people but kids now a days are weak minded. when i was a kid if someone said that i would say up yours or something it is not like i cared. the said thing is that the woman took the time to do this to the girl. but come on people she did not kill the girl the girl was already messed up.

RE: the girl was screwed up already
By nicknet on 12/4/2007 9:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly - the level the lady went too was a bit extreme, but still, killing yourself is a highly irrational thing to do over the loss of some friends due to my space slandering, so yeah your right, she was messed up which is sad in itself.

Oh so harsh!
By thartist on 12/5/2007 12:15:09 AM , Rating: 2
Such harsh insults (WTF!) reminds me of MICHAEL JACKSON when mad at tomy mottola, was it?

How could she hang herself because of this utter sh*t? That girl must have had a serious mental disorder to do this.

RE: Oh so harsh!
By jtemplin on 12/5/2007 12:16:16 AM , Rating: 2
Do not be so quick to discount nurture over nature.

Failure of everyone involved.
By MagicSquid on 12/5/2007 1:29:10 AM , Rating: 2
I feel that the mother is partially at fault, and probably both parents (for missing the signs of a troubled teen). When the mother came home from work, and found her daughter in tears, she exacerbated the situation, by, of all things, complaining about the use of inappropriate language. What the hell was she thinking?! The poor girl had just had an online fight with someone who she thought was her boyfriend. The Mom should've done anything but complain about which language Megan was using during the fight. That choice, right there was the turning point. The Mom completely missed the boat in this incident. It's unfortunate that the price she pays for one quick mistake like that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Also, to most of the posters in this thread that thought she was unstable: What a person who's having emotional difficulties needs when they're feeling like that is someone who's caring and understanding; a shoulder to cry on. She was probably having a tough time in her life. She thought she had a companion in her online boyfriend, Josh. To suddenly have him turn on her like that would be extraordinarily distressing, even to someone who wasn't emotionally unbalanced. Josh wasn't just some Counterstrike newb to her, he wasn't some random person on myspace. This was her boyfriend, who she thought she could trust and confide in. Imagine if the person who you trusted most in the world (lifelong friend, girlfriend/significant other, etc) suddenly turned on you for no good reason. How would you feel? That's exactly what happened to this poor girl, and she couldn't deal with it.

Furthermore, as for Lori Drew: hearing about a grownup, and mother doing that to a young girl is cruelty on a level I've seldom seen. Legality and morality are often times not the same thing, as is shown here. Just because it wasn't illegal certainly doesn't make impersonating a fictitious person for the sole purpose of deceiving an emotionally unbalanced young girl an acceptable action. The actions of Lori Drew were completely detestable.

On a completely unrelated sidenote: Why is this news? I mean, it's certainly interesting, and may have far reaching consequences for the online community, but it happened in 2006, not 2007.

By MagicSquid on 12/5/2007 1:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
For anyone wanting to watch a CNN interview with the parents, that is right here:

I actually made an account to post this...
By RagnarIV on 12/5/2007 2:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
Some people are saying that the girl was already mentally unstable so it was not the harasser's fault. I read the original article that was posted in the local paper, and there is a bit more to the story, the girl had problems several years before, and she had been doing relatively well, then she started talking to the harasser over a myspace account thinking that they were a young guy, and that he was interested in her. Apparently they maintained the charade for a while and then let it all loose on her telling her to go kill herself etc. So before you say this
girl was unstable, it is truly the fault of the antagonist in this situation. I only wish I could link the original article, I saw it on digg a week or two ago.

Point and case, it wasn't the girl's parents fault, they had no idea she was going to kill herself, it was the fault of the parents of the 18 year old girl who posted the comments and did nothing to curb the destructive behavior.

By tmouse on 12/5/2007 8:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
Just because you read an account on a local paper saying she was doing well does not mean she was I can tell you this from personal experience. I seriously doubt she was and the quote about her mother’s reaction provides ample evidence for this. When a person with a suicidal history is exhibiting an exaggerated response to something like a stupid statement on an internet page, her mother should have suspected the worse, in fact she made it worse by providing an ultimate (in her daughters mind) rejection. I believe this strongly indicates things were not well in that household from the get go and I feel for any other children if there are any. The papers give these reports based upon family interviews and I think they are still in full fledged denial. I have never seen a family say we are one dysfunctional family to the papers, have you?

Teen hangs HERself...
By Clauzii on 12/4/2007 7:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
Just on a sidenote.

How it usually happens
By mindless1 on 12/5/2007 5:16:39 AM , Rating: 2
TYpically the victim's parent(s) are emotionally abusive, the child can't function normally in the environment, and parents refuse to accept responsibility for the child's problems and instend sent the child to a shrink who, not having the whole story about how the parents treat the child, can only conclude the child has a biological rather than situational problem and then prescribes a course of action to "fix" the child.

That doesn't work, because the child is now more estranged from a normal healthly life than ever, and it enabled the parent(s) to further shift blame away from themselves claiming everything is the child's fault.

That kind of situation leaves many teens teetering on the end, but that was a regular situation the teen had already coped with at least well enough she'd not killed herself. It took this additional outside stress to push her over the edge, when she felt wronged and again the opposite of emotional support from her mother.

IMO, the girl's mother is mostly to blame. Other family members who let the situation persist are also a bit to blame, as well as the doctor who diagnoses a pre- to adolescent, as well as the 47 year old woman who was the most insulated from the situation and should have known better.

We as a society don't like to place partial blame though, unless there was a clear conspiracy. Let's at least hope a few mothers out there pause before being overly critical of their children and accept that there are no perfect parents, but there are better ways than others to try to be one.

Just what Myspace needs...
By MrPickins on 12/5/2007 9:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
Another person trying to be an hero.

By Rhodenator on 12/5/2007 9:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
Should you ever say to anyone, "The World would be better without you", even IF it's true? Probably not. It'd be better to be the "better person" and over-look their inabilities or negatives and learn to live with them, right?

So, no, the person who left the negative comments should not have left them. HOWEVER, I don't blame that person one bit, the girl was unfortunately unstable. If the girl hadn't commited suicide now, would she have 1 year from now? 2? There's no way of knowing but she did have problems. I'd say 99% of the people that read this article and posted wouldn't care if 100 people told them to commit suicide, they wouldn't do it.

I just can't stand when people won't accept blame for themselves. When there's an accident it's always some elses fault. I know some will say the person making the comments is to blame and I understand that she could have been what pushed the girl over the edge, but when someone is always teeter-tottering over the edge, it's going to be tough. Which is WHY you should be nice and kind to all, because you never know their disabilties/problems. With that said, I still stand behind the fact that the GIRL commited suicide, there wasn't anyone doing it for her. I hope her family is handling it OK and all learn from this.

Unfortunate examples for others...

By Dribble on 12/5/2007 11:50:27 AM , Rating: 2
Trash talking, putting others down and picking on people/bullying are something kids do to each other. Online they are generally worse as they are less accountable.
In this case it was an 18 year old doing the typing but it could just have easily been another 13 year old. There could really have been a boy called Josh, and he could really have said that stuff - kids do.
Hence it's really the mother/father's responsibility as much as it's anyones in this case, while the other family weren't nice, their comments were no different then comments most teenagers have made online at some time or another. Sounds like in their grief they are shifting blame and the media has picked up on it and is making the most of the situation.

Media Spin doctors at it again...
By HighWing on 12/5/2007 8:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe this is just me, but from reading this I can't help but think this has some similarities to a case a few years back where two kids threw a bowling ball off an overpass and killed a baby. The media was all hyping how the kids were "emulating" an episode of Bevis & Butthead when in reality it should have been on the parents for not raising their kids properly to know that a bowling ball is heavy and could kill someone.

In this case with the girl it sounds like she had more troubles beyond just what was happening on her myspace page, and the media just wants to throw around the myspace name to make this story sound more interesting then it really is. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that this isn't a tragedy, but I think the news media is throwing blame around and not reporting on facts that would show there were other factors that also lead to her suicide.

Poor Parents
By GhandiInstinct on 12/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Poor Parents
By masher2 on 12/4/2007 9:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. This sounds much more like an innate emotional problem compounded by poor parenting, than a situational created by "manipulating online adults". Quite obviously her mother is going to want to point the finger elsewhere, though, than where it really belongs.

RE: Poor Parents
By masher2 on 12/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Poor Parents
By gradoman on 12/4/2007 9:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
Time for you to disconnect from the Interweb, young man!

I think this girl's parents should have been a bit more vigilant and kept her busy in real-life and OFF the web where we all know people can hide behind their screen names and aliases and computers to type whatever-the-hell they want.

I mean, if it wasn't already obvious that the web is full of predators and idiots, you could just look at the news, websites, newspapers. It's a jungle filled with wonder and danger!

RE: Poor Parents
By SilthDraeth on 12/4/2007 11:38:54 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Poor Parents
By jtemplin on 12/5/2007 12:14:02 AM , Rating: 2
This comment completely discredits any respect I had left for you. Seriously. I don't ask that you care, I just wanted you to know the impact your words had on me.

Ps I did not rate down anything you said on this comment section. In fact, I see the work has been done for me.

RE: Poor Parents
By SlyNine on 12/5/2007 1:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
Masher was a bright person. Its a shame we will never hear from him/her again.

Honestly though, If you have ever been around a troubled teen, you know that you can get fed up, maybe the supposed bad parent was simply having a bad day.

Don't tell me that's not allowed because all people have bad days and vent it wrong. This does not make her a bad parent.

I feel bad that the girl found her self in a emotional place that led her to that. But at the end we are all responsible for our actions. Nothing will ever change that.

I think that the friends mom is pretty messed up for condoning this action, but not at fault for the suicide.

Of course, I certainly hope/think masher is kidding.

RE: Poor Parents
By Master Kenobi on 12/5/2007 10:59:13 AM , Rating: 2
Of course Masher is kidding, he was trying to make a point. You all modded him down without a second thought. People willingly act to harm other people if even "jokingly". Pot Kettle Black.

RE: Poor Parents
By BMFPitt on 12/5/2007 12:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
You all modded him down without a second thought. People willingly act to harm other people if even "jokingly". Pot Kettle Black.
I'm all in favor of anyone who commits suicide over getting downrated removing themselves from the gene pool. If he actually did it, I would feel no remorse.

Of course, there's a big leap from downrating someone who literally asked for it to dedicating hours of your time to harass a kid. Doesn't make it any less helpful that that person is out of the gene pool, but it pretty much signals that the person doing it should be removed, as well.

RE: Poor Parents
By CascadingDarkness on 12/5/2007 4:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
So essentially anyone gets hurt, or is hurtful should be taken out of gene pool? I can't wait to hear all the other wonderful callous ideas for removing people from gene pool you have. Will anyone be spared? Except you of course...

RE: Poor Parents
By BMFPitt on 12/5/2007 6:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
So essentially anyone gets hurt, or is hurtful should be taken out of gene pool?
No, just the ones who voluntarily remove themselves over what someone says online.
I can't wait to hear all the other wonderful callous ideas for removing people from gene pool you have.
I have one about replacing the schools they have for kids that are too violent to go to real schools with some sort of system where they either get fixed or die at the end of a year. This gets them out early, before (most of them) breed.
Will anyone be spared? Except you of course...

People who don't kill themselves over MySpace?

RE: Poor Parents
By Christopher1 on 12/5/07, Rating: -1
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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