Print 69 comment(s) - last by 16nm.. on Dec 3 at 1:43 PM

Megan Meier's neighbor Ms. Drew was found guilty of misdemeanor charges surrounding her allegedly spurring Meier to kill herself, but found not guilty of three more serious felony charges.  (Source: Myspace)
Family and friends search for closure in final verdict

The case of Lori Drew and her role in the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier was a controversial one.  Meier was a teenager who suffered from bouts of depression, but was generally characterized and good-natured and outgoing.  When she committed suicide after an argument with her mother, it seemed like nothing more than a tragic case of teenage mental illness gone awry. 

However, then it came out that the argument with her mother was over cruel comments from a boy online who allegedly initially romanced her on MySpace and then turned hostile, eventually dropping a hint that the world might be a better place if she left it.  The only thing out of the ordinary -- the teenage boy, wasn't really a teenage boy; it was neighbor Lori Drew who wanted to allegedly "get Meier back" for supposed mean behavior towards her daughter.

When this came to light, federal authorities sidestepped local authorities, which would likely have delivered no charges.  They charged Ms. Drew with a variety of misdemeanors as well as four felony counts.

The trial was long and heated, with Ms. Drew's attorney arguing that Meier's suicide was less the result of MySpace, and more the result of a history of mental illness and that Ms. Drew could not be held responsible for not reading MySpace’s EULA, because "no one" does.  Meanwhile, prosecutors painted Ms. Drew as a mean-spirited woman who tormented young Meier and drove her to her unfortunate end.

In the end the jury found Ms. Drew guilty of three misdemeanor charges, while clearing her of three of the felony charges and reaching a deadlock in a fourth felony charge.  The result is that Ms. Drew will be sentenced to anything from probation to three years behind bars, avoiding felony sentencing which could have put her in prison for 20 years.

The reason the jury found her not guilty on the felony counts was due to lack of proof that Ms. Drew had typed the MySpace messages that drove Meier apparently to suicide.  The messages may also have been typed by Ms. Drew's employee or daughter, both of which were privy to Ms. Drew's scheme.

Tina Meier, Megan's mother says that despite the mixed nature of the verdict, that it's a victory.  She states, "This is about justice.  It's justice not only for Megan but it's justice for everybody who has had to go through this with the computer and being harassed."

MySpace Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam also praised the decision, stating, "MySpace respects the jury's decision and will continue to work with industry experts to raise awareness of cyber-bullying and the harm it can potentially cause."

The greatest impact of the case may be to spur government officials to enact new cyberbullying laws, which could allow criminal charges for those who goad youth into suicide.  Meier's case is not alone in this respect -- recently a teenager was encouraged by hundreds of onlookers in a video chat room to take pills and kill himself, which he did, dying hours later as the cameras rolled.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By g35fan on 12/1/2008 12:32:36 AM , Rating: 5
ridiculous. Lori Drew obviously has some mental problems herself. Probably teased as a young girl and was living her own personal revenge through getting back at her daughter's teaser.

I've got $1,000 that says Megan Meier was on multiple medications and there lies the root of the problem. Freakin 13yr olds on anti-depressents. Now thats bad parenting. Most likely the school talked the parents into it however since schools generally get financial incentive for how many kids are prescribed drugs. - insane isn't it?

RE: ridiculous
By GlassHouse69 on 12/1/2008 1:17:34 AM , Rating: 4
If a glowing pixel can cause someone to commit suicide... I dont think this person would have made it in the real world.

I cant see pixels causing suicide. You just cant create an argument about that.

our society is retarded.

and yes, it is a good point that anti-depressents strongly increase suicide rates and tendencies for psychotic breaks in people under 21 years of age. Its a great market though for drug companies. 95%+ of people under 18 are covered with insurance either by emergency medicaid or parent insurance. Thats a 95% paying market for $$$ to be made screwing up young people's brain chemistry.

RE: ridiculous
By Reclaimer77 on 12/1/2008 1:24:22 AM , Rating: 4
100% agree, and its a joke this woman was even charged with anything in the first place.

" Its about justice " Oh really ? For who ? Megan, or the failings of the mother who can't blame herself or her daughter.

RE: ridiculous
By Samus on 12/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: ridiculous
By Master Kenobi on 12/1/2008 7:08:21 AM , Rating: 5
Hmmmm I'm looking for the crime here though.

Telling someone to leave that it's better off without you. How the hell is that a crime?

Assisted Suicide - Crime.

Suicide Pacts - Crime.

Murder - Crime.

Providing the means to commit suicide - Crime, but you need to prove they provided the materials with full knowledge of the user's intent. Good luck.

So, again I have to ask, what the hell was the crime here? People commit suicide by the thousands every single day, likely many for the reason of someone was causing them grief, be it a parent, friend, kids at school, whatever. No charges get filed in most of these cases.

Unfortunately this entire case reeks of an angry mob out for vengence because a "poor innocent girl" was "driven to suicide by an angry and vicious woman".

RE: ridiculous
By VitalyTheUnknown on 12/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: ridiculous
By Master Kenobi on 12/1/2008 8:04:49 AM , Rating: 2
That is actually how it is, for most rational people.

No, this is the emotional reaction to an event. This has no place in the legality of the matter.

Lori Drew could be considered as something of a sexual predator, as she used the anonymity of the internet to lure Megan Meier into what could be viewed as a sexual relationship.(

Your reaching here. I'd love to see the proof of this. As she was never charged with any crime having to do with the suicide or any sort of predatory behavior I would guess that there is no evidence to support that outlandish statement. I would also like to point out that you pulled that tidbit from "People you see in hell". Not a very reputable website to get legal information from now is it?

RE: ridiculous
By VitalyTheUnknown on 12/1/2008 9:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
Master Kenobi I do completely understand your position on this matter but your stance makes sense only in one place, it is obviously courtroom. Is there laws that can punish this woman for her behavior? maybe not yet, in a way this could become first of it's kind, a precedent case, so do not expect decision based on human morals, reasoning and principles, so I will not try to prove facts, verify sources nor would eagerly destroy yours, bu I do expect one thing, that these troubles that face Lori Drew for her offensive activity would serve as deterrent for others, whether it would be legal penalty or condemnation of ordinary people.

RE: ridiculous
By omnicronx on 12/1/2008 9:35:47 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not defending Lori Drew for her actions of pestering a 13 year old, but don't you remember high school? Stuff like this happens all the time in High school with actually children doing the act. If my 13 year old child was on anti-de

RE: ridiculous
By omnicronx on 12/1/2008 9:39:50 AM , Rating: 2
crap.. pressed enter..

If my 13 year old child was on anti-depressents (which i wouldnt allow in the first place) I would have been keeping a much closer eye on them, especially with their online activity. I have not heard one question aimed at the girls parents, with what actions they were doing to help their child aside from shoving drugs down her throat. If this had been a case of student on student bullying, this story would be about the parents and not about the neighbor.

RE: ridiculous
By VitalyTheUnknown on 12/1/2008 10:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
If my 13 year old child was on anti-depressents (which i wouldnt allow in the first place)

You see, sometimes there is just no choice. When you do all the best to help your child in need, and see how all your good intentions going down the drain and qualified psychotherapist tells you that your child's condition is so extreme that it needs drug treatment to deal with mental and emotional problems, there is no other way but to start treatment.
Yes, she was fragile, and we don't know if her life could be the happy one and would she ever enjoy it, but disturbing fact remains the same: ugly, ill-natured woman took advantage of troubled mind.

RE: ridiculous
By monitorjbl on 12/1/2008 1:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
Look at that girl in the photo and tell me she was an extreme case.

This isn't about actual psychological conditions, at least not ones cause my chemical imbalances. From the evidence I've seen, everyone involved is pretty badly tweaked, but that girl was a victim of bad parenting, not nature.

RE: ridiculous
By othercents on 12/1/2008 2:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
I totally understand having to use anti-depressants on some extreme cases, but I also understand that they are over prescribed. The best way do work with people who have these issues are to help there self-esteem, but no amount of counseling would have have helped if there were outside influences causing the undermining of counseling. If an adult knew another person had tried suicide before then they should know that manipulating them this way could cause another attempt.

However there isn't any laws that stop this. There isn't any tracking setup that will prove that the person actually created the messages either. The owner of the account should be the one responsible for everything that happens on their account and at least be charged with aiding (once we have laws against cyber-bullying). From what I read the account was created for this purpose, so the intent is clear.

This case however had nothing to do with cyber-bullying and harassment. It defendent was charged basically with computer hacking (since there are laws against that). Maybe later they will find a way to deal with the wrongful death side of things.


RE: ridiculous
By momwm616 on 12/2/2008 11:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
That website just gained credibility with me. While this woman was not charged in this girls death only god knows if she is responsible. She will pay I am sure of it. This will not happen through our legal system. It is not designed for the crime she commited.

RE: ridiculous
By maverick85wd on 12/1/2008 3:43:01 PM , Rating: 1
what the hell was the crime here?

I don't know, how about maliciously attacking a minor? Psychological assault is still assault. And seriously, this woman had years of life experience on that girl and should have known better. Yet people have the audacity to blame the parents for not monitoring her online activities. The parents thought she was talking to SOMEONE HER OWN AGE.

I find your argument of "it's not a crime" to be petty and not in good taste. Clearly this is an example of a case where little or no legal precedence has been established. Does that mean Drew was not in the wrong and thus doesn't deserve to go to jail for falsely creating a MySpace account with intent to inflict psychological harm? Ask yourself this question: If it was your kid, what would your feelings be then? Because if someone did something like this to my kid, there'd be no need for a trial.

RE: ridiculous
By g35fan on 12/1/2008 1:33:45 AM , Rating: 1
Good point. Don't forget that prescription drugs are imprinted in our brains from television ads. What is it - 30% of all ads are for prescription medication? Think of what that does to a developing child in this day and age. It makes it "alright" to be on antidepressents or any type of prescription medication - or any medication for that matter. There's a reason why the USA is the only industrialized country in the world that allows drug Ads on TV. Reason = $$$ and corruption. Lots and lots of it.

I think it's rather amusing on some sick level but the thing that really irks me is this - Drugs don't cure any disease. Just suppress symptoms. And of course the drugs themselves cause a whole bunch of other diseases that we're not even fully aware of yet.

If you ask me just about all doctors (besides general practictioners) are idiots. Same with psychiatrist and pyschologiest. I leave out general practitioners, which we have a horrible shortage of, because they are for the most part not motivated by profits.

RE: ridiculous
By omnicronx on 12/1/2008 9:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
Good point. Don't forget that prescription drugs are imprinted in our brains from television ads. What is it - 30% of all ads are for prescription medication? Think of what that does to a developing child in this day and age.
Its illegal in the US to have a commerical for a drug and while saying the name and what it does without having to disclose all side effects (risks and benefits, which can take up a lot of time in a 30 second spot). As such many companies forgo one or the other and come up with fancy marketing techniques so that people still know what they are selling.(Viagra does this very well) But do children as young as 12 know what most of these commercials are for? Probably not..
There's a reason why the USA is the only industrialized country in the world that allows drug Ads on TV.
Not true, Canada allows it, they just have more stringent rules. You can either show the product name or say what it treats, but not both, (unlike the US where you just have to list the sideeffects). Other countries follow similar rules, but mostly the reason that the US does it on such a large scale is because of private health care.
Just suppress symptoms. And of course the drugs themselves cause a whole bunch of other diseases that we're not even fully aware of yet.
Doctors are not idiots, people with no medical education making statements such as yours are idiots. Different drugs do different things, some suppress, some cure. Of course there will always be some bad doctors, but as in any field, there will always be the good and the bad, please do not make a generalization that you cannot back with any facts whatsoever..

I don't agree at all with giving children prescription drugs such as anti-depressants, or mood changing agents, but it really seems you have been watching too many late night infomercials with that guy that claims there are natural cures for everything, and the FDA is here to take over the world.

RE: ridiculous
By g35fan on 12/1/2008 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 1
I didn't say it was a fact - I said it was my opinion that doctorts/psychologists are idiots for the most part. And in my eyes a persons level of education has very little barring on my perception of a persons overall intelligence.

Just because someone goes to school for 7+ years doesn't mean squat to me. It's kind of a "book smarts vs street smarts" thing. I grew up with 2 people who are now doctors and trust me...they were and still are both idiots, lol. And not just in an incompetent way - just being tools of big pharms and totally being driven by monetary gain and egos.

Please inform me of ANY drug that CURES a disease please. I'm pretty darn certain there has never been one but maybe I'm mistaken. Again, in my opinion, we as human beings think we know just about everything but in reality we don't know squat. This is especially true in medical sciences.

Yes, I do know who Kevin Trudeau (spelling) is, lol. He's just another peddler/hustler trying to sell something obviously. Everyone's always trying to sell you something - either a product or an idea - never forget that.

We can agree to disagree on many points here but at least it seems we agree on the main issue here - children being given mood altering drugs is a terrible thing.

RE: ridiculous
By tmouse on 12/2/2008 9:56:25 AM , Rating: 2
Please inform me of ANY drug that CURES a disease </quote

Antibiotics, It also depends how you define cure, while insulin does not "cure" type 1 diabetes meaning it does not regenerate beta cells; the only cause of the disease is the lack of insulin so supplementing it is in fact a cure albeit not a permanent one. There are many drugs that cure.

RE: ridiculous
By Tuor on 12/1/2008 1:35:31 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that Megan Meier's mother broke MySpace's TOS by creating an account for her daughter. The TOS says that someone must be at least 14 years old to have a MySpace account; Megan was only 13 at the time.

A closer reading of the case makes it pretty clear that Drew was only tangently involved in most of what was going on. Her biggest mistake was agreeing with the idea to create the account and not thinking clearly about the possible outcomes.

Megan Meier was just a mental collapse waiting to happen.

RE: ridiculous
By MatthiasF on 12/1/08, Rating: -1
RE: ridiculous
By MikeO on 12/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: ridiculous
By spread on 12/1/2008 7:13:07 AM , Rating: 1
While I do agree the woman involved is sick and needs some help, the girl killed herself because someone on the internet hurt her feelings and told her to.

Someone on the internet told her to go kill herself and she did it.

RE: ridiculous
By Master Kenobi on 12/1/2008 7:55:45 AM , Rating: 3
Someone on the internet told her to go kill herself and she did it.

Ah, but not quite! The exact quote was "this place would be better if you left".

How you want to interpret this quote is up to you, but there was no death threat here.

RE: ridiculous
By spread on 12/1/2008 9:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
Now that you mention it...

It could mean alot of things. Move from the neighborhood, city, country.

Looks like suicide was on her mind to begin with. Maybe that's why she was hopped up on antidepressants.

RE: ridiculous
By Master Kenobi on 12/1/2008 10:11:39 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The result was not predicted, it was the option created by the mind of this 13 year old and it was acted on by the mind of this 13 year old.

This would be telling someone to get out of my life and them slashing their wrists. Are you going to hold me accountable for telling that person to get out of my life? They did what I asked/told them to do, however they provided both the method and execution on their own with no help from me.

RE: ridiculous
By MatthiasF on 12/1/2008 2:51:19 PM , Rating: 1
She was a 13 year old girl who just had the young (fake) man who she fell in love with suddenly teller he she was a horrible person, forwarded every intimate message she sent to "him" to all her schoolmates and told her she deserved to die. This was all in the course of a few hours.

That kind of sudden stress would destroy a normal child and obliterated this troubled girl.

Instead of anyone showing sympathy for the situation, they argue about how the parents were bad, or the drugs killed her.

No, she could have lived to be an adult, got herself off the meds and led a healthy life. There was a lot still possible for her, but was all cut short.

Instead of recognizing the vile act and commiserating, you're all debating minor little aspects of what happened as if they're the cause.

The cause was the harassment. End of story.

RE: ridiculous
By werepossum on 12/1/2008 5:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
While I do agree the woman involved is sick and needs some help , the girl killed herself because someone on the internet hurt her feelings and told her to.

This is what is wrong with American society in a nutshell. This grown woman made and executed a plan to deceive, devastate, and suggest suicide to ("the world" is not "the neighborhood"; there is no leaving it short of death) a young girl whom she already knew to be suicidal, and you see her as a victim. She is not a victim; she knowingly tried to drive a young girl to her death, either as the main instigator or as a willing conspirator. After the girl's death, she told investigators she felt no guilt for what she has done. This woman is evil, and should be in prison for a long, long time, preferably being harassed herself. A normal person would be horrified at even speaking sharply to a child who then committed suicide; this woman - this creature - obtained satisfaction from it.

I agree about the drugs, but doctors prescribing drugs are presumably attempting to help. This woman's only intent was to inflict pain and suffering, and when her actions helped result in the girl's death, she was not horrified, but satisfied.

RE: ridiculous
By spread on 12/1/2008 8:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
I never said the woman was a victim, I simply said she is sick.

There is something fundamentally wrong with her. Who takes this much time to plan such an elaborate persona to hurt some teenage girl her daughter doesn't like anymore.

Megan was the victim, and an easy target, for an online predator in her 40s.

RE: ridiculous
By Master Kenobi on 12/1/2008 7:13:39 AM , Rating: 2
You, and everyone else above, who are excusing two adults of preying on a young girl are sick and demented.

Because in the USA, we have this thing called Laws. Laws are broken, and a crime is committed. In this case, no laws were broken. You, and many others need to learn that Morals, and Ethics do NOT necessarily equal a Law.

The fact that they nailed her for an EULA/TOS violation merely adds weight to how far the prosecution had to stretch the case. On an appeal I expect further charges to be overturned.

RE: ridiculous
By MatthiasF on 12/1/2008 2:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
Numerous laws were broken but because of the method of the attack (over the internet) and the circumstances of the harassment, the assailant could not be discovered without a reasonable doubt.

The woman getting off on the local and federal charges had nothing to do with her not breaking any laws, it was about not having enough evidence to convict.

Because she had an employee setup the Myspace account, passed out the login information for the account she used to harass the girl allowing several people to use it, the defense argued it wasn't her who did the harassment and even had an employee take the blame for saying the line that sent the girl over the edge.

It's the equivalent of a mafia boss getting off because he had his subordinates do all the work, even though he thought up the idea and was involved in every decision. Finding the evidence of the boss being involved boils down to testimonies and no hard evidence.

Good job on the high horse attitude, by the way. You made yourself out to be a bigger troglodyte than the rest by trying to make the defeat of justice legitimate with your completely inappropriate and misinformed notions of the case at hand.

RE: ridiculous
By Tuor on 12/2/2008 12:54:23 AM , Rating: 1
Two adults? IIRC, Grills, the employee (or whatever it was) of Drew, was 18 at the time of Meier's suicide. I guess qualifies as an adult, barely.

And who is excusing Drew? Do I think Drew is to blame for Meier's suicide? No. Do I think Drew did something reprehensible? Yes. And yes, I think Drew showed very bad judgement.

And yes, I blame the Meier for killing herself. I don't have sympathy for suicides. It's not that I'm excusing others so much as holding people accountable for what they actually did rather than trying to blame someone else. Meier killed herself. Drew acted stupidly and despicably.

Meier's mother was wrong to create a MySpace account for her unstable daughter, and she, IMO, should've been more supportive of her daughter in the face of what was being said about her and how badly she was reacting to it. I bet she regrets that now, but also think that at least some of her actions are based on an attempt to deflect guilt for her own callousness when her daughter needed her.

And yes, I do think Meier was a just a meltdown ready to happen.

RE: ridiculous
By 16nm on 12/3/2008 1:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
All teenagers have mental 'problems'. It just goes with the territory. All adults know this.

oxymoron: teenage mental problems


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki