The Internet Hoax and Suicide

      15 Comments on The Internet Hoax and Suicide

meganI first read Megan Meier’s suicide from my husband’s entry Online Hoax Leads to Suicide of Teenage Girl. The sad story starts with an online friend, Josh Evans who Megan never met in real life. Josh became mean to Megan and told her ““The world would be a better place without you.”. Sobbing, Megan ran into her bedroom closet. Her mother found her there, just 15 minutes later, hanging from a belt, another fatal teen statistic.

Six weeks after Megan’s death, her parents learned that Josh Evans never existed. He was an online character created by Lori Drew, the 47-year old mother of Megan’s former best friend, who lived four houses down the street from the Meiers. Mrs. Drew created the character ““Josh Evans”, according to a neighbor, because she ““going to mess with Megan” for apparently breaking up the once-close friendship with her daughter. Lori Drew did more than that. She drove Megan Meir to kill herself.

I can’t believe how Lori Drew together with her employee took the pain of her daughter by pretending to be Josh. As a mother, I do feel the heartbreak of my daughter’s failed friendships or relationships but I cannot fight their battles. It’s natural for a mom to protect her daughter, but a reasonable mature adult would have gone to the other parents and start a discussion on how to resolve conflicts.

No charges were filed against Lori Drew because she did not break any law. Sure, she was rude and immature but her actions were not illegal. Oh dear. Latest news is Megan’s neighbors turned against their neighbor Lori Drew demanding the Drews to move out. Through her lawyer, Lori denied saying hurtful things to Megan over the Internet. Prosecutors have said they found no grounds for charges against the woman. Nevertheless, the community reaction has been vengeful and the pressure on the Drews intense.

I strongly agree on this comment that both parents are partly responsible:

While I do not condone the actions of the Drew family, for I believe they should feel responsible for contributing to the death of Megan, I think the Meier family is also responsible. I question if they took her depression seriously. After all, why allow your teen on MySpace where bullying and harassment is apparent. Parents need to monitor their teens actions on the computer no matter how much flack you get from them. You are the parent. As for adults harassing the Drews, or thinking of doing something, they have been punished enough by the community. Charges have been tried and nothing came of it, but hopefully this will get a law started for those who get their jollies from bullying others online. To all parents, monitor your kids online activities. It’s your responsibility.

Cyber bullying is a reality in the recent internet years since there are a lot of social networks like friendster, multiply and myspace. If you notice your kid is being bullied online, get help. Even mature experienced adults often cannot handle bullying and harassment by themselves.

The whole situation is so sad. I find it hard to believe a mom would knowingly allow her kid to bully someone. Teens are already saddled with enough real or imagined problems. I find it sadder that a whole community is into a vigilante type of justice. It’s like how they used to do in the 1700s and 1800s. If you wronged a community, you were basically shunned. That’s basically what happened to the Drew Family.

Would you take justice into your own hands by being part of this “lynch mob”?

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1352 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • em

    Lori Drew is a sicko. The situation is sad in every way you look at it. I would probably ignore the Drews but not throw a brick. That’s just me

  • There is a price to pay for this sick behavior. If the law can’t do anything, then it is up to the community to protect their children from this sicko. I think the people in the 1700’s and 1800’s were not stupid.

  • mela

    i think it’s about time laws are enacted which punish this kind of internet hoax. The Drew family should move out too. They will be the object of gossip for years to come.

  • jamie

    I think the Drew’s should have been run out over a year ago, when the truth was found. How could any mother do this to a child? She is not different then Susan who drowned her children. Only this one chose another mother’s child? If her daughter had been put in the same position and killed herself, Ms. Drew would want revenge. That is apparent after the actions she took. She is a vicious, cruel person. I can not imagine hurting someone like that.

  • I just watch a 20/20 special(ABC.com) on this girl and her family. Her parents are taking some responsibility of things but I do agree that those Drew’s are one sick and cruel human beings.

  • Jay

    Even though a third party was actually involved in the typing of the messages, Drew had a hand in planning this plot. This makes her an equal accomplice in guilt.
    Somehow she doesnt think so but Drew has a lot of Karma to work out!

  • I just read the articles related to this issue yesterday, and it’s really riveting. It’s sick how Lori Drew was defending her actions, and how other people are saying she (Lori) is not to blame, as she did not tie the noose around Megan’s head. Hello?! An adult bullying a 13-year old who she know might be mentally unstable?

    I also read that the Meiers are monitoring Megan online. They were with her when she opens her Myspace. It’s sad that it wasn’t enough to stop Megan from doing such drastic action.

    As for the lynch mob, it’s certainly not the best action. I don’t support it, but I guess it’s the only thing the community feel they can do, since the law wasn’t able to help the Meier’s case.

  • What do you expect with all the crazy things going on with people on the internet these days (Chris Hanson, dateline) etc.. People need to start going out in the world and conversing with people like god intended us to, (Normally).

  • I’d be the one throwing the brick if it weren’t for the fact that I’d be scared to get caught. Lol.

    Kidding aside, it’s understandable how the community retaliated considering the lack of apparent justice. And considering that it wasn’t a secret that Megan was suffering from depression, Drew shouldn’t have went on with it. How could she not know, right? Her daughter is good friends with Megan.

  • lemon

    This is scary.

    YEsterday, during a reunion with college sorority sisters, the mothers in the group were discussing how we should closely monitor the online activities of our kids bec. of the very real dangers if they go unchecked.

  • While the Megan Meier case seems outrageous and unique, it isn’t. Hundreds of cases of egregious and heinous acts go on every day with the same excuses out of our lawmakers.

    One such other case….The case of Nikki Catsouras, is a classic example of disgusting, hateful activity against innocent victims, while our lawmakers excuse themselves from enacting laws to prevent this.

    The excuse lawmakers use to let themselves off the hook stem from the growth of the Internet and how fast it’s changing. This is a sham.

    Chat rooms, message boards, instant messengers and email have been in existence for far over a decade now. While the software used to transmit messages changes slightly, the basic essence of using the Internet to send a message is largely the same. Is a decade or two long enough to establish some basic decency laws in regards to Internet usage?

    I’ve posted the Nikki Catsouras story along with many details about the Megan Meier case so the inactivity out of our lawmakers towards these types of cases can be clearly seen.

    Those who are interested in learning about cases like Megan’s and Nikki’s case are encouraged to drop by and comment on them. I have a couple of polls set up as well. Danny Vice would like to hear your point of view.

    Public awareness of the problem and discussions about possible solutions are the best way to pressure elected officials into action instead of excuse making.

    I invite you to come by and share your opinion.

    Danny Vice
    http://weeklyvice.blogspot.com

  • mystery mink

    Oh this whole debacle is utterly hilarious.

    Dumb girl.

    Drew is stupid for letting herself get caught.

  • oh my gosh, but im not really surprised this happened. im afraid this incident wont be the last. youre right, we parents have to be extra vigilant.

  • We have a county prosecutor and a defense attorney who have gone on the record with statements that flat out rewrite history and previous statements.

    If we were to believe that the statements Lori Drew is now making are truthful, and the police report she filed in Nov. 2006, was incorrect, then Lori Drew should be prosecuted for filing a false police, making a false statement or obstruction of justice.

    Lori Drew, through her attorney Jim Briscoe has made the following statement:

    “Everything, as far as Mrs. Drew knew, was that all the communication was nice and polite and there was no harassing going on. She did not create the MySpace account. She did not instruct anybody to create the MySpace account. She never made any communications through the MySpace account.”

    Well alright Lori, now that you’ve completely absolved yourself from the case in any way, shape or form, please explain how this squares with your previous statements.

    When it all comes down to it, we simply don’t believe you. We’ll take the officer’s account of what you said above what your attorney says. He was not being paid to defend you.

    Jack Banas, we are calling for charges in this case one way or another.

    Either the women endangered this child, or she made knowingly false statements to the police prior to the surfacing of this report.

    You cannot absolve this woman of complete wrong doing on both sides of the fence. Pick a side or step down and let someone take over who can. Too many admissions have been publicly made for you to continue to hide under your desk.

    Danny Vice
    http://weeklyvice.blogspot.com

  • If she was impersonating someone else, why was she found to have broken no laws ? Is that not the same as running around with a mask on ? I don’t think they tried hard enough to prosecute. Even a 30 days in jail would have been better than nothing.