Her name was Megan Meier and she was just 13 years old.
I'm sure many of you have heard something about what I'm talking about here. The 2006 Myspace suicide and the ensuing court case. Though how many of you knew the little girl's name? I didn't. Not until a few days ago when I was reading about the outcome of the trial.
And for those of you completely in the dark, here's a short summary:
Megan, and a girl named Sarah Drew, were longtime friends and neighbors, living in O'Fallon, Missouri, only a few houses down from each other.
As is the case with most teenage BFF's, they had a falling out and Megan apparently called Sarah/started a rumor claiming that Sarah was a lesbian.
Sarah told her (then) 47 year old mother Lori Drew (the devil takes a name), and Lori's (then) 18 year old employee Ashley Grills about the incident.
The three then conspired to create a fake Myspace account under the guise of being a 16 year old boy named "Josh Evans", in the hopes of finding out what Megan was saying about Sarah.
"Josh" and Megan began having an online relationship which lasted about a month.
The relationship ended when "Josh" sent Megan a message telling her that "the world would be a better place without you. Have a shitty rest of your life."
About a half hour later, on October 16, 2006, Megan hung herself.
It's difficult for me to put my anger into words. It doesn't manifest itself in a form conducive to the print medium.
Sickened, disgusted, outraged...these are mere words that don't do my actual feelings any justice. What I really want to do is punch something.
Sarah knew that Megan suffered from depression. And she also knew that Megan had contemplated suicide in the past. She testified to this in court.
Apparently, there's no criminal charge that could be brought against Lori Drew for her role in all this. This from an excellent Wired.com article by Kim Zetter:
That's when prosecutors in Los Angeles sought to indict Drew, charging her with unauthorized access to MySpace's computers, using a federal anti-hacking statute known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Prosecutors charged that Drew was guilty of the crime by violating MySpace's terms-of-service agreement when she and her co-conspirators allegedly provided false information to open the account and pose online as the 16-year-old boy.
The case was tried in Los Angeles, because that's where Myspace is headquartered.
For the record, I do not fault Myspace in any way for what happened. These matters need to be policed by parents not multi-national conglomerate's. The trouble is, Lori Drew is the parent. She makes a strong case for instituting a fascist regime where you need to be qualified, pass some kind of test, something, in order to reproduce.
My hometown Los Angeles jury's are not known for their good judgement, having acquitted Robert Blake, O.J. Simpson, and the officers responsible for the Rodney King beating. They also acquitted Lori Drew last Wednesday of felony charges in the case, instead finding her guilty of three misdemeanors.
As much as I would love to run into Lori Drew in a dark alley, I don't fault the jury. Nor do I fault the prosecution for the acquittal. The prosecutors were zealous, and wanted to bring this worthless excuse for a human being to justice. But, these charges, were in essence like going after Al Capone for Income Tax evasion. It would have been an abuse of the system and could have potentially opened Pandora's Box had they been successful.
Where I'm left dumbfounded is in the realization that the prosecutors had to go to these extreme lengths to get Drew in front of a jury. How is there nothing, no possible charge at all that could have been brought against her? HOW?!?!?!
I leave you with this look at the gem that is Lori Drew from another Kim Zetter/Wired.com article:
Shortly after 13-year-old Megan Meier began corresponding with a new MySpace friend called "Josh Evans," Lori Drew walked into a hair salon with a "funny story" about the unfolding hoax, Drew's hair dresser testified...
In the first full day of testimony in Drew's computer fraud trial, hairdresser Christina Chu described a 2006 hair appointment in which Drew -- daughter in tow -- boasted that she'd worked with her assistant [Ashley Grills] to set up a fake MySpace profile for the purpose of getting back at Megan for a fight she'd had with her daughter, Sarah.
"Mom, stop, you're embarrassing me," Sarah said, according to Chu.
Chu, who had a teenage child of her own, was so upset by the story that she had to retreat to the back of the salon, she testified, but not before telling Drew that what she was doing was wrong.
After Meier's death, on the day of her wake, Drew showed up again to have her hair done. Chu asked Drew why she was going to the wake, given her role in the cyber bullying. Drew's response, Chu said, was, "It's not like I pulled the trigger."
"It's not like I pulled the trigger." Not so much as an ouch of remorse. It is with that same melancholy and disdain that I hope to one day report to you in these very pages that someone pulled the trigger on Lori Drew.
To say that I grieve for Megan's family is to simply say I posses a soul. It's to say that I'm alive, that I woke up today. How can anyone not grieve for them? I just can't even begin imagine their pain.
I only hope that I've not done them any harm or caused any more hurt as a result of this article. It was not meant as mere content, nor as a soapbox.
My name is Lenny.
Her name was Megan Meier.