Suicide By Text

12 Oct

You can’t think about it.

You just have to do it. 

You said you were gonna do it. 

Like I don’t get why you aren’t.

Michelle Carter

So texted Michelle Carter to Conrad Roy, her 18-year-old boyfriend. And there were many other texts to follow. She goaded him to commit suicide, or at least that’s what prosecutors are alleging. And now she faces trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge. This will be an interesting trial particularly in regards to who is responsible for Conrad Roy’s death. There’s no doubt it was by his own hand, but is Michelle Carter culpable because she encouraged him to commit the act?

But this isn’t exactly new. In 1816, long before there was texting, George Bowen was charged with “murder by counseling.” It seems he was an inmate and convinced Jonathan Jewett, a convicted murderer who occupied the adjacent cell adjacent, to hang himself. Apparently Jewett did and Bowen was charged with encouraging his suicide.

So it seems there is nothing new after all.


9 responses to “Suicide By Text

  1. Alice

    October 12, 2015 at 10:23 am

    The omission to stop him is certainly on the prosecutor’s mind and rightfully so.


  2. Nancy Raven Smith

    October 12, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Interesting to know that someone can be charged with this. It certainly sounds deserved.


  3. Eva T

    October 13, 2015 at 7:58 am

    I’m not sure if the charge should be involuntary manslaughter, but she should be held accountable for encouraging an obviously hurting young man to do such an act, instead of going to his parents, her parents or anyone who could have gotten this young man some semblance of help.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lisekim

    October 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    A thorny situation, to be sure, but I definitely feel she’s culpable. If folks can be charged in the on-line bullying cases of kids/teens who’ve subsequently killed themselves, I do not see why this instance doesn’t carry a like penalty.


  5. Karen Tintori

    October 13, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Chilling. I’m sure his parents rue the day their son ever met this “girlfriend.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gina amos

    October 24, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Reblogged this on DEATH BY GINA.


  7. mysm2000

    October 24, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Such things may have happened long before texting but I think it is way more prevalent today than we may realize. It is a deadly game these people play and they should be held culpable.


  8. Robyn Haynes

    October 30, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Suicide is an irrational act, that is clear. So is this case about power over a vulnerable other? Sad but also intriguing. Could a person who suspects an moment suicide also be culpable in some way?


    • Robyn Haynes

      October 30, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Typo. That ‘moment’ was meant to be ‘imminent’



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