Lethal texting

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

texting suicide

Texting Suicide








Texting Suicide Case Now Front and Center


Conrad Roy III, an eighteen year old teen who appears to be depressed and vulnerable is in a relationship with girlfriend, Michelle Carter.  At the time of the suicide she was also eighteen years old.  Conrad allegedly tells her he wants to kill himself.  Carter encourages this behavior via texting. She is not physically with him. Conrad is in the car with the car running with the desire to kill himself by carbon monoxide poisoning.  Conrad gets out of car, possibly having second thoughts. Michelle texts him to get back in the car.”  He does and then dies.


Michelle Carter has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in a Massachusetts court this past week in the death of Conrad Roy. This case could set a legal precedent regarding texting and telling someone to commit suicide.


A sampling of the horrific exchange of texts that helped to get her convicted:

Roy: “I’m overthinking”

Carter: “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it! You can’t keep living this way. You just need to do it like you did last time and not think about it and just do it babe. You can’t keep doing this every day.”


The bottom line in this case is that Michelle Carter encouraged Conrad Roy to commit suicide via texting and phone calls and did nothing to stop it.  If it weren’t for her actions, Conrad Roy would be alive today and possibly doing a job that he hoped to do one day, tug boat captain.


It is likely that this case will be overturned on appeal.  But the result could be the creation of additional laws that would criminalize assisted suicide.


This also brings up the issue of texting and kids, and social media and kids.  “The verdict in the case, which drew national attention, is likely to reverberate across the country and potentially reshape criminal law relating to virtual communications.”


The case raised questions about whether or not texts or posts on social media are free speech.  The issue raised is can words kill?  What do you think?   Was this the right call by the judge?  Did Michelle’s texting words kill Conrad Roy?


As parents it is imperative for us to know what is going on in our children’s online worlds, monitor their online universe and teach them what’s appropriate to say online and what’s not.  Words matter!



I often say the online world has created a clubhouse for kids, parents not wanted.  If only Michelle had reached out to a parent or other trusted adult, Conrad might be alive today.  If only her parents had been monitoring her texting, Conrad also might be alive today.


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