Megan Meier

Megan Taylor Meier Laherty ( O’Fallon , 6 of November of 1992 – Dardenne Prairie , 17 of October of 2006 ) was an American teenager who committed suicide by hanging himself, three weeks before his birthday No. 14 was a victim of Lori Drew ( Neighbor of her house and mother of an examiga), who admitted having created a MySpace account with other adults, posing as a 16 year old boy to harass the girl. In 2009, Lori Drew was acquitted. 1

Background

Megan Meier was born in O’Fallon (Missouri) , daughter of Christina Laherty and Ronald Meier. During his childhood he lived in the vicinity of Dardenne Prairie (Missouri), with his parents and his sister Allison.

From the third grade of elementary school, Megan was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and depression because she thought she was overweight. 2 Since then I was under the care of a psychiatrist. He was given citalopram , methylphenidate and ziprasidone . 3

Her parents described her as a girl who enjoyed spending time with her friends and family. 4

Meier attended Fort Zumwalt Public School, including Ostmann Elementary School and Fort Zumwalt West Middle School 5 near O’Fallon (Misori). By the eighth grade, her parents enrolled her at Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Dardenne Prairie. 5 At the time of the incident, houses Drew and Meier were neighbors, since they lived four houses away. 6

The account through which the cyberbully was carried out allegedly belonged to a 16-year-old man named “Josh Evans.” However, Lori Drew, the mother of a Meier examine, later admitted the creation of the MySpace account with her daughter and 18-year-old Ashley Grills. Several people contributed in using the fake account, including Drew. Witnesses said the women tried to use Megan Meier’s emails with “Josh” to get information about her and then humiliate her, in retaliation for an alleged rumor that Megan made against Drew’s daughter. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Death

Shortly after the opening of the MySpace account , Meier received a message allegedly from a 16-year-old boy, Josh Evans, but was actually sent by Lori Drew using a fake account. Meier and “Josh” became online friends, but never spoke or met in person. Meier thought he was attractive. Meier began to exchange messages with this person. This fake person, “Josh,” claimed that he had just moved to the nearby town of O’Fallon , was studying in his own home, and still had no telephone number.

On Monday, October 16, 2006, the tone of the messages changed. The latest exchanges of messages were made through AOL Messenger instead of Myspace. Lori Drew wrote (always through the account):

I do not know if I want to continue being your friend because I heard that you are not very good with your friends I do not know if I want to be friends with you anymore because I’ve heard that you are not very nice to your friends.
«Josh Evans» (Lori Drew)

She sent similar messages, and shared some of Megan’s answers with others, and they ended up posted on the Internet. The last message sent by Lori Drew said:

Everyone in O’Fallon knows who you are. You are a bad person and everyone hates you. May the rest of your life suck. The world would be a better place without you. Everybody in O’Fallon knows who you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you.
«Josh Evans» (Lori Drew)

Meier replied:

You’re the kind of guy a girl would kill herself for. You’re the kind of girl to kill
Megan Meier

Megan hanged herself in the bedroom closet and was found 20 minutes later. Despite attempts to revive her, she was pronounced dead. 14 15 16

Reactions

When Megan Meier’s story first appeared in the St. Charles Journal , readers were concerned about the adult (yet unknown publicly) offenders involved in the fraud. 2 Later, the public was outraged by the decision of the newspaper Suburban Journals of St. Louis (Missouri) not to print the name of adult offenders. In an interview, the journalist stated that the names had not been issued to protect a minor child from the Drew family. 17 However, several bloggers quickly discovered the lead author Lori Drew’s identity by consulting the minutes of the court case. 18 19 The media immediately revealed the name of Lori Drew and her photography. 14
At a press conference on Monday, December 3, 2007, Jack Banas, the Saint Charles County prosecutor , said that whoever wrote most of the recent “Josh Evans” messages to Megan Meier – especially the final message – had Was Ashley Grills (18, a temporary employee of Lori Drew). Jack Banas said he was aware of national outrage against Drews, which originated on the Internet in response to Steve Pokin’s article in O’Fallon’s journal. 15 In a few days the postal addresses of Lori Drew’s home, work, cell phone numbers, and aerial photos of her home were posted on various Internet sites. Lori Drew’s property was also vandalized. Jack Banas said some of these actions against Lori Drew could constitute Internet harassment. 15 For we can not judge someone who certainly can not justify breaking the law, “Jack Banas said. We live in this country by the rule of law. She described Lori Drew as “annoying, cautious and vigilant,” when she interviewed her. Jack Banas said that Mrs. Drew felt “terrible” about Meier’s death. 15 On November 24, 2007, a candlelight vigil was held in memory of Megan Meier. The crowd gathered in a nearby parking lot passed silently past the houses of Megan Meier and Lori Drews. A small piece of land adjacent to Lori Drew’s house was the setting for memories of Megan Meier’s friends. twenty

The case has caused several jurisdictions to enact or the existence of legislation prohibiting harassment via the Internet. The Board of City Councilors of Dardenne Prairie passed an ordinance on November 22, 2007, in response to the incident. 21 The ordinance prohibits harassment using an electronic medium, including the Internet, text messaging services, pagers, and similar devices. Violations of the ordinance are considered misdemeanor, with fines of up to $ 500 and a maximum of 90 days in prison. The city of Florissant (Missouri) also passed a law against cyberbullying , with other counties, counties and following gambling statements. The state of Missouri is reviewing its laws on harassment in response to the case, 22 updating them to cover harassment through computers and mobile messaging, and creating a new offense to cover adults of 21 and more harassment at Children under 18 years. The new legislation came into effect on August 28, 2008. The bill was a reaction to the inability of the Missouri police to fully process Lori Drew for cyber-bullying and computer harassment. 23 According to the Saint Louis Daily Record , the language “new extends the definition of the offense of harassment to include knowingly intimidating or causing emotional distress anonymously, either by telephone or electronically, or causing distress to a child.” Likewise, “it increases the penalty for the harassment of a misdemeanor to a felony, the execution of up to four years in prison, if committed by an adult against someone 17 years or less, or if the offender has previously been convicted By harassment. ” This is one of the first comprehensive cyberbullying and cyberbullying state laws that protects children and adults from harassment on social networking sites. The bill is a reaction to the dismissal case of Lori Drew 24 and Gov. Matt Blunt, the politician who signed the law into effect states, “[Missouri] needs strict laws to protect their children.” A bill was introduced in Congress number 111 on April 2, 2009 as HR 1966. Both chambers of the Missouri State Legislature voted unanimously on May 15, 2008 to criminalize the use of the Internet to harass To someone, the existing law expanded the abusive ban “communication by any means …” and is known as Megan’s Law (not to be confused with Megan’s New Jersey law). On May 22, 2008, Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez introduced HR 6123 as “Megan Meier Cyber ​​Bullying Prevention Act” to “amend Title 18, United States Code, relating to school cyberbullying “. 25 26 27 28

Tina Meier created the Megan Meier Foundation, based in Chesterfield (Missouri) . 29 The organization exists to promote “awareness, education and promote positive change for children, parents and educators in response to continued cyber bullying and bullying in our children’s everyday environment.” 30

References

  1. Back to top↑ Zetter, Kim (November 20, 2009). «Prosecutors drop plans to appeal Lori Drew case» . Wired News .
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Pokin, Steve (November 11, 2007). «MySpace ‘hoax ends with suicide of Dardenne Prairie teen» . St. Louis Post-Dispatch . Consulted the 16 of November of 2007 .
  3. Back to top↑ “Annal of crime: the friend game” , article in English in the newspaper The New Yorker , January 21, 2008.
  4. Back to top↑ «Parents say fake online» Friend ‘led to girl’s suicide » . CNN . November 17, 2007. Archived from the originalon November 18, 2007 . Consulted the 17 of November of 2007 .
  5. ↑ Jump to:a b “The Hoax Turned Fatal Draws Anger But No Charges,” article in The New York Times .
  6. Back to top↑ “Frail egos caught in killer net” , article in English on the website The Sydney Morning Herald , November 30, 2007.
  7. Back to top↑ Steinhauer, Jennifer (November 26, 2008). «Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case» . New York Times . Accessed November 26, 2008 . “The purpose of the hoax, several witnesses testified, was to use Megan’s e-mail exchanges with” Josh “to humiliate Megan in retribution for her unkind acts toward Sarah.
  8. Back to top↑ “Cyberbullying case goes to jury” . United Press International . Accessed November 26, 2008 . «They say Drew created a false 16-year-old male person in an attempt to woo meier and extract information from her to determine if she had been spreading gossip about her daughter.»
  9. Back to top↑ «Exclusive: teen talks about her role in web hoax that led to suicide» , article in English on the ABC News website.
  10. Back to top↑ Foundation home page MeganTaylorMeier.com
  11. Back to top↑ “Cyber ​​vigilantes on attack” , article in English on the website CNN , December 4, 2007.
  12. Back to top↑ “Key events in the Megan Meier case,” an article in English of the Associated Press in the USA Today newspaper . May 15, 2008. Accessed August 14, 2009.
  13. Back to top↑ «Prosecution: Lori Drew Schemed to Humiliate Teen Girl» , an article in English on the Wired website of November 2008.
  14. ↑ Jump to:a b «Parents want jail time for MySpace hoax mom» . ABC News . Consulted on December 2, 2007 .
  15. ↑ Jump to:a b c d «Update: No charges to be filed over Meier suicide» . Suburban Journals , 3 December 2007.
  16. Back to top↑ “Parents: cyber bullying led to teen’s suicide: Megan Meier’s parents now want to protect children online” , article in English on the ABC News websiteof 2007.
  17. Back to top↑ «Who deserves anonymity?» . Gelf magazine . November 16, 2007 . Consulted the 17 of November of 2007 .
  18. Back to top↑ Ramadge, Andrew (November 19, 2007). «Woman linked to teen girl suicide outed» . News.com.au. Archived from the original on November 20, 2007 . Accessed November 19, 2007 .
  19. Back to top↑ Zetter, Kim (November 21, 2007). Cyberbullying suicide stokes the Internet fury machine . Wired News. Archived from the original January 5, 2013 . Accessed November 24, 2007 .
  20. Back to top↑ «Candlelight vigil held in honor of Megan Meier» . Sccworlds.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015.
  21. Back to top↑ Goldstein, Bonnie (November 29, 2007). The sock puppet who loved me . Slate . Consulted on December 2, 2007 .
  22. Back to top↑ Cathcart, Rebecca (2008): “MySpace is said to draw subpoena in hoax case,” article in The New York Times January 10, 2008.
  23. Back to top^ “Missouri House of Representatives: House and Senate joint bill tracking” article on the House.mo.gov website. To view the bill, enter the code SB818.
  24. Back to top↑ Verdict in MySpace Suicide Case November 26, 2008
  25. Back to top↑ 110th Congress, 2nd Session HR 6123 May 22, 2008
  26. Back to top↑ Mattathias Schwartz (August 3, 2008). «Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling» . New York Times . Accessed November 18, 2008 .
  27. Back to top↑ Steve Pokin (November 15, 2007). «Dardenne Prairie officials plan to make cyberspace harassment a crime» . St. Louis Post-Dispatch . Consulted the 16 of November of 2007 .
  28. Back to top↑ «Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 565, Offenses Against the Person, Section 565.225» , article on Moga.mo.gov website, August 28, 2009.
  29. Back to top↑ Megan Meier Foundation . Retrieved December 9, 2010.
    17295 Chesterfield Airport Road,
    Suite 200
    Chesterfield, Missouri 63005.
  30. Back to top↑ “Mission statement” , article in English on the Megan Meier Foundation website. Retrieved on December 9, 2010.