Meier's suicide has been attributed to cyber-bullying through an account on the social networking website Myspace. The account, purportedly belonging to a 16-year old boy named Josh Evans, was created and monitored by the mother of a friend of Meier's, who a police report identified as Lori Drew. The case has caused several jurisdictions to consider legislation prohibiting harassment over the internet.
Meier was active in several activities, including swimming, boating, and fishing. She had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and depression, and considered herself overweight. Meier had been under a therapist's care as a result of suicidal thoughts. She was described as being a "bubbly, goofy" girl who enjoyed spending time with her friends and parents.
Soon after opening an account on Myspace, Meier received a message from a boy named "Josh Evans." "Evans" said he was 16 years old and Meier thought he was attractive. Meier began to exchange messages with Evans, and was described by family as having had her "spirits lifted". He claimed that he had just moved to the nearby town of O'Fallon, was homeschooled, and did not yet have a phone number.
On October 16, 2006, the tone of "Evans"s messages changed, culminating in a message sent to Megan that ended with "The world would be a better place without you." Meier was found twenty minutes later, hanging by the neck in a closet. Despite attempts to revive her, she was pronounced dead the following day.
Six weeks after her death, Megan Meier's parents were informed that the mother of one of their daughter's friends - with whom Megan had had a falling out - had created the "Josh Evans" account. The parent, Lori Drew, who created the account was quoted at length in a police report soon after the Meiers' discovery of her role in their daughter's death. The parent admitted that she and her daughter had the password to the account, and characterized the hoax to a reporter as a "joke", though she claimed to police that the account was aimed at "gaining Megan's confidence and finding out what Megan felt about her daughter and other people". No criminal charges have been filed in relation to the hoax.
According to Megan's parents, the parent who created the MySpace account recently told the Meiers to "Give it a rest." whenever they have discussed the matter with her. The parent's name has been excluded from most news stories, but her name was disclosed on many blogs and by CNN when they included a copy of the police report on their broadcast of this story.
Reaction to news story
Megan's story was first reported in the St. Louis Suburban Journal. When the story first appeared, reader comments focused on Lori and Curt Drew who had posed as Josh. Later, the focus was on the St. Louis Suburban Journal's decision not to print the name of the Drews who were responsible for the hoax. The reporter stated in an interview that the names were withheld out of concern for the minor child of the hoaxer. Within days, the identity of the perpetrator, Lori Drew, was revealed by angry bloggers. The Drews were targeted with vandalism, prank phone calls, paintball attacks and a "prank" call to the local police which led to "as many as 15 deputies [drawing] weapons and [charging] the home of Lori and Curt Drew," the people identified as the hoaxers. Due to the vehement public reaction, police added additional patrols to the neighborhood, and the Drews have installed a security camera.
1. ^ a b c d e f g h Steve Pokin. "'My Space' hoax ends with suicide of Dardenne Prairie teen", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2007-11-11. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
2. ^ a b David Hunn and Joel Currier. "Law lags as taunts ruin lives", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2007-11-19. Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
3. ^ Steve Pokin. "FOLLOW UP: Dardenne Prairie officials plan to make cyberspace harassment a crime", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2007-11-15. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
4. ^ a b "Parents say fake online 'friend' led to girl's suicide", Cable News Network, 2007-11-17. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
5. ^ a b Teresa Woodard. "Prosecutor to Review MySpace Suicide", Fox 2 News, St. Louis. Retrieved on 2007-11-16.
6. ^ Teresa Woodard. "Desperate Fight To Save Internet Suicide Victim", Fox 2 News, St. Louis. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
7. ^ a b "Deadly Cyberbullying", CNN Video, 2007-11-17. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
8. ^ Who Deserves Anonymity?. Gelf Magazine (2007-11-16). Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
9. ^ Woman linked to teen girl's suicide 'outed'. news.com.au (2007-11-19). Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
10. ^ "Net hoax turns deadly, turns town against neighbors", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2007-11-17.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megan_Meie
It's a damn good job I don't live in the USA sometimes. I'd probably be in jail right now after shooting this abomination in the shape of a human.
Lori Drew - you deserve nothing less than a lifetime of agony for this sickening act of sheer unadulterated evil. I'll be happy when Karma catches up to you and destroys you like you destroyed her.
***EDIT*** - Anon commenter - If I'd wanted to include that info, I would've done so. It's widely available elsewhere and the advertising businesses didn't know about this until very recently - they are innocent.