Michelle Carter was arrested on February 4th 2015 on charges of involuntary manslaughter. This is the place to learn the life of Michelle Carter and, albeit short, the life of her boyfriend Conrad Roy III. So, let's start from the beginning…
On July 13th 2014, authorities discovered the body of an 18 year old boy outside Kmart in Fairhaven, Massachusetts in a parked pick-up truck. This boy, Conrad Roy III, died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the truck and had previously suffered from social anxiety and depression. The honour student’s struggles were worsened by his relationship with Michelle, so let’s look over the events.
Michelle Carter began messaging her boyfriend regarding the fact that he should kill himself. I, like many journalists, have wondered about her motive since this terrible event. So let’s explore.
Oddly, some of the texts are taken directly from the once popular American TV Show, Glee (read my article on Glee to learn about the show). Fox’s musical series starred Lea Michele and the late Cory Monteith, who were both an on-screen and off-screen couple until Monteith’s unforeseen death of an accidental Heroin overdose in July 2013.
The show paid tribute to Monteith, and his character Finn Hudson, in October 2013- the same month Carter had begun texting Roy dialogue from Glee that she claimed to be her own. For example, Carter texted, “you were my first love, and I want, more than anything, for you to be my last.” - something Lea’s character on glee states in a scene with Cory Monteith.
One of the scariest parts of this case is that Lea Michele’s on-camera and real-life boyfriend died of drug overdose in 2013, which is basically what set Carter’s plan in motion. When Lea Michele’s boyfriend died, she was given the ability to grieve and everyone (her friends, family and fans) said “You’re doing such a good job.” Whilst I’m not entirely sure what Carter thought, she potentially could have contemplated the idea that that could be her. There is yet another connection between the Conrad Roy case and Glee: five months after Monteith’s death, Lea Michele was asked to appear on Ellen’s show, where she stated that she felt like “the luckiest girl in the world’’ dating Cory Monteith and that he was “the greatest man”. Carter later used that quote from Michele when talking about Conrad, writing “He was the greatest man I ever knew and I literally lived every day feeling like the luckiest girl in the world." Here’s something else- Cory Monteith died on July 13th 2013; Conrad Roy III died on July 13th 2014. Coincidence?
When you hear Carter say “He was my person,” which Lea Michele’s character on Glee says during Monteith’s tribute episode, you begin to wonder: Was she sad for him? Her family? Herself? Or, did she feel a secret amount of relief that she could now enact her fantasy of the grieving girlfriend. It’s baffling: she was someone in school who led a “normal” life and was a “normal” teenager in front of others. Underneath this mask of regularity, however, she accommodated these dark fantasies about being Lea Michele; she fulfilled through texting her partner to death.
Carter’s defence team stated that she suffered from “involuntary intoxication”. However, I don’t believe this- I believe that this darker side of Carter was revealed due to loneliness and her constant craving of attention. The court’s evidence proved it- Michelle Carter was taking five milligrams of Celexa (which is a medication for depression) at the time. Five milligrams is a small dose. Therefore, while she could have had side-effects, I agree with what one of the creators of the documentary about Michelle Carter (I Love You, Now Die) stated. He said: “it really felt like Peter Breggin (psychiatrist) created this terminology of ‘involuntary intoxication’ because her family could not reckon with what she had done, so they basically had this defense of ‘the meds made her do it.’ ”
So is loneliness really a motive to kill someone? In my opinion, it isn't. Rather, what we’re dealing with here is two troubled people who unfortunately met at the wrong time.