Idiot adults and myspace

DARDENNE PRAIRIE, Mo. - Megan Meier thought she had made a new friend in cyberspace when a cute teenage boy named Josh contacted her on MySpace and began exchanging messages with her.Megan, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and attention deficit disorder, corresponded with Josh for more than a month before he abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he had heard she was cruel.

The next day Megan committed suicide. Her family learned later that Josh never actually existed; he was created by members of a neighborhood family that included a former friend of Megan's.
Now Megan's parents hope the people who made the fraudulent profile on the social networking Web site will be prosecuted, and they are seeking legal changes to safeguard children on the Internet.
The girl's mother, Tina Meier, said she doesn't think anyone involved intended for her daughter to kill herself.

‘Absolutely vile’
"But when adults are involved and continue to screw with a 13-year-old, with or without mental problems, it is absolutely vile," she told the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, which first reported on the case.

Tina Meier said law enforcement officials told her the case did not fit into any law. But sheriff's officials have not closed the case and pledged to consider new evidence if it emerges.
Megan Meier hanged herself in her bedroom on Oct. 16, 2006, and died the next day. She was described as a "bubbly, goofy" girl who loved spending time with her friends, watching movies and fishing with her dad.

Megan had been on medication, but had been upbeat before her death, her mother said, after striking up a relationship on MySpace with Josh Evans about six weeks before her death.
Josh told her he was born in Florida and had recently moved to the nearby community of O'Fallon. He said he was homeschooled, and didn't yet have a phone number in the area to give her.
Megan's parents said she received a message from him on Oct. 15 of last year, essentially saying he didn't want to be her friend anymore, that he had heard she wasn't nice to her friends.

Megan seemed upset
The next day, as Megan's mother headed out the door to take another daughter to the orthodontist, she knew Megan was upset about Internet messages. She asked Megan to log off. Users on MySpace must be at least 14, though Megan was not when she opened her account. A MySpace spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.

Someone using Josh's account was sending cruel messages. Then, Megan called her mother, saying electronic bulletins were being posted about her, saying things like, "Megan Meier is a slut. Megan Meier is fat."

Megan's mother, who monitored her daughter's online communications, returned home and said she was shocked at the vulgar language her own daughter was sending. She told her daughter how upset she was about it.

Megan ran upstairs, and her father, Ron, tried to tell her everything would be fine. About 20 minutes later, she was found in her bedroom. She died the next day.

Her father said he found a message the next day from Josh, which he said law enforcement authorities have not been able to retrieve. It told the girl she was a bad person and the world would be better without her, he has said.

Another parent, who learned of the MySpace account from her own daughter who had access to the Josh profile, told Megan's parents about the hoax in a counselor's office about six weeks after Megan died. That's when they learned Josh was imaginary, they said.

Creator of fake account not charged
The woman who created the fake profile has not been charged with a crime. She allegedly told the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department she created Josh's profile because she wanted to gain Megan's confidence to know what Megan was saying about her own child online.

The mother from down the street told police that she, her daughter and another person all typed and monitored the communication between the fictitious boy and Megan.

A person who answered the door at the family's house told an Associated Press reporter on Friday afternoon that they had been advised not to comment.

Megan's parents had been storing a foosball table for the family that created the MySpace character. Six weeks after Megan's death, they learned the other family had created the profile and responded by destroying the foosball table, dumping it on the neighbors' driveway and encouraging them to move away.

Megan's parents are now separated and plan to divorce.

Aldermen in Dardenne Prairie, a community of about 7,000 residents about 35 miles from St. Louis, have proposed a new ordinance related to child endangerment and Internet harassment. It could come before city leaders on Wednesday.

"Is this enough?" Mayor Pam Fogarty said Friday. "No, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it's something, and you have to start somewhere."

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Verileah 16 years ago
I heard about this - god, what a horrible mess rippling through the internet and that neighborhood. There's a blog out there called Megan had it coming, it's sick.
katlienc 16 years ago
I heard about that on the news. When you hear stories like this you wonder what has happened to us. Why would a grown woman do such a thing to a child, why would a young woman (aged 14) take rejection from someone she had never even met so personally?

If that woman suffers no consequence from having caused this, then the laws need to be changed. I am horrified!!
Den 16 years ago
And...why would a mother, who knew her daughter had such mental problems, allow her that kind of access to the internet? You'd have to live in a cave these days to not know about the weirdos who communicate online. It seems to me that more than just one person was at fault here, and yet it was the child who suffered for it.
DawnStar 16 years ago
sigh...sometimes i really miss the 'good old days'...not that we didn't have our share of wackos but at least we didn't have the added burden of worrying about what our kids were up to online ~ sick sick sick
ROzbeans 16 years ago
This is why Mike and I are going to put those parental lock programs on Catherine's computer and probably not let her do anything remotely close to myspace until she's at least 16. We have friends with kids that young and a niece who's on myspace but yeah this just freaks me out. Have y'all seen those commercials with that girl who walks around town and strange men talk to her, asking about her new pics or complimenting her on her panties?

Do not put your shit out there - or your kids. /shiver
Lolanae 16 years ago
This is one reason Ryan and I have already decided that when this kiddo gets old enough to use the internet, it will either be on a computer in a public area (living room) that's heavily protected and/or use our computer's with us in the room.

This kind of crap freaks me out. Hell locally they've had problems with kids bullying each other via myspace and IM.
ROzbeans 16 years ago
The DA in that county is not pressing charges - really, what could they press charges with? The woman's lawyer went on the Today show this morning, I dvr'd it =x Her name and picture is all over now though.
ROzbeans 16 years ago
Neighbor responds -

Interesting blurb from the victim's mother about Lori Drew, the neighbor:

He said he believes that Briscoe’s claim that Drew was not present when the bullying comments were posted “is 100 percent false. She was there at the house at the time that it went on.”

I think that's pretty ironic, considering she was in the house when her daughter was on Myspace. It's a two way street.
Darsa 16 years ago
This sub-header:

Lawyer says neighbor regrets teenager killed herself, but is not responsible

Really got me. It says to me she thought, "oh, that sucks..." and moved on. Like she broke a glass in her kitchen, or dropped her dinner on the floor. It's almost like they're not even considering the fact that someone took their own life based on a horrendously disgusting childish trick that a grown woman pulled.

Verileah 16 years ago
There's a quote floating around the internet from the mother that says something to the effect of 'once I heard that she tried to kill herself before, I didn't feel as guilty'. Seriously, that backward logic seems to pervade this entire incident. Does anyone else get the impression that the media is harping on Megan's mental health issues as a way of downplaying the effect of what was said on myspace?
Adiene 16 years ago
I have parent lock on the kids computer, if there is a web pages thats flaged then they have to submit a request for me to approve it , and you can add in web sites you don't want them to view as well flagged or not. Pretty handy. Tony finds it annoying but it works hehe all Jewel can pretty much do online is visit the school site, use the doll maker and look at yahoo kids or whatever its called lol
ROzbeans 16 years ago
There's a quote floating around the internet from the mother that says something to the effect of 'once I heard that she tried to kill herself before, I didn't feel as guilty'. Seriously, that backward logic seems to pervade this entire incident. Does anyone else get the impression that the media is harping on Megan's mental health issues as a way of downplaying the effect of what was said on myspace?

I think I heard about that too. I just can't believe someone would be so fucking stupid as to taunt, lie and fuck with a kid on the internet, just to see if she was saying something about your kid. Honestly, if it were me, I would have just sat down with Catherine's friend's parents, not fucking be all e-cyber stalker about it.

What parental lock do you use, adi?
Adiene 16 years ago
Aol's and CyberNanny
Den 16 years ago
It is truly a very sad thing to have happened, and yes, I think that other mother has some mental issues to have gotten involved in this to begin with; however, I have to agree...unless it is a crime to call people names, and we start punishing everyone for it, there is nothing there to hold that mother for.

The girl who died had her own mental issues, and her parents should have known because of that she would require more attention than the normal 13 year old. As most of you have said, even with normal 13 year olds, restrictions need to be in place when it comes to certain things...therefore if you're dealing with someone who isn't 'normal', its only logical there are more precautions that need to be in place.

Any time a child dies, its sad. My belief is that it was this girl's time to go...if the incident on the net hadn't been the final straw, something else would have been. No one is to blame, and everyone is to blame.