I’ve read the legal worries about the conviction of Lori Drew. I’ve read techie concerns that argue free speech in cyberspace is now on a slippery slope. I can understand how the Law was unprepared to consider such an odious event. Ordinary people cannot be expected to imagine the extremes an individual might go to, as Drew did, to harm a child. Missouri outlawed Drew’s behavior after the fact.
Nationwide, ordinary citizens using ordinary English had no problem naming what was wrong with Drew’s deeds. She stalked, harassed, conspired against, and harmed a child. Drew created a fake persona on MySpace and lured an unsuspecting 13 year-old girl to heartache. Drew, her own daughter, and an 18 year-old employee of Drew strung Megan Meier along leading the girl to believe she had found love with a hunky boy named Josh Evans. Drew orchestrated a month long deception ending with the fictitious “Josh” dumping Megan in these words,
Everybody in O’Fallon knows how 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.”
Megan might have believed it because the 13 year-old killed herself two days after the messages from Drew took a hateful tone.
The cruelty reads like a plot from Mean Girls, Mean Girls on Steroids of Evil, except the 49 year-old Lori Drew is no girl.
Lori Drew was the adult, the parent. Parents are supposed to be trustworthy–the ultimate mentors. Megan was a child and certainly no match for Drew’s scheme. There are so many responsible steps Drew could have taken, the ordinary things that parents do every day like talking to other parents, talking their own children through angles of conflict resolution. Instead Drew dealt with issues by sneaking, lying, being hurtful, and harassing.
Suicides are rarely deemed newsworthy, but Lori Drew’s role in the last days of Megan Meier prompted national outrage.
When Missouri failed to find a crime, the feds stepped in:
I cannot say it’s satisfying that Lori Drew has been found guilty of criminal hacking for violating the TOS agreement of MySpace. It is satisfying however that this particular adult has been held accountable for how she treated a child.