She Told Her Boyfriend to Commit Suicide Via Text—and You Need to Tell Your Kids About Her Conviction

Michelle Carter in court, screen shot via CNN

At just 17 years old, Michelle Carter urged her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy, to commit suicide. In a string of text messages, she harangued him until he went through with it, suffocating himself in his truck with carbon monoxide. Then, she listened to his last breaths and words over the phone.

Throughout the process, she didn’t ask for help from anyone else, she didn’t tell him to get out of his truck, and she didn’t try tell him she wanted him to live. Rather, in text messages like these sent on the day before Roy’s body was found, published by CNN, she helped him plan and encouraged his suicide. She even “threatened” to get him “help” as a way of bullying him into it.

Carter: “So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then, all that for nothing”
Carter: “I’m just confused like you were so ready and determined”
Roy: “I am gonna eventually”
Roy: “I really don’t know what I’m waiting for. . but I have everything lined up”
Carter: “No, you’re not, Conrad. Last night was it. You keep pushing it off and you say you’ll do it but u never do. Its always gonna be that way if u don’t take action”
Carter: “You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off, you just have to do it”
Carter: “Do u wanna do it now?”
Roy: “Is it too late?”
Roy: “Idkk it’s already light outside”
Roy: I’m gonna go back to sleep, love you I’ll text you tomorrow”
Carter: “No? Its probably the best time now because everyone’s sleeping. Just go somewhere in your truck. And no one’s really out right now because it’s an awkward time”
Carter: “If u don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it”
Carter: “And u can say you’ll do it tomorrow but you probably won’t”
Carter: “You just need to do it Conrad or I’m gonna get you help”
Carter: “You can’t keep doing this everyday”
Roy: “Okay I’m gonna do it today”
Carter: “Do you promise”
Roy: “I promise babe”
Roy: “I have to now”
Carter: “Like right now?”
Roy: “where do I go? :(“
Carter: “And u can’t break a promise. And just go in a quiet parking lot or something.”

Friday June 16, Carter, now 20, was convicted of manslaughter in Roy’s death. She was tried as a juvenile because she was 17 in 2014 when Roy’s death occurred. She has not yet been sentenced, but could face up to 20 years. So this tragedy too Roy’s life and has in many ways ruined Carter’s as well.
In this age of social media and bullying, when something you say online as a kid can ruin your adult future, we need to talk to our kids about using their words safely and kindly—and Carter’s case is a HUGE teachable moment. With this story as a starter, here are some conversation points to hit with your kids.

1. You’re an influencer and your words have an impact.

In text messages in the weeks leading up to his death, Roy repeatedly says he might not kill himself, even though he wants to, because he doesn’t want his parents and siblings to be upset. Carter responds repeatedly with messages like these:

“I think your parents know you’re in a really bad place. Im not saying they want you to do it, but I honestly feel like they can accept it. They know there’s nothing they can do, they’ve tried helping, everyone’s tried. But there’s a point that comes where there isn’t anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself, and you’ve hit that point and I think your parents know you’ve hit that point. You said you’re mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn’t say anything. I think she knows it’s on your mind and she’s prepared for it”
 “Everyone will be sad for a while, but they will get over it and move on. They won’t be in depression I won’t let that happen. They know how sad you are and they know that you’re doing this to be happy, and I think they will understand and accept it. They’ll always carry u in their hearts”

Our kids need to understand that their words can give LIFE to their friends and peers. And they can also give darkness. Words are powerful and they matter. As is says in James 3:6, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.” I think that MORE the applies in this case, though in this case it was written word rather than spoken. Which leads me to my next point…

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

Related Posts


Recent Stories