Teenager Michelle Carter sent her boyfriend thousands of texts encouraging him to kill himself, but does that make her his killer?
While this case has largely focused on the seemingly callous, if not sociopathic, way the 17-year-old handled her boyfriend Conrad “Coco” Roy III’s mental illness, previously unseen text messages reveal that he was deeply convinced of the need to end his life and in fact, attempted to convince her to die with him.
“Let’s do a Romeo and Juliet,” the 18-year-old wrote in one of the messages published in the New York Magazine.
“I see the world as a horrible place with a bunch of horrible people.”
The text messages were not revealed by the prosecutors in the case currently being built against Carter, but give the impression of a young girl who was likely struggling under a huge emotional load of her own.
“There’s nothing anyone can do for me that’s gonna make me wanna live, its very bad to hear but I want you to know that,” another text from Roy read.
“Truthfully, I haven’t been happy with myself ever. You and my family are the only things that make me happy. But I have split personalities and I don’t know who I am… Theres something wrong with my head and it needs to end.”
An in-depth feature published in New York Magazine, also includes interviews with Carter’s high school friends and offers a more nuanced picture of the teenager in the months and years leading up to her boyfriend’s death than previous reports.
Her friends remembered her as being “bubbly” at school, smiling often and full of humour.
However, one categorised her mental health issues as “severe” and said her weight would often fluctuate over short periods, she also alluded to having been institutionalised at one point.
“It was very genuine. She hadn’t had experience with drugs, alcohol, or sex when I knew her. She was kind of dense when it came to common sense but really smart with school — she tried hard. Michelle made everyone laugh all the time — even her laugh made people smile because it was this booming, genuine sound,” a friend recalled.
By all accounts Carter’s love for Roy also appeared to be genuine and she would, her friends said, talk about him often.