She Knew He Was Dead—and Called Him 28 Times

Getting inside the mind of Michelle Carter
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2017 5:29 PM CDT
Updated Aug 27, 2017 7:33 AM CDT
She Knew He Was Dead—and Called Him 28 Times
Michelle Carter awaits her sentencing in a courtroom in Taunton, Mass., Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, for involuntary manslaughter for encouraging Conrad Roy III to kill himself in July 2014. Carter was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in jail for involuntary manslaughter.   (Matt West/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool)

What Michelle Carter texted to Conrad Roy III is well known: The Massachusetts teens' communications, obtained by police after Roy's suicide, filled 317 pages. Many of them, particularly the ones in which Carter seemingly encouraged Roy to take his life, were read in court during Carter's involuntary manslaughter trial. It ended just weeks ago, with a judge finding her guilty and sentencing her to 15 months. In a piece for Esquire, Jesse Barron tries to get inside Carter's mind, turning up details that haven't previously been reported. He explains that the prosecution suggested that Carter, desperate for attention from her mostly indifferent classmates, craved the spotlight her "boyfriend's" death would bring (Carter's friends told Barron she only started calling him that after his death).

The prosecution argued texts sent to two friends over the two days before Roy died—in which Carter told the girls he was missing and she was freaking out, though she was texting with a very-alive Roy at the same time—amounted to a "dry run." Barron doesn't buy that line, and "saw the shadow of another story" in the evidence. He digs into Carter's relationship with Alice Felzmann, a girl with whom Carter was inseparable until Felzmann ghosted on her. "The week before Conrad's suicide, Michelle's mind was somewhere else," he writes, uncovering texts Carter sent about Felzmann and her grief over their lack of a relationship to a number of girls. Another thing Barron spotted that to him seemed "frantic," not premeditated: 28 phone calls Carter made to Roy after 7:58pm on July 12, 2014—the time at which prosecutors said Carter knew Roy was dead. Read the full story here. (More Longform stories.)

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