November 17, 2007

The death of Megan Meier

Back in October of 2006 my oldest daughter told my wife and I that a girl she knew, Megan Meier, had killed herself. She didn't know Megan well but she knew some of Megan's friends better, including Tracy (not her real name) who lived down the street from Megan.. We talked to our daughter about the suicide but we knew little about the circumstances of this tragedy and after some time passed it was no longer a subject of conversation at our home or around town. That is until one week ago.

After a year of remaining silent Megan's parents decided to talk about the circumstances of their daughter's death. In a well written column by Steve Pokin of the Suburban Journals, the Meiers talked about their daughter's suicide. The Meier's told Pokin about a new friend, Josh, their daughter had made on MySpace, how Josh made Megan feel good about herself and how devastated Megan was when Josh ended their friendship. According to Megan's father the last message Josh left was "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." Weeks after Megan's suicide the Meiers were told by a neighbor that there never was a "Josh" and that he had been created by Tracy's mom. Tracy's mom declined to talk to Pokin but according to a police report she admitted creating the account to find out what Megan was saying about Tracy. Apparently several people had access to the fake Josh account including the daughter of the neighbor who finally broke the news to the Meiers.

Pokin did not provide the name of Tracy's parents and this decision was explained in the following statement which appeared in the article, "The Suburban Journals have decided not to name the family out of consideration for their teenage daughter." The Journal has been criticized for its decision not to print the names, however, the story has taken on a life of its own on the internet. Not only can you find the name of Tracy and her parents but you can also find their address, phone number and the name of a business run by the mother. Megan's death has become a national story and, with that, the actions of Tracy's mom have caused a national uproar.

I cannot imagine the horrible pain Megan's death has caused the Meiers and they will no doubt continue to wonder how much of a role the immature and stupid decision to create the fake "Josh" played in her death. Meanwhile the identification of Tracy and her parents on the internet has resulted in threats and verbal attacks against Tracy's family and Tracy herself.

Here in O'Fallon it seems everyone has a connection to someone that was involved and rumors involving both families are all over town. We talked to our daughter about the column Pokin wrote which was the first time she heard the story. After hearing the story she told us that this explained why Tracy wasn't in school all week. We told her that with emotions running so high we doubt Tracy will return to school. I'm sure Tracy's parents are worried about how she will be treated by the kids at school. I'm more worried about how the adults are reacting. Let's hope everyone takes a deep breathe before this sad story results in another tragedy.


DanCnKC said...

Ms. Drew used the same same exact mode of operation as a child predator enacts in the seduction of a child.

Drew posed as a member of the opposite sex and spent weeks and weeks luring this girl into a relationship.

But yet it went further. The adult Drew formed a heated relationship with the 13 year old girl. She worked hard to gain the girl's confidence. She exploited the girl intimately by posing as a boyfriend. She enacted the same methods child predators use to groom their victims.

Then the woman emotionally raped this child. She took her supposed love and sexual stimulation and crushed the girl emotionally with them -all while knowing the girl was unstable.

This adult and her friends calculated the best way to achieve maximum mental distress and then carried out their plan. Even enticed others to join in the destruction of this child.

There are manslaughter convictions on the books that won based on looser ties to a person's death than this. Child predators go to jail for following this scenerio.

Ms. Drew is the clear definition of a child predator. She used the internet to stalk, entice and lure a 13 year old girl into a romantic, sexually sparked, full fledged relationship. She then used that power to inflict Great Mental Harm to this child... A physical rape and mental rape are both as equally destructive to a 13 year old child. Drew knew this (or should have known this) and still proceeded unabated.

This is so far beyond "Harassment", this is full fledged exploitation of a child.

Is the local police of this county out of their minds to think that NO charge will stick?

Is the local District Attorneys office serious if they don't think this girl's rights have been thoroughly trampled by a grown woman?

Does the DA really expect people to roll over while this woman goes without so much as even a single charge?

Does even a speeding ticket register a more serious offense than this?


Last of all, the very worst. Ms. Drew remains defiant and indignant. Claims the girl was already on the edge mentally.

Ms. Drew denies wrong doing and insists she bears no guilt in her actions.

She justifies her actions as being "protective of her daughter"... Please tell me how she was protecting someone by mind raping a 13 year old child?

To add insult to incredible injury.... The Drews file charges against the family that lost this child.

The Drews, in a final act of ultimate hate, seek to hurt this family who lost a beloved child. She seeks to harm them financially....

Just as MS. Drew attacked an innocent little girl, Ms. Drew now attacks a grief stricken family - again seeking to harm someone's very life.

This woman is evil incarnate

This woman has county officials protecting her...

The same county officials who would put ANY other child exploiter in jail.

It would appear we have a few corrupt city officials. Officials who need to be fired

Perhaps the county detectives on the case need some scrutiny. Did they really investigate this crime thoroughly? Apparently not.

There had better be some charges...and some heads better role from this complete mismanagement of law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Not knowing anyone involved... both the post and the comment reinforces my thought that a My Space account for a teen can only be negative.

Danny Vice said...

On Wednesday, October 21st, city officials enacted an ordinance designed to address the public outcry for justice in the Megan Meier tragedy. The six member Board of Aldermen made Internet harassment a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.

Does this new law provide any justice for Megan? Does this law provide equitable relief for a future victim or actually weaken the current law?

I reject the premise of this new law and believe it completely misses the mark. The reasoning behind this opinion is that city officials have consistently treated this case as an Internet harassment case instead of a child welfare/exploitation case.

Classifying this case a harassment issue completely fails to address the most serious aspects of the methods Lori Drew employed to lead this youth to her demise. The Vice disagrees that harassment was even a factor in this case until just a couple of days before Megan's death.

Considering this case a harassment issue is incorrect because during the 5 weeks Lori Drew baited and groomed her victim, the attention was NOT unwanted attention. It was not harassment at all. It was invited attention. Megan participated in the conversations willingly because she was lured, manipulated and exploited without her knowledge.

This law willfully sets a precedent that future child exploiters and predators can use to reclassify their cases to harassment issues. In effect, the law enacted to give Megan justice, may make her even more vulnerable. So long as the child victim doesn't tell the predator to stop, even a harassment charge may not stick with the right circumstances and a good defender.

Every aspect of this case follows the same procedural requirement used to convict a Child Predator. A child was manipulated by an adult. A child was engaged in sexually explicit conversation (as acknowledged by Lori Drew herself). An adult imposed her will on a child by misleading her, using a profile designed to sexually or intimately attract the 13 year old Megan.

Lori then utilized the power she had gained over this child to cause significant distress and endangerment to that child. She even stipulated to many of these activities in the police report she filed shortly after Megan's death.

We can go on and on here, but the parallels between this case and many other child predator cases that are successfully prosecuted bear striking similarities.

Child Predator laws do not require much more than simply proving that an adult has engaged a minor in sexually explicit conversation. Lori Drew has already stipulated that her conversations with Megan were sometimes sexual for a child Megan's age.

City officials who continue to ignore this viable, documented admission and continue to address this issue as harassment are intentionally burying their heads in the sand, when the solution is staring them right in the face. Why?

On June 5th, 2006, Governor Matt Blunt signed into law stiff penalties for convicted sex offenders. The Vice believes that officials continually reject a child predator classification of this case in order to keep the penalty of this offense out of this harsher realm.

Opponents of this law are active in defeating this law not by changing it, but by disqualifying cases like Megan's from ever being heard.

There are several other child exploitation laws on the books. To date, none of them have even been considered by City, State and Federal officials in this case. I'm outraged that a motion was never even filed, so that the case could at least be argued before a judge or jury.

Those satisfied with this response out of Missouri officials need to think through the effect this law will truly have. It quite honestly has the potential to directly undermine Jessica's law. It quiet easily gives prosecutors a way out of prosecuting child endangerment and child predator cases in the future.

Beware the wolf in sheep's clothing here.

Danny Vice