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Hulu’s new miniseries “The Girl From Plainville” portrays Michelle Carter as a lonely, troubled teenager who failed to keep strong and meaningful connections with her peers.
Her most tragic relationship was with her boyfriend Conrad Roy III, who she encouraged to die by suicide after two years of dating. While they only lived one hour apart, and both in Massachusetts, they only met in real life five times. Their relationship primarily took place over text message. Prosecutors later maintained that Carter pushed Roy to die so she could gain popularity and sympathy at school.
Carter, now 25, was sentenced to serve 15 months after being convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in his 2014 death. A judge determined that Carter, who was 17 at the time, was culpable in 18-year-old Roy's suicide after she encouraged him to die by suicide in text messages, as well as telling him in a phone call to get back in his truck, which was filling up with carbon monoxide. She was released in January of 2020 on good behavior after appealing her conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The Girl From Plainville” depicts how Carter used Roy’s death to try to strengthen her connection with her classmate Samantha Boardman, who Carter seemed desperate to be close with.
Boardman testified that the two girls, who met in their junior year of high school in 2013, bonded over their eating disorders. In fact, they had shared thousands of text messages with one another.
“I watched out for her, what she was eating,” Boardman said in court, adding that the two gave each other advice and support. Other former classmates had testified that they would routinely ignore or reject Carter’s attempts to hang out.
And soon, Boardman too began to grow weary of Carter because of her neediness. In one text, Boardman told Carter that many people may become "overwhelmed" with Carter's thirst for attention and desire for closeness.
"Like first u have to be friends before ur best friends," she texted her.
But that didn't deter Carter from lying to Boardman about Roy being missing, two days before his suicide. Meanwhile, Carter was in touch with Roy the entire time. Prosecutors claimed that this was a "dry run" to test how much attention Carter would get from having a dead boyfriend.
“He’s missing like they don’t know where he is,” she texted Boardman. Boardman later testified during Carter's about the "dry run" as well as Carter's "lengthy" texts in general.
She read aloud one text in which Carter confided in her that "no one asks to hang out with me," BuzzFeed News reported in 2017.
Boardman read to the court how Carter texted her, "Yeah I have school friends that all say they love me but that doesn't mean s--- when no one ever asks to hang out with me. No one ever calls me or texts me it's always me that has to do it. So when someone actually makes an effort to talk to me and hangout and stuff it makes me so happy and I actually feel important like I'm worth something."
Carter felt comfortable enough to confess to Boardman that she encouraged Roy to get back into his truck.
“I helped ease him into it and told him it was okay, I was talking to him on the phone when he did it I coud [sic] have easily stopped him or called the police but I didn't," read one text she wrote Boardman, which was presented in court, according to BuzzFeed News.
"Sam, his death is my fault like honestly I could have stopped him I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I f---ing told him to get back in," she wrote.
In another, she expressed, “Sam, [if the police] read my messages with him I'm done. His family will hate me and I can go to jail."
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