Warning: Distressing Content
Earlier this year, Michelle Carter was imprisoned after encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide via text messages and phone conversations over a number of months.
Conrad Roy was found dead in his pickup truck in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, on a summer’s day in 2014. He was 18 years old.
Carter, who was 17 at the time, has since been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for Conrad’s suicide and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Now, the case is being explored in depth in a harrowing documentary, I Love You, Now Die, which will look at the teenager’s death and the texts exchanged between the couple more closely.
Despite Carter only meeting Conrad a handful of times, the pair exchanged a total of 60,000 text messages between them – some of which, the court says, led Conrad to take his own life.
The trailer for the documentary shows these text messages popping up on the screen at various points, in front of various deserted backdrops.
You can take a look at the trailer below:
Conrad tragically died in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014, from carbon monoxide poisoning. As per The Boston Globe, it was revealed in court that Carter ‘repeatedly chastised’ Conrad for his ‘indecision and delay’ in committing suicide.
Some of the texts exchanged between the pair can be read below:
CARTER : You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t.
CONRAD: I don’t get it either. I don’t know.
CARTER : So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then. All that for nothing. I’m just confused. Like you were so ready and determined.
CONRAD : I am gonna eventually. 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 kept pushing it off and you say you’ll do it, but you never do. It’s always gonna be that way if you don’t take action. You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off. You just have to do it. Do you want to do it now?
CONRAD : Is it too late? I don’t know. It’s already light outside. I’m gonna go back too sleep. Love you. I’ll text you tomorrow.
CARTER : No. It’s probably the best time now because everyone is sleeping. Just go somewhere in your truck and no one is really out there right now because it’s an awkward time. If you don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it, and you can say you’ll do it tomorrow, but you probably won’t. Tonight? Love you.
CONRAD: Thank you.
CARTER : For what. Are you awake?
CONRAD : Yes.
CARTER : Are you gonna do it today?
CONRAD : Yes.
CARTER: Like in the day time?
CONRAD : Should I?
CARTER : Yeah, it’s less suspicious. You won’t think about it as much and you’ll get it over with instead of wait until the night.
CONRAD : Yeah then I will. Like where? Like I could go in any enclosed area.
CARTER: Go in your truck and drive in a parking lot somewhere, to a park or something. Do it like early. Do it now, like early.
In an interview with Refinery 29, the film’s director Erin Lee Carr said she hopes the film encourages debate about girlhood, mental illness and loneliness.
I think those are all things that are uniquely… like, you can read those text messages, but when you see them come up on the screen and you’re experiencing them on your screen, you’re going to have a reaction.
I really hope that this case and this film generates a sense of awareness about how we treat others. So that when you do text somebody else, or you’re tweeting, we need to remember that somebody else is on the other side of that.
I just think we have lost our way a bit when it comes to this. I am in no way technology-phobic — I am a product of this technology explosion, but I am also very wary of it. We can contain those hopes and those fears in those same space.
Carter was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, with 15 months to be served and the rest to be suspended. She will also serve a five-year probation period.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).