This article was originally posted in 2007 on my handbag.com blog, which is now no longer operational.
A dead teenager. MySpace harassement. Irresponsible parenting. A curious interpretation of the law by police officers. Lori Drew must’ve thought she’d escaped the consequences, but she hadn’t factored in the sort of havoc that can be unleashed via the Internet…
Megan Meier was a 13 year old, struggling with Attention-Deficit Disorder and a long battle with depression. She had weight and self-esteem issues, occasionally stormy relationships with her peers, and liked male attention. So far, so relatively normal childhood.
One day just over a year ago, she had an argument with one of her friends, Sarah Drew. Sarah’s mother Lori sided with her daughter; again, reasonable behaviour. What followed however, was anything but normal. Lori, in full helicopter parent mode, decided to get her own back by creating a fake MySpace account, pretending to be ”really hot guy” Josh Evans. She then initiated contact with Megan.
After some chit-chat and flirting, effectively using her knowledge of Megan to “befriend” her, “Josh” then sent the following:
“I don’t know if I want to be friends with you anymore because I’ve heard that you are not very nice to your friends.”
Megan later learnt that “Josh” had forwarded all the secrets and confessions she’d made on to her friends, most of them taunting and teasing her as teenagers do so well. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. The last message from “Josh” said:
“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.”
The result? Megan hanged herself shortly afterwards. A short summary can be found here.
St Charles Journal reporter Steve Pokin, who wrote the original article, iniatially decided not to publish Lori’s name. The blogosphere had other ideas. And if Lori really thought she could escape the wrath of the public, she was sorely mistaken. But one finds it hard to believe she is surprised – after all, the methods used are similar to her own behaviour.
Public Relations collapse? Check. Public flogging? Check. But what started this? Maybe it was Lori’s complaint to the police because Megan’s parents dared smash up some a fussball table they were kindly storing for her, which included the following statement:
“In reference to their daughter’s suicide, Drew explained she wanted to “just tell them” what she did to contribute to the Meier’s daughter’s suicide. She instigated and monitored a “my space” account which was created for the sole purpose of communicating with Meier’s daughter. Drew said she, with the help of temporary employee named “Ashley”, constructed a profile of “good looking” male on “my space” in order to “find out what Megan (Meier’s daughter) was saying on-line” about her daughter. Drew explained the communication between the fake male profile was aimed at gaining Megan’s confidence and finding out what Megan felt about her daughter and other people. Drew stated she, her daughter, and Ashley all typed, read, and monitored the communication between the fake male profile and Megan. Drew went on to say, the communication became “sexual for a thirteen year old.” Drew stated she continued the fake male profile despite this development.
According to Drew “somehow” other “my space” users were able to access the fake male profile and Megan found out she had been duped. Drew stated she knew “arguments” had broken out between Megan and others on “my space”. Drew felt this incident contributed to Megan’s suicide, but she did not feel “as guilty” because at the funeral because she found out “Megan had tried to commit suicide before.”
Drew explained the neighborhood had recently found out her involvement in Megan’s suicide and her neighborhood has become hostile toward her and her family. Despite the recency of the suicide and several neighbors recommending she not confront the Meier family (especially on Thanksgiving), Meier stated she and her husband attempted to contact the Meier family three times, “banging on the door” although Mr Meier had already told them to leave.”
Nice. What one must wonder though, is how “communication” that “became sexual for a thirsteen year old” didn’t warrant any action on the part of the police, who advised the Meier family to “Give it a rest“. Maybe Lori didn’t have any intention to groom Megan, but I can’t feel any sympathy for the poor Drew family, what with their cherished fussball table piled up in splinters in their driveway.
Anyway, that was the least of their troubles. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that bans, self-imposed or not, on publication of certain information are failing due to the crowdsourcing of information, as analysed in the Editors Weblog. The name of the allegedly blackmailed royal surfaced on the Internet, and so did Lori’s.
In a final (?) act of defiance, an anonymous (although the comments suggest otherwise) blog surfaced yesterday, suggesting that Megan “had it coming”. What do you think of this? Is there more to this story than meets the eye?
Edited on 22/11/07: The following links have been brought to my attention in the comments to this blog entry. The first one seems to be some kind of retaliation to the posting of Lori Drew’s name – the suspicion seems to be that Lori herself decided to get her own back by posting up the personal details of the person she feels “leaked” her details to the public. Maybe, maybe not, but it definitely feels like we haven’t left the playground yet!
Also, it seems that finally the authorities have decided to act on this unfortunate event, by declaring online harassement a crime.
As reported by STLToday.com:
“DARDENNE PRAIRIE • City officials declared online harassment a crime Wednesday, fewer than two weeks after they learned of a 13-year-old girl who killed herself after receiving hurtful messages on a popular social networking website.
The Board of Aldermen unanimously passed an ordinance making online harassment a misdemeanor in this city of about 5,500.
“It is our hope that by supporting one of our own in Dardenne Prairie, we can do our part to ensure this type of harassing behavior never happens again, anywhere,” said Mayor Pam Fogarty. “After all, harassment is harassment regardless of the mechanism or tool.”"
It’s certainly a start – they don’t seem to have decided to act on any of Lori Drew’s behaviour though. Her alleged accomplice was named as Ashley Grills.
I have included historical comments posted on the original article in 2007, my views do not necessarily correspond with those posted below and the comments are owned by the posters. Feel free to use the comments box below to add any thoughts!
People baffle me…
19 Nov 2007 16:37
Everytime I read the police report I am just dumbfounded at the balls Lori Drew has. She is soooo clueless.
I hope the public gives her 100 times the dose of feeling like crap like she and her bully gang did to Megan.
I’m sure there is more “this girl said this” and “that girl said that” and maybe Megan wasn’t perfect, but really, I mean really, does this excuse the actions and intent of an adult and parent Lori Drew?
Or the fact that an entire year has gone by and the Drew family are still acting like tools?
Or the fact that the police ARE DOING NOTHING?
Ugh!!! It is sooo wrong, I just want to scream.
BTW Thanks for this article. This article lays it out so perfectly.
19 Nov 2007 17:18
This story is amazing. Only in america. I think it’s absolutely terrible that lori used her knowledge that megan was depressed and on medication to push the right buttons, so to speak. And yes, very worrying that the fact she admitted to sexual conversation with a 13yr old wasn’t investigated.
So what does one do?
19 Nov 2007 18:39
For those of you who feel powerless against this injustice, please read. You are not powerless.. Public pressure CAN result in the proper handling of this case as it has many times before.
About a month ago, a child nearly drowned in the family swimming pool. The child was pulled inside the house to try to recessitate the child.
A cop who showed up after paramedics arrived, ran into the house and slipped on the wet floor. A floor wet, because the child was soaking wet.
After the cop received full pay for her workman’s comp claim…and after all of the cops medical bills were paid….this cop proceeded to sue the family of the boy who is now a vegitable.
Public outrage and anger lead to the cop’s suspension from the force…and the cop was finally forced to repeal her case.
Had this story been covered up and hidden, this cop would have gone forward and sued this grieving family while their child was still in intensive care.
See… you do have a voice… public pressure can give a victim a small amount of justice.
Megan Meier deserves at least a little justice in all this – not just some new law named after her.
If you feel the adult child predator in this case should bear some kind of responsibility to her part in this, then make sure your voice is heard.
Ms Drew could set this up on your child next…
Even if you watch your child like a hawk….remember the following.
Your child’s friends have computers.
Your child’s school has computers…
Libraries have computers…
If your child desperately desires to get to a computer, they will find one eventually…
And Ms. Drew, and others like her are waiting.
Justice deserves to prevail here…and so far it has NOT!
20 Nov 2007 04:25
I’d like to see this Drew take a drive off a cliff. What a pathetic POS. And that’s not parents over shoulder.
The police response seems strangely commonplace these days. I read all the time about misuse of power and neglect by the police. I hope one day that these people find themselves in a situation that they can’t talk themselves out of, and they get the type of justice that is coming to them.
Lori Drew doesn’t get it
Of all the unmitigated gall
20 Nov 2007 05:20
I really think this sociopath tells herself and others that she did nothing wrong. She’s in the ad business, and seems to have the ability to twist the truth. The local authorities seem to be in her pocket. Even if a person is completely innocent, they can still throw them in jail for 24 hours. That would be something, at least.
The neighbors have, to varying degrees, shunned her for a YEAR. She just won’t go AWAY. She had the Nerve to file 2 lawsuits against the Meiers, and has the Nerve to now ask Meiers to stop spreading this story. No remorse. No sorrow. The next door neighbor, Blaine, said he never saw one of them shed a tear.
20 Nov 2007 10:48
Lori should be ashamed of herself. What an example to set to her daughter.
20 Nov 2007 10:50
Thanks for all your comments! Kim I do agree that one wonders how an adult can find this sort of behaviour acceptable. Maybe a symptom of “My child is always right”?
Angry & Disgusted
20 Nov 2007 15:09
It amazes me how some people can behave. The fact that a grown woman with a child of her own would do such a thing is absolutely beyond belief!!! This story just makes me ssssoooo angry
Give Lori a call!
20 Nov 2007 16:20
Hi…give us a call!
Curt and Lori Drew: 636-272-2670 – home
Curt Drew: (314) 520-8688 – cell
(636) 379-8500 – office
Lori Drew: (314) 520-7916 – cell
Can’t wait to hear from you!
Pingback – www.allbeliefs.com
Pingback – www.allbeliefs.com
20 Nov 2007 18:42
Child Predators Flying Under the Radar
21 Nov 2007 04:35
Ms. Drew played directly on the sensitivities she knew would cause maximum damage to the Megan. Ms. Drew lured Megan in a way she knew would be most devastating to the child.
This wicked MOA Drew used is the exact methodology that a child predator employs to bait, lure and reel a child victim into doing their will. Child grooming was utilized over weeks and weeks to gain the child’s trust… and once trust was obtained, she exploited it into a relationship. (Another Child Predator Hallmark).
When Ms. Drew saw her bullets were hitting it’s mark, she turned up the heat. She invited others to partake in the sick, twisted mental assault on this child, keeping the pressure up. Even her business employee joined in the game.
Ms. Drew then delivered the final blow that many depressed 13 year old girls would crumble under.
She mentally raped the child and left her for dead. Better said, encouraged her for dead.
Ms. Drew remains smug and defiant about her actions – even seeks to attack this grieving family while their beloved daughter’s memory is fresh in their mind.
She has committed the unthinkable…. and doesn’t even acknowledge she abused this child.
Child Predators go to jail for their actions. Physical contact is not required for a conviction. Evidence of any kind of sexually charged grooming of a child by an adult is worthy of a charge of indecent liberties with a child…. or at the very least harassment.
If even assisted suicide is criminal intent, driving someone to it should at least qualify as something more heinous than an ordinary parking ticket.
21 Nov 2007 12:41
Lori Drew is a worthless piece of garbage. What kind of parent would involve themselves in their childrens’ lives in this way? Some people can never mature mentally, and I hope in this case she suffers the consequences of her actions forever. It’s just really too bad that nothing can be done legally.
I dont get it
21 Nov 2007 17:21
I dont understand how we can trace murderers down since they used the internet and we can sit and play games with sexual predators all day long and arrest then. but when a mother sets up a myspace account to contact a 13 year old girl who is a minor and the mother admited there was sexual talk didnt stop talking to her sounds like a predator to me. WHY IS NOTHING BEING DONE ABOUT IT.
it gets even worse
22 Nov 2007 03:52
Now, apparently Lori Drew or someone in her hire, most likely a friend or hired detective has targeted the original blogger who stood up for Megan and let the world know the evil that lives on Waterford Crystal Drive.
This anonymous blog
has apparently been put up so all Lori Drew’s fellow Child Predators can be focused on an honorable and brave woman who stood up to evil. To bad the coward who put this blog up can’t be half as brave as Mrs. Wells and post his/her information. Mrs. Wells has her contact info already posted on her blog, why can’t aes do the same?
ASHLEY GRILLS INFO
22 Nov 2007 04:17
ASHLEY GRILLS, 18, is the girl that Lori Drew employed to harass Megan over the internet. I found this out just now from an online St.Louis newspaper.
I did some searching and found this:
I can never be 100% sure it’s her, but how many Ashley Grills are from the same small town in Missouri, and were the exact same age in 2006? I also searched FACEBOOK and found a remarkably similiar photo under the name “ASHLEY NICOLE GRILLS”, although I can’t confirm this identity at this time, but if I was a betting man……..
Thank you all
22 Nov 2007 10:44
For your comments – Richard and Joe, I’ve updated the original post with the info you’ve kindly provided, along with an update.
parents to blame
22 Nov 2007 20:23
Interesting story. How many parents allow their 13 year old children to go on myspace and have sexually orientated chat? Sounds like they should have been talking to their daughter, instead of letting her be a typical little brat. I hold the parents partly responsible. Megan, at the end of the day, made her own mind up.
@parents to blame
23 Nov 2007 01:13
Know the whole story before you place the blame on Megan’s parents. Do you have a teenage daughter? Doubtful. From everything I’ve read, her parents monitored her activity on MySpace to the point where Megan didn’t even have the password to the account. You must have no soul to place the blame on the parents who by all accounts did the best they could with a child that was depressed, had low self-esteem and ADD. No parent is perfect, but they seem to be damn close.
Justice for Megan and all Victims
23 Nov 2007 03:16
Our site deals primarily with predators who prey on other vulnerable adults. However, the Meier case could be a first step in recieving justice for ANY victim who is preyed on by someone online.
We do NOT feel Megan’s parents were in any, way, shape or form responsible for what happened. Lori Drew and her family need to take full responsibility. Lori needs prison for 2nd Degree Manslaughter & Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Her whole family needs counseling.
The internet justice she is getting is justified, in our opinion. But any vigilante justice we can’t condone. We fully support the Meiers and some real justice, not a misdemeanor, is long overdue here.
23 Nov 2007 05:17
How dare you blame any of this on the parents,
You have some supposed “adults” thinking it was OK to pretend to be a 16-year old boy who liked her, toyed with her hopes and dreams, and then suddenly turned on her with a vicious, malicious attack is beyond comprehension…
Lori Drew is a bully of the worst kind; a woman who was very smug about her ability to manipulate a vulnerable girl.
Lori has destroyed more than just a young life, she’s destroyed an entire family and shows no remorse for her actions.
Since they won’t own up to their guilt in this sad drama, and since the justice system won’t act, I hope that the community shuns them and their businesses until they’re driven out of the community and bankrupted. And I hope the Meiers get a piece of them before they declare bankruptcy.
Even though it’s taken a year, the truth will out, and right now, Lori Drew is standing in the spotlight. I hope she “enjoys” her fifteen minutes of infamy.
23 Nov 2007 10:57
I just cant believe that a grown woman would set up a fake myspace account just so her daughter and her could talk to this girl and try to humiliate her and still not feel that guilty for what has happened. I also can’t believe that after a young girl has died someone would still write a blog saying that she had it coming. Do they have no respect or remorse? Its absolutely disgusting.
23 Nov 2007 16:52
Lori Drew deserves to face a criminal trial for her actions. Any person, let alone parent, who could behave in such an irresponsible and disturbing matter, knowing that they could inflict harm on a vulnerable child shouldn’t walk away blameless. Thank you Blaise for such an insightful and hard-hitting blog.
Backwards Thinking Law
24 Nov 2007 03:00
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.
L. Drew is a loser
24 Nov 2007 03:50
I hope Mrs. Drew and Ms. Grills get served a civil law suit. and grind them to financial ruin + hell. btw, if the computer was at her company sue them too.
testing this one…
25 Nov 2007 18:31
Very interesting… as always! Cheers from -Switzerland-.
Lori Drew Is A Psychopathic OGRE
25 Nov 2007 21:11
Lori Drew is a psychopath. That part is clear.
But more disturbing than that are the actions of authorities: If it had been an adult MALE that “carried on” in a sexually explicit way with a 13 year old girl, even if it WERE for the purposes of revenge for his teen daughter, he’d be locked up as a pedophile.
Second, there are al-READY laws on the books that cover this type of harassment. For chrissake: just implement them!
What is particularly chilling to me, is that Lori Drew knew that the victim was known to be suicidal in the past. That means that her statement to her that the “world would be better off without you” or whatever it was… is even MORE chilling: it means she was TRYING to steer this girl to suicide. It means she had a desire to push it in that direction, and did so.
Reminds me of Charles Manson. He never “technically” put his own hands upon his victims either, but he “made it happen” by manipulating people, I mean that’s the premise upon which he was convicted: that he had INCITED it.
Same thing here. Lori Drew incited this suicide and should be just as responsible as Manson was when he incited those murders—and she should also be treated just like any other adult who engages in online relationships of a sexual nature with under-aged children.
Children vs. Adults
26 Nov 2007 12:53
Lori Drew is a sick sick woman. Any adult who takes a child’s situation and runs with it in the manner that Lori Drew did deserve punishment. Lori drew was an ADULT, who not only baited a child but then sexually molested that child. She knew what she was doing, and she kept on doing it. That suggests to me a criminal insanity, and it is criminal that she is still allowed to be out there, ready to do the same thing to anyone’s kid that she feels like doing this to.
She and others like her must be stopped. She needs to be in jail for a very long time, or an institute for the criminally insane.
There is no way on earth this will stop Megan’s family’s pain. The pain of losing a child is the worst you can feel. Lori Drew is out there, and she does not care. Lets make her care!
30 Nov 2007 19:28
I would not call the b—- insane but rather a sociopath! To call the b—- insane would somehow excuse her actions! How dare the authorities do nothing – She killed that child and is no better than a common murderer.
Ashley Grills Photos
30 Nov 2007 22:55
Media now calls Megan’s Bloggers – a CYBER MOB
01 Dec 2007 03:39
Read here how Fox TV attacked one blogger today, trying to call her a CYBERBULLY for calling for Justice for Megan Meier and accountability for Lori Drew.
They said all of us were a CYBER MOB.
All parents failed
Parents grow up!
04 Dec 2007 21:46
Okay, Ms. Drew failed her daughter by not using the experience of being treated poorly by a friend as a teaching moment. Ms.Drew could have used this relationship between her daughter & Megan as a tool to teach her daughter how to be a good person, be a person others would like, be a person no one would believe ugly rumors that Megan may be spreading about her. Instead, she encouraged her daughter to be the person other people would NOT like by being vindictive, sneaky and untrustworthy. Her daughter learned not to take the high road or make herself the person others would want to have as a friend.
The Meiers also have to take on some of the blame. MySpace is not a friendly environment, obviously. Megan didn’t have a strong sense of self, good self image, or a stable emotional state. All things that should scream and shout to them that they shouldn’t allow her to use MySpace. Instead, they should have helped Megan to build relationships in a healthy way with people face to face. They should have become active in setting up ways for Megan to meet new friends since she apparently had such a reputation as difficult. I think the Drews and Meiers both hold responsibility in the way things turned out. Megan needed help from her parents. The Drews needed to build up their daughter’s self esteem and should have encouraged her to BE a better person than what they claim Megan was.
Who knows which child was difficult, hateful, mean-spirited? Given the Drew’s reaction to the situation and the steps they took, I’m sure their daughter was no angel either. BOth girls were possibly brats….very possibly.
I have learned to use this experience with my 12 yr old to teach her that other’s opinons, while they may seem like THE most important thing in the world, it’s YOUR opinion of yourself and it’s in YOUR power to be the best friend, citizen, daughter, etc.that you can be. No one can take that from you, no matter what extent the bullying goes.
10 Dec 2007 05:54
While the Megan Meier case seems outrageous and unique, it isn’t unique. Hundreds of cases of egregious and heinous acts go on every day with the same excuses out of our lawmakers.
One such other case….The case of Nikki Catsouras, is a classic example of disgusting, hateful activity against innocent victims, while our lawmakers excuse themselves from enacting laws to prevent this.
The excuse lawmakers use to let themselves off the hook stem from the growth of the Internet and how fast it’s changing. This is a sham.
Chat rooms, message boards, instant messengers and email have been in existence for far over a decade now. While the software used to transmit messages changes slightly, the basic essence of using the Internet to send a message is largely the same. Is a decade or two long enough to establish some basic decency laws in regards to Internet usage?
I’ve posted the Nikki Catsouras story along with many details about the Megan Meier case so the inactivity out of our lawmakers towards these types of cases can be clearly seen.
Those who are interested in learning about cases like Megan’s and Nikki’s case are encouraged to drop by and comment on them if you like. I have a couple of polls set up as well. Danny Vice would like to hear your point of view.
Public awareness of the problem and discussions about possible solutions are the best way to pressure elected officials into action instead of excuse making.
I invite you to come by and share your opinion.