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* Posts by Glen Guenther

2 posts • joined 4 Dec 2007

LA grand jury probes MySpace teenage suicide case

Glen Guenther

Not quite, Scott...

There are a LOT more details to this story than have been listed here. This happened here in the St. Louis area where I live and I've been following this story for awhile now. I don't know ANY of the parties involved here. All of this stuff came from local news reports. There's been so much about this that I can't remember all of the details but here's some of the additional info:

1) I'm glad that the Register story here makes a point to mention the differences between Lori Drew's statements in the police report and what the Drews' lawyer said later on. I disagree with Scott that Lori Drew wasn't responsible. According to the police statement 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 empoyee 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? illeg] 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...

That sure sounds to me like she did more than just "facilitate" this.

2) This all happened well over a year ago. The Meiers didn't know that this "Josh" was fake until someone else in the neighborhood told them about it. This other person also had a daughter and somehow this other daughter knew about what the Drews had done. Prior to this the Meiers had been trying to contact "Josh" thinking he was a real person.

3) Apparently the Drews even had a wake for Megan for the Meiers after she hung herself (and before they found out the details behind "Josh" of course).

4) As for the suicide itself, the police report says that Lori 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.'" The Meiers say that Megan had NOT tried to kill herself previously, and no evidence has been put forward to support that she'd tried to kill herself so Lori Drew apparently made that up...

5) During the year the Meiers contacted the local prosecutor's office and then a private attorney (presumably in regards to filing a civil lawsuit). The prosecutor's office said that they didn't know what the Drews could be charged with. There were no laws which cover this directly. The private attorney apparently told them, too, that the chance of successfully suing the Drews would be slim. After this blew up in the papers the county prosecuting attorney decided that he would look into it, too, but he later declined to prosecute because he couldn't find any laws which they'd broken either.

6) Lori Drew had a small advertising company which sent mailers to local residents with ads from local businesses. The 'Ashley' mentioned above is an 18-year-old employee of the company. Lori Drew had her help set up and monitor this account along with Lori Drew and the Drew's daughter (the ex-friend of Megan Meier). The county prosecutor said that he was unable to talk to this Ashley about the incident because she had supposedly been committed to a local institution due to emotional problems after Megan's suicide. Other reports say that 'Ashley' was in a facility for awhile but was later released. The last report I heard about the Drew's daughter was that she was out-of-state now.

7) No one has ever admitted to sending the final message which apparently caused Megan to kill herself. There are conflicting reports that other teenagers had somehow found out about this account (such as the neighbor's daughter that I mentioned above) and that they were sending messages, too, as Josh. It's unclear who was sending what towards the end but supposedly Lori Drew was monitoring this account and, if not, she certainly should have been.

8) The Meiers had been holding a "gaming table" of some kind for the Drews. After the Meiers found out what the Drews had done they broke up the gaming table and left it in the Drew's front yard. The Drews apparently either called the police about it and/or threatened to sue the Meiers over that but presumably they dropped that idea later on.

There are certainly more facts involving this case but those are the only ones I remember offhand. Personally, I'm THRILLED that Lori Drew's advertising business had to close and I think she (at least) should be shunned for what she did and what she allowed to happen with the MySpace account. She was the adult here and should be held responsible for all of it.

Having said that, though, I don't know that she should be found guilty of causing Megan's suicide and I don't think that the Drew's house should be vandalized or the family harassed like they have been. Telephone threats of killing them all are too much. Some of the local businesses have even been threatened because they advertised in the Drew's fliers. I certainly don't blame people for calling the businesses and telling them that they won't shop at a store in the future which advertises in the Drew Advantage but it's not like these businesses knew about this in advance. They found out about it the same time the rest of us did.

Anyway, that's enough rambling...

Glen Guenther

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Canadian loses $20K in phony eBay sale

Glen Guenther

Partial disagreement w Herbys

I have nothing but contempt for eBay or the clowns who run it. They have so far been absolutely and totally useless whenever I've had a problem either with their system or with a seller.

Having said that, though, I have to disagree with comments that the majority of the products are fakes or scams and that the bad sellers outnumber the good ones. Certainly there are both bad sellers and bad products on eBay but I haven't seen anything to indicate that they outnumber the good ones.

We've bought a variety of products from eBay and have a 400+ feedback score and have over 1,100 total positive feedbacks so while we can't compare to the heavy eBay users we aren't novices, either. And out of over 1,200 successful auctions (counting the ones that never left feedback) we've had only 9 bad auctions from 6 bad sellers. And of those sellers 2 had serious medical conditions which we were able to verify to our content to show why they didn't send us the items in question. So less than 1% of the sellers we've dealt with have been bad ones and less than .5% of our total auctions have been bad ones. I don't mind those odds at all.

As for Herbys' suggestions, eBay DOES indicate in the feedback list if a seller is "No longer a registered user" so having scores of closed accounts would be noticeable. I look at the feedback for each seller before I buy from them. I check how long a seller has been selling items, and even watch the buyers' userids and comments (such as if there are identical comments from a number of different buyers). So I think that there are ways that you can protect yourself from most of the bad sellers.

Please don't confuse me with someone who likes eBay and PayPal and thinks that they're a wonderful company. I have a higher opinion of pond scum. If anyone ever creates a real competitor for eBay then I'll abandon eBay in a heartbeat (I wish Google would work on that rather than trying to find ways to get your private data on their systems). Until then I'll have to content myself with the illusion that at least I'm not directly giving any money to eBay or PayPal. Regardless of what I think of eBay/PayPal, though, I DO have faith in a vast majority of the sellers with whom I've dealt.

Glen Guenther

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