I Love You, Now Die: 9 Most Disturbing Revelations From The Michelle Carter/Conrad Roy HBO Documentary

Photo: HBO
I Love You, Now Die: 9 Most Disturbing Revelations From The Michelle Carter/Conrad Roy HBO Documentary

It was a case that made national headlines for the sheer shock value alone. How could a woman have claimed to have loved her boyfriend, yet texted him to tell him to kill himself? That's just the first in the many shocking revelations that the I Love You, Now Die documentary — which just concluded on HBO — showcased.

Here are 9 disturbing revelations from the Michelle Carter/Conrad Roy HBO documentary. 

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1. Michelle Carter suffered from severe depression.

In an interview with Boston.com, documentary director Erin Lee Carr explained that the depiction of Michelle Carter as an icy vixen looking to kill her dearly beloved boyfriend was not an accurate depiction. Instead, Michelle Carter was someone who suffered from severe depression, and she was in no position to be in a relationship with anyone, let alone her boyfriend. 

"There was this very simple story put forth that Michelle Carter was this good-looking ice queen that set about to kill a young man to become popular. I knew that that wasn’t going to be correct, but it would ultimately be the narrative that was set forth by the prosecution,” she told the outlet.

There are several mental health issues that the documentary, "I Love You, Now Die" explores. 

2. She sent a series of text messages to her then-boyfriend, Conrad Roy, encouraging him to commit suicide.

When the Massachusetts court upheld the decision to convict Michelle Carter of manslaughter, they did so because she'd sent a series of texts to Conrad Roy encouraging him to commit suicide. CBS News reports that while her attorney argued that Roy was set on committing suicide regardless of Carter's influence, the prosecutor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts argued — successfully — that Carter's repeated texts to Roy only pushed him over the edge. 

"Assistant District Attorney Shoshana Stern told the court that Carter knew she had "significant leverage" over Roy and became more insistent as he became more depressed," they said.

Erin Lee Carr chose to take on the Michelle Carter "texting death" case. 

3. Originally, Michelle Carter argued her "text-suicide" messages to Conrad Roy were protected under the First Amendment. 

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution allows for freedom of speech, within limits. However, while the First Amendment allows for freedom of speech, it does not translate to freedom from the consequences of said speech — which is why speech that falls under the so-called "fire in a crowded theater" provision of the First Amendment is not protected. Additionally, even if the speech falls under the protections of the First Amendment (such as gossip), it does not protect against any potential consequences resulting from that speech (for instance, if gossip goes the distance and becomes slander and/or libel). 

And that's exactly what happened with the Michelle Carter case. According to People Magazine, her lawyers initially tried to argue that the messages she'd sent to Conrad Roy encouraging him to commit suicide fell under the protection of the First Amendment. 

"Because the judge convicted Carter for what she said, or failed to say, not what she did, this case implicates free speech under the First Amendment and art. Carter’s words encouraging Roy’s suicide, however distasteful to this Court, were protected speech,” her attorneys wrote, according to the outlet.

One can see how that might not go over well. 

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4. Conrad Roy came from an abusive household. 

As if all of this isn't terrible enough, the second part of the I Love You, Now Die documentary revealed that Conrad Roy came from an abusive household. According to Radar Online, while the police couldn't prove that the abuse came directly from Conrad Roy's father, they could definitely tell that he was being abused. 

"A photograph showed him with a bruised eye in the beginning of the film. “Did you get beat up?” Michelle asked him in February 2014. “F**k u,” he responded. Police officers during the trial were not able to clearly state whether Conrad was a victim of an assault by his father, Conrad Roy Jr., however, an officer on the stand did say Conrad's “face was swollen, red and he had some lacerations to his face," they reported. 

5. Even though they were listed as "boyfriend and girlfriend," Conrad Roy and Michelle Carter only saw each other a handful of times. 

According to a different story for Boston.com, the theory of "Michelle Carter driving her boyfriend to suicide," as presented by the prosecution, has a bit of a flaw in the theory. Namely, Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy probably weren't as "serious" as the prosecution suggested because they only saw each other five times in the five years they were together.

"Boyfriend and girlfriend might have been overselling the relationship. Carter’s home in Plainville was nearly an hour away from Roy’s hometown of Mattapoisett. Their introduction in 2012 didn’t come in Massachusetts — but in Florida, where the two families spent their February vacation," they wrote. The outlet also added that every time Conrad Roy would ask Michelle Carter if they were officially dating, it garnered a "less-than-enthusiastic" response from Michelle Carter. Finally, the outlet reported that even though the "couple" would make plans to see one another, the plans would almost always fall through.

Can someone else really be blamed for another's suicide?

6. Conrad Roy was obsessed with Corey Monteith.

According to People Magazine, Conrad Roy was so obsessed with Glee actor Corey Monteith that he would often draw parallels between their lives. It bears stating, too, that Corey Monteith was Lea Michele's boyfriend — and someone who committed suicide while he was at the height of his popularity. It, therefore, can be inferred (and the documentary makes the same suggestion) that Conrad Roy had suicidal ideation for a long time. 

Erin Lee Carr said that she just wanted to present the facts, not tell people how to feel. 

7. Even though Michelle Carter was sentenced to 15 months in jail back in 2017, she only just started serving her sentence this year. 

According to Cosmopolitan Magazine, Michelle Carter was sentenced to 15 months in jail back in 2017. However, thanks to her constant appeals, she didn't start serving her sentence until this year. 

"Michelle was sentenced in 2017, but she appealed her sentencing. The judge allowed her to stay out of jail while she waited on the appeal after her lawyer argued that Michelle had no criminal record and she was getting mental-health treatment while out of jail," they wrote.

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Michelle Carter didn't have a good grasp on reality.

8. She initially tried to cover up the crime.

In a different report for Radar Online, it was revealed that initially, Michelle Carter tried to cover up her involvement in Conrad Roy's death. Michelle sent a text to her friend claiming she was "afraid" that Conrad had tried to kill himself, without disclosing that she knew he was going to do just that. 

"Sam he just called me and there was a loud noise like a motor and I heard moaning like someone was in pain and he wouldn’t answer when I said his name I stayed on the phone for like 20 mins that’s all I heard,” she wrote, according to the outlet.

Michelle Carter encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself.

9. Did Conrad Roy know that Michelle Carter was "evil" and "sent by the devil"?

In a separate report for People Magazine, it was revealed that Conrad Roy suspected that Michelle Carter was "evil" and "sent by the devil" after he'd been sent to the hospital for a prior suicide attempt. And, according to I Love You, Now Die, Michelle Carter actually encouraged him to feed into his suicidal ideations thereafter. 

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Michelle Carter's case has set a legal precedent.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.