Dardenne Prairie, Mo. (The Weekly Vice) - The questions surrounding the Megan Meier Suicide/Internet harassment story are numerous. What should happen to the Drews? What will the prosecutors do? Will the Drews actually continue with their law suite against the Meier family?
The most debated question however is not whether or not some sort of punishment should be metered out. The pressing question is whether or not the adult who is responsible for this deadly hoax should have been reveal to the public.
The original story, published close to a year ago concealed the name of the adult bully behind the fake MySpace account that convinced Megan to take her own life. Even now, I have yet to find a major news outlet that's been willing to reveal Ms. Drew's identity to the public at large. It was the Blogging community that decided to unmask this modern day villain. Here's why I think they were right to do so.
My Sharp Opinion
As details about Lori Drew's 6 week cyber-voyeur techniques emerged, the more I am convinced that outing this kind of behavior is not only right, but essential. Essential? Why?
It is becoming clearer and clearer that Lori Drew employed many of the same grooming techniques that child predators utilize to charm their way into gaining a child's trust. Even Lori herself reported to police that she created the MySpace account in order to find out what Megan was saying.
The most significant key here is that Lori Drew spent approximately 6 full weeks baiting Megan into this trust by posing as a "cute" boy that Megan would be attracted to. Right there, Drew utilizes the sexual stimulation that exists in male/female pair bonding in order to manipulate the 13 year old girl.
Lori Drew groomed her victim like many child predators do, enticing her with flirtation, mild sexual conversation and playing on Megan's weakness. Lori knew that Megan had a low self esteem and was treated for depression.
Examples of Child Predator techniques can be seen here and here. Read them and you'll see uncanny parallels between the typical Child Predator MOA and those utilized by Lori Drew to control and manipulate Megan in the relationship Lori developed with her.
Outing Child Predators has been public policy in most states and is usually upheld under the premise that the public has a right to reasonably protect itself from criminal behavior where it exists. Families with children have a right to know when those who might prey upon their child, live nearby. Public policy dictates that if a child is exposed to potential harm from predatory activity, then parents should at least have the opportunity to be aware such harm may exist.
It is the predatory nature of this case that bears striking resemblance to the public policy. The only difference in this case is that the alleged perpetrator of this heinous act has not been charged or convicted.
But what if a child predator confesses to a crime, but is never convicted? Does the potential for risk exist despite the legal process?
Thus far, details in the case have been heavily supported by Lori Drew's own admissions, police records and interviews. The amount of speculation in this case has been minimal, and the majority of public outrage has largely focused on the facts presented.
The Missouri Public Records Act of 1961 were devised partially to inform the public of persons, events, proceedings and reports that may effect the public directly. These records (such as the charges Lori Drew filed against the Meier family), were the principal documents used to tie Lori Drew to her abhorrent acts. By filing this police report, Lori in effect put herself into the spot light. The Blogging community simply connected the dots and reported the results.
The Vice enjoys the sharp irony that Lori Drew's own actions, activities and zeal to hurt eventually lead to her own uncovering. As I see it, public policy laws and Lori Drew's own manipulations of those laws worked to her undoing. The Vice is appreciative for Lori Drew's assistance in these efforts.