The Michelle Carter case is back in the spotlight thanks to the new HBO documentary I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter.
The two-part film delves into how, as a 17-year-old, Michelle Carter used text messages and phone calls to encourage her then-boyfriend Conrad Roy III to commit suicide at age 18 on July 12, 2014. Carter was eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 and, after a failed appeal, began her prison sentence in February 2019.
Tragic and fascinating details have emerged about Carter’s actions leading up to Roy’s death, and one in particular stands out: She was obsessed with the TV show Glee, and it may partially explain why she encouraged Roy to kill himself.
The new doc details how many of Carter’s texts to Roy and her friends were taken directly from Glee scripts.
The show, in case you don’t remember, starred on- and off-screen couple Lea Michele and Cory Monteith, who died of an accidental overdose in July 2013. After Cory’s death, the show paid tribute to him and his character Finn with an episode in October 2013.
Coincidentally (or not), that was the same month that Carter started texting Roy snippets from Glee that she passed off as her own words. That included lines about how he’d be going to a better place and that she could learn to live without him.
One example, lifted from Glee: “You were my first love, and I wanted more than anything for you to be my last.”
After Roy died, Carter also sent texts to her friends that were not only pulled from Glee, but also real-life interviews with Lea about her grief over Cory’s passing. A creepy example: Lea told Ellen DeGeneres she felt like the “luckiest girl in the world” when she dated Cory and that he was “the greatest man.” When Michelle texted her friends about Roy, she said, “He was the greatest man I ever knew, and I literally lived every day feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.”
Watch Lea Michele’s tribute to the late Cory Monteith on the anniversary of his death:
Carter also tweeted about the Lea a lot, calling the actress her “WCW forever,” and her “favorite person in the whole world and my bae forever,” the documentary explained.
But perhaps the oddest thing about this whole Glee obsession is that it “was really under-reported, actually,” I Love You, Now Die director Erin Lee Carr told USA Today. “So for me, it was the clearest example that Michelle Carter was living in a different reality.”
She went on to say, “When Lea Michele’s boyfriend died, she was able to grieve, and everybody looked up to her and said, ‘You’re doing such a good job.’ Potentially, I’m not certain, but what if Michelle Carter was like, ‘Maybe that could be me.'”
Of course, that’s just conjecture. Everyone has wildly different theories explaining why Michelle Carter did it, but, while the documentary does an excellent job of laying them all out, it’s still unknown exactly what motivated Carter to help Roy commit suicide. Considering Carter is currently in prison while her lawyers appeal her case to the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s unlikely that the world will get a definitive answer anytime soon.