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Death by Text on 48 Hours: What’s the motivation?

Tonight, CBS 48 Hours profiled the horrific story of the suicide of teenager Conrad Roy. He was encouraged through text to commit suicide by a so-called “friend”, Michelle Carter. The text between the two are sad to read. Carter is incredibly callous and cold. And you can see in the videos of Roy, he was truly a great guy.

When watching 48 Hours, what was most shocking to me was the lack of understanding about what likely caused Carter to do this. Her motive is very clear to me. While I agree that she wanted attention, as mentioned by the prosecutors, it wasn’t her main underlying motivation. None of the psychologists seem to say why she did this. They seemed bewildered, understandably.

However, as an expert in understanding human behavior, I suspect Carter must have realized at some point in her life that she could manipulate people, and she was successful at it in certain circumstances. That ability to manipulate people, I believe, gave have her a huge sense of power. She enjoyed it. She relished in it. It made her feel significant, in control and brilliant.

I believe Carter thrived on the manipulation and control, and it was her ultimate goal to see how far she could manipulate Roy. If she could get him to commit suicide, it was her ultimate, however sick, power game that would prove her superiority to herself. It would prove to her that she was very brilliant–above people in ways they couldn’t understand.

This is a common trait of someone who is psychopathic. Psychopaths realize they can read other people well, toy with them and manipulate them. They get great joy out of the power and control.

I don’t know whether Carter is or is not a psychopath, I’m not a psychologist, but she shows several indicators that support the possibility.

If you notice during her trial, the only time she felt emotions was for herself.

Michelle Carter truly gives me the chills.

My heart goes out to Roy’s family. He was a special guy. You can clearly see he was a compassionate person who was victimized by a person without any compassion. I hope and pray Carter gets an appropriate sentence and Roy’s family can somehow find peace.