Michelle Carter, a 20-year-old woman who is accused of urging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to kill himself, appeared to use quotes from actor Lea Michele and the popular television show Glee while discussing Roy's death with friends.
Roy, 18, killed himself on July 12, 2014, by inhaling carbon monoxide produced by a water pump in his truck. His body was found in the truck the next day. The teen — who had a history of mental illness and had previously attempted suicide — got out of the truck because he was "scared," but Carter texted him to "get back in," according to some of the thousands of text messages the two exchanged during the course of their relationship.
Carter, who was 17 when Roy died, was craving attention and sympathy and used Roy's death to get noticed among friends as the "grieving girlfriend," Bristol Assistant District Attorney Maryclare Flynn said during opening arguments in her involuntary manslaughter trial. She used him as "a pawn in her sick game of life and death," Flynn said.
In thousands of text messages that Carter sent her friends before, during, and after Roy's death, she placed herself at the center of his suicide and blamed herself for not stopping him, prosecutors said.
Many of those text messages were read out by her friends in court on Wednesday and were contained in court records — including text messages that Carter sent two friends about how she and Roy had planned their "whole life" together.
Many BuzzFeed News readers pointed out that portions of two of the texts were — almost word for word — from an episode of the television show Glee.
The episode in question, "The Quarterback," which aired on Oct. 10, 2013, was a memorial episode for actor Cory Monteith and his character Finn Hudson following Monteith's death of a drug overdose.
Here is Carter's text to her friend Samantha Boardman, six days after Roy's death in 2014 (BuzzFeed News has added emphasis in bold):
I had it all planned out. He was gonna graduate Fitchburg and then when I graduated the college I'm going to, we would live happily ever after on the ocean somewhere, with our son Conrad the 4th. He knew too I didn't have to tell him. Now it's gonna be something different, maybe something better, but I just don't think that that's possible. He was my person.
The day after this text to Boardman, Carter messaged another friend, Olivia Mosolgo:
I just had it all planned out with Conrad. Now I have to do something different, maybe something better, I just don't think that that's possible. He was my person you know?
In the scene from Glee, Rachel Berry — played by actor Lea Michele — talks to her former teacher Will Schuester about the future she had planned with the late Finn Hudson:
Rachel: I had it all planned out. I was gonna make it big on Broadway and maybe make a Woody Allen movie. And then when we were ready, I would just come back and he'd be teaching here and I'd walk through those doors and I would just say "I'm home" and then we would live happily ever after.
Will: That's a good plan. Did you tell him?
Rachel: I didn't have to. He knew.
Will: And now what?
Rachel: I don't know, something different.
Will: Maybe something better.
Rachel: I just — I don't think that's possible. He was my person.
For Glee fans, this scene is particularly heartbreaking because, like their characters, actors Lea Michele and Cory Monteith had been dating at the time of his death, and she openly mourned his loss.
Roy, who was a ship captain, died on July 13, 2014 — exactly one year after Monteith's death on July 13, 2013.
BuzzFeed News reviewed numerous text messages between Carter and her friends that were released during the trial and found other instances where Carter — while discussing Roy's death — appeared to draw inspiration from Glee quotes and Michele's comments about Monteith after his death.
The scene between Rachel Berry and Will Schuester from the memorial episode made several appearances in Carter's texts.
In the same conversation with Boardman, Carter said, "One of the hardest parts is feeling like I'm gonna forget everything. And I don't want to. I can still hear his voice so clearly.”
In "The Quarterback," Rachel says to Will, "I can still see his face and I can hear his voice so clearly. Do you think that I'll ever forget it? Because I'm afraid that one day I will."
In a text message to one of Roy's friends in August 2014 — a month after Roy killed himself — Carter used a line from the show to describe their relationship.
"We were endgame we both knew it, he didn’t need to tell anyone that," Carter wrote.
In a Season 4 Glee episode titled "I Do," Finn tells Rachel, "We are endgame. I know that and you know that."
In other texts to her friends about Roy's death, Carter appeared to draw inspiration from Michele's comments in interviews about Monteith after his death.
In one text to Boardman days after Roy's death in July 2014, Carter wrote: "He was the greatest man I ever knew and I literally lived every day feeling like the luckiest girl in the world when I had him."
In a December 2013 interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Michele had this to say about Monteith: "I was so happy. He’s such a private person, and I literally lived every day of my life feeling like the luckiest girl in the whole world. I just thought he was the greatest man.”
Some of Carter's text messages also suggest that she was a big fan of Michele. Before Roy's death, she told Boardman that Michele was her "favorite person ever" and urged her to listen to a song that Michele had recorded about Monteith's death.
"I want you to listen to this song. Its called Cannonball by my favorite person ever Lea Michele haha. Just listen to it, it will help you. Its helping me," Carter texted Boardman.
She added: "She's just been my inspiration and stuff lately I love her haha she's the actress on glee."
Carter also appeared to draw inspiration from how other Glee cast members described Monteith after his death.
In text messages sent to Roy's mother the day of her son's death, Carter referred to Roy as a "bright light" and a "beautiful soul."
Glee actor Jane Lynch used both of these phrases to describe Monteith in the months after he died.
"Cory's one of the biggest hearts, a real bright light," Lynch said in an appearance on The Tonight Show in July 2013. While hosting the Emmys in September 2013, she paid tribute to him in a segment, saying, "Cory was a beautiful soul. He was not perfect."
Carter's lawyer didn't return a request for comment.
Ellie Hall is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
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Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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