Viewers are hooked on Hulu’s chilling new drama, The Girl from Plainville, which follows the real-life story of Michelle Carter and the death of her boyfriend Conrad Roy III.
After a 2019 two-part HBO documentary, titled I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs Michelle Carter, and the 2018 film Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill, the gripping story has been transformed into a drama series.
The Girl from Plainville stars Elle Fanning playing Michelle Carter and Colton Ryan as Conrad Roy.
At first, it might just seem like a Romeo and Juliet story gone very, very wrong, but as the show uncovers the mysteries around Conrad’s death, the real story which made headlines following a notorious trial is revealed.
Is The Girl from Plainville based on a true story?
Based on an Esquire investigation of the same name by Jesse Baron, the eight-part series follows the real events leading to Roy’s death, and the consequences, including Carter’s trial.
It was a love story that quickly became a dark crime story.
Who was Conrad Roy and what happened to him?
In February of 2015, Carter was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Months earlier, Roy, who was 18-years-old at the time, died by suicide. On 13 July 2014, his body was found in his truck after he had filled his truck with carbon monoxide and poisoned himself.
The November before, he had attempted suicide for the first time by swallowing a bottle of Tylenol.
Carter and Roy met in 2012 when they were both holidaying with their families in Florida, and their holiday romance grew to a long-distance relationship upon their return, mostly over text messages and rarely meeting in person.
Within their intense virtual bubble, Roy, who was suffering from anxiety and depression, shared his suicidal thoughts, and Carter eventually responded with messages of encouragement, helping him (and often time it seemed making him) do it.
As featured in the trailer, one month before his death Roy had told Carter their romance could be ‘like Romeo and Juliet’, to which Carter replied ‘We are not dying. That’s not funny.’
She seemed to change her mind pretty quickly later.
Hundreds of those messages, emails and phone calls between the couple were later shared in the aftermath of Roy’s death, showing Carter encouraging him to commit suicide.
Some of these texts were first revealed to Roy’s family following his death, when Carter contacted his younger sister to share that she knew more about his reasons for death than others presumed.
Around the same time, Carter held a school fundraiser for suicide prevention in Roy’s honour, on what would have been his 19th birthday.
As later revealed in court, a text Carter sent to a friend after Roy’s death revealed her admission that not only did she encourage him, but when he was in the midst of poisoning himself in his car, he got scared and got out, before Carter wrote to him to ‘get back in’.
Carter suffered from mental health issues of her own, with a history of self-harm and eating disorders, leaving outsiders to question whether she was a manipulative liar, or just entirely out of control.
On the day of Roy’s death, his then-girlfriend had sent a text saying: ‘You keep pushing it off and say you’ll do it but you never do. It’s always gonna be that way if you don’t take action.’
The day after, when he had been dead for 12 hours, she sent another message, writing: ‘Conrad I love you so much please tell me this is a joke. I’m so sorry I didn’t think you were being serious. I need you please answer me.’
Whether this was a sign of guilt or a cover-up will never truly be known.
The series also looks inside factors which affected Carter’s actions, like her adoration for Glee.
In their texts, Carter would send quotes from Glee, and in some ways mirrored Lea Michele, whose boyfriend Cory Monteith died by suicide in 2013.
In fact, Roy’s death was exactly one year after Monteith’s.
Where is Michelle Carter now?
At her trial in August 2017, Carter, who was by then 22, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two and a half years in prison, although only served 11 months before being released on good behaviour.
Although she hadn’t been physically present when Roy died, the court ruled she had been ‘virtually present’.
After being released from prison early, Carter has kept a relatively low-profile and avoided being in the public eye.
Conditions of her release mean she is on probation until August this year.
Now, Roy’s mother has been advocating for Massachusetts to create a law that would make coerced suicide a crime.
The Girl from Plainville is available to watch on Hulu in the US.
PAPYRUS Prevention for Young Suicide
For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email email@example.com