1. A pervert leaked a topless photo of Amanda Todd, then a group of girls bullied her until she ended up taking her own life.
In September 2012, this fifteen-year-old Canadian high-schooler posted a nine-minute black-and-white video on YouTube called My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self-harm. She speaks not a word in the video, instead letting her story unfold through a series of flash cards. She tells of how when she was in seventh grade, a male stranger—after much coaxing—convinced her to flash him her naked breasts during a webcam discussion.
A year went by before the same stranger contacted her on Facebook threatening to go public with a topless photo he’d screencapped of her if Amanda refused to perform a live sex show for him on camera. She says she refused, at which point the man sent her topless photo “to everyone.” Amanda claims this sent her spiraling into depression and seeking to blunt the humiliation through alcohol and drugs.
Her family moved her to another school, but the stranger kept stalking her. He opened a fake Facebook account in her name, using her topless photo as the profile picture. This led to taunts from kids at the new school and a new habit for Amanda—self-mutilation.
After being shuttled off to yet another new school, she was tracked down by female bullies from a prior school who beat her up en masse and left her lying in a ditch. After her dad rescued her and brought her home, she tried killing herself by drinking bleach. She was rushed to a hospital and survived.
Her parents moved with her to another new city and another new school, yet her depression persisted. This is the description she posted under her video of September 2012:
I’m struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I’m not doing this for attention. I’m doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I’d rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don’t hate, although I’m sure I’ll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I’m still here aren’t I?
Yes, she was still here—although briefly. A month after posting the video, Amanda killed herself.
2. Angel Green hanged herself from a tree next to her school bus stop so that her bullies could see her in the morning.
Early one morning in 2013, this fourteen-year-old from Indiana purposely hanged herself from a tree in front of her school bus stop so that her tormentors would see her lifeless swinging corpse. She had allegedly been repeatedly mocked as a “slut” and a “whore,” as well as enduring relentless teasing over the fact that her father had been jailed for hitting her. Her mother found a suicide note containing the following passages:
Why did I deserve this pain?…Have you ever thought about what you said to me? huh… maybe not! because you killed me every day…. You told me so much that I started believing it. And I was stupid for doing that. Every morning, day, night I look in the mirror and cry, and replay the harmful words in my head.
P.S. it’s bullying that killed me. Please get justice.
3. In a dispute over boys, her school’s ‘Mean Girls’ harassed Rebecca Sedwick to the point where she jumped to her death from atop a cement silo.
In September of 2013 at the age of 12, Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death from atop an abandoned cement silo in Florida. Police who investigated her suicide uncovered abusive messages directed at Rebecca from a group of about fifteen girls at her local school. The girls had apparently been spurred by jealousy over Rebecca’s former involvement with a local boy. These messages included “Why are you still alive?” and “Go kill yourself.”
Investigators also discovered that Rebecca’s online search history included phrases such as “how many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die?,” “what is overweight for a 13-year-old girl?,” “how to get blades out of razors,” and “what not to say to a cutter.” (She had previously been hospitalized—and subsequently harassed—for slitting her wrists.)
She eventually changed one of her online screen names to “That Dead Girl” and made a screensaver that showed her with her head lying on a railroad track. One of her final acts before jumping to her death from the cement silo was to message a 12-year-old boy to say:
I’m jumping, I can’t take it anymore.
Upon learning of Rebecca’s suicide, 14-year-old Guadalupe Shaw—the alleged ringleader of the “Mean Girls” gang allied against Rebecca—posted the following on Facebook:
Yes ik I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF
Shaw and a 12-year-old accomplice were arrested and charged with aggravated stalking.
4. After she sought online advice for her eczema, trolls attacked Hannah Smith, telling her to “drink bleach” and “go die.” Her older sister found her body hanging by the neck at home.
This fourteen-year-old British girl’s body was found hanging by her older sister Jo at their home in the summer of 2013. Hannah had innocently stumbled upon Ask.fm to seek advice about her eczema. Some of the advice included:
every1 will be happy if u died
“These trolls don’t care what happened to Hannah or what we’re going through,” Jo told a reporter, claiming that the trolls began harassing her after Hannah’s suicide. “They just live in their sad little worlds.”
5. Tall and with a prominent scar on her face, Ashley Cardona could no longer bear her classmates’ taunts of “Gorilla Scarface.”
Unusually tall and bearing a facial scar, this twelve-year-old from Denver was called “Gorilla Scarface” by classmates until she finally snapped and took her own life in the spring of 2014. A week before killing herself, she’d left the following message on Instagram:
I’m just not Okay.
“No words can explain what I feel like right now or how I felt,” her mother told a reporter. “I just don’t have a child anymore.”
6. After posting a compassionate answer on Ask.fm about how suicide is not the answer, Jessica Laney hanged herself.
Like Hannah Smith, this 16-year-old Floridian killed herself after being harassed on Ask.fm.
On Thanksgiving Day, 2012, an anonymous questioner on the site asked Jessica about her opinions on suicide. Her response:
If you ever feel this low i just wanna [say it’s] not your fault. People are mean. I know you feel useless broken not wanted and alone. i was there. But i promise you it will get better….Nothing is worth it; it will all get better.
But things didn’t get better. She fielded hostile comments such as “you have pretty eyes but your fat,” “Can you kill yourself already?” and “Nobody even cares about you.”
About two weeks after Thanksgiving, Laney hanged herself.
7. Taunted by other girls because boys liked her, Amber Cornwell hanged herself after posting “If I die tonight, would anyone cry?” on Facebook.
Allegedly popular among boys at school and hated by girls because of it, this sixteen-year-old from North Carolina was an honor-roll student who played tennis and sang with the school choir. Despite what seemed like a bright future, her female antagonists insisted she had no future.
On December 20, 2014, Amber posted the following on Facebook:
If I die tonight, would anyone cry?
Within hours, she was swinging by the neck in her bedroom closet.
8. A rival’s mother invented a fake male persona on MySpace to antagonize Megan Meier, who killed herself after the “Josh Evans” character told her, “The world would be a better place without you.”
Ever since the age of eight, this girl from the American heartland had expressed a desire to kill herself. Although—or because?—she was plied with antidepressants and antipsychotics, the urges continued.
At age 13, she was approached on MySpace by a “Josh Evans” who claimed he lived in a nearby town and didn’t have a phone. They formed an online “relationship,” and Megan seemed enchanted by him.
But gradually Josh turned on her. He said he’d heard rumors she was “not very nice” to her friends and that he had second thoughts about staying friends with her. Josh made some of their private exchanges public. His final message to her:
Everybody in O’Fallon [Missouri] knows who you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you.
You’re the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over.
Twenty minutes later she was found hanging by a belt in her bedroom closet.
As police investigated the case, it became evident that “Josh Evans” never existed. His account was a phony one that had been set up by Lori Drew, mother of a female schoolmate of Megan’s who lived a mere four doors down from her. Lori fabricated the “Josh Evans” persona to harass Megan and extract gossip from her. She and an 18-year-old girl named Ashley Grills alternated sending messages as “Josh.” Lori Drew originally denied creating the account, then later admitted it while trivializing it as a “joke.” It was later revealed that Ashley Grills had sent the final “The world would be a better place without you” message.
9. After three boys gang-raped her and distributed photos of the crime, Audrie Pott hanged herself with a belt.
At a house party on Labor Day weekend 2012 in the posh-and-privileged California coastal town of Saratoga, police say 15-year-old Audrie Pott fell unconscious after drinking vodka and was sexually assaulted by three boys who subsequently scrawled lewd remarks on her body. They photographed the event and distributed digital photos to local students, where the images “spread like wildfire.”
Tortured by the fact that her gang rape was being treated like reality-TV entertainment, Audrie hanged herself with a belt a week after the house party.
10. An Italian girl named Nadia jumped to her death from a building after someone on Ask.fm wrote “Kill yourself” on her page.
This is the third case on this list involving harassment on Ask.fm. It involves a 14-year-old girl in northeastern Italy whose real name was Nadia but whose Ask.fm handle was “Amnesia.”
Nadia answered over 1,000 questions during her time on Ask.fm. She also posted photos of self-mutilation marks she’d made on her arms.
When she sought emotional support on the site after a breakup, she was slapped back with comments such as “Nobody wants you,” “You are not normal,” and “Kill yourself.”
This was her response after someone asked her where she saw herself living in five years:
Me living five years from now? Wow.
She didn’t even last a year. She killed herself by jumping from atop a high-rise building.
11. Mocked and bullied for being epileptic, Hailee Lamberth shot herself in the head.
An epileptic who was taunted by classmates for her condition, this 13-year-old from Las Vegas allegedly found messages that had been stuffed in her locker that said things such as “Drink Bleach and Die” and “Why don’t you die?” A schoolmate once left her a voicemail message asking, “Where are you, Hailee? I hope you died.”
She shot herself in the head in December 2013. Her suicide note read in part:
I only ask that you tell my school I killed myself so maybe next time people like [named bully] wants to call someone [names], he won’t.
12. Ashlynn Conner was too young to even know what a “slut” was, but she killed herself after being called one.
Since she was only ten years old, Ashlynn Conner of Ridge Farm, IL, claimed she didn’t even know what it meant when kids at her school called her a “slut.” But she understood what it meant when they called her “fat” and “ugly,” and she also knew it was an insult when they called her “Pretty Boy” after she got a short haircut.
After months of being bullied, she begged her mother to home-school her. Her mother refused. The next day, Ashlynn’s sister found her hanging by a scarf in her closet.
13. Moments after a female rival told Phoebe Prince to kill herself, Phoebe killed herself.
Phoebe spent most of her childhood in Ireland, then moved with her parents to Massachusetts, where she ran afoul of the Mean Girls at school due to her romantic involvement with two popular male students. One of her former boyfriends joined with at least four girls in systematically tormenting Phoebe at school, via text messages, and on Facebook.
On January 14, 2010, a group of her antagonists drove past her, called her an “Irish slut,” threw an empty energy-drink can at her, and told her to kill herself.
And that’s exactly what she did. Phoebe walked home and hanged herself on a stairwell. Her younger sister discovered her body. Even after she died, her tormentors left nasty messages on a Facebook memorial page dedicated to her. Five of her bullies—one male and four females—eventually pleaded guilty to criminal harassment.
14. After being tormented at school during a time of personal turmoil, Cora DeLille killed herself and wrote a note that said “Thanks for all the pain.”
At the emotionally raw age of 15, this Ohio girl felt despondent about life. She had just broken up with her boyfriend, and the stepfather she’d known all her life had divorced her mother. In a suicide note she left before hanging herself at her family’s home in May of 2014, she named four tormentors from school—two of them her ex-boyfriends—whom she claimed had pushed her to the point where she didn’t want to live anymore. One line in her suicide note stood out above all the others:
Thanks for all the pain.
15. Bullied for being ambitious, Izzy Dix wrote a poem called “I Give Up” and then committed suicide.
Other schoolgirls taunted this Australian-born girl who’d moved to England with her mother because she dressed primly and planned to attend Oxford University.
According to her mother:
She said one particular person had made her life hell….I tried to reassure her that it would get better and I gave her a hug.
One night in December 2013, her mother tried checking on Izzy in her bedroom, only to find the door blocked. When she finally was able to push the door open, she found her daughter hanging dead with her school necktie wrapped around her neck.
Her mother would later release a poem Izzy had written called “I Give Up.” It read in part:
They tell me to leave and that I am not wanted, Not there, not anywhere….
My eyes drowning in a sea of emotion
Another piece of me chiselled away by their cruel remarks and perceptions … I give up.