Alexis Pilkington, 17, Commits Suicide: Another Victim of Cyberbullying?
Alexis Pilkington was the last girl you'd expect to be bullied. She was a soccer star in West Islip, Long Island. A smart and pretty girl who was graduating early and had already earned a sports scholarship to Dowling College...
But she was also privately troubled. Her dad, a New York City cop, says she was in counseling for undisclosed reasons, though that seemed to be going well.
Alexis' memorial page on Facebook became littered with insults, sexually suggestive comments, and pictures of nooses and people with their heads blown off
But on Sunday, she committed suicide in her bedroom. The means of her death haven't been revealed.
Since her suicide, police have begun to wonder if she was at least in part of a victim of cyberbullying. Friends put up a memorial site on Facebook (you can see it here), but it soon became littered with personal insults, sexually suggestive comments, even pictures of nooses and people with their heads blown off. The same thing happened on Formspring.me.
Her dad doesn't believe cyberbullying contributed to her death -- at least not in a major way. But Suffolk County police are poring over nasty messages left before and after her death.
It remains a mystery why she killed herself. But judging by the mean-spirited comments in the wake of her death, they had to contribute to her depression and anxiety before her suicide.
Shrinks believe cyberbullying causes much worse damage than conventional bullying, since anonymity leaves the victim to guess who her attackers are, lending the feeling that she's universally disliked, instead of just the target of a few loser dickheads.
Let's remember that, dear reader, the next time you get the urge to go personal in True Crime's comment section.
See another tragic cyberbullying case: Phoebe Prince, 15, Commits Suicide After Onslaught on Cyberbullying from Fellow Students.