WARNING: Sensitive content

She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself in a barrage of demanding text messages.

Michelle Carter was described as an "ice queen", "evil", and "desperate for popularity" as the suicide of Conrad Roy III garnered widespread media attention around the world.

But a new documentary has painted a different portrait of Ms Carter, showing a side to her not yet seen.

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Michelle Carter gets emotional during her trial. Photo / Foxtel
Michelle Carter gets emotional during her trial. Photo / Foxtel

Ms Carter and her parents have never publicly made a comment on the case, leaving those captivated by the events with only one side of the story — that being Mr Roy's.

True, the then 17-year-old sent vile and aggressive texts to Mr Roy on the night of his death on July 13, 2014 in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

She urged him to go through with killing himself despite him expressing he had second thoughts.

However, there is a very long, complex and sick backstory to this twisted modern love story, which has been laid barre in the two-part HBO documentary I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter, which will screen in two parts on Sky's SoHo2 at 9.30pm on consecutive Saturday's from August 17.

The first episode told the story as we have come to know it, and you can read a recap of it here, but the second part opens viewers up to a new theory.

NEW REVELATIONS ABOUT CONRAD'S DAD

Mattapoisett police officer Dennis Tavares was called to the stand during Ms Carter's trial in June, 2017, revealing he had arrested Mr Roy's father, also named Conrad, for assault and domestic battery against his son.

Mr Roy's parents had gone through a split. Mr Roy often confided in Ms Carter about the difficulties of their marriage breakdown, and told her on occasions his father could be violent toward him.

Pictures show Mr Roy with bruises on his face. Photo / Foxtel
Pictures show Mr Roy with bruises on his face. Photo / Foxtel

"At first it's kind of embarrassing but it doesn't really matter because I know what happened that night," Conrad's father says in the documentary.

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"I know things got out of control and we both fought each other. And I'd do it again, just like that.

"You know, sometimes you say, like my father said to me, 'If you take a swing at me you're gonna get it … Make sure you don't do that ever again.'

"And I felt like, I had to do the same thing."

MS CARTER WAS DESPERATELY SICK

One of the key witnesses for Ms Carter was Dr Peter Breggin, who was called to the stand on day five of the trial as part of the defence.

He was originally employed to investigate whether the medication Mr Roy was on made him suicidal. Mr Roy was on antidepressants and psychiatric drugs.

"They can cause suicide," Dr Breggin says.

"I concluded it was a contributing factor, but not an overwhelming factor. There were many other things impinging on Conrad."

Dr Breggin then became interested in Ms Carter's side of the story, realising she was also on psychiatric drugs, namely Prozac (fluoxetine), which she had been taking since the age of 14.

Michelle Carter. Photo / Facebook
Michelle Carter. Photo / Facebook

"She should've never been given Prozac, because she was bulimic and that would increase the power of Prozac over her, and not long after her first exposure she (tried to kill herself).

"Now, at the same moment, Conrad Roy, whom at that point she thought was a sweet boyfriend without any problems, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a serious suicide attempt."

This was on October 10, 2012, which is when Mr Roy began to share dark and personal details with Ms Carter.

This is one of their text exchanges following Mr Roy's suicide attempt:

Conrad: I saw the devil already

Michelle: Me too and how did you?

Conrad: He was at the hospital one night staring at me, and he told me kill them all

Michelle: Are you serious …

Conrad: Dead serious

Michelle: I've seen him too. I see him a lot actually

Conrad: Maybe we were meant to be together. The devil brought us

Michelle: We are destined for hell then?

Conrad: Yeah

Michelle: But babe even if I do end up going to hell I'm happy (I'm) with you

This was just the beginning of two years of often chilling exchanges between the pair, who shared a predominantly digital relationship having only met a handful of times.

Up until two weeks before his death, on June 29, 2014, Ms Carter actually urged Mr Roy to get help because she didn't want him to die.

Conrad: Can I tell you something

Michelle: Yes of course, you don't need to ask

Conrad Roy III. Photo / Supplied
Conrad Roy III. Photo / Supplied

Conrad: There's nothing anyone can do for me that's gonna make me wanna live. It's very bad to hear, but I want to let you know that. Truthfully. We should be like Romeo and Juliet at the end

Michelle: Haha I'd love to be your Juliet :)

Conrad: But do you know what happens at the end?

Michelle: OH YEAH F***! NO WE ARE NOT DYING. The mental hospital would help you. I know you don't think it would but I'm telling you, if you give them a chance, they can save your life. Part of me wants you to try something and fail just so you can get help.

A FLICK SWITCHED IN MS CARTER

During the trial, Dr Breggin said Ms Carter, who was also a teenager with her own mental health issues, was led to a "dark place" by Mr Roy.

"It eventually becomes her idea, taken from him, that he's going to kill himself and that all he cares about is doing it swiftly and quickly and not botching it. She's following his lead into a very dark place," he said.

Dr Breggin pinpointed an exact date Ms Carter changed her tactic of trying to save Mr Roy's life. She became convinced "saving" him was helping him go to heaven.

"She was in an extremely abusive relationship," Dr Breggin says.

"This was constant harassing of her while he's not telling family, and at one point, toward the end, Conrad tells her 'the one thing that will make me hate you is if you tell anyone I'm suicidal'. And she listens.

"It was this huge pyramid of his misery and at the bottom of it is Michelle Carter and nobody else."

During the trial, Dr Breggin said on July 2, Ms Carter became — in legal terms — "involuntary intoxicated".

A letter from Michelle Carter's father to the judge. Photo / Foxtel
A letter from Michelle Carter's father to the judge. Photo / Foxtel

The US Legal website says it is a defence that is accepted or considered in most American states.

"Intoxication is a state in which a person's normal capacity to act or reason is inhibited by alcohol or drugs," the website reads.

"When a person is forced to consume an intoxicant against his/her will, the person is said to be involuntarily intoxicated. An involuntarily intoxicated person may not be able to distinguish right from wrong at the time of committing the wrongful act and therefore would have a valid defence."

In one text, Ms Carter wrote to Mr Roy, "Jesus will take care of you babe. You'll be happy and protected in heaven. I just want you to finally be happy, so so happy. Heaven needs a hero".

During the trial, Dr Breggin said, "At this point, she is involuntarily intoxicated. She's not forming a criminal intent, she's not doing anything she thinks is criminal, she's thinking that it's a good thing to help him die, that she can mitigate the circumstances.

"And like anybody who's in a hypomanic state, she gets very angry when she's disrupted. This is now the way she's found a way to finally help."

When Dr Breggin was cross-examined in the trial, he was interrogated about the leading theory Ms Carter did what she did to gain popularity — given she was an isolated teen.

This came after revelations she performed a "dry run" two days before Mr Roy's death, in which she messaged her friends fearing he'd committed suicide, even though she was texting him at the time and knew he was alive.

She wanted to see if she would garner sympathy, which formed ideas around her sketchy motivation.

But Dr Breggin said he didn't believe that was the case, in a reverse question to the prosecution.

"They (her friends) turned her into a crazy person who transformed her character and became grandiose, encouraged a young man who she loved, who she had been working with to get better, that she turned on and encouraged him to die?" he said.

"She's psychotic, diluted, disturbed, everything you're describing. Which is why I concluded she's got an involuntary intoxication."

'UNHEALTHY' GLEE OBSESSION

Ms Carter, a young, pretty teen, was a hopeless romantic. She loved romance movies and sweet comments.

She even bought Mr Roy a star, telling him "there's a certificate and everything. Conrad Henry Roy III. It's your own star because you shine so bright".

Ms Carter also had an obsession with the TV show, Glee. Namely, she loved its leading lady, Lea Michele.

She often wrote to Mr Roy using quotes from the show.

And then in July 2013, almost a year prior to Mr Roy's death, Michele's co-star and real life boyfriend Cory Monteith died of an overdose at the age of 31.

Glee made a tribute episode for Monteith, by killing off his character Finn.

Ms Carter was obsessed with Lea Michele and her real and fictional relationship with Cory Monteith who died of an overdose.
Ms Carter was obsessed with Lea Michele and her real and fictional relationship with Cory Monteith who died of an overdose.

"Lea Michele sings a song in his honour and everyone's devastated because the character died in the show too," Esquire journalist Jesse Barron says.

"It was an eerie piece of television. The actual actor OD'd somewhere in a hotel room in Canada but in the world of this show, it's this football quarterback who died and everyone is singing pop songs to mourn him.

"Carter then introduces that to Conrad in October 2013, she says I want you to know how much I love you and what it would be like if you weren't here.

"But the idea that she would be the person in Glee who had a boyfriend who was the football quarterback who tragically died, I think was more real to her than it probably was to most people."

In a series of texts to Mr Roy, Ms Carter uses quotes from the show but passes the words off as her own, namely this line from Michele's character, Rachel, "You were my first love, and I wanted more than anything for you to be my last."

Mr Barron said after Mr Roy's death, Ms Carter would continue to use quotes from Glee and its actors when texting.

"One of the eerie parts is she's using quotes from Lea Michele, they don't all come from Glee, they come from real talk shows and real quotes from the actress," he says.

"This is weird. This is really weird. I think it translates she identified really strongly with this other world, this other life.

"She connected with Lea Michele on a profound level that went beyond normal teens identifying with a star."

MS CARTER'S SECRET LESBIAN CRUSH

Ms Carter started to develop feelings for a girl named Alice, who she met in her softball team in the spring of 2012.

Ms Carter texted one of her friends admitting she had feelings for Alice and the pair were "flirting" before Alice's mum forced her daughter to cut ties.

But Ms Carter never stopped thinking about Alice.

"In 2014 in the summer, Michelle for some reason starts really missing Alice and this is all happening around the time Conrad gets really suicidal," Mr Barron says.

Michelle Carter in February this year after beginning her sentence. Photo / Bristol County Sheriff's Office via AP
Michelle Carter in February this year after beginning her sentence. Photo / Bristol County Sheriff's Office via AP

In a text to her friend, Michelle writes: "I still really love Alice and I can't get myself away from it and it's a problem because I'll just compare everyone to her. I love Conrad with everything that I am … But I'm still in love with Alice. I think about her all the time."

Mr Barron continues, "I called Alice and asked to interview her because it sounded like Michelle was really in love with her, and I met Alice and her mother.

"The reason they were meeting me was to refute that story. They were meeting to say Michelle is a psychopath, she made it all up, there was never anything physical about the relationship.

"In that moment I felt a sympathy for how alone (Michelle) was. She had this desire for things to be more intense. More like stories, than they really were."

THE LATEST ON THE CASE

On Monday last week, Ms Carter's lawyers called her conviction "unprecedented" and said her case raised crucial questions about whether "words alone" were enough to hold someone responsible for another person's suicide, urging the US Supreme Court to hear her appeal.

"Michelle Carter did not cause Conrad Roy's tragic death and should not be held criminally responsible for his suicide," Daniel Marx, one of her lawyers, said in an emailed statement. "This petition focuses on just two of the many flaws in the case against her that raise important federal constitutional issues for the US Supreme Court to decide."

Michelle Carter at her sentencing for involuntary manslaughter. Photo / AP
Michelle Carter at her sentencing for involuntary manslaughter. Photo / AP

Carter was jailed in February after Massachusetts' highest court unanimously upheld her conviction in the death of the then-18-year-old Roy. Carter, now 22, is serving a 15-month sentence.

Mr Cataldo, another one of Ms Carter's lawyers, says in the documentary they would appeal for "as long as it takes".

WHERE TO GET HELP:

If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:

LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 ,free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat.
NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
SAMARITANS – 0800 726 666.