'The Girl from Plainville': What is the real-life story behind the true crime drama?

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·3-min read
The Girl From Plainville
Elle Fanning and Cara Buono star in The Girl From Plainville. (Hulu)

True crime inspired drama The Girl from Plainville launches on StarzPlay on Sunday, telling the chilling story of a teen's death by suicide after being encouraged into it by his girlfriend.

Michelle Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for sending thousands of messages to Conrad Roy III encouraging his death when they were both just teenagers.

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Elle Fanning stars as Carter in The Girl from Plainville, alongside Colton Ryan as Roy, Chloe Sevigny as his mother Lynn, and Cara Buono as Carter's mother Gail.

Here's everything you need to know about the case that the eight-part series is based on.

What happened between Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III?

The Girl From Plainville -- “Star-Crossed Lovers and Things Like That” - Episode 101 -- A teen's death by suicide unearths painful questions for his family and reveals a complicated, mostly virtual relationship with a young woman who may hold the answers. Michelle (Elle Fanning) and Lynn Roy (Chloë Sevigny), shown. (Photo by: Steve Dietl/Hulu)
Elle Fanning and Chloe Sevigny play Michelle Carter and Lynn Roy. (Hulu)

Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III were dating at the time of his death in 2014 when he was aged 18 and she was 17.

They had only actually met in person a few times after meeting on holiday in Florida, but had stayed in contact and regularly messaged each other.

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Roy had been suffering from anxiety and depression, which had lead him to mention suicide before, but earlier in their relationship Carter had made efforts to talk him out of it.

The Girl From Plainville -- “Star-Crossed Lovers and Things Like That” - Episode 101 -- A teen's death by suicide unearths painful questions for his family and reveals a complicated, mostly virtual relationship with a young woman who may hold the answers. Scott Gordon (Kelly AuCoin), shown. (Photo by: Steve Dietl/Hulu)
The drama looks at Carter's trial. (Hulu)

However, things changed between the pair in the months leading up to Roy's death as Carter began to support his suggestions about ending his life, and in the week of his death sent more than a thousand messages on the topic even when he had been messaging her about other subjects.

Carter also spoke to Roy on the phone immediately before his death and according to texts she sent another friend, had prompted him again to go through with the suicide during the conversation.

Was Michelle Carter convicted of manslaughter?

The Girl From Plainville -- “Star-Crossed Lovers and Things Like That” - Episode 101 -- A teen's death by suicide unearths painful questions for his family and reveals a complicated, mostly virtual relationship with a young woman who may hold the answers. Janice Roy (Kristin Griffith), Co Roy Jr (Norbert Leo Butz), Sydney Roy (Ella Kennedy Davis), Paige Roy (Leah Thompkins) and Lynn Roy (Chloë Sevigny), shown. (Photo by: Steve Dietl/Hulu)
Chloe Sevigny stars as Conrad Roy's mother. (Hulu)

Roy was found dead in July 2014, but investigations into his death took an unexpected turn when the messages from Carter were discovered.

She was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter as a youth offender rather than a juvenile, meaning that she could be sentenced as an adult.

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However, after a number of appeals Carter was finally given a 15-month prison sentence and five years probation in 2019, but was released early for good behaviour and served less than a year.

In a US interview, Lynn Roy said of Carter's sentence: "15 months goes by in the blink of an eye and I have a lifetime without my son."

Where is Michelle Carter now?

Carter was released from prison in January 2020 and is now 24 years old.

She has stayed out of the spotlight since being released from prison, but the case has continued to grab public attention.

In the US, a TV film called Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill was aired, as well as a two-part TV documentary called I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter, and the band SKYND released a single called 'Michelle Carter' in 2021.

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The Girl from Plainville begins streaming on StarzPlay on Sunday, 10 July.