16-Year-Old Girl Fought Back Against Online Bullies Before Killing Herself

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Dec. 13 2012, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

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By David Perel - Executive Vice President/Managing Editor Radar

Jessica Laney did her best to fight back against online bullies who relentlessly tormented her before she gave up and killed herself, has learned.

The 16-year-old from Hudson, Florida hanged herself Sunday after months of being the target of online hate.

Laney is the latest example of the tragic consequences of online bullying and new details about her ordeal have emerged. Her friends repeatedly told Jessica to close her account on, and she did so twice, but reopened it and tried to fight back against her tormentors, according to

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Laney was taunted online with hurtful comments, including these:

  • “Die”
  • “You have pretty eyes but you’re fat”
  • “Nobody even cares about you”
  • “Can you just kill yourself already”

Law enforcement officials say they have found no evidence that Jessica complained to adults about the online bullying or that she was bullied at school.

But her friends were aware of the situation and are illuminating the tragedy.

When Jessica canceled her social media account on, "We would tell her, 'Don't reactivate it,'" Lisa Arthur, 15, told, adding, "but she would. She'd say, 'I just want to see what people are saying.'

"Sometimes the curiosity gets to you."

Arthur spoke to her friend Sunday morning and said everything seemed normal and they made plans for the following weekend. That night Jessica took her own life.

Her attempts to fight the online bullies did not stop the attacks. When someone wrote “die” she replied “maybe later,” according to the new report.

“I’m not fat,” she wrote after a bully taunted her.

And when she was told to kill herself Jessica simply replied “why.”

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Now in the days following the tragedy law enforcement is still investigating to see if a crime was committed, Jessica’s friends are struggling with their loss, a Facebook page has been started in her honor and online bullying has claimed another victim.


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