The Amanda Todd story is one of the saddest stories in a long time, but not for the reasons so many people attach to it. It’s sad because she was simply allowed to be the architect of her own destruction – from going online, taking drugs, turning to drink, all the way through to underage sex. And nobody stepped in to prevent it. And now, even after her death, the sadness continues. All of her R.I.P. pages have turned into scam pages and troll pages. They have become an insult to her memory. Any online reference to Amanda is met, almost straight away, with some kind of argument about whether she brought it upon herself or not, and the words used are unbelievably derogatory. Running this blog has shown me the type of interest remaining. WordPress tells its bloggers the source of any queries that have led to a visit, and I can tell you that the queries are all prurient – ‘amanda todd tits’, ‘amanda todd boobs’, ‘amanda todd flash’ and so on.
And the same sort of thing happens for her mother. Most of her appearances online are now met with comments criticising her behaviour. There’s not much support left.
So now I will publish the true story of Amanda Todd. It’s as true as you will find online, and most people are aware of what really happened, so it’s nothing new. Tomorrow, I will publish another version explaining how I think that a lot of the story has been embellished, and how I came to a conclusion that the story’s end has been faked. But for now, this is simplest the truest version of the whole story.
Amanda’s destiny was determined from a very early age. There are many scientific arguments that support a genetic predisposition to self-destruction, and it was just unfortunate that Amanda, with her pre-set genetic instructions, also happened to find herself in a family that allowed her terribly destructive behaviour patterns to flourish. And although many people will now cry out that it was all the fault of stalkers and/or bullies, that simply isn’t true. Amanda recovered from the stalker incident, only to stumble into the bullying incident, and even that episode was far enough in the past not to have any major influence on her last act. Her life was just a set of disastrous circumstances, many of them set in motion by her, and none of them tackled properly by those close to her. And right from her very first naked appearance online, it could have all been prevented.
We can guess that Amanda’s parents doted on her. But there is such a thing as too much. Amanda was, I would say, put on a pedestal. She wasn’t treated as just a normal child. I think she was too much the centre of attention. But it was the wrong kind. I’m guessing that Amanda, never really being treated just as a child, was never given any boundaries, any chastisement, anything negative. Thus, she simply got into the habit not only of doing everything she wanted, but of not thinking there would ever be any harm in what she was doing. She was just allowed to do whatever she wanted.
There were two fatal flaws in Amanda’s early development. One was the cheer leader attitude, the other was her learning difficulties.
The cheer leader attitude was fatal for Amanda because it introduced her early on to the fact that showing her body would get her attention. At eight or nine years old, when she started, she wouldn’t necessarily have been aware of anything sexual about it and, indeed, perhaps there wasn’t. She would also have been surrounded by similar types of girls – and she would have learned about the importance of looks and boobs from some of the older girls even, perhaps, getting her first stories about boys and what they do from them. But she would have learned that people would give her praise for performing – not just her mum and dad, but whole audiences. Her attention-seeking genes would have been at maximum fulfillment.
Now couple that with learning difficulties. Her mother, again from an early age, noticed her child’s learning difficulties but made another fatal error – she made too much of a big thing about it. Many parents will think that they are doing their kids big favours for constantly trying to find the best education methods and to make sure that any learning difficulties are noted and dealt with. But do this too much and the child will begin to realise something different – that, in a way, their parents aren’t satisfied by them, that perhaps their parents are even ashamed of them. And I think that’s what happened here – Amanda realised that her parents just simply couldn’t accept their child for what she was, and came to resent it.
So, we have a child who is getting massive positive attention for cheer leading, but self-esteem damaging massive attention for not being intelligent enough. And a child who is allowed to do whatever she likes. A recipe for disaster.
Now introduce into this mix the parental problems. With the parents about to split, and paying more attention to themselves, Amanda had free rein. So what did she do with it?
At some point in 2009, having been online since 2008, Amanda got chatting to boys on webcam. The next fatal error. We have a teen girl, surrounded online by teen boys. The first realisations of sexual development are of course present. There is flirtiness, there is teasing, there is seduction. Amanda, as we have seen, likes to perform. She is on BlogTV (possibly more channels) which isn’t designed for one-to-one encounters, but for performances to crowds. She gets attention. Then one day she innocently flashes. It’s not done as a pre-determined sexual thing – it’s purely just an act of childish stupidity. But it’s the next fatal error.
When Amanda first flashed, I’m guessing that the response pleased her. She was getting just what she wanted – approval from people her own age, based purely on what she looked like and nothing else. No need to do anything, no need to get good marks in an exam, adoration pure and simple. It was addictive. The attention-seeking show-off part of Amanda was even more fulfilled. And the more she did it, the more approval she got. But like all addictions, it demands more and more. Boys would have flocked to see her, and would have wanted more. And she gave more.
Meanwhile, parents had no clue this was going on (though, now, Mrs Todd likes to pretend she did). Until December 23rd 2010, that is.
The police arrived at 4 a.m. Not because one photo had been sent out – that’s not worth a 4 a.m. raid. No. Amanda’s online behaviour was now well-known. Her videos were on cameracaptures.com, and she had become a celebrity on the Daily Capper less than a fortnight before. The police arrived as part of a dawn raid to make sure that any evidence of a possible child porn ring could not be destroyed.
But how had all the videos gone locally viral?
Amanda was part of the Capper community. She had spoken with them, and told them of her ip ban, and a couple of weeks later she got in touch with them to say she was being blackmailed. She would have known all about the awards for camwhore, for heroes, and for blackmailers. And she would have been 100% aware of being captured online – after all,that’s why the Cappers are called that name. But for some reason, knowing all the risks, she had got involved with it all. She even carried on after her ban, so it’s not like she didn’t understand that what she was doing was wrong.
So what REALLY happened? Anyone familiar with the Capper community will know what they do. The Daily Capper publicised it – it was hardly a secret. Basically, one of the Cappers put one or more of Amanda’s videos on display at cameracaptures and may or may not have sent the link to one or two of Amanda’s friends – that’s all it would have taken for it to spread like wildfire. Who was it? Who knows. It could have been anybody. Viper, perso, rOra, Kody1206 – all known Cappers.
But that’s all it was – a vindictive release of a stupid girl’s online performances. The blackmail story is just an embellishment. I’ll explain why:
Amanda goes online and gets chatted up. She flashes. She goes online many times, flashing and worse. Her images get recorded. She is aware of this, because she is on speaking terms with the Capper community. Now, we know that the video/s went to cameracaptures and went viral FIRST; apparently, the link was sent out to her friends later.
When the police arrive, Amanda is well and truly up shit creek. How can she admit to doing everything that she did online without getting into trouble? By blaming some evil person who forced her to do it. But this is where the story goes wrong. In the famous video, Amanda has spun a story that it was just one picture. And the picture was released because she DIDN’T perform for him. So how does that explain all the other videos and appearances? It doesn’t, of course. If there had been a blackmailer over a period of time up to December 2010, Amanda would have said in her video that he forced her into performing many times. That would have saved her from a lot of trouble. But she doesn’t – not once does she say she was a regular on BlogTV, or that she was banned. That’s because if she actually brought any attention to the multiple appearances, any idea that she was being coerced would have gone out of the window. One photo could be seen as a mistake; a virtual online porn industry would have reaised some eyebrows – as it already had done in 2010.
So this is what I think is VERY close to the truth. Amanda was just one of the many girls performing on a regular basis on places like BlogTV. Somebody who didn’t like her, or who was simply immoral, put her video on cameracaptures, and then someone – maybe even the same person – sent the links out of pure mischief. Simple. No ‘older man’ pedophile network; no evil stalker; no predator; just a game played by idiots that got out of hand.
But then the big question – what happened next? And this is what causes the problems. On December 23rd 2010, it supposedly hit the fan. What would have been a normal response? From Amanda, if she was frightened or perturbed – get off Facebook and YouTube, close down for a while, let it maybe blow over. From parents – total lockdown for a while, much closer supervision. What happened? Virtually nothing.
Amanda and her friend were still online three weeks later. Amanda sent a message to the Capper community less than a fortnight later. She was still all over Facebook and YouTube. THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGE IN HER ONLINE ACTIVITY. That is very strange.
So another chapter opens up in Amanda’s path to self-destruction. I’m guessing that mother tries a clamp-down, and Amanda then decides to move to live with father, who I guess is more indulgent.
Having made no attempt whatsoever to protect herself online, and with the parents allowing unfettered access to the Internet, Amanda continues on the path to destruction. Only this time, she adds in marijuana and alcohol, two of the most destructive things a depressed person can get involved with.
So what do we have – an attention-seeker who simply can’t get off the Internet, even after the police arrive; someone who smokes marijuana, which will make her feel euphoric for a while, but will make her feel worse in the longer term; someone who drinks alcohol, that well known cure for every problem; parents who really couldn’t give a damn. Just what more do we need?
(By the way – you can discount all the ‘sitting alone’ at school nonsense. All the subsequent reports say that Amanda was surrounded by friends, she was popular and bubbly. There are many photos showing this.)
Right. Let’s see. Amanda has carried on regardless – on YouTube as ‘Amanda Todd’, ‘isabella10555’ and on Ustream and elsewhere. She’s a hardened drinker, a drug-taker and, though liked by her friends, she is hated by many for showing-off and bullying tendencies. People are probably aware of her online activities, and so a year later somebody makes a Facebook profile aimed at hurting her. Good grief! It’s not uncommon. Facebook and other social media networks are the perfect place for vindictive enemies to attack someone else, and unfortunately Amanda has a lot of enemies. If she had simply calmed down after the events of 2010, she might have escaped all this. But no.
But even then, that hurdle is jumped. Just remember this: most people had forgotten the December 2010 debacle. Kids have short memories. It was a thing of the past. But Amanda just walked into the next attack. And even if we say that the second attack was atrocious and never should have happened, and that she was a poor innocent victim, Amanda walks into problems AGAIN.
Having had the 2010 episode and not learned,the 2011 episode and not learned, for some reason Amanda keeps resolutely on that path to self-destruction. Everything is relatively fine, and she blows it yet again by having sex with the boyfriend of some girl. All the hatred re-emerges. She chucks herself in a ditch; she drinks Clorox; she overdoses; she kills herself. We know that part of the story off by heart by now.
Or do we? During the later stages of her life, we know that she had a boyfriend – from around at least May 2012 to September 2012. Although the story says she hardly went out throughout the Summer, there are pictures of her with her friends Shania Staar, Cole Rentiers and others.
So I think there are two stories side-by-side. We have Amanda with her friends on one side – drinking, smoking weed, having sex – and Amanda’s haters on the other side – hating her for her attention-seeking, her ‘cheer leader and jocks’ life. And we have the happy Amanda – drinking, smoking weed, having sex – and the unhappy Amanda – with learning difficulties, and incapable of dealing with the problems in her life. We have a mixed-up Amanda who simply does not understand how to cope with everything. She’s confused. Panicky confused. Overwhelmed confused.
She get hospitalised in September 2012. And it is here, I believe, that she gets encouraged to make the video. I think that it is done as part of her therapy. And I think that is why it’s a pack of lies. She has told her therapists, doctors, anyone who will listen, that she is the victim in all this. She has made up a convincing story of one tiny mistake and what it made her do, and the therapists have fallen for it. They are convinced that all the antipathy towards Amanda is unfounded, and they too are convinced that none of it was her fault. They think that the video will be the lifesaver – the big cathartic exposition from which Amanda will emerge cleansed and victorious. But it was the opposite. The video stirred up the past yet again. It wasn’t one picture – it was many videos; she wasn’t a nice person, she was a bully; and so on. Amanda, in her heart of hearts, knew this. She asked for ‘no haters’ on her original video, anticipating that she would get some. She knew that the story – her never-ending story – would not go away. It put her under even more pressure. She desperately needed someone to hold her hand, to love her, to look after her – it was her final plea. But mother never even bothered, and here is the key – her boyfriend broke up with her around this time. This truly was the end.
It wasn’t the blackmail that killed her; it wasn’t perhaps even the drink and the drugs. If you’re looking for the first domino in all this catastrophe, it could go back as far as her first cheer leading episode; or the first time she got disapproval from mum for her school grades; or the first time she went online; of the first time she went on BlogTV. There are many many occasions which could be described as the boarding point for Amanda’s train ride to doom.
Amanda managed to recover from the blackmail (if it had ever occurred). She didn’t turn to alcohol and marijuana for relief – everyone around her was doing it, and she enjoyed it. Even the second stalker episode didn’t kill her.
The real spiral started when that dreadful killer – love – entered into the equation. The desperate sex shenanigans resulting in the fight showed that she couldn’t trust a boy, but she went on to find love again. Amanda would have thrown everything into this relationship – heart and soul. If this relationship broke down, it would be the end of the world. And it did break down.
But throughout all of this, there could have been a lifeline thrown many times. And it was never used. The story is not one about bullying. nor is it one about promiscuity, drug taking, drinking, blackmail, bad parenting, mental illness, loneliness, heartbreak – it’s about all these things. When Amanda was aged about 12 or 13, she did the equivalent of falling into quicksand. Her struggles, and the complete inability of those around her to know how to help her, just meant she went under quicker than most.
That’s the story. End of.