Katelyn was beautiful. She had long, dark brown hair, pale skin, steely blue eyes, and a lovely welcoming smile. She was very intelligent and a talented writer. She would have turned 13 in February; she had her whole life ahead of her. She didn’t know her father, and she lived with her mother, stepfather, and a sister and brother.
Her blog was titled ‘Diary of a Broken Doll’, and she wrote beautiful and terrible words in it. In the blog, she talked of sad and disturbing things. Once upon a time, the diary of a twelve-year-old girl would not have been read by so many people, but through modern technology Katelyn shared with everyone. She also posted videos to YouTube. She conveyed her emotions, of wanting help, in her streams and was trying so hard to reach someone who could help her. Even though she posted over and over that she was in pain, her cries for help fell on deaf ears.
She reported in her blog that she self-harmed to cope with the pain, but it is unknown if she had a formal psychiatric diagnosis. She talked about how she fought with her mother, and that her mother had a problem with drug use. There are many photos of Katelyn online. In many of them, she looks very happy, you could see the photo and think she was just a regular girl with a regular life. She made it clear though, even in one of her songs, that her smile was to hide her pain.
At the time of her death, investigations were underway into alleged sexual and physical abuse against her by a family member. Katelyn has posted a blog entry three days prior which had alerted police to start looking into the family from Cedartown in Georgia. It is not known if Katelyn had been aware that investigations had started when she took her own life. How long had this abuse been going on? How many people around Katelyn could have noticed it and done something to save her? She has slipped through the cracks of any system of protection for children. Which, many say, is the norm in Georgia.
Once the video of her suicide made it to Facebook, there were shocked cries across the globe asking for it to be taken down. Apparently, this and many other websites which showed the video initially refused to remove it. Facebook reportedly stated that someone injuring themselves didn’t violate their community standards.