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Best Villain St. Louis 2008 - Lori Drew

Readers' Choice: InBev

Before Megan Meier hanged herself, Waterford Crystal Drive was just another cookie-cutter patch of suburbia weaving through Dardenne Prairie. Lori Drew and Tina Meier were two working moms living four doors apart, whose daughters shared a typical teenage relationship: hot one day, cold the next. The MySpace "friendship," if one could call it that, kindled between Megan and a boy named "Josh Evans" in September 2006 changed everything. For Josh was no boy, but a made-up character created in part by Lori Drew, who one fateful day suggested to Megan that the world would be a better place without her. That was the day that Megan fatally strung herself to a closet organizer with a new cloth belt from Old Navy, the day that Waterford Crystal Drive acquired an extraordinary legacy. At first it was just the Meiers and the neighbors who suspected that Drew's involvement in the MySpace account had something to do with Megan's death. The rest of the world (literally) didn't find out for a whole year — after the district attorney decided he didn't have a crime to prosecute, and upon which time Tina Meier took her case to the media. Lori Drew was immediately tarred and feathered. People from all over the world called St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas to complain of his decision. Somebody lugged a brick through Drew's kitchen window. Somebody else shot up the side of her house with paintballs. She was vilified on blog after blog, in forum after forum, online. Boycotts against her advertising business were suggested. All the while Drew hunkered down. She never once spoke out. In May a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles indicted Drew on four counts of conspiracy and fraudulent access to another person's computer. Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Attorneys say this is no cookie-cutter crime: No other case like it has ever been brought to justice. Awaiting trial, Drew is out on bond, but gone from Waterford Crystal Drive, probably forever.

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