Rehtaeh Parsons: a self-portrait

No one dies anymore without leaving a little of themselves behind—in this case, on Twitter. The picture Rehtaeh left of herself in the last few months of her life (which includes a snapshot of a report card) may not be the one her parents or her self-appointed postmortem defenders would make, and who knows how faithful it might be to the broad sweep of her life. Probably not very. But it is a picture she assembled for the consumption of others, piece by piece; and her desperate deflection of darkening spirits by means of gangsta bravado, humour, and idealism is heartbreaking. I will leave it to the reader to treat this as forensic data and imagine possible implications for some revenge project or other. Such a thing might or might not be warranted; she hasn’t left us any clues here.