(All below taken from various stories from The Age.)
The search for two teenage girls missing for a week ended tragically yesterday afternoon with the discovery of their bodies in rugged bushland east of Melbourne. And in an eerie twist, one of the girls may have posted a final goodbye to her boyfriend on the MySpace website the day before she and her friend vanished.
A resident of Walbundry Avenue, Ferntree Gully, found the bodies of Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier, both 16, near his house. It is believed they had been dead for a number of days. Police say there are no suspicious circumstances.
The Upwey High School students left their homes in Belgrave, in the Dandenong Ranges, at 9.30am on Sunday to meet friends. Last week, while pleading for information about his daughter, Robert Gater said she "seemed all very happy" as she left to go shopping with Stephanie at Ringwood's Eastland Shopping Centre.
The two girls were part of the "emo" subculture, named after a type of music characterised by an emotional and confessional tone. Emo fans are classified as introverted, sensitive, moody and alienated, and are derided by other subcultures for self-pitying poetry commonly posted on the MySpace website. Jodie had a MySpace profile titled "let Steph and me b free". An image of a glass full of absinthe and the words "let us blow your mind" were among simple decorations on the page. The last message she posted on the site was dedicated to her boyfriend, Allan. "I luv you sooo soo much Allan, Miss u heaps and heaps xoxoxo I will always remember u," the teenager wrote. A picture of Jodie and Allan kissing was posted next to the message. Jodie last updated her page on April 14, a day before she and Stephanie went missing.
In an online message to her boyfriend last Christmas Eve, Jodie wrote: "I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not." Her own web page featured a flashing message that said "fuck this world/everything that you stand for/don't accept/don't give a shit/don't ever judge me". On her website, Jodie describes her friends as her "heroes". "Also got to love my crazy friends for being there for me even when I'm being really annoying, a cunt or a complete stupid fuck that u would just wanna punch out. Thank you all so much guys, luv yas."
After their disappearance, several friends posted messages urging the girls to contact them via MySpace. Yesterday, a simple message on one website read: "R.I.P. Jodie and Steph".
The grieving mother of one of two girls who apparently killed themselves in a joint suicide pact last week has asked "why" on an internet site.
A letter posted on a website at 4.07am today was attributed to Stephanie's motherand read out on radio. "You had only just turned 16. You were always such a quiet girl who spent time listening to music and surfing the internet. "There is nothing that couldn't have been sorted out. You were my only child and can never be replaced. Bye bye my little girl." Stephanie's mother wrote that her daughter had disappeared a week ago on Sunday, after returning from a school holiday trip to her grandparents' house.
"I left her a present on her bed," the note said. "My husband picked her up from the airport and took her home and she told him she was going out with friends. That was the last we saw of her. I heard later that she had been involved in a fight on a train with some other girls and had taken off with her friend, who said she was going to kill herself.
"Today, seven days later, she was found with her friend hanging from a tree."
While mystery surrounds the apparent suicide pact of Melbourne teenagers Stephanie Gestier and Jodie Gater, attempts to blame the 'emo' subculture - based on overtly emotional and angst-ridden rock and its punk-gothic fashion - appear baseless. Most of the music references on Jodie's page are to rap and R&B artists, including Beyonce and the Black Eyed Peas, as well as goth-rocker Marilyn Manson and My Chemical Romance, currently one of the most popular "emo" bands in the world.
And while the girls' fashion borrows heavily from the goth music scene - such as fishnet tights, black clothing and asymetrical hair styles - there appears little that's unavailable in your average suburban shopping centre. The suggestion that the girls were immersed in a dark subculture that could have contributed to their decision has also angered some of their friends, many of whom are posting tributes and comments on the social networking site MySpace.
A message on a MySpace page belonging to 'Loz Havok' dismisses the descriptions of the girls, who were her friends, as 'emo'.
Her entry for today reads: "Yep, well it's all over the fucking news. Steph & Jodie have killed themselves. But they are making out that Steph and Jodie were mental weird cult-crazy girls that were into 'dark suicide cult' sites; bullocks (sic), not at all. I personally only knew Steph, but had talked with Jodie before...
"All the news channels keep repeating the same bullshit about them. 'The two girls were into suicide cults, they were into a subculture group called emo, which is a new stylish genre of music'. Fuckk no; Steph hated 'stereotypical emo' and loved Mr. Mansonn (sic) & Blink 182. And as for Jodie, well she listened to rap & pop. Emo my ass.
"All the news is fucking pissing me off. I have one favour for you all: guys, could you please leave a comment here, just saying a little a message. I don't care if you didn't know either of them, but pleaseeee just write a little comment or something. Greatly appreciated guys. <3
Hahahahaha fucking emos.