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BC students shocked and saddened by manslaughter case

The Boston College campus in 2017.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/file

Boston College students expressed shock and sadness Tuesday after news broke that one of their classmates had died by suicide in May and that a criminal case was being launched against the student’s girlfriend, also a BC student.

Inyoung You, 21, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Alexander Urtula. Prosecutors say You subjected Urtula to a campaign of psychological cruelty — “unrelenting abuse” that escalated over time and resulted in his death May 20, when he jumped off the roof of a Roxbury parking garage. You allegedly watched nearby as he fell.


“It made me really upset,” said junior Cece Chase. “All the students I know at Boston College are very happy-go-lucky and kind and caring, and a big message at BC is ‘women and men [helping] others,’ so it just kind of totally went against that and made me upset.”

One senior, who wouldn’t share his name, said he had taken a class with You and they would often talk about her relationship, which she described as stressful for her.

“She was really funny, but at the same time I knew that she had a lot of problems going on,” he said. “I knew she tried her best, and she did care about people.”

He said it was hard for him to believe that You would say the types of things that were alleged in the criminal case against her.

“I couldn’t believe that she would have done this,” he said.

Junior Nick Lombardi, 20, said that he was “shocked by how similar it was to the Plainville case with Michelle Carter because I watched that documentary on HBO.” At the same time, he said, based on news reports, “Obviously, there are huge differences . . . What [You] was doing seemed more egregious than what Michelle Carter was doing.”


“Any time you have a situation like that, it’s obviously very tragic,” he said.

In Ji, a 21-year-old senior studying computer science, said she talked about the case with her friends and that she was surprised “how that kind of girl was attending the same school [as her].”

“We thought it was kind of shocking, and we have to prevent this kind of thing from happening again,” she said.

Sophomore Daniela Ronga, 19, said the case should bring more attention to the fact that women can abuse men.

“It’s something people probably don’t expect,” she said. “It’s really horrible, but it can provide an example of something people should look out for.”

Some students said they hadn’t heard anything about the case from professors, counselors, or other school officials, but that students on campus were abuzz with the news.

“I feel like everyone has really been talking about it because it is something that is kind of a big deal around here,” said Amanda Brown, 21, a senior psychology major.

She said seniors were received an e-mail in May about Urtula’s death, “but there wasn’t an explanation as to why he passed away.”

“I feel like a problem with BC sometimes is maybe we don’t do enough to make people aware of things like this,” history major John Savage, 20, said. “I didn’t hear about this from any school source. I first heard about this from a family member that asked me about it.”


Senior Michelle Wang, 21, said, “I mean, it’s really, really horrible, and I think a huge problem is we really didn’t hear about it until [Monday] . . . and I think on-campus mental health isn’t talked about enough, especially in males.”

If you need help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The National Domestic Violence Hotline is at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Maria Lovato can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @maria_lovato99.