In the 21st century, people are more likely to meet their significant other online than they are IRL. Regardless of that fact, online dating is still as dangerous as it ever was. Not only is catfishing (where a pursuer pretends to be someone else online) a strangely popular pastime of weirdo shut-ins, but you also never know who’s harboring a secret desire to randomly take someone's life. The stories of online murders on this list are enough to make you slam your laptop shut and avoid every one of your Facebook friends that you’ve never met in real life (also, why did you accept those requests?). Whether you’ve run into some online trouble before, or it’s never occurred to you that predators lurk online, prepare to be really creeped out as you read these stories of online dating murder.
If you’re asking yourself, “Is online dating dangerous?” You’re going to start screaming “YES!” into the mirror as soon as you finish reading these tales of online flirting that ended in murder. Each tale in this collection of real news stories about online murders is just as crazy as the one before it - so much so that at least two Lifetime movies are based on crimes found on this list. That’s not even a joke.
So, is internet dating dangerous? Normally it would be up to you to decide for yourself, but in this case, the answer is definitely YES. Read about all of the online flirting that ended in murder, and then maybe take a break from the internet for a few days.
Instant Messenger Love Triangle Turns Deadly
In this case of insane online murder, two people who were both lying about who they were (46-year-old Thomas Montgomery and 45-year-old Mary Shieler) fell in something like love before a sweet kid named Brian Barrett got involved and ruined everything.
It wasn't long before Shieler discovered that Montgomery wasn't who he said he was and started "dating" Barrett. Soon afterward, Montgomery killed Barrett only to discover that Shieler wasn't who she was pretending to be either.
Aunt Catfishes Her Niece And Discovers Murder Plot
Be careful who you catfish, because you just might stumble upon a plot for your own murder. Marissa Williams had been inviting random guys that she met online to her aunt's house for sex, so her aunt told her to cut it out.
Williams blocked her aunt on Facebook, so her aunt created a fake Facebook profile for Tre "Topdog" Ellis and started flirting with her niece, who immediately told Topdog that he could sleep with her for $50 and asked if he would kidnap her and take her away. She then said that if her aunt tried to stop him, he should kill her aunt. She proceeded to tell him where her aunt's bedroom was in the house so that he could off her aunt and her fiancé, and that he should also get rid of her cousin and the family dog. Needless to say, her aunt reported the exchange to police, after which her niece was taken into custody and charged with solicitation of murder.
14-Year-Old Boy Groomed For His Own Murder
Breck Bednar loved computers. Not only did he enjoy dismantling and rebuilding them, but he was also part of an online gaming group run by Lewis Daynes, an alleged 17-year-old computer engineer who said he ran a multi-million dollar company.
After months of online grooming, Daynes invited Bednar to his home in Essex; Bednar ended up duct-taped and stabbed to death.
Murderer Impersonates Rock Star To Kill
In 2011, David Russell, a McDonald's worker from the UK, impersonated the singer of metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon on Facebook in order to trick an American girl into visiting him in Northampton. Once she arrived, Russell blindfolded her and walked her to a nearby wooded area where he slit her throat while he shouted, "Why won’t you die? You’ve ruined my life. It’s all your fault."
After he was caught by the police, Russell received a minimum sentence of 17 and a half years in prison.