January 23, 2007

Fictional Relationship Results in Real Death

A fictional 18 year-old Marine is accused of killing his real 22 year-old coworker after becoming jealous of the attentions of a fictional 18 year-old girl.

I wish this were a humorous story with a funny ending, because the circumstances are so strange. Unfortunately, it’s not.

A man and a woman were corresponding online, both lying about who they were. Montgomery, the former Marine, was pushing 50, yet portraying himself as a teenager on the verge of an Iraq deployment. He’d captured the attention of a 40-something woman who also portrayed herself as 18.

When Montgomery’s wife found out, she intervened and wrote, ironically, back to the supposed 18-year-old:

“As you can see, Tom’s not 18,” Case said she wrote. “He’s married and he’s a father of two. He’s 47 and I’m his wife. […] You’ve obviously been fooled.”

Of course, Montgomery and his wife were fooled as well. And so was Montgomery’s coworker Brian Barrett. Unfortunately for him, when he struck up an online relationship with this so-far-unidentified woman Montgomery’s jealousy bubbled over.

Barrett was shot 3 times in the neck at close range in a parking lot by a camouflaged assailant.

Montgomery will have his day in court; he is innocent until proven guilty. On the face of it, there is some tragic cyber-hooking-up going on among this series of tubes and pipes that we call the Internets.

Remember when online identity issues were novel? Now they’re so banal that they figure into everyday people’s sad little tragedies. Expect more of this.

It’s tempting to throw out a moral to this tale, but I have no idea what that moral is. We can certainly take away one thing: lying often leads to worse.

Posted by James at January 23, 2007 2:19 PM
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Actually, Montgomery is accused of killing his 22 y.o. coworker, not the "girl". Another layer of irony - Barrett was the only one not lying in this weird triangle.

Posted by: pam at January 23, 2007 3:35 PM

Oops - I screwed up that intro sentence. Good catch. Don't know how I did that, I obviously knew that Barrett was the victim (see later on).

Senior moment.

Posted by: James at January 23, 2007 3:45 PM


Posted by: James at January 23, 2007 3:49 PM

Gah. Then again, it's Clarence. There is NOTHING there. I probably should be more shocked.

Posted by: pippa at January 23, 2007 10:47 PM

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