Numbers are hard to pin down, but it is likely hundreds of people have died, been murdered, after looking for love online. And the chilling fact is that online sites that promise love, happiness and marriage have, under Federal law (47 USC 230) absolutely no, zip, zero liability for what is posted on dating websites. Take the case of Mary Kay Beckman. She met Wade Mitchell Ridley online. They dated for a week or so and then, perhaps the vibes were bad, so she broke it off. Whatever instincts she had were right. A few months later, he attacked her at her home, repeatedly stabbing and kicking her. She was lucky to get out alive. It turns out that the guy was a suspect in the murder of his ex-girlfriend. So, Beckman did what any red blooded American would do and sued Match.com for $10 million. The 2013 Forbes article, entitled "Online Dating Websites Aren't Required to Warn That Some Members May Be Murderers", says it all. The court cited USC 230 when it dismissed Beckman's case. If you assume these websites have any responsibility to keep you safe, think again.
Whether you are buying a car or looking for love, just remember websites are not liable for what people post. It's up to you to do your homework, because your life could depend on it. In some of these cases, it is obvious that the victims were not careful, and that they did things we might not do. But sometimes the danger signs are not so obvious.
12 Mother of three
11 Sharon Winters - chef she met online
10 First meeting ends terribly
9 Looking for love on Craigslist
8 The Facebook Fugitive
7 7. Australian mom's life taken while son hid in house
6 The lonely widow looking for a new life
5 It's the Internet. Everybody lies
4 Woman buried alive on first date
3 Deadly movie date
2 The break up that ended tragically
1 Woman left "unrecognizable" after attack
Internet dating violence doesn't always end in murder. This 2016 story ended not in murder, but in a violent r*pe in which a twenty-seven year old secretary was savagely beaten and sexually assaulted by a man she had met online just four days earlier. Peter Ramsey was twenty-six and had met the woman on a popular UK dating site. Chillingly, Ramsey had used the same website for a number of years. The two met for drinks in Brixton, South London, before getting into a cab to the woman's home in Clapham Common. Things were going fine until she pulled back from a kiss on her door step. Enraged, he repeatedly punched her and sexually assaulted her. She, literally, thought she was going to die. The woman has since been reported in The Telegraph as saying that the date had gone well and, that before he got violent, he seemed like a really, really nice guy and they seemed to have a lot in common. There had been no alarm bells. Bizarrely, he texted her the next day to say "sorry". He has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing.
Sources: forbes.com, cbsnews.com, dailymail.co.uk, theguardian.com
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