Spoiler alert: Do not read this story directly before going on a date or falling asleep. If you’ve ever worried about the safety of online dating, this tale of murder will fan th… Read More
When two people meet online, it can go very well or very badly. In the case of a 14-year-old, John, he would end up savagely stabbed and spend days in critical condition with a pierced kidney and lacerated liver.
His gallbladder would be removed, and there would be a point during the initial surgery when he’d almost lose his life from the blood pooling up inside of him. However, what if he was responsible for his own attempted murder? And, if so, how did he convince another innocent teenager to become a potential killer?
It started like any other online connection. Two boys, Mark and John, became online friends after meeting in a chat room. However, while Mark, 16 was being himself, John was pretending to be a 16-year-old girl and a 39-year-old female spy named Janet.
John lived in a fantasy world of his own making, desperately in need of therapy as he descended into computer addiction and stopped sleeping much. Even after his stabbing, he’d be placed on a four-month-long waiting list to receive psychological treatment in his native country of England.
As Mark continued chatting with John, who was posing as a teen girl and an adult female spy (among many other characters), he was led to believe that he was solicited to help the British secret services. He was told that he would be given $500,000 in cash, a gun, as well as meet the Prime Minister. Taken in by this web of lies, Mark was asked to participate in a mercy killing.
The 16-year-old girl he had grown close to introduced “John” as her stepbrother, saying he had a brain tumor. Mark would become an official spy after the killing and perhaps have a romantic liaison with the much older Janet. John enjoyed this con. He felt “close” to Mark, and as though he was emotionally feeding the naïve boy through his made up characters.
Janet would tell Mark that four agents were “watching him”. John was nothing if not an elaborate storyteller, able to weave together plots that rivaled cinema. One of John’s characters, a young girl who Mark fell in love with online, was being stalked by a psychopath. Mark had to masturbate on camera to protect Rachel, whom he loved, and appease the stalker.
Later, John would manufacture Rachel’s death by gang rape and murder. He would tell Mark that his online girlfriend called for him, but he didn’t come. Mark was naturally traumatized, and his grades went from decent, to barely passing and even F’s. However, Mark was deeper into John’s plot that he realized and, when the two finally met, things seemed to go according to plan. As the boys walked away from the road, Mark stabbed John several times.
When John truly began to realize he was dying, he screamed for Mark to call him an ambulance. Time passed, and finally, after 20 minutes or so, Mark did just that pulling out the knife and telling police someone had attacked his friend.
Officers had no reason to doubt the story until they examined the CCTV footage of the local road and began finding discrepancies. Mark and John had vanished together, down the alleyway, for 25 minutes. It didn’t seem to be a mugging or attack, as had been described.
On the surface, John seemed to succumb to the pressure and told police his best friend Mark, had tried to murder him. Police charged Mark with murder. However, as police continued their investigation, they found the web trail that would be the undoing of John’s story.
John had frequently misspelled one word “maybe” as “mybye”, which helped investigators see through his many chatroom characters and personas. Although Mark had technically carried out the crime, investigators felt empathy for the manipulation he’d endured. Mark pled guilty and was sentenced to a two-year-long supervision order.
Meanwhile, John pled guilty to “incitement to murder” and “perverting the course of justice”. For his three-year-long supervision order, he was banned from contacting Mark as well as using the web (unless he had strict adult supervision).
Stories like this are terrifying and happen more than one realizes! Worried that you might be at risk or fooled by someone you’ve met online?
Not every internet connection ends in attempted murder; others cause the loss of funds from a scammer or a broken heart caused by a catfish. Do your research and know who you are talking to online: