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Can a Forum Kill You?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Dear Forum Friends,
I'm sure all of you have heard about the recent killing of Bobbie Jo Stinnett. She was 8 months pregnant and Lisa M. Montgomery, 36, went to her home, killed Mrs. Stinnett, performed a 'C-section', and took the 8 month old baby for her own.

Here's the kicker: Suspect met victim online
U.S. Attorney Todd Graves said Lisa Montgomery contacted Stinnett through an online message board after seeing a Web site about the rat terriers Stinnett bred and raised. The site included a picture of Stinnett, showing she was pregnant.

Investigators searched Stinnett’s computer and found the victim had been communicating through the message board with someone interested in buying a dog claiming to be a Darlene Fischer who lived north of Fairfax, Mo.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6727845/

Statistically, based on the number of Internet forums, our chances of being killed are probably low. Still, it makes you think.

So, for all my forum friends, I'm not pregnant, I'm just fat. Secondly, everyone be careful about any information you send out.

Peace!
mrsd
post #2 of 22
I saw this on the news last night, and was absolutely stunned. The vileness of the crime was heart wrenching. I am glad they put it on the Amber alert, even though they did not have the particulars of the baby's eye color, hair etc... That poor girl, and her husband- but at least the baby is back with the father-
post #3 of 22
My mom sent me a fax as soon as the story broke, warning me about the Internet!
post #4 of 22
This was a very tragic event.

I agree that you must be carfull what information you share on the computer, but just as you do in "real life" . Along with the bad/good we see everywhere, the internet can be a good thing - we all wouldn't be friends otherwise, and I wouldn't have met my wonder husband of 7+ years.
post #5 of 22
Yep, yep which is why I often tell people not to blatantly give out any personal information about oneself. Even if they seem all rather unconnected for people can string the information up from various sites and forum to get a picture about the person.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
Yep, yep which is why I often tell people not to blatantly give out any personal information about oneself. Even if they seem all rather unconnected for people can string the information up from various sites and forum to get a picture about the person.
True.
post #7 of 22
The simple answer to the question is that no, a forum cannot kill you. Just like the single's bar scene, gay bar scene, the grocery store, a college campus, a church group etc. cannot in and of themselves kill anyone - although killers have emerged from all of those locations. But no matter what the location, wherever there is a group of people gathered there are those who are mentally (criminally/psychotically) unstable. So even in a forum as wonderful as this one, we all have to be careful what information we divulge and to whom.
post #8 of 22
WHAT!!
did the baby live????? gosh!
Apparently there is a suicide forum somewhere on the internet i saw it on the italian news.
post #9 of 22
Goes to show, you find very sick people everywhere!
post #10 of 22
We were talking about this story at work today and reading about it in our local newspaper. One thing my coworkers and I thought was especially strange was that Lisa Montgomery had apparently been pregnant and miscarried, but didn't tell her husband about the loss of the baby. Then, after she killed the expectant mother, and took the baby for herself, she called her husband and told him she was in labor??!!!!!!!! WEIRD!!!!
Quote:
Originally posted by valenhb
So even in a forum as wonderful as this one, we all have to be careful what information we divulge and to whom.
I have noticed that occassionally, someone posts their phone number or email address on the TCS boards. Another reason to be careful, is that everything posted on these forums is public information, and can be read by just anybody, even a psycho.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
The simple answer to the question is that no, a forum cannot kill you. Just like the single's bar scene, gay bar scene, the grocery store, a college campus, a church group etc. cannot in and of themselves kill anyone - although killers have emerged from all of those locations. But no matter what the location, wherever there is a group of people gathered there are those who are mentally (criminally/psychotically) unstable. So even in a forum as wonderful as this one, we all have to be careful what information we divulge and to whom.
Ah, I didn't mean literally. I guess it's hands, or a gun, or poison, or a rope that does the actual killing.

I posted the topic simply because I wanted to remind everyone to be careful. Most of us are trusting people, so we expect that same level of trust from others. However, Lisa Montgomery used a different name in dealing with Mrs. Stinnett. AND she did see the posted pregnant picture on the forum. It is a little different from a newspaper ad. (The forum administrator actually helped in tracking her down.)

Obviously, Mrs. Montgomery wasn't interested in buying a dog. She wanted a baby. She knew how many weeks pregnant Mrs. Stinnett was. And she took materials there to do a C-section. Think about it, she probably asked questions like, 'Does your husband work? Do you live alone? Any other children in the house?'

When a forum is public, it pays to leave some information private. It's sad it has to be that way because most people are great. But you never know!
post #12 of 22
Which is another reason I am personally wary of having children participate on our forums. They often divulge too much personal information and try to pass themselves off as older when they interact. In reviewing new memberships, I have more than once seen a kid list his or her entire home address and full name in the profile.
post #13 of 22
Scary....makes one think twice about revealing personl info online.


post #14 of 22
That story is so horrible

Certainly you can bump into scary people in bars or other places in person, but by posting personal info on the Internet you expose yourself to a much larger group of people, thus hugely increasing your risk. The woman accused of this crime traveled to the victim's home from another state. The anonymity of the Internet allows people to pose as just about anyone they want - where in person, especially in a small town, you can generally (not always) get a feeling about people, and avoid those who give you the creeps.

It's heartbreaking that just sharing a little personal joy exposed her to a murderer. But there are some really sick people out there - so be careful, please!
post #15 of 22
I'm a member of a parenting forum where there have been a couple of instances recently where members have been "stalked" by people they know in real life. In fact my ex next door neighbour found out I was pregnant because I have a pregnancy ticker in my signature there. I didn't even know she was a member of that forum.

I think we must accept that anything we say online is "out there" for absolutely anybody to see & caution should be used. Not only does this relate to giving out information about ourselves & our families but what we say about others. For example, be careful about what you say about your boss because you never know, his wife could just be a member of the same forum. Highly unlikely but still possible.

There are sickos in every walk of life, it's not just the internet. I do give out a bit of info about myself but am careful about meeting people from the net. I've met many, many cat friends & mothers from the parenting forums I chat on but it's always in public & I always let my husband know who I'm meeting, where & when. If/when my husband is out for the night I don't reveal it online...just incase.

I also own a forum & as somebody else said, I don't really like children joining. One teenager was advertising on a classified board & posted her phone number... I went in & edited out her phone number & then called her home. Unfortunately she answered the phone, I was planning on telling her parents what she'd done. My daughter is only 18 months old, I'm dreading her reaching the age where she goes online. I'll be moving the computer out to the lounge room then.

I'm 8.5 months pregnant now & just cannot imagine some sicko wanting to harm me or my unborn baby...it's just beyond belief. It's not the first time this has happened, I vaguely remember a similar case happening a couple of years ago.
post #16 of 22
I hate having anyone come to my house to see kittens. I prefer to do most of my sales online. I am happy to send photos of the kittens and even meet some of my customers at a half way point.

I have some insist on coming here as they want to see the parents and what the kittens are into. I understand, if a breeder refused allowing me to come to her house I would think they had something to hide.

I just make sure that I have my hubby and all the kids home when they arrive so they can see our house has someone coming and going at all times
post #17 of 22
That is the most bizzare murder I have read about in a long time. It's the kind of thing you'd expect in an email forward, except it's actually not a hoax.
post #18 of 22
I never do understand why it's a shock that there are "bad" (I'm not sure that is the word) people out there and you need to be careful. Personally I would never invite someone I met on the internet over to my home if I was going to be home alone with them. Heck I don't invite people I meet off the street to my home either so why should the internet be any different. How difficult is it to stay you can come over at 5 ot 6 or whenever there will be someone else home? Or to meet them outside your home if at all possible.

As for young children being on the internet, why would anyone allow a young child surf in the internet without supervision is beyond me. I tried search from information on the Backstreet Boys once, back when they were popular and I have to assume that there were children searching the same information, and the search came back with all kinds of porn sites. And how hard it is to have a privacy program installed on your computer if your kids so surf the net alone when they're older. My program allows me to set the information that I don't want just anyone having and will pop up to let me know when I try to send it out. One would hope with the reminded they would remember not to give out personal information. If not I have to say then they don't need to be surfing the net.

It's sad but one does need to becareful.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayKittenLove
As for young children being on the internet, why would anyone allow a young child surf in the internet without supervision is beyond me.
Traci, I completely agree with you, but the fact is that some parents want the TV and/or computer to babysit and apparently don't care where they go when they are online. And truly, I consider "kids" to be anyone under 18. We've had kids 13-16 posting here, posting about serious life issues (i.e. alcohol, sex, drugs, suicide, religion choices). The topics of those posts told me that their parents don't have a clue they are posting here, otherwise they wouldn't have posted such things. We've had kids get through registration who are 9, 10, 11 years old (by law we cannot allow anyone under 13 post without a parent's written permission). Truth be told, there are too many parents who just plain don't care what their kids do online or what they see or who they talk to. But you know that those same parents would be the first to sue every website and forum their kid belonged to if anything happened to them...

*stepping off the moderator soapbox*
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayKittenLove
...
As for young children being on the internet, why would anyone allow a young child surf in the internet without supervision is beyond me. I tried search from information on the Backstreet Boys once, back when they were popular and I have to assume that there were children searching the same information, and the search came back with all kinds of porn sites. And how hard it is to have a privacy program installed on your computer if your kids so surf the net alone when they're older. My program allows me to set the information that I don't want just anyone having and will pop up to let me know when I try to send it out. One would hope with the reminded they would remember not to give out personal information. If not I have to say then they don't need to be surfing the net.

It's sad but one does need to becareful.
Privacy programs are only as good as the writer of the program. And most kids are better at writing programs than their parents are. My bro-in-law buys and writes privacy programs so his boys can't get into sites they shouldn't be seeing. My oldest nephew is able to hack into it in less time than it took for me to write this paragraph!

Safety has to start before they get on the internet. But even that doesn't help. My nephew has been taught about safety since he was 3 yrs old. He's been taught not to give his name/address or talk to strangers. But the internet has the freedom and false safety of anonimity. His reaction...I'm never going to talk to this person again and he has no idea where I am.

I have a friend that used to feel the same way. She used to trust any of the guys that sweet talked her cause they wouldn't lie on the internet. Till I set up a false profile on a site I knew she frequented. I told her I was 52, brown hair, green eyes, MALE lawyer in Minnesotta. I sweet talked her, got her to believe in me, told her all about my apartment outside the city, my rock climbing, my 2 dogs, my "bad day at the office". I got her real name, real city, cell phone number all within a week. I then snail-mailed a copy of every conversation with her to her. She was angry at me for a while, but she learned her lesson.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweets
I have a friend that used to feel the same way. She used to trust any of the guys that sweet talked her cause they wouldn't lie on the internet. Till I set up a false profile on a site I knew she frequented. I told her I was 52, brown hair, green eyes, MALE lawyer in Minnesotta. I sweet talked her, got her to believe in me, told her all about my apartment outside the city, my rock climbing, my 2 dogs, my "bad day at the office". I got her real name, real city, cell phone number all within a week. I then snail-mailed a copy of every conversation with her to her. She was angry at me for a while, but she learned her lesson.
That was clever!
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
That was clever!
And being a true friend, Sweets. Are people looney? Don't give out your information to someone you've never met. And do background checks on those you do meet. Well, there are a lot of crazies in the world...

Geeze, one week?
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