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Online chatrooms are also used, in some cases, to plan consensual homicides.For example, in 1996, a Maryland woman, Sharon Lopatka, apparently agreed to be killed by torture and strangulation in a conversation with a man in an online chatroom.Electronic advertising has gradually replaced printed ads and the internet is now a venue where murderers who employ a similar modus operandi can meet their victims; in Schecter's Encyclopedia, the entry for "Ads" mentions internet dating and the use of internet ads by the so-called "Internet Cannibal" Armin Meiwes.Since 2007, several accused and convicted killers have contacted victims through advertising services such as Craigslist, a popular classified advertising website.These killers are sometimes referred to in the media as "Craigslist killers"; the first use of the term Craigslist killings may date to October 31, 2007, when the phrase appeared in a headline in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, in reference to the murder of Katherine Olson by Michael John Anderson, who was then dubbed "the Craigslist killer".Since 2007, several suspected and convicted perpetrators have met their victims or solicited murder through Craigslist.
He ended up hungry and sick in a homeless shelter — the victim of an Internet dating scam.
We do not, for example, refer to killings orchestrated over the telephone as 'tele-murder' or by snail mail as 'mail murder.' It seems that this is not a cybercrime, that it is simply a real-world crime the commission of which happens to involve the use of computer technology," but she conceded that "there may be reasons to treat conduct such as this differently and to construe it as something other than a conventional crime." The following individuals have been arrested and/or convicted of crimes in which police claimed that Internet services such as chat rooms and Craigslist advertisements were used to contact victims or hire a murderer.
Despite sharing a similar method of contacting victims, they apparently have varied motivations.
Serial killers are murderers who target three or more victims sequentially, with a "cooling off" period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification.
Such killers have used forms of social networking to attract victims long before the advent of the internet.
Craigslist is an innovative and valuable resource, which frankly, is being unfairly smeared because it is an Internet site." Susan Brenner, a professor of law and technology wrote that "Is it a cybercrime for John to meet Mary on the Internet, correspond with her and use e-mail to lure her to a meeting where he kills her?