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.The victims' deaths may result from a robbery or a sexual encounter that turned violent.Some of these perpetrators may not have intended to commit murder, but killed their victims during the course of a struggle or to prevent capture. Several legal and technology experts have questioned the idea that there is a phenomenon of "internet killings".
According to Paul Bocj, the author of Cyberstalking: Harassment in the Internet Age and How to Protect Your Family, "The idea that a serial killer may have operated via the Internet is, understandably, one that has resulted in a great deal of public anxiety." In Harold Schecter's A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, the entry for "Internet" reads in part: "If the Internet has become a very useful tool for people interested in serial killers, there's some indication that it may also prove to be a resource for serial killers themselves." Maurice Godwin, a forensic consultant, argued that "There are some sadistic predators that rely on the Mardi Gras Effect ["the ability to hide one's identity on the Internet"] to lure and murder repeatedly." The first serial killer known to have used the Internet to find victims was John Edward Robinson, who was arrested in 2000 and was referred to in Law Enforcement News as the "USA's first Internet serial killer" and "the nation's first documented serial killer to use the Internet as a means of luring victims." Online predators, participants in internet suicide and suicide-homicide pacts, and internet killers may seek out victims through internet forums, chat rooms, listservs, email, bulletin boards, social networking sites, online role playing games, online dating services, Yahoo groups, or Usenet.Mark pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to two years supervision. As an article in the New York Daily News explained in 2009, "Long before there was a craigslist or dot-com dating, there were places where men and women who were too shy or busy to meet face to face could find romance.Calling themselves "matrimonial bureaus," these organizations were known mostly as the "lonely hearts clubs," and they flourished through the middle of the 20th century." It was in venues like these—print media such as newspaper classified ads and personal or lonely hearts club ads—that 20th century murderers such as Harry Powers, the so-called "Matrimonial Bureau Murderer," met their victims.The other teenager, Mark, apparently believed he was being recruited by some female Secret Service agent.The suicide-by-homicide failed and on May 29, 2004 John pleaded guilty to inciting someone to murder him and was sentenced to three years supervision. And the way they are together, even though it’s supposed to be pretend, is so irresistibly adorable, I found myself smiling the whole way through. There’s something about the way they cut it, you feel like feels.