Meeting a stranger is always risky business. However, the latest online stranger assault happened in Las Vegas. According to Yahoo News published yesterday, “Mary Kay Beckman, 50, claims in a lawsuit filed earlier this month that she joined the website looking for a "healthy loving relationship," but instead was nearly killed.”
“Beckman says she went on a few dates in October 2011 with Wade Ridley, but after ending the relationship came home one day to find him in her garage with a knife. Ridley "brutally stabbed [Beckman] 10 times with a knife about her head, face and upper body, until the overwhelming force he applied to the stabbing caused the knife to break,"
“According to her lawsuit, Ridley then "stomped and kicked" her in the head until she "stopped making the gurgling noise" and left her for dead”
Yahoo News goes on to say, a neighbor found her and rushed her to the hospital. She underwent several surgeries in the weeks to follow. While Beckman was still in the hospital, her assailant Wade Riley killed his ex-girlfriend. He told the police he made the attacks because he felt he had been jilted by both women.
Yahoo News maintains that Riley was convicted of the murder of the ex-girlfriend and was serving a 70-year jail sentence. He died in jail last year. He had no prior criminal record before the murder of his ex-girlfriend and the attempted murder of Mary Kay Beckman. Meanwhile Mary Kay Beckman is suing Match.com for $14 million dollars for bodily harm she sustained from meeting someone from their site.
“Match.com argues the lawsuit is frivolous and says it offers tips for safe dating on the site. Match.com spokeswoman Eva Ross says that, “Online dating is no less safe than meeting someone "at a bar or at church."
Match com reminds the public that millions of people have found love on dating sites. This particular case is horrible; yet, nevertheless unusual. On the other hand Beckman claims that their safety tips do not go far enough and she is calling for an overhaul of the tips in order to make them very explicit.
Apparently online dating is more dangerous than one would expect. According to the Edmonton Sun, police officers must respond to online dating attacks each year. Alex Hasham is a detective with the serious crimes branch that focuses on sexual assaults. He said, “The phenomenon is relatively new so there isn’t any statistics to show just how many of the complaints the nine detectives in the unit respond to pertain to online dating.” According to Hasham, the bulk of the victims are females, but occasionally predators prey on males as well.
Hasham says it is not usually the first date that is the issue because most people meet at a public place. It is the second or third date when people relax and that is when the assaults can occur. The unsuspecting individual may invite this person who is still a stranger, into their homes, or accept a ride and so on. He goes on to say that although he cannot comment on the particular sites that have more assaults, he can say that free sites do less monitoring. Usually more complaints come in from those sites.
”Dating websites that require a certain fee, credit card information or a lengthy questionnaire are monitored at a higher level, said Hasham, allowing police the ability to trace the account and identify the user.”
Hasham encourages people to do some kind of a background check such as: Obtain an email address other than the site email address, do a Google check for a criminal record of the person you want to meet, and always tell a friend or family member where you are going with the person you are just meeting for the first, second, third, or fourth time.