The Telegraph this week carries the story of a particularly sordid and unpleasant domestic murder. The details of the crime are irrelevant here (so no link); what struck me about the case is the way the couple in question met. When they established contact,
Both were already in long term relationships but they finished with their respective partners and moved into together at a rented two-bedroomed terraced house.
This wasn’t exactly what you’d call an equal partnership, though;
The couple struggled financially with only Joanne working as a security officer. Despite Higgs getting a £5,000 windfall from his mother he failed to get a job and the couple were seen arguing.
And eventually, in a fit of jealous rage, he killed her. Like so many before her, the 41-year-old grandmother had picked herself up a bad bargain on the internet.
Manchester Crown Court was told the couple met in 2009 through playing games of ''social networking poker'' on Facebook which in which users play to meet each rather than win any cash.
There's a lot of it about; people meet online, somehow decide that this forms the basis for a lasting relationship and ruthlessly burn their boats, heedless of the fact that their new partner has admirably demonstrated a willingness to cheat. The grass is always greener in cyberspace.
And it's proof, if any were needed, that any medium can and will be debased far beyond the expectations of its inventor - imagine John Logie Baird confronted with Big Brother, or Alexander Graham Bell's reaction to phone sex lines. Facebook is rapidly coming to mirror Dante's vision of Hell.
And 'social networking poker' surely must have a circle all of its own.
The Book of St Richard, Chapter 25
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