Woman "Murdered For Facebook Status" — Or Because Her Estranged Husband Was Nuts

from the when-reality-isn't-as-interesting-as-your-headline dept

“Wife murdered for Facebook status,” screams the headline on the BBC News site. “A man murdered his estranged wife after becoming ‘enraged’ when she changed her marital status on Facebook to ‘single’,” it goes on to say, after a man in England was convicted of killing his estranged wife who wouldn’t respond to any of his attempts to contact her. Apparently changing the Facebook status was the final straw, but to say she was murdered because of it seems like little more than an overly ambitious attempt to craft a really juicy headline. This woman was murdered because her estranged husband went nuts; Facebook was hardly an accessory. While this may not seem like a huge deal, it’s these sorts of stories that spring politicians into action against technology, blaming it for society’s ills while ignoring the real underlying problems. I mean, if people are getting killed for their Facebook status, surely we need to ban Facebook statuses, right? To protect the children?

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: facebook

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Woman "Murdered For Facebook Status" — Or Because Her Estranged Husband Was Nuts”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Zack says:

Re: Yep

This is just one of those ‘teens’ talking, but that devil box happens to be made of some of the same technology that saves lives depends on. And besides, since when is it a bad thing to socialize with friends? the fact that it happens to be electronic may not be ideal, but it allows for better impromptu event planning and networking and things of that nature… It really makes life easier if you use it right… If i forget what an assignment is, i ask what it is on my status… minutes later I have the answer, and i can finish my homework… Like any piece of technology, Facebook, when used correctly, can make your life easier. It’s no ‘devil box’ you twit.

Lonnie E. Holder says:

Except...it happened.

According to authorities, the change in Facebook status was the last straw, and was the trigger that initiated the man’s actions. Sure, the guy had issues. It could have been any number of things that set the guy off. In this case, the guy decided to go look at his wife’s Facebook status and there is was. The headline could just as easily have read “Man Kills Over Underwear” or “Man Kills Because of Newspaper Personal.” The headline describes what happened. No sense in trying to spin it. Seems like we already have enough spin doctors.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Except...it happened.

Not that other “news” sources won’t try to spin it that way, of course. The BBC are an absolute bastion of calm compared to some news outlets – for example, look at the way The Sun (sadly, the biggest-selling English language newspaper in the world) spins it:


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Except...it happened.

That post you linked to was kinda pointless. At no point did I think, “hey, this is exactly what he said word for word.” I viewed it as, “hey, here are multiple phrases from a speech.” I found no problem realizing that the phrases didn’t come one after the other. It was obviously edited. Did you want the entire speech in the beginning? It was an intro for a video about the environment and they picked a couple phrases that Obama said about green topics.

I have no problem with the article’s headline. The problem I have is with how people will interpret it. I’ve seen headlines where someone kills someone over something stupid and its in the headline. The reason those aren’t a problem is that its already accepted that the reasoning for the killing was stupid. Here though, I feel like some people might misinterpret it and put some blame on Facebook.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Except...it happened.

Carlo pointed out the absence of the man being labeled as nuts.

But, Brittan has an idiotic law called the Anti Social Behaviour Act of 2003. It has the power to make individual behaviours, and not the act of the crime, illegal.

It’s not difficult to imagine this being positioned for political theater, with goals to expand the legal definition so it covers behaviours or actions to Facebook profiles.

After all, if we accept that the murder wasn’t committed by a mad man, but by anti-social actions brokered by Facebook, well, Facebook will need to be regulated, and let’s not even start with what that means.

Anonymous Coward says:

You have entire societies banning firearms under the same idea. If you just take away everything that a sociopath can use to hurt others, no one gets hurt.

The problem is those laws are like DRM. Your sociopaths always find some other thing to go crazy with. Meanwhile, the regular citizens have their freedoms and choices taken away.

Obviously, hackers aren’t sociopaths, since hacking often benefits society, but in relation to the law, I think the analogy works.

Susan Clemens says:

the real reason...

The real reason for the murder was domestic violence. It could have just as easily been too much salt inthe supper or the bathroom towels not hung to his exact specifications.

We can’t ban everything that is going to set off a person who is looking for an excuse to vent rage.

Giving lip-service to his excuses is deplorable.

Let’s look at banning domestic violence in stead.

JT says:

I Don't Agree

Personally I think we need to get politicians that have a clue and are, at least, somewhat in touch with reality. They represent us as a whole but these lifetime politicians couldn’t tell you how society works outside of their office and aids. Unfortunately we screwed things badly in this past election and put a majority in that wants to ban everything and will probably get their wishes on a lot of things.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yea I agree, I am 11 years old and I just put my Facebook status as “single” and my girl friend just comes over here and beats me half to death and tells me if I ever left her she would… Anyway I support a ban on this, I hate not being able to get away from that bitch, she needs to get back in the kitchen were she belongs. Fucking Cunt

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Hi Anonymous,
Seems you’ve strayed a little away from your usual stomping grounds. So let me get this right, you’re 11 years old, getting beat up by your GF, while also dropping the F’ing C’s?

Well, whoa, Big man. Slow down. I feel bad for you, because someone let you down. It may sound weird, but you need someone to look up to. Have you found a role model, or someone who you feel can help you sort things out?
Geez, I know this sounds corny, but years ago, I found that school’s retired police officers were full of great stories if you you ask them. They were nothing like the stories my old man had, who had been with the force for 45 years.

“Duni, akwe tu” my friend.

To those so-called “Men” out there-
I won’t even begin to start with where so many have been let down. Whatever happened to the idea of having a positive male role model in our kids lives? My my my. Things have changed, haven’t they? If you can’t be a positive role model in your own kids lives, then how do you expect anything other than Government Intervention in everyone’s personal life?

Vae Victis says:

Problem Solving

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. We must put our heads together as a race of people and come up with a real solution to the stupidity the lerks behind close doors. Making smart comments and ridiculous allegations about who’s to blame and who to protect solves nothing. Sure you can ban everything in the world but will that really solve the behavior of individuals who suffer from mental disorders?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Problem Solving


While I agree to a point with your ideology, I believe that there is a point where people need to “let go”. Do you not agree? Understanding that most American families have a Good Male Role model, which helps to create a balance during K-12 development. Your comment seems a little odd, and out of place, especially for a website called “TechDirt” where we discuss techology issues.

I would highly recommend speaking with a counselor who can provide better ideas than any of us can provide here. IANAC but sometimes there is a need is left unmet.

Outside of this and more importantly, I am curious at which point should a Victim Mentality be considered a negative to the raising of the child?

Vae, understand that at the same time, there are thousands of kids that grow up without a father figure and are able to be good people in this society. But some times, people are unable to play the dual-paternal role, and some necessities are left unfounded. Is there some secondary or tertiary need that’s unmet?

Please consider taking this discussion to a site that specializes in this and is better equipped to provide you with proper answers.

Susan Clemens says:

harrassment...restraining order maybe

“… a man in England was convicted of killing his estranged wife who wouldn’t respond to any of his attempts to contact her.”
More needs to be done to recognize those at risk and how to take steps to protect them.

The fact that he repeatedly tried to contact her even though he knew his attentions where unwanted is a red flag that his wishes took precidence over hers (in his mind). This type of behaviour almost always escalates.

Had she sought out a restraining order? Was this taken seriously by the police?

Facebook would do well to use this as an opportunity to educate.

“The PR industry has an important role to play in helping companies identify and manage risks that could damage their reputation.” Nick Purdom of PR Week


John Doe says:

Re: harrassment...restraining order maybe

Had she sought out a restraining order? You are kidding, right? How does a paper document protect anyone? Is is bullet proof? You know what they say; when seconds count the police are only minutes away. Police are only historians; they do not protect people. They show up to record the events after the fact.

Lonnie E. Holder says:

Re: Re:

Did you even read the article. Here is a quote from the article:

Fiona Cortese, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Richardson became enraged when Sarah changed her marital status on Facebook to single and decided to go and see her as she was not responding to his messages.

Note that Fiona Cortese, a female law enforcement official, factually states that Richardson became enraged when his wife changed her marital status. The “media” did not “blame” anyone, but reported what law enforcement official reported to them. Enraged appears to indicate the man succumbed to loss of personal control, allowing his emotions to over come his logic. Seems like an indication that he had some issues to me.

Lonnie E. Holder says:

Re: BBC Says: Women Never Learn to Accept Their Place

Are we reading the same article? The one I read was mostly made of quotes from the prosecutor and the woman’s family. The article is completely void of what I would consider to be a judgment of the woman’s behavior. If anything, it implied that the guy was nuts.

woteva says:

wtf lol this story ay 2 do wid kids… fair enuf thy hav facebook wot cuz a man killed his wife cuz hes a nuta cuz she had her status as single ent gt fuk all 2 do wid kids usin facebook

thy woe b able 2 gt ne ideas or wotevaa…thy cor c wot thy wrote… status updates am 2 do wid wot ur doin ryt nw etc.,
i mean i knw bare ppl me included hu r in a relationship n my geeza has gt his facebook set 2 single mines in a relationship so fukin wot!! i doe care it ay 2 do wid chatin up ppl online….

n yeee kids these days thyr all bad enit… fuk me man gt a lyf… kids r followin violence n wot nt thru how the world is 2day bcuz the elder ppl (20s-30s) r gtin thm in2 this kinda shit 2 strt havoc on the streets… it isnt all dwn 2 drugs its wot thyv learnt frm ther elders.. so ye bollax 2 tht, thy wudnt knw neway bout lyf if thy didnt luk up2 ne1

n if thy ay gt no1 2 luk up2 thn thy obvs learn ther own way in stealing or woteva kids hu ay gt family or home do…

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...