Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 54 - The Internet Mask - Talhotblond

We just watched one of the ten best documentaries of 2010 that critics say was good but didn't get the press.  I usually drudge through these word of mouth movies to find a diamond in the rough.  Talhotblond was a beacon of light about the truth of the internet.  What unfolds as a forty-six year old father of two daughters and husband Thomas Montgomery is a roller coaster of a movie.  Like the amusement rides it also is very short...only seventy-five minutes.  But what we learn in these few minutes should be required movies for all teenage girls, parents of teenage girls and any wife or husband.  Period.


"Talhotblond" is the screen name for a seventeen year old girl in West Virginia who finds Thomas whose screen name is "marine sniper" in a game room.  Thomas creates a fantasy world in which he is actually thirty years younger and uses the alias Tommy serving as a marine and being shipped to Iraq.  You guessed it, Talhotblond, real name Jessica, falls in love with "Tommy."  She sends him cards and gifts via the US mail and eventually Thomas's wife finds out and sends a letter to Jessica with a photo of the forty-six year old's family including her and the kids.  Jessica gets mad and starts flirting online with a young man named Brian.  Brian happens to work with Thomas at the local factory in upstate New York.  Jessica tells Brian the story about Thomas posing as Tommy and how he used the internet to seduce her, the naive young girl. Brian lets the "cat out of the bag" at work and tells Thomas he knows about Jessica.

Jessica eventually gets Brian to fall in love with her and the triangle begins. She then goes back to Thomas and convinces him that she fell in love with the Tommy inside and that Thomas should never let "Tommy" die.  [THIS IS A TRUE STORY!]  When Thomas becomes so outraged that he doesn't find Talhotblond on the internet for two days, the ex-marine waits outside work and kills Brian a twenty-two innocent young man.  It was a Friday night so nobody discovered Brian's body until Monday.  Thomas went missing for two days before they were able to put the pieces together to solve this murder.

When authorities started piecing the puzzle together they notified the West Virginia police and went to Jessica's house to warn her that she may be in harms way.  What unfolds is mind numbing.  Mary Shieler, Jessica's mother answers the door.  When the WV State Trooper inquires about Jessica, Mary tells the trooper that she is unable to get a hold of Jessica.  The trooper explains that Jessica is in harms way and Mary starts to cry and confess.  The Tall Hot Blond with the screen name talhotblond is actually a short dumpy overweight forty-something brunette who used her daughter's photos to lure Thomas Montgomery into a love triangle.  That's right, the tall hot blond beautiful young chick was actually a short cold brunette middle-aged housewife. Nobody knew, not her daughter, not her husband.

This shortcoldbrunette cost an innocent twenty-two year old his life and she is still living free.  No laws to protect others and she is still doing it again to more men now on the internet.  I'm certainly not siding with the men who stalk young women on the internet.  I'm merely stating that there are no laws against anybody posing as imposters in the internet.  Not only did Mary lie, she ruined her daughter's relationship with her.  Jessica didn't even know her mother had done this until after the trial. Wondering why she felt weird when the local people would stare at her, she instinctively googled herself and found all these photos of her. Then googled her mother and found out that her mother had taken all sorts of suggestive photos of her without her knowledge and sent them to men all over the United States posing as her daughter.  SICK SICK SICK.

The internet is not safe.  Anything you post is public information.  There is no privacy.  It's like guessing whose really wearing the mask at the masquerade ball.  All the masks are different but they provide the same protection of identity.  Predators wear masks and they can come in both genders.  The right thing to do is to tell at least one person if something is so secretive that you feel you shouldn't.  If Brian had told one person at work that Thomas was threatening to kill him, if Thomas's wife had told the authorities that he was chatting and sexting a seventeen year old girl, if Thomas had told his wife earlier......maybe, just maybe one person would have made a difference and Brian's parents wouldn't have had to bury their oldest son.  That's why I'm telling you because the shortcoldbrunette is still estranged from her family and weaving a web of secrets with a different alias on the internet as we speak.  Pass this one on to  at least one more person especially anyone who is a parent.

There is something addictive about a secret. ~Edgar J. Hoover

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