Mary Kay Beckman found someone she was interested in dating. After going on a handful of dates with Wade Ridley, she decided that he wasn't a suitable companion. Unfortunately, this did not go over well with Mr. Ridley, and he began harassing and threatening Ms. Beckman through text messages. Circumstances escalated and one night when she arrived at her home in Las Vegas, Mr. Ridley viciously attacked her and almost killed her.
And as if that wasn't enough, this same man continued his search online. A few weeks later, in February 2011, he found a woman to date in Arizona - and killed her. He was caught and sent to prison. He died in prison last year, but his wrath and his toil still linger on as Ms. Beckman continues to recover emotionally and physically.
Ms. Beckman has filed a lawsuit against the online dating company for negligence for failing to warn daters of the dangers of online dating. She is suing for close to ten million dollars and is also requesting the company including a disclaimer issuing a warning about the dangers of dating online.
As a woman and strong advocate against domestic violence, this story is heartbreaking. What these women had to endure under the guise of finding love is unfathomable. It's a fair assumption to think that Mr. Ridley used online dating as a vehicle to find his victims.
As the owner of a dating site, this story hits extremely close to home. It's maddening to know that even when the intent is good and true, there are still vicious, vile and criminal individuals who will muck it up for everyone else. At FindYourPlusOne.com, we truly believe "Everyone Deserves a Plus One". This is something we wholeheartedly express to our clients. We believe in love, friendship and compassion. We also believe that the Internet can be a safe place to date online.
It seems there are Lifetime movies every week based on true stories of online dating gone wrong. The Craigslist Killer, The Wife He Met Online and Talhotblond are just a few that have recently aired. Catfish, originally a movie about a young man being tricked by a woman on the Internet, is now a popular MTV show featuring daters coming face to face with who they think they are falling for online. And in most recent news, Norte Dame's college football player Manti Te'o has revealed he is a victim of a catfish - falling for a woman who died - but ultimately did not exist.