20 Horrific Deaths Caused by Social Media That Will Leave You Speechless

Ethan Tremblay November 29th 2016 Entertainment
We’ve all done our share of Internet searching, stalking, and creeping. But a few social media experts have taken it a step further: they've used their online profiles to kill. In a world ruled by digital communication, posting the wrong status update can be fatal. Deaths caused by social media? No, we don't mean choking on your pizza while cruising Facebook. These social media deaths were caused by everything from relationship status changes on Facebook to cat-fishing at its best/worst to real murderers who found victims online. So here are the 20 most ridiculous cases of social networking turned deadly. #19 will absolutely stun you!

1. Wife Killed For Changing FB Status to Single

Even "adults" aren’t immune from crimes of murderous cyber jealousy. One day, Edward Richardson’s 26 year-old wife, Sarah, decided to change her relationship status from ‘married’ to ‘single.’ 

Now, this would piss off most married men - but since this couple was actually already kind of, y'know, separated, she probably didn’t see it as a big deal. Edward Richardson felt differently. 

After their separation, Sarah decided to move back in with her parents, like every 26-year-old who’s made a terrible mistake tends to do. 

Unfortunately for her, Edward decided to pull the old "sneak into the parents’ bedroom" trick, only this time, he snuck in to stab her to death… over her Facebook status. More accurately: He killed her because she changed her Facebook status. This is really the craziest part. 

After he committed this brutal, spurred-by-hatred-of-Facebook-status-accuracy crime, Edward ended up killing himself (probably ruining a perfectly nice bedroom rug in the process). 

All over a Facebook status change. Just so we’re clear. WTF.

2. Dad Murders Ex-Wife to Stop Her Child Support FB Posts

Adam had had enough of ex-wife Lisa’s passive-aggressive Facebook posts about his child support payments, so he cut the passive and just got aggressive. One evening, he beat her with a hammer before slashing her neck. Then he left her body for the couple’s five-year-old son to discover the next day. 

Stickin’ it to the child support system by traumatizing your kid for life? That’s about as low as you can get on the logical totem pole. WHY DIDN'T HE JUST BLOCK HER? Kids, please teach your parents how to use the Internet. It saves lives.

3. Middle-Aged Woman Seduces Teenage Boys With Fantasy Facebook Profiles, Then Kills Them Off

The craziest, most ridiculous social networking killer wasn’t actually a killer at all. The only murders this woman committed took place in her own deranged imagination. 

In a twisted, sadistic scheme taken to bizarre extremes, 28 year-old New Zealander Natalia Burgess spent months creating Facebook and Bebo profiles for (fake) attractive teenage girls. She gave them very specific, very fancy names, like "Jordz Williams," "Becca Maria Jullienne," and "Abby Jane Zoe William." No word on whether she went overboard with a baby name book or just imagined these fictitious chicks as strippers. Her goal: Seducing dozens of teen schoolboys into online relationships. 

As if that wasn’t I-Belong-on-To-Catch-a-Predator enough, Natalia would then ‘kill off’ the fake girls in tragic accidents or suicides, using other made-up personas to break the news on - you guessed it - Facebook. The girls' online boyfriends were traumatized and devastated. 

Over 40 teen boys have been identified as victims of her Internet mind games. First, she gave them what they never thought they’d have, and then she delivered sheer horror. Her deranged manipulation was discovered only when another 22-year-old woman found her own photographs in an online memorial video for one of these fake Internet hotties, a girl named "Abby." 

Natalia Burgess was sentenced to two years and two months in prison.

4. Man Kills His Friend for "Poking" His Girlfriend

Scott Humphrey, 27, was sent to jail after he repeatedly punched his friend, Richard Rovetto, 29, in a cab on the way back from a guys' night. Why was Humphrey so upset? Evidently, Rovetto had "poked" Humphrey's girlfriend on Facebook. Rovetto claimed that he didn't know the woman was Humphrey's girlfriend. 

The punches caused Rovetto to bleed profusely. He died when Humphrey pushed him to the ground, causing him to hit his head on the pavement. Humphrey fled the scene, but later turned himself in, admitted to manslaughter, and was jailed for four years, four months.

5. MySpace "Horror Core" Rapper Brings His Lyrics to Life

Richard Alden Samuel McCroskey III, age 20, was a self-styled ‘Horrorcore’ rapper from a small town in Virginia called— wait for it — Farmville. Yes, Farmville. No really, there’s a real-live town in Virginia called Farmville, and this is where the whole story took place. 

Realizing that nobody actively follows (or likes) bands on Facebook, McCroskey turned to Myspace (which should have been the first time that he was in trouble). On this Internet wasteland, he posted some of his profound musical stylings under the name ‘Syko Sam. 

Sample lyrics:
"You’re not the first, just to let you know
I’ve killed many people and I kill them real slow
It’s the best feeling, watching their last breath
Stabbing and stabbing till there’s nothing left" 

...which proved to be just a little incriminating when he was accused of killing off four Farmville citizens. Once again, these were real people, with normal sized heads, who looked nothing like this: 

Syko Sam's victims were his own girlfriend, Emma Neiderbrock (16), her best friend, Melanie Wells (18), and her parents, Pastor Mark Neiderbrock (50) and Dr. Debra Kelley (53). Their bodies were found at the Neiderbrock home having been bludgeoned to death with a hammer and maul while they slept. 

A friend and fellow horrorcore rapper claimed, "You would never, ever imagine that kid even being a suspect." 

So, here are some more of Syko Sam's lyrics: 

Blood, death murder, and rape
I like to mutilate and take em back to my place
Kill and slash, yeah, I'm coming for your ass
I'm a cannibal, use your body as food
Yeah you're gonna die and your body will decay
As I leave you dying in this dark alleyway 

At least he's direct. McCroskey pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison for the murders.

6. Being Grounded from MySpace Drives Teen to Shoot His Dad

When a normal 15-year-old is forbidden to use his favorite social networking site, they might write poetry in their journal lamenting the fact that no one ‘gets’ them. Maybe he complains about his inherent need for digital ‘connection,’ or that his black fingernail polish is flaking off in the shower. 

But when decidedly not-normal 15-year-old Hughstan Schlicker’s parents banned him from using MySpace, he killed his dad with a 12-gauge shotgun and, most likely, deleted him from his Top 8. 

To the the father's credit, the kid had been threatening to kill himself for weeks on MySpace. While that is a good enough reason to take his Internet away, it may have actually been a great warning sign that the kid had some serious issues... As it turned out, taking away his Internet was not a super helpful punishment. 

Being cut off from the digital world, according to Schlicker, "felt like I was stabbed with a knife and it went straight through and no matter how hard I pulled, I couldn’t pull out the knife..." 

But one day, this seriously disturbed kid called in sick from school, faking his dad's voice a la a kid in an '80s movie. In fact, he stayed home from school to kill himself, like the same way most people stay home to sleep or watch The Price is Right for five straight hours. And to his credit, Schlicker really meant to kill himself, but with all that thinking time on his hands, he accidentally came up with a little game, a little plan: If his father came home after 4:00 PM, he wouldn't kill himself - he'd kill his dad instead. (This kid really would've made a great Batman villain.) 

Obviously, his dad got home early, so the kid went into the kitchen and shot him in the back of the head. He called a friend (which is really what he should've done instead of going crazy about not being able to update his MySpace - people had friends before the Internet, I think) who convinced him to turn himself in instead of killing himself. 

All of this just because this kid couldn't update his MySpace. In 2008.

7. Facebook Love Triangle Results in High-Speed Car Chase, Death

You’d think a Facebook feud couldn’t lead to much worse than some unflattering tags and a few deleted wall posts. At the very worst, one might have to delete her profile, start a new one, and have to do a mass re-Friending-of-shame, right? 

Well, for Torrie Lynn Emery, 23, and Danielle Booth, 20, it led to a deadly high-speed car chase. 

The two women had been fighting on Facebook for months (over a guy, natch). When Torrie saw Danielle driving with a friend, she pursued them across town. She rammed their car several times until the others car's driver, Alesha Abernathy, ran a red light and was hit by a truck. Abernathy died instantly. Oh, also, Torrie's three year-old kid was in the backseat of her own car the whole time. 

The dude they were fighting over had been in jail for over a year. But considering Torrie’s about to be joining him, guess she’s sort of… won? All it took was a little second degree murder. 

Tracy Emery, Torrie’s mother, said tearfully, "She made a mistake, but her intentions weren’t to kill nobody. Her intentions were to fight." All things considered, she probably should have kept that particular fight to flirtatious passive-aggressive Facebook poking.

8. Ex-Girlfriend Gets Murderous Over MySpace Photos

File this one under ‘Reasons Why Flaunting Your New Relationship on the Internet Might Not Be the Best Idea,’ as it might just lead to you being brutally murdered by your partner’s crazy ex: 

Sarah Ludemann and Rachel Wade had a vicious Internet battle. In the months leading up to her murder, new squeeze Sarah kept posting gloating photos of herself with new boy-toy Josh, even though his ex-girlfriend, Rachel, repeatedly asked her to plz stahp. The two gals played a little harassment cat-and-mouse, dropping threatenings F-bombs into each others' voicemails, and Rachel even punched Sarah in the face a time or two. 

Legit voicemail transcript: "Please tell me Sarah why you would be a dumb-a** c*nt and put a brand new picture of you and Josh at the beach on your MySpace. Seriously, I told you to watch your f*cking back and not to f*cking chill with him. I’m guaranteeing you that I’m going to f*cking murder you, I’m letting you know that now." 

Apparently, the best reply to this would've been, "Thanks for the heads up, girl!" 

Note: this all probably happened because of this dude's Twilight-caliber abs, or because they liked fighting over who was going to clean his mirror next. 

Anyhoo, one night, Sarah went over to Rachel's house to taunt her a little more. After some squabbling, Rachel stabbed her in the chest with a kitchen knife, and was then like, "I'm done." 

After being sentenced to 27 years in prison, Rachel revised her stance on cyber ‘communication’: "It’s almost like you can threaten something or say whatever you want and possibly scare them and you don’t have to face them at that moment." When you do face them, of course, arming yourself with a kitchen knife is strictly optional.

9. Creepy Facebook Death Lists Kill Off Colombian Teens

This one's a little convoluted in its madness. 

When three Colombian teens were found shot to death without any obvious reason, it was just the beginning of a digital reign of terror straight out of a bad, straight-to-DVD horror movie sequel. Get this: Five days later, the names of the dead teens showed up on a mysterious Facebook ‘death list.’ 

When another teenager named on the list was killed three days later, more lists were posted, and leaflets were placed on cars asking the families of kids on the list to leave town within three days or see their children killed. 

"Need to protect our youth," a local named Juan David Sepulveda Tweeted at the time, but the police — aside from suspecting gang activity — were at a loss. Was it a cruel prank? A twisted social-media-savvy serial killer? To this day, nobody knows - at least no one willing to speak up. The killings stopped after most of the kids on the ‘death lists’ fled town.

10. Man Tweets About Killing His BFF

Childhood friends Jameg Blake and Kwame Dancy had been exchanging heated 140-character insults on Twitter for days over a woman both men liked. It really goes to show that classic sitcoms have misled us all: Three is actually a crowd. 

Just hours before a fatal IRL confrontation in the luxury NYC high-rise where the 22 year-olds lived on the same floor, Kwame taunted Jameg online. He tweeted, "N****a is lookin for you don’t think I won’t give up ya address for a price betta chill asap!" 

Jameg Blake did not "chill." 

Instead, he used a shotgun to shoot his former BFF in the neck, killing him. Immediately after, he tweeted, "R.I.P. Kwame." 


Kwame’s mom, Madeline Smith, was pretty freaked. "That’s not a reason to shoot somebody. That’s crazy. I don’t know what’s going on with that Twitter thing." Protip: talking about killing your best friend probably won’t get you on the Trending Topics. At least not before you get picked up for murder. 

Blake pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 21 years in prison. Another thing Kwame's mom said: "I hope my son's face haunts you for the rest of your life."

11. Teen Kills Girlfriend Over MySpace Comment

It was New Year’s Eve, and most teens were busy making out or being forced to dance with their parents. In Burien, WA, seasoned 16 year-old criminal Matthew Dubois — with a youthful record already spotted with theft, burglary, assault, and witness intimidation — argued with his 15 year-old girlfriend, Mikarah "Tinky" Sanders, over a comment another boy had posted to her MySpace page. 

By midnight, he’d taken a .547 handgun and shot her in the face since, clearly, it was totally Tinky’s fault that creepy guys were cyber-hitting on her. Clearly. 

But hey, at least she had the consolation of friends posting crudely Photoshopped RIP graphics... to her MySpace: 

Seriously, this is like bringing a car-shaped cake to a DUI victim's funeral. 

And because being labeled a ‘threat to community safety’ doesn’t necessarily a criminal mastermind make, Matthew then shot himself in the shoulder. He had this idea of blaming his girlfriend's murder on an imaginary ‘gang member,’ thus clearing his own name forever... But wouldn't you know it? His master plan backfired spectacularly. Matthew was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

12. Teen Gang Plans Public Murder on Facebook Chat

When a teenage gang of 20 budding sociopaths in London decided to kill rival 15 year-old Sofyen Belamouadden, they planned the attack online. Naturally. Nothing says ‘underage murder and mayhem’ like a chat on the site where your aunt shares a steady, lonely stream of someecards about mild alcoholism and dating after 50. 

Further taking the ‘public sharing’ theme to absurd levels, the gang decided to hack Sofyen to death while hundreds of people watched. Armed with an eclectic assortment of weapons, from samurai swords and machetes to Swiss Army knives and screwdrivers, the teens chased Sofyen across busy Victoria Tube Station before stabbing, cutting, kicking, and punching him to death in front of hundreds of IRL onlookers. So buzzworthy, mirite? 

Since the whole massacre took place in a public space - a freaking subway station - it was captured on CCTV, which made the whole whodunit aspect of the criminal trials pretty easy to figure out. In the end, three of the savage little lunatics were convicted of murder, five of manslaughter, and nine on lesser chargers.

13. Man Uses Facebook to Lure His Ex into a Death Trap

Sarah Elston, 22, was happy and excited to see her ex again. For the first time in months, he contacted her on Facebook to set up a meeting. While Sarah, an artist in Brisbane, was hoping for a romantic reconciliation — or, at the very least, some ex-sex — her former boyfriend’s intentions were more murderous than amorous. 

Police were called to a disturbance at Sarah's flat and found her mutilated body dead from multiple injuries. Neighbors reported that they had heard loud noises coming from the unit, but didn't report it sooner because such noise was common in their neighborhood. 

So it’s not just Internet strangers you have to look out for these days... it’s the Internet. 28 year-old Daniel Garcia was charged with Sarah's murder. 

Still gonna say yes to your ex’s Facebook invite for coffee this weekend?

14. Girl Lists ‘Killing People’ Under Facebook Interests; Proceeds to Actually Kill People

Amidst a digital sea of teen girls listing their hobbies as ‘shopping,’ ‘Katy Perry,’ and ‘gettin crunk with mah gurls,’ 15 year-old Alyssa Bustamante stood out like a special snowflake. Her Facebook profile interests included ‘cutting’ and ‘killing people.' 

And she wasn’t lying... After planning the crime for months - going so far as to dig a shallow grave in advance - Alyssa stabbed her 9 year-old neighbor, Elizabeth Olten, multiple times before slitting her throat. She then hid the little girl's body. She later reported that she just "wanted to know what it felt like." 

While the publicized interest in homicide might have been a red flag, Alyssa was slightly more discreet elsewhere on the Internet. The morning of the murder, she Tweeted, "sittin in classss. bored as f*ck." As she’s now permanently instated in a mental institution, taking Prozac for her depression and eventual suicide attempt, we can only hope Alyssa’s found less murderous ways to occupy her time - and, at least (for the good of the free world), started writing more interesting Tweets.

15. Woman Dies in Car Crash After Posting a Smiley Face on Facebook

In 2014, Courtney Ann Sanford crashed her car into a highway median moments after updating her Facebook status with “The happy song makes me HAPPY.” 

KTLA 5 reported that one of the drivers involved in the collision saw Sanford's car cross the median but was unable to maneuver out of the way.

16. Dolphin Dies During Mob Selfie

Because everything is terrible, two rare dolphins were pulled out of the ocean in Argentina. 

The dolphins were then passed around by a bunch of people on the beach and used as props in the group's selfies. At least one of the dolphins died during the horrific ploy for Instagram likes by a bunch of mostly tourists with no respect for nature.

17. Woman Stabs Boyfriend for Being on Facebook All Day

23-year-old Terri-Marie Palmer stabbed her boyfriend after posting a Facebook status saying that her bf was "p***** me off sitting on Facebook, completely blanking me when I'm talking to him." 

In retaliation for her boyfriend's inattentive attitude while he checked messages on his phone, Palmer promptly stabbed him through the heart with a bread knife, killing him. The hairdresser was found guilty of Damon Searson's murder and given a life sentence in prison.

18. Teen Killed over Twitter Beef

A few weeks away from graduation, a young man in Indiana was killed as the result of a feud on Twitter. The tension started when Jerrold Parker tweeted at his soon-to-be killer Devin Leggett that Leggett "couldn't rap." 

Not too long later, Leggett shot Parker multiple times, according to multiple witnesses. The boy's murderer was charged with murder and carrying a handgun without a license.

19. 17 Year Old Kills Herself After Being Cyber Bullied

Cassandra "Cessi" Porter, a senior at West Side High School in Dayton, Idaho committed suicide after another student set up a Facebook page under a false name encouraging her to kill herself. “They just said terrible, graphic things about her and told her to kill herself,” said her father, Craig Porter. 

Prior to her suicide by hanging, Cassandra attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on pills as a result of the online harassment. Thinking she had recovered and the bullying had ceased, her father went out of town on business. When he returned, Cessi had killed herself.

20. Man Kidnapped and Murdered Over Facebook Comment

Arun Rao, 24-year-old man from Bengaluru, India, posted "Hi Shishya" while chatting with one of his friends on Facebook. "Shishya" means disciple, but in his particular dialect it can mean "camp follower." Somehow, this sparked an argument between the two, which escalating into tension involving a whole group of men. 

A few weeks after making the comment, Rao was kidnapped in front of his mother, and stabbed him multiple times in his abdomen and died while undergoing treatment at a local Baptist hospital.


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