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Online Love Triangle Leads To Murder

Posted by familydynamics on November 29, 2007

There has been so much media attention, centered around keeping our children safe from online predators. There has also been countless stories of people being murdered or scammed by someone they met online. The following story, however, gives new meaning to what happens when a delusional individual goes online:

Dan Barrett, second from right, of Lockport, stands with his son, Daniel, during a sentencing hearing for Thomas Montgomery, seated, in the white shirt. Montgomery received a 20-year prison sentence in the murder of Barrett’s son, Brian, last year.


A 48-year-old man caught up in an internet love triangle was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing his rival after being dumped by the woman they both competed for.

Thomas Montgomery of Cheektowaga, New York, pleaded guilty in August to the shooting death of 22-year-old Brian Barrett while he sat in a pickup truck shortly after work ended.

Montgomery had passed himself off as an 18-year-old Marine in online chats with a middle-aged West Virginia mother, identified as Mary Sheiler. Never mind that the woman herself posed as an 18-year-old student by using photos of her daughter. When she learned the truth about Montgomery, their online romance cooled and she turned her attention to Barrett.

Montgomery began chatting with the woman, identified in court as Mary Sheiler, in 2005. Occasionally, the woman would mail packages to his home. When one of the packages was intercepted by Montgomery’s wife, she wrote back, telling Sheiler her husband’s true age and saying he was married.

Barrett, whom Montgomery had mentioned in his exchanges, was drawn into the triangle after the woman contacted him online to confirm what she had been told by Montgomery’s wife.

Justice Penny Wolfgang called the situation a “consequence of misuse of the Internet.”

“Consequence of misuse of the Internet”, are you kidding? Since when should the punishment for “misuse of the internet” lead to death?


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