Electronic advertising has gradually replaced printed ads and the internet is now a venue where murderers who employ a similar modus operandi can meet their victims; in Schecter's Encyclopedia, the entry for "Ads" mentions internet dating and the use of internet ads by the so-called "Internet Cannibal" Armin Meiwes.
Since 2007, several accused and convicted killers have contacted victims through advertising services such as Craigslist, a popular classified advertising website.
A legal theorist pressed for an "internet angle" on a murder by a journalist related that "I asked her whether, if I called her up and asked her out on a blind date and murdered her, she would think it was a "telephone-related murder"? Leslie Harris, CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology said of the term "Craigslist Killer" that "A great many of the tragic incidents that tangentially involve the Internet have little or nothing to do with the Internet itself.
Serial killers are murderers who target three or more victims sequentially, with a "cooling off" period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification.
Such killers have used forms of social networking to attract victims long before the advent of the internet.
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Robert Frederick Glass pleaded guilty to killing Lopatka and later died in prison while serving his sentence.
In a case that might be regarded as a quasi-consensual homicide, "John," a teenage boy from Altrincham, England, allegedly tricked another teenager into killing him using long conversations in an online chatroom.
We do not, for example, refer to killings orchestrated over the telephone as 'tele-murder' or by snail mail as 'mail murder.' It seems that this is not a cybercrime, that it is simply a real-world crime the commission of which happens to involve the use of computer technology," but she conceded that "there may be reasons to treat conduct such as this differently and to construe it as something other than a conventional crime." The following individuals have been arrested and/or convicted of crimes in which police claimed that Internet services such as chat rooms and Craigslist advertisements were used to contact victims or hire a murderer.
Despite sharing a similar method of contacting victims, they apparently have varied motivations.
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