Feeds

Internet suicide chat room killer held

Houston police seize would-be sex strangler

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A would-be Internet killer is behind bars and facing 20 years' jail after offering to dispatch a woman he met in a suicide chat room, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Edward Frank Manuel, 55, of Houston, apparently arranged to strangle the Wisconsin woman during sex, place a yellow rose on her chest and then bury her in a Texas forest.

The woman agreed to meet Manual at Houston bus terminal, where police swooped on him and his car, which contained yellow roses and "a device for strangling". Who exactly alerted the authorities is unclear, although the "victim" attended the rendezvous as part of a planned police operation.

Manuel's arrest follows the recent case of a 41-year-old German charged with murder and cannibalism after killing another man he met on the Internet.

The man placed an advert "Seeking young, well-built men aged 18 to 30 to slaughter" which soon attracted a willing victim who, having sold all his possessions, disappeared from the face of the earth only to turn up later in a freezer in Rotenberg, central Germany.

The Japanese have also embraced the possibilities of Internet death pacts. An October 2002 BBC report details the sad tale of a 46-year-old dentist and 25-year-old woman who met in a suicide chat room and subsequently killed themselves with sleeping pills.

Japanese police say that there are many such sites in Japan. In 1998, a Tokyo woman shuffled off this mortal coil with potassium cyanide bought from an Internet suicide service. Appropriately, the man responsible for this humanitarian service later departed this life at his own hand.

Meanwhile, there are few clues as to the identity of the Wisconsin woman responsible for Edward Frank Manuel's arrest. The original suicide chat room has - unsurprisingly - disappeared, although this allegedly genuine posting appears elsewhere. It poses interesting questions as to her real motives for frequenting suicide chat rooms in the first place:

Originally Posted By Crazy/Suicide Chat Room Girl:
Any notions I'd had about serial killers being interesting, complex people went out the window. Aside from Rabbit's sex-death-strangulation fetish, he was quite dull and boring. (He wasn't even as smart as I had expected. I guess I thought all serial killers would be charismatic, bright Bundy types. They apparently are not.)

Poor dull, boring Manuel is scheduled to appear in court on 28 January.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.