Feeds

Personal data warning over web forum killing

German murderer used Facebook to feed obsession

Security for virtualized datacentres

Police have warned against posting too much personal information on the internet, after a German man was today sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a British computing student he met online.

David Heiss, 21, from Dauborn, near Limburg, developed an obsession with his victim's girlfriend, and used information the couple had posted online to plan his attack in September last year.

"David Heiss was very clever on the internet, and he learned a lot of information about Joanna Witton and Matthew Pyke and others," the BBC reports Detective Chief Inspector Tony Heydon of Nottinghamshire Police as saying.

Matthew Pyke, 20, died of 86 stab wounds in the flat he shared with his girlfriend, Joanna Witton.

"One of the things that's important here is that people need to realise that on their computers there is a lot of personal information that other people can gather. We know that Heiss found out a lot of information about where they lived and where they worked and all sorts of things about their social network that perhaps now with hindsight they wouldn't want him to know," Heydon said.

The killer travelled from Frankfurt to the Nottingham home of 20-year-old Pyke and Witton to carry out a brutal knife attack. The couple met Heiss online via Warcentral.com, a forum devoted to the Nintendo DS game Advanced Wars, which they ran together.

The court heard how Heiss became infatuated with Witton and obsessively visited her Facebook profile. In June last year he turned up at the couple's flat demanding to see her. After he was rebuffed, he spent almost a month in the UK stalking Witton before returning to Germany.

Heiss, who used the name "Eagle The Lightening" online, then returned to Nottingham that August, but was again rebuffed.

His final, murderous September visit was prompted when his increasingly threatening postings drew a ban from Warcentral.com. During the trial, Witton told court: "People throw threats across the internet all the time, you don't take them seriously."

Sentencing Heiss today, Mr Justice Keith said: "The fact that your motive for murder was so bizarre doesn't make your killing of Matthew any the less serious." He ordered that Heiss should serve at least 18 years. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.