Murder Over Status

Sarah and Edward Richardson
Sarah and Edward Richardson

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Be Careful How You Leave Things

Your marriage is quickly becoming a thing of the past. You are desperate to keep that from happening. If only you could get through to your spouse, you know you could save the relationship. On a whim, you check their Facebook account. In the relationship status section, you notice they have gone from “married” to “single” practically overnight. More than a little angry about this, you call them to ask what is going on. They do not answer. You send text message after text message receiving no reply. Pushed over the edge, you go to their home, break the door open and proceed to stab them to death. Is this an extreme course of action? Absolutely. Is this an untrue scenario? Unfortunately, it is very real.

On May 12th of last year in Staffordshire, England, Edward Richardson, age 41, stabbed his wife, Sarah, age 26, to death. Though they had been separated for some time, Edward obviously thought there was hope for them. Obviously, Sarah felt otherwise. No longer wishing to reconcile, she made the deadly mistake of posting her marital status as “single.” How was she to know what the result would be? As he is now serving a life sentence, I bet the original separation doesn’t sound so bad to him now.

I’ve heard countless stories about Facebook activities leading to firings, expulsions and uncomfortable conversations. These stories make for fantastic jokes. We hear them and are thankful that we had the sense to make our profiles private. Who would’ve imagined that this would’ve happened? The news of this murder is shocking.

Without question, Edward Richardson has mental problems. Though few people take the end of a relationship with a smile, what sane person would resort to murder? Though the article didn’t mention it, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sarah left him because he wouldn’t get help. She probably feared for her life. At the very least, she saw her husband for what he was and didn’t want to spend the rest of her life with someone as corrosive as him. She met her breaking point. Her husband didn’t understand this. Some people just don’t know when to back off.

With each passing day, technology becomes a larger part of our lives. For people who didn’t know how to break up with someone before, e-mails, instant messages and text messages make it so much easier. You don’t have to have much nerve to tell someone you never want to see them again when you don’t have to see or hear their reaction. You can break someone’s heart while checking movie times. An impersonal form of communication has become even more so.

Far too many of my friends have come to me in tears because their partner has ditched them via text message. While others, like Edward, learned their relationship was officially over thanks to their partner’s relationship status on a networking site. None of them saw it coming, too blinded by their own feelings. They invested far too much in a person who didn’t even care enough about them to dump them on the phone. If difficult things can so easily be resolved (well, at least on one end) using these devices, I wonder how long it’ll take for the good stuff (proposals, weddings, birth announcements) to be done this way too? As our technology rapidly advances, our manners decline at the same pace.

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Nikgigmatc 7 years ago

Last time I checked my facebook account, i didn't even have my marital status placed up there. I left it blank because in college, that;s how rumors began. You said you were with someone or interested in someone and rumors would fly and if the person didn't like you back, hearts would get broken. Could we have ever imagined something like this happening years ago? In the 90s, we actually had to call people to break up with them, or oh my goodness, go see them. Things have changed so much. I wonder how much we have lost rather than gained with techonological advancenments.

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