How terrifying is the story of Brian Curtis Hile? Terrifying enough that the FBI wrote a goddamn blog post about it.
It all started when Hile entered into an online relationship with an attractive young woman who -- everyone say it with me -- turned out to be a dude from another country. South Africa, to be exact. And when Hile figured out what was happening, he decided to get revenge. The only problem was that, man, South Africa is so far away. Who has the time?
Instead of getting his passport involved, Hile decided to take his frustrations out on the woman whose pictures he'd been making hand love to for so many years. Of course, she had no clue her pictures were being used. Her Photobucket account had been hacked into years earlier, and a bunch of images ended up online. This guy in South Africa just happened upon them randomly while searching for an identity to steal.
Would you help this woman get $5 million dollars out of a bank account in her home country?
Try telling that to the disturbed brain of Hile, who used the images as a starting point to find as much information as he could about the young woman. Unfortunately, that was quite a lot. Enough that when he was arrested just a mile from her home in California (after traveling from Michigan), he was found to be in possession of all sorts of personal details about his intended target and her boyfriend, including schools she'd attended and even her favorite restaurant. He also had zip ties, duct tape, and a to-do list for carrying out the murder of the completely innocent woman and her even more innocent significant other. It included things like "find chloroform" ...
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How hard can that be?
... and "buy trench coat." Because what criminal doesn't wear a trench coat? He was caught because his family, with whom he'd apparently shared the details of his plan, alerted authorities after he left town.
Hile was eventually sentenced to five years in prison for his crime. His victim was sentenced to a lifetime of never knowing exactly how many desperate Internet weirdos she might be unknowingly "dating" at any given moment. That seems way worse.
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