Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A warning from Kim

From Kim Komando's site:


Come on People

Last month, seventeen-year-old Taylor Behl vanished from Richmond, Virginia. Today, police announced that a photo of an abandoned farmhouse on the alleged killer’s website led them to her remains. According to news reports, the teen met her killer online and exchanged messages regularly on two popular social networking sites, MySpace.com and LiveJournal.com, prior to meeting in person on several occasions.

According to today’s Washington Post, “Fawley and Behl met early this year, before she started college, and the two became online friends. They posted messages to one another on their Web logs. Her online writings captured the angst and mood swings typical among teenagers.”

Taylor’s family was not aware of her blogging, nor the revealing entries about her sexual relationship with the 38 year-old, unemployed, amateur pornographic photographer with a criminal history, who police are now expected to charge with her murder.

This sad situation may have been avoided had Taylor’s family been aware of her blogs. No one knew about this relationship, nor that she had posted such revealing and troubling information about herself.

Social networking sites like MySpace.com are becoming some of the most popular on the web, yet they are highly dangerous because millions of young girls are posting sexual photos and highly revealing information about themselves. It’s an open invitation for sexual predators, and parents need to know about this.

If you have a child, please, please make yourself aware of their activities on the internet. Go to these popular sites and search them. Do it today. You just might learn more about your kids than you ever could in conversation, and that might make all the difference.

If you don’t know how to find your child’s blog, click here for complete instructions. I actually wrote this about six months ago but the steps haven't changed. And if you know someone with a teenager, tell them to do the same. Please. Take a moment now to e-mail them a link to this page. Too many kids just don’t think anything that happened to Taylor could actually happen to them. As adults, we know better.

Warmly,
Kim :)


You know, I had a myspace blog, and I just cancelled it, due in part to the above.

I am not kidding myself – not myspace's fault that Taylor Behl was killed. I know that. But even before I heard this, I felt uncomfortable about many of the people there (most of them are teenagers). Not that I have anything against teenagers, but they don't have the world experience that I have. I know there are predators here as well, but it seems somewhat different.

Closing up shop in myspace, still sticking around here. If any of you have teenage daughters (or sons), I would read the above. I normally don't quote other people's work, but I thought this was important.

11 comments:

kathi said...

I'd not heard about this. I've seen a lot of kids at school blogging on myspace in spare time. My kids could care less about blogging. They im friends and have fantasy sport leagues, oh yeah, and music. That's it. But they only use the family computer in the family room and the screen is viewable from the couches as well as the kitchen. I have no problem monitoring. If they had a problem with me monitoring, they'd not use the computer. But there is a LOT of free time in classes for computer use. Hmmmmm, so now I'm off to check myspace for my kids. Thanks Leesa.

Mark said...

Leesa - I cancelled my myspace account too a few weeks ago. I already have a couple of blogs, and realized it was just another time-waster for me. But yeah, its amazing that a lot of teens do not think that they are vulnerable. There are a lot of weirdos out there posing as something they are not.

Spexial said...

simply awful...what is the world coming too...teenagers have no idea about half of the stuff they get themselves into..."having fun" as they call it..nowadays can get them killed....

what a shame...

Grant said...

I had a MySpace profile, and immediately had young (not sure how young) women sending me naked photos and looking to hook up. I cancelled the thing because that's not why I got into blogging, but I still get messages from MySpace. Some people just won't go away when you tell them.

Brea said...

That is a terrible tragedy. I think people get WAY too comfortable with online relationships in general - you just don't know who is on the other keyboard. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of your readers.

halo said...

Damn thats horrible. My oldest son has a my space. I'll have to direct him to this tidbit. Thanks Leesa.

Zephalius said...

That is awful, but MySpace itself isn't the problem. This could happen (perhaps a little less easily) through a blog like this one, by corresponding via the comments, then email. There are countless paths for this to happen on the Internet. And there are those call-in lines that advertise at 2 am.

Anyway, sorry you won't be on MySpace anymore, Leesa. If it's all right with you, I was planning to post something there referencing this blog, with links. I won't do that until tomorrow, probably, so you can let me know if it's not okay. Zephalius@yahoo.com.

Zephalius said...

Aaaand if that comment sounded disapproving, I sure didn't mean it to. I do wish you were still on myspace, but at least I can check up on you over here.

Z

The Seeker said...

That is so sad. I avoid places like Myspace just because of the teen factor...

Leesa said...

Zephalius:

Feel free to link to this post. The link would be the following:
http://dsmoya31410.blogspot.com/2005/10/warning-from-kim.html

And the comment did not sound disapproving at all.

The Lilac Thief said...

I cancelled mine as well before I read this article. When I was in 9th grade, I invited a man from Wyoming to my house...he was a crazy huge knife carrying psycho and if that wasn't enough I've also met 6 other people online. 2 of which or 'normal'. scary place. I am glad I don't find adventure in meeting strange men on the net anymore...at least...for the present time.