A married 45-year-old former marine carried on a tempestuous IM relationship with an 18-year-old girl. Thomas Montgomery pretended to be an young sniper in Iraq to win the heart of Jessi. When the deceit was exposed, she took up—online—with a younger friend of his. A jealous Montgomery shot and killed his rival. Neither man had ever met Jessi in person.
In this story of obsession detailed in Wired, Montgomery constructed two online identities, the battle-scarred young soldier and his father, who passed on messages from the marine to Jessi. As it turned out—in a fatal misunderstanding—he was not the only one IMing a fantasy.