For those who spend long hours on the Internet it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that’s where all the important things happen, that ‘AFK’ or ‘real-life’ is just a distraction.
But real-life events earlier this year involving the administrator of private BitTorrent tracker Scene-Inspired (S.I) certainly puts things into perspective.
On Friday 4th March 2011, Mark Webb – known as ‘Fatz’ – was chatting online with staff from his site, Scene-Inspired. But unknown to his online friends, Fatz had been receiving angry phone and SMS messages from his ex-wife. Since she lived just around the corner, he decided to go see her and check on his children.
On arrival the argument escalated at which point Fatz’s ex-wife’s new boyfriend Brian Cox got involved with tragic consequences.
Ex-bouncer Cox subdued Fatz and used a Stanley knife (boxcutter) to make a 7.5 inch cut in his throat which severed his jugular vein. Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway from North Yorkshire Police said Cox then ran away and left Fatz to bleed to death in the street.
“Instead of calling for an ambulance, Fatz’s ex-wife Susan Webb tried to cover up the attack and decided to protect her boyfriend, which after washing away the blood from the scene resulted in the plan to say Mark had slit his own throat,” MadCotto from S.I told TorrentFreak.
“If Susan Webb hadn’t tried to cover the murder up but instead got medical help for Mark he may have lived. Instead he was found an hour later by a police officer following a trail of blood to Mark’s ex martial home.”
After a two week trial, earlier this month a jury found 29-year-old Cox guilty of murdering father-of-five Mark Webb and was jailed for a minimum of 18 years.
Susan Webb was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. She will be sentenced at a later date.
On behalf of all the members at Scene Inspired, MadCotto from the site asked to make the following statement:
Mark (Fatz) was a much-loved member and Admin of S-I and always livened things up with his own unique way. He was a star, a diamond. He never asked for anything but was always willing to help including providing servers for site use.
Everybody at S-I was deeply hurt by this, but on news of the guilty verdicts had a small celebration of his life at the weekend. We are more than just a tracker we are a community, where every member is important to us with many sharing big parts of their lives together online. I for one am very grateful for the chance to have met and worked with Mark on the site.
S-I would like to take this chance to say have a good look at your online friends and if you ever get the chance to meet them take it (excluding children please never meet a stranger from online, no matter how well you know them) you just never know when a tragedy can happen.