This is a true story that will probably end up as a screenplay – it is completely bizarre, and completely scary.
Thomas Montgomery, 45, lived in New York and began an online relationship with a 17-year-old girl named Jessica who lived in West Virginia. Montgomery pretended to be a young man named Tommy, an 18-year-old Marine about to be sent to war in Iraq. The two met while playing games at Pogo.com, and messaged each other in chat rooms, spending hours talking to each other. Montgomery created a full persona of Tommy, including the reason that he couldn’t be online all of the time because he was “on duty”. Turns out, Montgomery had a wife, two teenage daughters, and worked in a factory. Even so, Montgomery and Jessica had enough time to “fall in love”, and 8 months after meeting online, “Tommy” proposed. Jessica was thrilled. She continued sending her online lover, and now fiance, photos of herself cheerleading, or posing in her yellow bikini, or smiling and blowing kisses.
Though they had never met, they began sending gifts to each other and planning their nuptials. He sent flowers, she sent him her panties and military dog-tags that were engraved with “Tom & Jessi, Always & Forever”. Montgomery had Jessica send the gifts to him directly, pretending to be “Tommy’s” father. He claimed that he could forward the gifts to his son overseas for her.
Meanwhile, Montgomery became so smitten with Jessica that he began telling co-workers at the factory that he was going to leave his wife and move to West Virginia to be with his new sweetheart. He was constantly emailing her, or meeting in a chat room to flirt with her. He’d shoo his daughters off of the computer at night, and stay up till all hours emailing and instant messaging Jessica, who was only a year older than one of his own daughters.
Somehow, months later, Montgomery’s wife found some of the things that Jessica had sent to her husband. She was shocked. She read through the letters, and figured out what was going on, confronting her husband. She also felt maternal towards Jessica, writing her a letter and enclosing a family photo while explaining that “Tommy” was actually her 45-year-old husband and father of two teenage daughters, and to be careful when meeting people online.
Jessica was devastated, and looked up one of Tommy’s friends that played games online that he had mentioned in the past. She emailed Brian Barret, Montgomery’s co-worker, and demanded to know if Tommy was a real man. Brian, 22-years-old, was honest and told her the truth: Tommy was a fake. They emailed each other a few times, and ended up becoming online friends. Brian mentioned this to co-workers, and when it got back to Montgomery, he flipped out.
Brian was found dead a few days later, three bullets in his body. Montgomery was charged with murder, but that’s not where this story ends.
Detectives found Jessica’s phone number on Brian’s phone and while investigating the murder, they went to her house. Jessica’s mom answered the door, and seemed very flustered when being questioned. Her daughter wasn’t home, even though the Detectives had just spoken to her on the phone. It didn’t take long for Jessica’s mom to come clean. She was Jessica.
The 45-year-old mom had used photos of her daughter online to create the fake profile of “Jessica”.
And so, the story goes….