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Disturbing and thought provoking documentary
on 20 July 2014
This fact based story is one of a love triangle created on-line that has devastating consequences in real life. Thomas Montgomery is a former US Marine, now in his later 40's with a family, but a dull boring life compounded with problems, he escapes into a fantasy world in an on-line gambling game and chat room via his "marinesniper" on-line name.
He meets Talhotblond in the chat rooms (the screen user name of an 18 year old girl) and plays out a life where he is a young marine and thus able to appeal to a much younger woman. Soon rivalry shows up in the shape of Brian Barrett (beefcake is his user name) , a co-worker Thomas knows in person.
Ultimately this is a story of tragedy with the pointless loss of a life over a love triangle which never existed in the real world. Later on the shocking truth about Talhotblond is revealed, all is not as it seems.
The film starts unusually with a voice over from the victims perspective, we have interviews with Montgomery, Rex Beaber a Clinical Psychologist, several case detectives as well as Brian's parents. Tim Shieler who is the father of the girl in question, is quite visibly shaken and emotional during his interview scenes. The documentary is well produced, though has quite a lot of the text used during the conversations on-line (much of which is unsuitable for younger viewers due to the graphic nature of the messages), a little slow to start but it picks up mid point.
This film certainly makes you ponder about the dangers of posing as someone you are not, the tragic elements are in many directions, a mentally ill man who takes his compulsion out on a fellow co-worker, the girl whom neither man has met, and the final details about the exact identity of the girl in question really throws an unexpected punch. Fantasy and reality clash in this sad but true story where nothing is as it seems, and nobody should have been hurt or killed. Certainly worth a watch if true crime stories are an interest.