Dating
Charlotte Hannah
January 25, 2013

Woman Sues Match.com After Her Date Stabs Her


Photo credit: Match.com

Anyone who grew up in the digital era has had it drilled into their heads that the Internet is a dangerous, scary place full of monstrous people who won’t hesitate to abduct and murder you the moment they figure out where you live.

This isn’t true.

In fact, so long as you exercise caution when giving out personal information or agreeing to meet an Internet stranger in person, the Internet can be a lovely place indeed. Numerous friendships, courtships and even solid marriages have had their beginnings online.

Photo credit: Law Offices of Saggese & Associates

But there’s an exception to every rule, as Mary Kay Beckman discovered after a Match.com date went tragically awry.

In September 2010, Beckman was paired up by the online dating service with a man named Wade Ridley. After a few dates with Ridley, Beckman decided he wasn’t the guy for her and broke off their courtship.

According to KPTV.com, Ridley immediately began sending Beckman threatening text messages. Then, on an evening in January 2011, Beckman arrived at her home only to be ambushed by a waiting Ridley, who had broken into her garage.

“He stabbed her dozens of times in the face. He smashed her head with a rock. He stomped her face with his feet. He left her for dead,” said Beckman’s attorney Marc Saggese of the attack.

Photo credit: AP Police Mug Shot

Miraculously, Beckman survived – although another of Ridley’s victims, another woman he met through Match.com, wasn’t so lucky. Ridley was sentenced to prison for the murder of his second victim. He died in prison last year.

Now Beckman is suing Match.com for almost $10 million. She feels the site didn’t do enough to adequately protect its members from predators like Ridley, and that it falsely represents itself as a safe service.

“Match does nothing to ensure the safety of its people, but you pay $30, you think you’re getting some type of protection,” Saggese explained.

According to Courthouse News Service, Beckman’s complaint includes the notion that Match.com didn’t warn her that their service could match her up with “an individual whose intentions are not to find a mate, but to find victims to kill or rape.”

Somehow, I don’t see that working well in a commercial.

Match.com: Find love… or get stabbed in the face.

It comes down to this: what happened to Beckman was absolutely awful. I can’t imagine what a terrifying experience that must’ve been for her. But, sadly, it could’ve happened if she’d first met Ridley in a coffee shop, or at a bar, or at work. That’s the risk you take when you form a relationship with another person.

Match.com does what it can to reasonably inform its users of the potential hazards of meeting someone they were introduced to online. It took me all of five seconds to find this Safety Tips page on their site:

Photo credit: Match.com

In response to Beckman’s lawsuit, Match.com released the following statement:

“What happened to Mary Kay Beckman is horrible, but this lawsuit is absurd. The many millions of people who have found love on Match.com and other online dating sites know how fulfilling it is. And while that doesn’t make what happened in this case any less awful, this is about a sick, twisted individual with no prior criminal record, not an entire community of men and women looking to meet each other.”

I’d have to agree. What do you think? Do you have any stories of online dates gone horribly awry?