For example, between 19, Hungarian serial killer Béla Kiss lured his 24 victims by using personal ads published in newspapers.According to Paul Bocj, the author of Cyberstalking: Harassment in the Internet Age and How to Protect Your Family, "The idea that a serial killer may have operated via the Internet is, understandably, one that has resulted in a great deal of public anxiety." In Harold Schecter's A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, the entry for "Internet" reads in part: "If the Internet has become a very useful tool for people interested in serial killers, there's some indication that it may also prove to be a resource for serial killers themselves." Maurice Godwin, a forensic consultant, argued that "There are some sadistic predators that rely on the Mardi Gras Effect ["the ability to hide one's identity on the Internet"] to lure and murder repeatedly." The first serial killer known to have used the Internet to find victims was John Edward Robinson, who was arrested in 2000 and was referred to in Law Enforcement News as the "USA's first Internet serial killer" and "the nation's first documented serial killer to use the Internet as a means of luring victims." Online predators, participants in internet suicide and suicide-homicide pacts, and internet killers may seek out victims through internet forums, chat rooms, listservs, email, bulletin boards, social networking sites, online role playing games, online dating services, Yahoo groups, or Usenet.The victims' deaths may result from a robbery or a sexual encounter that turned violent.Some of these perpetrators may not have intended to commit murder, but killed their victims during the course of a struggle or to prevent capture. Several legal and technology experts have questioned the idea that there is a phenomenon of "internet killings".
In a case that might be regarded as a quasi-consensual homicide, "John," a teenage boy from Altrincham, England, allegedly tricked another teenager into killing him using long conversations in an online chatroom.Electronic advertising has gradually replaced printed ads and the internet is now a venue where murderers who employ a similar modus operandi can meet their victims; in Schecter's Encyclopedia, the entry for "Ads" mentions internet dating and the use of internet ads by the so-called "Internet Cannibal" Armin Meiwes.Since 2007, several accused and convicted killers have contacted victims through advertising services such as Craigslist, a popular classified advertising website.This relationship can be between people in different regions, different countries, different sides of the world, or even people who reside in the same area but do not communicate in person. Michael Jaffe, author of Gender, Pseudonyms, and CMC: Masking Identities and Baring Souls, "the Internet was originally established to expedite communication between governmental scientists and defense experts, and was not at all intended to be the popular 'interpersonal mass medium' it has become", yet new and revolutionary devices enabling the mass public to communicate online are constantly being developed and released.Rather than having many devices for different uses and ways of interacting, communicating online is more accessible and cheaper by having an Internet function built into one device, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and smartphones.