thomas murray: a cautionary tale

I suppose I have known for nearly a year that this post was coming, but a part of me hoped not.  Then again, I suffered through Mike Boot-Camp, so I guess I know a cad and a charlatan when I encounter one now.  Anticipating the inevitable destructive outcome is just part of the territory…

Pull up a seat and grab a glass of wine.  This is a long one, and you’ll need both.

At the end of April 2011, when James and I were briefly broken up, a man known online only as “T” began commenting on my blog with some very provocative comments.  I noticed and was surprised.  At that point, to my knowledge, I didn’t have a single male follower.  His first comment is here, on a post I wrote on April 24th, entitled “how’s that workin’ for ya?”  I’d never read his blog or known of him prior to his first comment, but I promptly visited his blog and was oddly intrigued.  At first, I couldn’t figure out if his hyper-testosterone bluster (his blog was called “Morning Wood”) and blatant self-promotion were real or tongue-in-cheek.  Most of his commentators were women, and I noticed immediately how they fawned on him, fought for his attention, and flirtatiously bolstered his ample ego.  Obviously, that was a little off-putting, but I was  new to the blogging world and unsure what to make of it.  “T” and I began trading blog comments, and then I received my first email from him, on April 29, 2011:

You know…Darling, I would never do anything to offend you…it’s not my style.  What you think actually means something to me when most of the time, I don’t care about most  people’s opinions.  You seem to read me a bit too easily…the best part of that?  I enjoy it…

Since we’re not on the forum of comments, I want to know…what bothered you..and yes…complete honesty works here…I have my ideas of what could have done it, but I want it from you….

T.

Thus began an email and IM correspondence that lasted just over one week.  One tumultuous, heady, confusing week.  I became acquainted with “Thomas” and he attempted to romance me, to impress me, to lure me into his life.  All said, I received 57 emails from him, and sent nearly that many in return, along with 38 yahoo chats back and forth and 8 photos of him (all G-rated).  His attention was consistent and aggressive; his intent clear and unwavering:  he was looking for the love of his life and, just possibly, I was it.

His words were romantic and passionate:

…if nothing less, I’ve found someone who stimulates my thoughts and evokes the mystery of needing more to be revealed…  Intimate strangers reaching to start a solid foundation of friendship.  I put no limits on any opportunity I see…   To limit my conversations with you would be limiting who I think you are capable of being..and since I know so little but enough that I’m intrigued to put myself out there means I don’t take you lightly.  I NEVER put myself out there…however, where there is risk, there is reward.  I’m expecting nothing from you, however a woman like you seems more than interesting….I’m not a reader…  but I read everything that you have to say… it’s more than that, it is how you say it…  do I think you have your devilsh moments?  of course..as do I…but for now, the man who has everyting is looking for sanctuary…  the only way I will find it is to prepare for that moment when you see a fleeting opportunity that looks inconsequential and it becomes everything you ever wished for.  Those are the opportunities that I have always been able to see and what has delivered me.

But it wasn’t just his poetic words, it was the dashing life he had — an incredibly successful real estate developer and high-end financial consultant living the grand life in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Multiple properties scattered across the Caribbean and the U.S., and a chateau being built in rural France.  Luxury boats and a penchant for Hemingway-esque feats of daring.  A divorced father with a devoted group of friends and business colleagues.  A career so flexible and in-demand that he could move anywhere, and within days was assuring me that Colorado was not out of the question.  He seemed beyond perfect.  By the end of that week, he was persuading me to visit him in the Caribbean — to meet him in Puerto Rico for a long weekend of fun and romance.

And that’s when the little voice in my head kicked into gear.

I’m not going to reveal here what he did to slip up, as he might be reading and I hope he continues to make those mistakes, but slip up he did.  And the bells in my head went off.  I decided that a little background investigation was necessary, and within 5 minutes discovered that he was collecting women far and wide.  I wrote him an email, politely informing him that I wouldn’t be visiting him in Puerto Rico or anywhere else.  After a few terse exchanges, our short “relationship” ended.   I mentioned it on my blog here.  I didn’t hear from him again until August, 2011, when he sent me the following:

For all the sweet things you say…you should know…  you’re an unforgettable personality…sexy…and you effin wear it well….

I wanted you…and i wanted you in the most real way possible..

T.

By that time I was in love with James and had decided that Thomas’ self-aggrandizing ways were nauseating, but I wrote back kindly and sent him on his way with wishes for good luck.

That should have been in the end of the story.  But it wasn’t.  Not by a long shot.

You see, on the very same day in April that he first emailed me, he also contacted, for the first time, another blogger, named Jenni.  Jenni authors a wildly popular blog, and I actually discovered her thanks to Thomas.   After my contact with him ended, I kept an eye on her blog and on his… something in his manner toward her worried me a bit.  I knew that he was a sophisticated manipulator and that she was easily manipulated by men.  Bad combination.  But, to be honest, I held out some hope that perhaps he could rise to the occasion and be the man she needed, and that she could be the strong woman to finally corral him.  It seems ridiculous in hindsight, but I’ve never claimed to be anything less than a hopeless romantic about love…

Sure enough, in the fall, Thomas began pursuing Jenni relentlessly.  By December, he had convinced her to visit him in the Caribbean later in the winter.  Against his wishes, she blogged about it all, and I stood by, reading as she fell madly in love with a man I knew to be a conniving liar.  But, at that point, I really only knew the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Jenni went to Puerto Rico and spent four days with Thomas in early February.  Four days that vacillated wildly between utter bliss and utter nightmare, culminating with being drugged with a roofie on her last night there, and awakening bruised and battered and confused.   She has recently written about all the sad, sordid, heart-breaking details on her blog (if you’re interested, visit her there and read the posts about Puerto Rico and those immediately following).  After reading about her experience upon her return, I grew suspicious and began investigating Thomas more fully, as did a few other bloggers.  What we turned up was nothing less than shocking.

“Thomas” is Thomas Murray.  He does, indeed, live in St. Thomas, with his wife(!) and at least two children.  While Thomas was cavorting in Puerto Rico with Jenni, his wife was writing a charming and achingly innocent blog post about her gardening and subsequent rum cocktail (she has since pulled down her blog).  Thomas is not a successful financier and real estate developer, but just a guy who owns a small vacation condo rental block with his wife.  All those boats in the photos and stories of sailing?  That’s because he owns — or maybe just manages? –  a used boat company, and blogs about it here.  There is no chateau in France, no running with the bulls in Pamplona, no climbing mountains in New Zealand.  He is, however, a chronic womanizer — the hotel staff in Puerto Rico told Jenni he was a regular there.  Yes, Thomas Murray is a less-than-average man in nearly every way imaginable.

But in one way, Thomas Murray is extraordinary:  at the very least, Thomas is a sociopathic liar who preys on the feelings of vulnerable women.  At the worst, he is a sexual predator capable of drugging an innocent young woman who flew 4,000 miles in the hopes of finding her true love.

When Jenni returned from Puerto Rico, Thomas — most likely terrified that his house of cards was about to come crashing down — began threatening her, should she be tempted to reveal anything about him or write anything negative about him.  Jenni, still believing that the whole thing was a horrible misunderstanding and hoping that she could salvage something, was judicious in her treatment of him and circumspect in writing about their time together.  But then the emails started rolling in from women like me — women all over North America! — whom he’d romanced and invited to Puerto Rico.  And then, the clincher:  when I found his wife’s blog and confirmed — once and for all — that they were indeed still married.  Jenni used that blog to contact his wife and the two have since talked, sharing their joint misery and utter disbelief.   The whole sad debacle is incredibly painful; I get knots in my stomach just thinking about what those two women have been through, and what his wife still has to wrestle with.  I am not one to typically cast stones at a spouse who strays — no one knows another’s marriage unless they’re living it — but the depth and breadth of his lies and deceptions are what takes my breath away.  The number of unsuspecting women he has involved in his web is truly staggering.

And I also feel guilty.  In November, a mutual blogging friend asked me if I shouldn’t contact Jenni and try to dissuade her — after all, I had all the emails and IMs to show her — but I demurred, feeling that she wouldn’t believe me and would be certain that she was “different.”  Jenni has since confirmed my reading of where she was at that point, but it does little to assuage my sense that I had a suspicion that this man was more than a garden-variety cad… I did wonder what he was capable of.  But it was poor Jenni who had the bad luck to find out first-hand.

After Puerto Rico, I had warned Thomas, via comments on Jenni’s blog, that if he didn’t leave her alone, I would out him here with a hate blog to verbally castrate him beyond recognition.  I have his phone number,  I have his address, I have the names of his wife and children, I have lots of photos, I have all kinds of emails and IP addresses.  I was ready to post them all.

But I’m not going to.

Out of respect for his wife and the brutal pain she must be enduring now, I will not eradicate any measure of privacy she may have to deal with her current situation.  I do hope against hope that she does not allow the silver-tongued liar to slither out of his culpability, but that is her choice rather than mine.  All I can do, as a measure of sisterly solidarity, is to offer her some modicum of privacy. Hopefully, he will reap what he has sown without any further assistance on my part.  Leading Jenni to his wife’s blog was my contribution to his inevitable discovery, and will hopefully lead to some very serious therapeutic (if not criminal justice-based) intervention.

But I can’t stand the thought of his next victim.  You see, I feel certain that Thomas will lay low for a little while and then resurface — perhaps with a new persona.  I think he will entrap more women and ruin more dreams.  And that has literally cost me sleep over the last two weeks.

So, I am offering my very own little public service:  If you think that you or a friend is being wooed by Thomas Murray online or through a blog, email me — there’s an email button on my blog — and I will try to confirm or refute your suspicion, based on the information I currently have.  I absolutely despise the idea that Thomas Murray should ever, ever be successful again in ensnaring another wonderful woman. Don’t feel foolish — just ask.  Let’s help each other avoid the kind of man who ruins good and decent women for the more-deserving men out there who would treat them properly.  There is probably little I can do to stop him, I know, but I feel better making the offer.

I think the lessons here are obvious, but clearly worth stating again.  Ladies, if he seems too good to be true, he probably is.  And no man whom you haven’t met — no matter how much you’ve emailed or texted or talked on the phone — can possibly know that you’re amazing and wonderful and the woman of his dreams.  Real men who are grounded in reality and not lies do not talk like that.  Real men know that you might be interesting and special and lots of great things, but they have to meet you before they really know that.

One final thought.  My ex-husband has a lot of handy phrases, some of which make me crazy, but some of which are so accurate that I can’t deny them.  One of the latter is this:  “If you’re the only one saying it, then it probably isn’t true.”  So, when a man is so busy telling you what a Man he is and how giving and generous and smart and successful and romantic and loving and perfect he is — RUN!  That’s right, Run, Don’t Walk!  And find someone who waits for you to say it.  Because chances are, he’s none of those things.  And you don’t want to find that out the hard way…. like Jenni did.

70 Comments

Filed under dating, love, relationships, single mom, thomas murray

70 responses to “thomas murray: a cautionary tale

  1. Oh Thomas you slime dog boat mung bottom feeder. I’m proud of my investigation skills that helped bring the scurvy dog down. His current status of withering in the corner while his wife bleeds from open wounds is a sad poetic justice. I’ll too will be vigilant. Our brief contact was in December until I began asking questions. Then he vanished. I wish I could say The End, but something tells me this is not over by a longshot.

  2. No. Fucking. Way. I had someone talk me out of doing a post like this. Jenni isn’t the only person. He fucked many other bloggers. As a matter of fact, while I gave him way too much credit, way back when … I have an argument we had in my phone STILL … If I had known how to PDF that shit and slap it up here, prior to having someone talk me out of it, it would have been slapped up for all to read. IN FULL…

    Thomas has also intimidated, stalked and called another blogger here names, fucked with her head, found out where she lives and then made comments, veiled comments and things to her as well. I told her to stay away from him, he’s bad news. I also told her if she was in contact with Jenni to please tell her to stay away from him… Son of a bitch. Damn it….

    We’re talking highly skilled manipulator here. HIGHLY skilled manipulator. However, when confronted, his narcissistic rage “rattles the walls with his anger” I’m quite sure his “entourage” allows this behavior? As my friend put it to me, if he was that good, I would have been the one in Jenni’s (no offense Jenni, I am SO SO SORRY for what happened to you, oh. my. god.) position along with many other women he swears he’s so smitten with.

    I don’t know if you remember the one story where he was in the restaurant on a date and this other woman came and confronted him there while he was on this date? He was like “fuck her”… Fuck her? Reeeeally. I went after him then verbally on his blog due to his behaviors and he smoothed that over. Want to know how? By pretending to like me. Oh yah… chats all that bullshit. He even had a veiled threat in his response to me, which I am way too familiar with to ignore. You really assume, we’re all that stupid?

    The reality is, there were and are so many inconsistencies in any/all of everything he ever said, it wasn’t as you are saying Precious… confusion compounded by 1000 at all times. I thought, ya know? If the guy wants to change, that’s good… I extended friendship, figuring “okay, maybe he’s sincere”… of course that was never good enough. He’d grow angry and dismissive, always trying to convince me of how great he was/is. All about him, all about what he wants, who he’s had, as some juncture this boys dick is going to fall off.

    He’s still married? Are you sure? His phone is out of Oklahoma (I can revisit this topic in my email if you like, no problem, I have everything) however you are correct, he lives in a fairly large compound in the Virgin Islands.

    Oh yah… Yup. You nailed him. My only regret here, is having my friend talk me out of outing him myself, with good logic, it wouldn’t stop him from doing it over and over again in any other venue… I was fucking furious… enraged at how many people he would and had taken advantage of emotionally, mentally as well as physically… He’s an angry bastard too, flips things around to suit his purposes, tries to make it your fault. Oh really.

    I could go on for days about this nonsense. Precious. Good for you … I’m right here. I’ll back you up 1000% percent. Fuck that … Damn it. I’m so friggin sorry for what happened to Jenni… that’s awful.

    After the argument we had, I felt bad for a while… and then, it hit me as to why… such an irrational outlash from him over my telling him off for being dismissive … Mr. Narcissistic Rage revealed his true colors in that HUGE texting argument we had and a couple phone calls as well.

    If, you are going to ask me if I fell for his stuff, he was as aggressive with me as he was with any of you… You “could” fall for the fantasy world he depicts. This is true… you wanted to like that guy who he professed to be but he didn’t feel right and I figured as long as he didn’t turn it on me, I would watch with amusement. However, his behaviors and my massive dislike for manipulation, made me stop going to his blog. I advised him in a nice way that he had plenty of people to play with. The reason I stopped was because I had started to want to severely reveal him for the evil creature he is … He’s not that smart actually. At least I don’t think so… he can be a volatile and frightening man too though.

    I’m on board. Let’s go… that’s fucked up. I feel horrible… I didn’t have enough information at the time, nor the people to back it up either. Shit… that didn’t have to happen. How many others has he done this too? Muther fucker … You know? My friend gave me some FCC information about internet and the law. Would you like me to look it up again? I would be MORE than HAPPY to do so… there are laws against this shit.

    • Oh yes, MC, we have all the information now. There wasn’t anything that wasn’t inflated or embellished. It’s not a large compound, but a 8-condo building. And yes, he is most definitely still married. I have posted nothing here of which I am not sure. Trust me… I have lots of other suspicions, but I know the law well and won’t give him the satisfaction of a successful libel lawsuit. So what is here is only what has been confirmed.

      I contemplated not posting this out of concern for his wife but then decided that whether she chooses to forgive him or not, I couldn’t stand by and allow him to continue without doing something this time. I stood by before and feel awful about it. So this post will sit here, and every Google search of Thomas Murray will pull it and this photo up. It’s the least I can do at this point.

      • I re-blogged this … Hell, I’ll make a page with all the pictures I have too. I have no problem with that. I know… “something” … I feel awful now. I totally got on one person about him and told her what he’s like and to stay the hell away from him… I think, he’s a dangerous person. It was a three hour argument we had back in August, of last year. I changed my number the next day, because the verbal nonsense started the next day…

        I have to say, once I got over being frightened in the morning when he started texting me and I realized I what I was dealing with a while later, anger hit and … I sat and stewed… Damn it. If you go to Jenni’s page you’ll see a point back in may where I clicked “like” to one of the posts where he was talking smack to her… that was when I was contemplating doing a post like this …

        So, what is the law on something like this, if you don’t mind my asking? I don’t do this area of law at all…

        It’s a good thing you did posting this. I’m sorry for his wife and everything I truly am, but I saved everything too… it’s not right. I would rather see her away from him and happy…

    • Ya, still very, very married, MC. I think I need to email you…..

  3. Reblogged this on MysteryCoach and commented:
    Aagh… poetic justice or justice just the same… Hello Thomas. You fucking prick…

  4. Damn it. I didn’t think she would listen to me either… DAMN IT. Damn it… Oh, yes, of course I was asked several times… to go to the VA and play with him…. Son of a bitch… is Jenni still? Where’s her… Oh hell, I have her blog I think in my thing.

    IP addresses, physical address, companies… you name it. I’ve got it. I’m just hyper, not stupid. The information I found out was that he’d lived alone since 1998 had a few businesses, sold some etc., etc.,

    Okay. You’re right Precious… about for the sake of his wife and the children (fuck him) … I’ll stay shut in this vein. However … this needs to stop. It’s horrific… he gave her a ruffie? ooohhh… my god. I have to go do some errands. This. Is. Unacceptable.

  5. Good for you PG! OMG! Poor Jenni!! I have heard this guy was bad news but had no idea to what degree.

    Unfortunately he will lay low, reinvent himself and resurface when the dust settles but through your investigative efforts he “outed” him and no doubt saved more than one woman from a fate like Jenni’s or God forbid worse.

    Asshole doesn’t cover it. Narcissistic Psychopathic predator scum of the earth, soul sucking vampire might come close.

    I hope many women come away a lot wiser from this post. I personally was lucky to escape an abusive narcissistic bastard who was “too good to be true”. I swallowed his bullshit hook line and sinker; that’s the problem; they are pathological liars and master manipulators who blame you for your own abuse. I hope all women take heed; if he sounds too good to be true. RUN!!!!!

    • I’m sorry you suffered through a truly bad man, Carrie.

      Isn’t it a shame how damaging some people can be? When I think of the good men out there — men who would never even contemplate this kind of duplicity — I wonder why they don’t all come together and hunt down men like this, who mess things up for all of the good ones….

  6. My heart goes out to jennie… It really does… He will get his commupence very soon especially now he has been outed in the best way possible… From the very platform he was using.

    I’m shocked and stunned. Will defo reblog this at some point this week.

    • I think that’s a great idea… If we reblog and spread the word, maybe we can narrow his window of opportunity….

      • I have reblogged this post PG. He won’t be able to use this venue again, not for a while anyway. Unfortunately there are many more places for him to lurk.

        I am a little concerned for your and Jenni’s safety. Does this asshole know where you live? Nothing enrages a narcissist like his facade being revealed.

        • That’s sweet of you, Carrie. Jenni and I have both taken our materials to local law enforcement, in the event that anything should happen to us. He would be easily located now. We have more than he realizes, and he is not equipped with the kind of financial resources he would have liked us all to believe. At one point, I did feel at risk, and I was certainly worried for Jenni, but I don’t think we’re in danger now.

  7. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Wow. I came here, directed by LadyWithATruck, a regular of my space. I trust anything she says, directs me to.
    I am glad I’m in Australia!! But I am absolutely positive this kind of man is here in the suburbs too.

    Is that final photo the Thomas? It is awful, awful, awful to waken bruised and groggy. Disgusting.

    I really don’t know how you investigated this man. I have no idea how you did that, but good on you. And a great service, is this blog. Excellent word to the women. Sincere regards, N’n.

    • Yes, that’s him. And it’s not a photo that is readily available through a Google search, but one he sent me. I want him to realize that I honestly do have everything he sent. Would make a nice “Wanted” poster, no? ;-)

  8. “……..I cherish your input… i don’t say that about everyone but i’m saying it about you…”

    Part of my letter. Gee, I feel so special………. [/sarcasm]

    • Don’t we all, Tik… don’t we all…. One of the reasons I posted some snippets was to determine other women who were likely receiving the same or similar messages. I think so many woman want someone to see their special-ness, they ignore the fact that sometimes sweet nothings are exactly that… :-(

      • I”m not done yet… if you go on my blog and search the word “scoundrel” when I thought he was amusing? They were written directly after talking to him. They were about him, with similarities to the guy I had gone out with when I was younger … There’s a couple of them, one is private, I’m not sure why but I’d be happy to put them up here OR do an article that talks about it all anyway… women need to pay attention to their gut instincts. It’s so very important.

      • I am a fan of online contact, but totally agree with you that unless/until you have that face-to-face, you can never really know, no matter how much you think you know about a person…..

  9. None of this surprises me in the least. I am shocked (although very sorry for the outcome) that anyone would ever go to meet a stranger as Jenni did.

    In 1998 I dated a con man (not this one) and every single description of TM’s behavior rings true, including terrifying rages when they are discovered and fear exposure and arrest. The man I dated pretended to be a wealthy and successful attorney, and even worked in concert with (!) his mother to bilk his victims, who were also in multiples and several states. I only learned all that after hiring a former NYPD cop who is now a private detective.

    The best part? I am a career professional writer — but almost no women’s magazine (i.e. to warn others) would touch my story because, I think, no one could imagine a smart cookie being so fooled. These men are **extremely** skilled manipulators, handsome, bright and charming. It’s their job and they do it at a level that civilians cannot even begin to imagine.

    It takes two to tango — you must never allow yourself to be so fooled into thinking (sorry) you are this appealing as normal men do not “love bomb”. Read one book now: Gavin de Becker’s very wise “The Gift of Fear.”

    • Isn’t it amazing how many examples of this there are? But I think the reason that more women’s magazines and outlets don’t run these stories is because most women believe that they wouldn’t be fooled. They see the red flags in the stories and think they would have seen them and acted differently. But, in my experience, everyone is susceptible.

      I was taken in for almost exactly 10 days before my radar started buzzing in a serious fashion. Now I’m just glad that I listened to my gut. I’ve read Gavin De Becker’s stuff and appreciate it. As Gavin points out, If more women listened to their intuition, fewer would die or suffer assault….

    • Braodside Blog, I read that book it is EXCELLENT I have it right here…(see? It’s in my bookcase behind me. :)) It is the most excellent book every, completely and totally validating to things I’ve seen and known over the years and others poo poo’d.

      I’m sorry about your experience too… you know? I know a guy who has a website all about promoting women and making them uhm… oh (this topic gets me very angry … I forget the word, “empowering women” and very good things, would you like to ask him if he would like to have you as a guest writer? :) ? I would… I just did an article for him last month and I”m doing another one in a little while as well… Let me know :)

  10. Wow. I’m a newish blogger and new reader to your blog and haven’t had time to go through past posts to see or know the history here.
    This guy sounds like a seriously creepy MoFo.
    It amazes me how these absolute narcissistic guys (there were so many choices I opted not to use…) can con us. I can think of a few examples in my own life where hindsight just makes me wonder why I didn’t see it sooner.
    The fact that we want to trust people and see the best in everyone is what these jerks get us with. I can say that after a few run-ins with this type (no where near to this extent though) has made me able to spot them a bit quicker. Even then though, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.
    My heart goes out to both you and Jenni for having to encounter this guy at all. I’m not one to view the world through rose colored glasses. But, generally, we don’t need absolute confirmation of how horrible people can be.
    Good for you to share your story.

  11. Reblogged this on Another beautiful day in chaos… and commented:
    Remember those Mr. Yuck stickers? You knew if you saw one that it was dangerous? That’s the same reason we’ve all banded together to out the King of Douche Bagistan. He targeted all of us… and I’m the village idiot that went.
    Fun.

    • “Oh my darling divine…
      First and foremost, I’ve missed you… there’s always a warm spot in my belly for you and that is where all good love for women start…”

      Fortunately I maintained my distance and my age worked in my favor!! (50+)

  12. I never fell for any of his BS comments. In fact, he annoyed me and grossed me out with some of his pervy comments like this…” Mmm…a party with you…damn sound so much fun… yet, being able to take you home after and let you know why you are the obvious voice for spending some quiet times allowing you to know youre the belle of the ball no matter where you go….if situations were different…oh my the fun you would have…

    T.”

    He even made a comment once to the effect of taking a trip to the carribean for a booty call. I’m sorry things like that work on some women. His comments to me just pissed me off.

  13. Reblogged this on Naughty Soccer Mom and commented:
    This isn’t easy to read — and if you follow the links to Jenni’s blog, there is a lot more that is scary and heart-breaking. I am grateful that there was no internet when I was young and open and eager for love. Everyone has needs and blind spots. To manipulate someone’s needs for your own gain is straight up evil — and I don’t use that word lightly! I am pretty sure people come to my blog for relief and fantasy, but today what you get is the burden of reality. Let’s all wise up and watch out for one another! I AM my sister’s keeper, and you are too, friends.

  14. I’ve been following this, and all I can say is three things:
    1) Be skeptical to a fault. Better to risk pissing someone else off because you’re too cautious than to risk yourself because you’re too cautious to piss someone else off.

    2) For fuck’s sake, stop with all this “I could tell you stories” or “I had this information but I’m not going to say anything” and other such punch-pulling. Why? Why protect him? What… his wife? She’s one of you! Again, she’s ALREADY suffering! So whatever you MIGHT cause her, isn’t it worth it to prevent who knows how many others from suffering? This is how these people thrive! People like you who won’t say anything, or will only hint at stuff, or who let other people handle themselves, or who won’t risk someone thinking you’re a bitch for warning them. You’re NOT a bitch for warning them. You’re a bitch for NOT warning them!

    3) It is, of course, not just guys that do this. But at the same time, there is no woman so awful and terrible that she can’t meet someone close to her. All women are pretty cool on many levels. All of them. You don’t have to be flattered by some guy thousands of miles away who doesn’t know anything about you. Much less go out there and visit him, without a background check and more – as much as you can find out. Most upstanding guys will totally understand your reluctance. In fact, if I wasn’t married and I talked to one of you and you seemed so into me that you would be willing to come out here with minimal information, I wouldn’t think too highly of your judgment, self-esteem or intelligence. I’m sorry. That’s just how I feel about it. I would EXPECT to be screened thoroughly, or to meet halfway somewhere, probably in YOUR neighborhood around tons of YOUR friends and family so YOU would feel safe. The thought of my daughter doing something like this would keep me up at night.

    In closing, if a guy won’t visit you, then he can’t really do anything to you either. And if he threatens you, tell him to bring it on, because you have a gun and you know how to use it, and you have some hacker friends and they know how to use HIM. And never give more information than you get. Never. Be careful out there. The internet isn’t some magical fairyland where everything is bunnies and kittens. It’s just a way for Nigerians to date, if you get my drift.

    • Okay, a couple of things:

      1. Let’s be clear that I was skeptical… that’s why his stay in my life was very short-lived. Read carefully. One week of emails, start to finish.

      2. I’m not pulling punches, but I won’t be bullied by you or anyone else into posting a telephone number and address where angry women can hunt him down and potentially end up making not just his but his family’s life a living hell. There are children involved, remember. I don’t think I’ve hinted at anything. I’ve posted enough to be clear that the story is real and his narcissism is rampant, and directed everyone to Jenni’s blog for the dirty details. He wasn’t in my life long enough to leave much of a slime trail behind. What I’ve written is what happened and most of what I know, absent details that pertain to his wife and children.

      I agree that women need to be careful. That’s why I was the first (and only one besides Jenni) to speak out. I’d like the others to be as brave, and some are, but most are not.

      • I’m not “bullying” anyone, nor did I suggest publishing phone numbers and addresses. But let’s be totally honest here.
        1) You were not the first to speak out. Jenni was.
        2) You waited nearly a year to speak out!
        3) “At the end of April 2011, when James and I were briefly broken up, a man known online only as “T” began commenting on my blog with some very provocative comments.”
        “I knew that [Thomas] was a sophisticated manipulator and that [Jenni] was easily manipulated by men.”
        “Against his wishes, she blogged about it all, and I stood by, reading as she fell madly in love with a man I knew to be a conniving liar. ”
        “But it was poor Jenni who had the bad luck to find out first-hand.”
        Do you think that just MAYBE if you had done this in, I don’t know, May 2011, then no one would have gone for this guy? If you had revealed what you knew? But you didn’t. You helped protect this guy. You perpetuated his lies and deception. It wasn’t “bad luck” that Jenni found out. Though she herself wasn’t cautious enough, your information might have been the tipping point that helped her to BE cautious enough to avoid risking her life, getting drugged and beaten and whatever else happened (she’s not even completely sure!).

        This is in no way remotely in the same category, but it’s the only thing that’s crossed my path on WordPress: Writing Jobs is a scam. But the instant I was ‘followed’ by Writing Jobs, I looked it up, found out it was a scam, and published that information just a few minutes later. That’s how it’s supposed to work. You find something out, you tell everyone who follows you, everyone who could be affected by it, everyone who could fall for it, so they don’t get taken in. If they go and do it anyway, you can rest with a clear conscience that it wasn’t because you enabled anything or held back any information. A few minutes later. As long as it took me to find out. Not 10 or 11 months later after the victims have piled up nearly as high as my guilt.

        You might think I’m being harsh, but, you know, Jenni could have been killed. Seriously. Or prostituted out, made a sex slave, etc. Seriously. So just think about how harsh THAT is.

        Have a nice day.

        • Wow, Edward, you’re a peach.

          You’re not bullying anyone, huh? From where I’m sitting, you’re about as abusive as Thomas was.

          Amazing that you are so willing to make me entirely responsible for Jenni and her well-being. Let’s be clear: Thomas wrote to me and Jenni on the very same day — April 29, 2011. We had exactly the same amount of time to figure him out. In May of 2011, I had enough suspicions to know that he was bad news, but nothing concrete, so take off your judgey pants and understand that you don’t know me or anything about me or what I knew or didn’t know or when.

          I absolutely do not accept responsibility for Jenni’s decision to go to Puerto Rico and meet him. I am sorry that she did it, but she’s a grown woman and it was her choice. At that point, what I had were suspicions, and she could have uncovered the same things I have in the past month, had she spent that time on Google and other search engines. I have a life and people around me to care for; I’m not going go play nursemaid to every grown woman who makes a bad decision with a man. I’m sorry it happened, but had I publicly accused him of being capable of such things without proof, I’d be on the bad end of a very successful libel suit.

          You are welcome to go away now. I’m blocking you and your nastiness from my blog. There’s no room for you here. And if you contact me again, I’ll interpret that as harassment and act accordingly. Jenni would be wise to do the same. You’re controlling and abusive… just like Thomas.

          Goodbye, Edward.

        • Dearest Edward, until you have walked in those shoes you have no idea what you should have, could have, would have done.

  15. MorningWood used to talk to me, too, YIKES. I do not yet know how to block people from my blog but I will find out. Also re-blogging, I don’t believe the message is ever too late and broadsideblog, there are a kajillion smart women who have been outsmarted by conartists/liars and duplicity. Even by our very own best friends, nevermind the men in our lives. It is NOT our fault. EVER. But it takes a while to be able to spot the smooth operators out there, we tend to naturally believe everyone as genuine as we are. This is a very good message to all on how easily anyone can mislead us on the internet. IF we believe it all and don’t cross check, ask for them to legitimize their presence with home telephone numbers, addresses of home, business, etc as well as professional online profiles. Still, some are so good at what they do, they’ll easily set all of that up. Just be careful everyone and thank you kindly for the heads up. Passing this on to others right now.

  16. Reblogged this on AURORA MOREALIST ©2011 ~ Writer and commented:
    A cautionary tale that apparently, really did happen to some and deserves to be shared… if only as a warning message of sorts to innocent folks who think everyone as genuine as they are…

  17. Oh Dear – at least you wised up in time – fellas like him abound unfortunately.

  18. Dear Precarious —
    First — please know I am with you, sistah! But being ‘with you’ does not mean I will agree with everything you put out there, right?? Of course.

    Second — Of course you are not to blame for what happened to Jenni, but you yourself have acknowledged that you were not sure how to proceed with the suspicions you had. Jenni had acknowledged that she would not have been able to listen to reason when she was in the throws of excitement.

    Third — I hope we wont equate lively debate and grown-up disagreements (Edward Hotspur), with the manipulation and criminal conduct perpetrated by “men” like Thomas. Edward’s opinion and comments ARE ‘harsh’ — and he is calling you to task as a way to try to educate and influence all readers behavior going forward . . . and it seems to have stung a bit. Maybe because you are a conscientious human and you will always wonder “should I have done more?”

    I completely understand the impulse to block someone who is giving you grief . . . but sometimes that also bars the door to uncomfortable information and useful reflection. That *might* be the case here.

    We need to find a way to NOT blame the victim, or misdirect blame, but to accept being challenged and use the conversation to grow. Tone of voice matters a lot here — there is a difference between an accusatory “Why do women fall for this bs?” “Why didn’t someone do more to prevent it?”

    That is different than the sincere questions “why DO women fall for the bs?” and “What does keep US from being effective in these types of situations?”

    Precarious gave several good explanations for what she did and didn’t do. Edward raises some good (albeit not very easy) questions about her choices and about the wider topic. THIS type of blogging, even more so than a note to a girl you think is making a mistake, has the chance to catch readers who are ready to listen, and to educate readers whose life experience has not taught them these lessons yet.

    I know it is ‘fun’ to take relatively anonymous shots at one another and to get out dander up in writing . . . maybe we can lose the attitude and keep the content of the conversation? Maybe we can be vehement and passionate AND inform one another what is acceptable and why.

    (stop me before I break into Kum-ba-ya!!!)

    • I have to say I agree with Naughtyneighbour, Edward may have been harsh but to compare him to Thomas was extreme. You can block whoever you wish but I just wanted to express my opinion that in no way can PG be held responsible for Jenni’s decision and I am sure PG has raked herself over the coals enough she doesn’t need help from anyone else to feel bad about this whole mess.

      And yes there are women who didn’t fall for his lines but to voice that YOU(in a generic sense not you as in PG) would never have been sucked by him is saying Jenni was stupid to have gone to meet him. I am sure Jenni has beat herself up enough for going and has paid the ultimate price for her decision. NO ONE knows how they would react if they were Jenni because we all have our own history.

      These predators cast a huge web and wait to see who gets caught in it and then work the most responsive women. I lived with a man like this for 10 yrs off and on and I accessed his POF, MSN, his “other” FB, and found his blog after we split. He said himself he was going to pick 10 women and narrow it down from there. He would feed the same lines to 6 women but he always had a favorite that he poured it on thicker. He was living with me after begging me to take him back because he had 6 months to live and still on POF with 6 women on the hook, he was a trucker and living with a woman in Alberta, and had a woman in Africa he was promising to marry and bring to Canada. A year after I left him he came crying wanting forgiveness and then said “you know it was your own fault I hurt you, you kept forgiving me”.

      I was stupid, I believed in love, I believed a person wouldn’t apologize and make promises he wasn’t going to keep why say you love me if you don’t?

      Thomas is not normal he is a narcissistic psychopath, I could go on and on and cover it all in my blog. These people don’t make sense because they don’t have a conscience, empathy or a heart, they are pathological liars and master manipulators. They want what they want and they will say anything to get it and if caught in a lie they just tell another lie. They tell a totally different version of what happened to your face and you were there! They think they are invincible. They create a fantasy life and find people to play roles in this life, and that is to idolize them.

      I have been strangled until I blacked out, sucker punched in the head and blacked out, I’ve been ambushed by him, my vehicle tampered with and ended up with no brakes or steering.

      These are scary people. Tossing blame isn’t going to change any thing. I don’t think Thomas needs to be discussed as much as what can be done to protect ourselves and our daughters from the men exactly like Thomas who are lurking behind a “too good to be true” profile.

      To be totally honest from what I know of men like Thomas he is getting quite a hard on reading about everyone being so focused on him. Any attention is good attention for a narc . To keep reading how he sucker jenni in is feeding his ego.

      Edward is right his wife is already hurting and he is probably lying his face off trying to stop her from leaving him. They are pitiful people who can’t be alone, and need constant attention to survive, right now that need is being satisfied with the uprising on WordPress. We have all heard about the serial killer that taunts the police, watches the news, is in the crowd of bystanders. They love the attention, all these people trying to figure him out.

      Just my thoughts
      Carrie

      • I appreciate your opinions, Carrie and Naughtyneighbor, but I stand by my response to Edward.

        I value a robust debate, honestly I do, and there have been some good ones on my blog. But I draw the line at personal attacks. I positively will not accept them directed at me, and I have pulled comments before that attacked other commentators and made them feel that they couldn’t comment, because I don’t want my little corner of the internet to be a place that feeds anger or hostility or venom. This isn’t a public forum, this is my forum. So I get to set the rules. Each blog has its own character and tone and mine is not about nastiness or snarkiness or potshots. It’s just not. It never has been.

        This Thomas post has brought a lot of folks here who’ve never visited me before, and I’m incredibly glad that they’re reading about him and getting informed. Yes, I have beat myself up enough over this, and taken beatings from other people… people who I care about and respect and trust. But I won’t take one from an unknown male who isn’t a follower and has never before commented on my blog. To show up and immediately attack me personally isn’t mature, it isn’t adult, and it isn’t welcome here.

        I get hurt by men like any other straight woman, but these days I have good radar for men I need to avoid. About 1/3 of my followers are men and I love that they tune in and comment and sometimes spar with the ladies when a battle of the sexes heats up. But personal attacks are another matter, and I’m not having it.

        I totally respect your opinions with regard to Edward. I just don’t share them. But thanks very much for taking the time to comment and for feeling comfortable doing so. I love that. :-)

    • Excellent advise naughty neighbor… I agree. I was thinking about Edwards comment today, since I read it really and I had no words because by the time I heard Jenni was going out there to meet him, which I believe was the tail end of last year perhaps? I knew if it had started since April, 2011 that she would not have listened to me at all. I went back and forth with it for DAYS in my head … but I know how this works and it wouldn’t have been accepted as truth, but more … uhm, perhaps competition.

      I felt awful. I felt like I could have done more myself… the very real fact was at that point, for me, when I found out it was literally too late. He was already in her head. I did get through to one other blogger who I believe listened to me and then tried to tell her, which I was very glad to hear.

      Still, knowing what I know, I felt horrible for her and the very real fact that I wish I had known a way to get through to her “at that point”… because that’s a long time to be in someone’s head… this is a fact folks, this isn’t something that is Jenni’s “fault” nor did she “bring this on” herself… this is due to the behaviors of a highly skilled, narcissistic man who cares nothing for anyone else but himself. Period.

      I didn’t see any indication of Thomas in Edwards response. Edward … really hit the nail on the head about mounting guilt and how he would have felt, as did I, with guilt had he not said anything. I can identify with this… and in the future, like I did last night… I’ll be putting up anything that I find, because there are patterns … they are subtle but they exist, of those who are this type of person. This is a promise I’ve made to myself and to anyone here… It’s unacceptable behavior and these men thrive on secrecy and fear.

      What men do not understand about this issue is the very real fact that in this case women ARE the weaker sex physically and it is a frightening thing to confront… Food for thought for anyone who finds themselves … balking and afraid to put up a post outing someone.

      Well… here. Feel free to write me with fact that I can prove like the post I put up yesterday and I will put it up. Sound good? Okay then.

  19. I said to jenni the other day you didn’t go to meet Thomas. This is the mistake everyone keeps making. She didn’t go to meet thomas the narc, Thomas the douchbag.

    She we went to meet a person he created just for her. An illusion of perfection. Each time these narcs lose a woman they smarten up, learn from their mistakes and move on. They over time learn and realise what works on women and what doesnt. Thus resulting in a smooth talker who knows all the tricks.

    Sadly the person jenni thought she was going to meet (T) doesn’t exist and never did. She fell in love with her ideal man that was her dream and his creation. Thomas was the reality.

    If he had been real this story would have been so romantic and amazing like it was at the beginning for her. She knew the man he created well enough, she waited nearly a year from her first communication with him in meeting him. That was sufficient time in getting to know someone you’ve met on line. He even told her to make sure she gave the hotel details to her mom etc. just so that everything looked kosher and she felt safe.

    She isn’t the first to meet someone on line and certainly won’t be the last.

    It’s just sad that he doesn’t exist and never did.

    • Good reminders, Princess. Jenni really did fall in love, completely and innocently, with the guy Thomas pretended to be. It’s terribly hard to resist the siren call of your “perfect man” and that is exactly what he set up for her. That’s one of the dangers of these blogs… they are like a “how-to” manual on getting to us and inside us and possessing our hearts and imagination. Of course, most men wouldn’t be so scheming and conniving with that information, but the ones like Thomas…. well…. :-(

    • Princess Laila is absolutely correct. I keep saying she is wise beyond her years and she never let’s me down!

      Like I said before no one knows how they would have reacted had they been in Jenni’s shoes and don’t have Jenni’s experiences. Personally NOW with the experience I have of living with a man like Thomas I can see red flags everywhere!! But would I have seen them 12 yrs ago, who knows. It all speculation.

      And narcissist’s aren’t any one way, they change with every person they want to attract. With one woman they might believe in God if that is what she is into, another woman he could be an atheist, he is much more cunning than an ordinary cheating husband and much more dangerous.

      I know as a woman who left an abusive relationship I felt abused all over again when people said things like, “how could you be so stupid” “I never would have”, “the first time he hit me I would have left”, “you must have liked it to stay”. He had been telling me for years I was so defective and lucky to have him and now everyone was confirming there was something wrong with me. Its like blaming the rape victim for getting raped because she wasn’t wearing panties, how the hell would the rapist know she wasn’t wearing panties? People often try to find reasons why it won’t ever happen to them. They are too smart. It is a false sense of security. Like Laila said, with every woman they get wiser and learn how to manipulate better. I pray I would never get sucked in again but I would never say never.

    • You nailed it Princess …

  20. You are absolutely right PG. And I see your point entirely! And thank you for not taking offense to what I was saying. Edward did attack your judgment and I can understand your reaction. Emotions must be very raw for you and Jenni. You have had a huge responsibility on your shoulders.

    Something men like Thomas do is play women against each other, by having women flirting with him on his blob when he does “pick” one she feels special and then if anyone says anything to her he can always claim jealousy or psycho bitch. And you have to be very careful about libel etc.

    My ex has been with a woman for over a year. I have not contacted her to tell her about him, although I know he is there because she is widowed and has money. I have debated and mulled it over. Because of your post I have decided I will give her the facts. What she does with them is her choice but at least she might pick up on things before he cleans her out or kills her. I know he’s told her I am a psycho bitch, and I still had a little glimmer of doubt that maybe he has changed, maybe it was just me and I’m a nice person who doesn’t want to make trouble for other people. Narcissist’s count on people like us; people who act with other people’s best interest at heart.

    But you stepping up and speaking out; although I am vocal on my blog as far as my ex is concerned I have been protecting him like every one else by keeping silent with her. His mother and siblings all know the truth about him but everyone keeps silent. Silence is as bad as the lie.

    I admire your detective abilities and that you didn’t just let it go.

    • Wow. Thanks, Carrie, but you give me too much credit. Edmonton Tourist and Jenni confirmed most of my suspicions. I just found a couple of missing pieces that made it impossible for him to use one of his weasley explanations to get out of the mess….

      And I don’t mean — in any way — to compare anything that I’ve gone through with or around Thomas to what Jenni went through. Yes, I’ve been feeling very bad, but obviously not as bad as she’s been made to feel.

      You are absolutely square on about how men like Thomas play women against each other. He did that right away with me, and it was one of the red flags… something about men who are quick to label other women psychos bothers me… But that was a huge part of my reticence in saying anything to Jenni, and I’m sure others felt the same way. He would have told her we were scorned women sucking sour grapes and she was the special one. You should see the things he said to me about her. In hindsight, I can see that he knew exactly what he was doing, every step of the way.

  21. Pingback: Predator Alert « Tikk Tok

  22. Pingback: Thomas Murray (Virgin Islands) – BEWARE | Four is a Family

  23. Pingback: thomas murray, redux | that precarious gait

  24. S.

    Hey Precarious,

    I am not really sure if I have commented before, but I have been reading for a bit now… Through this whole thing anyway… Something nudged me when I read both yours and Jenni’s stories, and it stayed with me until to day…

    I have come across this Edward Hotspur before but I can’t pin point when. I honestly thought that he was ‘T’ until today. Somehow I just made the association, maybe because he had commented on earlier posts by Jeni? It wasn’t until I read his comment on this post that I realized he wasn’t the predator… But after reading through this exchange, and having something nudge me and nudge me until I thought about it more deeply leading me to realize that I have seen an exchange like this on another blog, I think he shouts ‘red flag’ at me.

    I am not saying that he is a predator, all I am saying is he definitely gives off a bad vibe to me. He is narcissistic and is looking for attention, no, he is looking for notoriety.

    So…. I agree with you that he inappropriately attacked you personally, maybe it is his defense against doing similar things? Again, not saying he has, but he does bleep on my ‘be-careful-radar’ either way.
    Interesting thought, to me at least. I gotta say thanks to you and you directing me to Jenni, I would probably have been incredibly susceptible to his cons. Now I feel like I will be more catious in the future. I am not ashamed and will not be shamed by suspicion of things that are too good to be true. Thanks, Precarious.
    I hope this note finds you well and happy!
    Best,
    S.

  25. Pingback: A Quick Update And Warning For The Ladies. « Paula's Ponderings

  26. Wow! You ladies have opened my eyes to things I knew nothing about. Thomas began commenting on my blog. He even emailed me, but my life was so chaotic that I didn’t have the energy to develop a real relationship with him. Jenni, I’m so sorry for the pain you had to endure from someone like that. God bless you!

  27. Pingback: All Tied Up. | Another beautiful day in chaos…

  28. Pingback: i’d like to thank the academy… | that precarious gait

  29. Pingback: Another beautiful day in chaos…

  30. OMG, that’s all I can say!! I too was on his “radar” and I am so speechless. Needless to say, it never went past emails, IM’s, and blog comments, but he knew where I was in “this crazy world,” and it just so happened to be a place “he and his family were from.” That freaked me out, but then I calmed down when I realized it was probably through IP address that he pinned where I was. I am shaking as I am typing this, even though I had my suspicions all along! He swore he’d come to visit, “next time he was in this area.” OMG, I can’t even imagine that. I am so proud of myself for setting him straight from the get-go that I was in a very stable relationship and wasn’t looking to change that!! Thank you SO much for this blog, I will be reading more, even though my mouth is gaping from this post alone!!

  31. Anne Walker

    I thought you would like to know that he has surfaced in Pennsylvania outside of Allentown. He joined my singles social group (I am the leader) and immediately tried to charm some of the female members. We had a “funny” feeling about him, did some research and found your blog. I kicked out of the group and warned the other groups he is a member of. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Anne,

      Thank you so much for letting me know. I must admit that my blood stills runs cold when I hear these stories. Perhaps he is a harmless philanderer, but my intuition tells me otherwise. I can only hope that he continues to create those “funny feelings” that send women scurrying to google him. :-) I will write another updating post to add your piece to the story. Please do your best to alert those around you to his predatory ways.

      Best of luck to you and the women in your group!

      TPG

  32. Pingback: thomas murray: the bad penny who always turns up | that precarious gait

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