I sit here at my desk, feeling incredulity, disgust, and sadness in equal measures.
Yesterday, I received an email from another WordPress blogger, PDX Running Chick, notifying me that one of her friends had forwarded my earlier Thomas Murray post to her. She thanked me for the post and told me that she had been planning to board a plane on March 23rd to spend 4 days in… you guessed it.. Puerto Rico. Being a smart and competent woman, she has changed her plans and notified Thomas accordingly.
No fucking kidding.
Of course, I knew there were other women out there that he was trying to ensnare. He is like a pernicious snake that simply grows a new head every time you cut one off. But to actually be faced with one of those women. To know how close she came to likely suffering the same fate as Jenni…. well, to say I was shaken is an understatement.
His audacity is shocking. His arrogance, astounding. You don’t need a clinical psych degree to see the sociopathy at work. This is a man so caught up in his own ego and fantasy, that he appears incapable of discerning the effects of his actions. It is this last part that makes him more than a laughingstock, in my mind. It is this last part that makes him truly dangerous.
That earlier post of mine has been reblogged numerous times, and if my site stats are accurate, the news of Thomas’ duplicity and manipulation has circled the globe several times over. And yet, there will be women who won’t have read it, women who won’t know, women who will fall for his madness and potentially pay a hefty price for their trust.
I have received many emails on this topic. Some from women who encountered Thomas, some from women who encountered men who behaved like Thomas, and some from women who acknowledged a “there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I” moment when they read the post. We are all susceptible. You only think you aren’t until it happens and you realize you are. We all have a dream of some form of Prince Charming. True, our particular versions may be vastly different, but deep down, most people want to feel special, and valued, and appreciated, and loved. Absent a lack of conscience, it is not difficult to figure out what, for any given person, that might look like, and then become that chameleon. We could probably all do it. But, for most of us, the very thought is sickening. To so completely manipulate anyone’s deepest heartfelt dreams and vulnerabilities seems cruel beyond contemplation.
I have also received emails from men. Men who are — quite frankly — utterly pissed off that another man should behave in this manner. These are men who have wives and daughters and mothers and friends that they feel protective and tender toward. Men who would never, ever consider using women in the ways and on the scale that Thomas has and does. Those emails make me particularly sad. One male blogger with whom I have corresponded a few times actually volunteered a method for me to confirm his identity. The fact that he should — even for a moment — feel the need to make such a offer is truly awful. Most of us are good people, but one bad apple really does sour the bushel doesn’t it?
His offer also made me think about the fact that, unlike my interactions with Thomas, I have never questioned this man’s identity or motivation. Perhaps part of that reason lies with the fact that he is not attempting to romance me, but I think the bigger answer is that he has been very transparent in our brief exchanges. There have been no red flags to explain or ignore. No personality quirks that cause discomfort or hesitation. It made me realize that con-men only succeed when there is the perfect storm of circumstances available to them: they have to catch us when we are willing to overlook the obvious. Because where there is a con-man, there are always red-flags and there are always reasons to doubt and wonder. They succeed only when we overlook those. And we overlook them when we are vulnerable or needy or distracted or overwhelmed. That is when we are ripe for exploitation by people who are absent a conscience. When we are grounded and focused and aware and confident, those people make no in-roads.
I have no idea what unsuspecting woman Thomas has in his cross-hairs today. Or how many more Thomases there are out there. Perhaps some of them are reading this now and cursing me. I hope so. I never had any intention of becoming a lightning rod for this conversation. I had no idea what would happen when I published that post. I don’t even feel this story is really mine; it is Jenni’s first and foremost.
But I am enormously relieved and gratified and joyful that something that I wrote could have possibly saved a decent woman from being sexually exploited, emotionally devastated, and potentially drugged and abused. I want to sincerely thank every single person who took the time to read that post, forward it, share it, or reblog it. Well done, folks, well done.
11 responses to “thomas murray, redux”
Between you and Jenni I think you reached most of the WordPress world…you know, the six degrees of Kevin Bacon kind of thing. Thank you for the warnings, and hopefully women are listening.
I hope you’re right. We do tend to have different readers (hers much larger than mine, of course). But there’s a big, wide world beyond wordpress…. and lots of hearts still to break.
Survy dog… Do you think now that the wife knows he is still going strong? I’m dying to find his other blog.
Yes, I have some reason to think he probably is. It will be harder now, however, with the Google slimetrail….
As for the other blog… I’ve been thinking about that, too. I’m sure it’s pulled down at the moment, or changed. But I think there are some clues to how to find it in his boat blog. He does seem to favor wordpress as his platform…. the other blogging communities are smaller, which would create more risk for him. I’m sure he’ll turn up, though. Bad pennies always do.
There’s certain tells a person cannot change about their personalities. Those will remain in tact. I read Tikk’s post last night too and I shouldn’t have been so surprised but I was… first of course I freaked and hoped this new person knew about it.
I know this is all true, I know men like this exist, it’s surreal,,, Thomas needs to go to jail. My thing is that if there are enough complaints brought against him by the list of women that exists now and which will continue to grow, if that can happen. That would be ideal. At least it would stop ONE of these types of men.
It’s amazing to me how many of us randomly find each other. Most of the time, I couldn’t even tell you how I stumble across a blog, and then some of the time, I find people I “know” commenting. In this case, I actually recognized PDX from an online bulletin board that we are both part of. It truly is a small world sometimes. And ya, sometimes, just getting the information out and helping a single person is a good start- something is better than nothing…………
I still would love to find his other blog, though. I hope his wife deals with him appropriately.
Shocking… I know.
I know… totally. I still can’t believe all that’s transpired. It’s … unthinkable yet still believable. ICKY!
I looked and he has me blocked on Twitter, lol… weird. 🙂
Someone ought to tell her it’s probably pretty hot given the fact his wife knows what a lying cheat he is now.
I read her twitter and she’s been engaged since. So, I’m thinking that’s not going any where.