Although Facebook is a great tool for relationship building, it all too often can have the opposite effect when it comes to romance. Many users have admitted to stalking their partners on Facebook and psychologists have confirmed that the site can increase jealousy in relationships.Did Facebook Jealousy Lead to Murder?
Welsh-citizen Brian Lewis is accused of strangling his partner Hayley Jones to death in the home they shared with their four children. Prosecutors argue that the crime was precipitated by the amount of time Hayley spent on Facebook () and her burgeoning social horizons.
Reportedly, Lewis told police that his partner had become secretive about her Facebook activity, preventing him from accessing the site and turning off the computer to keep him from viewing the content. Ten days before her death, Hayley changed her Facebook profile status from “in a realtionship” to “single.”
The trial is still ongoing. Although Lewis denies strangling his partner, he reportedly told authorities that he had strangled her in a 999 (UK equivalent of 911) call on the day of the murder.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has become part of the motive in a criminal trial, and sadly, we suspect it won’t be the last. One of the most common motives for murder is jealousy — there is even a name, crimes of passion — as online behavior starts to intersect more and more with our offline lives, it is only natural for the two to collide with sometimes tragic results.