Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More MySpace Mayhem

My local paper ran an AP story in today's edition about this situation, but the plot thickened today.

Katherine Lester, a 16-year-old from Michigan, had a runaway juvenile petition filed against her in Tuscola County Family Court after she ran off to the Middle East to meet up with a
20-year-old resident of Jericho, West Bank, Abdullah Jimzawi, whom she met online through MySpace.com. Katherine, who made it to Amman, Jordan before being intercepted by U.S. officials and put on a plane back to the United States, was ordered by the court to surrender her passport and to undergo counseling.

Jimzawi, who goes by the MySpace name of abdullah psycho and whose page features a caricature of him ripping his heart out of his chest and handing it to "Kath'" with the words, "I give you my heart" has said in recent interviews that he and Katherine are in love and planned to marry. He also says that Katherine had planned to convert to Islam. (Katherine's MySpace page is private.)

For her part, Katherine hasn't spoken publicly since returning to the U.S. on June 9th, but in a statement, her mother, Shawn Lester, responded angrily to reports that Abdullah's family is upset a wedding didn't take place, saying "... It is very disrespectful, because in our country a 16 year old is a child and needs parental consent to marry. Neither Katherine's father nor I were asked for permission. We were not told that a boy existed much less that marriage plans were made. There is no way that either Katherine's father or I would ever allow a child to marry. This family aided and abetted a minor child in violating the laws of the United States. What are they thinking?"

What I find particularly disturbing about this case are the various comments that have been posted on Abdullah's MySpace page, telling him to hang in there and most saying that they see nothing wrong with what nearly happened.


Blogger Cindy said...

The internet is often referred to as the true frontier... the Wild West of today... I don't think that's any truer than on MySpace, but it's a Wild West occupied by almost nothing but teens and 20-somethings (and some people who want to prey on teens).

Teens will do stupid things - the net just makes it easier for them to do crazy things with people who live far away.

People today have access to more information, more people, more quickly than in the past. We just need to figure out how to find peace in our new world.

3:22 PM  

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