Anyone You Want Me To Be: A True Story of Sex & Death on the Internet by John Douglas & Stephen Singular

Published: 06/01/2003

The Internet has made many enterprises easier since its rise to popularity in themid-90s: book sales, personal correspondence, and, in the case of John Robinson,serial murder. Even before he ever went online, Robinson had forged a life consistentwith a killer’s profile. Despite being fired and arrested numerous times forfraud and theft, he wriggled out of serious trouble thanks to a smooth manner andcunning intelligence. For decades, Robinson’s more sinister activities escaped thenotice of nearly everyone, including law enforcement and, incredibly, his own wife.But what makes Robinson’s story uniquely disturbing is the presence of the WorldWide Web and the ease with which a murderer can use it. Online, Robinson frequentedchat rooms and sites dedicated to the lurid underground world of bondage and sadomasochism.In this anonymous space, he was free to assume honey-tongued new identities thathe used to lure women, especially those in vulnerable situations, to Kansas withpromises of employment, protection or sex. Their subsequent disappearances wereexplained away with letters that appeared to be written by the victims but wereactually typed by the killer on pieces of paper the women had previously signed.Ultimately, dogged law enforcement officials were able to catch up with Robinsonand put him on trial after finding gruesome evidence of his deeds. After readingthis book, every reader will walk a little more warily by his or her computer, andwonder who might be hiding behind a given online nickname.