Bits and Pieces

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Google Reveals Macabre Connections in Missouri Slaying

It being Saturday, I have nothing to do until this evening. To fill the time I thought I'd try my hand at a little ghoulish investigative journalism.

You've probably seen this story by now:

MARYVILLE, Mo. - A baby girl that had been cut out of her mother's womb was found after a frantic search, and authorities arrested the woman they say strangled the mother and stole the child.

The child was found Friday in seemingly good health in an eastern Kansas home. A red Toyota similar to a description offered earlier by police was in the driveway.

Lisa M. Montgomery, 36, of Melvern, Kan., was arrested later Friday and charged with kidnapping resulting in death.

Earlier, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, had been talking with her mother on the phone, and hung up saying a woman she had chatted with online had just arrived at her door, authorities said.

Both women were breeders of rat terriers, and were apparently acquainted on the Internet through their shared interest. I did a little digging and found the MSN groups of which they were members.

Montgomery, who used the screen name kelimont, was a member of the now defunct, while Stinnett, using the screen name Brindle_Rat, belonged to and and ran a website devoted to breeding terriers, along with her husband, Zeb.

And how about this for creepy? I found this message here, dated 04/25/03. Lisa Montgomery introducing herself to a new group:

Hi, my name is Lisa and I live on an old farm in eastern Kansas. Our house is a little over 100 years old and was originally built without electric or running water. It has 6 bedrooms and 1 itty bitty bathroom.I have 4 children, ages 12, 13, 14, and 16, and my husband has 3 boys, ages 11, 13, and 18. We are also expecting new baby any day. Lisa

What I find creepy about this comment is that, according to news sources, Montgomery had only 2 children. In addition, she had at some point been pregnant with a third.

Montgomery is the mother of two high school-age children, but Graves said she had been pregnant with another child that was never born.

It's unclear when she lost the baby or under what circumstances, but the complaint said she had lied to her husband about giving birth. Graves declined to give a motive for the crime.

So were her claims of 4 children mere harmless fantasy or a sign of her insanity? Did she lose the child she was carrying? We can only speculate.

My objective in digging through the MSN boards was to find a conversation between murderer and victim. Unfortunately I wasn't able, but it's obvious that they moved in the same circles. The salient question, of course, is what could possibly have motivated Montgomery, a Kansas family woman, to drive to Missouri and slaughter a 23-year old mother to be? I guess we have to put this down to another cautionary tale about the dangers of the Internet.
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