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Britain's First "Web-Rage" Attack 399

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the why-can't-people-just-get-along dept.
brown-eyed slug writes "The BBC is reporting what is claimed to be Britain's first "web-rage" attack. A man drove seventy miles to assault his victim with a pick-axe handle after they exchanged insults in a Yahoo! chat room." From the article: "Det Cons Christopher Creagh, of the Metropolitan Police, said: 'This is the first instance of a web-rage attack.' Det Sgt Jean-Marc Bazzoni, of Essex Police, added the case demonstrates the importance of protecting one's identity on the internet. 'Mr Jones had posted pictures of his family on the web and had chatted to Gibbons on an audio link,' he said. 'It demonstrates how easily other users can put two and two together and also shows how children could also find themselves in danger.'"
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Britain's First "Web-Rage" Attack

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:30AM (#16483137)
    no one here but us anonymous cowards ... oi.
  • by suntac (252438) <Johan.Louwers@term i n a l c ult.org> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:30AM (#16483141) Homepage
    That is why I do not give my home address here :-)...
    • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrotherNO@SPAMoptonline.net> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:34AM (#16483189) Journal

      Think you're a smart guy, eh? Why I oughtta.... never mind... don't know where you live...

    • by Aim Here (765712) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:38AM (#16483233)
      Just as well you don't, Mr Johan F D Louwers
      of 89 Newstraat,
      De Bildt
      NL 3732DJ

      You never know what kind of freaks and stalkers and lunatics are roaming the net these days...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by asifyoucare (302582)
      I believe your address is 127.0.0.1
    • Re:That is why..... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by udderly (890305) * on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:55AM (#16483451)
      Four or five years ago, some clown on eBay ripped me off and I found him using only his first name and his eBay name, which meant a certain animal in French + a two-digit number, which I took to be his birth year. This year would have made him about 20 years old. I Googled the eBay name in English only sites and got a number of hits. On a discussion site, I found the same username with a university email address, which had a partial name. Interestingly enough, in the discussion group this guy used a certain phrase that, combined with his age, made me pretty sure that it was the same person. I Googled the university + partial name and got a few hits. One of them was the school newspaper and included a picture of the French Club with a listing of all of the names of the people in the photos.

      I imagine he was very surprised when I emailed him a picture of himself at his university email addresss and demanded my money. Needless to say, I got my money back.
  • Sanity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by otacon (445694) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:31AM (#16483145)
    This doesn't have as much to do with the internet as they'd want you to think, I mean the guy drove 70 miles with an axe, obviously he wasn't stable to begin with.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chrisb33 (964639)
      Exactly - "web-rage" sounds like a crime of passion caused by the internet, but this guy had plenty of time to think things through during his 70 mile drive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AviLazar (741826)
      I have no idea why the above is moderated insightful. This has everything to do with the Internet. Put it this way, these guys live 70 miles apart, and if they didn't meet on the Internet they would have (most likely) never met each other. The Internet provides you a way of meeting people you would otherwise have no chance of ever meeting/talking to.

      They got angry at each other from the net, and unfortunately one of the people was unstable. So yea, this has a lot to do with the net.....nobody is claim
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Iamthefallen (523816) *
        The Internet provides you a way of meeting people you would otherwise have no chance of ever meeting/talking to.

        So does the highway.

        Except blaming the highway is ridiculous.
        • by AviLazar (741826)
          As i posted to another guy...I did not take it as the article blamming the net. In fact, at no point does the article say it was the fault of the Internet. Just as someone meantioned other types of rages (i.e. crimes of passion), and you are mentioning the highway....ever heard of the saying "road rage"...does that mean we are blaming the road for the anger someone displays towards another while driving? no....it just the road is the medium.
      • Re:Sanity (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ArcticCelt (660351) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:25AM (#16483775)
        Det Sgt Jean-Marc Bazzoni, of Essex Police, added the case demonstrates the importance of protecting one's identity on the internet.

        "It demonstrates how easily other users can put two and two together and also shows how children could also find themselves in danger."

        No, it demonstrate the importance of acting civilized and how people should stop acting like savages just because they are not in front of the person they are communicating with.

        • by AviLazar (741826)
          No, it demonstrate the importance of acting civilized and how people should stop acting like savages just because they are not in front of the person they are communicating with.

          I agree with your claim, but there are people out there who will go and try and kill other people w/o needing a reason - because they are mentally crazy....so when you give someone the name of a small town you live in, your name and your picture....well yea not that hard to find someone....Then there are the issues with kids (ch
        • "No, it demonstrate the importance of acting civilized and how people should stop acting like savages just because they are not in front of the person they are communicating with."

          Yeah, because it's a reasonable assumption that someone will hunt you down and beat you with an axe handle for something you said in a chat room. /sarcasm

      • Doesn't have as much to do with the net as it does with people being violent. If the net didn't exist this guy would probably be interacting with people at the local bar and getting angry and assaulting people. If we shut down the bars then he'd go somewhere else and get angry and assault people.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      I guess normal rules of reasoning to not apply, when the the average person hears the word "web" or "internet" in a situation.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Who235 (959706)
      I mean the guy drove 70 miles with an axe


      Well, actually, it was a pick-axe _handle_ not an axe.

      He was just going to throw the guy an unnecessarily savage beating, not chop him up. Chopping him up would have been a little overboard. . .
    • Re:Sanity (Score:5, Funny)

      by birder (61402) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:26AM (#16483787) Homepage
      I agree. A sane person would of turned around after 30 miles.
    • by uradu (10768)
      After all that driving he didn't even nail his head to the floor!
    • I mean the guy drove 70 miles with an axe, obviously he wasn't stable to begin with.

      Shit, I know. Axes are dangerous to transport. They're likely to go off at any time.

  • ..maybe it just shows how demented the attacker was
    • Right you are. The problem is with the attacker, not the web.

      This has happened before, and not infrequently, and demonstrates that it's not the Internet at fault. Pharaceutical companies in the UK reguarly brief their employees not to wear their company ID badge off-campus, and to not leave identifying items on or about their vehicles, and coached not to leave personal information on the internet (e.g. full name) if using a company email address, for fear that the animal-rights crazies will damage person or
  • Children (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tsunayoshi (789351) <tsunayoshi&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:33AM (#16483173) Journal
    also shows how children could also find themselves in danger.


    Fucking great, he pulled the "think of the children" line...expect politicians to get involved and new laws passed to "protect the children".
  • by proverbialcow (177020) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:34AM (#16483193) Journal
    "It demonstrates how easily other users can put two and two together and also shows how children could also find themselves in danger." ...which, in turn, demonstrates why children should not be allowed unfettered access to the Net. Of course, it's probably just easier to pass legislation than to watch what your kids are doing - that makes it somebody else's problem.
  • 70 miles (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:35AM (#16483205) Homepage
    He travelled 70 miles to Mr Jones' home in Clacton, Essex, and beat him up with a pickaxe handle in December 2005.

    You've got to hand to the guy for travelling 70 miles just to beat someone up.

    I can't wait for news about someone travelling to the other side of the globe just to beat someone up because they kept fragging them / stealing their gold / beat them double perfect in Street Fighter...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560)
      You've got to hand to the guy for travelling 70 miles just to beat someone up.
      This should be required reading for every couch potato who has ever ended up watching a crappy TV show they didn't like, just because they couldn't find the remote to change the channel with.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      Yah, the summary did seem funny to me on first read. One wonders what that conversation online was like.
    • by Tx (96709)
      I can't wait for news about someone travelling to the other side of the globe just to beat someone up because they kept fragging them / stealing their gold / beat them double perfect in Street Fighter...

      So what did you think Gulf War 2 was really all about? Apparently Saddam is pretty hot at Ultima Online ;).
  • by D-Cypell (446534) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:37AM (#16483227)
    On one hand, I find it sad that a network with the potential to unit the world, and bring us all closer together became the catalyst for such a sick, frenzied and unnecessary attack.

    On the other hand, I am happy that my TCP-enabled pickaxe handle may have a market.
  • You should check what they were talking about. One can't but wonder if it's a coincidence.

    I wonder what the argument was about, exactly.
  • by The Fun Guy (21791) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:40AM (#16483263) Homepage Journal
    Police report that this guy owns not just one, but several ax-handles! He's an ax-handle nut! I wish the ax-handle lobby would own up to the fact that these things are not just dangerous, but potentially DEADLY!

    Effective ax-handle control legislation is long overdue! Think of the children!
    • by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:09AM (#16483597)
      Police report that this guy owns not just one, but several ax-handles! He's an ax-handle nut! I wish the ax-handle lobby would own up to the fact that these things are not just dangerous, but potentially DEADLY!

      Effective ax-handle control legislation is long overdue! Think of the children!


      Look, nobody wants to take away axe handles from legitimate, country-side axe users. It's only the urban areas that don't need them. We just need to close all the loopholes at the farm shows and flea markets. The real problem, though, is the glorification of axe handle swinging in popular media. Because once people think it's OK to inappropriately use just one piece of wood, then our Home Depots and other lumber yards are no better than arms markets.
    • by necro81 (917438)
      Right now he has a pick-ax handle with a nail in it. But he won't stop there. Soon he will make bigger handles with bigger nails until he makes a handle with a nail in it so big it will destroy us all!

      Obscure [everything2.com] reference [google.com]?
  • Jay and Silent Bob?
  • Dog bites man (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:50AM (#16483371) Homepage
    "Psycho attacks man over perceived slight" is the dog bites man story no matter how you wrap it up for media consumption. The man bites dog story would be "Psycho drives 70 miles to clean man's snowed-in driveway with a shovel after an online exchange."

    He's psychotic, what did you expect? Him to drive up with a bouquet of fresh flowers for the women of the family and a bottle of Dom Perignon for the gentlemen to savor over fine Cuban cigars?

    This is one reason why I plan to live in the South as long as I live in America. Most of the South is still relatively sane. Someone comes at you with any sort of axe, ice pick, knife, etc. you're going to be hard-pressed to find a jury that will convict you for blowing their head off.

    I read stories online all the time about youths beating up or murdering people in Britain and the police harassing the 50 year old Brit who asked them to just be quiet. Who are the psychos? The punk youths, the British cop and the institution he represents. I thought the definition of psychosis is a pathological inability to tell right from wrong, and last time I checked, state power harassing law-abiding British subjects set upon by violent punks is the definition of injustice--right and wrong!--making the British legal system technically psychotic.
    • Re:Dog bites man (Score:5, Informative)

      by PakProtector (115173) <cevkiv@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:30AM (#16483831) Journal

      As someone who suffers from Psychosis, you are off on your terminology. The word you are looking for is not Psychotic, which describes Psychosis, but Psychopathic. Psychopathy is the condition that can be generally described as a lack of a conscience. A Psychopath doesn't care if they hurt other people. They have a lack of ability to empathise with the pain of others.

      As a Psychotic person, myself, I know what is right and wrong. And I do care about whether my actions hurt people. It's just sometimes one can become rather extremely disconnected from reality.

      For more information, check out Wikipedia.

      Also of note is that Psychopathic behaviour is very often part of the condition known as Antisocial Personality Disorder, which, if memory serves, is commonly called Sociopathy.

      Wikipedia Article on Psychosis [wikipedia.org]
      Wikipedia Article on Psychopathy [wikipedia.org]
      Wikipedia Article on Antisocial Personality Disorder [wikipedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        I would like to add that, as a psychopath, we are often misunderstood too.

        -Eric

    • This is one reason why I plan to live in the South as long as I live in America. Most of the South is still relatively sane. Someone comes at you with any sort of axe, ice pick, knife, etc. you're going to be hard-pressed to find a jury that will convict you for blowing their head off.

      And us yankees are up here are tilting our eyebrows at the fact that in the south you have people that are coming at you with a pick axe in the first place.

      This is typical short sighted thinking. I'm not trying to start a yan
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @10:36AM (#16484791) Homepage Journal

      He's psychotic, what did you expect? [...] This is one reason why I plan to live in the South as long as I live in America. Most of the South is still relatively sane. Someone comes at you with any sort of axe, ice pick, knife, etc. you're going to be hard-pressed to find a jury that will convict you for blowing their head off.


      If that story had taken place in the southern united states, the guy would have driven the 70 miles with his gun and blown the victim away when he opened the door.

      When guns are illegal, only pickaxe handles are handy to psycho net ragers.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:50AM (#16483383) Journal
    I remember a story of someone killing another person because the victim sold a virtual sword of the killer.
  • Excellent... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tygerstripes (832644) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:53AM (#16483419)
    I'm not happy about the fact that some nut went that far out of his way - and maintained his unreasoning rage for the best part of an hour - that this could happen.

    All events like this are bad in themselves... but the more it happens, the more people might stop and think for a second before they do their utmost to cut someone to shreds, safe behind the anonymity of the internets.

    The attacker was clearly a dick, but then I've little doubt that the victim was too. No, it doesn't vindicate it, but it does give me a vicious, guilty little flinch of pleasure.

    Note to flamers: the interweb is full of games for bored, vicious little pillocks. Don't play one-up in chat.

  • Self Control (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @08:56AM (#16483455)
    I'd really like to see a social psychologist comment on this incident - these kinds of "rage" attacks are definitely on the increase and my impression is that in Britain, we seem to be the worst of any nation for this.

    Then look at the wider picture here, with binge drinking also increasing and parts of our city centres becoming virtual war-zones on weekend evenings and you begin to wonder whatever happened to self-discipline and restraint in our society. Even take violence at football games - yes, it's decreased here in the past 20 years but only because there are so many police involved in crowd control, no violence ever has the chance to break out.

    I'm certain that advertising and the media is at the core of this - kids today are constantly pounded with messages of not being "cool" until they buy, use or wear certain brands of electronic devices, clothing or music. But then, where's the education from parents that their kids just cannot have everything they want right there on the spot?

    Maybe I'm wearing "rose-tinted spectacles" but I go out to other European countries a lot, particularly Spain, and I don't hear or see any of these kinds of behaviours - go out in the city streets at night and it's always a lot of people, particularly families, just out having a good time.

    This is a really sad incident and we should be ashamed that it happened here.

    • by Cederic (9623)

      these kinds of "rage" attacks are definitely on the increase

      I thought media reporting of them was on the increase. I see no real evidence that significantly more attacks occur.

      my impression is that in Britain, we seem to be the worst of any nation for this

      Why, because we don't engage in multi-generational feuds, we don't just shoot people that annoy us, we don't engage in acts of destruction and violence that can't be traced? Those things all go on elsewhere for similar reasons.

      look at the wider picture her
    • by faloi (738831)
      I'm far from being an expert on the state of affairs in the UK, so I'm asking this question in all honesty. What are the chances that media coverage of incidents are fueling a lot of the undisciplined behavior? It seems like, based on my non-psychologist background, that it seems to be a media fueled cycle sometimes. Someone does something stupid, it gets lots of media attention. Someone else wants attention, they do the same thing. It spirals for a while, you hit a lull and then it starts up again.

      Ag
      • "Again, I'm hardly an expert on such things. But I can't help but think sensationalizing incidents is going to lead to more "copy-cat" behavior."

        Absolutely it does.

        Consider the school shootings in the U.S. ... often there will be one, which then gets 24/7 wall-to-wall media coverage, and then like clockwork, there are more similar incidents in the weeks afterwards - ie. the recent Colorado school shooting and the Amish school shooting.

        Technology is a double-edge sword ... it provides allows news to be disse
    • Bollocks (Score:5, Informative)

      by SomethingOrOther (521702) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:30AM (#16483825) Homepage
      these kinds of "rage" attacks are definitely on the increase
      WRONG
      http://www.crimestatistics.org.uk/output/Page63.as p [crimestatistics.org.uk]
      (And thats before taking Victorian London into account)

      with binge drinking also increasing
      LOL ! Getting shitfaced is obviously a new phenominon
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gin_Lane [wikipedia.org]

      Even take violence at football games - yes, it's decreased here in the past 20 years but only because there are so many police
      Nothing to do with the rise of MDMA in the late 80's & early 90's then?
      http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v04n1/04122mdm.ht ml [maps.org]

      Stop reading the News of the Screws / Daily Hate and get a grip.
      • Crime statistics? They just changed the way crimes were measured and reported - just look here [newsmax.com].

        And if we're just going to throw web pages at each other, then how about this one discussing the increase in alcoholism in the UK [about.com].

        MDMA? Was abuse of it ever that widespread, compared to say heroin, ecstasy and cocaine? Can't say I've heard about it in years, even though I tend to read The Guardian and don't allow tabloid rubbish papers into my house. But while we're discussing the increase in drug abuse, have

    • by x2A (858210)
      That's a load of crap. Violence has always existed, what's on the increase is a) population, and b) reporting.

      I live in britain, and go out every weekend with a huge group of friends, none of us violent or get into that kind of state... we're amongst a rising increase of people who take drugs that increase our likeliness of being friendly with each other. All statistics show that we are on the increase.

      Binge drinking in many areas is starting to decrease, where the new 24hour licensing is available, people
    • I'm certain that advertising and the media is at the core of this -

      What was the attacker getting out of this? Here's the real reasons:

      o Lack of proportional punishment.

      o Incresingly institutionalized perception that people are not responsible for their actions for psychological/environmental/genetic/whatever reasons.

      o Criminal apologists.

      o Society's abdication of the concept of shame.

  • So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kamineko (851857)
    Are they going to remove the obligation to give your personal details for the domain name WHOIS database?
    • by Jamu (852752)
      You can opt-out of the whois register for .uk domains registered to an individual. I doubt they'll ever have that option for something like .com or .biz, and as far as I know all the gTLD still require the registrant's details for the whois database. Although it does seem odd that .name also works like this.
    • Whois Privacy works wonders for some people though is often pricey; several dollars per year per domain.

      A more economical alternative is getting a post office box.

      While neither approach above is full-proof, they tend to be good enough for many domain name registrants; primarily to reduce spam / junk calls.

      Many whois privacy services will provide one's private details to others (talking individuals / business, etc) in various instances; getting court subpoena - even a forged one would probably work.

      The stree
  • People demand respect on the internets too.

    -Rick
  • by S.O.B. (136083) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:07AM (#16483573)
    ...the case demonstrates the importance of protecting one's identity on the internet


    I think the case demonstrates that the internet is no different than the real world. Trade insults with a guy you just met (online or not) and he may be a violent person that will come over to your house with his buddy and kick your ass. I'm glad he wasn't killed and I hope he'll completely recover but I don't have too much sympathy.

    Too many people use the supposed anonymity of the internet as an excuse to be asshats. Always remember...the other guy could be a bigger asshat.
    • by Cederic (9623)

      I reserve the right to be a complete arsehole to people on the internet and believe that gives them no right at all to violently assault me.

      It does give them the right to ignore me, say nasty things about me and potentially seek legal action against me. That'd be that personal responsibility thing we don't hear enough about.

      Even if the other guy is a bigger 'asshat', he should stay within the law.
    • This comic is very true:

      http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19 [penny-arcade.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    With a little time and paitence, most anyone can get an address if they have an IP. Why give them that chance?

    anoNet [anonet.org] gives you the opportunity to have as much anonymity as you want. It doesn't prevent someone from being a dumbass, but it does give that extra little bit to people that do want their privacy.

    It is what the Internet was back before big brother stopped by.

    Give it a chance, you may like it.
  • by dBLiSS (513375) <theking54 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:53AM (#16484113) Journal
    First Incident of Web-Rage or the millionith (ish) incident of one Human going nuts and attacking another.

    So, What's new?
  • by I Like Pudding (323363) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:54AM (#16484115)
    Every time you OMGWTF on the internet it bring an axe-wielding psychopath 70 miles closer
  • More detail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tttonyyy (726776) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @10:06AM (#16484313) Homepage Journal
    Bah, when I submitted this story I linked to:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2409469, 00.html [timesonline.co.uk]

    ...where there is a lot more information on what happened than in the BBC article.

    During the assault, Mr Jones's throat was cut from his Adam's apple to his ear, narrowly missing the jugular vein.
  • By calling it "web rage". Obviously, this man was not in control of himself. Clearly someone who drives 70 miles doesn't have any time to think about their actions at all, it's completely impulsive.
  • by ajlitt (19055) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @10:17AM (#16484507)
    What this man was lacking was a safe way to act out his aggressions on the person he was chatting with. And what do they call a chat application where you can bludgeon the other users with a blunt object? Deathmatch.
  • Sorry not "rage" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kinglink (195330) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @11:20AM (#16485593)
    Rage is something different then this. You don't have coherent thought, your unable to speak. I'd really doubt you'd be able to drive 70 miles in a "rage" to kill someone.

    This more "web-assholishness" which does exist but has been documented more then enough times.

    In conclusion rage != being really angry.

    Though I must admit he certainly "went the distance".
  • by RexRhino (769423) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @01:18PM (#16488187)
    Clearly the problem is that pick axes and chat rooms are too easy to access to the general public. It is madness that any person can just boot up their computer and access a chat room, or just walk into a hardware store and purchase a pick axe, with no sort of government supervision or licencing. It is undeniable that if chat rooms and pick axes were restricted the same way firearms are restricted now, then a brutal chat-room-pick-axe attacks like this would have never happened.

    How anyone can look at this violent crime, and not support chat-room-control and pick-axe control is proof that they are brainwashed by the chat room industry and the pick-axe industry!
    • Gun Control (Score:3, Insightful)

      by robertjw (728654)
      Umm... we only have to ban pick-axe handles, he didn't attack him with the actual pick-axe.

      That aside, if it wasn't for the UK's stupid gun control laws he could have met the guy at the door with a 12 gauge rather than a kitchen knife.
  • UK Nanny State (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @02:40PM (#16489845) Homepage Journal
    I suppose the UK will ban pick axe handles now. They've already banned certain kitchen knives and jsut about all guns. Next will be banning anger.

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