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The Perils of Cybersex

A murdered principal met his suspected killers through "a phone chat line."

2:15 PM, May 5, 2010 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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When news first broke of the murder of Shaw Middle School principal Brian Betts, the outpouring of grief from the student body and the D.C. community was immense. "With him, potentially more than any other principal in this city, these children are going to be devastated because they have such an intense relationship with him," D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee told the Washington Post. Betts was one of Rhee's leading lights, a hero for those interested in serious school reform. According to the Post, "Betts often said he disagreed with the idea that poverty and broken families are unchanging causes of academic malaise. He saw himself and his staff as responsible for turning students around. He would cook dinners for his students and chew them out on the phone for missing homework."

Sadly, embarrassing revelations have since come out, in which Principal Betts had met his alleged killers, three 18-year-old males, through a phone-sex service (he had been specifically seeking out one of the suspects). Today's writeup in the Post explains just how this all happens and the do's and don'ts of the business. But perhaps the most jarring paragraph of all is this:

"People arrange to meet at your place or mine," said Jonathan Crutchley, chairman and founder of Manhunt.com, which operates gay-oriented phone and Web chat services. "And every now and then, people get murdered. There have been some murders."

And yet, according to one expert in the story, phone sex generates $750 million in annual revenue. As for useful tips, insiders recommend you meet your date in a public place. Having him or her come to your house is not always a good idea.

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