A Woman Who Was Nearly Murdered by Her Online Date is Suing Dallas-based Match.com

WadeMitchellRidley.jpg
Wade Mitchell Ridley
When Mary Kay Beckman was ambushed in the garage of her Las Vegas home in January 2011, it made national headlines. That was partly because of the brutality of the attack. The attacker "knocked her to the ground, and began stabbing her repeatedly until he recognized that the knife broke," according to a police report. "Then he continued by stomping her head and neck, until she [stopped] making the gurgling noise." But it also made news because the two met on Dallas-based Match.com.

The man, Wade Mitchell Ridley, had met Beckman on the dating site a few months before. When she broke off the relationship 10 days after their first date, he became enraged, then homicidal. Police believe he murdered another ex-girlfriend in Phoenix with a machete and butcher's knife a few days before traveling to Vegas to camp out Beckman's garage.

Beckman, who has undergone multiple surgeries to repair her jaw, preserve her eyesight and hearing, and replace part of her skull with synthetic material, managed to survive. Ridley, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder, died in prison last year. As for Match.com, they're now the defendant in a $10 million lawsuit.

The suit, filed in Clark County, Nevada by Beckman and first reported by Courthouse News, says that the site was negligent and failed to warn her of the dangers of meeting "an individual whose intentions are not to find a mate, but to find victims to kill or rape."

This isn't the first time Match.com has been sued by patrons who have had less-than-stellar experiences on the site. The company settled a previous lawsuit brought by a woman who was sexually assaulted on a date with a man who, unbeknownst to her, had previously been convicted of sexual battery. That led the site to begin screening its members for sexual predators, according to the Huffington Post.

It's not clear from news reports whether Ridley had a violent criminal history. It's also not clear if dating websites are liable for dates gone horribly wrong. (A post on a New York Law School blog suggests that they aren't.) That question will only be resolved if the case goes to trial, which, judging from Match.com's settlement of the aforementioned lawsuit, probably won't happen.


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44 comments
pgrove1704
pgrove1704

In reading through the comments I've noticed something. This guy was White and no one mentioned his race in their comments. Now find a story with a person who's not White and read the comments. Do you see what I see?

animas
animas

This is ridiculous, everyone is aware of the sleazy, corrupt nature of the internet.

Celisa Montgomery
Celisa Montgomery

This day and time so many crazies are walking around. Don't be so thirsty. Online dating is a death wish about to happen.

Eric Grant Bingham Kumpf
Eric Grant Bingham Kumpf

This is one of the many reasons that dating online is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Just look at that genetic screw up!

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

If this works can we all SUE That someone in our lives who said Hey I've got someone you really should  meet .

Or someone else could SUE them for being introduced to us ?

Leah Ferraro
Leah Ferraro

Wow R. Way to blame the victim. Perhaps she should sue his parents for raising a misogynistic homicidal pig. Douche.

R Jacob Pineda
R Jacob Pineda

She should sue her parents for raising a moron with no sense of self preservation.

Daniel Alpiger
Daniel Alpiger

She couldn't just look at his eyes and know what was going to happen?

MattL11
MattL11

That sounds like a horrible experience, though I'm guessing she won't prevail on her claim. 

brokenstring21
brokenstring21

How did Wade die in prison? You cant just say he died in prison, hes young, we need to know how...

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

Violent predators lurk on the internet? No way.

And in other news, coffee is hot and the earth is round.

observist
observist topcommenter

The 5 stages of grief need to be updated and expanded to include #6 Lawsuit.  No traumatic event can pass without the nearest deep pocket being sued for multiple millions.  

If you meet someone in a bar, how long is the bar liable for that person's behavior?

bobsixtysix
bobsixtysix

I always wondered whatever happened to Exidor from "Mork & Mindy."

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

Unless Match.com has pledged to do background checks on the individuals using their site, I can't see how this is their responsibility. If she had met this guy in a grocery store, bar, or church would she be suing those places instead?

keepcensoringDO
keepcensoringDO

Gosh. It's a good thing she didn't have a weapon to defend herself with! She may have lost liberal points otherwise! 

She was a good woman and just took what was coming to her like some Gandhian-esque saint of virtue. 

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

if Wade's Match.com profile looked anything like his mugshot you'd think alot of this might have been avoided.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@Eric Grant Bingham Kumpf your profile looks like one of the Joad clan

Brian Nesbitt
Brian Nesbitt

@brokenstring21 You are hired.  Eric Nicholson please clean out your desk at the Observer.  In one post @brokenstring21 managed to do what you have failed to do in several months at the Observer, spell all the words correctly and ask follow-up questions.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Lakewooder yep coffee is hot, but the lawsuit still happened and the idiot won, go figure

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@observist you may be surprised, if the bar over served a patron who then turned around a mutilated the dude sitting next to him, yup liable, just like they are liable for the drunk driver they served that killed the kid in the car they hit

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@Tim.Covington they do claim to do psychological profiles.  I don't know if that is the same as a "background check" or what exactly they claim.  But, they do seem to claim to offer something like background checks.   I guess we should never confuse their marketing bluster with actual claims of truth

Nictacular
Nictacular

@keepcensoringDO For real. If she had a gun, this asshole may have just jumped her, taken it from her, and shot her. Why waste time stabbing and pummeling her?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@keepcensoringDO 

Your pro-gun extremist rhetoric loses much of it's shocking punch when you spread it around so liberally.

russp
russp

@ChrisYu 

Would that fall under truth in advertising?

meekrob
meekrob

Scott, you should Google the pictures of her injuries and then come back and say she didn't deserve every penny.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @Lakewooder because McDonalds had specially made coffee urns that brewed coffee 40 degrees hotter than normal.   Every coffee maker brews at 145, McDonalds found that by brewing at 185 they could get a marginally greater yield out of their coffee beans.   The lawyer that won the big judgment found that McDonalds had settled over 40 cases out of court where 2nd and 3rd degree burns were caused by their cynical profit ploy.  Product liability law says that if you persist in producing a harmful product you're liable.  By the way, that "outsized" judgment (drastically reduced on appeal) was simply one days coffee sales for McDonalds.   A jury thought that was fair (if an arbitrary) figure.

observist
observist topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @observist I really was just thinking of other place people might meet, but that's a good point - places serving alcohol have some liability while the patron is still under the effect of the alcohol they were served.  But if you change the venue to a coffee house, why should it be less liable than match.com?  Or really, why should match.com be more liable than a coffee house where two people met?

keepcensoringDO
keepcensoringDO

@Nictacular @keepcensoringDO Yes.. much better to end up having reconstructive surgery than taking a chance angering your attacker!

JFPO
JFPO

@TheCredibleHulk It has distracted him from his normal racist rants, however.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@observist @ScottsMerkin except that the coffee house makes no claim to screen and review their patrons.  They don't claim to offer psychological testing. 

ruddski
ruddski

@keepcensoringDO @Nictacular 


You're suggesting this woman should have been judge, jury and executioner, I don't think she knew enough about the young man to have made a split decision that could have had drastic and irreversible effect on his future.

He may have been misguided, he may have poor decision-making skills, but is that any reason to shoot anyone?


Nictacular
Nictacular

@keepcensoringDO This dude was already angry. Did you miss the part about him stabbing her until HE BROKE THE BLADE OFF IN HER? How about the part where he kicked and stomped until shes topped, "making the gurgling noise,"? He tried to kill her...he thought he had. If you think the only thing that could have happened is she angers the man...you're missing something.


keepcensoringDO
keepcensoringDO

@ruddski @keepcensoringDO @TheCredibleHulk The attacker was charged with attempted murder. So no, in Texas there is no way it would have been disproportionate. She would have been well within her right to defend herself with force against this garbage. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@keepcensoringDO @TheCredibleHulk 

Look, I've got no problem with guns or people that use them to defend themselves. It's the idiotic hyperbole and sneering derision you attach to your screeds and the fact that you drive every subject on these boards back around to your little pet peeve that is the "extreme" aspect of your rhetoric I was referring to.


The "liberally" part was a joke. Get it?

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