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14-Year-Old Stabbing Victim Charged With His Own Attempted Murder

"Skilled writers of fiction would struggle to conjure up a plot such as that which arises here.”

By CMPublished 26 days ago 3 min read
14-Year-Old Stabbing Victim Charged With His Own Attempted Murder
Photo by Fons Heijnsbroek on Unsplash

"Skilled writers of fiction would struggle to conjure up a plot such as that which arises here.”

On June 28, 2003, a 14-year-old boy was critically stabbed in the chest and stomach. Police initially suspected the boy, publicly named John, had been the victim of a robbery gone wrong. By May 2004, police had charged John with his own attempted murder.

"Could you stab someone?" Janet asked Mark in the final chatroom exchange.

"I haven't really thought about it," Mark replied.

Janet says, "Well think please."

“U want me 2 take him 2 Tafford centre and kill him in the middle of tafford centre,” read another message in the exchange between Janet, a 42-year-old Secret Service Agent, and Mark, a naive 16- year-old teenager from Greater Manchester, England.

Janet told Mark via the chatroom that her stepbrother John was dying from a brain tumor. She promised Mark £500,000 in cash, a meeting with the prime minister, a gun, and a job as a spy with the British Secret Service if he stabbed her sick brother to death.

Killing John was an initiation test, Janet told Mark.

The planning began. Janet introduced Mark and John.

The Stabbing

On the evening of June 28, 2003, Mark and John walked along a desolate street when they cut off into an alleyway. Neither teen was seen again for 25 minutes when Mark suddenly runs out-and no one else is seen entering the alleyway.

John was found in the alleyway stabbed and critically injured. He was rushed to the hospital where he nearly died from his injuries. The knife had lacerated his liver and pierced a kidney. John required emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder. He spent more than a week in the hospital.

Police suspected John had been attacked during a robbery gone wrong. Mark provided them with a description of the man he claimed responsibility for the attack -and police plastered the sketch across the news waves hoping someone could help identify the man.

As the investigation continued, police found CCTV footage showing Mark and John walking into the alley where both remained until Mark ran out 25 minutes later. No one else entered the alleyway.

John Admits Mark Stabbed Him

Hoping to get answers, the police visited John in the hospital. He admitted that Mark had been the one who stabbed him but claimed he “didn’t know why.” Police arrested Mark in July 2003.

Investigators soon learned Mark met John via an internet chatroom. Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Sally Hogg, began sorting through the 58,000 lines of text generated by Mark and John. She soon discovered Janet, the person who befriended Mark via the chatroom, was a fictional character conjured up and portrayed by John.

Janet was one of five or six fictional people John created in his mind who chatted with Mark in the chatroom. Mark never realized that every person he spoke to in the chatroom was really John.


In July 2004, just over one year since John planned his own murder and nearly died, police charged him with incitement to murder and perverting the course of justice.

He was sentenced to three years of supervision and banned from using the Internet without adult supervision. He was also prohibited from contacting Mark.

Mark received a two-year supervision order on an attempted murder conviction.

Judge David Maddison, the recorder of Manchester, said: "Skilled writers of fiction would struggle to conjure up a plot such as that which arises here. It's staggering to be dealing with a case that arises out of a 14-year-old boy's invention of false personalities, false relationships and events arranged for his own killing at the hands of a 16-year-old boy who he had met via an internet chatroom."


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Comments (1)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran25 days ago

    I gotta say, I have thought about this scenario many times because I always wondered if it would be classified as a suicide or a murder. Never thought someone would be bold wrought to actually do it. So, murder it is!

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