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This article was published on September 1, 2009

Woman murdered “after changing her Facebook status from ‘Married’ to ‘Single'”

Woman murdered “after changing her Facebook status from ‘Married’ to ‘Single'”
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

facebookThat little ‘Relationship Status’ entry on your Facebook profile can be a powerful thing.

People probably pay more attention to relationship status changes in their news feed than anything else on the site. It can be a fun bit of gossip seeing someone change how they define their relationship. Those changes can lead to trouble though, as this story illustrates.

Cardiff Crown Court in Wales is currently hearing the case of Brian Lewis, 31, who is accused of killing partner Hayley, 26, a heavy Facebook user. Although not married, the couple’s Facebook relationship status was ‘Married’.

The BBC reports:

Mark Evans, prosecuting, told the court… “Hayley started to expand her social life and was spending a lot of time on internet sites, in particular Facebook.

“She was quite secretive about this, preventing Lewis from using the site and turning the computer off. It is quite clear this rankled with him.

“On 2 March, she changed her Facebook relationship status from married to single and she made it clear their relationship was over.”

The court heard that fraught with worry over this, Mr Lewis stabbed Hayley while she slept before fleeing the scene. The trial continues. It’s an extreme case, but one that shows just how much of an effect online social networking has had on society in a short space of time.

On an interesting side note, Facebook recently removed the ability to search users by relationship status, making Facebook-based dating more difficult.