predator stabbed a woman who dumped him after they dated for just 10 days then drew up a 'kill list' and murdered another girlfriend he met online: TV show explores the dark side of finding love on an app

After Mary Kay Beckman’s longtime partner died, she turned to a typical source to find love again: dating apps. It was a decision that almost cost Beckman her life.
Wade Ridley, a man she met through and dated very briefly, tracked her down three months after they broke up and stabbed her ten times until his knife broke. 
Beckman’s brush with death is part of an upcoming episode, ‘Dating App Horrors: The Untold Story,’ on the A&E Network, airing on Thursday, May 2. 
‘We only knew each other for 10 days so why,’ she said, tearing up to the show’s Elizabeth Vargas, ‘It’s hard to comprehend.'
Beckman, a real estate agent in Las Vegas, said that after her partner died in 2010 that ‘Everybody said go on - that’s how I got in online dating.’ 
She said’s advertising about love, marriage and happiness was appealing. She was on the site for a few days when Beckman got a suggestion to ‘wink,’ encouraging her to contact Ridley.
They talked via the site, and met up a few days later. Beckman said she was excited but careful: she had googled Ridley but hadn’t found out much, and told her girlfriends where she was going.
‘I thought he was nice-looking,’ she recalled of their first date, adding that he looked like his profile picture. ‘So I was impressed.’ 
They met up a few more times, but Beckman didn’t like that he was jealous. She later text him and said: ‘This isn’t working for me,' according to the show.
While Ridley texted back a few times, Beckman did not and moved on, figuring that he did the same. Three months later on the night of January 21, 2011, Beckman was attacked outside her home.
‘I don’t remember a thing,’ she told Vargas. 
‘He stabbed me with a butcher knife,’ she said.
‘He stabbed you ten times until the knife broke,’ Vargas said.
‘Until the knife broke,’ Beckman said. ‘Then he started stomping on my head.’
While Beckman was in the hospital, the prosecutor who handled the case, Elizabeth Mercer, said that initially they didn’t know who attacked her.
‘Who’d think someone would do something like that after a seven, 10 day relationship,’ Mercer said.
In February 2011 - weeks after Beckman was attacked, the Phoenix police were looking for Ridley in connection to a murder of Anne Simenson, who was killed with a machete and he was arrested in Las Vegas.   
Simenson had also met Ridley on  
Paul Dalton, a now retired detective with the Phoenix Police Department, said Ridley had drawn up a ‘kill list'. 
Simenson, Beckman, his ex-wife and his ex-wife’s boyfriend were on the list.  
'You kind of figure after three years of breaking up with somebody, you would move on but this guy did not.'
He said Simenson's murder was was shocking. 'It was up close and personal. There’s a lot of stab wounds involved. You don’t see a lot of machete murders anywhere,’ he said.
Dalton said that after he read Ridley his rights, he knew Ridley ‘was going to tell us everything,’ and, he did confess to Simenson’s murder and Beckman's attack.
‘He told us how he broke into the house. He just waits for Anne and it went on from there.’
On the police video of the interview, Ridley said he was angry, ‘and then I just went into a rage. I went and grabbed one of her butcher knives… People that I’ve hurt were people that had hurt me first. My brain just blew up.
‘I have no idea what happened to her. I didn’t know if she lived. I don’t know if she died. We met on like Annie.’
‘I wanted her to pay for her attitude whether it was death or incapacitation or whatever.'
Mercer, the prosecutor, said that Ridley’s statements were disturbing.
‘He was very much a victim in his own world. You honestly got the feeling that he was incapable of taking any personal responsibility for what he’d done… He knew what he was doing was wrong.’
Ridley, who was diagnosed as bipolar, had a prior conviction of exhibiting a deadly weapon while resisting arrest and had also been arrested for assault, according to the show. 
For Beckman's attack, he was charged with attempted murder and robbery, waived his right to a trial, and the judge sentenced him to 28 to 70 years in prison. 
He died in prison in May 2012 in an apparent suicide, officials told the Phoenix New Times.
Beckman spent months recovering from the attack, and wanted to know why had suggested Ridley to her in the first place. In early 2013, she sued for $10 million in damages.
Her attorney Marc Saggese told Vargas: ‘There needs to be accountability. Just because these companies are so powerful and they reach so many millions of people that they’ve got to be regulated.’ 
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 is ‘a law that offers broad legal protections to internet companies,’ Vargas said.
It provides liability protection for internet platforms. For example, if you post something on Facebook that someone considers defamatory, you can be sued but not Facebook. 
Vargas said that at every stage of this five-year legal battle, the courts have ruled in favor of, and that the U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear the case.
The Match Group declined to be interviewed or to answer questions, according to the show, and provided a statement to 'The Untold Story' that said it ‘takes the safety, security and well-being of our users very seriously – we consider it our top priority.’
In addition, the Match Group spends ‘millions of dollars annually – to prevent, monitor and remove people who engage in inappropriate behavior from our apps.' 
The show also looks at the case of Devin Hartman, a married man who used an alias and different user names on OkCupid to meet women. He was convicted of rape in late 2015 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. 
Kelly Neagle said on the show that Hartman raped her.
'Online dating is unfortunately a predator’s playground,' she said. ‘Because they can hide behind the computer... So easy for predators to find their victims through online dating.’
Both and OkCupid, as well as several other dating apps like Tinder and PlentyofFish, are owned by the Match Group. It reported revenue of $1.7 billion in 2018, according to the show.
In 2018, 33.9 million Americans were using these apps, with the most popular, followed by Tinder and then PlentyofFish, now POF, according to the website Statista.
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