Saturday, 16 April 2011

Saturday TV

I accidentally watched some serious TV this morning.

I don't usually watch TV except perhaps the cookery channel or whatever whoever was in control of the remote was watching.

With 3 Banglas upstairs diligently transforming our boring beigy bedrooms into sensuous caves of "Lavender Print" and "Bouquet Orchid", I thought I might as well check out what's cooking on the Asia Food Channel.

That Pinoy chef "whats-his-name" was rolling out some apple strudels. It looks very easy to make and I love apple strudels and always order them for dessert when we "cafe/deli" out.  But then whenever I have apples in the fridge I think it's a crime to cut them up and cook all the vitamins away.

Flipping channels, "Crime and Investigation" caught my attention. It was showing a documentary about 2 kids involved in a  misadventure which started from an internet chatroom.

It was the year 2003 when chatrooms were all the rage. Teenagers (and not-so-teen internet-savvy) were making online friends  and gradually becoming addicted to communicating with one another for very long hours in this mode. (So what's so different with Facebook?)

John was an ordinary 16 year old, an only son of busy parents, who had made friends with 14 year old Mark, also an only child, in a chatroom for kids in Manchester.

Apart from Mark, John was also friendly with Rebecca, a teenage tease who often played on John's imagination and whom John had often arranged to meet in the flesh, but somehow the meetings never materialised.

Eventually Rebecca disappeared from the scene after being virtually killed off by an apparently  concerned Mark. The unassuming John remained friends with Mark and was actually becoming rather fascinated by his online capabilities.

His curiosity was answered when an older lady, Janet, a real-estate agent, made contact with John. It turned out that she was actually an undercover agent for The Crown, on a mission to recruit youngsters to groom them into the service. John's friendship with Mark was what had qualified him to be identified as an apprentice agent.

According to Janet, Mark was one of only two people who had access to an undersea vault which contained state secrets of the UK. The other person was the Queen.

As an apprentice, John's job was to protect Mark. He would be very well compensated financially... and sexually by Janet should he pass his assignments.

Every now and again Janet instructed John through the chats, to accompany Mark when he had to go somewhere like the dentist's or just hanging out, because of how valuable Mark was to the government.

With that kind of incentive, especially the non-financial, John was frequently with Mark after school.

One night Janet came online and said that John was doing very well indeed. His next assignment however was to be a big one - one that he would be paid 300 pounds sterling for in addition to some time with Janet herself.

He was to stab Mark...

The reason why was not revealed, only that he had to do it.

When they were out together that afternoon, John bought a kitchen knife, telling Mark it was for his mother.

Later on as evening approached, in a park somewhere in Manchester John stabbed Mark deeply in the stomach but called for an ambulance soon after.

The police then arrested John who told them everything about Janet and his recruitment into UK's Secret Service, confident that Janet would soon appear to vindicate him of his "crime". But she did not.

Mark had to spend some weeks in ICU recovering from his wound which was within an inch of being a fatal one. John was taken into custody.

Subsequent police analysis of John's computer hard-drives showed that John had been a victim of his own gullibility, believing that he was indeed marked out for a life of spying intrigue in the future. Someone, the police suspected a paedophile, had played on a teenage boy's fantasy.

And that someone, as police later discovered, was... Mark himself.

From his online interactions police investigators found that Mark had assumed about 190 different personas in the chatrooms, including that of Rebecca and Janet.

What gave him away was the regular use of a misspelling in each of his persona: instead of "maybe" he used "myebye".

What was puzzling though was why he had a death wish. This was something the documentary did not dwell upon.

John spent a year in remand before his case was brought to court.

At the end of the trial, John was acquitted. Thankfully the judge regarded the whole episode as something unfortunate to learn from and ruled that both John and Mark were not to see each other again, nor be allowed to be on the internet unsupervised and not to use chatrooms again.

I should think John and Mark are both young adults by now. I wonder how they are doing.

Is Mark instead of John being groomed for undercover duties?

Are they on Facebook? Or perhaps blogging?

Oh, American Idol now on Starworld.


Kak Ezza@makcik blogger said...

Yes..American Idol on starworld,,live from ...(dun no where hehehe) Im a big fan to stefano,james n kc...

Ozz said...

Dear ZZ,
No TV, No newspaper, No FB......
I am feeling much much better now...
Have a nice sunny Sunday!

Zendra-Maria said...

Ezzah... American Idol live from... (I oso donno where... hahaha) but I like the rocker jury and I oso donno his name LOL!!!

Zendra-Maria said...

OZZ... where are you? No paper, on TV, no FB... waah so disciplined! What about ciggie?

Wan Sharif said...

Ah.. after a long hiatus..

Zendra-Maria said...

Salam Ayoh Wang... ada masalah modal pasal kurang aktif disini... hehehe

Ozz said...

Dear ZZ,
I am now down south in Surabaya.....Yup! NO CIGGIE TOO.....
I have wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better replacement.Hehe.....

Zendra-Maria said...

OZZ, look after the replacement well ok? Anything valuable is worth the trouble. Take care :)