Old man random camchat
And as far as the police could see, it hadn't occurred, at least not the way the older boy had said.
No madman in a hooded jacket, the authorities quickly realized, would ever be found. A closed-circuit camera at the base of the alley had recorded all the foot traffic.
"I would say, of the two teenagers, John was the more wicked and more criminally culpable."For months John had corresponded in an Internet chat room with Mark, a bland-featured 16-year-old who possesses as his most striking traits a vast forehead, a tendency to open every sentence with "Ermmm," and, it would later be claimed, an almost infinite store of credulity.
Every story John spun on the chat-room site, every slithering creation dropped into the ocean of the Internet, Mark avidly reeled in.
Early 20s, wearing a black hooded jacket and black jeans.
There was blood coming out." Somehow or other, the boy added, he found himself dragged once again to his feet, then the knife plunged back in. "Don't let that be the last thing you are saying."And so John crumpled, a drained, pallid figure muted forever, he thought, by the tall, light-haired boy he considered "perfect" and "out of my league."Minutes passed, perhaps as many as 20.
Then Mark pulled out the knife and called an ambulance.
"Yes, I'm not aware of any other case where somebody's incited somebody to murder themselves," Nicholas Clarke, the prosecutor, declares in his Manchester office, each syllable clipped with derision.
It is clear he doesn't have much sympathy for the boy whose brush with death prompted the unprecedented charge.