Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Internet Assisted Suicide - The Story of Sharon Lopatka

Net Full of Fantasies

Sharon used the Internet for a variety of purposes, such as to obtain business ideas and make money. However, she also used the Internet to interact with a larger variety of people who shared her unconventional interests. She often ventured into hard core pornographic chat rooms where subscribers would openly discuss their interests in necrophilia, bondage, fetishes and sadomasochism.

She used numerous pseudonyms and multiple personae in her Internet messages. Using these “masks” allowed her anonymity and the freedom to pursue her unusual fantasies. According to the Washington Post, on November 3, 1996, one message Sharon posted stated that she had, “a fascination with torturing till death.” Some of the identities she assumed during the chat room sessions included a 300-pound strict dominatrix and disciplinarian, a screen actress named Nancy Carlson who would offer to star in customized sex videos for a price, and a shapely 5-foot-6 beauty.

The News & Observer found more than 50 such messages of Sharon’s over several months. Many were found on Internet sites such as and The overriding theme of Sharon’s messages was that she wanted to be tortured and killed. Often, she would post messages on the Internet looking for a man to satisfy her wish. A sex rights activist named Tanith, who often visited the sites, told the Washington Post that she became concerned with Sharon’s bizarre messages. On November 3, 1996, the Post quoted Tanith saying that Sharon was “going to chat rooms and asking to be tortured to death.” Tanith had tried to stop her, but Sharon refused. Sharon replied to the woman, “I want the real thing. I did not ask for you preaching to me.”

The Baltimore Sun learned that there were numerous responses to Sharon’s messages offering to fulfill her fantasy. Most eventually withdrew when they discovered that Sharon’s requests were serious. But there was one man willing to give Sharon exactly what she desired.



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