She wondered if this would go down as the strangest day of her young life. Kiki was hurtling into a twisted online realm, populated not just with trash-talking teens but also with stalkers, hackers, predators and profiteers.She didn't realize the Web can be a portal for people's cruelest impulses, or that it allows those forces to assemble into a mob.
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"I had this idea of Florida as this paradise," says mom Cathy, a forthright Midwesterner.
Cathy was 18 when she met Scott; he was fronting a rock band with big dreams; she was putting herself through college, her sights set on law school.
The effect is a hodgepodge of the grown-up and the infantile: adolescence visualized.
But Kiki's new look made her even more of a freak at school, and her tormentors' words turned to punches.
"But on the Internet, you're exposed to people that will do anything."Fame wasn't Kiki's intention when she first logged on in 2006.
She was just a lonely 13-year-old whose days at Sawgrass Springs Middle School had become a bullying hell.
She didn't know that her life was about to become an extreme parable about connection and celebrity in the digital age — that the next four years would be fraught with danger, threats to her family, and a violent death.
She had yet to understand what a lot of us don't comprehend: that our virtual lives can take on their own momentum, rippling outward with real-life consequences we can neither predict nor control.
Her parents' home was splattered with ketchup, chocolate syrup and eggs.
But this vandalism of her home was a different level of harassment.
"Five years in, the cyberstalking nightmare shows no signs of stopping, and threat assessment has become the backdrop of Kiki's life.