In 1975, the recently deceased Judith Rossner published her best selling book, “Looking for Mr. Goodbar.” The book told the story of a young female schoolteacher’s search for the perfect man, Mr. Goodbar. Her relentless cruising of the singles bars and her increasing flirtation with danger ultimately leads to her descent into hell and her subsequent murder. The public in general found this cautionary tale shocking and disturbing. Critics praised both book and film as honest depictions of female sexuality in the freewheeling seventies.
Rossner’s novel was loosely based on the actual murder of Katherine Cleary, a schoolteacher. On New Year’s Eve in 1973 she picked up one Joe Willie Sampson in Mr. Goodbar, a singles watering hole in New York City, and took him back to her apartment. Sampson killed her there and later hanged himself in his jail cell, while awaiting trial. Since then, in the American vernacular, Mr. Goodbar has become synonymous with a sociopathic killer who preys on single women.
Today there is a new Mr. Goodbar. Chances are you will never find him in the modern singles bar. Unlike the Mr. Goodbar singles bars of the seventies and eighties that offered sex, romance and always a touch of danger, the modern watering holes have been sanitized, franchised and often transplanted to the eternal blandness of the shopping mall. It is unlikely the modern woman will be driven to the gates of hell by a khaki clad executive stopping by the local BJ’s after a hard day at the business park. Perhaps other than boredom and enduring the predictable mating habits of her office cronies, the modern woman faces a greater danger driving home in traffic than she does rejecting the guy hitting on her at the hors d’oeuvres stand.
Realistically, most women stopping off at happy hour and even later are there to do what their male counterparts are doing–let off a little steam. For the most part they have seen the repertoire of available men, dated some and avoided the rest. Now, for the most part, their time spent at the local watering hole is a mild distraction between work and a trip to the gym, or to go home and feed the cat, order in Chinese and log onto their favorite online dating site. They become one of millions of women, engaging strangers on the thousands of dating sites pervading the Internet. And here in this virtual world of romantic fantasies and wishful thinking, they are risking the fateful encounter with the new Mr. Goodbar.
The new Mr. Goodbar need not be a sociopath ready to erupt into a murderous rage to be considered dangerous. He is usually a lot smarter and a lot more calculating. The new Mr. Goodbar may have no interest in taking a woman’s life. Instead he may take her money and steal her identity, leaving her to spend the next year cleaning up the credit mess. There are thousands of male predators seeking out professional women and women of means. To a predator it’s no secret the glass ceiling has been cracked if not shattered. He has done his research. He likes successful women. The new Mr. Goodbar finds his happy hunting ground in many women graduating law school, medical school, and the high paid executives at major corporations. His potential prey own houses, have bank accounts, and own stock portfolios. They are women who have money he can steal if he plays his cards right and persuades even the smartest women that with him they are fated for the mythical land of “happily after ever.”
It begins usually with a predator writing wonderful emails, indicating how sensitive and caring he is. He lies about his job, his wealth, his present state of mind. He loves your cats, your dogs, your kids; he adores your personality. He knows you better than anyone has known you before. Before long he may have a woman convinced they are soul mates. He is, after all, very good at what he does.
The all new and reconstituted Mr. Goodbar will not just con a woman over the Internet. He will arrange to meet and to come to her house where he can avail himself of her financial records. If they sleep together, he may slip out of bed and check through her drawers, and through her wallet for driver’s license, credit cards and her social security number. He may persuade her he needs money to start a business, or he may order credit cards in her name, delivered to a blind post office address. The female victim may not discover she has financial difficulties until as much as a year later.
Before anyone scoffs at the notion and thinks that I am exaggerating, consider these facts. Women are five to eight times more likely to be victimized by an intimate partner. More than one-and-a-half-million women are raped or assaulted by an intimate partner every year. More than four in ten incidents of domestic violence involve singles. Michigan and other states have considered making it a blanket law that all applicants to online dating sites first undergo a personal background check, before being approved.
There are several reputable companies offering background checks for singles and members of online dating site. One service, Corra Group, caters to the professional woman with the kind of material assets that may very well attract the new Mr. Goodbar. Corra Group also specializes in personal service. For further information contact http://backgroundchecks.corragroup.com or http://www.corragroup.com