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TV movie chronicling 'TalHotBlond' online love triangle airs Saturday

Scott Levin's picture

Courtney Cox makes her directorial debut Saturday night, as she helps tell the intense true story of online romance, deception and murder.

"TalHotBlond" is set to air Saturday on the Lifetime channel. Labeling the television movie a simple love triangle doesn't do justice to the many twists and turns of the plot.

Based on a true story, the movie chronicles a 2005 murder case and the relationships that led to the death.

Thomas Montgomery, a 46-year-old New York man, posed in online chat rooms as "MarineSniper," an 18-year-old marine headed to Iraq. In actuality, Montgomery lived in Buffalo with his wife and two children.

But online, Montgomery met an 18-year-old West Virginia woman going by the screen name "TalHotBlond." The two struck up an online romance, the young woman only knowing Montgomery by his online persona and unaware of his true identity.

The relationship became quite serious, with the two exchanging racy photos and sexy messages. But when Montgomery's wife caught wind of the relationship, she outed her husband to "TalHotBlond." Perhaps as a way to get back at him, the teenager took a liking to one of Montgomery's co-workers, 22-year-old Brian Barrett.

As the new couple formed a bond, Montgomery's jealousy and anger also grew. While "TalHotBlond" maintained contact with Montgomery, she reportedly was set to meet face-to-face with her new romantic interest, Barrett.

On Sept. 15, 2006, Montgomery, in a fit of rage, unleashed three shots from a military rifle, killing Barrett just outside of his work. Montgomery plead guilty to the crime and was sentenced 20 years in prison.

But if that sounds like the end of the story, hold on. "TalHotBlond" had a hidden identity of her own. The so-called 18-year-old softball player was actually Mary Shieler, and the teenager whose pictures she sent to Montgomery and Bennett were those of her daughter, Jessi. Police tried to find a crime to hand down to the masquerading mom, but none emerged. She walked free while Barrett lost his life and Montgomery lost his freedom.

The television movie clearly has plenty of content to draw from. Cox, known primarily for her role on "Friends," is directing the picture which stars Garret Dillahunt and Laura San Giacomo. The story was already made into a 2009 documentary titled "talhotblond," which won multiple film festival awards.

The Lifetime movie is set to air at 8 p.m.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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