We all know to be cautious when using online dating sites, but some of us still aren't being careful enough—as evidenced by a few individuals' willingness to swipe right on serial killers Charles Manson and Aileen Wuornos.
Actress and prankster Natalie Walker created the sham Tinder profiles after noting how Charles Manson's 1960s look was reminiscent of a lot of the shaggy young men she'd see out on the town. "There's a Lifetime series about Charles Manson going on right now," Walker said, "and the hottest guy is playing Charles Manson….And I was like, 'Oh, Charles Manson in his prime looks like every dude that I see at music shows in Brooklyn.'"
Walker's profile for "Charlie" went ignored for three days before she got a match, with a young woman who continued to talk to Charlie for a disconcertingly long time after he mentioned the imminent race war. (This was a preoccupation of Manson's.) She didn't actually turn tail and block Charlie until he mentioned believing himself to be the son of God, which must be a dealbreaker for most women who aren't Squeaky Fromme.
"Her main photo was of her dancing, [wearing] a flower crown," Walker said. "She seemed very Charlie's type."
To see if men would respond differently to similar bait, Walker then made a profile for Aileen Wuornos, who killed seven Florida men in the space of a year (1989-1990). Wuornos' horrific childhood influenced her psychopathy as well as a homicidal hatred of men, and Walker was sure to include "I want to kill white men" in Aileen's bio.
While it took Charlie three days to get one match, Aileen got 12 in eight minutes. And Walker didn't have to reach out to her matches first—they were all too happy to get in touch with her, one telling her he got "hard" looking at her pictures.
"I expected it to be easier [with men]," says Walker, "but I didn't understand how much easier it would be...It shows how much less careful guys have to be, too...They're not as in danger of being victimized, so they can just swipe right willy-nilly."
This is not Walker's first round abusing the intended purpose of popular apps. She recently used Yelp to review old dates she'd been on in various places, getting her summarily banned from the site.
Walker doesn't use Tinder for herself, so she says it'll be no great loss if they ban her. But she had to use her sister's phone number to make Aileen's profile after Tinder caught her trying to reuse her own. "I told her and she said, 'Natalie, if you get me banned from Tinder, I swear to God, you're fucking up my life,'" Walker said.
But this type of trolling is what the internet is made for, so let's hope it takes Tinder a while to act.