Tonight’s Web of Lies on Investigation Discovery looks at the chilling case of Nikki McPhatter, who was killed by a man she met on the internet.
The new episode, called Searching for Mr. Wrong, re-creates the evening that US Airways worker McPhatter of Charlotte, North Carolina, went on a fateful dinner date with Theodore Manning. She linked up with him on a website called Tagged.com.
The episode also incorporates interviews with McPhatter’s family members, some of whom grew concerned after Nikki didn’t show up for her usual work shift at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on May 11, 2010.
It was later discovered that Manning had shot McPhatter in the back of the head during an argument that occurred when she showed up at his house to break up with him and retrieve her jewelry.
He also stole money from her ATM accounts and, in an attempt to cover up the crime, put McPhatter’s body in the trunk of her car and set fire to it.
Adding an even more macabre angle to the case, Manning allegedly had sex with another woman while McPhatter’s body was still burning.
Manning was eventually sentenced to 30 years behind bars for the shooting. Jurors found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter rather than murder, which would have resulted in a sentence of life without parole, after they decided the killing was not premeditated.
The case raised questions about whether online dating led to McPhatter’s death. John Monk wrote in The Charlotte Observer that McPhatter and Manning lived 90 miles away from each other and speculated how they wouldn’t have crossed paths were it not for internet dating.
Web of Lies airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.