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Jamie Starbuck - murders wife, steals her money and travels the world

(14 Posts)
currentbuns Sat 11-May-13 10:20:47

Has anyone else read about this? I feel incredibly disturbed by this story. This man has been charting his adventures in a blog - brazen as you please - for the past two and a half years, and was only arrested when he decided to return to the UK. Why on earth wasn't he tracked down sooner?
The blog is so strange, he almost sounds normal - very chilling.
That poor, poor woman.

Longdistance Sat 11-May-13 10:24:26

Disgusting creature.

The death penalty s too good for such scum!

fastdriver Sat 11-May-13 21:13:03

This is horrific, I also find it fascinating in a horrible way. It's hard to believe anyone could be so calculating and so depraved. Did you see the 'confession' that he wrote where he said to his wife that it was meant to be quick and he didn't expect her to be so 'durable'?

The whole case gives me the absolute horrors. It makes me terrified for my daughters going out in to the world because it's a parent's worst nightmare.

It also makes me feel pretty terrified of online dating and what you can meet out there sad

Poor woman, I hope she can rest in peace, what a dreadful waste of a life.

I disagree that his blog makes him sound normal though. There is something bizarre about the way he muses so casually about trivial things having cold-bloodedly killed someone to get the funds for his travels. But on the whole he comes across as incredibly unpleasant and self absorbed. Obviously a psychopath.

One can only assume that he deliberately hunted for someone online with cash so he could dispose of her and exploit the money for his trip of a lifetime... he was 8 years younger than her, maybe she thought he was a bit of a catch.

It's a terrible case, I hope the poor lady can rest in peace. The only good thing is that he will have to spend at least 30 years before he can be considered for parole - an unusually long sentence.

edam Sat 11-May-13 22:13:49

Chilling. What a hideous, self-serving pile of crap.

phantomnamechanger Sun 12-May-13 15:14:19

It's a sad fact of life that these sorts of men are sadly out there and will target vulnerable ladies. Whether that means rich ladies looking for a loving relationship, who they con out of £1000s, or in this case murder, or whether it means paedophiles deliberately pretending to fall for women with children they can access.

I think he planned this all along - he did not fall in love, marry and then decide to bump her off - he saw her from the start as the means of financing his world travels. She was deceived in the most awful way. I wonder if her family and friends tried to warn her off, tried to make her slow down? or whether everyone was taken in by his charms and happy for her?

the trouble with internet dating is that you can seem to get on so well because the person will respond in the ways they think you want them to, and people think they "know" the person quite soon when in reality they know very little about their real lives.

and yes, it does make me terrified for my DDs when they are a few years older -

AuntGiGi612 Sun 30-Jun-13 00:20:58

I've stumbled across this thread on a Google search and have to respond. I've been stunned by this, and for obvious reasons don't want my family to know & needlessly worry them but I need to get it out. I knew this man. Well, obviously I did not, but I met him while I spent most of 2010 traveling. It was in Munich in August of 2010. It was on a beer hall tour, a group of about 15 from all corners of the globe. We drank, sang, had a generally festive evening (I have a bunch of pictures & even a video of him serenading some of the crowd at one of the beer halls). I remember thinking he was a bit of a wanker, but an overall OK guy. I also remember in a beer haze outside the last establishment he kissed me & tried to make a play, but I was not interested (thank god!). We became friends on Facebook, as did a few others from that night, and continued on our travels, but kept in touch, thanks to social media. Then the following year in August of 2011, he had made his way to Canada, so in the interest of fellowship among travellers, I invited him to visit me where I was living in Nova Scotia. I introduced him to my friends, allowed him to stay in my home, with my roommate & her parents who were also visiting, and even travelled alone with him on a camping trip to Cape Breton, sleeping in a tent, so that I could show him the Cabot Trail and numerous other natural beauties that province has to offer. I knew he had some demons, as most grown adults travelling long term do, but never did I suspect anything to this level. I questioned how he could afford to travel for so long, but he said he had savings, worked odd jobs along the way, etc... which is not an unheard of scenario. I myself sold my house & put all my belongings in storage to travel as long as I did. After seeing his last status update, knew he was going home, something previous to spending many months in a commune like "enlightenment" environment he said he would never do, so I wondered what had happened to him on his return. Was concerned for a man I though was a friend. Google told me in all of a second, and I was sick. Sick to think I showed this man any kindness, that I presented him to people I cared about as a somewhat odd but overall nice man, that I spent 48 hours completely alone with him in the wilderness, and what could have happened. I prided myself on being a smart solo woman traveller, on never getting myself into strange or unsafe circumstances, trusting my gut & being a good judge of character, but still not taking any unnecessary risks. I am thankful every day for whatever reason (probably because by that time I was broke), I was not a target for him, I am grateful that something happened to this man while in South America that he decided to face up to what he had done & return home, but it has shaken my faith in people, has made me second guess my instincts, has destroyed my trust in strangers, and built a wall that on future travels, may mean I remain closed off from meeting some really great people. It is in no way as heinous or disgusting as what he did to his wife, but he still has taken something from me. May Debbie rest in peace, may her family find some comfort in the fact that justice has been served, and may he spend every day of the next 30 years in misery, atoning for taking a life so violently to supply his own greed, & feeling guilt for all of the lives he irreparably damaged.

Onesleeptillwembley Sun 30-Jun-13 02:14:08

Sorry , I read this as Jimmy Tarbuck, thought he'd flipped.
This is such a terrible story, shocking all round.

currentbuns Sun 30-Jun-13 21:50:00

Gigi, that is shocking, I cannot imagine how you must have felt when you searched for him on Google and discovered the truth. This story really floored me when I read about it, although it didn't seem to attract much coverage in the press. There is something so sinister and delusional about Starbucks & his story. Oddly, it was people like yourself that I was wondering about when I looked at the blog and wrote the OP - all those innocent, oblivious fellow travellers he alludes to.

AuntGiGi612 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:21:59

I think currentbuns, I'm still perhaps in shock over the whole thing. I keep bringing up the news story, reading it over & over, staring at the picture of him still in disbelief that it's true. When I first read that he had been arrested upon landing at Heathrow "on suspicion", I thought there must have been some explanation, some mistake. I saw his court date so set an alert to remind myself to check on that date, because he couldn't possibly be the same person I knew. But sadly no, there it was, his confession, his conviction, and all the gruesome details. Never in my life have I ever been so wrong about a person. I've never been called naive or gullible, and as I said before, prided myself on being a good judge of character. So much so my friends always introduce me to someone they start dating first to see what I think, because my instincts up until this point, were always right.

Too bad that it did not get much news coverage other than online stories. This could serve as a warning to women everywhere. Had it happened in the United States, it would have been top story on CNN & probably had a TV movie made of it. (that's a little too much IMO, but it tends to be what happens with things like this).

dymolink Tue 09-Jul-13 23:35:46

I also found this thread via a Google search, made as he’s recently written a letter to the Prison Times moaning about how boring prison is, and I was wondering how it’s been picked up by the media…

Why the interest? Because I knew both him and Debbie. As friends we all fell for his act. We figured he was okay, albeit with demons in his past (usually blamed on his family and ex-wife). But we were happy that Debbie had found someone, as she wanted kids so badly.

Relatively quickly he very carefully isolated her from us, manufacturing arguments and then faking emails from her that 'as her boyfriend she had to support his side, so didn’t want to see us again'. We let it lie, assuming it was standard new relationship intensity, and that they'd be back in touch when things calmed down.

Then they got married, pretty quickly, and before we had time to process it, they embarked on the 'journey of a lifetime'. We all assumed they were travelling across the world in an extended honeymoon, as both had careers you could do anywhere.

Sending fake emails from Debbie across the world, it was only when a couple of Facebook posts early last year raised alarms and comparing notes we found his blog and Twitter feeds that made no mention of Debbie. She was reported missing to the police, despite some initial reluctance on their part. We persevered, and pushed for them to investigate. They did, and it fairly quickly escalated when it became clear that she really was missing. Initial investigations were low-key, to avoid alerting him. And extended, as their was quite a trail to follow. A lot of work was done with her family behind the scenes, as they too had become worried but were also getting fake emails that made suspicions seem crazy.

It came to a head last December, when he realised the authorities were on to him. The reason he came back, we believe, was his passport meant he could be arrested at any border, and a UK prison seemed preferable to one in Columbia or South America where he was at that time.

One can only assume it didn’t get much more coverage than the OP's link, and this: as he pleaded guilty and there wasn't a 'newsworthy' extended court case; we all thought he'd plead insanity to allow some grandstanding in court to be honest.

One thing the press did get wrong was the online dating aspect; they did meet online (as we all did), but it was a general social group that we were all involved in, rather than a specific dating site. I don't know if that make it less or more disturbing, but I do know other mutual friends (and myself) have met partners, spouses and families through the group, so I can't let it colour my judgement either way. It was just the wrong person, in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Debbie was unfortunate enough to be an attractive target for his sickness, probably because of her funds and estrangement from her family. It was only later, talking to his ex-wife that we saw the pattern, and it could have been anyone.

You only need read his latest prison letter to realise there is still no remorse, and he is indeed the dictionary definition of a psychopath. I doubt he will ever feel guilt, but I hope that a 30 year sentence will at least protect other people and ruin his life as he ruined Debbie’s, both families and all her friends'.

BinarySolo Wed 10-Jul-13 09:25:17

This is just so shocking. His blog makes him sound self obsessed and frankly a bit deranged - I'm not getting normal from it at all. There's certainly no hint of remorse. Hopefully he will never be released.

currentbuns Thu 11-Jul-13 14:22:25

Thanks for posting that link to the prison letter, Dymo, which fully shows Starbuck up for the utterly delusional narcissist that he is. The responses are interesting, too, although I was pretty shocked by the creepy, sycophantic comments made by the prison chaplain. One comment alluded to the fact that this story failed to make front page news, which surprised me at the time, but now I can see what a good thing that is - because JS probably would have loved the notoriety. And I agree with the person who said that the lack of point to the time in prison is the point itself.
Binary re my 'normal' comment in the op, I didn't really mean 'normal' in a benign way, but normal in a narcissistic, self-important, sort of a way - I have met people like this before - perhaps I've just been dreadfully unlucky, but they weren't murderers or even violent IYSWIM.

BinarySolo Thu 11-Jul-13 14:49:50

I agree. He seems unhinged but I wouldn't have automatically have thought he was a killer.

Sarahlouise81 Mon 04-Dec-17 22:23:27

I know this thread is old but this man used to babysit for me as a child. I've known him and his family most of my life. I was also speaking to him while he was on his travels little did I know what he had done makes me sick to think about it I hope he rots.

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