opinion

No, the woman who outed her ex on Facebook did NOT deserve to be murdered

A lot is being said about Jane Waughfield, the 40-year-old Indianapolis woman who was murdered last week after outing her ex-lover on Facebook.

Last Tuesday, Waughfield live-streamed a video in which she she told everyone about a man she hooked up with two years ago. “Y’all gotta hear this story,” she said, “because this is a good story.”

Waughfield then proceeded to spend the next 17 minutes talking about her ex, who she recently learned was “f*cking n*ggers in the ass” and “hitting the fudge out the back.”

She recounted telling him and his cousin, who she claimed was his gay lover, to pay her $5,000 or she would publicly identify them. When they refused, she delivered on her threat and made the video. She also published her ex’s name, photo, and place of employment.

Hours later, she was dead.

CBS4 reported that Waughfield was shot Tuesday morning near the intersection of West 30th Street and Lafayette Road in Indianapolis. According to police, she was struck by a bullet during a 90-100 MPH car chase. After colliding into another vehicle, she was rushed to a local hospital, where she soon expired.

Queerty’s original article about the story was met with a number of comments ranging from “Justice was served” to “No sympathy for this stupid sow.”

“Well, Miss Piggy will NEVER do that again,” one person remarked.

“As the law of the jungle goes, she got what she asked for,” another wrote.

On Facebook, they weren’t much better.

“She had it coming,” one person commented. “No loss.”

“Bye girl,” someone else said. “Shoulda minded yo damn business.”

And then there were the tweets.

Just to be clear, outing someone is never OK. Never ever ever.

But neither is murdering them.

What Waughfield did wasn’t just wrong, it was illegal. But that doesn’t mean she deserved to die.

In Indiana, extortion falls under the statutes for the offenses of “intimidation” and “harassment.” The penalty can be anywhere from six months to two and a half years in prison plus fines. Capital punishment is reserved for the most heinous of crimes, mainly murder. It is not imposed for outing someone on Facebook Live.

Unfortunately, there are no sentencing guidelines for homophobia. If there were, both parties in this situation would be guilty.

Homophobia poisons people’s minds and drives them to do horrible things. Waughfield was clearly motivated by it when she made the video. Her executioner (assuming it was the man she outed, as appears to be the case) was motivated by it when he let his fear of people learning about his same-sex attraction drive him to murder.

I honestly don’t know which is sadder.

Waughfield had two daughters. They are completely innocent in all this and will now grow up without a mother. Her executioner will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, an environment that will no doubt be incredibly hostile towards him because of his sexual orientation. Both are victims in their own right, and neither “deserved” what happened to them.