Subcultures: Killer Sex

It was the perfect tabloid story: a former Penn Ph.D. student caught up in a violent S&M love triangle. But the really shocking part may be how much the Internet is changing our sex lives

I waited — and perhaps Rich waited — for her to answer her own question, to mitigate the pain of the experience. Instead, she carried on more softly: “It always changes the dynamic of the relationship. It’s never going to be the same.”

The obvious question arises: Why carry on with the unhappy behavior? Rich and Satine subscribe to a sort of fatalism, a moral inevitability that concludes that sexual value simply can’t hold out much longer. Everyone’s trading it at discount rates. “It’s the economy,” Satine said. “People are like, ‘Oh, the hell with it. My life is miserable, I want to have fun, we’ve been thinking about this for a while, let’s just do it.’”

She related the remarkable story of a young couple who attended the party not long ago. The first time the couple showed up, the woman sat alone, crying. “I don’t want to be here,” she told Satine. “I’m doing this to make him happy, he’s my husband.”

Satine asked her: “How long have you been married?”

“Two months.”

The woman eventually participated, but couldn’t hide her resentment. The couple came back for two more parties, and for the fourth, the man came alone. His wife had left, the young marriage destroyed.

ALEX ROBBOY, THE sex therapist, said some of her clients also see dominatrices. And those clients describe for her the moments just after a rough “domme” session. “Sometimes they feel even emptier,” she said. “More hollow. They’ll talk about how it’s such an incredible endorphin rush, they got to live out their fantasy. But some clients talk about this need for a true connection with their dominatrix.”

On the first day of December, just after midnight, David Krieg called his parents and told them he planned to commit suicide. They in turn called the police, who visited Krieg’s apartment. Officers searched the building, but the bodybuilder had disappeared, along with his pistol.

Meanwhile, Maa and Ottaviano had returned to her apartment building after dinner. As they stepped out of their car in the parking lot, Krieg appeared before them. He remained silent, but raised his gun and fired a shot into Ottaviano’s chest.

Then he turned to Maa and forced her inside his silver rental car. For more than four hours, he drove her on a nightmarish ride through the city, holding her at gunpoint. “Only by using her charm and wits was she able to convince him to let her escape with her life,” a friend of Maa’s wrote online a few days later. Krieg drove her to his parents’ house in West Chester, where he left her.

Inside the house, Maa called the police, who just 20 minutes later saw Krieg driving his rental car south on Route 52. When the patrol car pulled in behind him, Krieg turned into the parking lot of Simon Pearce restaurant, on the Brandywine River. He placed his pistol to his head. For nine hours, police tried to coax him from his driver’s seat, to no avail.