Online Prison Dating Not So Sexy, Inmates Find

swim photo.jpg
From LostVault.com
One ad of thousands on Lost Vault.
The first day of June marks day one of Celibacy Awareness Month, which we singles have appropriated from the Bible-thumpers. Not that we're celebrating our celibacy with the same gusto, but we're just as aware of it -- especially as the weather's heavy wetness coaxes layers off of our bodies.

Oh God. We need to get laid.

But what about Texans who can't simply join a kickball league, or take a date to Marfreless? What about those stuck behind bars, instead of in them?

For them, there's Lost Vault.

It's a prison pen pal site, where inmates across the U.S. take out free ads looking for correspondence, companionship, or something more. Friends and relatives can also post ads on an inmate's behalf. It's similar to a standard dating site, but stripped of all frills. The form replaces the typical "Dreams and Aspirations:" field with "Convicted Of:" and "Release Date:."

Some are looking for legal advice; some just for dirty pictures.

Some ads are demanding:
From a 34-year-old female

I was convicted of aggravated assault w/ deadly weapon/ firearm...I am looking for a God fearing Husband who will love and respect me.

Some disturbing:
From a 33-year-old man convicted of sex with a juvenile

I'm looking for a pen pal and maybe someone to love. Size does not matter.

Some hypocritical:
From a 44-year-old female convicted of assaulting a police officer

All races welcome - prefer ages 38-85 - NO Inmates!

And some downright desperate:
From a 41-year-old male convicted of murder

Been in prison since 1993. Mother only one who writes. Would love to have a friend. Need some communication with someone outside. Loves the Lord and believes in Jesus. Loving, caring person who made a terrible mistake.

There's no standard Lost Vault ad, but the further away the release date, the less specific inmates seem to be about race, age and even gender.

Online dating has never worked for Hair Balls -- we always end up being matched with some dog -- so we reached out to some lovelorn prisoners and releasees to see how Lost Vault is working out.

Topangelia Bingham

Bingham_Topangelia.jpg
From LostVault.com
This photo is not Topangelia Bingham, as it turns out.
Topangelia Bingham is the world's hottest computer hacker. She'll be out of the Fort Worth pen in December. Here's her ad:

Description: Seeking: Just Friends; Romance with Men Serious, beautiful woman, searching for her soul mate. Someone that's not judgmental, and that is caring, and honest. I am loving and caring. I do not play games and I don't have the time for the games. If you're serious about a commitment, please take the time to write me and get to know the person I am.

I'm willing to relocate for a fresh new beginning. If you decide to write to me, please include your email address, so if you wish we can exchange emails.

I know my soul mate is out there, please don't have me waiting long.

But is that photo really her? Bingham wrote us back and fessed up.

"No its not me," she said via letter. "The reason why you don't put your picture on there, because you get some strange reply. And you don't want your photo on there.

"When I receive a letter, I always inform them that the picture is not me. I even send them a picture of me," she said. "A lot of them, say that I am more beautiful then the one in the ad."

We don't doubt it. Still, Bingham hasn't had much luck with the site. "My experience was not good. Because the guys that write me don't want a relationship at all. They want sex letters. And are looking for a lot more than just that."

Ew, gross. Who's sending these letters? Says Bingham, "The type of response I receive is mostly from older men that is pervert."

Karl Benson

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From LostVault.com

Benson, a six-foot white male who did four years in Beaumont for burglary, found Lost Vault via an advertisement he got in jail mail. He signed up last August. Here's his ad, short and sweet:

Description: Looking for a female penpal to write with. Have 7 months left and would to have a friend to share thoughts and feelings with. Look forward to hearing from you.

Benson got out in March and spoke over the phone about the site. "It was terrible," he said. "I got one letter and it was from an old white guy -- retired Air Force, said he was a model. And I was like, 'Oh man, I'm gone.' He was really old," he said. "After that I was scared."

(In case you were wondering: "Hell nah, I didn't write back to him.")

Benson gave online dating another shot on the other side. Through DateHookup.com, he met his current girlfriend, someone he "really likes," he said.

And that, we found, is the closest thing to a Lost Vault success story.


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11 comments
Hunter Phelan
Hunter Phelan

I wrote Topangelia Bingham for about six months. She lied here on her release date, as being December 9, 2011. She also lied to me and said she would be release early (September 29, 2011). When that date came and she was not released, and seeing her June, 2013 release date (I called her counselor at the FBOP) and that date includes good time earned. However, in six months of writing to her I learned NOTHING, I mean ZERO, about her.  She was always "out of stuff", wanted funds. She uses men simply for communication and entertainments. She also, when asked, did send three other "racy" pictures of a girl that is not her, claiming they were of her. Plus, yes, she wrote me "sex letters" to try and keep my attention.. keep me hooked. A woman, Topangelia Bingham, in prison, has NOTHING to offer - they can't. And knowing that, they do the next best thing - lie to their marks trying to get pity or something so you will send them money. This woman, Topangelia Bingham, even got her mother involved by giving the phone number and asking me to call her, which I did. But her mother had NOTHING to offer, as to any information... her mother's name is Leola. I mean she told me she did not know when Topangelia Bingham would be released, when I asked her, in her scam, think about it,  (trying to make it look real, that she was interested in just you). I also got her social security number, but I never bothered confirming it was hers... she just wants a man to get comfortable, fall in love... sending her funds, thinking the relationship is real. It is not. I paid a private investigator $5,000.00 to check EVERYTHING about her out. He said he found six other men doing the same thing, trying to find things out about Topangelia G. Bingham. And it is because Topangelia Bingham covers her tracks as best she can. She is a scammer guys. I encourage you to write to her and simply ask this one per-tenant question, "What town in Italy did you live in and come from?" (She said she was a child in Italy, living with her father that died, and then was sent back state side to live with her mother. Now that her fake release dates are coming and going she will most likely make new profile post and sucker a fresh batch of guys into her "liars".  This girl is not the Topangelia Bingham you are looking for or what you want her to be. And if you write to her, hey.. have fun, "sucker". 

BeggarsNotChoosers
BeggarsNotChoosers

This article depressed me.

Noemailsaccepted
Noemailsaccepted

For some sadistic reason I found this article highly entertaining. Maybe it was that chocolate chunk of love with 4 inch heels on that threw me off. Who knows.

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