The title of this fascinating true-crime documentary from upstate New York is

The title of this fascinating true-crime documentary from upstate New York is a screen name: “talhotblond” meaning a tall, hot blonde, all of 18 years old. And her sexy jailbait photos are posted while trolling game rooms, leading to cyberchat and more. The guy who falls for her goes by the handle “marine sniper,” since he was actually once in the Marines, but two decades earlier–before wife and kids and a factory job. Their correspondence makes him feel young, so he tells her he’s also 18, and soon to be deployed to the Iraq War. And from there, deception leads to tragedy. The guy, Thomas Montgomery, is pictured at right; and he’s interviewed extensively in Barbara Schroeder’s sneaky, remarkable, spoiler-filled debut documentary. Sharp-eyed newspaper readers may recall the case from early 2007; it’s perfect for 20-20 or America’s Most Wanted, though the networks seem to have skipped the story after its speedy courtroom trial. (There, the judge calls it “a love triangle between three people who did not ever know each other.”) But Schroeder, using the voice of the murder victim to narrate (clearly identified as a device), gains remarkable subsequent access to the cops, prosecutors, and families of the three main parties involved. She fills the screen with IMs and sex-texts taken from court evidence, snapshots, and home movies. What emerges is a shocking tale of cyber-deception and sad, middle-aged self-delusion only made possible by the Internet. One qualifer: The score and cheesy A Current Affair-style sound effects are terrible, and should be replaced before talhotblond reaches cable, theaters, or DVD. Otherwise, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen at SIFF this year. talhotblond Pacific Place, 9:15 p.m. Fri., June 12 and 4 p.m. Sat., June 13.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

A Darigold dairy worker practices picketing as a strike is approved by the union. Photo courtesy of Julia Issa
Puget Sound Darigold workers on verge of strike amid contract negotiations

Workers cite lack of medical leave, outsourcing and bad-faith negotiations as reason for strike.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Critical race theory became a political buzzword last fall after Gig Harbor resident Christopher Rufo (right) joined commentator Tucker Carlson on Fox News. (Screenshot from YouTube broadcast)
Educational merit of critical race theory sparks heated debate

In Washington, schools have seen parents protest and threaten to remove their children from schools.

The King County Courthouse. File photo
Sexual assault leads to calls for closing King County Courthouse

Crime is rising in the ’dangerous environment that has surrounded our seat of government.’

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations are rising in Washington

Data suggests the vaccine is effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19

File photo
King County Council OKs millions for courts overwhelmed by pandemic backlog

Some lawyers testified that the backlog has created an “access to justice” problem.

Photo courtesy of King County
King County announces purchase agreement of Federal Way hotel

Hotel and two additional Seattle properties to become part of county’s Health Through Housing homelessness program.

File photo
Brief history of rats in the Puget Sound region – and the problem they present

Local exterminator noticed big change in rats over the past 40 years.

Sponsor of the motion to establish guidelines for the removal of encampments, Councilmember Reagan Dunn (courtesy of King County Council)
King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments

Still unclear what the standards will be, who will enforce it, and how jurisdictions will interact.

Most Read