If you murder someone, you probably shouldn’t take a Snapchat selfie with the victim’s body



This is probably both the saddest and most shocking thing you’ll read today. A 16-year-old teen was murdered last week by a classmate. The reasoning is unknown at the moment, but it’s what the murderer did immediately following the heinous crime that has us more puzzled: he took a selfie with the victim and sent it out through Snapchat.

That’s the story Pittsburgh police delivered to the Tribune-Review. The killer thought it a good idea to publicize what he’d done, and considering Snapchat deletes photos “forever” after they’ve been viewed he probably figured he wouldn’t be caught. What he didn’t know is that it’s ridiculously easy to save images sent through Snapchat, and it’s that very reason police were able to track him down so easily.

If that weren’t enough, anyone who’s bothered to read through Snapchat’s terms of use and privacy policy knows they don’t immediately delete the files from their server if it hasn’t been viewed by every recipient:

Delete is our default. That means that most messages sent through our Services will be automatically deleted once they have been viewed or have expired. But—and this is important—you should understand that users who see your messages can always save them, either by taking a screenshot or by using some other image-capture technology (whether that be software or even something as old-fashioned as a camera to take a photo of your device’s screen). If we’re able to detect that a recipient took a screenshot of a message you sent, we’ll try to notify you. But the same common sense that applies to the Internet at large applies to Snapchat as well: Don’t send messages that you wouldn’t want someone to save or share.

In most cases, once we detect that all recipients have viewed a message, we automatically delete it from our servers. And again in most cases, the Services are programmed to delete the message from the recipients’ device as well.

The terms go on to list other cases where they won’t immediately delete a photo, such as if you save it as part of a “Snapchat Story” or if you allow people to view a snap more than once. It sounds like police could have just as easily requested the info from Snapchat if someone didn’t think to save the photo.

A warrant to search his home turned up a hidden 9mm pistol that seemed to match a 9mm bullet casing found at the murder scene, though ballistics have yet to confirm it as the murder weapon. There’s no problem on that front, though, considering the teen admitted to the crime. We suppose it’d be pretty hard to deny having anything to do with the dead body you foolishly took a selfie with.,

You have to be pretty sick to not only murder someone, but also to take an image with the body to glorify the action. That, or you’re just plum dumb. Either way, thank you for making it easy to pin you to a cell for the rest of your life to make sure you don’t do it again.

[via The Verge]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Social Media is getting some many idiots caught up. Continue on

  2. The most disturbing thing I have ever read on here. That is just sad. My thoughts are with the victim’s family.

  3. People these days are just getting stupider and crazier. From Swatting (literally calling a swat team to someones house as a “prank”) to this, its no wonder people think the younger generation is screwed up. Stuff like this is why I will probably never make a paid app for Android. Googles new policy of revealing the developers address to everyone is insane considering the world we live in.

    1. What does this article have to do with making paid apps? Nobody is blaming Snapchat or its devs for this murder…

      1. He explained why he wouldn’t submit an app, and what the correlation is.

        1. I would agree with your statement, but my question is still relevant. It appears the only correlation between his rant about google’s policies and this article is the fact that they are both apps. There is nothing to link this snapchat story about it being the vehicle for capturing a murderer to devs having an issue with their information being public. Had the kid murdered an app dev because he didn’t like the product there would be some link, but as it stands, he’s just going off on a tangent that is unrelated to the article.

          1. the short version of what he said may make the relevancy more clear:
            “with people as crazy as this in the world, I’m not going to advertise where i live”

            he just wants to point out he’s being reminded why he’s being careful by news like this, and that as an app developer one of his ways of being careful is to not publish paid apps through Google so crazy people have a harder time finding him.

          2. I agree there are crazy people…but this wasn’t a random act and if someone really wanted to track you down, they would. I stand by the statement that his is unrelated to the article abs if your connection is just the fact that there are crazy people in the world, great. It still has nothing to do with ranting about goggle policies.

        2. The murder killed a classmate, not a developer because Google disclosed the dev’s address. So no, the reasoning makes no sense.

          1. I’m assuming they were just ranting and the thought came up. I tend to go off track. Let’s just nod and agree.

            *nods and agrees with OP*
            *silently disagrees with correlation* LoL!!

    2. Maybe I missed it but what does that have to do with this story?

      1. Nothing directly. I was just saying that the world around us is getting a lot more violent and crazy. With everything that is going, on including stuff like this, I think it’s crazy that Google hasn’t found a different way to do things so developers don’t have to reveal their personal address.

        This story itself is devastating and I feal sorry for the victims family and those who were caught off guard by such a gross snapchat being sent to them. If you look at this event, the various school shootings, swatting pranks and just the world news in general it’s very easy to see that there are a lot of people with a lot of hate in their heart. For that reason, making your address public information is a much bigger deal than it would have been 5-10 years ago.

    3. If you aren’t a terror threat…. then what’s the problem? We normally go to brick n mortar stores. How can a business exist if you can’t verify it’s legitimate or not? I mean get real…. the only App developers who’d support this are ones that shouldn’t be selling Apps in the first place. It puts the onus on the Developer, instead of wrongly assuming everything is Google’s fault. Plus in the UK and several other locations, it’s the law. If you want to sell anything, your information must be displayed along with any license (with your address on it) you’re working under. If I’m a barber…. you better believe I have to display my license and no business could survive if trying to operate anonymously! …..that’s the most stupid and lame ploy yet for those that put up Apps with malware in them and don’t want to to post their address. Online….. you better believe I want to know who and where I can get support!!!

  4. FYI the snapchat QR code in your picture still works. Not sure who Joe Fedawa is, but I know I wouldn’t like that being posted.

    1. Joe Fedewa is a Phandroid editor, and the still comes from his hands-on of Snapchat’s latest update:

      But no worries, I can change it.

      1. Okay, good to know. PS: Sorry for the add Joe, was seeing if it worked.

    2. It better work, that’s the reason I showed it! lol

  5. Or just skip the murder part altogether.

  6. If you want to murder someone, then yes, you SHOULD take a snapchat selfie. And then get caught. And punished accordingly.

    I don’t know about Phandroid, but I personally don’t believe in getting away with murder.

    1. Well of course we wouldn’t want anyone to get away with it, and would prefer it not to happen in the first place lol. That goes without saying, I think.

    2. It’s not about getting away with it or not. It’s the idea that someone could be so mind numbingly stupid. Even people who have no intention to ever commit a crime have a basic understanding what you don’t do if you commit one.

  7. Crazy/Stupid level is over 9000!

    1. *scouter breaks*

  8. I read somewhere that males who post “selfies” are more likely to be narcissistic and be psychopaths….thought it was dumb but now I am seeing how this is so true. what a complete idiot.

    1. Not just males.

  9. TIL I learned my coworker is a homicidal maniac. O_o

  10. And that’s all she wrote.

  11. Well that will certainly help the insanity defense, I’d say.

  12. At least he won’t breed.

    1. However there’s a good chance someone will “breed” him forcibly in prison

      1. Is it heartless that I laughed at this? Probably, but I don’t care. LoL!!

  13. I love it.

    I love it when social media F’s people like this. Narcissism & putting one’s life out there comes back to haunt them. HA HA HA.

  14. You gotta be stupid to murder someone anyway.

  15. I know that guy. He disguises under several names. He often leaves his signature in the comments section as the first commenter with a single word “first”. Look like he does that with Snapchat too.

    1. LoL!! I’m done.

  16. “Let me leave the scene, but first…let me take a selfie!” Crazy idiot.

  17. Before anyone says “Stupid teenagers.” Just know that most teens are not stupid enough to murder someone, let alone take a selfie at the crime scene.

    1. Stupid People would be more fitting. No matter the age, you’d have to be sick to murder someone, then stupid to photograph it.

    2. It all depends on where you live, in my hood, which isn’t too far from the crime, alot of the younger gen, wouldn’t think twice. The funny thing is, this isn’t the first, second, etc.. that this happened around here.

  18. I think this goes beyond ‘stupid’ or ‘teenager’. This is someone who is not human.

  19. LoL!! Is this dude for real? Like who would this person share this with? I’d hope they didn’t put it in their stories. Smh…

    I’m done.

  20. People don’t read terms of service, no more than they read privacy statement, warranties, etc.. We as enthusiast, will look into it, but the general public , not so much. Great he was stupid enough to believe the hype, not look into the details, and trust software. Not only do we, the enthusiast, look for this, and realize, but there are limits. I hope that other criminals, are just as stupid as him. This happened in my general area.

  21. Society in decay…

  22. Why is this surprising? Our way of life is going down the toilet. Its just going to get worse. No discipline and no self discipline.

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