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How smartphones can catch a killer

In true Scooby Doo style, the following killers are most likely sat in a cell right now, shaking their fists and cursing “if it weren’t for that meddling smartphone…”

The deadly selfie

Selfies have been blamed for a number of lost lives in recent times, from the genius who posed with his handgun and accidentally pulled the trigger, to the US lady who crashed into a recycling truck after taking a selfie on a highway. In an even more extreme case, there’s evidence that a recent plane crash in Coloroda may have been caused by the pilot taking a mid-air selfie, which not only killed him but also his unfortunate passenger.

However, the act of taking selfies does occasionally have a more positive outcome, like in the case of Maxwell Marion Morton. American teenager Morton allegedly murdered one of his classmates, a 16-year-old boy called Ryan Mangan, and then decided it would be a super-amazing idea to take a selfie with Mangan’s body visible in the background.

Further proving his genius credentials, Morton also thought it would also be fun to Snapchat the photo to a friend, failing to remember the key weakness of that auto-delete feature – all you need to do is take a screenshot and the picture becomes permanent.

That’s exactly what Morton’s mate did, and then the friend’s mother somehow got a hold of the snap and handed it over to police, thus sealing Morton’s fate. Morton confessed to the murder shortly afterwards and is now set to face trial for the killing.

Siri, where can I hide this dead guy…

Siri might be pretty good at recommending tapas bars and not understanding Scottish people, but she’s also a massive snitch, as one murderer discovered to his distress when his iPhone was used as evidence against him.

Florida resident Pedro Bravo was accused of murdering his friend Christian Aguilar in September 2012, after Aguilar started dating Bravo’s ex. With a dead body to dispose of, Bravo turned to his iPhone assistant for advice – an action which he’d later regret, as police confiscated his mobile and found his ill-advised query, “I need to hide my roommate”.

Siri used to respond with a tongue-in-cheek answer to body dumping queries before the court case came to light, asking if you’d prefer a swamp, reservoir or metal foundry. However, Apple seems to have taken that option out as a matter of taste.

Bravo wasn’t just done in by Siri, however. Police also used the phone’s GPS function to prove that he was skulking around in the woods late at night and even pointed out that his flashlight app had been used nine times in the half hour leading up to midnight. Busted.

The murder live blog

One of the most shocking stories from 2013 involved the daylight slaying of Lee Rigby, a British soldier who was butchered in the street while returning to his barracks in South London. The killer, Michael Adebolajo, had no intention of escaping however. Instead, he found the nearest witness wielding a smartphone and got him to record a chilling account of why he’d commited the heinous crime.

“The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers,” Adebolajo said into the camera. “By Allah, we swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone.” He was still clutching the knife and cleaver used to murder Rigby.

The murder was also tweeted about in real time by horrified onlookers, including rapper Boya Dee who posted: Ohhhhh myyyy God!!!! I just see a man with his head chopped off right in front of my eyes!

He followed up with: Mate ive seen alot of shit im my time but that has to rank sumwhere in the top 3. Which makes us wonder what on earth the other two things would be.


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