Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have truly changed the way we stay in touch with family and friends.
Photos can be shared in an instant; party invitations and birthday wishes no longer have to be mailed; grandparents can stay current on their grandchildren’s accomplishments without calling or visiting in person.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, social media has also allowed authorities to catch criminals. Here are the top 10 social media confessions from criminals:
1. A Kentucky man was arrested for stealing gasoline—from a police car, no less—after his girlfriend snapped a photo of him with a siphon hose stuck into a police cruiser and posted the pic on Facebook. Although the couple told officials it was just a joke, the police were not laughing.
2. After Cameroon native Maxi Sopo’s career selling nightclubs took a dive, he turned to bank fraud. After illegally obtaining $200,000, he headed down to Mexico to enjoy the good life, which he bragged about regularly on Facebook … and the former Justice Department official on his friends list caught on.
3. Breakups can be bitter, especially when children are involved. But London Eley was arrested by Philadelphia police after posting “I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father” on her Facebook wall. Someone took her up on the offer and arranged the details. Police obtained a search warrant and found a fully-loaded gun inside the killer-for-hire’s home. Both Eley and her hired hand will be behind bars for a long time thanks to their social media posts.
4. Utica, New York police turned to social media in hopes of catching a criminal and their plan worked. After posting a YouTube video on the department’s Facebook page that showed a theft taking place, several tips were called in, and the suspect was arrested.
5. The University of Iowa has also turned to posting surveillance videos and images on their police department’s Facebook page. A viewer recognized a man who allegedly attacked a police officer, and the man was caught as a result.
6. An angry boyfriend confessed – on Facebook – to killing his ex-girlfriend as well as her companion. He then took his own life. The grisly Facebook status update asked readers to call 911, listed an address, and stated that two people had been killed and the killer was next. Mere minutes after the status was posted, someone saw it and contacted authorities. The three victims of the murder-suicide were found inside the residence.
7. U.S. authorities aren’t the only ones turning to Facebook to catch criminals. German police have been turning to social media since a trial project helped resolve six criminal investigations as well as two missing persons’ cases.
8. Michael ‘Miles’ (last name a Facebook alias), a 21-year-old British man who was charged with attacking a friend’s father, became a tattletale on himself after writing a Facebook message during a trial that he “may get away” with his crime. While the jury was preparing its verdict, Michael Ruse posted the self-incriminating Facebook status update, ‘Yeah, I think I get away with it tbh (to be honest).’
9. A thirty-five-year-old Greek event manager butchered his 22-year-old girlfriend’s body with a knife and dumped her remains in a lake. He later confessed to his crimes on Facebook, where he posted “To Adriana Gardikioti: I am sorry and I apologize. Whatever happened cannot change anymore. I loved you. I love you and will continue to love you…” He was arrested after attempting to kill himself by wrecking his car.
10. Although not as severe a crime as murder, a 16-year-old teen used Facebook to confess to flooding a library by blocking drains with toilet paper rolls and turning on the faucets, creating damage that caused the library to close its doors for five months.
We’ve all posted things that we later regretted, but here’s a word of wisdom for anyone who has or plans on committing a crime—if you brag about your actions on the Internet, there’s a good chance you’ll get caught! Then again, that might be a very good idea.
This Guest post was written by Jon Reiter who is a marketing agent for Werking Law, an expert Denver DUI attorney.