Pennsylvania teen Maxwell Marion Morton has been charged with murder, allegedly killing another boy before sharing a photo of himself with the body.
Morton, 16, allegedly killed high-school classmate Ryan Mangan before taking to Snapchat to share the photos with friends. Although Snapchat messages delete themselves after 10 seconds, one boy took a screenshot of the photo before showing it to his mother, who contacted police. Morton has now been charged with first-degree murder, according to James Vincent of The Verge.
Snapchat seflie: Oversharing on social media
“(Police) received a copy of the photo, which depicted the victim sitting in the chair with a gunshot wound to the face,” reads the police affidavit, according to reports in the PittsburghTribuneReview. “It also depicts a black male taking the ‘selfie,’ with his face facing the camera and the victim behind the actor. The photo had the name ‘Maxwell’ across the top.”
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Not only did Morton share the grisly photo with friends, he reportedly sent a number of text messages which read: “Told you I cleaned up the shells,” and, “Ryan was not the last one.”
Police searched Morton’s home and found a 9mm handgun hidden below the steps which lead to the basement. He later confessed to killing Mangan.
Incriminating selfies: a growing trend?
District Attorney John Peck claimed that the picture was “a key piece of evidence that led investigators to the defendant.” Unsurprisingly he also said that he never before seen a “selfie” taken with a murder victim.
It would appear that people are becoming so used to sharing every detail of their lives with the internet that they no longer have a filter on what is appropriate material for public consumption. This is certainly not the first time that a selfie has led to criminal charges, and it seems unlikely that it will be the last.
Just a few weeks ago two hapless thieves were caught thanks to celebratory selfies they took on a stolen iPad, and the almost omnipresent culture of the selfie doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon. Perhaps criminals will soon be using accessories such as this in order to capture the perfect incriminating photo of themselves.