Not Saussure

September 19, 2006

Google shows how not to murder your wife

Filed under: hubris, nemesis — notsaussure @ 7:15 pm

From Philipp Lensen’s Google Blogoscoped

According to Indians Abroad, Indian PhD student Anurag Johri (researching at the University of Central England, Birmingham, pictured) killed his wife with a baseball bat because she became too independent for him. The incident is now dubbed the “Google Murder” because the day before the killing, Anurag logged onto a university computer and carried out a Google search which – in the words of prosecuting lawyer Gareth Walters – involved “tips with killing with a baseball bat and how to murder someone and not get caught.” I don’t know how Anurag’s searches were uncovered – maybe the university logs all traffic and handed over the data to the prosecutors.

This isn’t the first case where web searches are being used in court to convict someone. In 2003, Robert James Petrick allegedly murdered his wife after searching for “falls lake depth” (the place where the body of his wife was later found), and words like “neck,” “snap,” “break” and “hold.”

There’s a report on the case in the Birmingham Post about this, which mentions the Google search but not the actual search terms.

Memo: when carrying out this sort of search, remember to use an anonymiser and to clear out your Google cache. There are plenty of Firefox extensions that’ll help you.

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