As selfie culture has popped off, it seems inevitable that crime scene selfies would work their way into news and social feeds. But could anyone have predicted things would go so far? While accidental and intentional deaths have been streamed live via social media apps, it seems like the last thing a guilty person should do is upload photographic evidence. However, there are plenty of perps who took selfies before, during, and after committing their foul actions. In some extreme cases, social media has even prompted unstable individuals to take lives.
But in trying to understand these actions, the reasons given for snapping these photos are both clear and complete mysteries. Some were seeking revenge, while others just a thrill. Shocking deaths broadcasted on live TV may be a thing of yesteryear, as social media apps are now ubiquitous and readily-accessible. Audiences wonder if these offenders are drawn to the flash of social media's limelight, or if perhaps these individuals had such deep-rooted issues that they felt it necessary to blast their scorn on the Internet.
In March of 2011, 25-year-old Emma Wilson of Windsor, England, harmed her infant son, Callum, so severely her neighbors felt their wall rattle. She then took a selfie of herself with her crying baby, who clearly needed medical attention. Callum later passed at the hospital.
Reportedly, Wilson had kept her pregnancy secret from friends and family. Upon his birth in 2010, Callum stayed in the care of foster parents until his mother regained custody. Wilson claimed her other child, a toddler, was responsible for the damage done to Callum. The court found Wilson guilty and sentenced her to life in prison.
In May of 2015, under the pretense of assisting him with a photography project, college student Jamie Reynolds, 23, lured his friend Georgia Williams, 17, to his home. There, he enacted a sexual fantasy he'd been harboring for several months, whereby he would hang a woman and defile the body as she passed.
Reynolds photographed the entire incident. Reportedly, he fled from England to Scotland after disposing of Williams's remains. The Stafford Crown Court judge called Reynolds's actions "sadistic" and sentenced him to life in prison.
In July of 2017, Navar Terrance Beverly, 38, ended the life of his stepfather and then posted a selfie with his victim's corpse on Twitter. Police in Maryland said Beverly choked his stepfather, 65-year-old Ronald Pinkney, on July 8, posted several photos on Twitter, and then fled the scene. Not long after, police received a tip and went to check on Pinkney.
Police apprehended Beverly not long after. According to a WUSA9 news report, Beverly and Pinkney "had a history of domestic disputes."
In July of 2011, Florida teen Tyler Hadley told his friends he was having a big party at his house. He claimed his parents were out of town, though no one knew where they had supposedly gone and how long they would be away. Turns out, Hadley had dropped Ecstasy and used a claw hammer to end the lives of his mother and father, leaving their bodies in their bedroom while he entertained 60 friends and fellow students.
Also during the party, Hadley admitted his actions to his friend Michael Mandell, who took a selfie with Hadley because he figured it would be the last time he ever saw his friend in person. Mandell then phoned the police and told them everything.
In 2014, Hadley received two life sentences without parole for the actions he committed when he was 17. The ruling was overturned, and Hadley was resentenced in 2018 - receiving life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.