EMT Charged in Facebook Crime-Scene Photo Leak

Last month, NEWSWEEK's Jessica Bennett's wrote a heartbreaking story about the Catsouras family, who are fighting to scrub the internet of gristly accident-scene photos taken moments after their daughter Nikki's death. Now, another tale of private, post-mortem photos posted online has made the news.

CBSNews reports that a New York City emergency medical technician was charged today with official misconduct for posting to his Facebook page crime-scene photos of a murder victim. Mark Musarella was charged for taking a cell-phone photo of Caroline Wimmer, 30, who was strangled in her Staten Island home, then uploading those photos to the social-networking site. Unlike the highway patrol police* responsible for leaking the photos of Nikki Catsouras, who say they purposefully e-mailed the photos to a small group of friends and family members as a cautionary tale about the dangers of speeding, Musarella's attorney insists that the photos were posted accidentally. (Nothing has yet been reported about why Musarella snapped a private pic of the victim in the first place).

Sadly, social networking sites may have also played a role in Wimmer's death; her mother tells CBS that rumors on MySpace precipitated her death. Calvin Lawson, 28 has been charged with her murder.

With almost every cell phone acting as both a camera and a personal computer, stories like these may become all too common. Let's hope that both the law and the training procedures for emergency personnel catches up to the technology before more families suffer. One small upside to stories like these: they give evidence to how the worst in some people can bring out the best in others. After the article about the Catsouras photos ran in NEWSWEEK, readers responded with a groundswell of support and action, doing what they can to ensure that Nikki is remembered as she lived.

*correction amended: these men were originally identified as EMTs in this post.

Out of respect for both the Catsourus and Wimmer families, we're going to close the comments to this post.

EMT Charged in Facebook Crime-Scene Photo Leak | News