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Unwise — Search History of Murder Methods

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the unless-everybody-joins-in dept.

Crime 532

nonprofiteer writes "Mark Jensen's home computer revealed Internet searches for botulism, poisoning, pipe bombs and mercury fulminate. A website was visited that explained how to reverse the polarity of a swimming pool — the Jensens had a pool — by switching the wires around, likening the result to the 4th of July. The State pointed out the absence of Internet searches on topics like separation, divorce, child custody or marital property. Julie Jensen died as a result of ethylene glycol in her system, an ingredient found in antifreeze. On the morning of her death, someone attempted to 'double-delete' (apparently unsuccessfully) the computer's browsing history, which included a search for 'ethylene glycol poisoning.'" What if searches for devious, undetectable methods of murder were in everyone's history?

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timothy... (5, Insightful)

angus77 (1520151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760512)

timothy, you're an asshole.

Re:timothy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760574)

timothy, you're an asshole.

Concur

Re:timothy... (4, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761074)

h ttp://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=devious,+undetectable+methods+of+murder+"how to find IP address of Timothy or maybe Julian Assange"+"I am not CIA"+"Really, I'm not CIA, honest"

Re:timothy... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760578)

I wish I could Like you post.

Re:timothy... (0)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760618)

timothy, you're an asshole.

He who clicks an obfuscated link without viewing the source is an idiot.

When asshole meets idiot, pwnage ensues.

So I just want to say... haha.

Re:timothy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760764)

It's not even obfuscated, my browser is showing blahblah-google-blahblah-deviousmurder-etc

Re:timothy... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760822)

That's probably because you're using non-default settings on your browser so that you always see the actual hyperlink instead of the covertext...

Re:timothy... (2)

lowlymarine (1172723) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760842)

Is there a browser out there that doesn't display the target of the link when you hover over it? Even IE does this.

Re:timothy... (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760940)

Eh, It shows me google yadda yadda yadda too. And all I run is FF with noscript and AdBlockPlus.

Re:timothy... (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760886)

May not matter if you click it or not, depending on how much pre-fetching your browser does.

Re:timothy... (5, Funny)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760678)

Now, I can kill someone using a devious, undetectable way. When they find my search history, my defense will be that I clicked on an unmarked slashdot link.

Re:timothy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760850)

My recent browser history includes searches for murder methods, WMDs, lines of succession, various types of weapons, schedules for public transport.

I've also be doing searches on cold fusion, neutrinos, FTL travel, space elevators, seed ships, other planets and breeds of chickens.

It means nothing. The first lot of searches makes me a terrorist no more than the second lot makes me a scientist or chicken farmer.

Re:timothy... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760874)

Your idea of using solar powered chickens as a fuel for spaceships intrigues me and I wish to subscribe to your magazine.

Re:timothy... (1)

tgetzoya (827201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761106)

How about copulating chickens, a la Flesh Gordon 2? I wouldn't suggest doing a google search for that after this story....

Re:timothy... (5, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761058)

You know, I'd hate to think what the police would think if they dug into my browsing history. As somebody who is currently writing a trilogy of sci-fi novels that involve the military (the Earth military), in the past couple of months, I've searched for:

  • Information about famous plane crashes
  • Various law enforcement techniques
  • Thermal imaging cameras
  • Cyanide gas diffusion rates (to find out how much gas someone would have to use to kill someone in a small room)
  • How to use detcord to blow a door off its hinges (to found out how one would do this when breaching a building)
  • The advantages and disadvantages of various types of automatic and semiautomatic firearms
  • Firefighter operations mode on an elevator (to take absolute control of one)
  • Nuclear fusion and theoretical yield (propulsion)
  • Physiological effects of a vacuum on the human body
  • VoIP adapters and remote phone line access

In short, my searches would make me look like the sort of person who you'd expect to find holed up in a compound in flyover country, which is downright hilarious since I've never even owned a gun.

The point is that the evidence described in this story, although it sounds bad, is circumstantial, and could possibly occur innocently. More imprtantly, the Slashdot summary doesn't tell the whole story. There was other evidence in addition to this. Although the browser history might have contributed to a conviction, it was not the sole reason for the conviction.

Re:timothy... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761100)

Err... importantly. Stupid typos.

Re:timothy... (1)

hweimer (709734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760752)

timothy, you're an asshole.

Hardly. He even resisted to make this a prefetch link.

Re:timothy... (2)

lanner (107308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760938)

No no no, we all need to threaten to kill him. That way, when someone finally does it, there are so many suspects that it will take any investigation a couple of decades just to narrow it down for a couple of hundred particularly agitated slashdotters with serious cases of submitter rage.

Rule number one for breaking any law (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760538)

Immediately take a drill press to every hard drive in your house.

Uh oh (2)

Leuf (918654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760568)

I was just searching for drill presses last night. Really.

Re:Uh oh (2)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760636)

Better get one-day shipping, then.

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760582)

Can I use the drill press to kill my wife? There's a bunch of stuff my friend put on my hard drive that I have to save for him.

email me plz.

cheers,

Mr. Clisdue

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760660)

And your wife is somehow jeopardizing the safety of your hard drive enough to drive you into a murderous rage? And furthermore, she can only be killed by a drill press?

My head hurts now.

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (4, Interesting)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760694)

Ask the Palin email guy how trying to destroy his data turned out. He would've had a slap on the wrist for the email hijacking, but it was obstruction of justice that got him the time he's doing now. It doesn't matter if you wreck your drive. Your internet history is recorded and retained for 2+ years at your ISP in accordance with the SAFETY Act of 2009.

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760756)

May God have mercy on any poor son of a bitch who has to review two years my web history.

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (5, Informative)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760794)

You know that hasn't become law yet, right? It passed the house, but never passed the Senate. It's been idle since last June.

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h780/show [opencongress.org]

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (4, Informative)

BCoates (512464) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760986)

It would have automatically died yesterday along with everything else that didn't pass before the ending of the 111th Congress.

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760844)

Ask the Palin email guy how trying to destroy his data turned out. He would've had a slap on the wrist for the email hijacking, but it was obstruction of justice that got him the time he's doing now.

Yeah, but I have a feeling that murder is just a little bit more serious than email hijacking, and carries a punishment slightly worse than a slap on the wrist. If you are found guilty of murder, then the obstruction of justice charge is probably pretty minor on top of that conviction. On the other hand, if the evidence on your hard drive ended up being the key evidence against you, then you'd likely be much better off taking the obstruction of justice conviction if it gets you off the murder conviction.

It doesn't matter if you wreck your drive. Your internet history is recorded and retained for 2+ years at your ISP in accordance with the SAFETY Act of 2009.

Too bad the the SAFETY Act of 2009 didn't give your ISP a way to decrypt SSL connections.

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (1)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761066)

Your internet history is recorded and retained for 2+ years at your ISP in accordance with the SAFETY Act of 2009.

Your ISP would never have the resources to do this. They do maintain IP address records, and with that they can subpoena your query history from $search_engine easily enough.

Run a TOR node, use TOR, and open up your wireless. It's for your protection.

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (5, Informative)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760704)

Drill press? Do you know how easy it is to encrypt a drive?

Not that I would trust that alone but, if you do a reinstall of the OS over an encrypted drive, nobody is recovering what was there previously. Why bother with the theatrics, and expense. Not to mention, that the holes in the drives may not prove much, but they tell them you are hiding something.

Besides, its hard to get to work in the morning without breaking ANY law. How would you even know? You could be violating the law RIGHT NOW just by reading this. In fact, you probably are in some jurisdiction. Who is to say that jurisdictions law doesn't apply to you right now? Try explaining why it doesn't apply after they have picked you up while you are there on vacation.

Ridiculous? Absolutely, but the point is, the world is a big and complicated place full of lots of laws. Luckily, you can get away with ignoring the vast majority of them, most of the time. However, those few that they really have sticks up their ass about, like murder, honestly, its pretty wrong anyway so start with not doing it.

Anything that is not so wrong, but, still illegal, and they still have sticks up their ass about... well... chances are you have time to plan more and encrypted drives should just make sense. I mean shit, the Ubuntu installer had it as an option, last I looked. Also, he can delete all he wants, as long as they can find the right cookies they can probably recreate much of your search history. Really just best not to rely on clearing the cache.

-Steve

Re:Rule number one for breaking any law (2)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760846)

I mean shit, the Ubuntu installer had it as an option, last I looked.

I wonder what the overlap is between wife murderers and Ubuntu users?

One word (1)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760550)

DBAN [dban.org]

Police Doing Actual Police Work? (4, Funny)

BondGamer (724662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760556)

How awful is it that detectives were able to discover that her husband searched for information on the exact thing that killed her shortly before her death, along with other methods of killing someone. On top of that he attempted to delete traces of it. This is an invasion of piracy.

Re:Police Doing Actual Police Work? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760598)

Arrrrrrrrgggghhhh!!! He be right! This indeed be an invasion of piracy! Give us all yer booty! Arrrrrrrgh!

Re:Police Doing Actual Police Work? (5, Insightful)

niado (1650369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760610)

How awful is it that detectives were able to discover that her husband searched for information on the exact thing that killed her shortly before her death, along with other methods of killing someone. On top of that he attempted to delete traces of it. This is an invasion of piracy.

Normally in murder cases the significant other of the victim is the primary suspect. As such I would assume (Didn't RTFA so not sure if there is more detail) that it was pretty easy to get a warrant for his house, computer, bank statements, etc. etc.

Re:Police Doing Actual Police Work? (4, Interesting)

irtza (893217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760750)

They live in the same house... do they have access to the same computer? Could this be suicide and she was hiding the method she would use? Or was the attempted deletion after the fact?

Of interest is - how is a deleted history available or if it was "attempted" - how would they know? The facts of the murder vs suicide are a bit spacious but I would like to know more about how they uncovered the history.

Re:Police Doing Actual Police Work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760932)

They probably just grabbed it out of the recycle bin.

Re:Police Doing Actual Police Work? (1)

kbonapart (645754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760896)

You lose many of your rights to privacy when you commit an illegal act. And destroying evidence is illegal. Like how you can record a conversation without having to get consent from the other party if they are engaged in an illegal activity.

You also lose quite a few rights when you are the SUSPECT OF A MURDER INVESTIGATION.

Re:Police Doing Actual Police Work? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760992)

That's an amazing post. Except for "And destroying evidence is illegal, every sentence in that post is wrong (assuming you're referring to the USA, at least).

you mean like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760560)

How do I do this [google.com] ?

Re:you mean like this (1)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760928)

I find it ironic that the first thing your search returns is a link discussing another instance of police finding spousal murder evidence in a search history 3 years ago:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070313/214910.shtml [techdirt.com]

Of course, that was a woman killing her husband, so we definitely need to rehash it on Slashdot now that the genders are reversed.

works the other way, too (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760566)

When I wanted to kill someone, I researched methods to do it. Then I realized that I couldn't do it, because the footprints were all over the internet. Time passed, I got over it. Asshole's still alive, but I'm doing better than him now.

Re:works the other way, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34761040)

Mod this man up. Waste it on this AC.

Huh? (2, Insightful)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760586)

What if searches for devious, undetectable methods of murder were in everyone's history?

If I'm not mistaken, you're condoning the murder of his wife?

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760656)

What if searches for devious, undetectable methods of murder were in everyone's history?

If I'm not mistaken, you're condoning the murder of his wife?

To be fair to Timothy, he's an idiot.

Re:Huh? (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760698)

If I'm not mistaken, you're condoning the murder of his wife?

To be fair to Timothy, he's an idiot.

This made me laugh so hard :D

Re:Huh? (5, Interesting)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760742)

What if searches for devious, undetectable methods of murder were in everyone's history?

If I'm not mistaken, you're condoning the murder of his wife?

Wow, talk about missing the point...
How was what he said in any way condoning murder? Pointing out that there are any number of reasons someone might have rather incriminating things in their search/browser history doesn't translate to condoning murder. Nor does it suggest that it was unusual, unfair, or an invasion of privacy to look at the suspect's search history in this context. It merely points out that going the other direction - finding something "suspicious" in someone's search history does not mean they are up to no good (also shows how easy it might be to poison someone's results if you were trying to frame them).

Really; you somehow read into his comment that he somehow condones murder? Utterly bizarre.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34761012)

You're so mistaken that I can't figure out how you managed to be this mistaken.

Re:Huh? (2)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761022)

DIY railguns, anthrax, C-4 manufacturing, drug reasearch, including how to extract cannaboids, hydrocodone and other substances from their mixed or natural state, radiant gas heaters, naval bases, and porn are all subjects I have searched for and looked at articles related, in the last 48 hours.

There are all sorts of lines to cross ... (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760600)

... and they get crossed on /. all the time. But this one has a certain special stink to it. Is Timothy working on some sort of special asshat merit badge or something?

Re:There are all sorts of lines to cross ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760906)

Or, alternatively, he for some unexplained reason wants a large population of slashdot readers to have something like that in their browsing history. :-)

Re:There are all sorts of lines to cross ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760936)

Now that's a disturbing thought, are you suggesting that Timothy has a wife? Christ, he could breed.

Re:There are all sorts of lines to cross ... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761036)

Now that's a disturbing thought, are you suggesting that Timothy has a wife? Christ, he could breed.

Timothy is a pod. It breeds asexually.

Thank God he wasn't a terrorist (1)

deodiaus2 (980169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760612)

Otherwise we would have had him in a cell much sooner!

Okay, I don't follow this... (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760632)

After Mark Jensen’s wife died mysteriously in 1998, he consented to police searching his home for causes.

In October 1998, the Jensens’ home computer revealed that searches for various means of death coincided with e-mails between Jensen and his then-paramour, Kelly, discussing how they planned to deal with their respective spouses and begin “cleaning up [their] lives” so they could be together and take a cruise the next year.

So it sounds like a dumb criminal got caught by police doing their job. Is Slashdot so far toward the anarchist fringe that this is being spun...

from the unless-everybody-joins-in dept.

What if searches for devious, undetectable methods of murder were in everyone's history?

as some sort of The People vs. Big Brother thing?

Polarity? (5, Funny)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760642)

How the fuck does a swimming pool have a polarity?

Re:Polarity? (2)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760648)

How the fuck does a swimming pool have a polarity?

Perhaps it has a neutron flow.

Re:Polarity? (4, Funny)

imadork (226897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760690)

It's one of those new Star Trek swimming pools. If you ever need to fix it, switching the polarity is risky, but it just might work!

Re:Polarity? (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760696)

How the fuck does a swimming pool have a polarity?

Obviously it's a holodeck swimming pool. Fool.

Re:Polarity? (5, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760800)

The housing of a pool light is normally grounded. If it is connected to an active circuit the pool becomes a death trap if someone in the water grounds themselves through another conductor.

Re:Polarity? (5, Informative)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760996)

It would take significantly more than that. You'd have to bypass the ground fault protection and then see to it that the resulting short to ground didn't actually draw enough current to trip the branch circuit breaker on overcurrent.

Its pretty difficult to electrocute someone by messing around with the pool electrical equipment.

Just saying.

Re:Polarity? (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761016)

So you don't have earth leakage detection circuits in houses as standard?

That's a dangerous way to live.

Re:Polarity? (3, Interesting)

Burning1 (204959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761050)

Or, more likely, if there is sufficient conductivity from the light housing to the water, some other fixture in the pool will provide a ground path. Household voltages are dangerous, but not nearly as much as people like to think, especially the 110 volt stuff.

Great example: some idiot wired a lamp installed in my bathroom backwards. The lamp had a metal housing that the installer had intended to ground to neutral. Unfortunately, the installer mistook the black wire as neutral, and connected it to the ground post and neutral post on the lamp. The neutral wire was connected to hot on the lamp. The lamp worked fine of course - AC current isn't really directional, and wiring something backwards usually just results in serious safety issues... But it did produce the result of providing an electrically hot conductor that was easy to reach while standing in the bathroom, or even worse - turning the facet on in the sink. Damn thing was wired up like this for a couple of years, occasionally zapping someone before I finally pulled it apart to fix it.

In my teens I spent a lot of time playing with electricity, and was shocked more times than I can count. Never caused any issues.

Re:Polarity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34761114)

I had the pleasure of being in a pool where the light shorted out in some way. It was an olympic size pool, and the tingle/sting was all over and unpleasant, but it wasn't full on electrocution.

Re:Polarity? (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760806)

I'd guess that a saltwater/ionizing filter has a polarity. And that reversing it would probably produce Brown's gas, which would eventually ignite.

Re:Polarity? (3, Funny)

polymeris (902231) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760816)

How the fuck does a swimming pool have a polarity?

Exactly my thoughts.. I'll google it!

Re:Polarity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760820)

Why the dihydrogen monoxide flow polarity, of course.

Although how that's supposed to be potentially fatal, I'm not sure. Maybe if you jumped off the diving board without looking first.

Re:Polarity? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760948)

Poolarity? The number of arguments a pool takes?

Re:Polarity? (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760976)

It's on the Enterprise?

Re:Polarity? (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760994)

I've been googling for the past half-hour trying to figure that out.

It has something to do with the filtration system. Beyond that I'm at a loss.

Re:Polarity? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761030)

To get semantic for a moment, polarity means just that there are two opposite sides that are different in some way, so there are many ways a pool could be polarized. The depth is usually "polarized," with one end being shallower and one end deeper. You could have a pool polarized in terms of color, like painting one end red and the other blue. North and south are also possible.

The summary seems to be talking about electricity or something dangerous, which yeah, doesn't make sense to me.

So what the h*ll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760646)

... is the polarity of a swimming pool?!?

Number 1 (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760668)

Aww, those silly globalists and their induced heart attacks...

Couldn't help laughing at that one.

Re:Number 1 (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760746)

I followed that link too. I remember on b3ta there used to be this guy who posted terrible/awesome photoshopped pictures of Dick Cheney with lasers coming from his eyes with backgrounds of lightning, and zombie George Bushes. We tracked them down to sites like this Rense fellow - I never know whether to laugh or pity them...

Say what? (5, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760692)

Believe it or not, I'm not new here, but this has to be the most garbled incoherent summary in memory.

"reverse the polarity of a swimming pool"
"likening the result to the 4th of July"
"someone attempted to 'double-delete' the computer's browsing history"

I guess if I knew who the hell "Mark Jensen" was it might make more sense. Better run out and read some tabloids.

consent (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760700)

Jensen was found guilty of first-degree homicide in 2008 based on this and other incriminating evidence, including a letter written by his wife before her death. He appealed the conviction, arguing for one that the warrantless police search of his computer violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals did not agree as he had signed a consent form.

Once you give permission to a search, you don't get to retroactively revoke permission once they find evidence against you. It would be a completely different matter if they just barged in without his permission or a warrant. That would be unconstitutional; this however, is just stupidity on his part.

Antidote (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760710)

I would think one possible defense on the final day's poisoning search is they were looking for a cure... It happened, "by accident" and they wanted to figure out how to save her...

Hopefully the police have more evidence than merely circumstantial stuff from the internet searches...

Bravo, timothy (4, Insightful)

gregmark (750089) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760826)

Let the grumpy-pants anarchy-baiters grumble. The system can always use more disorder, whatever its present condition.

Another Article (3, Informative)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760848)

I was curious about this...particularly what it means to "reverse the polarity of a swimming pool"... um, I didn't know they had poles :) (clearly something to do with the wiring...)

Anyway: http://volokh.com/2011/01/04/interesting-example-of-the-use-of-computer-search-evidence [volokh.com]

Apparently its an interesting case. I haven't read much yet, about to dive in, but, it does quickly raise the question of... who did the searching? Looks like the defense claim is suicide. I know that if I planed to kill myself by a posion, I would want to know quite a bit about how it worked and what to expect.

Though, I am not sure thats the one I would choose.... nicotine maybe.... or nitrous oxide... glycol tastes sweet if I remember, its why dogs sometimes die from drinking antifreeze, so seems like a good choice to slip in food or drink... so... hard to say. Have to read...

-Steve

Re:Another Article (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760944)

Apparently its an interesting case. I haven't read much yet, about to dive in, but, it does quickly raise the question of... who did the searching? Looks like the defense claim is suicide. I know that if I planed to kill myself by a posion, I would want to know quite a bit about how it worked and what to expect.

...and if your spouse made you so miserable you wanted to both kill yourself and frame your spouse for your murder, you would make sure to leave all those things in your search history and browser history after you finished learning all about them.

Re:Another Article (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761094)

Oh yah totally... this one stinks to high heaven.

Actually, if he just claimed that she killed herself, I could see her wanting to erase it to not leave it looking like he might have done it, or to cast some doubt on what may have happened.

However, when he adds in that she was trying to "Frame him"? That is going a bit far and falls into the category of protesting too much

-Steve

Re:Another Article (0)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761086)

Protip, use IV dilaudid, xanax and alcohol. Take a few 4mg xanax, drink a couple of shots, fix yourself a big tall glass of your favorite alcoholic beverage, and get the stuff you want to listen to or look at in your last moments out and handy. Sit in your favorite spot with these things, and shoot up four or five 4mg dilaudids, and there you go. You'll float off this mortal coil in a relaxed, euphoric trip. No pain, no sickness, nothing but a warm glow as you fade away. And you can have an open casket at your funeral too.

Search evidence fails standard of reasonable doubt (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760852)

If you looked back into my search history far enough, you could probably find places where I searched for all those different things in the past.

I wouldn't need to search for any website to tell me how to reverse polarity of a swimming pool motor, because it's basic electronics..

And yet, I have not murdered and will not murder anyone using those or any other methods.

Is it reasonable to suspect people of murder just because they have in the past searched for, found, or viewed material, that might relate to methods used by the murderer?

How is it even proven that the searches are born of some intent, and not merely idle curiosity, or FEAR for ones own safety?

  • Searches for: botulism. This is something every person needs to know about, because it poses a danger to everyone who eats food. People can protect themselves if they have some understanding of what the danger is, where you could be exposed to the toxin, how it could reach your mouth, how to detect it, how to recognize the first signs, what to do, etc
  • Searches for: poisoning. Same deal; it is a good idea to know what methods people might try to use to poison you, especially if you think someone is after you. A search for poisoning can relate to (as much) detecting/knowing if you're poisoned and/or what to do to protect/preserve life.
  • Searches for: pipe bombs. There were several high-profile media events. It would probably be a good idea for members of the general public to understand what exactly a pipe bomb is, how to recognize it, and who to contact or what to do (LEAVE QUICKLY/RUN), if you think you see what might be an explosive device that could threaten your life.
  • Searches for: mercury fulminate. Again, being able to recognize the signs of mercury poisoning is a good idea. People learn more about a subject by hearing about it, and then looking up materials on the subject.

Would police have made such a deal of simple searches, if they were done by looking up books on the subject at the library? Would a list of books checked out seriously be used to convict an alleged suspect?

Re:Search evidence fails standard of reasonable do (2)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760898)

Would police have made such a deal of simple searches, if they were done by looking up books on the subject at the library? Would a list of books checked out seriously be used to convict an alleged suspect?

Yes.

Your library records are hardly protected from the fuzz either.

Re:Search evidence fails standard of reasonable do (1)

DreamArcher (1690064) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761018)

hahaha. You said Fuzz. You sir are awesome. But seriously, just go look up the book at the library and read it there without checking it out. sheesh, n00bs.

Re:Search evidence fails standard of reasonable do (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760952)

Is it reasonable to suspect people of murder just because they have in the past searched for, found, or viewed material, that might relate to methods used by the murderer?

When it is a method by which your wife was killed after you researched this, then yes, yes it is reasonable to suspect you of murder. Are you seriously saying that it's unreasonable? I mean I can't even fathom how your thought processes work here.

Re:Search evidence fails standard of reasonable do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34760972)

And yet, I have not murdered and will not murder anyone using those or any other methods.

Plausible deniability... good one!

Re:Search evidence fails standard of reasonable do (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761008)

Bayesian inference.

NOT Google (4, Interesting)

D H NG (779318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760888)

Given that Google was founded in 1998, the same year that Julie Jensen died, it's highly unlikely that Mark Jensen used Google to make these searches.

It all sounds ok to me. Score one for a dumb crook (2)

AllParadox (979193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760934)

A search history on a personal computer is a personal document, for whomever did the search. If the defendant is the only person able to access the PC, he has to live with the document. A very similar situation would be a spiral notebook with detailed lists and notes and entries identified by day (a real OC piece of work) all about how to kill your wife, all in the defendant's handwriting. I see no difference in admitting both of these into evidence, given a proper foundation. Murder is a crime and should be punished. The problem is not that the record itself is bad. The problem is that most people do not know how to do searches without leaving behind a broad trail of bread crumbs for whomever might follow.

NaNoWriMo is your friend (3, Interesting)

AJWM (19027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760950)

It's the perfect excuse: "I was doing research for the novel I'm writing". Just be sure you've got enough of a first draft of that novel on your drive to be convincing.

(I am a writer. I have all kinds of weird stuff in my browsing history. Which gives me an idea for a crime thriller series, about a hit-man (or perhaps serial killer?) who writes mysteries. Or perhaps its been done. Anyone remember this [imdb.com] movie?)

Re:NaNoWriMo is your friend (2)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761098)

No kidding. I had second thoughts about writing a realistic bomb disarming scene after I realized that I might have to cross the American border this year.

If you have to research murder, (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34760962)

you haven't been watching enough A&E (aka the law enforcement channel). There are so many "how-to" crime programs on television nowadays it makes me wonder if the powers that be don't actually want us to be criminals.

Apart from the moral issues, timothy.. (2)

lelitsch (31136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761002)

What on earth is "reverse the polarity of a swimming pool" supposed to mean? That can't be explained by sloppy editing or a less than tenuous grasp on physics anymore.

There was other evidence (3, Informative)

preaction (1526109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761006)

Someone testified that Mark confessed to him and tried to get him to kidnap a potential witness. His wife was suspicious and told other people such. The search evidence isn't the only thing around this guy's neck.

Authors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34761078)

Wow, as someone who has been working on a book (fiction) involving nuclear warfare and terrorist acts, doing research in those areas to retain some level of accuracy, should I be scared Timothy?

Misleading Title (1)

MikeTheMan (944825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761104)

There I was thinking the post was advertising a new search engine called Unwise where you could search for murder methods used successfully in the past...
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