Skip to main content

What you Google for defines you

Police and prosecutors now are routinely making a supsect's web search terms a witness for the prosecution.

Petrick used Google to search the Internet for references to "body decomposition," "rigor mortis," "neck" and "break" in the days before and after he murdered his wife, Janine Sutphen, then dumped her body in a lake. Petrick also searched for and downloaded a topical map of a lake bed in the days before he dumped the woman's remains in the same body of water.

Petrick's Google activity was introduced at trial to convince the jury of the timeline for Petrick's murderous activity. The Petrick case goes beyond serving as a textbook example of how police and prosecutors incorporate someone's Internet habits into their investigations and prosecutions.

Read full story - Search Terms Are a Witness for the Prosecution