A criminal-themed installment of an irregular series that ought to be called "Stuff We Read Online" ...
The New York Times today has a piece about a burglary suspect who proved his innocence by pointing to his Facebook status, which had been updated with a complaint about pancakes, from his dad's apartment, at the time of the crime. The story rounds up other cases of social media providing grist for the defense or prosecution.
Keeping with a prosecutorial theme, we ran across Time magazine's piece about the Bear Stearns acquittal, noting that jurors seemed not to buy email evidence. The story kinda suggests that if you can't get corrupt hedge fund managers convicted during this recession, then email evidence might not be all that persuasive at all.
After the jump: Spider-Man arrested, and someone's putting child porn on your computer ...
The L.A. Times keeps referring to a guy arrested for being a weirdo in a Spider-Man costume (and other misdemeanor stuff) as a "Spider-Man impersonator." As a point of order, can you be called an "impersonator" of a comic book character? Doesn't "impersonator" imply that you're posing as an actual person? Plus, that's a cheap-looking costume in the accompanying photo. Best lines from that story:
Two years ago, authorities convened a "superhero summit" designed to reduce tensions among [costumed street] performers. The meeting was prompted in part by an incident in which LAPD officers arrested a "Star Wars" street performer in his furry brown Chewbacca costume for allegedly head-butting a tour guide who complained about the impersonator's treatment of Japanese tourists.
Lastly, because this one's been making the rounds for a couple days now: There's a computer virus out there that surreptitiously downloads child porn onto your computer, which will be very hard to explain if it's ever discovered, and can ruin your life forever. So, hey, update your virus protections. Or switch to a Mac. Picture the next round of "I'm a PC/I'm a Mac" commercials: "I'm a Mac, an obnoxious, smug young hipster." "I'm a PC. I'm portrayed as middle-of-the-road, kinda clueless, and now I'll be registering as a sex offender for the rest of my life."
— Brian McDonough