Google Searches Used In Murder Trial

Techdirt spotted a case where prosecutors used the search results of a defendant to help with their case. Allegedly, a woman searched for “how to commit murder,” “instant poisons,” “undetectable poisons,” and “fatal digoxin doses,” days before her husband was murdered. As the Daily Record reports the State Police digital technology unit testified yesterday about those search results. This is not the first time search results have been used in court cases.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Legal: Privacy | Search & Society: General


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Miriam

    This is just heartbreaking. When I think of the tremendous benefits of education the Internet offers to us all, I am in awe.

    And, then, news like this makes me want to have it shut down, because I realize that, like all media, it can be used to such ill purpose.

    People are trying to get the city of San Francisco to put rails up on the Golden Gate Bridge to stop mentally ill people from attempting suicide. I see the bridge as a way to get into the city. A person in their wrong mind sees it as a means of death.

    Who can say what might have driven this poor woman to murder her husband? All we can say is that someone, apparently, made it easier for her by writing a handbook about how to do this. What is the matter with someone who would publish something about how to kill someone?

    I strongly feel that someone who yells ‘fire’ in a crowded building for fun is accountable for the results of their actions. Who is holding anyone accountable for the evil things that are published daily on the Internet? Who is doing SEO for Monsanto? It boggles the mind, and this story made me very, very sad.

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