With each passing week, the stories that are covered on News.com's Police Blotter series more closely resemble News of the Weird. This past week, Police Blotter highlighted a Texas church leader, Patrick Russo, who was found guilty of murder (strangulation by ligature). Detectives searched the Internet history on his home PC and discovered some truly shocking information. See the News.com story in its entirety: "Police Blotter: Necrobabes.com leads to murder conviction."
Here's a snippet from the article:
Detective Roy Rector initially searched the computer using the Encase software for references to Diane Holik [the victim] and found none. He then expanded it to include Russo's search history, and a prosecutor noticed references to Necrobabes.com.
What exactly is Necrobabes.com?
Necrobabes.com [is] a Web site that offers "erotic horror for adults" by providing staged photos and video of usually nude women appearing to be strangled, suffocated, hanged and drowned.
Ok, so maybe Russo accidentally happened across Necrobabes.com when he was researching something for the New Life In Christ Church in Bastrop, Texas, where he was worship leader and music director? Nice try, but that's not what the second search warrant revealed:
Rector did a more complete search of the computer for "information pertaining to death by asphyxiation." He confirmed with a billing company that Russo had been a member of Necrobabes.com and had viewed Web pages there dealing with manual and ligature strangulation. About 1,200 Necrobabes.com-related images were found on the seized computer, and there was evidence Russo accessed the site two days before the Holik murder.
In a recent post, I asked TechRepublic members how to get rid of evidence on your computer. This time, I'd like to know how many people think that Web sites, such as Necrobabes.com, should be allowed to have a space on the Internet? Are these sites evil in and of themselves, tempting even the most religious and righteous into wrongdoing — or are the sites harmless, and it's the people that seek them out and embrace them that ultimately bring forth the evil? Let us pray...
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.