A New York couple are suing Facebook after photos of their strangled daughter were posted on the social network.
The couple, Martha and Ronald Wimmer, filed the lawsuit in Staten Island Supreme Court on Friday. Their daughter, Caroline, 26, was found in her apartment strangled to death with a hair dryer cord in 2009. The lawsuit also names other defendants, including Mark Musarella, the emergency medical technician who posted the gruesome photos on Facebook and his employer, the Richmond University Medical Center.
“We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously,” Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told Press: Here.
The Wimmers are clear they don't want money from Facebook. Instead, they want Facebook to delete the picture from its servers and turn over all information about who saw and downloaded it.
"Mark Musarella only got 200 hours of community service, and my daughter's picture is somewhere on the Internet and nobody can get it back to me," Martha "Marti" Wimmer told the New York Daily News.
Facebook has said it will not accede to the Wimmers' demands.Musarella, 46, one of the first responders, snapped a photo of Caroline Wimmer's dead body with his cell phone, according to the Daily News. He pleaded guilty in December to one count of "official misconduct," had his EMT license revoked and sentenced to 200 hours of community service. Calvin Lawson was convicted of the strangling death of Caroline Wimmer and sentenced to 25-years-to-life.
While the knee-jerk response is to categorically defend anything that could take away our freedom of speech, the graphic photos of a murdered woman posted by a disgusting human being on Facebook may not be what our Founding Fathers had in mind. I'm hoping Facebook erases the photos off their servers, but I can't condone giving information on users to the victim's parents.
Do the parents intend on writing them letters? Calling them names? Unfortunately people downloading and trading crime scene photos are probably past namecalling. I can't see giving out that information will help anyone, and I'm also against Facebook providing any personal information to third parties for the asking -- even if those third parties are blinded by grief and anger.