A teenager from Pennsylvania has been accused of murdering his classmate and uploading a selfie with his victim's body to Snapchat.
Authorities say that 16-year-old Maxwell Marion Morton fatally shot Ryan Mangan (also 16-years-old) in the face before callously posing with his lifeless corpse that was propped up in a chair.
According to FoxNews, Morton sent the photo to a friend via Snapchat who saved the photo before it disappeared. He then showed the disturbing photo to his mother who immediately contacted the police. Fox reported that:
Police received a copy of the photo which depicted the victim sitting in the chair with a gunshot wound to the face
Another news source named the Tribune-Review published more information referring to the selfie aspect of the chilling photograph by reporting that:
It [the photo] also depicts a black male taking the ‘selfie,’ with his face facing the camera and the victim behind the actor. The photo had the name ‘Maxwell’ across the top
CBS Pittsburgh reports that Morton also sent more frightening text messages to his friend including one that read:
Ryan was not the last one
Morton, who was a high school junior and a running back on the school’s football team, confessed to killing Mangan after police discovered a 9-millimeter handgun that is assumed to be the murder weapon hidden in his home. He has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder, homicide and illegal possession of a firearm.
According to Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center, criminals who feel the need to boast about the crimes they have committed on social media are not as rare as you might think. Rutledge explained:
This is really a question about criminal pathology rather than technology. Perpetrators in need of validating their power and sense of self-importance have used all kinds of communications to ‘brag’ about criminal activities — from the local hangout to social media like Facebook