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Facebook killer finally caught after widespread manhunt

Michael Lee, Assistant Editor

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The widespread manhunt for a murderer has finally came to a conclusion April 18 in Pennsylvania. On Easter Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio, a man named Steven Stevens posted a series of videos onto Facebook of him murdering an innocent elderly man named Robert Godwin Jr.

Stephens pulled over to the side of the road and walked up to the man walking down the sidewalk, while recording the video for facebook. Stephens was angry about a breakup with a girl and projected his anger at a stranger, blaming the whole homicide on the girl.

Godwin Jr. raised his arms in fear while claiming that he had no clue what Stephens was talking about. Stephens then proceeded to pull the trigger and left Godwin Jr. dead on the ground.

The video of the homicide was up on Facebook for over two hours, and was seen by thousands of people, who had to witness the sickening graphic images. In the videos, Stevens claimed to have killed a dozen more people.

“It was horrendous to think someone would feel so comfortable to do such a thing. His actions are sickening and inhumane on a multitude of levels,” said Evan Dasburg, junior.

Police spent the next couple of days trying to find Stevens across multiple states around Ohio. They put out a $50,000 award for any information that could lead them to arrest Stevens. People residing in Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana and Michigan were warned to be cautious that the killer might be in close proximity to them.

Stevens was spotted three days after the murder at a McDonald’s by a drive thru worker who recognized the wanted man. The staff immediately called the police and stalled Stevens by pretending that his order of fries had been delayed.

Stevens eventually caught on to the staff’s attempt to stall him and attempted to get away. After a police chase down the highway, he was finally stopped. When the police approached Steven’s car, they found him with a self inflicted gunshot wound and Stevens passed away.

Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, sent out his condolences to the family and friends of Godwin at a press event. Zuckerberg and other Facebook officials emphasized the need to review content posted to the social media site and to remove any flagrant content.
“We have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” said Zuckerberg at Facebook’s annual conference.

The video still remains in various parts of the internet, raising anger from the families involved, along with those who feel it is morally wrong.  Facebook has received backlash for its failure to remove the video from its site as it appeared again a week after the tragedy.

“I think the people on social media kind of know the power and I think they know the harm it can do. We’ve talked before about people not living their lives on social media and being truthful on social media and not harming people via social media. And this is a prime example, this is something that should not have been shared around the world. Period,” said Calvin Williams, Cleveland Police Chief, at a press conference.

A memorial for Godwin Jr. was created at the location he was murdered

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The official student news site of Athens Drive High School
Facebook killer finally caught after widespread manhunt