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Hostage-Taker Updates Facebook Status, Adds Friends During Standoff

It strikes me that the 21st century equivalent of "did I just say that out loud" is "did I just post that to Facebook?" And this seems to be particularly true lately for people engaged in violent felonies.

As Paula Martersteck noted here last month, alleged bank robbers are already tripping themselves up and being arrested after posting things such as "I'm rich, b*tch" and "WIPE MY TEETH WITH HUNDEREDS" on Facebook. But that is just "after-the-fact" stuff. What about the people in the news this month who actually incorporated Facebook into their alleged crimes?

Take 20-year-old mother London Eley, for example. Philadelphia police allege that Eley went on to Facebook and offered $1,000 to anyone who would be willing to kill her ex-boyfriend, the Daily Mail reports. "I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father," she allegedly wrote. The word 'stack' is reportedly slang for $1,000. Police say a man responded to the posting and arranged to meet Eley, but this master scheme was undone when the ex-boyfriend/potential victim's aunt saw the messages on Facebook and alerted authorities.

That was quickly followed by reports Tuesday of a bizarre incident in which an "armed man held a woman hostage at a motel in a tense 16-hour, overnight standoff with SWAT teams, all while finding time to keep his family and friends updated on Facebook." The Associated Press reports that during the hostage standoff(!!), Jason Valdez made six posts to Facebook and added a dozen new friends. Giving new meaning to the phrase "status update," Valdez's first post during the crisis was:

"I'm currently in a standoff ... kinda ugly, but ready for whatever. I love u guyz and if I don't make it out of here alive that I'm in a better place and u were all great friends."

In another twist, some of Valdez's Facebook friends allegedly aided him during the standoff. One friend alerted Valdez that a SWAT officer was hiding in the bushes, prompting Valdez to reply, "Thank you homie. Good looking out." Other friends pleaded for Valdez to "do the right thing." Police stated that they are reviewing whether any of Valdez's friends should be arrested for obstructing justice.

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 22, 2011 at 04:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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