The Facebook Killer

Steven Stephens,

The Cleveland Police Department

Steven Stephens, "The Facebook Killer"

Kelsye Wyatt, Reporter

On April 16, Steven Stephens broadcasted the killing of 74-year-old Robert Godwin on Facebook live, sparking a week-long manhunt.

Employees of Facebook actually helped in finding Stephens. Two hours after his post, all of Stephens’ accounts were taken down and pictures of him were sent out to all Facebook users. This helped a McDonald’s employee recognize Stephens when he went to order food in Pennsylvania. She stalled and immediately called the police. That’s when Stephens was chased by police.

Stephens was chased through multiple states, (he was even rumored to have been seen in the DMV, although that allegation proved false) finally ending in Erie County, Pennsylvania where he committed suicide after police cornered him.

The homicide occurred in Cleveland, Ohio, but according to some CHS students, this could happen anywhere. “There are crazy people everywhere, so this could happen in Montgomery County,” said sophomore Caroline Sewell.

Some students even watched the post. “I was surprised something like this was on the internet,” said freshman Leo Negron.

After the post, a lot of people were angry at Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, for letting a video like this go unfiltered. Some people even blamed social media for this happening.

But others disagree. “Crazy people are always going to be crazy; social media has nothing to do with that,” said junior Esteban Marquez.

In the video, Stephens claimed he killed 15 other people. After the manhunt, police investigated this claim and found no evidence of other killings linked to Stephens.

In the end, everyone can agree that the use of Facebook live was very inappropriate. This tragedy served as a reminder to students of CHS that they should never post inappropriate things online and should always be careful about the content they view online.