Fred Grimm: Facebook seems to trigger compulsion to be stupid

07/14/2014 7:29 PM

09/12/2014 7:41 PM

Not that I would use this platform to disseminate advice to criminals, but you’d think that particular subset, of all people, might exercise a bit more restraint on Facebook.

“I’m in a violent mood and Donny has one coming from me, big time.” Sunrise police attributed that particular update to Rosemarie Farid, 40.

It was posted on June 30.

Later, she posted a disturbing video selfie, shot so close that only her mouth was visible: “I took all of the money out of his wallet and I stole his phone. And I bashed his head on the floor a couple of times and got the floor all bloody.”

Donald Galvagni’s alarmed friends called police. On July 2, cops found Galvagni’s body in the bathroom of his Sunrise home and a pool of blood on the living room floor. Farid, with a little help from Facebook, was charged with murder.

It must have been there all along, some primordial urge lurking in our DNA, waiting for the advent of Facebook to trigger an incessant, irresistible compulsion to trumpet unfiltered thoughts and incriminating, even murderous revelations.

Last year in South Miami, Derek Medina posted a photo on Facebook showing the lifeless body of 27-year-old Jennifer Alfonso, 27, adding: “I’m going to prison or the death sentence for killing my wife.”

With an October murder trial date looming, Medina has tried to soften the effect of his cold-blooded Facebook impulse, claiming (grasping might be the better word) that he had been the victim of spousal abuse. Self-defense might have been a stretch anyway – the autopsy report indicated that Jennifer was kneeling when he shot her – but Medina’s Facebook revelations make the ploy seem downright ludicrous.

It seems that not even criminals, in this culture of celebratory self-regard, can stop themselves. Look what I did. But instead of vacation pics, robbers post their own crime scene photos.

In 2012, two thugs who robbed an electronics shop in West Palm Beach were busted after they posted photos on a Facebook page called, “Crime Pays Zoe Dollaz” (where one of the suspects commented, without an inkling of irony, “Hate wen ppl try ta make me look stupid.”).

A similarly stupid 22-year-old Florida mother who called herself “rachelxreefer” on Facebook was arrested after displaying a photo of her 11-month-old baby with a large green bong.

And there was Christopher Castillo, 28, of Melbourne, busted by Secret Service agents for a Facebook threat against President Obama in 2012: “That's the last straw, if he gets re-elected I'm going to hunt him down and kill him and watch the life disappear from his eyes.”

Burglars have been found out when they couldn’t resist signing onto their victims’ home computers to check their own Facebook status. Robbers have gone down after posting selfies amid piles of stolen cash and weaponry.

Cops owe much to Facebook, how it elicits declarations of twisted self-reverence from the likes of Derek Medina: “Love you guys miss you guys take care Facebook people you will see me in the news.”

About Fred Grimm

Fred Grimm


Fred Grimm joined the Herald in 1976. Since 1991 he has written a column about crime, politics and life in Broward.

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