In spring of ’09, Caroline Wimmer, 26, was strangled to death with her hair-dryer’s cord in her own apartment in Staten Island. When 46 year old paramedic Mark Musarella – a retired and decorated NYPD Emergency Services Unit detective – arrived on the scene after responding to a 911 call, he did something only serial killers and murders do.
He took trophy photos of the dead woman and then posted them on his Facebook wall.
Musarella was subsequently convicted on 1 count of “official misconduct”, stripped of his EMT certification and sentenced to 200 hours of community service. He did no jail time!
Now, the dead girl’s parents – Martha and Ronald Wimmer – are suing the social network site on which Musarella posted to photographs of the victim – Facebook.
In a lawsuit filed on Friday, the Wimmers have asked Facebook to hand over the photos, identify all Facebook users who have viewed or downloaded it and destroy all the images in its possession. In addition to suing the social networking site, the Wimmers have also named the landlord of the apartment building where their daughter was murdered, for failing to properly secure the building.
The full list of entities that the Wimmers are suing includes
- The City of New York
- Greenleaf Arms – the apartment complex where Ms. Wimmer was brutally murdered.
- Calvin Lawson, the perp convicted (25 to life) of her murder
- Mark Musarella, the creepy EMT who took and posted the gruesome photos
- Richmond University Medical Center, where the creepy EMT Musarella was assigned and
- NY Fire Department Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano
My heart goes out to the Wimmers’ loss, but they really shouldn’t be suing Facebook. It will be quite impossible for Facebook to comply with all their demands. Facebook has rejected the claims, with Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes stating “We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”
The 1996 Communications Decency Act, which says “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” could also work in Facebook’s favor if at all the suit is allowed to move forward.