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November 16, 2005

Google Searches Used as Evidence in Murder Trial

WRAL of the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina is reporting that prosecutors are using evidence searches made by Robert Petrick in their case against him for murdering his wife.  The body of Jane Sutphen was found in May, 2003 in Falls Lake.  Evidence seized from Petrick's computer he searched for the words "neck," "snap," "break," and "hold" in Google before his wife died.  Forensic investigator also discovered that Petrick allegedly researched lake levels, water currents, boat ramps and access about Falls Lake just four days before he reported Sutphen missing on Jan. 22, 2003.  The information appeared on several computers owned by Petrick.  According to prosecution investigators, Petrick also bookmarked the web page titled "22 Ways to Kill a Man With Your Bare Hands."  Petrick, representing himself, noted that his wife had martial arts training and could have been the person who created the bookmark.  The trial is nearing conclusion. 

The latest information from WRAL is here, and an archive of stories on the case is here.

November 16, 2005 | Permalink

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