Finding brilliant criminals like this is so easy now that we seem to be raising a generation who are tech savvy in usage but tech idiots on the implications, much less how the tech works.

At around 3:45 a.m. on March 24, someone in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., used a mobile phone to Google “chemicals to passout a person.” Then the person searched for “making people faint.” Then Google again, for “ways to kill people in their sleep,” “how to suffocate someone,” and “how to poison someone.”

The phone belonged to 23-year-old Nicole Okrzesik. Later that morning, police allege, she and her boyfriend strangled 19-year-old Juliana Mensch as she slept on the floor of their apartment. The Google searches, along with incriminating text messages between Okrzesik and her boyfriend, came to light as authorities investigated Mensch’s death. But what if they could have been alerted to the suspicious-sounding searches immediately? Could they have rushed to the apartment and saved the girl’s life?

In Minority Report, police use mutant psychics to predict murders before they happen and lock up the would-be killers. The mutant psychics are fantasy, but when we keep hearing about cases in which people Google their crimes before they commit them, the concept of a police “pre-crime” unit is no longer so far-fetched. The most interesting thing about the idea of using Web searches to predict murders: It might be perfectly legal.

  1. orchidcup says:

    I guess the moral to this story is:

    Don’t Google how to kill somebody, go to the library and read a book.

    On the other hand, if you are too stupid to know how to suffocate somebody, you need more help than google or the library can provide.

  2. bobbutts says:

    This may actually identify some crimes before they happen and that’s the worst part.
    There WILL be false positives, so innocent people will be arrested and incarcerated. People who are astute about privacy or liberty will further obfuscate their internet behavior. Using VPN’s, sandboxes, vm’s, plausibly deniable encryption, non tracking search engines like, they’ll continue avoid being tracked. It’s only a matter of time before the government comes after these tools as well.

    • ± says:

      Thanks for the tip on They are now my default browser here at work. Later today I will switch them at home where I surf thru a proxy service (about $9/month). My footprint is getting smaller all the time.

  3. orchidcup says:

    The paper reports they allegedly used Facebook to discuss what to do with her body.

    Facebook is a fantastic tool for social media.

  4. Benjamin says:

    I am a writer, so I do research like this all the time. That’s all I need now. I guess I will just do that kind or research at the coffee shop from now on.

    • NobodySpecial says:

      Yes but if it prevents just one John Grisham novel it will be worth it!

  5. orchidcup says:

    Like all crimes, the police show up after the crime has been committed and attempt to discover the perpetrator.

    Usually dumb criminals make their job easy.

    If police were expected to prevent crimes, we would need one policeman to follow around each citizen. That sounds like an expensive strategy.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Usually dumb criminals make their job easy.

      They’re criminals, which means they are as dumb as a sack of hammers.

      The people who commit real perfidy are the politicians, and if it looks like they might get caught, they change the law>.

      Pre-crime should consist of a simple question asked of children: Do you want to run for office?

      Then you’re a fuckin’ power-hungry, cock-sucking, bullying psychopath and should be barred from ever holding any sort of office!

  6. NewformatSux says:

    This is the site that celebrated when satellites were used to find a missing person. The implications for privacy were not considered.

  7. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

    I googled (ways to kill people in their sleep) and found there were 294,000,000 hits. I guess that means that many websites have all those words? I looked for a tool as to how often those words were used for a search but did not find it. I assume that words used for searching is tallied thereby resulting in suggested searches?

    Good thing Romney is upset there are already too many firemen, police, nurses and teachers. On the other hand, he’s all for a fascist state so I guess there is a tension there.

    • NewformatSux says:

      Obama is the one who is implementing a fascist state.
      Government controlling private enterprise to serve the wishes of the state.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

        OK, NFS==give me odds on us both being right?

      • Dallas says:

        Government controlling private enterprise

        LMAO. You got that backwards, bud. It just seems that way to fools.

      • jpfitz says:

        You got that backwards big time. Ever heard of K street?

        “Theft is a much easier game. The risk is low. The profits are high. There is no competition. You don’t even need employees. You just pay off the Congressman, and stick the money in your pocket.

        This is not confined only to the financial industry. The entities that are thriving today are those that enjoy some sort of government favor. Defense contractors and the war industry. The education and healthcare cartels. Government employees and their absurd compensation plans. Competition is low. Profit margins are high. And why do we keep having wars with countries with lots of oil (or heroin)? You know why.”

        Also in Bush’s era.

  8. NewformatSux says:

    Harvard biology professor Lieberman, on Bloomberg’s soda ban:

    Humanity has evolved to need coercion.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

      One commenter pointed out that you can still order/have 32 oz of sugar water if you desire. All you have to do is order two 16 oz servings. Nothing illegal about that, or even the INTENT of the law:

      HEY YOU FAT TUB OF SHIT—slow down and think about your unconstrained feeding like a PIG.

      And you want to call this “coercion?” Ha, ha. You have the delicate sensitivity of an perfumed periwinkle. I fart in your general direction.

    • Sheila says:

      No, humanity has not evolved at all. TPTB still play the same games on us and we lap it up. Nothing’s changed since Nimrod!


  9. NewformatSux says:

    Should future courts internationally issue an arrest warrant against Obama, as some on the left are seeking? They are upset over his drone strikes, and have even sued in Pakistan, now that the US Supreme Court seems to have ignored their pleas.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

      Ummm, “Future Crime” prevention is all about what he hasn’t done yet. Not what has been done and delivered, proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • NewformatSux says:

        The future is one where they seek to have him arrested. Is it a crime to do so?

  10. jpfitz says:

    This post also needs a Florida tag.

  11. NewformatSux says:

    You’ve already posted about Florida precrime initiative. They are trying to remove noncitizens from the voting rolls. So far about 100 have been removed, of whom 50 have voted in the past.

  12. NewformatSux says:

    I wonder if anyone would use this against you for your photoshops.

  13. Glenn E. says:

    I don’ t know why media wags find it necessary to keep sighting the film “Minority Report” as the best example of predicting crime, before it happens. That film showed it didn’t work, even with psychics predicting the most likely future. So “Pre-Crime” was eventually shut down. The “minority report” or the single doubt cast by one psychic, was usually ignored. When it should have negated the entire pre-crime prediction. Justice is not a majority rules, situation. Especially in court. So how was “pre-crime” allowed to get away with a two thirds majority vote, in the first place? Any predictive Google search software is going to have a similar flaw or weakness. A percentage of error, that will end up being ignored, for the sake of political expediency. So unless you want your innocent Google searches, for mystery story ideas or research into violent acts, to become a justification for the black boots busting thru your door. Then you’d better voice your opposition to it right now. Instead of thinking it’s a really neat idea, and can hurt you, if you’ve got nothing to hide.

    Right now, there’s a little something called “swatting” on the rise. And its victims aren’t laughing off how wonderful it is to be targeted by SWAT teams, sent in by internet ID spoofers. So what’s going to happen with Google software starts false-positive labeling people as criminals? Who just happen to be researching a novel, a college paper, a medical study, or some crime stats?

    I know one thing for sure. When it comes right down to it. The elites will always get a wavier on being “picked up” for their unusual Google searches. While the other 99% will enjoy no such consideration of tolerance.

    And btw, if anyone wants to know how to kill someone. All they really need to do is watch some Tv crime shows. Especially the one that show where the suspects went wrong. And avoid those mistakes. It just takes a little more time, that way. Instead of googling it. You can also go to any public library and leaf thru some books on the subject, without using an ID card. Google crime trending isn’t going to stop everything bad from ever happening. Just as investment trending software doesn’t stop people from losing their money on Facebook stock.

  14. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

    Pre crime being taken seriously? – – – Haw, haw.

    But its probably right that to the degree it can be predictive, it will be siphoned off by some corporation controlled by the elite on a no bid for profit contract.

    Meanwhile, what society really needs: is a predictive program of who needs various kinds of help to get a good education, avoid becoming a sociopath, develop a healthy lifestyle, and so forth.

    I like colbert. He just had the sister on. Imagine the Nuns getting slamed for overemphasizing women’s rights and the needs of the poor over the diginity of life and the depravity of homosexuality?

    Anybody want to predict the future?

  15. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and Jr Culture Critic says:

    jpfitz helpfully says:
    6/12/2012 at 12:33 pm

    I’ts NOT sugar! It’s highly processed corn. The body knows the difference. It is poison even in small amounts. Try to stay away from it.

    Start at 19:00 /// Excellent updated video. On first few minutes, I thought I had already seen it but as it goes along he makes an excellent presentation. Totally slams the healthcare/diet/government overloards at 40:00 minutes in. Flawed study in not locking down all the variables.

    Looks like other excellent video’s in the sidebar. I want to see what Gupta says on the same subject. Too easy to say “be moderate.”

    Is sugar poison or not? /// I think the simple rule it is. Where the two sugar compounds is actually metabolized I’ve read before but he makes it clear.

    Good stuff. Thanks.

    • jpfitz says:

      Your welcome, I have been cutting back on sugar and completely trying to keep HFCS out of our diets.

      I have hypertension and since modifying my intake of processed foods and sugar I now have halved the meds for HBP. I own a BP machine and monitor myself.

  16. Guyver says:

    Just another name for “profiling”.

  17. Glenn E. says:

    I find it interesting that a few years back, the violent video games industry was being defended against being blamed for kids shooting up high schools, and such. Let’s face it. There was too much money at sake, to allow the blame to stick. And yet the idea that mining Google searches for indications of future criminal action, seems not too different thinking. The only real difference is that Google’s searches aren’t being blamed for enabling crimes. Especially if Google turns them around and uses them to rat out the pre-criminals. Once again, Google “not being evil”?


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