Hubris Defined: Dumb Murderer Takes A Selfie With His Dead Victim

from the cheeeeese dept

I've never particularly been under the misguided notion that most of the criminals in this world are any kind of masterminds in their craft. Most criminals, as we've demonstrated again and again, are idiots. Some criminals are dangerous idiots. And some, well, some are so evil it remains only to be thankful that their stupidity helps us to keep their asses behind bars where they belong.

Take, for instance, the teenage murderous psychopath who thought snapping and sharing a selfie with the body of his victim was a sweet idea.
Maxwell Marion Morton, 16, is being held without bail in the Westmoreland County juvenile detention center on charges of first-degree murder, homicide and possession of a firearm by a minor in connection with the death of Ryan Mangan. Police said the photo they received shows Mangan as he was found at the crime scene. A selfie of a suspect with a dead victim is a first for county District Attorney John Peck, who has been a prosecutor for more than 30 years.

“I've never seen it before,” Peck said, “but it was a key piece of evidence that led investigators to the defendant.”
Now, I know what you're all thinking: anyone who takes a selfie with the dead body of his victim is someone who wants to get caught, not an idiot. Well, you'd think that was the case, but it wasn't. Morton had sent the pic via Snapchat, believing that the deletion feature would protect him, somehow. The person he sent it to, however, saved it rather quickly, and it ended up in the hands of the police.
“(Police) received a copy of the photo which depicted the victim sitting in the chair with a gunshot wound to the face,” a police affidavit states. “It also depicts a black male taking the ‘selfie,' with his face facing the camera and the victim behind the actor. The photo had the name ‘Maxwell' across the top.”

Morton also allegedly sent text messages that read, “Told you I cleaned up the shells,” and “Ryan was not the last one.”
So, sometimes two plus two equals a very evil and very stupid person. Usually these kinds of dumb criminal stories are somewhat funny. This one just makes me happy that a murderer is behind bars.

Filed Under: criminals, evidence, murder, selfie


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  • icon
    DV Henkel-Wallace (profile), 17 Feb 2015 @ 9:25pm

    But did he use a selfie gun?

    selfie sticks can be used for battery

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AricTheRed (profile), 17 Feb 2015 @ 10:27pm

    District Attorney John Peck and the other investigative powerhouses in Westmoreland County, PA ...

    District Attorney John Peck - "I've never seen it before, but it was a key piece of evidence that led investigators to the defendant."

    'Casuse they never would have busted this one open without someone going all Weekend at Bernie's with the victim...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2015 @ 3:20am

    Amazing that anyone is stupid enough to want a picture of himself standing right next to his victim. This must be a one-in-a-million sort of mental aberration, right?

    http://imgur.com/a/G4Pih/all

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2015 @ 4:44am

      Re:

      "Amazing that anyone is stupid enough to want a picture of himself standing right next to his victim. This must be a one-in-a-million sort of mental aberration, right?
      http://imgur.com/a/G4Pih/all"


      They were indeed stupid, apparently not realizing that once those pictures went public, they would end up going to prison, as sacrificial lambs, so that their military commanders who created and oversaw that environment of abuse, all the way up to Bush regime lightning rods Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who constantly threatened and cajoled CIA and military commanders to "take the gloves off" -- would get out of that mess scot free.

      Unlike Abu Ghraib, no low-level grunts from Guantanamo went to prison, in large measure because officials ordered all pictures and videos of prisoner torture destroyed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dàvep, 18 Feb 2015 @ 4:45am

    I don't know if anybody actually claims criminals are typically "masterminds". That might be mostly a thing in fiction and movies.

    I don't think we have any idea that "most" are "idiots". That there are entertaining news reports about dumb criminals isn't a reliable way to know. It's generally a bad idea to draw statistical conclusions from what happens to interest the media enough to report about it. It might be that the dumb ones are more likely to be caught. It might be that criminals if normal intelligence are boring to report about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PRMan, 18 Feb 2015 @ 4:53am

      Re:

      There used to be a TV show called Masterminds and even on there, 2 years was a long time for a "mastermind" to get away with some kind of crime.

      Only a couple people on there got away with something for 5 years or more or without punishment (one guy got hired as a consultant for the casinos he was robbing).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2015 @ 5:32am

    "Most criminals, as we've demonstrated again and again, are idiots."

    Most people, as we've demonstrated again and again, are idiots.

    there, FTFY...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2015 @ 6:01am

      Re:

      "Most criminals, as we've demonstrated again and again, are idiots."

      Criminals (however that is defined) are likely to be, as a whole, the same intelligence as non-criminals. Qualities like greed and malice tend not to correlate to intelligence.

      And of course the worst criminals tend to dress in business suits and carry briefcases -- and rarely (if ever) pay for their crimes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 18 Feb 2015 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re:

        "A criminal is a person with predatory instincts without sufficient capital to form a corporation."

        -- Howard Scott

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          JP Jones (profile), 18 Feb 2015 @ 4:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Meh, there's plenty of criminals that are heavily involved in corporations.

          I'd modify it to "a criminal is a person with predatory instincts without sufficient capital to hire a better lawyer."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 18 Feb 2015 @ 6:58am

    So he gets charged with murder.

    What do his parents get charged with, for giving their kid a name like "Maxwell Marion Morton"? :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 18 Feb 2015 @ 7:50am

    Dumb vs Smart

    Dumb criminals commit crimes, get caught, and go to jail.

    Smart criminals go into politics or police work, and don't have to worry about that last part part.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Feb 2015 @ 1:51pm

    Ahh, he was a SnapChat user. Now it all makes sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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