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Crime Google Idle

Student Googles Himself, Finds He's Accused of Murder 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the be-careful-what-you-search-for dept.
University of Florida student Zachary Garcia was more than a little surprised to find out he was wanted for murder after Googling his name. It turns out the police were looking for a different man but had mistakenly used Garcia's photo. From the article: "Investigators originally released a driver's license photo of Zachary Garcia — spelled with an 'A' — but it was Zachery Garcia — spelled with an 'E'— who was charged in connection with the crime."

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Student Googles Himself, Finds He's Accused of Murder

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  • Re:That's nothing! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by panda (10044) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @03:58PM (#34393436) Homepage Journal

    You laugh, but a man, with the same first and last name as I, was murdered in Jamaica several years ago in a rather brutal fashion: he was decapitated with a machete. He was leading a ring of phone scammers and some of the other members of the ring had a disagreement over the money.

    Another man with the same first and last name is serving a prison sentence for weapons charges.

    Another man with the same first and last name is a doctor.

    Another is a low-budget file directory.

    I could go on.

    Its fun having a common name.

    No, I didn't google myself as a result of this story. I do from time to time when bored with nothing else to do. If you google my name now, you don't get the murder story until very far into the results, but it was among the top results when it happened four or five years ago.

  • by zuki (845560) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:00PM (#34393476) Journal
    Inbefore the obligatory quote from Terry Gilliam's prophetic movie masterpiece Brazil [imdb.com] with the mistake between 'Buttle' and 'Tuttle', and the ensuing pandemonium.
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:26PM (#34393972) Journal

    Getting a job? Hell this explains why he couldn't get a date over the last couple of years. Didn't you know that women google you now before going on dates to see if you are some looser or something embarrassing might pop up and shame them in front of their girlfriends?

    I had one girl shoot me down because she could fine 20 to 30 others with the same name as mine but not me on a google search. She claimed I was using an alias.

  • Could be worst (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:56PM (#34394682) Homepage

    This is a funny mistake but... you know... at least it was the civilian police, and civilian courts.

    He should be glad his last name isn't El Masri: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_El-Masri [wikipedia.org]:

    a German citizen who was kidnapped,[3] flown to Afghanistan, interrogated and allegedly tortured by the CIA for several months as a part of the War on Terror. Afterwards he was released. This extrajudicial detention was apparently due to a misunderstanding that arose concerning the similarity of the spelling of El-Masri's name with the spelling of suspected terrorist al-Masri[4] (the names are spelled the same way when using Arabic script).

    On a related note, a friend of mine recently found he had a warrant for issues that are besides the point. Lets just say, dubious charges of a domestic nature. So, upon finding this out, and verifying it, he drove to a friends place to "lay low" while he calls his lawyer and figures what to do next. The advice he got? Interestingly.... go to the court house in the AM and surrender directly to the court. In this case, that meant he a) looked responsible to the judge b) got it over with quickly and c) denied the police (who had only heard the other side of the story) no chance to "recommend bail".

    In the end, he walked out on his on recognizance. (well, end of the day, if not the story)

    -Steve

  • Wanted for murder (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Taser (315566) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:09PM (#34394934)

    I can empathize with the shock of finding out you're wanted for something this severe that you have absolutely no involvement in. While we lived outside of the US, my brother had his car stolen, so we reported it to the police that very night.

    A couple of weeks later, a magazine notorious for reporting on gory crimes with graphic photos (at the time, everyone joked that "blood leaked out of the magazine if you squeezed it hard enough") had both my brother and myself accused as murderers in a crime that involved the stolen vehicle. It turns out that a receipt they found in the vehicle had my brother's name and my family's phone number. It took a while to determine that the victim was related to the author of the article, and after talking with the police, we were able to clear our names and get a retraction printed.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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