Facebook Live tragedy

Jenna Caputo, Staff Writer

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On April 16, also known as Easter, Steve Stephens committed a heinous crime. The 37-year-old man recorded himself murdering Robert Godwin, a stranger on the street and a 74-year-old father of nine and grandfather of 14. Stephens did this killing on a Facebook live stream.

A massive search began to find the suspected “Facebook Killer.” That search ended when authorities found Stephens dead in Erie, Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning.

According to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, just after 11 a.m on Tuesday morning, Pennsylvania police received a tip that Stephens was spotted in a white Ford Fusion in a McDonald’s parking lot. Upon hearing police sirens arriving on scene, Stephens fled. Police were led on a short pursuit before Stephens took his own life.

Police were unable to answer many questions asked by reporters. They didn’t refused to discuss police tactics used in the pursuit and Stephens ability to evade the police for a full two days.

Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolfe said in a statement, “I am incredibly grateful to the Pennsylvania State police for their bravery and vigilance in spotting and pursuing ‘Facebook Live Killer’ Steve Stephens in Erie and acting without hesitation to keep others safe.” Wolfe followed this statement with thanking the state troopers and state police for their heroism.

Godwin, the victim, just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was chosen randomly by Stephens. In his video, Stephens got out of his car and said “Find me somebody I’m about to kill, I’m gonna kill this guy right here. The older dude.” After approaching Godwin, Stephens told him to “do me a favor” and say the name “Joy Lane—she’s the reason this is about to happen to you.”

Stephens then shot and killed Godwin right then and there.

Lane was Stephens’ girlfriend. “I am sorry that all of this has happened,” she said. “Steve is a really nice guy… He is generous with everyone he knows. This is a very difficult time for me and my family.”

Facebook received heat from many because the video was left up for hours before being taken down. This incident has put Facebook in the spotlight and many are questioning their role in preventing gruesome posts like this from spreading.

We can all only help that this is the last of disturbing Facebook posts.


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Facebook Live tragedy