Murderers used to have to write bizarre letters to newspapers to get anyone to read their last words before their arrest; now they just go on Twitter. Here are seven times Twitter was a place for these killers to work out their feelings—in public.
Allen Ivanov was only 19 at the time he committed a triple homicide at a Washington teen house party after a bad breakup with his ex-girlfriend earlier this year. Ivanov not only apparently posted a picture of the gun he used to kill his ex and two other classmates to Instagram several days before the attacks—he tweeted the night before, too, in a way that seems more self-pitying than self-reflective.
“First and last tweet,” he wrote. “I've been through it all.”
Charles Dean Bryant
The day after the dismembered body of 24-year-old Jacqueline Vandagriff was found burning in a public park earlier this year, Vandagriff's own twitter account tweeted a mysterious final message: “Never knew I could feel like this.”
Authorities still aren’t sure if this final tweet was posted by her accused killer, Charles Dean Bryant, or if the tweet was written by Vandagriff, perhaps scheduled a few days in advance.
Jaylen Fryberg, at 15 years old, was apparently motivated by a romantic rejection to shoot five people at his Washington high school, killing one, before committing suicide in 2014. In fact, the evidence is all over the former homecoming prince’s Twitter account.
“It breaks me... It actually does... I know it seems like I'm sweating it off... But I'm not.. And I never will be able to…” This tweet was posted only a few days before the shooting.
Sometimes, actual threats posted on social media just seem like hyperbole. Such is the case of Arizona man Zachary Penton, who sent out a tweet seemingly joking about murdering his roommates two days before he actually did kill one of them.
“I need to move out of my place before I viciously murder my roommates” he wrote on Twitter. His account has since been deleted, wisely, and he confessed the slaying to the police.
Trenton Forster, the 18-year-old man accused of killing a Missouri police officer earlier this year, made no secret of his dislike of law enforcement on his Twitter account. “I want f—- the police carved into my grave,” he wrote earlier this year.
His last tweet, several weeks before the shooting, was particularly dark. “I'm dying on inside and nobody really gives a f—-,” he wrote on Sept. 26.
Tsarnaev, the convicted terrorist who, along with his brother, was responsible for the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon, kept tweeting even after he helped set off the explosions that killed three people and injured hundreds of others. “Ain't no love in the heart of the city, stay safe people,” he tweeted as news of the bombing spread.
Tsarnaev’s Twitter account is a strikingly normal picture of the then-teen’s life, filled with crude jokes about Finding Nemo and quotes from the musical “Rent.” Oddly enough, his last original tweet before his dramatic arrest was “I’m a stress free kind of guy.”
Eddy, one of the two teen girls who pled guilty to murdering their 16-year-old friend Skylar Neese in mid-2012, had a particularly disturbing Twitter presence after stabbing her “best friend” in the woods. When police found Neese’s remains in the woods, she tweeted, “rest easy skylar, you’ll ALWAYS be my bestfriend. i miss you more than you could ever know.”
Eddy’s collaborator, Rachel Shoaf, confessed to police that the three girls had gone into the woods under the guise of smoking pot. Shoaf and Eddy then planned to stab Neese after a count of three, which makes one of Eddy’s tweets a month before she was arrested especially chilling.
“[W]e really did go on three,” she said.