The case of missing Virginia Commonwealth University student Taylor Behl was solved, in large part, due to her online activities. According to police, the Internet “has emerged as a virtual tip machine that often maps the course of an investigation.”
For better or worse, investigators now use Google and comb through public weblogs to gather information on both suspects and crime victims. Behl, whose remains were found a month after her disappearance, had a blog on Livejournal and an account on myspace.com. In fact, the alleged killer was among her 92 myspace “friends”.
In case of my own untimely disappearance, I leave the following clues. It is a mix of truth, half-truths, and bold-faced lies. Any police investigator worth his salt should be able to suss out fact from fiction and solve the case of my disappearance – or at least find my decomposing body.
A girlfriend of mine wasn’t too pleased with the world according to Pete – at least according to her. So she dumped me, quit her job, and ran off with an ex-convict. They were just like Bonnie and Clyde and we all know how that one turned out. Luckily her car broke down. That’s what we call “delaying the inevitable.” Now that I’ve mentioned all of this, she might one day be a lead. But I doubt it because, obviously, she’s willing to settle.
I once killed a giraffe with my bare hands. Before you judge me, I think you should know he was pretty much asking for it – acting like he owned the whole goddamn savannah, throwing his weight around, putting on airs just because he could eat the highest-most leaves on the tree. Ok, maybe things got a little out of hand, but you know…shit happens…and the next thing you know, you’ve got a dead mammal on your hands. The rest of the herd witnessed my transgression but stood mutely by as it happened. However, giraffes have long memories. They’re no elephants, but still…
I’ve been seeing a married woman. I hope her husband never ever finds out. That could be bad.
I was recently hanging out at a coffeehouse with some friends when this guy announced, “I haven’t had sex in a year! I need to get laid.” So I asked him, “What, is your hand broken?” He was so pissed off that he refused to shake my hand when I left. Which is probably a good thing, considering.
I am a freak magnet. No matter where I go, the one nut-job nearby will gravitate towards me and start a conversation. I do not encourage this but it still happens. The talk will eventually turn to mind control, CIA operatives, conversations with Jesus, acid flashbacks, or alien abduction – or quite possibly some combination thereof. I also have the bad habit of laughing at the most inappropriate times, like during very serious conversations with nut-jobs. That is a recipe for disaster in my book.
I have way too many compromising photos of former lovers. While I would never share them with anybody, the police don’t know that. Note to investigators – check the hard drive.
I am addicted to caffeine. This will only lead to serious trouble.
I got into an argument with a mime that has Tourettes Syndrome. The argument was rather one-sided. But he kept mouthing obscenities at me and I can read lips so it only escalated from there. Finally I punched him in the face. Amazingly, he didn’t scream. However he did writhe around on the ground and mimed hurts like hell brilliantly.
I’ve received email death-threats in the past because of things I’ve written. I’ve never taken those too seriously and probably never will – at least until somebody makes good on it. It’ll probably be too late at that point, huh?
I was chatting with a female friend of mine the other night while she waited for her date to arrive. She kept going on and on about how wonderful this guy was. So I said, “Didn’t you say that about the last guy you were seeing? How did that turn out?” She replied, “Fuck off” or something to that effect because, after all, he turned out to be an asshole and the break-up was rather messy. She’s one of those quiet types. We all know about those quiet types, but not until seeing them on the news after they’ve committed some heinous crime. This worries me.
I think one of my “friends” on myspace may be obsessed with me and could possibly have stalker aspirations. Sadly, it’s not the “friend” I was hoping it would be.
With clues like that it should be a snap to crack the case of my untimely disappearance. It’s nothing a little money and man-power, on the part of the police department, can’t solve.
(The preceding originally appeared on The World According to Pete)