Narcissistic Criminals Now Using Social Media Platforms to Showcase Their Crimes

Most individuals who break the law do not want to be identified in an effort to escape criminal charges, however there are and always have been those narcissistic criminals who look for ways to showcase their crimes and boost their fame. With social media platforms available at the touch of a button, those seeking notoriety now have more opportunities than ever to do so.

Rise to infamy

Narcissistic Criminals

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History is full of notorious criminals who are as well-known around the house as some of the best actors, musicians and other celebrities. Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock will recognize names of many famous criminals such as:

• Jesse James
• Bonnie and Clyde
• John Wilkes Booth
• Lee Harvey Oswald
• Charles Manson
• James Earl Ray
• Dr. Kevorkian
• Ted Bundy
• Jeffrey Dahmer
• The Menendez brothers

Infamous criminals are often known by a nickname. All to often, these names are coined by the press in order to get ratings. Some of the catchy nicknames include:

• The Unibomber
• The Zodiac Killer
• Billy the Kid
• Jack the Ripper
• Scarface
• Gentleman Johnnie
• The Boston Strangler
• Machine Gun Kelly

Public’s demand for details

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Many famous criminals got their fame because of the public demand for information. People feel the need to know every detail about a case, and the press complies by examining the details of all heinous cases involving serial rape and murder and relaying their jaw-dropping findings to their faithful viewers. The more body count or gruesome details, the more publicity the story got. Articles that detail the offender’s personality and even their upbringing are often included as well. This is likely done in an attempt to help the average Joe understand the complexity of the criminal mind. Unfortunately, by constantly being in the public eye, these crimes of the century are romanticized, leaving the convicted person a permanent figure in history. Many famous crimes are portrayed through TV shows and movies, giving even more fame to the offender.

Desire for fame

Not all notorious criminals were seeking the fame the earned, however there are some who wanted to be famous; villains whose crimes would be remembered forever. These narcissistic criminals typically want two things: a crime worthy of attention and a way to showcase that crime to the world. The more dramatic the reaction is by people, the better. In the past, narcissistic criminals would hope their crimes would make it on the cover of the local paper or even on the five o’clock news. To have word of their crimes reach a national news source was an egotistical offender’s dream. Nowadays it doesn’t take a professional news station to help a crime become popular; all it needs is a few likes and shares on social media.

Facebook killing – narcissistic criminals

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The new craze among demented narcissistic criminals is posting their crimes on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Not only are crimes such as murder, rape, and animal abuse posted after the crime has been committed, they are also being done on live feed options, with other social media users watching real time as the crime is taking place. Some recent live feed crimes have included:

• A mentally handicapped man being tormented and brutally beaten live on Facebook by four individuals;
• A 15 year old girl who was raped while the footage was broadcast live on Facebook with nearly four dozen people watching without notifying authorities;
• A 20 year old man from Thailand who posted a live film of him hanging his 11 month old daughter to death before taking his own life off camera. The footage of his daughter’s murder remained on Facebook before it was finally removed 24 hours later.

Facebook executives stated that they will attempt to make changes to reduce the horrific videos and live stream crimes from being broadcast through their platform. Since the videos and live feed can be uploaded immediately it is difficult for the social media platform to regulate the video uploads without the help of user reports or a type of analyzing program that could be seen as a privacy issue. The best thing that can be done to reduce these live crimes from occurring is to stop giving the narcissistic criminals the attention they seek. Even a sad or angry response is attention; report then ignore.

Animal Cruelty and other Crimes against Pets in Utah

Many Utah residents love their fur babies as if they were part of their family and are horrified when crimes against pets such as animal cruelty occur.

Torture of a companion animal

Animal Cruelty

Photo by: Matt Deavenport

A Provo, Utah man was recently convicted of torture of a companion animal after he sought out, purchased, tortured, and killed nearly a dozen kittens. 26 year old Gene Bairschmidt appeared unmoved following his sentencing of third degree animal cruelty; a charge punishable by up to five years in prison. Bairschmidt’s lack of emotion as well as his intentional torture of a companion animal was disturbing and likely indicated he was suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders.


Another Utah resident was charged with animal cruelty recently after she haphazardly scattered a dangerous poison around her unfenced property, resulting in the death of a neighbor’s puppy. 68 year old Nina Bennett of Summit Park was not intentionally out to hurt the young dog, but was irresponsible in her application of strychnine poisoning used for pest control. The owner of the puppy pressed charges and Bennett was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, a class B misdemeanor. She was sentenced up to six months in jail.


Another saddening form of animal cruelty is animal fighting. Animal fighting is when two or more animals are encouraged or trained to fight one another for entertainment or gambling purposes. Although other animals can also be bred and used for fighting purposes, dogs and roosters (cocks) are the most popular in the ring. Game dogs or cocks are usually kept in deplorable circumstances with frequent abuse, resulting in them being aggressive and ready for battle. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah cares for several animals that are rescued from inhumane circumstance such as dog fighting rings. Many of the animals rescued from fighting rings have withstood such extensive abuse that they are unable to be adopted and will permanently reside at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Animal cruelty

Photo by: tanjila ahmed

Photo by: tanjila ahmed

While torture of a companion animal, poisoning of pets and wildlife, as well as animal fighting may be obvious forms of animal cruelty, there are other actions and behavior that can result in similar charges. Utah Code 76-9-301 lists the other various conducts which can result in animal cruelty charges such:

Lack of adequate shelter or protection against “extreme weather conditions”. A simple dog house in below freezing temperatures is cruel and may result in criminal charges. Local animal control officers can instruct Utah residents on how to give their animals proper shelter if the pets are unable to be housed indoors.

Animal abandonment. If an animal is no longer wanted or if the owners are unable to keep their pet, there are several rescue groups throughout Utah willing to take them in. Dropping a pet off on the side of the road and driving away is not the way to relinquish parental pet rights and can result in animal cruelty charges.

Failure to provide necessary food and water. If an animal is in a person’s custody, which Utah Code defines to mean “ownership, possession, or control over an animal”, that person is responsible for providing “appropriate and essential food and water”. Forgetting, being busy, or being unable to feed an animal due to financial difficulties are not valid excuses for not feeding a pet. Failure to provide food and water as well as animal abandonment , lack of shelter, animal fighting, and inflicting injuries can result in a class B misdemeanor or class C misdemeanor, depending on whether or not the abuse was intentional or just reckless.

Killing an animal “without having a legal privilege to do so”. Slaying an animal for reasons such as trespassing or annoyance is not permitted unless the resident feels that they, their family, or their pet’s life is in immediate danger. Aggressive or nuisance animals should simply be reported to animal control to handle. Killing an animal is considered aggravated animal cruelty, the same as torture and poisoning. Aggravated animal cruelty penalties range from a class C misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor, depending on intention and negligence.

Protected pets

All animals, whether domesticated or wild are protected in Utah under various rulings such as animal cruelty laws, animal husbandry laws, and even hunting and fishing regulations. For anyone facing charges for animal cruelty or other crimes against pets and other wildlife, consult with a criminal defense attorney.

Parent Use of Electronics to Harass a Minor

If a parent has an issue with a juvenile who may be causing their child distress, they should refrain from using the internet, text messages, or other means of electronics to angrily communicate to the youth since it is against the law to harass a minor in Utah.

Mama bear

Do Not harass a minor

Photo by: Max Goldberg

Parents have a way of finding themselves knee deep in the drama their kids bring home and can often get too involved. If a parent is upset with another child or teenager on behalf of their child, there are ways to express their feelings without breaking the law. Speaking to the other child’s parents is a respectable step or informing or school officials is recommended if something upsetting took place on campus or at a school-sponsored function. Often however, parents wish to speak directly to the minor in which they can do easily over the internet or by text message. This action however can land the adult in hot water.

Electronic communication harassment

Utah Code 76-9-201 states “ a person is guilty of electronic communication harassment and subject to prosecution in the jurisdiction where the communication originated or was received if with intent to annoy, alarm, intimidate, offend, abuse, threaten, harass, frighten, or disrupt the electronic communications of another, the person:”

• Repeatedly attempts to contact the recipient via electronic device after being asked to refrain communications,

(or through the use of an electronic device)
• “insults, taunts, or challenges the recipient” in an attempt to provoke violence;

• “threatens to inflict injury, physical harm, or damage to any person or the property of any person;

• Causes disruption, jamming, or overload of electronic communication system through excessive message traffic ( . . . )”

Penalties to electronically harass a minor

Photo by: Alassandro Valli

Photo by: Alassandro Valli

Utah law states it is a class B misdemeanor for an adult to harass another adult via electronic device. If an adult chooses to harass a minor, those charges are increased to a class A misdemeanor for the first violation of electronic communication harassment against a minor or a third degree felony if it wasn’t the first time the adult had decided to harass a minor. This law applies to all adults including overly-protective parents and even older siblings who are 18 years of age or older who may harass a minor on behalf of their younger siblings. For more information on charges stemming from electronic communication harassment, contact a criminal defense attorney.