Dominican Murder-Suicide Prompted by Facebook Photo


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Your online presence can have big implications for life beyond your computer. While many of the Arab Spring uprisings and #Occupy protests owe a lot of their momentum and organization to Twitter, and a special kind of justice can come to idiots posting their crimes on YouTube, Facebook seems to be especially adept both at prompting crime as well as foiling and catching perpetrators.

In a metaphysical sense, Facebook is a lot like the human lives it represents digitally. At its root morally ambiguous--and usually boring and benign your company's spring picnic photos--Facebook can be capable of extreme goodness and heroism: it's helped foil a robbery, catch arrogant idiots, and solve a variety of other crimes. But like us, the popular social networking site has its darker side, too. Pictures ripped from teens' profiles have shown up on porn sites, and one creep held a woman's profile hostage, demanding nude pics in exchange for the return of her account. But worst of all, social rebuffs on the site can sometimes even lead to violence, like this recent murder, the product of a mere "unfriending".

The latest facebook-related violence occured Wednesday evening in a Santo Domingo motel, where a young Dominican man and his estranged wife were found dead, the victims of a murder-suicide prompted by a facebook photo.

Valentín Núñez Luciano, 26, shot and killed Marleni Suero Amador, 25, Wednesday, with a 9mm Bersa pistol. He then turned the gun on himself. The pistol was found at the crime scene along with several casings and pieces of lead.

While friends and family describe Luciano as a good and tranquil young man, reports indicate that Núñez Luciano regularly abused Amador. FoxNews reports that the couple's confrontational relationship "worsened after Nuñez's discovery of the photo of his wife in the company of a man during a visit to the La Victoria prison." Núñez found the photo on Facebook.

This is a tragedy for sure, one likely fueled by machismo and a sense of public humiliation. It's a sad story, but one we can learn a lesson from. If you get your feelings hurt online, turn the computer off for a minute, go climb a tree or something, and let cooler heads prevail. Even if you feel like you've got nothing to worry about online, it's never a bad idea to crank up your privacy settings and be mindful what you post to social networking sites.

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