Sociopathic killers are often proud of their crimes. They collect mementos, they may brag about it to their friends, but above all they want to be caught. They want the media spotlight and the attention that comes along with being a horrific monster. Naturally it would make sense, in that aspect, why killers like the Zodiac Killer and BTK would reach out to the media and taunt them with letters implicating that they were involved in a series of unsolved murders, but times they are ‘a changin’.
The days of writing letters are practically extinct, superseded by email and internet correspondence, and it would only seem natural that the mode for killers to take credit for their handiwork would evolve along with it. You’ve heard about David Kalac, the man who murdered his girlfriend and posted photos to the 4chan image board, but Kalac is not a minority. In a society ruled by over sharing and acceptance on social media, it was only a matter of time before it became the latest new trend among murderers to gloat about their crimes or in some instances, use it as a church confessional.
On May 7, 2015, a deranged British Colombian man by the name of Randy Janzen took to Facebook to reveal what was on his mind. Janzen confided to all of his loyal Facebook followers and curious lurkers that he had “…done some of the worst things I could have ever imagined a person doing.” He confessed that he had killed his daughter, Emily Janzen, after watching the once driven and accomplished young woman deteriorate slowly due to her battle with depression and crippling migraine headaches.
He claimed that she was the best daughter two parents could ever have, but her condition was heartbreaking to him and felt it was his duty to end Emily’s suffering once and for all. He then killed his wife, Laurel, in order to save her the grief of burying her child. Two days later, he murdered his sister Shelley, claiming that he only wanted to spare her the shame of the tragedy.
After his Facebook post was reported to police, three badly burnt bodies were discovered and believed to have belonged to Janzen’s murdered family members. Janzen died during a police standoff by taking his own life. Those who knew Janzen were shocked by the events that transpired, describing him as a loving, caring man, and all-around nice guy. The world may never officially know what made Janzen snap and see death as the only option for his family.
Murder Confession via Meme?
The verdict is still out on whether or not the “Confession Bear” meme, posted to the popular message board reddit, was a legitimate confession to murder. What is known is that in 2013 a reddit user, going by the name Naratto, used the popular bear image to state that he had killed his sister’s abusive boyfriend using his own drugs. The authorities later determined the case to be an overdose. Debate over the post ensued, and after a few internet detectives tracked down and posted Naratto’s true identity and location, Naratto returned to backtrack on his claims.
He stated that the post was a joke, though it did include some true details. He also called out the Google P.I.s that posted his personal information. Some who witnessed the post did take the liberty of alerting the F.B.I. and further investigation into the case began. To date there has been no follow-up stories reported on the case, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the user was cleared of any wrong-doing.
It wouldn’t be the first time redditors had freely confessed to crimes, including everything from drug smuggling to committing rape, when one user created a post titled “What’s the Most Illegal Thing You’ve Ever Done?” However, it should be noted that it is uncertain how many of these confessions are actually true, and how many were made up for a sort of internet street-cred.
A similar crime was also reported later in 2013, when a murder confession was made to the art project Post Secret‘s “Sunday Secrets” blog, where readers are encouraged to send in handmade postcards revealing some of their deepest or most embarrassing secrets.
The postcard contained a picture of a map with an arrow, indicating that it was the location where the sender dumped the body of an ex-girlfriend. The confession was later determined to be a hoax.
The 31-year-old South Miami man and self-help writer, Derek Medina, took to Facebook where he confessed to murdering his wife. He claimed that the murder was a result of self-defense, after an altercation between the troubled couple became heated and Medina’s wife pulled a knife on him. Shortly after the confession, Medina posted a grim photo of wife, Jennifer Alfonso, contorted on the floor and covered in blood. The accompanying caption read “R.I.P. Jennifer Alfonso.” The post went viral and circulated around the popular social media site for at least 5 hours before Facebook administrators became aware and took Medina’s profile down.
After the public confession, Medina went to visit family and told them what he had done. He then turned himself into the Miami-Dade police. Medina’s trial is still on-going, but he has reportedly requested to have a bench trial in lieu of having a jury of his peers determine his sentence. If convicted, Medina faces either life in prison or execution.
“I Killed a Man”
The YouTube channel “Because I said I would,” is known for spreading inspirational stories of hope. Their videos are often powerful and thought provoking, and display unbelievable courage from those who choose to participate in the project. To date, few have been as courageous and inspiring as the video titled “I Killed a Man.”
Matthew Cordle, a 22-year-old man from Ohio, discusses on video how he inadvertently killed a man after an evening out drinking with his buddies. Cordle explains how he has had trouble controlling his drinking, which inevitably has caused a number of problems within his personal life. He then goes on to say that after visiting several bars one evening he had blacked out and decided to get behind the wheel of his car. Cordle ended up driving the wrong way down the highway and struck the car of 61-year-old Vincent Canzani head on.
After consulting with several attorneys, Cordle was assured that he could probably get the case thrown out if he simply lied in court. The guilt of Vincent’s death weighed too heavy on Cordle’s conscious, and rather than deny his charges, he decided to take his story public. He wanted to use his story as a cautionary tale for others who may make the decision to drink and drive, and take full responsibility for June 22, 2013 accident that took Canzani’s life.
Canzani’s ex-wife wrote a letter to the judge presiding over Cordle’s trial. She commended his bravery and urged the court to not seek the maximum sentence against him. The court also viewed the confession video as evidence and recognized that Cordle’s actions were done out of sincerity. Vincent’s daughter, on the other hand, was not as sympathetic towards Cordle and stated that the maximum eight and a half year sentence he faced was nothing compared to the sentence her father received for Cordle’s actions. He apologized to the victim’s family and assured everyone present within the court that he would not allow Vincent Canzani’s memory to be in vain.
Cordle was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. He has been working hard to come to terms with his drinking problem and and since released a followup video from behind prison walls. He hopes that his story will prevent others from facing the same fate as Vincent Canzani.
At the time of writing this a new case has emerged. This time, 23-year-old Gypsy Blanchard, along with her boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn, have been accused of stabbing Gypsy’s mother, Dee Dee. At first it was believed that Gypsy, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and leukemia, was kidnapped. After a mysterious Facebook post on Gypsy and Dee Dee’s shared account appeared, stating simply, “That bitch is dead!”, it was determined that Gypsy had a hand in her mother’s death. Both Gypsy and Godejohn were tracked to Wisconsin, where the Facebook post originated from. A standoff occurred with police before the couple was taken into custody.
The case just gets even more bizarre and hints at Gypsy and Dee Dee both having a secret life. Although Gypsy had always used a wheelchair, it was discovered that Gypsy was able to walk on her own when she was taken into police custody. There is also the suggestion of financial fraud, and questions on whether or not the Blanchards were even Hurricane Katrina victims as they had claimed to friends and family. Stay tuned as more details develop with this case.