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CAUGHT ON TAPE Using Criminals Videos Against Them By Edward F Davis MS and Anthony J Pinizzotto PhD Article from FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin In Sparta Michigan a 16-year-old high school dropout with a criminal record bludgeons a man to death then cuts off his head In Fort Lauderdale Florida five teenagers vandalize and burglarize eight homes and a school During their escapades they blow up a live sea trout in a microwave and get a dog high on marijuana In Los Angeles a group of teens assaults people with paint balls the projectiles from paint guns In Washington DC five men rob beat and urinate on their victim Following the incident the men interview one another pretending they are on the news documentary City Under Siege In each of these incidents the offenders were convicted by evidence they had created themselves They had videotaped their exploits providing incontrovertible evidence of their crimes Who Does It and Why Photographing criminal activity is not a new phenomenon In the past most crimes occurred under cover of darkness helping to maintain the anonymity of the perpetrators Yet recent cases indicate that criminals seem more interested in publicizing their crimes than remaining discreet Several teenagers in Houston Texas videotaped themselves as they dug holes for people to fall into blew up mailboxes in broad daylight and plotted their activities on a blackboard as if they were military commanders An increasing number of cases involve videotaping drug parties Various vice units have discovered videotapes that individuals have made of themselves and others using illegal drugs Other perpetrators have videotaped their involvement in hate related crimes In Los Angeles for example a fire that gutted one store and damaged two others was captured on videotape by one of the perpetrators The walls were spray-painted with swastikas the initials Die Jew A 20-year old student was charged with arson for the incident Some of the rise
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