Tuesday, May 26, 2009

nikki catsouras accident scene photos

nikki catsouras accident scene photos

A tragic event that occurred nearly three years ago continues to disturb a family in Orange County, Calif. Despite every effort, they are unable to move past the tragedy because the Internet will not allow them to reach closure. Actually, the World Wide Web itself is not to blame as much as the morbid and insensitive individuals who hide on its darker side.
The events surrounding this story began to unfold on October 31, 2006. On that day, 18-year-old Nikki Catsouras (photo here) fatefully grabbed the keys to her father's Porsche 911 Carrera and walked out the front door of her parents' home. Nikki had been forbidden to drive the sports car, and her judgment on that day will forever remain in question.
As a child, Nikki was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Tests showed the growth to be benign; however, she still had to endure radiation treatment which, doctors warned, could cause her to have difficulty with impulse control - issues which may have contributed to the cocaine-induced psychosis that she suffered in 2005. Despite her hospital stay after that incident, Nikki again experimented with cocaine in October 2006. In response, her parents scheduled an appointment with a brain disorder specialist. Unfortunately, Nikki never made the appointment.
It will never be known whether the accident was the result of teen disobedience or a lack of judgment caused by her brain disorder. Regardless of the reason, Nikki got behind the wheel of her father's car and backed it out of the family's garage. Nikki's mother, Lesli Catsouras, heard the commotion outside and ran out, only to see her daughter speeding down the road. Lesli immediately phoned her husband, Christos, who called 911. During the call, the dispatcher informed him that a black Porsche had been involved in an accident on the 241 toll road in Lake Forest. Christos' heart immediately sank to the pit of his stomach.
According to police, Nikki was traveling at approximately 100 mph when she lost control of the car. She hit a Honda driven by a lone man before tumbling over the median and slamming into a concrete toll booth. The accident was so severe that Nikki was nearly decapitated upon impact (those photos will not be shown here). Her remains were in such a horrific state that the coroner would not allow her family to view her body
As tragic as Nikki's death was, it was only the beginning of a long road of suffering that her family would have to endure.
In the weeks that followed the accident, Christos received an e-mail that he assumed was related to his real estate business. However, when he opened it, he was confronted by a gruesome crime scene photo of his daughter and a caption that read, "Whoohoo Daddy! Hey Daddy, I'm still alive."
That e-mail set the stage for a wave of harassment which has targeted each member of Nikki's family. In addition, one particularly sick individual took the time to set up a fake MySpace page in Nikki's name in order to poke fun at her death. Within the comment section, one visitor wrote, "What a waste of a Porsche," while another comment read, "That spoiled rich girl deserved it."
The release of the nine crime scene photos was traced to two California Highway Patrol dispatchers - Thomas O'Donnell, 39, and Aaron Reich, 30. In response, the CHP sent a letter of apology to the family and suspended O'Donnell for 25 days without pay. According to newsweek.com, Reich quit his job for unrelated reasons.
The crime scene photos have since gone viral and can be found on thousands of Web sites. Despite the family's best efforts, they have been unable to have them removed from the Internet. With little remaining recourse, they filed a lawsuit against the CHP for negligence, privacy invasion and infliction of emotional harm.
In March 2008, the Catsouras' case was dismissed by a superior court judge who ruled that rights of privacy do not extend to the dead. The court response to the family's appeal is expected on June 1.
In the wake of the case's recent media coverage, Russian cyber criminals attempted to exploit the situation by registering a domain name to distribute malware under the disguise of a "video" of the crime scene. According to trendmicro.com, the site in question has been optimized to appear as the first result in Internet searches for "Nikki Catsouras." The malware contains several variants of worms and viruses. Perhaps the site is actually doing the family a favor by luring those who wish to view the video. After doing so, they will surf away with a PC full of computer viruses.
Meanwhile, Nikki's parents and siblings have all enrolled in therapy so that they might eventually be able to come to terms with the situation or at least begin travelling the road to closure.
Morbid curiosity is one thing, but to turn Nikki Catsouras' death into a twisted Internet phenomenon is another. The incredible cruelty that the Catsouras family has suffered as a result of this chain of events is inexcusable. The individuals who are responsible should be charged with harassment. Their lack of empathy leaves me utterly speechless.

1 comment:

  1. It is very sad to know that a girl who was upset with her father had to die this way. I can't even imagine how her father feels. Nobody deserves to die that why. What if that was you or your child? You wouldn't see it that way and it would upset you to receive a comment like that. I don't understand what kind of sick person would post a picture with her head like that. If it was just the car nd the pole that she had struck it would have been different. I do not think that 25 days without pay and a Im sorry is good enough. Once a picture has been placed on the internet it can NEVER be removed. I'm sorry for the family's loss and will keep them in my prayers.