This happened a few days ago, but it started picking up newsy traction over the weekend. I'm reluctant to even write about it here because it's just so sickeningly awful in every conceivable way, but it bothers me too much NOT to write about, if that makes ense. Anyway, here goes (with an advance warning that this sh*t is disturbing).
On Thursday, a Miami man named Derek Medina, 31, was arrested for killing his wife, 26-year-old Jennifer Alfonso. (Her 10-year-old daughter was home at the time, but wasn't harmed.) And the clearly brilliant murderer actually helped the police track him down! How, you ask? Well, Medina decided to confess on Facebook right after he killed his wife of three years. Not just that -- he also included a PHOTO OF ALFONSO'S DEAD BODY, slumped on the kitchen floor in an awkward position, with blood all over her, I guess to prove he'd actually done it? Or something?
Medina's Facebook update read:
"I’m going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys miss you guys takecare Facebook people you will see me in the news. My wife was punching me and I am not going to stand anymore with abuse so I did what I did I hope u understand me."
Then, moments later, he shared the photo of Alfonso's corpse with the helpful comment "Rip Jennifer Alfonso." (RIP? You killed your wife, dude. You obviously did not want her to experience anything resembling peace.)
Consider me formally and officially dumbfounded, horrified, shocked, and incensed. Of course, it's not like this case is inherently any more or less devastating than the thousands of other domestic-violence-related killings that happen every year in this country (on average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in America every day). And if Medina WAS being attacked by his wife, that obviously isn't cool -- but it also doesn't warrant her being murdered (and then photographed). And the callousness of doing such a thing and then essentially BRAGGING, to all his FB friends, that they'll "see him in the news"? It's too much to stomach.
Oh, but wait. It gets worse (if that's remotely possible): Medina's status update and accompanying photo STAYED UP ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE THAN FIVE HOURS before his profile was deactivated just before 5 pm on Thursday.
In an email to the AP, Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said she couldn't remark on a law enforcement investigation, but noted, "The content was reported to us. We took action on the profile — removing the content and disabling the profile, and we reached out to law enforcement. We take action on all content that violates our terms, which are clearly laid out on our site."
But why did it take Facebook five hours to "take action" in the first place? Five hours is a LONG TIME. That bit of information is critical, and it's SO frustrating that they're refusing to provide it (surely in an attempt to cover their ass). The idea of Alfonso's family members SEEING THAT PHOTO and being forced to see and re-see it for FIVE HOURS just kills me; no one should have to experience that, and I truly can't even imagine the horror of it.
I'm sure Facebook staffers are incredibly busy in Palo Alto inventing awesome new ways for us to waste time and money online, but for FB to be so painfully insensitive and out of touch is just ... infuriating. And it speaks volumes about the company's apparent non-commitment to fighting violence against women. Maybe it shouldn't surprise me, though, given the site's spotty track record when it comes to feminist concerns.
Also ironic -- Medina, who "claimed to be a supervisor at a property management company and to have appeared in the Miami drama 'Burn Notice,'" published a bunch of self-help e-books on a range of bizarre-ass topics. Just months ago he self-published a book called, "How I Saved Someone’s Life and Marriage and Family Problems Thru Communication." (Um...)
Medina's dad drove him to a Miami police station on Thursday afternoon, where he turned himself in and confessed to killing Alfonso.