This story is just bizarre and reminds me how serial killers used to tease the police by sending tapes to the media. Evidentially with the advent of Web 2.0, traditional media is an unnecessary middle man effectively being distermediated (of course this has been going on for awhile with the all-too-common beheading videos from the middle east working their way around various web sites). In case you haven’t heard, someone modified Chris Benoit’s Wikipedia page about his wife’s death before the police found the body. From Wired:
By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the double homicide and suicide of WWE pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife, and their seven-year old son. Well, a new twist has revealed itself, within the pages of Wikipedia.
According to FoxNews, someone updated Chris Benoit’s Wikipedia page, with an entry on his wife’s death. Problem is, it was posted 13 hours before the police found the three bodies in Atlanta.
An anonymous user operating a computer traced to Stamford, Conn. — home to World Wrestling Entertainment — posted an entry to pro wrestler Chris Benoit’s biography on Wikipedia.org announcing the death of his wife Nancy at least 13 hours before police in suburban Atlanta said they found her body along with her husband’s and that of their 7-year-old son, FOXNews.com has learned.Employees at Wikipedia.org said the posting went live on their site on Monday at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Police, however, said they found the bodies Monday at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
To make the whole situation even stranger, the entry was taken off an hour after it was posted requiring that the user site news sources. An hour later the entry was edited again, this time through an Australian wireless provider, “which according to several pro wrestling websites is attributed to the passing of Benoit’s wife, Nancy.” Again the entry was removed asking for a valid news source. This all happened hours before police even got to the house.
This brings up so many issues which I will refrain from musing on until more comes out on the story. Suffice to say if you are ever editing Wikipedia and come across something that hasn’t yet happened you should think twice before freezing it pending the source being cited. It’s possible that the “source” is the perpetrator.
Update: We’ll the simplest answer is often the correct one as it was here. The Wikipedia poster has come forward and was nothing more than a fan posting a rumor he had been hearing. Story here. We’ll have to wait for another time to see if someone creates or modifies a Wikipedia entry to ensure that their act is presented in what they consider to be the proper manner.