Officials outraged after blogger posts graphic pictures of Lester Street victim - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach and Nick Paranjape

Officials outraged after blogger posts graphic pictures of Lester Street victim

Updated: March 7, 2008 05:35 PM CST
Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin in an interview Friday. Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin in an interview Friday.

Graphic photos of the mutilated body of one of the victims of the Lester Street Massacre were posted on a local blog Thursday, sparking outrage from city leaders and law enforcement.

The online display of pictures shows one of the adult women killed in the massacre. 

The photos outraged Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin.

"To put pictures of victims and place them on a blog, somebody needs to tell me how does that benefit this city, the family, the Memphis Police Department?" Godwin asked. "The only thing it does is hinder our investigation."

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton was equally upset by the photos.

"While I recognize the broad freedoms our Constitution and laws grant representatives of the press and media, and while I will not substitute my judgment for theirs, I want all to know that Shelby County Government does not approve of the display of the photos," Wharton said in a written statement.

The pictures, according to Police Director Godwin, would only serve to create fear in a community already shaken by the murders.  What police still need, he said, was the public's help.

"I've got lieutenants and officers and sergeants that haven't been to bed in over 30 hours," he said.  "This crime is horrible.  It is unacceptable in society, but also in the city of Memphis."

Godwin said no one has been ruled out as suspect, from gangs, to drugs, to someone the people in the house knew.

The Police Director did confirm, as Action News 5 first reported Thursday night, that some family members of the victims have been put in protective custody. Initially police would not discuss the matter.

Godwin was not ready to say the victims were targeted.
 
"I'm not going to say its targeted, but I'm sure not going to say its random," he said. "There's some things pointing in certain directions for us."  

Godwin said the investigation is taking a focus, but he wouldn't say what that focus is.


Click here to send an email to Janice Broach.
Click here to send an email to Nick Paranjape.

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