- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
- Kremlin blocks opposition websites; Kasparov fears Putin plans ‘something drastic’
- Saving trees? EPA wastes $1.5 million storing unneeded pamphlets in warehouse
- Scott Brown Senate bid in New Hampshire may launch soon
- Jeffrey Corzine, son of ex-N.J. governor, dead at 31
- Australian surfing magazine sorry for calling indigenous surfer ‘apeish’
- Records: Man in Fla. theater shooting also was texting
- The Putin problem: U.S. needs Russian rockets for spy satellites
Facebook page that praised UK killer taken down
LONDON (AP) - A Facebook fan page that glorified a dead killer was removed by its creator Thursday after it drew sharp criticism from Britain’s prime minister and put the social networking site in an uncomfortable situation.
The Facebook site “R.I.P. Raoul Moat You Legend” had attracted 38,000 fans, scores of comments praising Moat _ and outrage from politicians. Facebook had refused to remove the page even after Prime Minister David Cameron had condemned it, saying there should be no public sympathy for a “callous murderer.”
Despite the mounting pressure, Facebook said the page, while controversial, did not violate its rules. But its creator, Siobhan O'Dowd, took it down, saying she was surprised by the negative reaction.
“To be honest, I didn’t think this would be the kind of reaction I would get,” O'Dowd said.
“We don’t condone what he did, as what he did was wrong,” she said. “I feel sorry for the families, but he was still a human being at the end of the day.”
Moat, a former bouncer, had just been released from a prison term for assault when he shot his ex-girlfriend, killed her new lover and seriously wounded a policeman earlier this month. After a week on the run, he took his own life Friday when cornered by police.
“I cannot understand any wave, however small, of public sympathy for this man,” Cameron told the House of Commons on Wednesday. “It is absolutely clear that Raoul Moat was a callous murderer _ full stop, end of story.”
For many, however, that was not the end of the story. From 18th-century highwaymen to outlaws like Jesse James, criminals have long attracted romantic mythology and public support. The presence of Internet sites like Facebook allows those emotions be seen worldwide, almost instantaneously.
Moat sparked one of Britain’s biggest police manhunts and a media frenzy after his shooting attacks in northeast England. While on the run he “declared war” on police and vowed “I won’t stop until I’m dead.”
His hours-long standoff with police Friday was carried live on TV before he apparently shot himself. Police acknowledged firing stun guns at Moat in the final minutes and the police watchdog is investigating his death.
Dozens of bouquets and cards have been left at the spot where Moat died, many by strangers.
Many more wrote tributes on the now-vanished Facebook page. The comments ranged from angry to obscene to apparently heartfelt. Fans declared that Moat “one of the few remaining reasons Britain is still great,” sympathized that “love got the better of you” and praised him for being someone who “would rather die like a soldier than live like a coward.”
TWT Video Picks
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- CURL: Calm down, conservatives: Obama's 'Two Ferns' bit was brilliant
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- PRUDEN: Sink sank own campaign in Florida special election
- Inside China: Why Putin's intervention in Ukraine is bad news for China
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again