Palo Alto Man Surrenders After Googling Himself: 7 Other Crazy Criminal Confessions
We've all Googled our own name every once in a while, but the search results for one man yielded some drastic consequences. Christopher Viatafa turned himself into police after a Google search listed him on his state's "Most Wanted" list. The 27-year-old found his own mugshot after typing his name in and discovering a listing on Northern California's Most Wanted website.
Police say Viatafa got into an argument during a party in August 2013 and allegedly pulled out a gun, firing rounds into the ground. He was thrown out of the event. Perhaps he put the whole shooting thing behind him, but when Viatafa saw his name on the first page of Google search results, he decided to surrender to San Leandro Police. He faces charges of discharging a firearm toward an inhabited dwelling.
"Although it wasn't good judgment that landed him on the website, he did used good judgment to turn himself in after seeing his photo," police said in a statement.
Viatafa's not the only honest crook out there. Check out the other most notable offenders who have turned themselves in.
Burglars Steal Laptop; End Up Busting Pedophile
Two thieves stole Richard Coverdale's laptop after breaking into his Yorkshire home in the United Kingdom in 2009. They seemingly got away with the crime — until they found child pornography on his computer and decided they had to do something about it.
It turns out Coverdale had invented a 14-year-old character so that he could expose himself to a teen girl over the Internet. He also downloaded pictures of child abuse. After discovering the movies and images on his laptop, the burglars contacted police and confessed their crime. The 38-year-old man and 20-year-old woman both received a 12-month community service order for stealing the laptop. The pedophile received three-and-a-half years in prison.
Bank Robber Turns Himself In 1,000 Miles Away From Crime Scene
When Kent Anthony Clemens robbed a bank in North Dakota in 2012, he went back home to Kansas ... and started to feel guilty. Three days after committing his crime, the 53-year-old called 911 to confess and have police arrest him "for making a mistake."
The man had taken about $700 during the incident, sharing some with his sister when he returned. Officials found Clemens waiting on his porch.
Colombian Crime Ring Boss Surrenders With 283 Cronies
Jose Lopez Montero, aka "Caracho," led a group called the Popular Anticommunist Revolutionary Army, known for drug trafficking and murders in Colombia. Shortly after telling the country's media that he was "tired of the war," he and more than 280 members of his crime ring turned themselves into authorities.
Though the reasons for their surrender were unclear, it marked one of the largest mass surrenders of criminal suspects in Colombia.
Escaped Inmate Returns In Freezing Cold Weather
This year's polar vortex sent millions of Americans indoors, including one escaped Kentucky inmate who decided he'd rather be behind bars than out in the cold. Robert Vick, the prisoner who broke free from a minimum security facility, toughed it out for a day in the frigid temperatures until he couldn't take it anymore.
He got as far as local motel, where he asked the clerk to call the police. He was later treated for hypothermia. Priorities, right?
Long Island Man Robs Home; Calls Police On Himself
After he and another man allegedly broke into a Freeport, Long Island home in January, Abram Owens called the police himself to admit to his crime.
Officials say Owens and his accomplice forced their way inside the home when they were met by two women inside. He allegedly fired his gun by accident, hitting one of the females in the leg. His partner-in-crime told him "You’re not supposed to shoot her" and left, while Owens continued to search the house.
After a friend told him to fess up months later, Owens called the Crime Stoppers hotline and turned himself in. Shocker: he wasn't eligible for the usual cash rewards received by tipsters. His accomplice, however, is still on the loose.
Ohio Drunk Driver Confesses On YouTube
Matthew Cordle admitted to killing a 61-year-old man during a night of drunk driving. His public confession wasn't in court or an interrogation room, but via a surprising platform that sparked a lot of talk and controversy: YouTube.
In his video, the Ohio resident tells a story of bar hopping gone wrong, his struggles with drinking, then flat out comes out with it: “My name is Matthew Cordle and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani. This video will act as my confession."
He was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.
Murderer Has Change Of Heart After Watching Passion Of The Christ
Investigators initially ruled the death of 19-year-old Texas woman as a suicide, but reopened the case in 2004 after Dan R. Leach confessed to killing his pregnant girlfriend. He had almost gotten away with the crime, so why the change of heart? Detectives say Leach had just watched Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ , which prompted his surrender to police.
Leach told officials he planned the woman's death to look like a suicide and strangled her because he didn't want to raise her unborn child. Leach was sentenced to 75 years in prison.