The news that a Burlington, Ma., mother's stabbing death was watched by a stunned teen over a live iPad video chat opens new possibilities and difficult questions about Web evidence in a heavily plugged-in world, says the Boston Herald. “Welcome to the worst aspect of the 21st century: cyber horror and its progeny. This is just one more step in a horrible direction,” said defense attorney Jeffrey Denner.
At Christopher Piantedosi's arraignment yesterday, prosecutors said a young friend of his 15-year-old daughter watched in horror — in real time over an iPad — as Piantedosi slashed longtime girlfriend Kristen Pulisciano to death Thursday, while waiting for the teen to return to her bedroom to continue their online chat. “This is a very, very difficult case. And it wouldn't surprise me if we see more of them. In this day and age of video chatting and Skyping, this is the next logical step,” said attorney William Korman, calling it an evolution of past cases of assaults that were captured on 911 tapes as victims pleaded over the phone for help. “Obviously, the key question here is whether this data was saved on the electronic device or if the prosecution is going to rely on what the witness says they saw on a computer screen. There's a big difference between the two.”