The so-called Facebook Killer’s reign of terror is over.
But he leaves behind a legacy of hate, anger, fear and shock, after the murder he committed was posted to social media.
“Deeply disturbing” is what one Wheeling psychologist calls it.
“It could have an effect for people in terms of concentration, attention, ability to sleep,” said Dr. John McFadden, psychologist. “And it could, for people who are already disposed to anxiety and fear, worsen it.”
For unbalanced individuals, he said, it could appear to be heroic, and could prompt copy-cat killings, as sometimes happens after school shootings.
“Sometimes we unfortunately see a flurry of it for a while,” he noted.
When Steve Stephens fled, it seemed he clearly intended to escape.
Yet Dr. McFadden pointed out, Stephens basically provided police with the essential clue.
“The evidence of what he did, he created that evidence, he created the video,” he said.
As Stephens shot Robert Godwin, he also victimized countless others who witnessed the senseless brutality on social media.
“And we know that anxiety problems can occur as a result of this type of exposure experience,” said Dr. McFadden.
The victim, 74-year-old Robert Godwin, had just spent Easter with his family, and was reportedly taking a walk and picking up aluminum cans when Stephens shot him.