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Alleged techie killer Googled 'neck snap break'

Then murdered wife, prosecutors claim

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A Mac specialist on trial for the murder of his wife allegedly carried out a Google search for "neck snap break" and "hold" before her death, prosecutors in Durham, North Carolina, claimed last week.

Robert Petrick's is also alleged to have visited a website called "bloodfest666", downloaded a document entitled "22 ways to kill a man with your bare hands", and checked out the "depth and topography of a lake where the body of his wife Janine Sutphen was found", InformationWeek reports. The latter search came just four days before Petrick reported Sutphen missing on 22 January, 2003.

Petrick - who has elected to defend himself - last week cross-examined a state expert regarding the "digital trail" of evidence gleaned from more than 10 computer hard drives seized from Petrick's home. State defence attorney Mark Edwards, who is obliged to attend the trial in case Petrick requires his assistance, said: "He's a computer geek. I think he knew more about Macintosh computers than the state's witness did. I'm not sure how much the jury caught, but he seemed to be pretty pleased."

Edwards confirmed that Petrick's computers contained "a massive amount of information", including "emails to women they said Petrick was having affairs with" and emails his wife sent before her death. He noted that the Google search information had just come to light after two years' investigation. Prosecutors are expected to present further computer forensic evidence before the trial concludes next week.

There's more info on the Petrick trial at local news outfit WRAL. ®

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