Corpse fingers.

Gang of murderous thugs use dead man's finger in attempt to access his phone.

Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip, was shot and killed by a Largo police officer last month [was] at Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home in Clearwater the day two detectives showed up with Phillip's phone. They were taken to Phillip's corpse. Then, they tried to unlock the phone by holding the body's hands up to the phone's fingerprint sensor. [...]

Phillip was shot and killed March 23 at a Wawa gas station after police said he tried to drive away when an officer was about to search him.

Let's recap:

  • Unlocking a phone with a corpse:

    Creepy. Never use TouchID!

  • Busting in to a funeral home with the family present to do that:


  • Doing it to cover your ass for executing an unarmed black man:


BTW, "Officer Matthew Steiner noticed Phillip's rented Nissan Altima had illegally tinted windows."

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10 Responses:

  1. Other Jamie says:

    You know, at this point I'm not sure why they bother attempting to actually try to find evidence before going to the friendly reporter with the drugs story. Just make shit about the dead guy. It is a blur of corpses in the news (if you're even paying attention); $town will pay off the family, and details like truth and guilt in relation to LE career advancement appear to rarely matter.

    Maybe they're going through the (ghoulish, literally) motions of investigating as a way to avoid cognitive dissonance. "Am too still a cop. Look at me detectivatin' and stuff."

  2. MattyJ says:

    Gross. An argument for enabling both a PIN and a print, maybe? But perhaps have the PIN code be the first one requested. That would be cool if the guv'munt spent the time and money on whatever the latest new-fangled iPhone unlocker is, got the PIN, _then_ it asks for a thumb print.

    • dzm says:

      I have no idea why Apple does not allow Print + Pin. Also no idea why they don't appear to have an options for

      * After XXX attempts, wipe the phone (defaults to 8; why can't I lower this?)
      * Require print, then passcode
      * Require passcode, then print
      * Require passcode, then print, then passcode
      * etc

      I'd be absolutely delighted to do something like 2-digit + Right-index + 2-digit + Right-thumb.

      Does Google offer this level of versatility?

      • Dave says:

        After XXX attempts, wipe the phone (defaults to 8; why can't I lower this?)

        Android does do this. I think the lowest you can go is 5.

  3. Adam says:

    I saw in another article that they were unsuccessful in unlocking the phone with the dead man’s fingers. Turns out that if you haven’t unlocked your phone in the previous 48 hours, Apple requires your passcode to unlock and re-enable TouchID.

    • nooj says:

      So do it when you're freshly dead.

      • jwz says:

        There's also been some research specifically on detecting the difference between living fingers with blood flow and dead ones or plastic reproductions, but I don't think Apple incorporates that yet.

        But that's not really the point. The point is that biometrics are not secret and do not require a warrant. Using your last name for authentication is more secure than using your fingerprint, because it's way easier to change your last name.

        • Glaurung says:

          The best security system is one that people will actually use. Which means the best security system is one that is actually pretty insecure, because good security is not convenient.

          TouchID is convenient as hell. Before Apple rolled out that feature, most people didn't bother setting a passcode on their phone because typing it in every time is such a PITA. TouchID raised the overall level of security for most phone users from zero.

          That said, Apple really should cater to those who have reason to be paranoid by allowing you to use two factor authentication (fingerprint or face and code). And to allow you to set how often the second factor is required, or in what kinds of contexts (so you don't have to go insane typing your code in every time you unlock the phone, while still being assured that someone else trying to unlock the phone will need to know the code).

        • Andrew says:

          Totally agree. I've always thought of biometrics as being equivalent to a username and have never understood why they are used as passwords, and with such enthusiasm. As if a password/token that cannot be changed or revoked is progress.

        • nooj says:

          So why does everyone love multi-factor authentication, with the "something that you are"?

          Another thing I don't get about two-factor authentication is, the "something that you own" is invariably your phone, which is also the thing that receives the password reset email. What planet do people live on where phones are never stolen?

          And does two-factor authentication result in less risk for the end-user (the person who does the logging in)? What data is available to support the answer?