TORONTO – Police who posted surveillance video from a murder scene on the wildly popular YouTube site have been rewarded — a suspect has turned himself in.
Two weeks after the 72-second clip on the video-sharing giant drew international attention from as faraway as Singapore, George Gallo, 24, turned himself into police. He appeared in court Wednesday on second-degree murder and attempted murder charges in the stabbing death of Ryan Milner, 22, outside a hip-hop club last month.
The clip did not bring forward any witnesses, but the extra online attention likely encouraged Gallo to turn himself in, police said.
"YouTube, I think, is a dream for law enforcement because at a very low expense, it gives them a global platform," said Rick Broadhead, a leading Canadian technology and Internet expert. "They're not only reaching people in Toronto, they're reaching people across Canada, across the continent and around the world."
The video had drawn more than 34,000 hits by Thursday. The case is believed to be a Canadian first in an effort to use YouTube to locate crime witnesses and persuade them to come forward.
"My own children are in that age category, and they spend all their time on the Internet; they do not watch mainstream media," said Det. Sgt. Jorge Lasso, who initially posted the video. "The investigators talked about how they could get the video viewed by the people who attended the performance and we decided that it was quite likely they would view it online."
Deputy chief Ken Leendertse said he was proud of his officers for using the technology in their investigation.
Broadhead said he expects the experience to lead to an even greater police presence on YouTube.