Friends of Jennifer Streit-Spears may have been forced to look at a gruesome photo of her — dead and bloody, with multiple stab wounds — Sunday when Facebook refused for hours to take down the photo her accused killer posted.
Streit-Spears, 43, was killed Sunday, allegedly by her boyfriend, Kenneth Alan Amyx, 45, in Plano, Texas. Authorities say Amyx then posted the photo to Streit-Spears' Facebook page alongside a picture of himself covered in blood. A caption read, “Please pray for us.”
While the photos have been deleted since the murder, repeated attempts by Streit-Spears’ sister to get the photo taken down were denied. After asking to remain anonymous, the sister told the Daily Dot that Facebook “told me I could block Jennifer if I didn’t like what she posted and gave me other similar options. I did ask them to remove it several times.” The images stayed posted, reportedly, until at least Monday.
Facebook's content policies operate with the understanding that sometimes violent and vulgar images are posted to condemn or raise awareness, so the photo in question may not have immediately seemed to violate those policies. Facebook's community standards note that the company prohibits using the website to "facilitate or organize criminal activity" and that they will act accordingly when unlawful uses are reported.
The image was taken down when the company realized the context of the picture.
"We remove graphic images when they are shared to celebrate violence. As soon as it was clear what the facts were behind this photograph, we removed it," a Facebook spokesperson told International Business Times in an email.
Amyx was arrested Sunday. Police found him with multiple self-inflicted stab wounds alongside Streit-Spears. It has since been discovered that Amyx was wanted for sex crimes, including continued sexual abuse of a child and indecent exposure to a child. He is being held on a $600,000 bail and will face charges for the murder and the sex crimes, according to the New York Daily News.
A neighbor told local CBS affiliate KTVT that there were no signs to warn them that there was anything wrong with the couple, who lived together.
“I didn’t see them every day. I don’t want to say often, but I mean, I never heard anything. Anytime you saw people coming out of there, they looked normal, didn’t look angry — didn’t look like murderers or anything,” Taylor Dunafan, a neighbor, said.