Reports were swirling around the Internet today about a University of Florida student named Pedro Bravo – dubbed an “idiot killer” by website BGR – asking Siri, the voice-response program of the iPhone, for assistance with disposing of a corpse. The even stranger twist to the story is that Siri responded.
In court on Tuesday, prosecutors presented some fresh new evidence in the trial surrounding the alleged 2012 murder of University of Florida student Christian Aguilar by his roommate Pedro Bravo. As part of their case, prosecutors revealed that Bravo turned on Siri and told the personal assistant that “I need to hide my roommate.”
As has been shown in earlier easter eggs, Siri then came back with the following response: “What kind of place are you looking for? Swamps. Reservoirs. Metal foundries. Dumps.”
9to5Mac says that Apple has seemingly removed this response and now when you ask Siri for help hiding a body, the digital assistant only responds by saying, “What, again?” It seems that Apple engineers had put the original “advice” in as a joke because they figured, hey, no one would really be stupid enough to ask Siri for advice on where to dump someone’s corpse. Sadly, it appears they were mistaken.
Well, maybe not, because BGR duly updated their post to note that after a day of black humor on the Internet, which I am not going to sit here and pretend I did not participate in…
“Siri, I’m running for President as a Democrat in 2016. Where can I bury Obama’s legacy?”
— John Hayward (@Doc_0) August 13, 2014
… the original report has been disputed. The Gainesville police and court reporters say that Bravo never said anything about asking his iPhone how to hide Aguilar’s body, and they weren’t even roommates. The original news report from ActionNewsJax in Jacksonville mentioned the “I need to hide my roommate” Siri search very matter-of-factly, as a detail introduced during court testimony; it’s not a rumor started by some Internet wag and incorporated into the storyline through the viral spread of forum gossip. In fact, the screen shot of this conversation between man and machine was described as taking “center stage” at the trial.
Thanks to clarifications run by various news outlets, it looks like the image on Bravo’s phone was simply him reading a Facebook post that pictured such a conversation with Siri, prior to Apple changing the code and removing the gallows humor. There might be some eerie relevance to Bravo reading posts about Siri’s corpse-disposal advice on Facebook, but he did not actually pose the question to his own phone (which apparently didn’t include the Siri program at any rate, and used a different cell-phone provider than the screen shot that captured so much attention.)
The cause of the alleged murder, by the way, was an argument over a girl. Aguilar’s body was found in a shallow grave some distance from Gainesville. Bravo’s phone is an item of interest in the case because its operational logs showed heavy use of its flashlight function around midnight of the day Bravo disappeared.