Your Honor, I Believed The Photos Would Be Gone Forever

Your honor, members of the jury, distinguished men and women of the press, I plead guilty on all counts. Reckless endangerment. Possession of a Class B stimulant. Grand larceny. I’m guilty of them all. And though I could invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to incriminate myself, the mountain of photographic evidence compiled against me would surely do me in. The cruelest irony is not only did I take these pictures, but I freely disseminated them. Now, of course, my actions are coming back to haunt me. But in my defense, your honor, I believed the photos would be gone forever.

You see, sir, all the photographs you have in front of you as evidence were taken with a smartphone application called Snapchat. With this app, one can share a photo ten times faster than through a text message. Simply take a snapshot…that’s the snap. Then add a message…the chat. And send it along. Best of all, once the recipient views the image, it disappears after ten seconds. Disappears, according to the makers of Snapchat, forever.

Would that were the case, ladies and gentlemen of the jury! I wish I knew six weeks ago what we all know now. There are ways to save Snapchats. Of course there are. There’s always a catch, isn’t there? We’ve all seen the pictures that have appeared on the immensely popular websites devoted only to leaked Snapchats. If only those existed back in April. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My Snapchat spree started innocently. My wife, to whom I owe the deepest and most sincere apology, sent me a nude photograph one day while I was at work. But you know that, of course you do. It’s Exhibit A. You know that her breasts have ripened and aged beautifully like champagne grapes. And you also know that my penis, when erect, isn’t setting any records, but it’s nothing to sneeze at either. I refer you to Exhibit C for an illustration of that point. Stop snickering, Juror Number Eight!

The pictures were our little secret, or so we thought. What we did not know was that while the photographs appeared to evaporate from our phones, they actually saved in a hidden directory. But those were headier times six weeks ago. We did not know then what we know now. We thought the things we did existed in a secluded, ephemeral plane. A dimension that only we two could access. After all, there is a difference between one’s public face and one’s private life, is there not? There is a specific pleasure in doing something naughty and having all evidence wiped away in an instant. My wife and I proceeded headlong into our Snapchat mania.

Sexually explicit images could not satiate our desire for excitement for very long. Giddy with clandestine power, my wife Jennifer and I began taking pictures of ourselves committing victimless crimes. Jaywalking. Loitering. Speeding. We sent each other photographs of these illegal, but ultimately harmless, acts. It was just another secret we shared. Until one day, I took things too far.

On my way home from my job on State Street, I decided to take a short cut and avoid the highway traffic. I passed by a cluster of unsavory-seeming characters. On a lark, I stopped and asked if they possessed any crack cocaine I might purchase. The group’s leader, whose name I will not reveal, decided I was too oblivious to be a police officer, and he sold me a small rock of crack, at a price I later learned was well above market value.

I held up the rock, winked, and took a quick selfie which I captioned “What’s crackin’?” and sent to my wife. I thought she might get a laugh out of it. Within moments, I received a notification that she had taken a screen cap of the image. I did not know that was even possible within Snapchats parameters. I had assumed they would have guarded against this eventuality given that they advertised your pictures are “gone forever.” Anyway, I figured that Jennifer wanted to keep this picture as a memento of a funny thing that I, her straight-laced bank manager husband once did as a jape. I never thought she would turn on me the way she did and serve as a witness for the State of Massachusetts. But with Snapchat, things are never quite what they seem. Except in the case of these photographs that very clearly depict me committing various crimes. Those are exactly what they look like.

Anyway, I smoked the crack and Snapchatted that picture to my police officer brother in law just to see how he’d react. And though he is not a gadget guy and doesn’t know how to capture a screenshot, he did take a photograph of his phone’s screen with another camera, which just seems unfair to me.

Regardless, high on cocaine and hyperfocused I returned to my place of employment to retrieve an umbrella I had left under my desk. My judgment impaired, I decided to enter the bank’s underground safe using the key codes I had access to because of my elevated position within the corporation. I’d never been in the vault after hours before, and it seemed like a thrill.

Upon entering the secluded location, I unbanded a stack of hundred dollar bills and “made it rain.” I threw the money everywhere. It was exhilarating. To enhance the rush I felt from the money and the cocaine, I took a Snapchat photo and sent it to the City of Boston’s anonymous tips hotline. Though they do not have a Snapchat account, the picture was logged in the aforementioned hidden directory on my phone and has been subpoenaed for use as Exhibit S in this trial. Also, the whole affair was captured on the bank’s security cameras.

I took a stack of $10,000 home with me, just because it was so easy, and I shot a photo of it to my boss with the note: “It was me, Douglas Hamblish! No one stole my phone.” Underneath, I finger-autographed the screen, and that signature effectively served as my signed confession.

So your honor, id I rob that bank? Yes. Did I purchase and smoke crack cocaine? I did. Did I jaywalk and loiter? My lawyer has advised me not to say, because that is not the subject of this trial. But why did I commit these crimes and photograph them? Am I a criminal mastermind? Am I a sociopath?

No. I’m just a guy who thought some pictures would be deleted forever.

Thank you. And my God have mercy on my soul. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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