Mob hitman found guilty thanks to fitness watch location data
Facepalm: Alleged hitman Mark “The Iceman” Fellows has been convicted of the 2015 murder of mob boss Paul Massey thanks to his Garmin Forerunner fitness tracker.
UK news outlet Echo reports Massey’s murder had gone unsolved until Fellows was arrested in 2018 for another contract kill of mob boss enforcer John Kinsella. While Fellows had a GPS jammer in his vehicle, which prevented investigators from putting his BMW at the scene, he had been caught on CCTV recordings scouting a route before Kinsella’s murder on a bike.
Detectives then started to look into whether Fellows may have scouted a similar route for Massey’s murder. Fellows, who is a fitness fanatic, had worn a Forerunner while doing reconnaissance in 2015 for Massey’s planned assassination.
A forensics expert examining Fellow’s Garmin fitness tracker discovered that it had recorded a 35-minute trip that led to a field near Massey’s residence, which Fellows used as part of his escape route. The discovery led to the examination of cell tower records and CCTV footage in the area. Investigators were then able to piece together a detailed timeline that placed Fellows at the scene of the crime.
“Intelligence led police to believe Fellows was paid £50,000 for the hit on Massey, who was shot five times on his driveway in Manchester Road, Clifton, on July 26, 2015.”
The collected fitness data plus the rest of the evidence was enough to put him away. A Liverpool jury found Fellows guilty in the case, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison.
A similar case in Australia saw a woman arrested for the murder of her mother-in-law. The woman claimed a group of men had committed the crime after tying her up. In that instance, investigators examined the victim’s Apple Watch and discovered her time of death did not match the daughter-in-law’s story.
It just goes to show how hard it is in our digital age to hide our locations and actions. Even though Fellows was mindful enough to put a GPS jammer in his vehicle, he overlooked that little ubiquitous device on his wrist that so many of us wear without thinking.