The manhunt for the Cleveland Facebook killer spread across four states earlier today and now it’s gone nationwide as this cold-blooded killer is still at large. Authorities have prompted the public in four states to be alert and on the lookout for Steve Stephens and his car. Police are now asking for the public’s help in locating Stephens as the urgency grows to find this guy before he hurts or kills someone else. The Cleveland Facebook killer could be just about anywhere in the nation as of Monday night.
According to the latest reports from CNN News, the manhunt for Stephens has now gone“nationwide.” He has been gone long enough to be almost anywhere in the country today. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said that law enforcement has been put on high alert across the nation looking for Stephens. Police in Cleveland sent out the tweet below.
If you see Steve Stephens dial 9-1-1. If you have tips about the crime or his whereabouts please call the FBI tipline 1-800-Call FBI
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 17, 2017
During today’s press conference, the police chief tried to talk to Steve, hoping he was watching the TV from where ever he was. He said, “We’re still asking Steve to turn himself in, but if he doesn’t, we’ll find him,” the chief said. “We’re not going to stop until we find him.” He also had some serious words for friends or family of Steve who may be harboring him.
The police chief said, “If you think you’re helping Steve, you’re really not. You’re going to get yourself in trouble.” Both Chief Williams and the mayor of Cleveland, Frank Jackson, pleaded with Stephens to give himself up, hoping he was watching the news.
According to Fox News, a $50,000 reward is now offered for anyone who can help police locate Stephens. He is dubbed the Cleveland Facebook killer for the killing of an elderly man at random on Easter Sunday after getting angered over a breakup with his girlfriend. He made a video of the killing and posted it to Facebook. The reward is being offered by Crimestoppers.
Police have gone nationwide with their alert on Stephens, but they have asked earlier in the day that residents of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Michigan to be especially on alert, as these are states close to Ohio.
Stephens killed a 74-year-old grandfather as he was out collecting discarded cans and bottles. This cold-blooded killer did this for no reason at all. This was a random killing; this man had done nothing to Stephens.
At a press conference today, which was shown live on Fox News, police said they have no reason to believe that Stephens has ditched his car and is driving another vehicle. They believe he is still out there in the original car he left the scene of the killing in. That car is seen below in a tweet.
UPDATE Homicide suspect Steve Stephens' actual vehicle has Ohio Temp tag E363630 pic.twitter.com/tE3r5u4BNN
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) April 17, 2017
Yesterday, the authorities were calling Stephens, “Steven Stephens,” but today it was very apparent they changed that to “Steve” when they talked about him. The police captain at the press conference said he was hoping “Steve” would see this and turn himself in.
There is a reason for using just “Steve” when they make a plea for him to give himself in on TV. It makes it sound more personalized and they use the name over and over again, to the point where it sounds like they said it too much. This is done for that very same reason, to personalize the conversation and put the suspect more at ease, which is suggested by K State Edu.
Instead of calling him Mr. Stephens or by his full name Steven Stephens, “Steve” sounds friendlier, which may possibly entice the alleged killer to surrender if he was on the cusp of doing so. Stephens was a caseworker at a mental health agency, so he could possibly recognize the excessive use of his name “Steve” having roots in psychology.
A police detective made contact with Stephens via his cell phone, but other than Stephens refusing to turn himself in, the police would not elaborate about the call. This was the one and only contact police have had with the suspect.
Police talked to him and tried to get him to come in and give himself up, but he wasn’t hearing anything about that. He refused. Stephens was a case worker at a behavioral health center, so chances are he is aware of the ploys of psychology that police use for making him feel comfortable, like calling him just “Steve.” After getting a ping on his cell phone in Pennsylvania, they notified authorities in that area, but he is still at large.
There is a $50,000 reward offered for information leading to this guy’s capture and the police have stressed how urgent it is to catch him before he takes another life. Stephens had expressed interest in talking to the pastor of the church he attends. Police are now telling him via reporters that he should come in and talk to the pastor. Below is a picture of the victim, Robert Godwin Sr.,with an unnamed family member or friend.
Stephens was driving down a Cleveland street when he pulled over and randomly targeted a 74-year-old grandfather who was walking down the street collecting discarded bottles and cans. Stephens got out of the car and walked over to Robert Godwin and after asking him to say a woman’s name, he shot and killed the elderly grandfather.
He pulled out a gun and shot Godwin in cold blood and then Stephens said the woman’s name again and blamed this killing on her. Stephens taped himself killing Godwin and then he uploaded it to his Facebook page. The clip was seen by police and taken down, but it was too late, many had downloaded the clip and it is all over the Internet today.
The family of Godwin is asking people to please have respect for their father and grandfather and take that clip down, according to the New York Post. This is a horrific time for Godwin’s large and close-knit family. That message that was put online requesting the clip of the Facebook killing be deleted has been retweeted 27,000 times. Robert Godwin Jr. told the press that he can’t bear to watch the clip of his father being killed.
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]