The News of the World newspaper controversy has left many scratching their heads after questionable allegations led to the 168-year-old newspaper's closure. This tabloid, owned and operated by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has been accused of hacking into the cell phones of celebrities, politicians -- even missing schoolgirls and grieving family members. Now, it seems the lines of depravity and journalistic integrity may have been further crossed with new reports emerging that the tabloid purportedly sought to hack 9/11 victims' cell phones.
A former New York City cop has come forward, claiming that News of the World reporters approached him and asked for help in securing 9/11 victims' cell phone records. The Daily Mirror has more:
...it was claimed 9/11 victims may have had their mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters...
[The former cop] alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.
Now working as a private investigator, the ex-officer claimed reporters wanted the victim’s phone numbers and details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading up to the atrocity.
Watch an WABC-TV news report below for more:
According to The Associated Press, the former police officer alleges the paper wanted to tap into private voice mails left by victims in the final moments of their lives, and by loved ones desperately searching for friends and family in the moments after the attacks. The police officer, citing insensitivity, decided to turn down the newspaper's offer. The Sydney Morning Herald writes:
"The investigator said the journalists seemed particularly interested in getting the phone records belonging to the British victims of the attacks."
Mr Murdoch made a mercy dash to London on the weekend as his News Corporation company shares took a dive and his takeover plans for Britain's digital broadcasting network, BSkyB, appeared in tatters.
His entire media empire has been tainted by revelations News of the World reporters allegedly hacked mobile phone accounts of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, families of dead British soldiers, politicians and celebrities.
Although News of the World has officially shuttered, the potential that 9/11 victims cell phone records were breached is likely to create further complications for Murdoch and his media empire. Sadly, these allegations, if substantiated, showcase the desperate -- not to mention immoral -- measures media outlets will take in order to secure riveting headlines.