A tragic event that occurred nearly three years ago continues to disturb a family in Orange County, Calif. Despite every effort, they are unable to move past the tragedy because the Internet will not allow them to reach closure. Actually, the World Wide Web itself is not to blame as much as the morbid and insensitive individuals who hide on its darker side.
The events surrounding this story began to unfold on October 31, 2006. On that day, 18-year-old Nikki Catsouras photohere fatefully grabbed the keys to her father's Porsche 911 Carrera and walked out the front door of her parents' home. Nikki had been forbidden to drive the sports car, and her judgment on that day will forever remain in question.
As a child, Nikki was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Tests showed the growth to be benign; however, she still had to endure radiation treatment which, doctors warned, could cause her to have difficulty with impulse control - issues which may have contributed to the cocaine-induced psychosis that she suffered in 2005. Despite her hospital stay after that incident, Nikki again experimented with cocaine in October 2006. In response, her parents scheduled an
appointment with a brain disorder specialist. Unfortunately, Nikki never made the appointment.
It will never be known whether the accident was the result of teen disobedience or a lack of
judgment caused by her brain disorder. Regardless of the reason, Nikki got behind the wheel of her father's car and backed it out of the family's garage. Nikki's mother, Lesli Catsouras, heard the commotion outside and ran out, only to see her daughter speeding down the road. Lesli immediately phoned her husband, Christos, who called 911. During the call, the dispatcher informed him that a black Porsche had been involved in an accident on the 241 toll road in Lake Forest. Christos' heart immediately sank to the pit of his stomach.
According to police, Nikki was traveling at approximately 100 mph when she lost control of the car. She hit a Honda driven by a lone man before tumbling over the median and slamming into a concrete toll booth. The accident was so severe that Nikki was nearly decapitated upon impact (those photos will not be shown here). Her remains were in such a horrific state that the coroner would not allow her family to view her body.
The driver of the Honda was transferred to a hospital with minor injuries. He seeks to recover damages in a pending lawsuit against the Catsouras family.
As tragic as Nikki's death was, it was only the beginning of a long road of suffering that her family would have to endure.In the weeks that followed the accident, Christos received an e-mail that he assumed was related to his real estate business. However, when he opened it, he was confronted by a gruesome crime scene photo of his daughter and a caption that read, "Whoohoo Daddy! Hey Daddy, I'm still alive