ATLANTA — Authorities said Monday they will not give Hustler Magazine crime scene and autopsy photos of a former Longmont woman who was slain while hiking, with one Georgia lawmaker calling the porn publication's request "vile" and "disgusting."
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said his agency would reject the magazine's "indecent" request for the photos of Meredith Emerson, whose decapitated body was found in January 2008 in the north Georgia woods. The 24-year-old University of Georgia graduate had been beaten to death.
Emerson graduated from Niwot High School before moving to Georgia for college.
On Feb. 25, Hustler Magazine reporter Fred Rosen asked for the photos as part of an open records request filed with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, though it was unclear why. A phone call to the magazine's Beverly Hills, California, headquarters was not immediately returned Monday. Rosen also did not immediately return a phone call.
House Speaker David Ralston blasted the request and said he had instructed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to refuse to hand over the material.
"It's sickening. I think it's disgusting. I think it is vile and I think it is very, very hurtful to this family," he told reporters on Monday.
Gary Michael Hilton is serving a life sentence for Emerson's murder. Authorities have linked him to at least three other slayings.
The request clearly touched a nerve with other Georgia legislators.
State Rep. Jill Chambers introduced legislation Monday to exempt such crime scene photos from the state's open records law.
Autopsy photos are currently exempt from the state's open records law. But Ralston, a lawyer, said crime scene photographs of a body fall into a legal gray area.
However, that bill would not apply to Hustler's request if passed.
Rosen said in the request that he should have access to the photographs because it has been more than two years since Hilton was sentenced for the crime. Rosen also asked for Hilton's confession and Emerson's autopsy report, including the rape kit.