Hustler Magazine's request for crime-scene photos of the decapitated body of hiker Meredith Emerson was met by outraged lawmakers who vowed on Monday to push legislation exempting such photos from public release.
House Speaker David Ralston called the magazine's request "sickening and disgusting and vile." He talked Sunday with Emerson's mother and said she was "extremely distraught over the possibility that this could even happen." The speaker urged the GBI not to release the photos of Emerson's nude and dismembered body.
John Bankhead, a GBI spokesman, said the agency declined the request and said the intent of the Georgia Open Records Act prohibits the release.
"This is just an affront to the victim's family," Bankhead said. "It's incredible that anybody would ask for something like this."
In a statement, Hustler said the photos would be used in a news story about the crime. Hustler and its publisher, Larry Flynt, disagreed with the GBI's position "and are exploring all legal options available to them should the decision be made to go forward with this story."
Read more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.