ST. LOUIS – For years StLMugshots.com has posted dozens of daily mugshots showing people at their lowest points – many never even charged with crimes.
That recently changed when law enforcement began requiring the website to play by the same rules as TV stations – request a booking photo for someone who’s actually charged with a crime to get a photo.
That seems to have restricted the flood of daily mugshot postings. You’ll find fewer examples of people picked up for minor offenses and then ridiculed with features like the mugshot “ matching game.”
Even Edmund Tauk didn’t want to associate with the site, despite Fox 2’s investigative findings that led us to him.
“100% not me …” he told FOX 2 in 2018.
When Fox 2 found his name associated with record requests for the photos appearing on the site – Tauk still denied it.
In a follow-up phone call he told us, “I’m telling you again, for the 500th time, I don’t own StLMugshots.”
But when a father reached out through the website, for help having his teenage daughter’s photo removed, it seems Tauk is the one who called him back.
On the recording, obtained by Fox 2, you can hear the man say, “If you wanted to pay a $500 processing fee where we have to take down the site and remove the mugshot we could do it later on tonight even. Maybe even later this afternoon. We could do that, but that’s up to you.”
The man does not identify himself in the call with the girl’s father, but says he understands the importance. This, despite a disclaimer on the website that says “StLMugshots.com will not accept any type of payment for removal of a mugshot from our site.”
The man continued saying on the recording, “I don’t just call any joe schmoe because I knew there was … so and when someone says ASAP it usually means, you know, something happened – or, you know, I didn’t know.”
After the call, the father got a PayPal message “Edmund Tauk has requested $500.”
The father paid then got another notification – “You’ve sent $500 to Edmund Tauk” – and then a text from Tauk’s phone that said in part – “removed.”
Tauk did not respond to Fox 2, but his attorney said, “We cannot comment at this time given pending litigation.”
However, it does appear that law enforcement has heard those people who have been speaking out.
Starting just this month, it appears StLMugshots is only getting booking photos for those people actually charged with a crime. We’ll continue monitoring.