Apple Watch murder breakthrough: Heart rate recorded by Apple Watch reveals woman was the victim of an ambush attack

“Recovered Apple smartwatch data, which indicated when a murder victim’s heart stopped beating, will be key prosecution evidence in the case against a South Australian woman charged with killing her mother-in-law, a court has heard,” The Australian Associated Press reports. “Caroline Nilsson has been charged with the bashing murder of Myrna Nilsson, 57, at their Adelaide home in September 2016.”

“At the time of the incident, the 26-year-old told police that her mother-in-law had been attacked by a group of men who had forced their way into the property after a road rage incident,” AAP reports. “About three hours after the reported home invasion, she was found in the street by neighbours with her hands and face bound with tape. But opposing bail on Thursday, prosecutor Carmen Matteo told Adelaide Magistrates Court that it was the crown case that the story Nilsson had concocted was demonstrably false and the home invasion crime scene had been fabricated.”

“Ms Matteo said a forensic expert had analysed the dead woman’s Apple smartwatch and had narrowed the time from when she was attacked to when she died to a seven-minute window,” AAP reports. “She said the data showed a burst of heavy activity, consistent with the woman being the victim of an ‘ambush-type’ attack followed by a period of less activity when she possibly lost consciousness. Ms Matteo said the watch stopped recording the woman’s heart rate soon after.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tragic outcome.

If this is the first time, or one of the first times, data from an Apple Watch has been used to build a murder or other case, it certainly won’t be the last.


  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but pulse is only taken every 10 minutes or so, right? Unless Workout or another app e.g. Cardiogram switches the watch to continuous monitoring?

  2. This is absolutely amazing and I can certainly see more usage along these lines as the technology improves. Imagine students at a school all wearing apple watches with bio monitors and GPS suddenly showing a sudden localized population jump in trauma, loss of life, alerting the authorities of the situation and exactly where this is happening thanks to a GPS function.

    Law enforcement officers like Scot Peterson would know exactly where to set up a perimeter.

    1. The potential for misuse of technology always exists. The key factor is how the technology or data associated with that technology are used. The classic example is radioactive decay and nuclear fission – nuclear power, radiation treatment for cancers…nuclear bomb. Beyond the physics of critical mass and purity of the fissionable material, the key is intent.

      Human beings hold the potential for both good and bad. Progress will occur when we learn to curtail the negative aspects and focus on cooperation and mutual respect.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. if the watch is on a wrist its unlocked. I wonder if stayed unlocked or locked when she died. My guess is they could probably just unlock her phone and get the data from the phone.

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