Nikki Catsouras (March 4, 1988 – October 31, 2006) was a beautiful young woman who lost her life in a horrific car accident. Extremely disturbing photographs of her mutilated body quickly leaked and spread on many websites where she was dubbed “Porsche Girl.” Unfortunately for her family, Catsouras’ death photos are some of the most famous car crash photos of all time.
Warning: Some of the material contained in this post may be too disturbing for some viewers.
Prior to the Accident: The Perfect Life – Or is It?
Looking from the outside in, the Catsouras family seemed to have it all. Lesli and Christos lived with their four beautiful daughters in a meticulously-designed community consisting of multimillion-dollar homes and man-made parks. Family dinners were routine, enjoyed almost every night and their best friends lived right next door. However, unfortunately, things are not as idyllic as they seem…
A Brain Tumor
When Nikki was 8-years-old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Doctors told Lesli and Christos that they did not think she would survive; however, upon testing, the tumor was found to be benign (non-cancerous). Even so, Nicole still had to undergo intensive radiation treatments. The physicians voiced concerns related to the potential effects that these treatments may be having on her young brain, stating that an issue may arise at some point in the future. Potential effects may include changes in her judgement and/ or impulse control.
The Summer Before Nicole’s Fatal Crash
The Catsouras family believes that the after effects of the radiation treatments she underwent at 8-years-old led to Nikki’s decision to try cocaine the summer before her fatal accident. After trying cocaine that summer, Nicole ended up hospitalized with cocaine-induced psychosis.
The Night Before the Accident
When Christos and Lesli discovered that Nikki had used cocaine on October 30, 2006, they contemplated hospitalizing her; however, they decided against it because she was due to visit a psychiatrist the following day and the psychiatrist she was scheduled to see specialized in brain disorders.
The Day of Nicole’s Fatal Car Crash: October 31, 2006
Nikki Catsouras, her mom and her father ate lunch together. Sadly, an argument ensued, which led to Christos taking away the keys to her car. Rebellious Nikki then chose to steal the keys to his gorgeous $150,000 Porsche Carrera.
A Father’s Worst Nightmare
According to Wikipedia and several other online sources, Catsouras’ mother had informed her father of the stolen Porsche shortly after she took it for a ride. In order to help find his Porsche, and most importantly, his daughter, he decided to drive around. While he was out looking for her, he figured it was best to call 9-1-1. Just minutes before the accident occurred, he was placed on hold. Sadly, after being taken off hold, the dispatcher informed him of the accident.
A Joyride That Caused A Gruesome Death
On Halloween, after taking her father’s keys, Catsouras decided to go for a joyride. She was traveling on the 241 Toll Road in Lake Forest, California. While Catsouras was driving at super fast speeds of over 100 miles per hour, she hit a Honda that was driving at speeds of around 70 miles per hour, nearly killing people in the vehicle. Then, Catsouras lost control of her vehicle, which caused the Porsche to go off the highway where she barely missed killing others. She crashed at full speed into an unmanned concrete toll booth where she was killed instantly on impact.
Cocaine Found In Catsouras’ Body
Following the tragic car accident, toxicological tests were conducted in order to determine whether Catsouras was using any drugs and/or alcohol. The tests had revealed traces of cocaine in Catsouras’ body. However, they did not find any alcohol in her system.
Catsouras’ Death Photographs Are Leaked
According to an article on Newsweek, due to Catsouras’ extremely gruesome accident, the family was not allowed to identify her body. Of course, like any other fatal traffic accident, California Highway Patrol officers are required to take photographs of the scene. Unfortunately, these particular photographs of Nikki were forwarded to colleagues, which eventually lead to them leaking on websites all over the Internet. Nothing could stop them from continuing to spread.
To add to a family’s unimaginable pain and suffering, not only were the photos leaked, but they also got into the hands of twisted people looking to pull off a terrible prank. The Catsouras Family received emails with misleading subject headers that lead to the images of their daughter’s mutilated body. One email said the words “Woohoo Daddy! Hey daddy, I’m still alive.” Of course, when the email was opened, it was nothing but the images of her dead body. Apparently, others found out her father was a real estate agent. One day, he received an email that was created to look like it was from a customer who was interested in purchasing property. However, it was only a trick that when opened, it displayed the bloody images of his daughter.
The Catsouras Family Sues The California Highway Patrol
Due to the leaked photographs of their beloved daughter, the Catsouras family sued the California Highway Patrol and the two dispatch supervisors who were allegedly responsible. Other than an apology by the CHP, the investigation was unsuccessful. The judge ruled that the defendants were not responsible for protecting the privacy of the Catsouras family. In March of 2008, the judge who dismissed the case ruled that although the conduct of the dispatchers was “utterly reprehensible,” there was no such law that allowed it to be punishable.
Luckily for the Catsouras family, in February of 2010, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District had reversed judges grant of summary judgment. The courts ruled that the family actually does have the right to sue the dispatchers for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The dispatchers defense was that e-mailing the photographs is covered by the First Amendment. One of the defendants claimed that his only intentions of e-mailing the photos was to warn people of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. Of course, they were obviously lying because Nikki Catsouras had absolutely no alcohol in her system.
The CHP Finally Settles
In May of 2011, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District ruled that there was no proof that e-mailing the gruesome photographs is covered by the First Amendment. In January of 2012, the California Highway Patrol finally settled with the Catsouras family. They received approximately $2.37 million in damages.
Although the photographs of Nicole “Nikki” Catsouras were taken off many websites, they were never completely taken off the Web. Today, they are some websites (like the site below) that still have them.
Above is a link to BestGore.com. It takes you to a page that not only gives details about the sad story of Catsouras. The page also has the actual images of Catsouras’ horribly disfigured body.
We must warn you that the photographs are extremely gory and very difficult to see.
More Famous Horrific Porsche Accidents
James Byron Dean was an American actor who starred in the 1955 film “Rebel Without a Cause.” On September 30, 1955, Dean was on his way to a sports car racing competition. While driving his brand-new Porsche 550 Spyder, he was killed in a head-on collision with a 1950 Ford Tudor.
Visit the link from DocumentingReality.com to see images of James Dean’s fatal accident. One of the pictures is highlighted with a circle to show his dead body.
This is another page on BestGore.com. It includes an article with 2 authentic photographs of actor Paul William Walker IV and his burnt corpse. One image includes outlines that show the dead bodies of Walker and the driver Roger Rodas.
Above is a link that takes you to an article on a site called FanShare. Below the article is several photos of Jackass actor Ryan Matthew Dunn’s car wreckage.
Catsouras’ parents have certainly endured the worst pain imaginable. They say there is nothing like losing your kid. What’s worse is to find out that your child’s gory photos are seen by many people all over the Internet. Even more, the deceiving emails they received from cruel people looking to pull off a very sick and twisted prank. She will always be known as Porsche Girl on the Web. However, her friends and family will always remember her as Nicole “Nikki” Catsouras.