As many of you know by now, about two weeks ago a movement took shape on the Internet to get the Montreal authorities to actually get involved with the prolific spammer of death threads, “David Mabus/Dennis Markuze.” Finally, last week he was arrested and charged with 16 crimes and is currently undergoing a psych evaluation for 30 days.
Tim Farley has written a wondrous account of the entire campaign. I’ll give a summary below, but you need to read the whole thing.
Like most evolution/skeptic websites, we have experienced the death threats of Mabus first hand.—I’m sure readers can find ones that have not been deleted from our archives.—I think he eventually went away after we got our filters configured in such a way that he was unable to figure out a way around them. We were still on his mailing list until earlier this year when he decided to move his operation to Twitter. It turns out that Twitter was his downfall.
Complaints about Mabus’s death threats have been lodged many times over the years, but the Montreal police never acted on them because nearly everyone he threaten lived somewhere else. However, it was on Twitter that Montrealer William Raillant-Clark discovered Mabus’s threats. And in the course of trying to do something about the appalling behavior became noticed by Mabus and started receiving death threats in turn. Unfortunately for Mabus, Raillant-Clark had brought the Montreal police into the conversation, who responded with the email address of their public relations division. Raillant-Clark’s efforts also caught the attention of Kyle VanderBeek, who started a petition for the Montreal Police to take Mabus seriously. It received over 5,000 votes, each one generating an email that was sent to the address tweeted by the department. (They eventually cried “oncle.”)
Now on Twitter, Mabus would auto-harass anyone who mentioned or was mentioned by someone he was already harassing. Thus when the Montreal Police tweeted their email address to Raillant-Clark, Mabus began automatically harassing it too.
Thus Mabus was sending death threats to a fellow Montrealer and CCing the police to his plans.
There needs to be a new FAIL smiley/icon for this.