Prolific Internet Troll Arrested in Montreal and Under Examination

| 13 Comments

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.

13 Comments

“Thus Mabus was sending death threats to a fellow Montrealer and CCing the police to his plans.”

What a muppet!

It is only a shame that the Montreal police had to be shaken out of their lethargy with a petition. One would hope that even death threats across international borders would be illegal and taken seriously in the vast majority of countries in the world regardless of the medium through which it is delivered.

It shouldn’t matter whether the ones Mabus was threatening lived in Montreal or not. I would have gotten the FBI involved many years ago and the Canadian version of the FBI too, if Mabus had attacked me like he had attacked James Randi, P Z Myers, and many others. He even attacked me twice on my own Wordpress blog.

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/20[…]th-religion/

I disemvoweled both of his comments (under the names Atheismisdead2 and Atheisthell) and banned him for his profanity and hatefulness. Then I said:

This person has spammed my blog with several incoherent comments. He is identified as David Mabus, a notorious lunatic from Canada

Sorry, but you don’t get to promote outright FRAUD on my blog, you sick and twisted coward!

OK, color me flabbergasted. It never occurred to me that Mabus, obviously unbalanced nuisance that he is, would ever get busted. Jail time would seem excessive but he should be handed over to court-ordered mental health counseling – and if he has problems taking the hint, fines might be in order as well.

Visiting trolls, think it over: This may be the start of a trend. Actually, I would not be surprised that in another generation legal sanctions against people working at being nuisances online will be normal, just as we have laws against taking a can of spraypaint and tagging up the landscape.

Dale Husband said:

It shouldn’t matter whether the ones Mabus was threatening lived in Montreal or not. I would have gotten the FBI involved many years ago and the Canadian version of the FBI too, if Mabus had attacked me like he had attacked James Randi, P Z Myers, and many others.

Dale, I’m pretty sure the FBI and RCMP have been involved in this case at one time or another. But did nothing, since they did not believe that Mabus was an immediate threat the leave Montreal and attack someone in America. And doing something would have involved paperwork.

I really do wonder if the events in Norway have caused the Canadians to take these threats more seriously.

mrg said:

Jail time would seem excessive but he should be handed over to court-ordered mental health counseling – and if he has problems taking the hint, fines might be in order as well.

I think he did get the hint. His last few tweets before the police arrived were apologies. To me that indicates that he has a chance of being helped by counselling. I agree that jail is not the place for him.

Either that or his family finally understood what he was doing and was apologizing in his name.

Since I don’t maintain a blog, I’ve never been involved with him. I am pretty familiar with Montreal. (Montreal is very, very low in violent crime by US standards.)

When I heard that this guy has showed up in person at an atheist convention in 2010, I assumed at that point that he would be directed to supervision by the mental health support system and justice system fairly soon after that. It took a bit longer than I thought.

I once reported an internet threat to the FBI cybercrimes unit; not Mabus-related. It was on a fairly well-known blog not directly associated with science or skepticism issues. As far as I know I was the only one who did anything. I didn’t get feedback, but something apparently happened, because about a day after my report, the blog was shut down for a while, and when it came back on, all accounts involved had gone away and never come back.

However, that particular threat was highly specific - it was directed by a raving homophobe to an openly gay commenter, and it contained details about the threatened person’s locations and schedule.

I’m a “civil rights absolutist”, but credible violent threats are illegal, and reasonably so. There are many millions of deranged troll comments on the internet every day - it boggles the mind to imagine even the number of death threats that must be associated with President Obama, or even the sordid Casey Anthony case, in a single day. Having said that, and even though I have only had to do it once so far, my policy is to report threats to the appropriate authorities.

Reed A. Cartwright said:

Either that or his family finally understood what he was doing and was apologizing in his name.

I’ve read some of those apologies, and they seem utterly insincere, either way.

apokryltaros said:

I’ve read some of those apologies, and they seem utterly insincere, either way.

To me they seem like words Gollum would use.

I guess I should be concerned. I could be arrested for defaming Darwinism.

Atheistoclast said:

I guess I should be concerned. I could be arrested for defaming Darwinism.

Do you spend hour after hour, day after day, emailing and twitting people for decades about how you’re going to torture and murder them and genocide everyone you believe is in their alleged belief-group, simply because James Randi won’t give you money?

Oh, wait, no, you’re just an annoying troll with delusions of being a scientist.

Atheistoclast said:

I guess I should be concerned. I could be arrested for defaming Darwinism.

So, are you a terrorist who constantly spams death threats to anyone who doesn’t bow down and worship your sick delusions? Or are you just a lying sack of shit who pretends not to notice that the guy who was arrested was making death threats, because lying about that helps you feed your persecution complex and pretend to be a marytr?

So which are you? Terrorist or fraud? My money’s on both.

phantomreader42 said:

Atheistoclast said:

I guess I should be concerned. I could be arrested for defaming Darwinism.

So, are you a terrorist who constantly spams death threats to anyone who doesn’t bow down and worship your sick delusions? Or are you just a lying sack of shit who pretends not to notice that the guy who was arrested was making death threats, because lying about that helps you feed your persecution complex and pretend to be a marytr?

So which are you? Terrorist or fraud? My money’s on both.

I get the impression that Atheistoclast is being trying to be snarky in order to publicly fondle his own bloated ego, as usual.

Then again, Atheistoclast is stupid enough to conflate bringing a terrorist spammer to Justice with censorship. (Of course, Atheistoclast also conflates censorship with lack of mindless adoration, too)

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on August 22, 2011 11:25 PM.

Is Taxonomy an Art or Science? was the previous entry in this blog.

Criticisms of Dembski’s No Free Lunch go unnoticed … again and again is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.37

Site Meter