A Small Victory – Montreal Menace in the News

Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Thoughts | 10 comments

EDIT: for an excellent update on how this story developed, as well as Markuze’s subsequent arrest, go check out Tim Farley’s excellent account here.

As you probably know, I have been the target of death threats and threats of violence from one “Dave Mabus” aka “John Hogue” aka “Dennis Markuze” (apparently his real name) for nearly on two years now. I know that I am just one of many, and that I have had it relatively lightly compared to some out there who are being attacked. PZ Myers for instance has borne the brunt of incessant emails, tweets and blog comments for a long time. He has also been stalked at conferences by this man, where a photo of the stalker was taken. (Read his latest post on Markuze here). Michael Shermer, one of Mabus’ other pet hates, felt it was in his best interest to take out a restraining order against Mabus, due to his proximity in Canada. James Randi has been targeted, Richard Dawkins has had his share, and many many others have felt his menace on the Internet.

Away from Twitter, his rants are an ever growing list of unrelated links, photos and threats, varying between lower and upper case, which he has posted to forums throughout the internet. If you are unfamiliar with them, here is an example of  one such post from my blog a while back. He claims to have a direct connection with Nostradamus and Jesus, and sees himself as the harbinger of doom to the entire world. He’s not…

Surely if this guy were a normal spammer I could simply “block and report” his Twitter accounts, ban his IP from my blog and I’d never hear from him again. But Mabus creates many new accounts every day with variations on his name, hundreds every week, and as soon as one is blocked or reported, up pops another one. Twitter are powerless to stop his rants (or so they claim) due to the fact that his IP changes all the time because he’s using Internet cafés to post from. So his persistent menacing is allowed to continue unchecked.

Am I personally worried for my safety? No, not in the slightest. The worst he can do to me with his rants and raves is put a downer on an otherwise enjoyable twitter/blogging experience. No, I feel quite safe here in Australia. What I do worry about is the safety of those around Mabus, his family and neighbours, and the citizens of Montreal. Since the Oslo bombing/shootings, I have seen in Mabus a potential for violence on that scale. His tweets and emails and other messages have grown more personal, more violent, more erratic and more frequent. He shows all the signs of a man who is clinging on to his last grains of sanity, and who could flip at any moment. His actions are disruptive, scary and are in fact illegal. For the sake of the safety of those around Mabus, he must be stopped.

It seemed like a fruitless pursuit to try and do anything about it, local authorities seem less than interested in the case, US police have reportedly powerless to do anything about him, and until recently, even the Montreal police have shrugged his insanity off for nearly 10 years.

That is until the last few days.

As you may know, due to the efforts of Tim Farley, Kyle VanderBeek, William Raillant and others, the story of Mabus has finally hit the papers, with this story in today’s Montreal Gazette. From the article:

MONTREAL – Bombarded with “a few hundred” screen shots of various Twitter threats alleged to have been issued by a St. Laurent man – and by more than 3,200 email complaints from all over the world so far this week – Montreal police said Wednesday they have begun a criminal investigation.

The threats apparently include death and decapitation.

A fast-growing online petition launched Monday demanding Montreal police “Take ‘Mabus’s death threats seriously” quickly swamped police email facilities, spokesperson Lt. Ian Lafrenière acknowledged: “It was kind of crazy.”

The police have finally been forced to take notice of this menace, and are currently investigating him.

This is not enough however. As I understand it, the Montreal police need more local Montrealers who have been threatened by Mabus to come forward and file a report. So this is what we need to do.

For those in Montreal who have been affected by Mabus and his threats of violence, here is where you can send your screenshots of his tweets and messages: [email protected] (The SPVM have requested that people stop sending screenshots of their threats to them, but I think it is important for Montrealers who have received threats to make their presence known.)

Don’t celebrate just yet. I predict it will take some time to mount a case against Mabus, but we have made some ground, and we need to keep the momentum going.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

10 Comments

  1. Having been stalked for over 5 years by someone almost as crazy as this guy, I commend you for encouraging people to come forward about their experiences. My stalking started over a web site that was not mine but was run by someone claiming to be me. The man who stalked (and still, to a small degree, stalks) me has built a blog about me, turned friends against me, posted libelous material and used my photo without permission. I’ve not been able to get anything removed, as I don’t have money for a lawyer. Ignoring him has helped to an extent but it’s not a real solution.

    Hope you get some justice in this case.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    • Stalking is illegal in a lot of places so you should tell the cops. Also you might want to try suing him in small claims court. In my state you can sue in small claims court for 5500. There is also the legal aid society. I would hunt around for others. The only thing is that stalkers are hard to predict. I would check John douglas’ mindhunter website. He might have info and maybe you can contact him for info otherwise. He was an FBI profiler and has written about stalking. He might be able to direct to other types of help also.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
      • Not sure if that comment was directed at me? Will say that I don’t know who this guy is. I know he lives in the Midwest and floats between a couple different states. The site about me is on Blogger. They’ve been no help at all, just tell me to “work it out with him”. Right.

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  2. “M” I’m glad that you are safe down under (it would be an awfully long walk). It totally seems that dude is getting worse and worse and yes you are correct, in light of Norway and Arizona, dude seems all that much more dangerous. What I really really like about the Mighty Atheist Blogosphere is that we are all annoyed by dude…and at the same we recognize that he needs help, for himself and those around him.

    Awesome buddy,

    Kriss

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  3. I’m a little closer to this nutter and have had threats from him for a bit too. This has also given me opportunity to meet other new like minded individuals and make some new friends out of his nonsense. I have a lovely little collection of screen shots as well as the death threats. The more people talk about this the more attention it will get and hopefully the outcry will force at least a mental health evaluation. He needs it desperately. Another excellent post Marty.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  4. Having been threatened with death by Mabus myself, I wish I were closer so that I could file a report. I will, however, be tweeting this post and sharing it on Facebook. Mabus needs to be forced to get help.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  5. Huh, I had a day’s worth of hatespam from this guy recently. Interesting! Too bad I’m not closer so I can’t file a report, either.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  6. I live in Canada, and as a result have no interest in attracting Mabus’ attention. As slight as the chances are, I like to play things safe, and if the guy ever flips I’d rather not have him know who I am, or how to find me.

    All that being said, I don’t share the sentiment that other skeptics have expressed, in that I just want him to find help. Even if it’s disproportionate to his crimes, I’d like to see him locked up, or worse.

    Forget moral absolutes. Even though the risk is probably tiny, based on the personal threats I’ve received, the man presents a risk to my family.

    I’m also ashamed not only of my country, but of any culture which still permits hate messages against a group, just because that group represents a tiny majority. The idea that belief in any deity buys you protection from hate crimes, but belief in none of them does not, seems beyond barbaric to me.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  7. Um, obviously meant to say ‘tiny minority’. Whoops.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  8. I’ve gotten some attention from him on Twitter myself, and in a way, it’s a complement to have myself counted by him among the company of such distinguished thinkers, even if I’ve never met any of you in person.

    On the other hand, the lunacy does get a little tiresome after the first few spam comments. I’m surprised that it’s taken so long for the authorities to take notice, though I have little doubt that without the petition, they’d still ignore the warning signs.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The law is closing in on David Mabus! « Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants - [...] A Small Victory – Montreal Menace in the News (martinspribble.com) [...]
  2. Case Study: How a notorious spammer was brought down via Twitter « Skeptical Software Tools - [...] I managed to capture about 60 threats to me and about 30 to other people, but I know hundreds…
  3. Case Study: How a notorious spammer was brought down via Twitter … – wordpress - [...] I managed to constraint about 60 threats to me and about 30 to other people, though we know hundreds…

Have your say

%d bloggers like this: