A Small Victory – Montreal Menace in the News
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.