Cyberbully

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

October is Bullying Prevention Month (as well as many other important causes). I’m going to start the month with a case that prompted a change to state law.

BLOG POST #163: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 16-year-old who ended his life because of cyberbullying.

All American Boy

He was a high school sophomore and an Eagle Scout. In the four months before his death, he went from a happy kid who liked to bug his brothers to a teen pushed to suicide.

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Kill Everyone On Monday

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

More schools welcomed students back this week. Hopefully, you saw a fair share of sweet first day photos on Facebook.

You also may have seen on the news last week, a report about a stabbing during an assembly on the first day of school. Days later it was reported the boy liked the girl. The girl wanted to be friends and nothing more. The teen was arrested.

A ‘first-day’ incident that didn’t make the national news was a teen spouting off at his fast-food restaurant job about harming others on the first day of school. The teen was arrested.

BLOG POST #159: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 14-year-old high school freshman.

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Cyber Crime At The Middle School

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

When I was in middle school, I was caught red-handed passing a note to a friend. On the note I’d written, I thought the teacher sounded like he had dentures because he kept whistling as he spoke. Not my finest moment.

The teacher read the note aloud and told me he, in fact, did not have dentures and I needed to pay attention.

I mention this because kids haven’t changed. However, their method of delivery has changed. Kids don’t pass notes. They text or SnapChat or use another preferred application. Kids today grew up using the internet.

BLOG POST #138: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a middle school student.

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BOMB THREAT GOD

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

BOMB THREAT GOD FB

BLOG POST #64: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a bored high school graduate.

He doesn’t know what to do with himself, except play video games. Adept at using his computer, he decided to become a computer “hacker”, because “you can’t catch a hacker”—his words, not mine.

This 19-year-old’s crime spree ran the course of approximately eight months. It was reported that he found some of his targets through online gaming. He used anonymous emails and Twitter names in addition to Internet-based phone accounts in an attempt to commit his crimes so as not to be caught.

He first called the police department in a small town 1,000 miles and four states away from his hometown. He made an anonymous “SWAT” call. He said he’d taken hostages in a home and had already wounded one. If he didn’t receive a duffel bag with a million dollars he was going to kill both hostages and burn their house down. Police were dispatched and found the crime to be a hoax.

Swatting: Calls with the intent that they would result in an emergency police response to a residence, ideally involving a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.

A few months later he called in a bomb threat at the high school in the same small town as the police dept. He used the initials of a local 17-year-old boy who attended the high school. He said the bomb was set to detonate in one hour. Of course, the school was evacuated. The police determined the threat to be a hoax.

After the bomb threat hoax, the budding computer hacker sent a direct message via Twitter to the 17-year-old he’d pretended to be in the small town and said “NICE BOMB THREAT.” Later he sent a direct message to the 17-year-old and another claiming responsibility for the bomb threat.

The next day he called the same small town police department with another hostage “SWAT” call found to be a hoax. He sent the local 17-year another direct Twitter message advising him he’d been “Swatted.”

The day after the swatting hoax, he made another call to the small town police department again using the local teen’s initials and said he was going to shoot up the high school in thirty minutes and kill everyone. He posted on Twitter the local boy’s initials and that he was going to shoot up the school.

A few weeks later he claimed he had placed a bomb at the small town high school and all survivors would be killed by a strike team on their way to the school.

Then another Swat call to the same small town police department trying to sound like a child stating there was a home invasion and his mother had been shot.

Next, he left a voicemail message for one of the small town police officers stating he was the “Bomb Threat God” and that the officer better stop spreading rumors that he was about to be caught because he was a hacker and you can’t catch a hacker. Cocky dude.

He said some extremely inappropriate comments to the officer and ended his message with him wanting to kill the officer’s family.

This pattern of behavior continued for a few more months, and then the local police turned the case over to the FBI. One day you think you’re an anonymous “hacker” living in the suburbs, possibly still living with your parents, and the next day you’re arrested by the FBI and transported to another state to face federal charges.

The defendant engaged in a pattern of harassing activity against several victims using the cloak of anonymity afforded by the Internet,” said the Assistant U.S. Attorney.

The 19-year-old pleaded guilty to calling in multiple false bomb threats, making harassing text messages, and making “swatting” phone calls, in which he falsely reported hostage situations. He was sentenced to 41-months in federal prison, followed by 3-years of ¹supervised release.

The invincible computer hacker was scheduled to be release in 2018.

The Assistant U.S. Attorney went on to say, “He wrought emotional havoc and caused the needless expenditure of public funds to respond to his destructive e-mails, tweets, and phone calls.”

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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The Football Coach

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

BLOG POST #55: When I was a school bus driver for a local high school district, it was 1982 or 83, I was waiting at one of the high schools for a girl’s athletic team, I can’t recall the sport.

The coach entered the bus among a crowd of girls and plopped down on the front seat. He sat sideways with his back against the window in full “man-spread”. He wore loose fitting short shorts with no undies.

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