Case study: notorious spammer brought down

Tim Farley has gathered the timeline and sample threats to show how the Montreal Police were finally induced to take an interest in notorious death-threat spammer Dennis Markuze.

Knowing he was in Montreal and even having an address and phone number for his family, I figured the local police in Montreal would be the natural choice. They seemed unwilling to take my call. When I finally did get an answer from them, they said I had to complain to my local police department. Fair enough, my local police can verify my identity more easily, after all.

And so on a Saturday in January, I killed one whole afternoon at my local Atlanta Police zone office filling out paperwork with a detective. She told me I could get a copy of the incident report within a few days at another office.

Others did the same thing. Phil Plait gave a report to a sheriff by telephone. Michael Shermer told me he obtained a restraining order to ensure Mabus would stay clear of him. Canadian skeptic Steve Thoms and blogger Greg Laden also filed reports. There are no doubt others.

On February 10, 2011 I was finally able to get a copy of my report from yet another Atlanta Police office across town. I quickly took it to a local print shop and faxed it to the Montreal Police.

And nothing happened. For me or for anyone else.

Months went by. People got frustrated, and often complained on Twitter. Other victims such as @Inrideo and Travis Roy attempted to interest Canada’s RCMP to no avail.

Thank goodness for the persistence of people who reported Markuze time and again until it stuck.

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