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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Press Contacts:
Jayne Hitchcock,
President of WHOA

Dee Andersson
WHOA Press Release #2009-8


WHOA Shows How Online Trends Have Changed Over Nine Years

April, 2009 - Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA) released their 2008 cyberstalking statistics today, as well as cumulative statistics for the past nine years, from 2000-2008. Based in York, Maine, WHOA is the oldest and largest all-volunteer online safety organization that has been continuously helping adult victims of cyberstalking since 1997. WHOA is the only online organization to provide the most up-to-date cyberstalking statistics and cumulative trends.

WHOA proprietary statistics represent complaints where victims completed questionnaires in their entirety, but the figures do not represent the total number of cases that are brought to WHOA. All criteria gathered are only from victims who fill out the voluntary demographic information in the questionnaires provided on the WHOA web site at , thus ensuring comparable and meaningful statistics.

“In addition to victim questionnaires, we work on cases directly with law enforcement, on high profile cases we have been directly approached for, or with victim assistance organizations or lawyers,” notes Jayne Hitchcock, WHOA president, and Maine resident. “We don’t see online harassment and cyberstalking disappearing anytime in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, creative, clever and skilled perpetrators develop new twists and turns on a daily basis focused to target new victims. This includes, but is not limited to predators, bullies, and scams. More people go online for the first time each and every single day, making them vulnerable to the ‘bad guys’ out there. Currently there are over one billion people online worldwide – if only one percent become victims, that’s ten million people!”

The trust WHOA earns from victims they have helped enables the group to develop reliable cyberstalking demographic numbers. However, as the statistics are generated from information supplied by the victims, verification is not always possible. WHOA bases their cyberstalking statistics on a total of 2,519 completed questionnaires over the past eight years, 234 of those from 2008. Although females are still the primary victims, with males as the primary harassers, male victims and female harassers increased compared to last year. Trends in 2008:

More cases were seen involving Social Networking Sites (ie Facebook and Myspace) and Craigslist
Both Male and Female harassers in 2008 were about dead even for the 2nd year in a row
In 2008 an increase in victims aged 18-30, from 28% to 35%, was seen while 41+ aged victims increased from 29% to 32%74% of victims in 2008 were Caucasian, up from 66% last year, with the remainder of victims being spread out between Hispanic, Afro-American, Asian, Native American and Unknowns
Victims who knew their harassers in 2008 jumped a dramatic 13% over 2007
Statistics based on exes rose from 31% in 2007 to 45% in 2008, no doubt due to more exes online, and these figures were influenced by not only ex-spouses or ex-girl/boyfriends, but also new spouses or significant others of exes who harassed victims
The top 10 states with the most victims and harassers included the “usual” suspects with California easily holding onto its top positions for the 8th year in a row with double the percentage over its nearest competitor of New York, although harassers living in New York showed an impressive increase of 6% in 2008 compared to 2007
Email was again the number one method that harassers used to begin their campaign against victims (no matter where they encountered the victim before, online or offline) followed by message boards, instant messaging (IM), phone and Myspace. Other ways victims were harassed were Facebook, Craigslist, YouTube, eBay, texting, blogs, Encyclopedia Dramatica, LiveJournal, Friendster, JuicyCampus (no longer online), online games such as Xbox Live, and Wikipedia. In 2007, the primary was harassment began was email first, followed by message boards, IM, web sites, then chat.
Online Escalation of the harassment rose from 40.5% to 60% between 2004-2005, dropped to 44% in 2006, increased in 2007 to 55% and showed a major jump to 71% in 2008 in this order:
Email 27%
IM 13%
Telephone 9.5%
Myspace 8.5% (includes forged profiles as well as messages)
Craigslist 6.5% (mainly forged ads in the victim names)
Web sites 6.5%
Texting 6%
Blogs 6%
Message Boards 6%
Facebook 5.5% (includes forged profiles as well as messages)
An additional 11% of victims reported their harassment before seeking WHOA assistance - in the order of importance they contacted: law enforcement, victim ISPs, web administrators/moderators, Myspace, eBay, Craigslist and others (Facebook, LiveJournal, YouTube, JuicyCampus, apartment manager, Linked In, Photo Site, employer, Xbox Live moderator)

WHOA successfully resolved 75% of the cases they received in 2008. These sometimes involved multiple actions, such as WHOA contacting the ISP, web host, moderator or other online entity; or the victim made changes, such as altering their password to include a combination of letters, numerals and symbols, or the victim made changes to email addresses, user names and various profiles they used online. In the cases that WHOA was unable to resolve, victims were either referred to law enforcement or attorneys and a small percentage of cases resolved on their own or they weren’t really a case (usually spam). 53.5% of cases revealed that victims and harassers did not reside in the same state and/or country.

Jayne A. Hitchcock, Maine native and resident, is a cyber crime expert who trains law enforcement from the local to federal levels, and assists the US Department of Justice Office (USDJO) for Victims of Crime and National Center for Victims of Crime. She trains advocate groups, conducts seminars, raises awareness of cyber crime and harassment and lectures educators, librarians, parents and students at middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities about the dangers of bullies, predators, stalkers and online social networking sites. She has appeared as an expert in various media, including America’s Most Wanted, PEOPLE magazine, Primetime Thursday with Diane Sawyer, TIME magazine, the Associated Press, The Montel Williams Show, A&E’s Investigative Reports, 48 Hours, Ladies Home Journal, Campus Security Reports, Inside Edition, Good Morning America and CNN. Her latest book, Net Crimes & Misdemeanors 2nd edition (, highlights online crimes, how to be safer online and what to do if you are victimized. Video Professor recently released a 3-CD tutorial based on the book.

WHOA is the oldest and largest all-volunteer online safety organization helping adult victims of online harassment and cyber stalking since February, 1997. WHOA is also the only online organization able to provide the most up-to-date online harassment and cyber stalking statistics and cumulative trends that are backed by verifiable data. “It’s so important for anyone who is online these days to know that although the Internet is fun and a great resource, it can also be dangerous,” notes Hitchcock. “For a decade, we have dedicated ourselves to not only help victims of online harassment and stalking, but to educate them as well.” WHOA has a strong commitment to improving Internet safety, counseling and helping victims of cyber crime and 2009 will mark nine years of cyberstalking statistics based on real criteria, and tracking trends based on age, gender, racial, and geographical information.

To schedule an interview with Hitchcock, contact her at Statistics may be quoted in media and on web sites with appropriate recognition to WHOA. To learn more about WHOA, or if you know someone who needs help, please visit and

Monday, April 27, 2009

WHO@ Newsletter - April 27, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .I want one!

Bra deflects bullet aimed at Detroit woman;_ylt=Av1figntK17VNGRFr8BsyAjtiBIF

A 57-year-old Detroit woman avoided serious injury when the underwire on her bra deflected a bullet shot at her from next door, police said.

The woman, who lives on the West side of Detroit, saw a group of men breaking into a neighbour's house on Tuesday morning. When the men spotted her, one of them fired a shot at her, a police spokesman said.

The bullet struck the underwire on the woman's bra and that saved her from a more serious injury, police said.

"It did slow the bullet down," said Detroit police spokesman Phillip Cook. "She sustained injuries but they're not life threatening."

The woman, who was not identified, was treated at a nearby hospital. The suspects in the shooting drove away.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

School wants to halt athletes' dumb web posts - 04/27/09
University of Oklahoma officials use new software to monitor athletes' use of social network sites such as MySpace and Facebook

Bit of slap & Twitter - 04/27/09
A BROTHEL is touting its services via social networking site TWITTER.
‘House of Divine’ advertises which girls are on duty each day ­ and issues ‘special offers’ to punters’ mobile phones.

Who reads teens' texting? Maybe Dad - 04/26/09
Call it the clash of technology and the adolescent brain. Today teenagers have the ability to create and widely forward suggestive messages and pictures of themselves or their friends in seconds. Unfortunately, the ability to consider the consequences of their actions often kicks in much later.

A Tragedy That Won’t Fade Away - 04/25/09
This is a story about a photo­an image so horrific we can't print it in NEWSWEEK. The picture shows the lifeless body of an 18-year-old Orange County girl named Nikki Catsouras, who was killed in a devastating car crash on Halloween day in 2006. The accident was so gruesome the coroner wouldn't allow her parents, Christos and Lesli Catsouras, to identify their daughter's body. But because of two California Highway Patrol officers, a digital camera and e-mail users' easy access to the "Forward" button, there are now nine photos of the accident scene, taken just moments after Nikki's death, circulating virally on the Web. In one, her nearly decapitated head is drooping out the shattered window of her father's Porsche.

Craigslist Killing: Rare, But Not Unique - 04/25/09
Shelley Riling understands the anguish that Julissa Brisman's family must be feeling. They share similar tragedies.
"She was two months into being 13 when she died, only 2 months into being 13," Riling tells 48 Hours Mystery correspondent Troy Roberts.

Man Charged With Murder Arrested Again Over E-Mails - 04/25/09,0,7340310.story
Tiana Notice suspected her ex-boyfriend, James P. Carter II, was involved in e-mails ­ from a "Jessica Banderas" ­ questioning why Notice had a restraining order against Carter. She reported the messages to police, as she did other e-mails he allegedly sent from his own account, pleading her to call him. The order banned such correspondence. Sends Email From Murder Victim - 04/24/09
One of the most popular internet websites is It reconnects people from high school. One Westside High School graduate has joined as the newest member but someone murdered Mary Cronin 17 years ago.

Spam scams - 04/24/09
'Nigerian' Distress
Have you received an email from a person claiming to be a business executive or the surviving spouse of former government official in Nigeria? Has that person claimed their money is tied up for a limited time and offered to pay you later if you pay now to help them access their funds?

New face of Internet stalking is local -04/2/4/09
In the age of the Internet and Facebook, stalkers wear a new face.One of them is 24-year-old Jonathan Wryn Vance of Auburn, a 2007 Auburn University graduate who last week was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.

Facebook surfing while sick costs Swiss woman job - 04/24/09
A Swiss insurance worker lost her job after surfing popular social network site Facebook while off sick, her employer said on Friday.

Boston Attorney Targets Anonymous Cyberstalkers - 04/23/09
If Boston attorney Joan Lukey has her way, there will be tougher laws governing cyberstalking.
Lukey is in the process of drafting new federal legislation that targets individuals who relentlessly and intentionally post libelous and defamatory statements on the Internet against individuals in an attempt to harm them and ruin their business and personal reputations.

Susan Boyle fans turn to cybersquatting - 04/23/09
Web-savvy fans of Britain’s Got Talent star Susan Boyle are cashing in on the Scottish singer’s new-found popularity by registering unofficial domain names.

Sexting takes 30 seconds; humiliation lasts a lifetime - 04/23/09
Do you remember 20 years ago when a cellular telephone was unique? That was back in the day when the phone, itself, was larger than the receiver of a landline telephone, it was cumbersome, expensive and usually only carried by emergency personnel.

Man arrested for posting obscene profile of ex-boss on Orkut - 04/23/09
A Former call centre employee landed in jail after he took to cyber crime to avenge alleged harassment at the hands of his boss, a woman. Annoyed over “non-payment of dues”, Vikram Singh, a resident of Gobind Pura in Manimajra, allegedly created an obscene profile of the manager of the call centre firm on Orkut, a popular networking site. He was arrested on Wednesday under Section 67 of the IT Act and Section 292 of the IPC.

West Ouachita cyberstalker remains in custody - 04/23/09
The West Ouachita High School student charged with cyberstalking of a female classmate remained in custody Wednesday at Ouachita Correctional Center on $10,000 bond. Kristopher Gossett, 113 Deer Run, reportedly recorded a lurid CD verbally attacking a female classmate and sold copies of the CD to other students at the school.

KSL 5 Investigation: How your cell phone can be used against you - 04/23/09
Your cell phone connects you to the world, but now it could be used to snoop into your private life too. Investigative reporter Debbie Dujanovic discovered how easily technology can turn your cell phone into a super spy.

Michigan man sentenced in MySpace case - 04/22/09
A welder from Michigan who became fixated with a woman after visiting her MySpace page was sentenced on Monday to two years in prison, prosecutor David Russell said.

Guilford County Schools Employee Charged with Cyberstalking - 04/22/09,0,7201091.story
A Guilford County Schools employee is out of jail after allegedly cyberstalking other employees.
The Greensboro News & Record is reporting Jeffrey Armstrong was arrested because investigators think he threatened another employee via the computer between October of 2008 and last week.

Cyberbullying Goes to College - 04/22/09
In summer 2007, a music professor at BU was shocked to learn that he had a Facebook page ­ in his name, with a recent photo and a spot-on bio. But, the professor recalls, “embedded in the document were really scurrilous things that were reputed to have been said by me, and they were quite unpleasant and ugly and immature.”

Thousands of kids seek help over cyberbullying - 04/22/09
Nearly 10,000 children each week are seeking help to cope with cyberbullying, figures reveal today.
The schoolkids are turning to a support website for advice after being subjected to abusive mobile phone texts and emails.

Irmo man arrested for cyber crime - 04/22/09
After policing the internet, an Irmo teen finds himself in trouble. Investigators say he committed a cyber crime using the popular social networking site 'Myspace.'

Man accused of cyber-stalking - 04/21/09
A DeQuincy man was arrested Friday, accused of attempting to blackmail an Alexandria woman with whom he used to have a relationship.

Protecting Yourself Online - 04/21/09
A man accused of killing a woman he met on craigslist was in court today.
Police say he searched for his victims using "craigslist" personal ads.

Internet drug warning after death - 04/21/09
A coroner has warned about the dangers of buying prescription drugs over the internet after the death of a 22-year-old woman from an overdose.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

UK Cyberstalking Video

Worth watching

Monday, April 20, 2009

WHO@ Newsletter - April 20, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Wow!

Unemployed woman gets lotto winnings after 4 years;_ylt=ApWAZf3gsR_vOaU3SRdx1X8sQE4F

NEWPORT, Maine – An unemployed woman who won $1 million in a Maine State Lottery game has collected her winnings ­ four years after she bought the scratch ticket in a store that's since burned down. Brenda Ripton told the Central Maine Morning Sentinel that she had received her $700,000 check from the lottery on Thursday.

Ripton had just learned two days earlier that she won the million-dollar prize in the Texas Hold 'em game. The government took the rest of her winnings for taxes.

Ripton said both she and her husband are out of work. Her winnings came in a second-chance lottery in which non-winners fill out the back of the ticket.

It took this long to declare winners because the state had to sell all of its Texas Hold 'em tickets first.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Ice-T on hunt for Twitter impostor - 04/20/09
Rapper-turned-actor Ice-T is hunting for an internet user posing as him on social networking website - insisting he'd never write the "corny" messages posted on his fake page.

College Police Target Linux User; Bloggers Up in Arms - 04/20/09
We've all heard arguments about whether the command line is a powerful and elegant tool or an unnecessary pain, but does using a no-pretty-colors interface constitute suspicious behavior? That's the way it looked in the case of a Boston College student whose computer was confiscated during an online harassment investigation. Some say a deeper reading of the police's warrant yields a different conclusion.

Twitter and Celebrities Hit by More Mikeyy Worms - 04/20/09
Mikey Mooney, author of the Twitter worm, released another one Saturday night, according to security software firm F-Secure.
After the first round of Twitter worms he created a week ago Mikeyy, as he was known on Twitter, said he did it out of boredom, but that he wouldn't be upset to get a job out of the whole episode. Before very long he actually did get hired by exqSoft Solutions, a custom Web applications development company. He also got hacked, revealing many of his usernames and passwords among other details.

Facebook case helps fight cybercrime - 04/19/09
School resource officers from across Alabama and the nation fielded complaints about an Internet extortionist badgering girls for nude pic­tures. Victims even created a Facebook page warning fe­males not to talk to the per­son with the username Meta­scape.

Stripper fears attacker is stalking women via Craigslist - 04/18/09
An exotic dancer who was bound and held at gunpoint at a suburban Providence hotel by a man who answered her Craigslist ad has suggested that her ordeal could be linked to an earlier Boston hotel slaying, police said Friday.

Cyberstalker who threatened ITV newsreader and weathergirl with rape is jailed - 04/18/09
A 'cyberstalker' who terrorised a newsreader and TV weathergirl with sick emails including threats to rape them was today jailed for four years.
Alexander Reeve bombarded Alexis Bowater and Kate Reeves with threatening and sexually-aggressive messages at their studio, a court heard.

Pirate Bay prosecution could spawn flurry of lawsuits - 04/18/09
The entertainment industry yesterday hailed the successful prosecution of the four founders of the illegal file-sharing website Pirate Bay, as a major victory in its battle to recoup billions of pounds in lost revenue.

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Counterfeit Software - 04/17/09
A Virginia man has pleaded guilty to charges related to selling counterfeit software with a retail value of about US$1 million on eBay, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

The Whisper Campaign Against an Whistleblower - 04/17/09
If you're getting a divorce, have a date in traffic court or some other legal entanglement, absolutely do not criticize a wretched little internet retailer called, its loony, conspiracymongering CEO, Patrick Byrne, or any of the crew of cyberstalkers on his personal payroll.

Should We Be Friends with Our Kids on Facebook? - 04/17/09
Are you friends with your kids or kids you know on Facebook?
Lately there has been a heated discussion about grownups “friending” children on the AskLizRyan group, which has almost 25,000 members. (Ryan is a BusinessWeek columnist, and her listserv is a terrific resource for career advice and leads, by the way.)

Facecrook - 04/17/09
A DRUGS baron on the run from US justice is facing up to 105 years in jail after being traced in Britain through Facebook.
Emmanuel Ganpot, 36, was convicted in 2003 of hiring two “mules” to carry cocaine and 3,500 ecstasy tablets worth £22,000.

Protecting Yourself from Cyber Stalkers - 04/16/09
Police arrested a 42-year-old man from Bear for stalking women using the web. The Attorney General's Office says Richard McCullough contacted his victims using multiple fake names on the internet.

Island Lake man denies posting phony messages from accuser - 04/16/09
A former college police officer already facing charges he molested a teenage girl pleaded not guilty Thursday to new allegations he tried to trick authorities into believing his accuser still had romantic thoughts about him.

Real or Perceived: Dealing with Internet Threats - 04/16/09
From a publicity standpoint there is no doubt that Conficker has exceeded the expectations of its developers. They probably weren’t expecting a feature on Sixty Minutes but they got one, and it had the intended effect. A multitude of Internet users are now acutely aware that there is a new threat in town and people are worried. My mother called me, as she often does when she hears about such things, and asked what she should do. She understood that the desktop protections she has can be subverted and mentioned friends were considering just unplugging their computers and staying offline for awhile.

West Warwick woman denies cyberstalking former client - 04/15/09
A woman charged with cyberstalking a former client and coworker pleaded not guilty Tuesday in District Court.
Ann Bruno, 59, of West Warwick, is accused of making more than 6,000 phone calls to Tracy Sisson, of Cranston, and filling out Internet inquiries from companies that later called Sisson to follow up. Rhode Island law defines cyberstalking as using a computer for the “sole purpose of harassing” another person or his or her family. The offense is a misdemeanor.

Ballot photograph has voter on thin ice - 04/15/09
An unidentified individual is facing up to a year in prison for posting a photo of his ballot for mayor of O'Fallon, Mo., online, officials say.
State and country officials said the punishment for willfully sharing a completed ballot represents a class-four election offense that also comes with a $2,500 fine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Wednesday.

Faceboot - 04/14/09
A LANDLADY evicted her tenants after they posted pictures of wild parties at her flat on Facebook. The snaps showed Carolyn Lorimer’s two-bed pad being trashed.

Texting may allow church donations - 04/14/09;_ylt=AqloxyKMALqv6B6FdOb0Px3tiBIF
Text messages may allow worshippers in Finland to donate money to their church without having to attend services.
Under current laws, the church cannot raise funds by texts in Finland, the home of mobile phone giant Nokia. Dean Matti Pikkarainen of Oulu Cat

WCSH TV Interview

Hey mom - I'm on TV!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dunbar Free Library Rocks!

I used my new TomTom (with the voice of Samantha, who we've nicknamed SamSam) to go to the Dunbar Free Library in Grantham, NH on Tuesday night and SamSam was right on!

Got there at 630 pm with Phoebe in tow and lo and behold, my sister drives into the parking lot. . .ON TIME! She is notoriously late and I told her 630 pm figuring she'd show up at 7 pm. So call me shocked!

My mom and niece and nephew were with her and they had their dog, a Sheltie named Clover, who Phoebe loves. The two dogs immediately began wrestling. I went inside to set up my books on the table for the panel, which I was sharing with one of my fave authors, Kate Flora (and I am not brown-nosing saying that - I read her books before I even met her!). I spoke with Katrina, the librarian who had booked us to speak, then Kate came in and we all chatted a bit.

People started to show up and this one guy was either a cop or media (turned out he was a retired cop). The kids went in another room to go on the Internet and Kate and I bantered while waiting for more people to show up. It was funny! My sister asked where my juggling midget was and I told her he had another gig. I think people thought we were serious until we busted out laughing.

We then got into how we got into true crime writing and in between the serious bits we threw in some funny things and had fun with it all.

I ended up selling four books. Considering there were only about 10 people (not including my mom and sister), that's not bad!

Clover and Phoebe were in the back seat of my car, very well behaved (I feared they were going to tear apart the car) and we transferred Clover to my sister's car, then headed to Warner, where she lived. Phoebe and I were staying over instead of having to drive two hours home.

We hit McDonald's on the way, dropped my mom off, then drove to my sister's house. We sat up for a while talking, then I crashed at about 11 pm.

The next morning I made coffee, waited until 9 am to wake my sister and all five of us - my niece, nephew, Phoebe, Clover and me - jumped on the bed to wake her. It was a three-ring circus!

I got a nice email today from the librarian:

"I just wanted to say Thanks for coming out last night. You and Kate were fantastic - a distinct pleasure to have two smart, funny women in the room!

I also wanted to mention that I passed your website information on both to a friend in HS guidance, and my director. I think your speaking engagements would be extremely beneficial to both situations, and I hope to get you booked at a NH Library Association conference sometime."


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grantham, NH - Come hear me speak!

Come and hear me speak at the Dunbar Free Library tonight about what it's like to be a true crime writer. FMI: 401 Route 10 South, Grantham, NH; 603.863.2172;

Monday, April 13, 2009

WHO@ Newsletter - April 13, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Why?

Swedish parishioners unveil Lego statue of Jesus;_ylt=AngmKG0E95yGGO58MVnZdEftiBIF

Parishioners at a church in Sweden celebrated Easter on Sunday by unveiling a 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter-tall) statue of Jesus that they had built out of 30,000 Lego blocks.

It took the 40 volunteers about 18 months to put all the tiny plastic blocks together, and their creation shows a standing Jesus facing forward with his arms outstretched.

The Protestant church was filled to capacity with about 400 worshippers on Sunday when the statue went on display behind the altar, and some of the children in the congregation couldn't help but touch the white art work.

Church spokesman Per Wilder said the statue at the Onsta Gryta church in the central Swedish city of Vasteras is a copy of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen's "Christus" statue on display in Copenhagen.

He also said that even though the statue is all white on the outside, many of the donated Legos that the church received were of other colors and were placed inside.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Woman battles stalker, courts - 04/13/09
He seemed to be around every corner. Standing near her. Watching her.
"It's unsettling," said Tulsan Stephanie Lewis, who met the man through her work in coordinating a local arm of a national political group.
The man started calling constantly and sent hundreds of e-mails, she said. Every public meeting she led, he was there. He argued with her and tried to take over. Then he copied everything from her political group's Facebook page and put them on his.

Second Worm Made By Brooklyn Teen Hits Twitter Site - 04/13/09
A second worm affecting the social networking site Twitter was created by a teen from Brooklyn who told CNET News that he produced both worms from boredom and wished to bring attention to a flaw on the site.

The Digital Divide among today's families - 04/12/09
In routine fashion, first-year college student Annah Solak went to a computer, signed onto the Internet, and logged into Facebook, a popular social networking site.
The online community is a hub for people to connect with others from around the globe. But on this particular visit, Solak found someone a little too close to home.

Teenager alleges beating after 'sexy' SMS - 04/12/09
A 17-year-old schoolboy, who sent an SMS declaring his love to a girl he met at a party, was allegedly beaten so severely by the girl's father that he had to be admitted to hospital.

OMG!!! Teens and sexting - 04/12/09
Cell phones with photo, video and data capabilities have become a way of life.
However, the technology designed to keep people connected and make life easier comes with an alarming downside -- cell phones can become a parent's worst nightmare as a growing number of teens and young adults use them for sexting.

Feeling sinful? Get SoulWow, available now in NY - 04/12/09;_ylt=Ak9FmFxMA9yJnXLkmvrBxrXtiBIF
Sinners, take heed: There's a product available now in parts of New York that will leave you with that "almost baptized feeling."
It's called SoulWow ­ with the cleansing power of confession.

Man faces stalking, theft charges in case involving teen's backpack - 04/11/09
A local man who has admitted his attraction to boys' abdomens is accused of stalking a local teenager online and stealing a backpack from another teen at a Portsmouth water park, where he allegedly snapped photos of boys in their bathing suits. Robert G. Slye, 27, of 153 Colby Road, was recently charged with stalking by Danville police after he allegedly sent unsolicited messages through the popular social networking Web site Facebook in June 2008 to a Danville teenager with whom he had been ordered to have no contact.

ISPs Should Lead in Curbing Internet Defamation - 04/10/09
A friend once said to me, “the internet is good for two things: slander and porn.” For those who have been the target of electronic harassment and bullying, that sentiment could not ring truer.

Macon Councilwoman Lucas files complaint against radio host Krok - 04/10/09
Macon City Councilwoman Elaine Lucas filed a police report Wednesday accusing local radio show personality Chris Krok of harassment.
About two weeks ago, Krok posted on his blog a photograph of himself pointing to the personalized license plate on Lucas’ Cadillac Escalade while it was parked at the Cherry Blossom Festival parade. Readers then posted several pages of generally offensive comments about the picture that the councilwoman said caused her to fear for her safety.

Defamation suit ends in favor of ad agency chief - - 04/10/09
The head of a local advertising agency has won $1.8 million in damages after suing an author of a blog - known for its harsh and sometimes crass criticism of elected officials, business leaders and local media - for defamation. Scott Brandon, the head of The Brandon Agency, sued Donald Wizeman, a local businessman who was found by State Law Enforcement Division to be an author of the Myrtle Beach Insider blog, after an article appeared on the blog in June 2007 calling Brandon a "failed lawyer" and criticized one of the firm's advertising campaigns, according to court documents.

Hammer time for cell phone used to run up $5K bill - 04/10/09;_ylt=ApjK9rQgfiGcVJBd6z3uHoDtiBIF
A cell phone used by a Wyoming 13-year-old to run up a nearly $5,000 phone bill will text no more thanks to her angry father and his hammer. Dena Christoffersen of Cheyenne sent or received about 20,000 text messages over about a month, and her parents' phone plan didn't cover texting.

Student allegedly made threats on Facebook - 04/10/09
A Knightdale High School student is charged with making threats and cyberstalking.
The accusations come from comments 17-year-old Ahn Nguyen allegedly made on his Facebook web page.

Saudi man divorces wife by text message - 04/09/09;_ylt=AnWrh8C_O6oxmRNkk3yRjDLtiBIF
A Saudi man has divorced his wife by text message, a newspaper said on Thursday.
The man was in Iraq when he sent the SMS informing her she was no longer his spouse. He followed up with a telephone call to two of his relatives, the daily Arab News reported.

Players fined over chicken "sex" video - 04/09/09;_ylt=Ag5xceHXEHyw0u0YLTYPxartiBIF
Two leading Australian Rules players have been fined A$5,000 (2,428 pounds) each for their part in making an offensive video showing a rubber chicken simulating sex with a chicken carcass.

No Bail For Idol Stalker - 04/09/09
An Australian woman charged with cyber-stalking third season “American Idol” contestant Diana DeGarmo must stay behind bars until her next court appearance May 11.

Man charged for using Facebook to find woman - 04/08/09
Cleveland County deputies have arrested a man for cyber-stalking a 38-year-old Kings Mountain woman.
Laurence Barnett, 40, is charged with the crime. Deputies say it appears the Marietta, Ga., man may have used information on to track the woman down at her church.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Things and stuff

I haven't written a general blog post in quite a while. So, to catch up on things:

The stock market: Sucks. I lost enough money that I could have bought a Mercedes (one of the more expensive models, if you get my drift). That being said, I took some money out, especially after finding out I lost another $4,000 last month. I figure if I'm losing money, I paid off my BMW, two credit cards and some small accounts (like Fingerhut). I was especially dismayed to find I'd lost over $10,000 in my IRA. I'm just glad I didn't have millions to lose like some people did.

Phoebe, our rescue Siberian Husky: She's doing extremely well. We go for a run or walk to the beach and back every day. I've lost weight, toned up my arms (from her pulling me like a sled down the road, ha ha) and she loves the beach. I remember when I first took her there, walked towards the waves and she turned and dragged me back to the road. Now she runs toward the water (but not in it yet) and chases seagulls. She's very good with Bandit, our 16-year-old Shiba. She cleans him and tries to play with him. He follows her around or she follows him. She's very talkative, going from barking to these weird talky sounds - it's hard to describe. I'll have to video her one of these days. And she only talks to me, like she's telling me stories. It's pretty funny. She's much better with Chris (and other men). All we could figure out was that a man beat her. She used to cower and flinch if Chris went to pet her. Now she actually sits still, although she still is kind of skittish around him. We take her for rides in the car - she went from lying flat on the seat curled up into a ball to sitting up straight and watching everything out the window. She is really funny and fun to have. And Bandit is up and around more, which is good.

Work: Sucks. I didn't have many speaking engagements, but I may have some exciting news next week. I may be doing some consulting/training for a big company here in the northeast. So cross your fingers for me!

Another new venture: I hope to announce this in the next week or two, but be waiting. I think you'll all like it!!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Roslindale, Massachusetts Library - "It's complicated"

You know, I really hate being treated like I'm an idiot. More to come about that in a bit.

I was scheduled to be on a book panel at the Roslindale Public Library in Roslindale, Massachusetts with Kate Flora and Mary Ann Tirone Smith. I emailed the library early yesterday morning because I got conflicting directions from Google Maps, Yahoo Maps and Mapquest. Before you ask, no, I do not have a GPS navigation thingy because I can't afford one and I don't travel that much to need one. The library book site only had directions using the T (the metro in Boston).

I didn't hear from anyone all day and I had to leave at 4 pm to fill up my tank, so I printed all three sets of directions out, found that Mapquest and Google were the closest match and went that way.

I took the Mass Ave exit down to Washington Street, took a left and found myself in Roxbury, which is not the nicest of areas. Let's just say I locked all the doors in my car. Thank goodness traffic was heavy, but moving. I didn't begin to panic until the area began to get worse and worse.

I called the library and the woman there was really nice and told me the online directions were way off and to just stay on Washington Street until I went by a huge T station, then look for Ukraine St, take a right, then a left onto Washington and the library wasn't too far from there.

Okayyyyy. I did end up finding the library, which had *no* parking. I ended up next door at a closed up gas station and called the library from there. The woman who gave me directions met me at my car and we walked into the library together.

Mary Ann was there and as soon as we were alone she asked me what in the heck we were doing there. I told her about my lovely drive to the library. Roslindale isn't the best area either. We just hoped enough people would show up to make it worth it. Kate showed up right at 630 pm, the time we were to start and about 10 people showed up.

We had a lively, fun discussion, as always (I love doing the panels with Kate and Mary Ann and others from Sisters In Crime New England. We got lots of great questions and I actually sold two books.

I had asked the woman who had booked us to please get me directions to either 93 or 95 north from the library, since I'd gotten so lost getting there. Welllllll, she didn't. I asked Kate if I could follow her - she was going to 128, which I could get to 93 or 95 from, even though it'd be out of my way. Then the woman who booked us said the woman who was driving Mary Ann to Fenway Park would know how I could get home. Good deal!

So with my box of books I follow Mary Ann and this woman to a waiting car on the other side of the building. Mind you, it was dark and the street lights weren't very good. The woman who was driving actually got upset and frustrated and told me "it was complicated" to give me directions. She said this *three* times. I came thisclose to telling her I'm not an idiot; instead I asked her to just go ahead and give me directions. She refused to. Seriously. I then asked where the nearest police or fire station was. I guess that was too frelling complicated for me to understand as well. Mary Ann looked upset at this whole thing and I finally said I'd call my husband and he could look it up live online and get me home.

So I walk around the building to the closed up gas station where my car is. This hip hop guy is coming toward me, slows down when I walk by and begins to turn. I frelling panic. I am not going to lie. I pretty much sprinted for my car, unlocked it, threw the box in the front seat, got in, turned on the car and pulled out as fast as I could. I was actually hoping a cop would pull me over.

I called Chris. I told him I needed him to get me the hell home. And not through Roxbury at this time of night (just before 8 pm). I refused to go that way. A white woman in a nice looking BMW with Maine plates driving around a predominantly black and not so nice area? I mean, hello?

He was trying to look it up while I slowly began to panic. I took a right on Ukraine, then a right at the lights instead of a left (the way I'd come in). This was Hyde Park Avenue. Chris was trying to figure out where I was. I was really panicking. He was trying to keep me calm. I was looking for any police or fire station. I found one! Just as I pulled into the Hyde Park Police Station parking lot, Chris figured out pretty much where I was - I was heading south instead of north. The parking lot had NO lighting, so I opted to get back on Hyde Park with Chris as my navigator.

I kept going on Hyde Park and Chris kept telling me I'd get home fine. The neighborhoods were bad and then I went under a bridge and it was like night and day. Suddenly it was country-ish and pretty. I found a gas station that looked decent and the men working there were very nice. They came out to my car and gave me directions so that I could get onto 95 north. And I made it. Almost an hour out of my way, but I made it.

I finally got home at almost 10 pm. What should have been just over an hour drive took me just over two hours.

I do not like feeling unsafe when I'm driving alone. I do not like driving in or around Boston. I will never, ever do another book event or speaking engagement in or around Boston unless someone hires a driver to take me there and back and be my escort. Period.

Poor Chris was waiting at the door when I got home to give me a huge hug. And if anyone ever tells me "it's complicated" again, I'm going to throw a fit.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Massachusetts Talk Tonight - Come See me!

Jayne Hitchcock wants you to come hear her talk at the Roslindale Library tonight at 630 pm. Address is 4238 Washington Street, Roslindale, MA. For more info call 617-323-2343 or email

Monday, April 06, 2009

WHO@ Newsletter - April 6, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Did he serve shots while he drove?

Barstool crash serves up drunk driving charge;_ylt=Apel7LvgSONoNoFqO9cGlj3tiBIF

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Falling off a barstool can hurt one's pride, if not more, but an Ohio man got into trouble with the law for crashing his motorized version.

Kile Wygle, 28, hurt his head in the March 4 mishap with a motorized barstool and was charged with drunken driving and driving on a suspended license, police said on Tuesday.

While being treated by paramedics, Wygle told an officer he consumed "a lot" of beers -- at least 15 -- before crashing the barstool at some 20 mph, a police account showed.

Later, Wygle told a local television station he got drunk after, not before, the crash.

"I drank quite a bit after I wrecked because my head hurt so bad. I went in and drank a half a bottle of whiskey," the Newark man told the NBC outlet in Columbus.

Some people have made a sport of racing barstools equipped with tires, a steering wheel and a small engine, Newark police Sergeant Barry Connell said.

"There are hundreds of people racing these things," he said. "But they race on closed courses."

The barstool was towed away.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Defining the terms - 04/06/09
The obvious problem with Hedy Fry's bill outlawing cyberbullying is its use of the term "cyberbullying."
Bullying is a broad term, that could encompass everything from insults to threats of bodily harm. Only offences at one end of that spectrum should be illegal.

Pirated Wolverine Review Puts Fox Newser's Job on the Line - 04/05/09
Despite reports he was fired for reviewing a pirated copy of Wolverine, Fox News columnist Roger Friedman will have a chance to argue for his job, a Fox News source said.

Ark. judge allows naked-photos suit to continue - 04/05/09
An Arkansas judge has allowed a lawsuit against McDonald's Corp. and others to continue over claims employees posted nude photographs on the Internet from a cellular phone lost there.

Abusive MySpace page draws principal's lawsuit - 04/05/09
Colony High School principal Cyd Duffin doesn't do MySpace. So other people had to tell Duffin last October that a fake MySpace page appeared in her name -- a page depicting the principal as a drug-using racist with a sexually transmitted disease who insults disabled students and likes books about pornography, anarchy and the Ku Klux Klan.

Facebook lures 200m with poker and pets - 04/05/09
Spectacular growth in online social gaming is prompting companies such as Google to enter the market and developers to rethink how they design video games.
The trend is seeing the social network Facebook emerge as the world’s biggest gaming platform. It is close to having 200m active members and its most popular application installed by users is a game – Texas Hold ’em Poker – played by 11m people.

Officer Charged With Harassing Del. Governor on Leave - 04/04/09
The Delaware Department of Correction says a correctional officer charged with sending harassing e-mails to the governor has been placed on leave with pay.
Department spokesman John Painter says 50-year-old Steven R. Lenhart of Dover was placed on leave Friday pending the outcome of the investigation of the charges.

Extortionist threatened former bosses with e-mails - 04/04/09
An e-mail extortionist in Mexico has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for targeting former bosses who fired him, Chihuahua state prosecutors said. Edmundo Mendoza Ocon, 36, an industrial engineer who worked for an electronics company, was arrested March 27 when investigators searched his home in Nuevo Casas Grandes, about 150 miles south west of Juárez, officials said.

British Villagers Chase Away Google's Street Views Car - 04/03/09
It may take more than a village to scare away Internet search behemoth Google. This week, Google employees were met by angry citizens in the village of Broughton Buckinghamshire, England, when they began photographing homes.

Costume designer charged with cyberstalking - 04/03/09
The problem started with a poorly made SpongeBob costume, and ended with a cyberstalking arrest.
In between, Tracy Sisson says, were two years of harassment: prank calls, hangups, telemarketing calls and phony applications, as many as 60 a day.

Hudson man pleads guilty to stalking, terrorizing his ex - 04/03/09
A Hudson man pleaded guilty yesterday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn to charges that he used technology to terrorize his ex-girlfriend, harass her friends and even stalk the detective working the case.

Bill Would Grant President Unprecedented Cyber-security Powers - 04/02/09
The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 introduced in the Senate would allow the president to shut down private Internet networks. The legislation also calls for the government to have the authority to demand security data from private networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access.

Anonymous Posters At Topix Closer To Being ID’d - 04/02/09
Some call them keyboard terrorists.
Others call them flamers and cyberbullies.
Robbers wear masks to hide their identity. Other criminals hide in anonymity too, just like the cowardly posters on message boards and forums who delight in taking cheap shots, hurling insults, harassment and defamatory remarks via the Internet with malice and a total reckless disregard for the truth.

Provocative phone use could lead to trouble - 04/02/09
There is a new and popular practice that some high school students are starting to use their cell phones for. This new practice is known as “sexting.” Students between the ages of 14 and 18 are taking nude or semi-nude photos of themselves and are sharing them with the opposite sex via their cell phones.

Police track man through suicide note posted on Craigslist - 04/02/09
Emergency protective custody | On March 31 in Surfside Beach, police responded to calls about a suicide note left on Craigslist on the Internet by a man, 19, who said his parents disowned him when they found out he was gay, left his phone number and asked readers to leave messages so his parents would know what happened. The note said that he was going to jump off a bridge at 3 a.m. because everyone down here hates gays and makes him feel [bad]. It said older gay guys think they’ve got everything they want and can treat younger guys badly, and he was leaving the note so everyone could know that his ex did not want him anymore and that was the reason he was doing it. Police found him by the phone number. He told officers he had a history of suicide attempts, hospital stays and depression. He was placed in emergency protective custody, evaluated and hospitalized for treatment.

FBI warns against “phishing” - 04/01/09
It’s a real-life, classic case of “phishing”­a virtual trap set by cyber thieves that uses official-looking e-mails to lure you to fake websites and trick you into revealing your personal information.

Good Email Habits are Important: MAAWG Explains Messaging Reputation Assessment - 04/01/09
Your good email habits have become an important tool to help inbox providers and ISPs protect you and other customers from online fraud and spam. A new white paper for IT
professionals and volume email senders from the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) demystifies the messaging reputation technology now used by most large service providers to identify abusive and errant emails as junk mail.

Police: Man Used Web Site to Find Prey - 03/31/09
Many people consider Craig's List a helpful resource for finding things you need. However, police say one sexual predator was using the Web site to search for prey. He's a registered sex offender recently released from prison.

Bikini-Wearing Teacher Stalked Online - 03/31/09
The former bikini-wearing teacher from St. Lucie County is getting some unwanted coverage online.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrested Felisha Nally in her Palm Beach Gardens home Sunday on charges of stalking Tiffany Shepherd through MySpace, a popular networking Web site.