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Monday, January 28, 2013

True Crime Online Newsletter - January 28, 2013

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Police called to apartment over video game

Police in Sweden raided an apartment after receiving a report of gunfire and cries of help only to find several teenagers playing a computer game.

The teenagers were playing the game "Call of Duty Saturday" night when one of the boy's characters was killed after being shot several times and was left laying on the floor, screaming "help, help, help," Swedish news agency TT reported.

Passersby heard the game and thought it was real and called police.

A 10-person police unit was dispatched to the apartment and carried out a raid there, forcing the boys outside.

After the teenagers were out of the apartment, they were able to explain to the police that they were just playing a game.

Police left the apartment without taking anyone into custody or writing any citations.

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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)

The dark web stole my life says the BBC's Ed Stourton: Hackers took hundreds of private emails - and set about ripping off all my friends - 01/28/13
Last week, I picked up an evening paper and read that I was stuck in the Philippines without money after being attacked by ‘unknown gunmen’. As I was standing under a large London Underground sign on my way out to dinner with friends, I was reasonably confident the report wasn’t true. But I did have an uneasy sense of losing grip on reality. That morning had begun with an unsettling phone call from a cousin in Jersey. A retired Army officer, he informed me that I had been hacked. He had received an email from my address, which told the same sorry tale of armed robbery in Manila.

How I turned the tables on my trolls: Mary Beard suffered vile online abuse about her looks after appearing Question Time - 01/26/13
Mary Beard OBE, Professor of Classics at Cambridge, is author of a dozen books, writer and presenter of BBC2’s BAFTA-nominated Pompeii and Meet The Romans, and a regular on Radio 4, Newsnight and Question Time. Today, she is sipping a cappuccino, peering at me through smeary specs and speaking very calmly, clearly (and loudly) about the myriad unspeakable, disgusting and abusive online comments she has received over the past week in what must surely be one of the most truly monstrous episodes of internet trolling ever.

US woman sues for $10m after man she met on the site tried to kill her with a butcher's knife and stomped on her head when she dumped him after eight days - 01/25/13
A Nevada woman who was attacked by a man she met on is suing the dating website for failing to alert her of the dangers that come with an online match. Mary Kay Beckman, 50, met Wade Ridley on the site in 2010 but when she ended their courtship after eight days, Mr Ridley stabbed her with a butcher knife 10 times and stomped on her head.

Email lands man in jail - 01/25/13
A man accused of harassing a woman with annoying emails and text messages is behind bars today after sending her an email telling her he was deploying to another country. The woman reported to police Wednesday that she has been receiving frequent and harassing messages from Taylor Brandon Patterson, 22, a former friend.

Respectable face of newlywed hacker whose cyber attacks paralysed PayPal - 01/24/13
Newly married and with a respectable job, he seems like an unlikely anarchist computer hacker. But within months of posing for pictures with his wife at their lavish wedding, Ashley Rhodes helped launch cyber-attacks on global financial institutions causing multi-million-pound losses. He was a member of the shadowy hacking group Anonymous, which ‘caused unprecedented harm’ to Visa, MasterCard and the online payment firm PayPal.

Indiana girl, 16, allegedly drives 60 miles in pickup truck to beat up another girl over Facebook insults - 01/24/13
Police in northwestern Indiana say a 16-year-old girl allegedly drove 60 miles to beat up another girl who spread rumors about her on Facebook. The alleged 17-year-old victim and her mother told police the other girl drove from Monticello to their LaPorte home in a pickup truck early Sunday morning. Police said the Monticello teen knocked the LaPorte girl down and kicked her when she went outside to meet her.

Paedophile, 25, had sex with girl, 12, as he hid in her bedroom for TWO DAYS while her unknowing parents sat downstairs - 01/24/13
A paedophile who hid in a 12-year-old girl's bedroom and had sex with her for two days while her unknowing parents sat downstairs has been jailed. Leigh Arendse, 25, of Brunswick Park, Barnet, groomed the innocent youngster on an internet chat room before going from London to her Cambridgeshire home to meet her.

Banks spying on customers and monitoring their spending habits to sell targeted online advertising - 01/23/13
Banks are to pry on customers’ spending habits to bombard them with adverts and offers on their internet accounts. Money Mail has discovered a major High Street bank plans to start hitting customers with specially targeted adverts for offers and discounts each time they check their balance online.

Man hid camera for breast pumping - 01/23/13
Authorities in Oregon said a man was arrested for allegedly hiding a camera on a co-worker's desk to record her using a breast pump. Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson said Russell Gordon, 44, allegedly concealed the pen camera on his co-worker's desk at the MB&G consulting firm, where he has been employed as IT manager for more than 10 years, KGW-TV, Portland, reported Wednesday.

Tempted to vent about work online? You could get fired - 01/23/13
A single sentence posted on Facebook changed Amy McClenathan’s life forever. It was a very small sentence, but it was one of the most powerful sentences I’ve ever typed in my life,” she said. McClenathan says she was having a rough day near the one year anniversary of her mother’s death. She says she was not in the mood to be at work that day.

Michigan Man Indicted on Charges of Cyberstalking and Production of Child Pornography - 01/23/13
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has indicted James S. Allen, 36, of New Baltimore, Michigan, on 18 counts of cyberstalking and five counts of production of child pornography. The production of child pornography charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, a maximum penalty of 30 years, and a $250,000 fine for each count. The cyberstalking charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Cyberstalker ordered to stay away from actor Laurence Fishburne - 01/23/13
A judge today denied actor Laurence Fishburne an extension of a stay-away order against a man who allegedly came to his home New Year’s Day and said he was there to evict him. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carol Boas Goodson told Fishburne’s lawyer, Donald Etra, that he had not shown enough evidence that Anthony Francis had caused significant emotional distress to the actor, or that the man was a threat to his client’s safety.

It's not just teenagers: adults are 'slut-shaming and sexting' too - 01/23/13
Last week, we read the tragic story of 13-year-old Chevonea Kendall-Bryan. The teenager accidentally fell to her death in Battersea in March 2011, while pleading with a boy to delete a mobile phone video of her performing a sex act. Such was her distress that she threatened to jump from her bedroom window, should the boy - stood on the pavement below - refuse. "How much more can I handle? HONESTLY. I beg you, delete that," she texted him.

Man Threatened with Knife, Cyberstalking and Assault - 01/22/13
Chanthy Khun, 39, of 143 Third St., Newport, was arrested around 10 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, for felony assault with a dangerous weapon and an active bench warrant for failure to appear in court. Police responded to Rex Liquors for a report of a man sitting in the doorway refusing to move.

Australian surgeon sues Google over 'bankrupt' auto-complete - 01/22/13
A Port Macquarie surgeon is suing Google for defamation over an auto-complete search suggestion that he believes has cost him clients. Google has been involved in several lawsuits around the world in the past year revolving around its autocomplete suggestions and has increasingly been held responsible for content on its search pages.

Monday, January 21, 2013

True Crime Online Newsletter - January 21, 2013

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Facebook page yields new puppy

A pair of Massachusetts parents said they are making good on a wager and getting a new puppy after their children tallied more than a million likes on Facebook.

Ryan and Evie Cordell, who live near Boston, said their daughters, Cadence, 12, and Emerson, 9, and their three young boys had been asking for a dog since their family dog of 10 years died in August, ABC News reported Thursday.

The Cordells said the girls read about a family who bought a new cat for their children when they received more than 10,000 likes for a Facebook picture, so they convinced their father to promise them a puppy if their page could top 1 million likes.

The girls took a picture of them holding a sign with their younger brothers and had their mother create a page for people to like.

"Hi World, We want a puppy. Our dad said we can get one if we get 1 million Likes! So LIKE this! He doesn't think we can do it!" the sign read.

The page received more than 1.2 million likes in less than 24 hours.

"I really don't know how it moved so quickly," Evie Cordell said. "We thought it'd top out at maybe 2,000 people."

She said the family is now looking for a puppy.

"We are looking at adoption through a rescue or a local shelter," she said. "I think we want a lab or a golden retriever, either a puppy or a very young dog so it can grow up with our family."

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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)

Kennewick man pleads innocent to cyberstalking - 01/20/13
Just one week after his release from jail on a new assault case, a 23-year-old man is back behind bars for allegedly sending hundreds of text messages to a former co-worker he claims to love. Lance Theopolis Smith pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to a felony count of cyberstalking.

Tech Tips: Is your cellphone safe from 'Smishing?' - 01/18/13
Many technology experts are declaring that a top security threats for 2013 will be cyber-attacks on mobile devices. In fact, smishing, a form of hacking information from cell phones (derived from SMS, or Small Message Service), is already running rampant for both consumers and business owners alike.

Pennsylvania football coach pleads in cyber stalking of East Lansing residents, others - 01/18/13
A former Pennsylvania football coach accused of cyber stalking East Lansing residents and others across the country pleaded guilty Thursday, Jan. 17, to producing and attempting to produce child pornography, interstate extortion and cyberstalking.

Texas woman arrested in online harassment case - 01/18/13
A three-year Internet nightmare for an Oregon woman is over - for now. Denton police arrested Michelle Speed, 32, on Wednesday, accusing her of hacking into the woman's social websites, writing slanderous statements about her and even starting an online petition to have her fired.

'I have been paid to kill you': Terrifying con email that threatens people with assassination unless they pay £20,000 - 01/18/13
Fraudsters have targeted email inboxes across the country with messages that threaten people with assassination unless they pay £20,000. The email claims to be from a sympathetic hitman who says he is under orders to kill the recipient who he feels has been wrongly identified as a target.

Bullied girl, 14, disappears the same day video of her being brutally attacked at school is posted online - 01/18/13
A bullied teenager is missing after a video surfaced online of her being struck repeatedly by a classmate. Baileigh Karam, 14, of Carlsbad, California, disappeared last Friday when the cell phone video was posted on Facebook. In the video, a female student strikes her as a crowd of fellow students watch and cheer. Karam is heard begging her attacker to stop.

Cyber bullies could face criminal charge, expulsion from school after Franklin schools incident - 01/17/13
The student or students who targeted multiple people with cyber bullying could be expelled and face criminal charges. Franklin police and Franklin Community Schools are investigating after photos and derogatory comments about at least eight middle school and high school students were posted online.

Playboy fined £100,000 for failing to protect children from 'hardcore videos and images' on its websites - 01/17/13
Playboy has been fined £100,000 after it failed to protect children from potentially harmful pornographic material. Ofcom said Playboy TV and Demand Adult, both owned by Playboy, allowed access to 'hardcore videos and images' and did not have acceptable controls in place to check users were aged 18 or over.

Software developer fired after bosses learn he outsourced his work to China and spent ALL DAY surfing the web - 01/16/13
It was nice work while it lasted. A software developer making six-figures was fired after his bosses learned he outsourced his work to China so he could spend all day goofing off on the web, it was revealed today. The lazy but inventive worker, called 'Bob' and identified as being a mid-40s family man in a security report by Verizon, was even praised by his superiors for being 'the best developer in the building.'

Lufkin woman takes probation for sending harassing messages to self - 01/16/13
A Lufkin woman is choosing to take a probation sentence after pleading guilty Wednesday to posing as someone else and sending threatening text messages to herself. Barbara Mott Bordelon, 52, chose a 10-year probated sentence instead of a two-year prison sentence.

Woman files complaint against dating site - 01/16/13
A Swedish woman has filed a complaint with the Consumer Agency accusing a dating website of not being worth the money she paid for its services. The 43-year-old woman's complaint against eDarling says the website was "not offering good value for money" and featured misleading advertising that convinced her to sign up for a three-month account in November, The reported Wednesday.

The hunt for Red October: The astonishing hacking ring that has infiltrated over 1,000 high level government computers around the world - 01/16/13
A major cyber-attack that has been stealing information from high level government computers around the world since 2007 has been discovered. Kaspersky Labs, which made the discovery, said in addition to diplomatic and governmental agencies of various countries across the world, Red October also targeted research institutions, energy and nuclear groups, and trade and aerospace targets. The firm even said the malware was used to infiltrate smartphones of government workers to electronically steal information.

Top magazine The Atlantic apologises for publishing bizarre Scientology propaganda with gushing review of church's current leader - 01/15/13
Leading magazine The Atlantic has apologised for 'screwing up' after it published an advertorial praising current leader of the controversial 'Church of Scientology'. The website ran a long piece about David Miscavige, who the organisation said was responsible for the 'unparallelled era of growth' which saw a slew of new churches open up around the world. After receiving a barrage of criticism for publishing the post, which included pictures of the new 'churches' in Italy, America, Germany and Israel, they took the advertorial down.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My new book is officially out - True Crime Online!!!

For Immediate Release

Contact: Rob Colding                                                                                                   
Information Today, Inc.
(609) 654-6266, ext. 330

True Crime Online

New Book Exposes the More Dangerous Side of the Internet from Cyberbullying to Murder

January 14, 2013, Medford, NJ—Information Today, Inc. (ITI) announced the publication of
True Crime Online: Shocking Stories of Scamming, Stalking, Murder, and Mayhem
by internationally recognized cybercrime expert, J. A. Hitchcock.

“Cyberstalking and online harassment generally involve men staling women and in other cases, adult predators or pedophiles targeting innocent children. With the internet, predators don’t need to leave their homes anymore to find or harass their targets. They have no fear of physical violence, since they believe that they cannot be physically touched in cyberspace, “says Denise Brown, victim’s advocate in the book’s foreword. “The stories in this book are both frightening and real and depict things that can and do happen everyday. They show us what can happen to people just like you and me. People who never thought they would become victims of online crimes.”  

As more and more people become active online, the more likely they will be preyed upon by cybercriminals. “From entertainment to education and from shopping to dating, the internet has provided an entirely new virtual world for everyone to enjoy. But it has also opened the doors to criminals.” states Hitchcock in the book’s introduction.

“The internet is a breeding ground for murders, kidnappers, child predators, scam artists, terrorists, hackers and other criminals. In fact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center found that in 2011 a record-setting 314,246 fraud complaints were filed, a 3.4 percent increase from 2010, with a monetary loss for victims at a staggering estimate of $485.3 million, almost double from the previous year.”

True Crime Online covers cybercrimes about Craigslist Killers, cyberbullying, online sexual predators, phishing scams, and adultery. Readers can get updates and information on how to stay safe online from the author at

Praise for True Crime Online

“Riveting and frightening … a powerful reminder that the online world is a dangerous place where predators are always on the hunt for prey–and any one of us could be a victim.”

–Tess Gerritsen,
NYT bestselling author,
            Rizzoli & Isles Series

“This book is yet another wake-up call of the need for greater vigilance and enforcement in cyberspace.”
–Bennet Kelley,
founder, Internet Law Center
J.A. Hitchcock is an internationally recognized cybercrime expert. She volunteers her time to work with the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and numerous law enforcement agencies worldwide. She is the president of two all-volunteer organizations, Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA) at and the Kids/Teens Division (WHOA-KTD) at She is the author of Net Crimes and Misdemeanors, Second Edition, published by ITI in 2006.

True Crime Online: Shocking Stories of Scamming, Stalking, Murder, and Mayhem (176 pp/softbound/$14.95/ISBN 978-1-937290-00-9) is a CyberAge book published by Information Today, Inc. (ITI). It is available wherever books and ebooks are sold through Independent Publishers Group (IPG), For more information or to order call (800) 300-9868 [outside U.S. call (609) 654-6266]; fax (609) 654-4309; email; or visit the ITI website at


Monday, January 07, 2013

True Crime Online Newsletter - January 7, 2013

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Flight attendants reveal their secrets

A New York travel website said the "things your flight attendant won't tell you" include passing decaffeinated coffee off as regular.

George Hobica, founder of, said flight attendants speaking on condition of anonymity revealed some of their secrets of their trade.

"You know that coffee you ordered? It's actually decaf even though you asked for regular. We'd rather you sit back, relax and fall asleep so you don't bother us too much," one flight attendant said.

"If a flight is going to be late anyway, we've been known to delay it even further to make sure our overtime pay kicks in," another said.

"Who do we upgrade? Not the slob who's dressed in a dirty tank top. It helps if you're extremely nice, well dressed, pregnant, very tall, good looking, one of our friends or all of the above," one of the attendants revealed.

"I want to yank your headphones off after I've asked you what you want to drink and you've responded "huh?" three times. After the fourth, I just move on or give you Coke," a flight attendant said.

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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)

The teenage girls who are fighting back at their peers who 'dress too provocatively or wear too much make-up' - 01/06/13
A deeply worrying trend, known as ‘slut-shaming,’ has taken flight in recent years, fuelled by microblogging sites such as Tumblr, as well as Facebook. In these posts, teenage girls – and sometimes boys – criticize certain body types or wardrobe choices, often being ruthless in the process.

Cyberstalking plea for Littleton man - 01/06/13
A Littleton man is on probation after pleading guilty in a case of cyberstalking last month. Clarence McCoy Bailey Jr., 31, of Littleton, pleaded guilty to one count of cyberstalking Dec. 4 in Halifax County District Court.

Spat out of hell: Meat Loaf tribute act from Burnley forced to pay $25,000 to singer after California court rules he was an 'online imposter' - 01/04/13
A Meat Loaf tribute singer is facing bankruptcy after losing a legal battle with the Bat out of Hell star over his website. Meat Loaf - real name Michael Aday - was awarded $25,000 in damages and $4,769 in costs after a California court ruled that Dean Torkington, 49, a club singer from Burnley, Lancashire, was an online imposter.

Burglars raid home where Joey Barton stayed over Christmas 'after realising he was at son's first birthday party from reading his Tweets' - 01/03/13
Controversial Queens Park Rangers footballer Joey Barton was burgled as he celebrated his son’s first birthday, it emerged today. The £80,000-a-week midfielder, who is currently on loan at Olympique Marseille in France’s Ligue 1, was hosting an animal-themed party for his son Cassius near the home of his partner’s mother.

Father apologises after football fan son, 10, is engulfed in Twitter race storm for blacking up his face to look like his favourite player El Hadji Diouf - 01/03/13
A ten-year-old Leeds United fan has become embroiled in an online race row after he blacked up to pose with his hero El Hadji Diouf. The child posted a series of pictures on his Twitter account provoking a backlash from users who said he was racist. But the primary school child said he did not realise it would be offensive and did it as a tribute to his footballing hero.

Calif. teens drug parents to use Internet - 01/03/13
Police say two California teenagers used prescription sleeping medication to drug the milkshakes of their parents so they could use the Internet. The parents called police, and the 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old friend were taken to Juvenile Hall in California.

Ex-NFL star Chad Johnson sues websites that posted leaked sex tape online - 01/03/13
Former NFL star Chad Johnson is suing two websites that showed his leaked sex tape. The 34-year-old's lawsuit names WorldStarHipHop and Media Takeout, claiming the two websites posted the footage without his consent. Sacked Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad wants unspecified damages and a court order blocking the websites from posting the footage ever again.

'Cannibal cop who plotted to kidnap, cook and eat women' demands names of 20 other 'diners' are released - 01/03/13
A police officer accused of plotting to cook and eat women has demanded that prosecutors give him the names of 20 other suspected cannibals. Gilberto Valle, who served with the NYPD, insisted he needed to contact the alleged criminals to prepare his defence, because he was accused of being in league with them. Police apparently have 'hundreds of thousands of e-mail and instant-message communications in which Mr Valle and others talked about their violent sexual fantasies.'

Sister, 19, accidentally shoots dead brother in the head while posing with gun for Facebook picture - 01/02/13
A 19-year-old woman accidentally shot dead her brother while posing with a gun for Facebook photos on New Year's Eve. Manuel Ortiz died instantly after being shot in the head at about 6am on Monday morning. Family and friends wept as his body was carried from his apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, where the shooting took place.

Students' Facebook confessions about binge-drinking and bed hopping 'could make them unemployable' - 01/02/13
Students who use social networking sites to confess about their boozing and bed-hopping have been warned it could leave them unemployable. Undergraduates have been swapping tales of binge-drinking and lewd behaviour on the social networking site Facebook, leading academic chiefs to warn their racy anecdotes could damage their future job prospects.

Teens in online bullying epidemic as a third of young people have become depressed after being attacked over social media - 01/01/12
More than a third of young people have felt depressed as a result of something written or posted on a social networking site, according to a wide-ranging survey. The research also revealed that online bullying affects a huge number of young people, with nearly one in five teenagers aged 16 to 18 admitting that they have been targeted.