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Monday, June 24, 2013

True Crime Online Newsletter - June 24, 2013

I couldn't make this if I tried. . .English official says he has a child by an alien

A member of a town council in northern England says he has fathered a child with an alien who visits him four times a year.

Simon Parkes, a member of the Labor Party who sits on the council in Whitby on the Yorkshire coast, said many people think he is crazy, The Northern Echo reported. But he says his beliefs do not affect his work for his constituents.

Parkes is featured on "Confessions of an Alien Abductee," a documentary by Channel 4. He said his child is named Zarka and he calls the mother the Cat Queen.

"What will happen is that we will hold hands and I will say 'I'm ready' and then the technology I don't understand will take us up to a craft orbiting the earth," he said. "My wife found out about it and was very unhappy, clearly. That caused a few problems, but it is not on a human level, so I don't see it as wrong."

Parkes, 53, is also a driving instructor. He and his wife have three children.

He says his mother was an alien as well and his earliest memory is of an alien picking him up.

"There are plenty of people in my position who don't chose to come out and say it because they are terrified it will destroy their careers," he said.

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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 sues school for $2m after it used bikini-clad picture of her from her private Facebook page to illustrate the dangers of social media - 06/24/13
A college freshman is suing a Georgia school district after a photo of her in a bikini was used in a seminar on the dangers of social media, without her permission. Chelsea Chaney says the photo had been taken from her private Facebook page and used for a seminar called Once It's There, It's There to Stay', without her being informed. 'I was embarrassed. I was horrified. It never crossed my mind that this would ever, ever happen to me,' she said.

Why social networks draw scams (and how to avoid them) - 06/24/13
The popularity and influence of social media continues to increase at lightning speed, and recent events bear evidence to the impact-both positive and negative-this medium presents. As the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombingunfolded, millions of people turned to social media for information, and government officials and law enforcement used it to keep the public informed and solicit their help.

Cyberbullying raises concerns - 06/24/13
WESTERN Sydney mum Jean [not her real name], recently discovered her 12-year-old daughter's identity had been stolen and used to create an online account. That account, on a smartphone messaging application, was then used to bully another student. "From the time my daughter got her iPhone we did everything we thought we could and it still wasn't enough," she said.

Firms must show they have strategy against cyberbullies - 06/24/13
Before the dawn of Web 2.0, Norman Cook’s top three hit encouraged us to Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out. Fast forward to 2013 and the latter is no longer an option. In the era of social media, online actions and comments are plain for all to see, cannot be turned off, and in the case of social media, misuse or cyberbullying, can have serious risks for employers.

Men cited for stealing bear statue after posting photos on Facebook - 06/23/13
Police in Milwaukie, Ore., said they cited two men for allegedly stealing a wooden bear from a bar after they posted photos of it on Facebook. Police cited Cory Daniel Harris, 26, and Trevor Modar, 25, for misdemeanor second-degree theft for allegedly stealing the statue from the Wichita Pub Friday, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Saturday.

North Van teen became suicidal after 'brutal,' anonymous cyberbullying on social media site, mom says - 06/22/13
When a North Vancouver mom saw her teenage daughter’s Facebook profile, she could hardly believe the vicious comments written about her child. “You dress like a slut” and “Can I f--- you before you die?” were just a couple of the dozens of disturbing messages posted on the 15-year-old’s Facebook profile. Cyberbullies have tormented the teenager over the past six months through, a new social media site that allows people to post comments anonymously.

Internet stalker jailed - 06/21/13
A stalker has been jailed after creating fake personas to trick a woman into bed. Jamie Hewett, (27), created an elaborate network of fictitious characters then used them to befriend the woman after she rejected him last year. Shortly after she had turned him down the victim was contacted by ‘Dave May’ and his friends ‘Gary Wright’ and ‘Timmy’ via social media – all of whom were actually Hewett. Over time a virtual friendship was developed between the victim and the three ‘men’.

How to Find Out Who Is Harassing Me on Facebook - 06/21/13
If you are Internet-savvy socialite, cyber bullying and social media stalking form part of the digital landscape. In a world where harassers create a new identities in a matter of key strokes, puzzling out the abuser proves a frustrating challenge. More often than not, a cyberstalker is a spurned partner or friend. Finding him -- or her -- may not be easy, but a little detective work or help from an outside agency yields results.

Schools, Parents Need to Address Online Teen Dating Abuse - 06/21/13
A recent study of violence amongst teens who date shows a growing tend of abuse done online and through social media. There have been a lot of reports in the media recently about teens and children being bullied at school and through social media. Dating violence among teens has been studied for years, but the relationship to online harassment is a new issue.

Man who took on email spam pests... and won £750 compensation for his wasted time - 06/21/13
A firm that bombarded a man with spam emails has been forced to pay him compensation after he took it to court for wasting his time. Steve Higgins, 38, sued a cookware company in a victory that could open the floodgates to claims from others plagued by unwelcome emails. Mr Higgins said he was barraged with up to 60 emails a day from companies. The father of three tried removing his name from the firms’ contact lists by following instructions usually found at the bottom of the messages, a process known as unsubscribing, but this often had no effect.

Bakery provides 'cat' where 'cap' should have been on graduation cake - 06/19/13
The latest appearance of cats on the Internet is a cat, instead of a cap, on a graduation cake picture of a recent college graduate in Zionsville, Ind.Carol Gambrel ordered a cake to celebrate her daughter Laura's graduation from Indiana University, specifying "Congratulations Laura!" to be written in icing and an icing-drawn "cap" on the head of the photograph of Laura she supplied.

Terror of Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan as three armed raiders break into her house and steal jewellery and mobile phone after she tweeted she was home alone - 06/19/13
She was condemned for tweeting a picture of herself wearing lingerie and wielding a gun just days after a shooting massacre at a US school. Now it appears that Helen Flanagan may have again come unstuck on Twitter after letting slip that she was at home without her footballer boyfriend Scott Sinclair. Hours later, three men wielding a screwdriver and a saw burst into the house, confronting Flanagan and a female friend before fleeing with jewellery and a mobile phone.

Monday, June 17, 2013

True Crime Online Newsletter - June 17, 2013

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Video of 86-year old man singing 'You Are My Sunshine' goes viral
A video of an 86-year-old man singing his wife of 66 years "You Are My Sunshine" from his hospital bed in Utah has gone viral on YouTube.

James Pinegar of Orem, who was in the hospital recovering from a bad fall on ice and bladder cancer, was caught on tape singing to his wife, Colleen, 86, KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, reported Thursday.

The couple's family put the video online to share with the rest of the family and friends, their daughter Linda Whitaker, 60, said.

"That's originally why it was filmed. Not everyone in the family could come see him in the hospital and he wanted to share his feelings. I don't think he knew he'd get so emotional, he just wanted to share something with the rest of the family," Whitaker said.

Since being posted online in February, the video has been viewed more than 400,000 times.

"I feel privileged to have witness this moment. Thank you so much for sharing," wrote one YouTube commenter.

"I can't stop crying. This is so precious," wrote another.

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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)

Tulisa pal’s threat to kill Sun reporter - 06/16/13
TULISA’S pal has sent a death threat to the Sun reporter who exposed her alleged drugs fixing. Gareth Varey sneered in a 2am email to our investigator: “I’m going to kill you bitch.” Cops quizzed Varey and formally cautioned him over the offence. He admitted it and apologised.

Biting blog given last post using stalker law - 06/16/13
A lawyer has won a harassment case against a blogger who launched an online campaign to ruin her reputation, setting a major precedent extending the scope of anti-stalking laws. Judge David Harvey issued blogger Jacqueline Sperling with an indefinite restraining order to protect lawyer Madeleine Flannagan, a rare case in which the Harassment Act has been used to cover blogging.

Steve Irwin's daughter alive after reports of death on Internet - 06/15/13
Internet reports of the death of the 14-year-old daughter of Australian "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin have been greatly exaggerated. Zap2it said the rumor appears to have started innocently, possibly because a headline about Bindi Irwin, who has been in the news in recent months, somehow got mixed in with an old headline about Irwin's death from a stingray in 2006.

Student identified in Manchester Regional cyberbullying attack - 06/14/13
A student at Manchester Regional High School has been identified as the alleged cyberbully believed to be responsible for launching a series of vulgar online attacks against other students in January, school and law enforcement officials said Thursday. The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office informed Manchester Regional officials in a letter this week that the Passaic County Sheriff's Department, which investigated the case, plans to file juvenile delinquency charges against the female student.

Wendy's: Employee in ice cream photo no longer with chain - 06/14/13
The Wendy's employee photographed licking ice cream from a dispenser is no longer an employee, a spokesman for the U.S. fast-food chain says. The photograph, posted Wednesday on Reddit, became the latest showing bad behavior at a fast-food restaurant to go viral, The New York Daily News reported.

Dunkin' Donuts employee who endured customer rant to be recognized - 06/13/13
Dunkin' Donuts plans to recognize Abid Adar, an employee who endured a customer's racist rant with "grace and patience," company officials said Wednsday. "We're proud of how r crew member handled this situation. The franchise owner of the restaurant plans 2 recognize the crew member," Dunkin Donuts tweeted.

Md. Man Convicted of Cyberstalking His Ex-Wife - 06/13/13
A Hyattsville man was found guilty Thursday of 73 counts of stalking, reckless endangerment, harassment and violation of a protective order after terrorizing his ex-wife and her children over the course of 45 days last year. Michael Anthony Johnson, 32, faces a prison sentence of up to 115 years for repeatedly sending vulgar, threatening emails to his ex-wife telling her that he was going to rape and kill her and her daughters last summer.

Man accused of threatening woman on Facebook faces cyberstalking charge - 06/12/13
A man accused of threatening a woman on a social media site is facing criminal charges. The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office said Michael Drummond, 34, of Morgan City, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his home on charges of cyberstalking and telephone harassment.

To friend, or not Facebook friend your boss? - 06/12/13
What would you do if you received a Facebook request to become a “friend” from your boss? Online harassment complaints linked to social-networking services, known as “social media harassment,” have recently been on the rise. A young company employee in his 20s who lives in Tokyo contacted Tokyo-based Japan Online Counseling Association, which provides training for online counselors, saying his problem started when he had received a “friend” request on Facebook from his immediate boss.

Cyber Bullying - 06/11/13
When we think of bullying, we often think about physical altercations, or perhaps verbal abuse from others. However, this is in not the only form of bullying. As the Internet becomes more popular, and as online communities become more tight-knit and more prevalent, bullying is popping up in cyber space. Cyber bullying can be just as devastating as bullying in real life. Indeed, in some cases cyber bullying is an extension of bullying already endured in the "real world" at school.

Man, 36, Charged as Cyber-Stalker - 06/11/13
An East Providence man, 36, faces charges of stalking and cyber-stalking after sending scores of “vulgar” text and email messages to an East Providence woman on whom he appears romantically fixated.

Friday, June 14, 2013

True Crime Online Video Podcast: Online Safety Presentations for Schools

True Crime Online Video Podcast: Online Safety Presentations for Schools

Book signing in Freeport, Maine tomorrow

Book signing tomorrow in Freeport, Maine - swing by to say hi if you can! Shermans Books and Stationery Noon to 2 pm 128 Main Street Freeport, ME 04032

Monday, June 10, 2013

True Crime Online Newsletter - June 10, 2013

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . allows job targeting to those deemed attractive, a website based in Denmark that rejects users deemed "ugly," has begun allowing companies to use the site for recruiting job candidates.

Miki Haines, head of publicity for the social media site, said the 10-year-old website, which boasts 750,000 members, has previously partnered with casting directors, agents and other entertainment companies to send out notifications about auditions and reality show opportunities, ABC News reported Friday.

"We've been doing that via email for quite some time and getting quite good responses," she said. "We thought, 'Why not make this more official as a resource for more companies?'"

Haines said the recruitment wing of the website -- which is headquartered in Denmark and has offices in New York -- had about 80 job listings, mostly in sales, within 48 hours of its start Monday.

"The site is very much growing in the direction our community guides us to," Haines said. "We didn't know [that in] 10 years we were going to offer career opportunities. It's gone that way because the economy is doing better."

Haines said members can sign up for the website and reply to job listings for free. However, it costs $14 per month for a six-month subscription to the service that allows them to email other members. has previously raised controversy for its model of allowing current members to vote on admission of potential new members based on looks.

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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)

Don't tell cyberbullying victims to log out - ask if they need help - 06/10/13
I'm absolutely awed by the amount of positive feedback I have received about my last column on what it's like to be cyber-bullied. In saying that, I have also received many questions. There was one in particular that I have been asked by many, both my peers and adults; Why not just go offline? Turn off your computer, turn off your Facebook, go outside and forget about it.

Former Eveleth woman's online friend turns out to be her ex, now charged with stalking - 06/08/13
For nearly a year after her divorce, a former Eveleth woman opened up to a man she dated online, sharing intimate details of her personal life and struggles with her ex-husband. Then, prosecutors say, she got a surprise. Her ex-husband was the man on the other end of the computer. Brian Matthew Cornelius, a 36-year-old Sturgeon Lake man, created an elaborate online persona under an assumed name and with borrowed photographs to strike up a digital relationship with his former wife who now lives in West St. Paul, according to charges filed Tuesday in Dakota County District Court.

Misbehaving pupils face internet ban - 06/08/13
Palmerston North Girls' High School students are being asked to commit to new online behaviour guidelines as schools around Manawatu step up efforts to crack down on cyber bullying. The school is encouraging its pupils to be "good digital citizens" by outlining its expectations for online etiquette in the form of a contract. If they break the contract the girls will be stripped of internet privileges at school.

At Work: Cyberbullies graduate to workplace - 06/08/13
Cyberbullying is not a problem just at schools and among young people. It's a growing conundrum with grown-ups at work. f you've ever received a hostile e-mail from someone at work or had nasty things written about you, your work or business online, you know what it's like to be cyberbullied.

Accused con man met women on dating site - 06/07/13
Police in Florida said a man accused of bilking women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars with a phony business used a dating website to find his victims. Osceola County investigators said Scott Campbell allegedly convinced women he met on dating websites to give him a total exceeding hundreds of thousands of dollars by convincing them to invest in his phony music business, "Bank Deposits Only Records," WESH, Orlando, reported Friday.

Cyberbullying shatters lives - 06/07/13
We knew, even as children, that the old “sticks and stones may break my bones” wisdom was bogus. Words do hurt. They can sear a psyche with a force that leaves damaging and lasting scars. And today’s whispering campaigns are magnified when perpetuated by social media, a cyber torture that the world can see.

Popular suburban hockey coach sued over cyber bullying - 06/07/13
A beloved hockey coach, nine-time state champ and member of the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame is accused of sinking so low as to attack another man’s children online. A civil lawsuit filed in May alleges New Trier Hockey Club coach Bob Melton anonymously posted vicious attacks on a hockey website against Wilmette Hockey Association President Chuck Smith and his family.

Salesman Claims Employer Harassed Him Over Playgirl 'Lumberjack' Photos - 06/07/13
Unless you're pursuing a career in, say, reality television, posing naked probably is unwise. The Internet is filled with stories of women fired after decades-old sexy photos of them surfaced. Now, it seems that men who pose naked and want regular jobs also face risks.

Woman, 31, falsely claimed two strangers broke into her house and raped her by selecting their profiles from Facebook - 06/07/13
A woman who falsely accused two strangers of raping her in a bid to win back her boyfriend has escaped jail. In an attempt to garner sympathy from her partner, Linsey Attridge, 31, claimed the two men broke into her house in Aberdeen and attacked her.

Local couple wins cyberstalking case - 06/06/13
Hamilton County Judge Sonny Scaff ruled in favor of Tom and Madeline Moore of White Springs and placed an injunction against Joe E. Griffin, also of White Springs, ordering him to cease and desist posting defamatory comments about the Moores and to remove any such defamatory comments from his blogging website.

Taco Bell workers fired over shell-licking picture - 06/06/13
Taco Bell's corporate office in California said the employee seen licking a stack of taco shells in an online photo has been fired. The company announced on its website the employee pictured licking a stack of taco shells and another employee who snapped the photo, which spread quickly online, were fired from their fast food restaurant, CNBC reported Thursday.

Toronto police investigating threats made against Doug Ford’s family - 06/06/13
Toronto police are investigating e-mail threats made against Coun. Doug Ford’s family, including his daughter. Mayor Rob Ford said he could not say much about the incident.

Damning email omitted from Vito Lopez sexual harassment report suggests Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had inappropriate relationship with top aide - 06/05/13
The state ethics committee that investigated sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez mysteriously omitted from its final report a document that is highly embarrassing to embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the Daily News has learned. The document ­ a Feb. 14, 2012, email sent to Assembly lawyers from an attorney representing two Lopez staffers who accused Lopez of groping them ­ suggests Silver had an inappropriate relationship with a top aide.

Minn. cheerleader accused of prostituting girl - 06/04/13
A suburban Minneapolis high school cheerleader is accused of prostituting a younger student by creating an online ad and taking her to see potential customers, pocketing $60 in one case.

Atomic Kitten star Liz McClarnon terrorised by cyber stalker - 06/04/13
Liz McClarnon is bubbling over with enthusiasm about plans to open a restaurant as well as continuing her singing career. She is relishing the success of the Atomic Kitten reunion – she and bandmates Kerry Katona and Natasha Hamilton appeared on ITV's The Big Reunion – and thanks to her win on Celebrity MasterChef in 2008, she now has a passion for food as well as music.

Delhi woman arrested on cyberbullying charges - 06/04/13
After reviewing hundreds of pages of posts released by Facebook, Richland Parish sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 20-year-old female who they believe is responsible for a venom- and profanity-filled Facebook page aimed at many area young people. Oracle Lynn Parra of Delhi was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of cyberbullying in connection with a series of Facebook pages containing variations on the name “real blaster.”

Monday, June 03, 2013

True Crime Online Newsletter - June 3, 2013

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .New York state selling used morgue refrigerator on eBay

The New York Office of Mental Health is selling on eBay a used morgue refrigerator from a Manhattan psychiatric ward, an official said.

About a day after the item was first posted on the auction website, the price was at $1,050.

The eBay listing describes the refrigerator as "used" with "signs of cosmetic wear" but "fully operational," the New York Post reported Saturday.

Heather Groll, a spokeswoman for the Office of General Services said she's never seen a government agency sell a morgue cooler.

"Every once in a while, we get an unusual item -- and this would be that," she said. "Whoever buys it would have to come pick it up, so he or she would have to have some familiarity with [refrigerators] like that."

She said the cooler would have to be dismantled to be removed from the room where it is currently housed in the Manhattan Psychiatric Center.

The auction ends in late June, the Post reported.

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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)

7 apps your creepy stalker could be using right now - 06/03/13
Cyberstalking is an invasion of privacy, a terrible outlet for some desperate individuals and above of all, a crime. Those who use the internet to track and harass others are a cowardly lot, and because of rapid advances in location-based technologies, stalking innocent users online is a scarily easy affair. The most popular apps we use such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and many more can be used by others to follow you. Apps such as the ones listed below.

Parents warned to monitor teens' online activity - 06/03/13
FIGHTING cyber bullying now accounts for half the workload of one officer within the Chifley local area command. And parents have been urged to take a greater interest in their teenagers' online activity to combat the rise in cyber crime. Chifley LAC youth liaison officer Constable Matt Holden now spends about half his time educating school-aged students about protecting themselves against Facebook trolls and making good decisions online.

Nichole Cable’s Friends Fear Facebook, Delete Social Media Accounts - 06/01/13
The fate of Nichole Cable, the 15 year old from Glenburn, Maine who was murdered on Mother’s Day, has caused many of her classmates and other young teen-agers to reconsider their use of Facebook and other social media. Over 300 people crowded into Bangor Baptist Church last week for Cable’s funeral. The Maine State Police now believes that Nichole Cable was lured away from her home by 20-year-old Kyle Dube, who created a fake Facebook account in the name of another young man, Bryan Butterfield.

Italy's Tragic Teen Cyberbullying Suicide - 05/31/13
Could Facebook be held liable for an Italian teen’s suicide? If an Italian prosecutor has his way, the social networking giant could face criminal manslaughter charges. Carolina Picchio was a 14-year-old girl from Novara, Italy, near Milan, with an enviably pretty face and a bright future. Then, late on the night of January 4, she jumped out of her bedroom window from her family’s fourth-floor apartment. She died instantly when she landed headfirst on the pavement below. Before she jumped, she updated her status on Facebook with a chilling suicide note: “Forgive me if I’m not strong. I cannot take it any longer.”

How To Avoid Stalkers On The Internet - 05/31/13
We live in an ever-shrinking, ever-connected world, and lots of our information is online. Social media is a part of life now, and as we get more social, there are quite a few anti-social elements that resort to stalking. They’re everywhere - Facebook, Twitter, etc. Their incessant ways and innovative means of stalking baffle you just as much as they catch you off guard. Here are few tips and trips to avoid and get rid of stalkers on the internet.

Traffic stop leads to discovery of hundreds of stolen Apple devices - 05/31/13
New York police said a traffic stop near the site of a reported break-in led to the discovery "a virtual orchard of Apple products."

All's fair in love and cyberstalking - 05/31/13
Love is in the air - or, more precisely, in cyberspace. Eight of 10 Hong Kong women stalk potential dates on the internet, while 41 percent of residents go online to find love, a recent poll shows. The good news for men is that women "e-stalkers" are not that picky.

Secret court jails father for sending son 21st birthday greeting on Facebook after he was gagged from naming him - 05/31/13
A father has been jailed at a secret court hearing for sending a Facebook message to his grown-up son on his 21st birthday. Garry Johnson, 46, breached a draconian gagging order which stops him publicly naming his son, Sam, whom he has brought up and who still lives with him.

Bay High School senior lauded for using Twitter to foil cyberbully - 05/30/13
One Bay High School student is facing disciplinary action for cyberbullying, while school administrators and the student body are praising another student for supporting the victims. About May 16, a Bay High student created a Twitter account called @BayHighDirect, which has since been shut down. The account contained comments one school official called “very mean and terrible” about students based on their appearance, race and sexual orientation. The cyberbully even picked on special-needs students, school officials said.

Cops Probe Cyberbullying In Student Suicide - 05/29/13
Students at IS109 last week told reporters outside the Queens Village school that “most of the kids are sad and crying” about their classmate Gabrielle Molina’s decision to commit suicide. “But some of the kids are laughing,” the students said. Molina, 12, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at about 2:25 p.m. on May 22, inside her bedroom at the home she shared with her parents and siblings on 220th Street in Queens Village, police said.

Sex Offender Data Used by Arizona Internet Companies for Bribery and Harassment? - 05/28/13
A group of registered sex offenders claim they were profiled by Arizona-based Internet companies, which mined their data and attempted to extort money from them in order to remove their information from their non-government sites.

The Importance of Reporting Threats to Law Enforcement - 05/26/13
A conman used a creative scheme to steal thousands of dollars from various employers, but that man's decision to threaten victims with violence ultimately did him in. "The message was a threat against me and my family," said the victim, who wanted to remain anonymous.