Tuesday, April 27, 1999

FBI investigating threatening e-mail


Fort Thomas lawyer got hostile messages

BY JANE PRENDERGAST
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT THOMAS - The FBI is now involved in a weekend case of threatening e-mail received by a Fort Thomas lawyer.

        What agents and local police officers want to know is whether the hostile messages received Friday night — including one that asked whether the lawyer wanted to die — were a first for the two teen-agers accused of sending them.

        Investigators in Overland Park, Kan., and in Salem, Ore., will speak to the 14-year-olds thought to have started the e-mail conversation with the 54-year-old man. The adult was online at his house in Fort Thomas e-mailing his uncle when the messages began.

        “We'll be calling the other police agencies to have them talk to these kids,” said Fort Thomas Detective Rich Whit ford. “If this is an ongoing thing and they've done it before, then that's different from it being a one-time thing.”

        Police initially thought the man's teen-age son had been online at the time and that he might have previously communicated with the Kansas boy and Oregon girl, possibly in a chat room. Now, however, officers do not think that happened, Detective Whitford said Monday.

        “It was friendly at first, but then it quickly turned hostile,” the detective said of the conversation. “At one point, they said, "Do you want to die?' and something like, "We can help you with that.'”

        The lawyer called police immediately. He asked that he not be identified, Detective Whitford said.

        Right after his call Friday night, Fort Thomas police officers contacted America Online to track the e-mail senders. The Internet service company provided names to go with the e-mail names.

       



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