Mail

We get letters: What to do about a possible gun owning ex-con

hatemail

I received an e-mail not too long ago about a person who was featured on this site many years ago. The person in question committed a crime as a teen but was charged as an adult and was sentenced to prison time. Unfortunately, they weren’t sentenced to much prison time and they are now out of prison. This person is now the legal age to own a gun and they live in a gun friendly state. Back to the e-mail.

The e-mail I received was from someone who claimed that the person in question committed an armed crime against them. The matter is said to have been investigated by police but no arrest has ever come from it. Unfortunately, without a public record of arrest there’s not much that I can do about as far as making it public knowledge however, I did a little digging. I went to the Facebook of the person in question and it’s very pro 2nd-Amendment and anti-government. That’s their prerogative and all but I have yet to meet anyone that pro-gun without owning one. If memory serves me correctly people convicted of felonies in this country, no matter which state, are ineligible to own firearms for the rest of their lives. As far as I know the conviction has not been expunged.

So my question to you dear reader is this, what can be done at this point to ensure the safety of the community around this former felon who is possibly in possession of firearms?

We get letters: An error in my terminology

hatemail

I received the following e-mail from Tim. Tim says…

Hey Trench – I enjoy reading your blog but thought I’d point out an error in your terminology.

You commonly refer to men attracted to teenage girls as ‘pedophiles’ when this is not the case. Attraction to teenage girls is considered ‘hebophilia’ which actually is not considered a mental disorder, as it is biologically normal to be attracted to post-pubescent individuals.

We as a society have chosen to infantilize teenagers when it comes to sex but treat them as adults when they commit crimes. It seems a little out of whack to me. Thoughts?

I checked the archives because I could have sworn I got this e-mail before. I guess it’s because this is an argument I’ve heard before.

First off, you may want to learn the terminology yourself of the various concepts you’re discussing. A brief Google search would show you that hebephilia, which is what I believe you’re trying to spell, is the sexual attraction to early pubescent girls ages 11 to 14. Ephebophilia is the adult sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents ages 15-19. This what I believe you’re actually trying to defend. The problem with these terms, along with the term pedophilia, is that all three indicate the sexual desire of children, hence why the term pedophile is often used interchangeably. Whether you consider it ‘biologically normal’ is irrelevant since having sex with minors is illegal in all 50 states.

When you say that we ‘infantilize teenagers when it comes to sex but treat them as adults when they commit crimes’ you’re comparing apples to oranges. Crime, especially murder, has clear lines that everyone knows. Murder is wrong, you will be arrested and you will go to jail. Sex is drastically more complicated than that. Children, of either sex, who are exposed to sexual activity or content at too young of age can end up having unhealthy or abnormal idea about sex. Predators know this and use this naiveté to prey upon their victims.

It seems like your e-mail can be summed up with a phrase that a multitude of predators have used when they say that ‘age is just a number.’

We get letters: We are so convinced that Terry Hobbs is innocent?

The real and forgotten victims of the WM3

The real and forgotten victims of the WM3

I received the following e-mail from Jason. Jason says…

We are so convinced that Terry Hobbs is innocent? Furthermore, what has led you to believe that WM3 is guilty? People have recanted their comments, Jesse Misskelley was found to have an alibi, as were Damian Echols and Jason Baldwin. Jesse Misskelley’s confession was found to be coerced with many of the details fed to him by the police. Your comments are not compelling at all. I’m really thinking that you’re either Terry Hobbs himself or you’re getting pay rolled by him to create this blog.

Congratulations. This may just be the most factually incorrect e-mail ever written. First off is “We are so convinced that Terry Hobbs is innocent?” even a sentence? I mean it looks like a question but kind of makes a statement. That’s new levels of bad grammar right there.

Secondly no one has recanted their story, please provide documentation that says otherwise.

None of the three had any alibis or else their alibis would have been called to testify.

Jessie Misskelley wouldn’t stop confessing even after his own conviction.

Lastly, you got me. I’m Terry Hobbs. You’ve uncovered my master plan. I started this blog in 2000 then wrote a PRO-WM3 post in 2001, then recanted my position in 2007. appeared on two different national news shows talking about an unrelated crime while wearing Hollywood level prosthetics and wigs in 2009, all the while maintaining my cover in Arkansas. And I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for meddling chalupas.

Or maybe Terry Hobbs is bankrolling me because he’s got all that money from his book and movie deals, oh wait, that’s Damien Echols who has that. He’s never one to turn away any payday that he makes off of tragedy.

It seems like somebody just watched the movies for the first time.

We get letters through Tumblr: You’re an asshole

The real and forgotten victims of the WM3

The real and forgotten victims of the WM3

I received this message through my Tumblr page the other day…

You’re an asshole leave Damien Echols alone wtf

Normally I would have dismissed this as just being from another chalupa. (Side note: Thrice convicted child killer Damien Echols refers to his fans as chupacabras so I call them chalupas which I’ve been told is an insult to chalupas but I digress.) But before I clicked on the delete icon I curiously clicked on this person’s Tumblr name. Now I’m not going to divulge the account in question because I don’t want to invite harassment on someone who is obviously a confused child.

Turns out this girl was not just a fan of Echols but also Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes, Columbine cowards Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and non-repentant school shooter T.J. Lane. I was greeted by animated gifs of school shooters while a lot of the posts were doe eyed tributes to Damian Echols. This girl feels about mass murderers like most girls would gush on about their favorite music group or celebrity.

What you’re doing is not normal, not even by counter-culture standards. It is an indication of a deeper-rooted mental illness and you should get help. I’m telling you this because it’s obvious your parent(s) either don’t know or don’t care or both. If this kind of activity carries into adulthood you could end up being one of those women who end up marrying death row inmates, also not normal by any standard. Not to mention that by idolizing these mass killers you’re enabling future killers.

Be an individual, don’t let yourself be defined by a Tumblr hashtag.

Remembrance of e-mails past

Late 90s me.

Late 90s me.

Today I was closing a paid e-mail account that I’ve used for the past 12 years. FastMail if you’re curious, I highly recommend it. It can do all the things G-Mail can without the specter of Google hanging over you. Right now it’s just not financially feasible for me, but I digress.

While I was cleaning out the account I came across some e-mails that I had saved from my previous e-mail account at Yahoo. These e-mails were from 1999, April of 1999 to be precise. If you’re not familiar with what happened then and what happened to me you can catch up on the About page.

Now this is in no way meant to imply what I went through was anywhere near the amount of tragedy and loss of what the victims and their families and friends went through. I just thought it would be an interesting story to share.

Anyway, it seems that I saved some of the e-mails that I received from journalists and those not deserving of the title. This was back before I even started blogging and I was not used to being thrust into any kind of spotlight. I’m not posting their names so the mutants don’t give them any grief.

This first one was from a writer at TIME magazine…

Subject: Trenhcoat Mafia?

Hi, my name is [redacted]. I’m a reporter at Time magazine, and I’m writing a story this week about the school shooting outside of Denver. Some students have said that the shooters are members of something called the Trenchcoat Mafia. Can you tell me what that is? It could well be a local group, but I found your site and thought I would “summon” you for an answer. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Feel free to e-mail me, or call 212-[redacted]. Thanks much.

Now we know how wrong that information was. I never did call him.

This next one was from a guy at the New York Post. He sent this after I had posted the disclaimer that my website at the time had nothing to do with the shootings…

Subject: Goth

Hey:

I realize I stumbled onto your site because I’m doing a story for the New York Post about kids who are into Goth and Gothic characters.

I understand that you are not in any way involved in the shooting in Colorado, but I do have some questions for you:

In your new home page, you wrote, “Yes I have problems. But instead of acting out violently I write.” What do you mean by that? What kind of problems? Are these “problems” shared by other people in your school? Are there people you know who consider themselves outcasts because they feel excluded from the traditional school cliques (athletes, science geeks, cheerleader types, brains, etc)?

Why “dark poetry,” as you call it? What attracts you to these types of lyrics?

Please, if you get a chance, email me back with your phone number and I’ll call you to discuss this further.

Thanks for your time.

[REDACTED]
NY POST REPORTER

At least he had more tact than the guy from TIME but still off base as it turned out that goths weren’t involved in the shooting either. I also like how he assumed I was school age. I’ll admit that my writing back then was pretty juvenile but there was also a stereotype back then that only kids knew how to use the internet, but it was probably my writing.

I actually responded to this one…

Actually I’m a 30-year-old man from the east coast. I have the same problems as everyone else. Money. Job stress. Family problems.

I call it dark poetry because it’s not very positive. I’ve always been a negative person. Everyone has a violent side in them, but those who choose to act on it have even bigger problems. Mentally and emotionally.

Thanks for checking with me first. Unlike The Washington Post who automatically assumed I was part of that organization.

Yeah, I was still pretty bitter at the Washington Post at the time and you have to remember I was suffering from severe depression and was not being treated for it at the time. However as John Astin once said, “I’m feeling much better now.” I eventually did do some interviews with the Post but it was about MySpace stuff if I remember correctly and it wasn’t with that particular ‘reporter’. I believe his actual title was ‘style editor’ back then, whatever the hell that means.

The next one was from a Canadian reporter. I don’t recall what his questions were to me. I guess they’ve been lost to the ages but I felt his response to me was special enough for me to save for 15 years.

Dear T.C.:

Thank you for the disclaimer. It’s important for a reporter to know whether he or she is on the right – or wrong – track when researching a story. And when one media outlet errs, the mistake is easily compounded because we sometimes rely on each other for leads. Hang in there.

[Redacted]
Reporter
The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ont.
Canada

Now that I think about it he may not have even asked me a question. He may have just been thanking me for not sending him on a wild goose chase that so many other news agencies pursued in the days following the tragedy. The Canadian media has always treated me well and fairly. They’re much better than the American media but they are hampered by law in what they can report when it comes to crime stories, but I’m digressing again.

That’s all I’ve got from back then. All the hate mail I received I deleted but I regret doing that now, except for the goatse one. If you don’t know what that is you’re better off not knowing. Oh, I still have the one from the Washington Post guy but I’ve discussed that one to death.

In a strange coincidence the paid e-mail account I mentioned before was due to expire this coming Sunday, April the 20th.

We get letters: Thanks for giving the victims a voice

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I received the following e-mail recently…

I just wanted to say thank you. A few years ago, I came across a link for this site. As an abuse victim, I feel it’s important that these kids get their stories told. People should know what they’ve been through. People should love them and in more tragic cases, miss them. Even if they’ve never met them. About 2 years ago, my husband and I were trying to conceive our first child. It wasn’t going very well, and I fell into a deep depression. While reading your site, my heart would constantly break with every story posted. It was unfair that these monsters were given the greatest gift that the universe had to offer, and abused and neglected them. I’m proud to say that I am now a mother to a beautiful healthy 9 month baby boy. I believe that your site helps others to realize that they must always, ALWAYS, be aware of the people they bring around their children. I just wish this site existed and was available to my parents while I was growing up. Maybe life wouldn’t have been so hard for me.

But enough of the sob story, I just wanted to thank you. All of you, for giving victims voices. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

It is I who should thank you. Thanks to letters like this it makes me realize that I am making a difference even with my snark, sarcasm and foul language.

See kids, it’s not all hate mail

We get letters: I am about to report your toxic website

toxic

I received the following e-mail the other day…

Who the hell do u think u are? I am about to report your toxic website to the authorities. I have been involved with a story that you retards reported on your stupid site and I can guarentee you idiots, that none of it was true. Get your facts right before you shame and humiliate an innocent person. Dickheads. I have a police report to back up….. Do u? Didn’t think so.

I have a policy here that if charges are dropped or if someone has been found not guilty I will remove a story if requested. The e-mail had the person’s name attached to it and I could not find any mention of this person on this site. I did some further investigation and found that the e-mail came from Australia which means probably by law the suspect’s name wasn’t made public. However being the magnanimous guy that I am I reached out to this person albeit probably not in the most friendly way possible…

Or you could tell me what story it is and I can have it removed.

To which I received the reply…

How about you remove them all. Your stories are false. Why don’t you put yourself on your site. Dickhead.

How about because I haven’t been arrested for child abuse?

Anyway I guess we have to go through this again. This site is a blog. We’re not reporters or journalists. We get our information from the news media. If anything that we posted is untrue then your issue is with whatever news source we used, Also let the record show that I was willing to have whatever story it was removed.

Besides, what authorities are you going to, the Internet Police?

We get letters: This still isn’t Perverted Justice

pedobearbusted

I received three separate e-mails from the same person in regards to the recent debate about Florida predator stings and their worth. Again if you’re just joining us I think they’re awesome and they put bad guys behind bars. The bad guys think they’re a money grab and are putting ‘innocent’ men behind bars. On to the e-mails.

E-mail #1:

I read your article in which you tried to shame a person who tried to tell you about the corruption with Perverted Justice. What that person wrote to you is indeed true. In fact, many of the Perverted Justice members have criminal backgrounds. Eventually, this is going to come back on you trench and I know for a fact Perverted Justice is under investigation right now. You are not telling the full story about situations. You are lying to people. Why don’t you actually investigate instead of writing opinions. If you are Irish-Catholic, then you know that you will be held responsible for what you tell people. Then again, maybe you are part of Perverted Justice yourself.

You got me. You saw through my clever ruse. I am actually Xavier Von Erck, founder of PJ. Except, I’m not. I was about to say we don’t even look alike but it appears that we do dress alike.

Xavier Von Erck

Xavier Von Erck

Back to the matter at hand. If this guy actually read what I wrote he would be able to tell that I am actually not a fan of PJ. While I think their intention is good I’m not a fan of internet vigilantism. It’s usually only fueled by knee-jerk outrage. Also now that it’s 2014 I now haven’t written about PJ in seven years.

Is PJ even relevant anymore. Their bread and butter used to be the Yahoo chat rooms and now that they’re gone and To Catch A Predator has been cancelled I don’t see why they’re even still around.

Also I’d rather go to hell for exposing the habits of online predators than being a kiddie toucher.

On to e-mail #2:

By the way, I just read your post from today about catching real predators. That person is exactly right. Real predators aren’t using the internet and children are most certainly not pursuing predators online for months and in some cases years. If you can name me a victim, any victim, who pursued their attacker, I will retract my statement.

Ok, I have to interrupt here because some of what he says is so ludicrous it demands immediate attention. So ‘real’ predators aren’t using the internet? Then for the past 8 years I’ve been writing about fictitious predators all that time. Huh. Who knew. Also there’s needs to be some kind of universal sarcasm font.

Also his challenge for me to name a victim is specious because they don’t release the names of underage sexual abuse victims. Not to mention I doubt he would retract anything he said anyway. Zealots come from all walks of life.

He continues…

There is a reason why you get letters telling you to catch the real predators. It is because the real predators are not being caught and setting people up is not the answer. In fact, if you look into the finances of those stings, you quickly realize stings are being done for money and money alone. Those stings are making things infinitely more dangerous because they are not catching threats at all. Victims don’t pursue and they most certainly don’t invite multiple times. The convictions are only coming because people are forced to plead guilty. You haven’t once reported on the hundreds of those cases that have been thrown out of court or the entrapment verdicts levied against groups such as Perverted Justice.

Again with the PJ obsession. Anyway police don’t even really need to set up these stings because a lot of times the predators themselves are stupid enough to post ads on craigslist themselves. How many stories have I posted about craigslist creepers that post ads that say things like ‘the younger the better’. You’re absolutely delusional if you think that there are no predators on the internet. You also leave out this thing called grooming which is like a sort of Stockholm Syndrome for the victims of online predators. Again, even if police did initiate talks about sex and you drive somewhere with the thoughts of meeting a minor for sex you get what you deserve.

This argument kind of reminds me of the guys who signed up for the military then tried to quit when they realized they might actually have to go fight a war. They claimed that the recruiters talked them in to enlisting. Well, not only did you go down to the recruitment office but, just like most online predators, you could have walked away at any time. When I was graduating high school I would get tons of calls for recruiters. I would tell them that I’m not interested and hung up the phone. Subsequently if I got an e-mail from a 14-year-old girl wanting to have sex I would delete it and then filter my e-mail so any subsequent e-mails would go straight to the trash. Really, it’s not that hard. Police do not have some kind of special Jedi mind trick or thought control rays. We are responsible for our own actions.

And if any case is thrown out of court or the charges are dropped all someone needs to do is send me an e-mail and I’ll remove the post.

And finally e-mail #3:

Why don’t you publish your full name? What are you hiding “Trench.” I see a couple of lawsuits in your future. In fact, I know they are coming.

Says the guy who signed his e-mail ‘Anonymous’. I do it to have some form of insulation between me and butthurt sex offenders. Also the threat of lawsuit after 14 years is still funny to me. If I had a dollar for anytime someone threatened to sue me I’d have enough to pay off a lawsuit settlement.

So in conclusion save yourself the keystrokes Junior. You’ll never convince me that what you claim is even remotely true.

We get letters: Let’s catch the ‘real’ predators

The discussion about Florida child predator stings continues. For those of you who haven’t been following there seems to be a small but vocal minority of people in Florida who believe the craigslist and social networking stings that many Florida law enforcement agencies employ are nothing more than entrapment and money grabs for federal grants. I received an e-mail from one of those people. Since he sent me the e-mail with no snark or attitude I will reply to him in kind.

First the e-mail…

trench, if these stings were about trying to catch real predators, it would be one thing, but when it becomes more about the number of arrests they need to make to continue to let the money flowing then it is fraud. Catch the predators, hell yea, society will not tolerate those who prey upon children, but during these stings they need to ensure that they are catching the right people! They are not and that is the problem and the information we have proves this. I would like to work with you on things if you’d give it a shot. I think you have a lot of information that is useful. Let’s catch the real bad guys. Give it a chance!

I can appreciate someone who is willing to discuss any topic in a calm and rational matter. However the e-mail, in my opinion, omits one glaring detail.

For the sake of argument let’s say that police posing as minors on craigslist did initiate conversations of a sexual nature with potential suspects on craigslist, or whatever website. While that possibly can be construed as entrapment the alleged perpetrators are still going to the meeting places with the intent of having sex with minors. Police are not ripping these guys out of their homes and none of them are going to the meeting place to rescue, lecture, or hang out with their potential victims.

While they may have legal recourse in regards to entrapment in my opinion they are morally still predators.

We get letters: You are the leader of a sick colte

boc

Received another lovely e-mail singing my virtues…

To “trench” You are a embellishing, twisted person who has a sick fascination with child related crimes. You are a known distortionist who many people hate. You are the leader of a sick colte. You are the biggest troll of them all and I have nothing but the worst wishes for you. I hope you burn in hell with the real monsters and they take advantage of you. Enjoy the pitiful thing you call a life you hypocritical douchebag.

What is a colte and how do you know if one is sick? Do you have to shoot it at that point? Oh, he meant a cult. Yeah, I don’t get the comparison either. It’s not like I force people to read my site.

Also this is just another ploy in the pedo-defenders bag of tricks, accusing someone who frowns on the practice of pedophiles of being a pedophile. I believe that’s called the “I know you are but what am I” axiom. Since they’re so preoccupied with the thoughts of children they begin to act like them.

While I may be going to hell my conscience will be clear knowing that I didn’t get there by being a kiddie toucher.