Backpage seized by Feds on Friday

2
Posted by on April 9, 2018

Backpage seized by Feds on Friday

I’ve been behind in posting stories about the legal battles befalling Backpage, such as the passage of the SESTA/FOSTA bill that would amend section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The legislation is worded so websites that knowingly facilitate human trafficking would be held legally responsible. However, even before SESTA/FOSTA could be signed into law by the President, the Backpage website was seized by State and Federal authorities this past Friday.

Anyone going to Backpage online on Friday was greeted with the Department of Justice’s declaration that Backpage had been seized as part of an enforcement action by not only the FBI, but also the US Postal Inspector’s Office and the IRS. It’s the IRS’s involvement that lead me to believe this is finally the last we’ve seen of Backpage. According to Wired Magazine, there has been a 93 count indictment against seven people involved with Backpage where one of the charges is money laundering. I would even hazard a guess that maybe Backpage and its cabal of founders may not have been exactly forthcoming on their taxes. Let’s not forget that this is almost the exact same way the Feds were able to finally take down Al Capone. One of those people charged in the indictment was Backpage co-founder Mike Lacey. I would imagine that indictments for Backapge CEO Carl Ferrer and co-founder Jim Larkin can’t be far behind.

Surprisingly, this is not the first instance of the Feds seizing a website that was involved in the facilitation of human trafficking. Back in 2014, the FBI seized MyRedBook which was a similar site to Backpage but on a much smaller scale. In that case the site owners were also accused of money laundering among child prostitution charges. That site’s owner was convicted and was forced to relinquish over a million dollars in cash and assets and was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. Since Backpage operated on a much grander scale, I would imagine any potential fines and sentences would dwarf those of MyRedBook.

Since FOSTA/SESTA has yet to be signed into law, its detractors will say that we no longer need the legislation since Backpage was shut down without it. To those I say FOSTA/SESTA is still needed to prevent another website to rise from Backpage’s ashes like Backpage rose from craigslist’s. No woman or child ever deserves to be turned out online like so much property to be sold into sexual slavery over and over again on a constant basis.

And for those who claim to be ‘legitimate’ sex workers who say Backpage made it safer for them to ply their trade, I have a couple of things to say. The first is, any supposed safety that you perceive to have given to you by Backpage is nothing more than a talking point and an illusion. For all your safety, there was a plethora of women who were either raped or killed by men who had their victims delivered to them through Backpage like they were some kind of murder pizza. The second thing is, if you supposedly have the freedom to choose what you’re doing and are not being coerced by any kind of pimp or trafficker like so many have claimed, maybe this is your sign to pursue more legitimate ventures in your life. You know, ones where you don’t have to worry about pimps, violent johns, and other potentiality tragic hazards of the job.

The Daily Threat 4/9/2018: One week edition

0
Posted by on April 9, 2018

The Daily Threat 4/9/2018: One week edition

Well, at least this time it was only a week-long break I took, but what a hell of week to take a break. Lots of big news to catch up on. I’ll be honest, it’s my depression and anxiety that’s been keeping me away from working on the website, but this isn’t about me. I just thought you’d like an explanation. Anyway, rules are the same. Dates are from when the story was published and not necessarily the date of the threat.

(4/3/2018)
Olathe Northwest High School student brings unloaded gun to school
(FTA: Administrators were informed by a parent that the student may have brought the weapon to school. Trench: I wonder how they knew.)
Two boys arrested posting guns on Snapchat
State Police: Snapchat Threats Brought Troopers To Vinal Tech
Should teen accused in school shooting plot face attempted murder charges?
Attorney: Teenager who plotted school shooting deserves bail
Macomb County prosecutor: 51 charged with making threats since Parkland school shooting

UCF student who idolized mass shooters online can buy guns, judge decides
(I wanted this one separated from the rest so you can all let that sink in. Sleep tight Orlando.)

(4/4/2018)
Roxbury schools increase security after student Snapchat threats
Michigan fights school threats: ‘This is gonna change your life forever’
Another Warren County boy sentenced for making school threat
School threat hoaxers can’t hide behind Snapchat, feds say
Patriots’ Julian Edelman May Have Thwarted a School Shooting
(FTA: “Dude, there is a kid in your comment section says he s going to shoot up a school, i think you should alert the authority.”)
‘It was stupid:’ Student, 17, faces felony charge, accused of threatening Columbine-like school shooting

(4/5/2018)
False report of Saginaw school shooting draws big police response
Most Guns Used in School Shootings Come From Home
(Duh!)

(4/6/2018)
Cliff Park student arrested after school shooting threat, report says
(FTA: “During this meeting, (the student) became upset and yelled ‘(expletive) this, I’m going to go home, get my gun and I’m going to come back and shoot everyone’.”)
Student charged with making threats against North Syracuse school, deputies say
Police: How Syracuse University student was stopped while planning mass shooting
Clovis student arrested for Snapchat threat
(FTA: The caption stated, “F*** CHS I’m going out with a bank” and “don’t go to school tmrw.”)
Increased police presence expected at Kalani High in response to threat
Octorara student arrested after threatening to bring gun to school; references Parkland
Officers Remained at Bridgeport’s Central and Bassick High Schools After Investigations
Manasquan active shooter drill set for Columbine anniversary
(I’m actually ok with this. Since so many plots are usually planned for the Columbine anniversary, it’s a great idea to already have armed and trained officers there.)
Broward high school student arrested after making online threats
(FTA: “…I want to be a professional school shooter… (no sarcasm, Broward County, Florida) J.P. Taravella HS is my target, tomorrow.”)

(4/7/2018)
14-year-old arrested after gun and knives found in backpack
(FTA: Police say the gun was a semi-automatic pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition. He also had a butterfly-style knife and a folding pocket knife.)

(4/8/2018)
1 Arrested After Social Media Post Was ‘Believed’ To Involve Md. High School
School officials wrestle with decision on when to disclose possible threats
HISD police investigating Meyerland school shooting threat

The Daily Threat 4/2/2018

0
Posted by on April 2, 2018

The Daily Threat 4/2/2018

Teen charged with carrying rifle near school to stay in jail

IT’S MY RIGHT: Twisted Georgia woman accused of threatening elementary school shooting
(FTA: Police say Richardson admitted to creating the video as an expression of her right to free speech. Trench: Threats aren’t protected speech dumbass.)

Police: 19-year-old charged after making threat in Snapchat video

Since Florida shooting: 14 threats of violence at area schools
(Central Illinois)

Stockton Teen Threatens School Shooting Over Bad Grades
(If you have bad grades, work harder. It’s not the school’s fault.)

Parkland shooter’s mother wasn’t afraid of her son having guns

2
Posted by on April 1, 2018

Parkland shooter's mother wasn't afraid of her son having guns

Speaking of parents and guns…

I know we’ve all heard about the many breakdowns and failures that led to the Valentine’s day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. However, I want to talk about one glaring one that may have been missed with all the superfluous stories about the shooting grabbing most of the headlines.

Nikolas Cruz’s late mother, Lynda Cruz, was said to have told a therapist that she wasn’t afraid of her son owning a gun

Lynda Cruz told Del Barrio that she had no worries about her son as a gun owner.

“I’m not concerned and I’m not afraid,” she said, according to counselor Anna Del Barrio’s report. “My son has pellet guns and he’s always respected the rules of where they can and can’t be used.”

This was after many documented outbursts of violence and self-harm by Cruz himself. This was also while Cruz was 17.

If a child has mental health issues and has thoughts of suicide, why on earth would you encourage them to own a gun?

I know hindsight is always 20/20, but let her mistake be a lesson to parents who are thinking of allowing their minor children to own a gun. They’re not toys, they’re not a phase, they’re not a hobby and they’re not safe. They are weapons whose only real purpose is to kill whatever it’s pointed toward. To allow these instruments of death to be in the hands of children is the ultimate in parental irresponsibility.

Two fathers arrested for their sons’ school shooting plots

0
Posted by on April 1, 2018

Two fathers arrested for their sons' school shooting plots

Back in March, two different fathers were arrested in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles for the alleged school shooting plots of their sons. In the home of a 16-year-old, two revolvers, one semi-automatic handgun, a rifle and 90 rounds of ammunition were found to be unsecured in the home. In the home of a 17-year-old, police are said to have found a loaded semi-automatic handgun unsecured in a bag. Both teens had threatened to shoot up their respective schools. Both fathers were arrested on charges of unlawful firearms storage.

Since Columbine I’ve been saying that parents need to be held more responsible for what takes place under their roofs. How many times have kids like this have gotten their guns from parents who either gave them the guns or improperly stored their guns around the home and didn’t even notice they were missing? That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is too many. If these kids had gone on to kill using their parents’ guns, how could we not hold the parents responsible?

Maybe if we had started pressing criminal charges against the parents of school shooters who allowed the shootings to take place, parents of future shooters would have gotten involved in their kids’ lives and prevented further bloodshed.

UPDATE 4/3/2018: The father of the 17-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

Bever brother to drop insanity defense

0
Posted by on April 1, 2018
Bever brother to drop insanity defense
The Bever house in 2015

Michael Bever’s defense team recently announced they would not be pursuing an insanity defense for their client. In 2015, a then 16-year-old Michael Bever, and his then 18-year-old brother Robert, stabbed and killed their parents, 52-year-old David Bever and 44-year-old April Bever, in their Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, home. However, they didn’t stop there. They also killed their siblings, Daniel, 12, Christopher, 7, and Victoria, 5. Surviving the attack was 13-year-old Crystal, who had been stabbed, and 2-year-old Autumn who was unharmed.The motive the brothers allegedly gave for the killing spree was they wanted to be ‘more famous than Columbine.’ In 2016, Robert Bever pleaded guilty to murder in order to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to five life sentences without parole. Michael Bever has been charged as an adult in the murders.

Bever’s defense contends the parents were committing psychological child abuse which is not totally out of the realm of possibility. However, that doesn’t explain why they killed their brothers and sister as well. Not to mention that according to their surviving sister, the duo were allegedly planning the murder at least a year in advance.

Previously, the defense has tried saying Michael only went along with the murders because he was scared of his brother, but investigators say that Robert feigned he was in danger in order to get his siblings to open the door to the room where they were hiding so they could be killed.

Michael Bever’s trial has been delayed a number of times, but it looks like it’s finally set to start on April 16th. Unlike his brother, since he was a juvenile at the time of the crime, Michael Bever is not facing the death penalty. With any luck, he’ll receive the same sentence his brother did.

Death row craigslist killer wants new trial

0
Posted by on April 1, 2018
Death row craigslist killer wants new trial
David Sparre

In 2010, a then 19-year-old David Sparre stabbed 21-year-old Tiara Pool 89 times, killing the Jacksonville, Florida mother after meeting her through craigslist. In 2011, he was convicted of her murder and in 2012 was sentenced to death. In 2015, his death sentence was upheld. Now, Sparre is looking for a new trial on the grounds of ineffective counsel and diminished mental capacity.

What shouldn’t be forgotten about this story is the letter Sparre wrote to his ex-girlfriend after his conviction where he stated he enjoyed killing Tiara, admitted planning the murder for weeks and thought he was smarter than police. Egomania and psychopathy aside, does that sound like someone with a diminished mental capacity to you?

Meanwhile, Tiara’s family, who by all accounts are loving and close-knit, can’t appeal the death sentence David Sparre inflicted unfairly on Tiara just because she answered his craigslist ad.

17-year-old girl shot dead in AL high school earlier this month

0
Posted by on March 31, 2018
17-year-old girl shot dead in AL high school earlier this month
Michael Jerome Barber

Back around the 8th of March, 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington was allegedly shot to death by 17-year-old Michael Jerome Barber at Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama. It was originally thought to be an accidental shooting, however, police have said after reviewing security footage that doesn’t appear to be the case. Barber has been charged with manslaughter and has been released after posting $75,300 bail.

Witnesses say Barber had been robbed at school and that’s why he had the gun. Where Barber obtained the gun from has not yet been made public as far as I know. No motive has been released of yet as well. Barber has been charged as an adult.

Accidental or not, this guy took a gun to a school and reportedly ended the life of a promising young student. The fact that he’s not currently in jail is a travesty.

There hasn’t been much news about this story since the killing took place, but I’ll post updates as they occur and as time allows.

(Sources)
AL.com
Daily Mail
WSB