"Mabus" charged with two counts of making death threats
Published Friday, August 19, 2011 7:15AM EDT
MONTREAL - A man charged with two counts of uttering death threats, but whose critics say made hundreds of such threats every day for years, is scheduled to appear in a Montreal courtroom Friday for a bail hearing.
He uses the nickname Mabus, but his real name is Dennis Markuze.
He's suspected of spilling his hatred on the Internet for the past 20 years, targeting scientists whose views conflicted with his Christian beliefs.
To an author who debunked religious creationist views of the world, Mabus wrote: "You are going to learn even to talk about God the way you do is going to cost you your lives…"
The picture above was snapped when Markuze appeared unannounced at a convention of atheists. His online response was, "actually it is quite a flattering photo of me: with finger cocked and pointing, I say "and I gotta take out these idiots!" Bang!"
The online and scientific community he targeted became upset that Montreal police never investigated the threats allegedly coming from someone in their jurisdiction.
Last week, Montreal blogger William Raillant-Clark began writing about Mabus and his online threat campaign.
"It's a really serious issue, because it's important to me that scientists can speak freely about their work," Raillant-Clark said.
Sure enough, Mabus responded with what Raillant-Clark claims were death threats.
"If you receive a personal email, which means the person went to look it up, and it says, ‘We'll cut your head off,' there's obviously some concern there," he said. "That is why I went to police and filed a complaint."
There was also an online petition begun last week by Kyle VanderBeek, a San Francisco man, which was signed by over 5,000 people. Each signature resulted in an e-mail to Montreal police, prompting police to publicly announce it has begun an investigation and pleading for the e-mails to stop.
Dennis Markuze was arrested Tuesday and has been charged with two counts of making death threats. Tracking him was easy, according to experts.
"If you post a comment on a web forum, most likely whoever runs that site knows where you're writing from and has your I.P. address," said technology columnist Elias Makos.