In 2011, the notorious death-threat-spewing, non-sensical-phrasing, email/Twitter spammer Dennis Markuze (a.k.a. David Mabus) was finally arrested. (Skeptic Tim Farley brilliantly documented all the drama.)
Markuze pled guilty to making the threats, spent months in drug/alcohol rehab, and received a suspended sentence of 18 months, during which he had to refrain from “participating in a social network, blog and discussion forum.”
And then, in November of 2012, Mabus was arrested again for violating those terms.
Last May, the 43-year-old once again pled guilty in a Montreal courthouse, with his lawyer attributing his behavior to drug and alcohol abuse, adding that Markuze was also being treated for delusional disorder. It didn’t help that when Markuze was arrested, he told the officer, “You bitch. The same thing will happen to you like what happened to the [World Trade Center] twin towers in 9/11.”
His sentencing took place earlier this year and the Montreal Gazette said that Markuze no longer believed he was guilty of the crimes he admitted to in the past:
Outside the courtroom [Markuze] tells a different story. He disputes most of the details contained in the summary, especially the quote about the World Trade Center. And since pleading guilty in May he has insisted, twice, to a Montreal Gazette reporter that his rights, as outlined in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, were violated by the court order to abstain from posting on social networks. During a break in his most recent hearing, in November, Markuze handed a Montreal Gazette reporter a document, which he referred to as an affidavit that, he said, tells his side of the story.
“The charges laid on me are based on hearsay and conjecture. I am being charged for my controversial ideas, not for any offence,” Markuze wrote. “The condition to not debate on forums is a direct violation of my fundamental human rights. This condition must be removed. I’m a writer who engages in debate with the power of words, not force of arms.”
Of course, anyone who’s received his words (I’m one of them) knows that they’re just full of gibberish. There’s no argument. There’s barely a coherent thought.
Farley didn’t believe the denial, either:
“Once you’ve got 20 or 30 or 40 of his emails, you recognize the pattern of them. There is a cadence to it,” said Farley, a computer security expert based in Atlanta, Ga. “Quite frankly if he were to go set up a blog and post his stuff on his own blog and have a twitter account to publicize it, a lot of skeptics would go read it. The thing that annoys us about it is that he is not content to post on his own site.”
Yesterday, Markuze was sentenced to three years of psychiatric treatment:
Markuze’s suspended sentence includes three years of probation during which he is required to follow treatment with [psychiatrist Trent] Semeniuk and to take any medication prescribed to him. He is also forbidden to communicate with Farley through the Internet, Twitter or other forms of social media. He is also not allowed to communicate with anyone who is part of the same educational forum as Farley.
Once again, I hope Markuze gets the help he so desperately needs. We’re all fortunate that his M.O. seems to be online harassment and nothing worse, but you never know when things may get worse. Maybe with some professional help, he’s emerge less likely to pose a threat to writers he disagrees with.
(Large portions of this article were posted earlier)