Mabus goes quiet

Tim Farley’s History of Mabus is terrifically useful, and naturally rather shocking.

But let me assure you, Mabus’ threats go way beyond the norm, both in content and sheer volume.  I talked about the volume above, so let’s see some of the content.

He tells people they are going to die that day or “cease to exist”. He threatens executions. He uses offensive terms starting with “bitch” and getting far worse. He threatens people’s loved ones…He threatens to cut off people’s heads and tells them they are “finished.” He asks people if they think they “deserve to live”. He says he is going to “pound you into the dust” and that you will suffer the “worst form of torture.”

But the Montreal police did nothing.

Phil Plait gave a report to a sheriff by telephone. Michael Shermer told me he obtained a restraining order to ensure Mabus would stay clear of him. Canadian skeptic Steve Thoms and blogger Greg Laden also filed reports. There are no doubt others.

On February 10, 2011 I was finally able to get a copy of my report from yet another Atlanta Police office across town. I quickly took it to a local print shop and faxed it to the Montreal Police.

And nothing happened. For me or for anyone else.

Farley tweeted some journalists, which was the right idea, but he picked the wrong journalists.

Montrealer William Raillant-Clark (@wraillantclark) is a press atttaché for the University of Montreal. He would have been the right journalist, had I found him.

On the morning of August 8 he was monitoring Twitter as part of his job. He noticed this retweet by science writer Carl Zimmer…

And the rest is history. Then there was that petition…

Meanwhile, the retweets of the Tumblr post were working their magic. At some point on Tuesday, they caught the eye of Kyle VanderBeek, a skeptic who works for in San Francisco.

Kyle saw those tweets with the emails in them, and knew he had a potential tool right at his fingertips. He created a petition titled “Montreal Police: Take “Mabus” death threats seriously” and configured it to send responses directly to the SPVM public email address (which we saw above).

Yup. I linked to it here (and signed it of course). Some of you will have signed it. And it worked. Yes, Virginia, petitions actually work (some do). Whaddya know.

Best case scenario: Markuze has a Thing askew inside his head, which can be fixed with a little tug and pull and suture. He is released to live a sane and happy life, volunteering for the local CFI by way of reparations.

Update: apparently I didn’t link to it here; at least I can’t find it, so I must not have. I suppose I posted it at Facebook and Twitter and meant to post it here but forgot. Bad priorities. First duty is here.

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