PZ Myers Death Threat Confession

Charles Kroll is the presumed husband of “Melanie,” the person who’s work email account was used to send PZ Myers a very nasty death threat. This is the death threat:

You have two choices my fucked up friend, first you can quit your job for the good of the children. Or you can get your brains beat in.

The threat was issued via an email account from a florist that you’ve likely used if you’ve sent flowers more than a few times.

Well, a person I assume to be Mr. Melanie sent me an email this morning.


In it he takes responsibility for having written the email and explains that it is a shame that Melanie has had to take the rap for this. He does not mention what has happened to her as a result of his indiscretion in any detail, but in a follow up email he indicates that she was fired. While Chuck seems truly remorseful for having sent such a “moronic” email, he is not at all remorseful for Melanie being fired … he is simply angry at those who sent emails etc. to Flowers. He does not see his own responsibility in this matter at all.

Message to chuck: What would you do if Melanie received an email threatening to beat her head in? Would you not contact the sender? Seriously now. You brought this on your family entirely with your own actions. Own it, man. I personally feel badly that your anger got Melanie fired, and I hope she gets her job back. In fact, I’m sending 1-800-flowers an email saying as much. But Chuck, you need to change.

He provides a garbled explanation for how the email he wrote got sent from this particular account. Basically, I think this is just a case of people being sloppy (as they always are) with their use of email accounts. (Work vs. home, etc). In this case, the person with the work email works out of her home, which of course futher complicates things. In my view, the reaction to that sort of thing should NOT be to suddenly get anal about using email accounts. I do not need this added aggravation and neither do you.

But there is a lesson here: Don’t mix up email accounts between individuals! One person committed a federal crime with his wife’s email account, and rumors are that she lost her job. He’s blaming PZ and all the people who complained to Flowers. I blame him. And I would imagine the missus is rather pissed.

He also noted that PZ Myers is biased towards Islam and would never threaten to be mean to an Islamic artifact. Whatever.

Just thought I’d let you know….

Comments

  1. #1 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Further reading.

    Someone named ckroll confesses in the comments of a blog.

  2. #2 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Oh, and apparently Melanie is out of a job.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    That would be chuck.

  4. #4 Matt Penfold
    July 16, 2008

    I wonder how much guidance Melanie’s employer gave her on the best ways of ensuring her work e-mail account was not misused by someone else in the house.

    I have separate work and personal e-mail accounts and to ensure I never send an e-mail from wrong account I keep them on different PCs.

  5. #5 J-Dog
    July 16, 2008

    BwaHaHa! What an idiot! Biased towards Islam??!! Please I think that PZ feels exactly the same about the koran as he does about the bible!

  6. #6 Scote
    July 16, 2008

    “ut there is a lesson here: Don’t mix up email accounts between individuals!”

    Er, or don’t send death threats :)

  7. #7 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Scote:

    Er, or don’t send death threats :)

    Well, yeah, there is that, too.

    :)

  8. #8 The Krolls
    July 16, 2008

    I am sure that Chuck feels horrible for what has happened here.I think him taking the action he has tells enough. How can anyone assume how the family is feeling? Regardless of the content of the email, mistakes do happen and this clearly was an expensive error. I feel for them and their children. I can’t believe that for one the email sent to a personal email was posted for all with email addresses nonetheless knowing that they would be harassed and that everyone posted behaved in the manner they did. I think Melanie should take some action here not and against her husband. I am shocked and have no position on any religiion.

  9. #9 unicow
    July 16, 2008

    Yeah, PZ would never threaten a Koran. Why can’t any of these people who are so crazy about that idea use a search engine?

    Other lesson to be learned: don’t let your asshole husband use the computer when you’re VPN’d into work. If the email didn’t come from 1800flowers internal network they could easily have claimed it was just a spoofed address.

  10. #10 PattyP
    July 16, 2008

    “ut there is a lesson here: Don’t mix up email accounts between individuals!”

    Er, or don’t send death threats :)

    Posted by: Scote | July 16, 2008 8:44 AM

    Scote:

    Er, or don’t send death threats :)

    Well, yeah, there is that, too.

    :)

    Posted by: JanieBelle | July 16, 2008 8:50 AM

    The third lesson is: If you’re married to someone like Chuck, divorce them immediately.

  11. #11 JThompson
    July 16, 2008

    Yeah, how dare PZ post the emails of people that’re sending him death threats?!
    Those poor people might be harassed over that!

    There’s only one person for the woman to be pissed at: Her husband.
    Death threats are illegal no matter what medium you issue them in.

    Speaking of Muslims and Christians, I wonder what law enforcement would’ve done if he’d desecrated a Muslim holy symbol and Muslims had been doing the threatening.
    Or if it’d been atheists sending the death threats.
    Hint: Being fired would’ve been the least of their concerns.
    Shrieks of anti-xian bias amuse me.

  12. #12 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 16, 2008

    Whether or not it was a mistake that chuck sent the email from her work account, 800-flowers is feeling the blowback in some form. They thinking like a corporation are going to limit their liability (however minor it may be) first. Assuming the IT policy is what most are, it was violated. By accident or not 1-800-Flowers has to show that they are serious about their policies. I mean this was a death threat (whether he was serious or not) and it’s been made into a public spectacle so they have to react.

  13. #13 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    patricia:

    Regardless of the content of the email, mistakes do happen and this clearly was an expensive error.

    Sending death threats is not something I, or any reasonable person over the age of 14, would categorize as a “mistake”.

    I can’t believe that for one the email sent to a personal email was posted for all with email addresses nonetheless knowing that they would be harassed and that everyone posted behaved in the manner they did.

    I can’t believe that for one cracker, people are insane enough to assault a kid and send death threats.

    Methinks your view is a bit askew.

    I think Melanie should take some action here not and against her husband. I am shocked and have no position on any religiion [sic].

    Ignoring the smack of concern trolling, I strongly disagree. She should divorce his psychotic ass immediately for her own safety, and press whatever charges she can. Then she should file a civil suit against him and take whatever he has left from the divorce.

  14. #14 eliza
    July 16, 2008

    If through negligence I’d allowed someone in my household to utilize my work email account to send _anything_ let alone a death threat — I would be fired immediately. And I know this because I read, understood, and respect our network security policies.

    Email accounts : IT departments :: crackers : Catholics.

  15. #15 Toddahhhh
    July 16, 2008

    “I can’t come to bed honey, somebody on the internet is RIGHT!” I’m glad there were repercussions for this idiot.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    Scote: What I meant to say was, “If you are going to send a death threat, don’t use someone else’s email! It is not nice and it causes confustion!”

    But seriously, the Christian way would be to make claims about forgiveness but start a hate campaign against 1-800 flowers, and insist that everyone be thrown in jail, etc.. (Following the Donahue approach). The Islamic way would be for most Muslims to say “we are a peaceful people” and a small number of nut jobs to issue a fatwah.

    The Atheist way would be to institute a mail in campaign to get Melanie her job back with 1-800-FLowers.

    So, has everyone written their letter to 1-800-Flowers? I did th is morning.

  17. #17 Dave Munger
    July 16, 2008

    I think people should stop calling this a death threat. “Getting your brains beat in” is a colloquial expression that means “getting beat up.”

    That said, “chuck” still shouldn’t have threatened PZ in any way.

  18. #18 deathweasel@gmail.com
    July 16, 2008

    Todahhh: I feel sorry for his wife who probably didn’t feel the same way (at least not to the extent to feel like making a death threat).

  19. #19 Ruth
    July 16, 2008

    This all depends on one’s opinion of brain death and when to pull the plug.

  20. #20 ali
    July 16, 2008

    eliz: So, YOU are the one who reads the EULAs!

  21. #21 MissPrism
    July 16, 2008

    Dave Munger – the title of the email was “your short life”. It was fairly clearly meant as a death threat, even if the same words can also “only” mean beating someone up.

  22. #22 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    I’d like to see exactly what Melanie has to say before I go to bat for her, Greg, if for no other reason than context.

    That said, she made a mistake, one that is probably quite common, and I’ll probably write the letter by this afternoon even if I don’t.

  23. #23 unicow
    July 16, 2008

    Greg,

    In what way does it make any sense to start a campaign to get Mrs. Kroll her job back?

    First off, this is still primarly based on internet postings which may or may not be accurate, and almost certainly are biased and incomplete (like pretty much everything on the internet). Not exactly hard facts to base a campaign on. All we actually know for sure is that she was fired, and that someone posted on a blog somewhere claiming to take responsibility.

    Second, Mrs. Kroll was probably fired because she violated a company policy of not using work resources for non-work related matters, giving access of company resources to non-employees, or something of that ilk. All her husband’s actions have done is bring that violation to light in a pretty severe way.

    Now, if she was fired because people incorrectly assume she was the one making the death threat, then I can see defending her. But there’s little point in protesting her being fired for violating a company policy.

    Sure, she may (or may not) be an innocent party in the whole death-threat fiasco. But that doesn’t make a bit of difference if she was fired for allowing company resources to be misused.

    It’s like starting a campaign to defend people who got fired for browsing porn at work.

  24. #24 Spanish Inquisitor
    July 16, 2008

    The Atheist way would be to institute a mail in campaign to get Melanie her job back with 1-800-FLowers.

    Unfortunately, and I’m not being facetious, the atheist way seems to have been the opposite. It’s the atheist write-in campaign that alerted the company to the violation that led to her dismissal.

    Personally, I think the company should have a “one bite rule”. Do it once, get your wrist slapped. Do it twice, get shown the door.

    The lesson should be the one originally intended by PZ Myers: Religious belief seems to foster hypocrisy. Here you have another example, separate from the one about the frackin’ cracker, where a clear believer violates his own catholic beliefs because he feels his religion has been insulted. Religions don’t exist, other than in the minds of believers, and can’t be insulted.

    People do.

  25. #25 Duh
    July 16, 2008

    I have no sympathy for the Krolls. For one thing, a company firing an employee for misuse of the e-mail system is nothing strange. Even if it isn’t something as inflammatory as a death threat. I have worked several telco contracts and I’ll tell you, the practice is standard. Confession – I have lost more than one of those contract jobs in this way… It’s as much a learning experience for her as it is for him. Also, it doesn’t matter how sincere a death threat is when it is made, it is illegal. He should still be prosecuted for what he did. He even admitted to writing it.

  26. #26 Mister Almost
    July 16, 2008

    I have mixed feelings about getting Melanie her job back:

    Around my institution, it would be inexcusable to leave my computer in such a way that an unauthorized person have access to everything I have access to, including my email.

    On the other hand, I guess it’s not her fault this Chuck guy has a short fuse and low intelligence. Do we know if they’re married? It could have been her brother stopping by between strip joints or staying at her place to avoid charging a hotel room.

  27. #27 bug_girl
    July 16, 2008

    There is no way to know who actually sent that email.

    But I do know that someone with access to a company account did not follow network security protocols, and she would have been canned for that here too.

    Threats are not trivial. They have to be taken seriously.

  28. #28 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    unicow,

    It’s like starting a campaign to defend people who got fired for browsing porn at work.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing…

    ;)

    (I’m kidding, of course. Don’t have a unicow. :) )

  29. #29 Steve Fisher
    July 16, 2008

    I hope Mr. Kroll reads these comments because he really needs to read this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/07/desecration_its_a_fun_hobby.php

    WEhere did he get this “bias towards Islam” idea? Think maybe he made it up in his own closed little mind?

  30. #30 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    I like the one bite rule.

    OK, it may be hat Melanie actually wrote the letter, was in cahoots with Chuck, or maybe even IS chuck. However, my suggestion to move on does not presume her innocence. Rather, it presumes that in the future, it will be more useful rhetoric for the anti-atheists to say “and they get people fired” vs. it being useful to say “yes, the same forces that called someone out for a death threat also restored justice of a sort”

    Be Olympian.

    (OH, and in the future, when Chuck says “But dear, remember, how I got your job back when they fired you at the flower place” and Melanie can say “You asshole, it was the ATHEISTS who got my job back…”)

    In addition, as lots of you are saying, yes, we don’t really know. At some point, 1-800 flowers might have to tell us. This is a way of encouraging that (maybe).

  31. #31 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Greg,

    I think you should jump on this if the Skepchicks don’t.

  32. #32 JL
    July 16, 2008

    How do we know if any of this is true?

    Has there been a story in the legitimate press?

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    So we’re going to start a fund to pay PZ to piss on some crackers?

    He would not do that unless it was for charity. Now we just need a charity willing to go along….

  34. #34 ABRAHAM
    July 16, 2008

    Islam, for those how do not know it, is a peaceful religion, and has no relation whatsoever to terrorism act. For those who want to know about Islam, might find these webs of interest to them: http://www.islam-guide.com or http://www.islamalways.com . I ask GOD to let all of us, all the worlds inhabitants live in peace and harmony. Thank you.

  35. #35 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    The monopoly money idea (by Detroitus) is teh awesome.

  36. #36 Halcyon
    July 16, 2008

    Greg,

    You say the Atheist way is to start an email campaign for Melanie to get her job back. But, well, what if I’m not convinced that she *should* get her job back? It seems to me that if her job involves working with her computer from home, part of the qualifications for that job would be a minimum competence with computers of the sort that doesn’t leave a work computer lying around for anyone to access. So, I mean, yes, it is terrible for this woman to have lost her job, but I’m not convinced that I should go to the trouble of trying to help her get it back.

    Obviously, it is terrible that she lost her job. And I feel really sorry for her, especially in the current economy. But you seem to take it as a given that the appropriate response is to try and undo the hardships that she (and he, certainly) brought on themselves. I’m open to the idea, but why is this the best response? I’m not convinced yet.

  37. #37 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Heh, I hadn’t considered the real money for charity idea. I was hung on the monopoly money for Dr. PZ idea.

  38. #38 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    ABRAHAM,

    A noble sentiment, and one which I share (sans the god thing), but I believe that history might not be your friend on this one.

    Just sayin’.

  39. #39 Jim Lippard
    July 16, 2008

    An employee who allows her partner to access work resources at all, let alone use them to send death threats, should be fired.

    I disagree that Melanie Kroll deserves to get her job back. She no doubt signed an employee agreement and is presented daily with a notice of acceptable use that she violated by allowing her husband to engage in this abusive and illegal action.

    There’s no way the company would or should be willing to take on the liability risk of allowing her to return to her job after this.

  40. #40 E in MD
    July 16, 2008

    Translation for the idiot impared:

    Waaaah! I was a dick and got my wife fired! Waaaaaah!

    Well I can’t possibly be at fault! Making death threats it just a joke. Ha ha. See? Funny! Just like Ann Coulter!

    It must be the fault of teh libruls! Evil libruls no like crackers!

  41. #41 MH
    July 16, 2008

    Just read Chuck’s apology. More of a notpology (in the style of William Dembski), if you ask me. If he had been truly sorry for writing what he did, he would have emailed PZ straight away, and asked for his forgiveness. The fact that he waited until his wife got fired suggests that he’s only sorry he got caught.

    I’d suggest that she divorce the dangerously agressive looser, but if they are ‘good Catholics’, She’s probably stuck with him.

    Finally, I’d love to be a fly-on-the-wall at Chuck’s next confession.

  42. #42 Steve Caldwell
    July 16, 2008

    Greg Laden wrote:
    -snip-

    “The Atheist way would be to institute a mail in campaign to get Melanie her job back with 1-800-Flowers.

    So, has everyone written their letter to 1-800-Flowers? I did this morning.”

    Greg — I emailed the HR department and PR department using email contacts listed on their web site.

    I also used on the web site form to send an email to the company’s board of directors. You can use this link to contact the board:

    http://investor.1800flowers.com/contactBoard.cfm

    Thanks,
    Steve

  43. #43 Kim
    July 16, 2008

    E-mail send.

  44. #44 Paul Hutch
    July 16, 2008

    A very important point from an IT perspective is that this was not just an email. This was a VPN connection that was left in a state at her home that unauthorized users could access the internal corporate network. To those not familiar with VPN it makes the remote computer be virtually like it is contained within the companies network.

    It is quite possible that the VPN connection could give complete access to customer financial and personal records. Even if there were other security layers to prevent access to critical privacy information, it still defeated an important security layer. 1-800Flowers is a publicly traded company so no matter how much they may want to give Melanie a break they probably can’t due to regulations.

    If her husband had simply web surfed to a site and contracted a virus/trojan/etc. the malware could pass through the open VPN connection and infect the internal network.

    If this had been a POP/IMAP/etc. non-VPN connected email access they could give her a break because without the VPN there is far less potential danger to the internal network that contains private data.

    I will not ask 1-800Flowers to re-instate Melanie because this is a severe security breach at a public company that could have led to loss of customer information to identity thieves.

  45. #45 Warren
    July 16, 2008

    The Atheist way would be to institute a mail in campaign to get Melanie her job back with 1-800-FLowers.

    I’ll have to side with those who respectfully disagree. Apparently Ms. Kroll was working from home, which suggests a great deal of importance placed on network and network integrity, including proper management of computer login and email accounts. Irresponsibility on that front alone would probably be grounds for dismissal.

    That said, I doubt many seasoned net users have never been in flame wars, wherein language can get very savage, and apparent threats tossed around as readily as handshakes at an Amway distributors’ convention.

    It’s certainly worthwhile to pursue apparent threats and follow up with the possibility of law-enforcement intervention, but there’s also such a thing as being intemperate with stones in one’s own glass house.

    In other words, we might want to ease off a little on the general tone of righteous indignation about foolish utterances. Is it really sensible to suggest ending a marriage over something stupid one’s spouse sent in an email or posted online? How many of us would, were that advice followed to its entirety, suddenly find ourselves living alone?

    Finally, I don’t believe it’s in anyone’s interest to try to tell others what an “atheist” response should be, as atheists in general tend to reject preachers of any denomination. Including no denomination.

    My own atheist way, for instance, is to let Mr. and Mrs. Kroll decide for themselves how to handle this disruption in their lives, and hope that they’ll accept some responsibility for their actions, and learn from their mistakes, but I wouldn’t expect others to fall in line with that point of view.

  46. #46 Mark B.
    July 16, 2008

    I am sure that Chuck feels horrible for what has happened here.

    From what I have read, it seems that he feels horrible for his role in getting his wife fired. There’s no evidence that he regrets sending the death threat, just that he considers it a ‘mistake’ that he used his wife’s work email address to do it. The big mistake was making the threat in the first place.

    It’s too bad that it blew back on his wife instead of him personally, but hopefully something good will come from this and Melanie will get away from this abusive and evil man. I mean, maybe Chuckie will reconsider his actions and reform himself, but it doesn’t appear to be in the cards, given his complete lack or remorse for making the threats in the first place.

  47. #47 ffakr
    July 16, 2008

    There is no way to know who actually sent that email.
    But I do know that someone with access to a company account did not follow network security protocols, and she would have been canned for that here too.
    Threats are not trivial. They have to be taken seriously.

    Yes, there is a way to prove who actually sent that email. It was sent from an exchange server and it had a unique message ID. I have no doubt that,
    a) 1-800-flowers has auditing in place and
    b) the gorilla who sent the email from his wife’s account didn’t delete it from her outbox.. which would exists on the exchange server.

    This could have been a forged mail header.. except that it had unique traceable information in the header. He might as well sent her public encryption key with it.

  48. #48 Michelle
    July 16, 2008

    I’m with Warren. While I think she married a twat and that I would ditch him, I’m not her and she’s a grown woman. She can do whatever she wants with her life.

    HOWEVER! HER account was used to send the death threats. An employee’s account is HER responsibility. If she was not responsible enough to put some security on her computer (could be as simple as telling the computer to forget the password to the said account her telling her husband to keeps her hands off.), it is her fault for getting fired.

    I feel for her but I’m certainly not gonna go and tell 1800flowers to hire her back. It would be a bad idea to hire her back.

  49. #49 Michelle
    July 16, 2008

    “..forget the password to the said account her telling her husband to keeps her hands off.”

    …to the said account OR telling her husband… I’m sorry, bad type day.

  50. #50 sailor
    July 16, 2008

    We all do really really idiotic things occasionally. What Chuck did was nuts. It is also sad that he cannot seem to take responsibiltiy for his actions, and instead blames other players, and clearly harbors a lot of anger in his heart. He needs therapy, but probably cannot afford it. For both of them this is a time of choice. I feel sorry for them all (if everything is true, there are three kids too).
    I rather doubt anything anyone writes will get Melanie her job back. I do wonder whether she was given proper training in protecting the company computer system. If she was, then she also did something dumb, though not as mind-bogglingly dumb as Chuck. If not then the company should review their training and give her another chance. But companies, like people often don’t take responisibility for their failings.

  51. #51 The Krolls
    July 16, 2008

    First off, it is amazing at all the speculation out there. Number one, i will not be leaving my husband due to this mistake. Number two he is not a crazy lunatic, but a very passionate man when it comes to his party and his religion. He’s a great person, great father and yes feels absolutely horrible about what has happened to me. As his wife, am i worried about any threats.. no i am not as i know it was just a rage via email. Did he directly threaten anyones life, no he did not. In any case, the tone and text of the email was not appropriate and he did send an email apology to PZ. For the record and i do not owe anyone anything.. i was on vacation until 7/14, i was called on friday evening and informed that some work was due and the deadline was monday morning. I was also apologized to for being asked to work during my vacation of which i take far and few between. I came in during my vacation as a courtesy to my flowers team. I use my own personal pc for work and yes I do work from home as a sales and service manager. I am extremely careful with my applications and have been a valued ( thought i was) employee for 7 years. Once i completed what i needed to do, i logged off ALL applications. My email is password protected, my RSA log in is password protected as well as my VPN and NO ONE has my complex passwords. My husband went on to the drudge report site that he reads and clicked on a link and came across that man pz’s notice and responded as he always does when he is upset. Was his text extreme yes it was, would he follow through, never. I want to clear the air and tried to with my company. I was not logged into work when this happened and somehow when i logged off my exchange server email i use i set it as my default (must have clicked on yes as it does ask upon sigh in). So when my husband click on the email address to respond to the newsletter it was coming from flowers email. I am not sure how as i was not connected to VPN but that is neither here nor there and something i will take up with them. My personal email(optonline) has always been my default. No excuses here folks, this is what went down. I have nothing to hide and no reason or desire to note these blogs. If i hadn’t been the dedicated employee i was i would have said “heck no, im not working on my vacation” but i am not the type and felt it my duty to make sure my annual reviews were in time for my team members to receive their annual raises. As for 1-800-Flowers, they are a wonderful company and have always been good to me and my family. They do offer a great service and i sure hope you utilitze them or continue to do so if you are a current customer. On that note, you have no way of knowing if this is me or not, but i can assure you it is. Everyone has their opinions but the things that have been posted about my company and myself are herrendous and quite frankly is making me physically ill. Please enough with the harsh comments about me, my husband and my former employer.

  52. #52 Valhar2000
    July 16, 2008

    I also disagree with Greg. If the company fired her for violating thier policies on the use of company resources (which seems likely), they have every right to do so.

    I regret that it has happened, that she has lost her job over the actions of the petty, despicable and disgusting man that is her husband, and I advise her to divoerce him and never look back, but the company is well within its rights to do what it has done.

    It would be hypocritical of me to ask people to respect my rights, and the rights of those who agree with me, and then turn around and ask to rescind the same rights of those who disagree with me.

  53. #53 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    It is hard to say what an “atheist approach” would really be because atheists are just as diverse as any other group. But all the atheists I know personally, are not particularly mean spirited. I just want to see the not-mean spirited thing done, when it comes down to it.

    Jim, others, no, I totally reject the idea that messing up with your computer is automatically a reason to lose your job. From an employers perspective, firing someone is about the worst thing you can do to someone short of a law suit.

    But we don’t actually know the situation here in any detail, of course.

  54. #54 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    OH, MK, welcome to the blog, and thanks for commenting! I’m reading your comment now.

  55. #55 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    I can verify that the person who claims to be mk is writing in from New York State on an IP that also sent this comment a few hours ago:

    I am sure that Chuck feels horrible for what has happened here.I think him taking the action he has tells enough. How can anyone assume how the family is feeling? Regardless of the content of the email, mistakes do happen and this clearly was an expensive error. I feel for them and their children. I can’t believe that for one the email sent to a personal email was posted for all with email addresses nonetheless knowing that they would be harassed and that everyone posted behaved in the manner they did. I think Melanie should take some action here not and against her husband. I am shocked and have no position on any religiion.

    I also think that the clear bad guy here is Microsoft!!! Am I right???

  56. #56 Mark B.
    July 16, 2008

    I can verify that the person who claims to be mk is writing in from New York State on an IP that also sent this comment a few hours ago

    So, either someone is making fake posts under M. Kroll’s name, or M. Kroll made both a real post and a sockpuppet post on your blog? Is that what you’re saying.

    I suppose there’s another possibility or two. The sockpuppet post could have been her husband. Sprezzatura!!

  57. #57 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    …which leaves the question hanging –

    Who is patricia?

  58. #58 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Mark, it could also be something less nefarious.

    Perhaps Melanie and Chuck have a daughter named patricia.

  59. #59 pough
    July 16, 2008

    IP means little. Everyone at my workplace has the same IP to the outside world. One comment has capitalization and the other doesn’t.

  60. #60 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    pough,

    Also, a home router would produce the same effect.

  61. #61 Adrienne
    July 16, 2008

    Or maybe Melanie showed a friend this blog from her home computer, and the friend posted the comment.

    If this is the real Melanie Kroll, I am very sorry for what happened to you.

  62. #62 Scote
    July 16, 2008

    mk wrote:

    “Did he directly threaten anyones life, no he did not. “

    Well, actually he did:

    “You have two choices my fucked up friend, first you can quit your job for the good of the children. Or you can get your brains beat in.”

    mk wrote:

    “My personal email(optonline) has always been my default. No excuses here folks, this is what went down. “

    By which you mean your husband is supposed to send all his death threats through your **personal** email and not your work email. Ah, well then, that makes everything better.

    I especially like the way you blame the routing of your husband’s death threat email on your virtuous work ethic, claiming it could only have happened because you selflessly worked on a day off and that’s the only way your email accounts could have gotten “switched” (if, indeed, that’s the case.) You are as full of excuses as your husband, even as you say you are not.

  63. #63 Vaal
    July 16, 2008

    Melanie, I am very sorry to hear you lost your job due to the crass and juvenile actions of your husband. I honestly hope PZ can intercede to get your job back, as it is self evident he did not want this to happen and has shown remorse about it, unlike the acerbic and criminally stupid Bill Donohue’s deliberate witch hunt to get PZ fired for speaking his mind.

    Self righteous dangerous imbeciles like Donohue should be confronted every time, and any form of religious intimidation by “offended” Theists should be vigorously challenged . The enlightenment was far too hard won, for us to give away essential freedoms of speech in the name of political correctness and aggressive religious censorship.

  64. #64 Stark
    July 16, 2008

    I happen to work in IT for a largisgh organization. I also happen to know, as many of us IT pukes do, many other admins in many other organizations. Policies are fairly uniform across industry – misuses of compmany systems, e-mail included, CAN be ground for dismissal. Not WILL be. Incidents, which have to be fairly egregious to even get noticed, are evaluated on a case by case basis in every organization that I know of. The usual answer is a reprimand with it being made clear that further violations will result in harsher action – and a continued follow-up on the account auditing to make sure the message made it home. So, in most cases, the “one bite” idea is actually how things go.

    There are 2 issues here – one is the misuse of e-mail, which typically would not even be noticed, but is indeed a violation of policy. The second, far more serious issue, is the nature of the message sent. It was , in fact, a federal crime. This is almost certainly why the response was harsher. It doesn’t really matter if she wrote the message or not. It came form 1-800’s server, via a legitimate account – there is liability there.

    Now, after having read Melanie’s message above… the ONLY way the message could have come from the 1-800 account would be if her VPN was either already active or configured to auto-connect. Either way, a mistake was made and policy was almost certainly violated. I do feel for Melanie having lost her job but I also understand why she did and cannot find fault with the company for terminating her employment.

    This does all come down to Mr. Kroll. The message should NEVER have been sent in the first place. Threats of violence, whether they are intended to be followed up on or not, are not acceptable adult behaviour. Never have been. This is why we have laws against them. Mr. Kroll’s inclusion of a timetable in the threat (end of the month)only serves to exacerbate the issue since it makes the threat much more credible. Had Mr. Kroll been forced to sit down and write an actual letter, on paper, put a stamp on it and mail it I doubt it would have occured. Good sense would probably (I hope) set in about the time you got to folding the letter into the envelope and cancelled the whole idea. Unfortunatley for Mr. Kroll he seems to have some impulse control issues and e-mail is a very immediate method of communication – often faster than it takes to properly consider your actions so he and his wife find themselves in this unenviable situation – completely due to his own actions.

    Mr. Kroll, a bit of advice I hope you take, keep a pad of paper next to the PC. Next time something pisses you off and you feel the need to respond do so on the paper. Then give it 20 minutes. Re-read what you have written and THEN decide if it is appropraite to send. You’ll probably save yourself quite a bit of heartburn this way.

  65. #65 Endor
    July 16, 2008

    ” But Chuck, you need to change. ”

    He needs a therapist. Post haste. And I hope Ms. Kroll gets a good divorce lawyer.

  66. #66 kiri
    July 16, 2008

    Ah, the line has thickened. I am inclined to think the mk post is genuine. It shows the same rambling, inarticulate verbiage that ckroll posted in his “apologetics”. Birds of a feather…

    If this is her normal writing style, she would never have worked for me. No paragraphs, poor spelling and grammar, poor communication skills…a dreadful way to ‘represent’ your company to customers.

    Perhaps Flowers knew this and were only looking for a good excuse for firing her.

    The other post from the “same”IP address? Very curious–the style is totally different. It takes a very skilled person to be able to mimic styles effectively, and neither ckroll or mkroll seem likely to be in that category.

    The play for sympathy is noted.

  67. #67 Zeno
    July 16, 2008

    One might point out that Mr. Kroll’s message to PZ carried the title “your short life”. I’m sure this proves it wasn’t a death threat at all, right? And “get your brains beat in” doesn’t imply lethal assault, does it?

    Folks who lose their temper would be well advised not to try to explain away their behavior while in the throes of wrath. Apologize abjectly and try not to do it again. Melanie Kroll does not seem to be the jerk her “very passionate” husband is. I feel a little sorry for her. Not for him. He issued a death threat and deserves whatever is coming to him. She, on the other hand, is collateral damage.

    I had my own e-mail flame war, complete with threats of violence, a year ago. It’s charming to receive a string of f-word laden messages telling you to be more polite.

  68. #68 Virgil Samms
    July 16, 2008

    Number two he is not a crazy lunatic, but a very passionate man when it comes to his party and his religion.

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand the distinction you are trying to make. Are you saying your husband is only a crazy lunatic when it comes to politics and religion? This would play right into the hands of the “New Atheists,” who point out the bad aspects of religion. Religion gives a license to lunacy. And this is a bad thing, which should be stopped.

  69. #69 Jordan Lund
    July 16, 2008

    Dear Melanie:

    “Number two he is not a crazy lunatic, but a very passionate man when it comes to his party and his religion.”

    There’s a difference between being passionate and threatening to bash someones brains in.

    “Did he directly threaten anyones life, no he did not.”

    Let me ask you this… if I said you have one month to quit your job or I’d hunt you down and bash your brains in, would you consider that a threat to your life? That’s what your husband did.

    “In any case, the tone and text of the email was not appropriate and he did send an email apology to PZ.”

    AFTER he got caught.

    “I am not sure how as i was not connected to VPN but that is neither here nor there and something i will take up with them.”

    If this were true then the e-mail header would not have shown it was coming from 1-800-FLOWERS and it would not have had your disclaimer signature block at the bottom.

    YOU WERE LOGGED ON TO THE VPN WHEN THE MESSAGE WAS SENT.

    In the end your message is a lot like your husband’s “apology”. A bunch of excuses, a total lack of responsibility and absolutely zero remorse.

    You know what? I’m GLAD you got fired. This attempted explanation shows you haven’t learned a thing.

  70. #70 karen
    July 16, 2008

    Melanie
    Contact Bill Donahue. Perhaps he can get you an even better paying job. Maybe in Communion Wafer sales.

  71. #71 Scote
    July 16, 2008

    “Had Mr. Kroll been forced to sit down and write an actual letter, on paper, put a stamp on it and mail it I doubt it would have occured. Good sense would probably (I hope) set in about the time you got to folding the letter into the envelope and cancelled the whole idea.”

    Well, you’d think. However, Mr. Kroll’s follow up post where he continued to bash PZ, showed no contrition and essentially repeated the threat shows that time does not make him more rational.

  72. #72 Aquaria
    July 16, 2008

    Apparently, “bash your brains in” means one thing to us, and something completely different to the Krolls.

  73. #73 Epinephrine
    July 16, 2008

    A few posters have found previous examples of Chuck Kroll threatening people online, and posted links from the Pharyngula blog. Not the first time Mr. Kroll has threatened to kill someone online, assuming that it’s the same one.

    “I’m coming after you. And I’m putting it in writing, I don’t care. God help your fagot communist ass if something happens to even one of those brave kids. I know where you work, it can’t be that hard to find someone as ugly as you…You had better pray (opps sorry bad word for you darwinist’s)that nothing happens to even one of those kids on our ships or I will take you out myself, and stand over your body to the police arrive. No jury in this nation would convict me I’m sure. You Bastard.

    Yours,

    Chuck kroll
    huntington bay ny”

  74. #74 unicow
    July 16, 2008

    Epinephrine,

    That’s hardly surprising. Just look at mk’s comment above (my bold)

    My husband went on to the drudge report site that he reads and clicked on a link and came across that man pz’s notice and responded as he always does when he is upset.

    The guy’s got serious problems, and yet his wife presents the above as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. Something’s rotten in this family.

  75. #75 Stark
    July 16, 2008

    Scote,

    Point well taken. Ah well, I always was a bit of an optimist about people.

  76. #76 iwdw
    July 16, 2008

    The guy’s got serious problems, and yet his wife presents the above as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. Something’s rotten in this family.

    Alot of people with abusive spouses and parents have so normalized the abuse that they have no conception that things could be any different. Daddy gets mad reading something on the interweb so he sends death threats (a felony) and gets mommy fired? Oh, that’s just the way men are. Everyone has to put up with that.

    I have no problems believing that the above post is genuine. It often takes alot to get abused spouses to recognize emotional abuse.

  77. #77 Norman Doering
    July 16, 2008

    Death threats are always serious, and can never be justified or made in jest. Abusing a cracker can be seen as a joke or political comment.

    Also, taking anything in the Drudge Report at face value is a sure sign of mental incompetence. So, you can’t say the guy was in his right mind.

  78. #78 chgo_liz
    July 16, 2008

    The only way this is going to get resolved is if Mr. Cook publicly apologizes for being violently attacked in church during mass by a church official, and Dr. Myers publicly apologizes for receiving multiple threats of violence and death for showing support to Mr. Cook on his private blog.

    It’s always the victims’ fault.

  79. #79 chgo_liz
    July 16, 2008

    The only way this is going to get resolved is if Mr. Cook publicly apologizes for being violently attacked in church during mass by a church official, and Dr. Myers publicly apologizes for receiving multiple threats of violence and death for showing support to Mr. Cook on his private blog.

    It’s always the victims’ fault.

  80. #80 danielle
    July 16, 2008

    Neither Melanie nor Chuck Kroll have shown any remorse for the content of the email sent from her account. As a previous poster noted, they have written line after line of excuses and no apology to PZ Myers. They are only sorry that the email was mistakenly sent from her work account.
    They may call themselves Christians, but they are not good people. They are not decent people. They have proven that with their own actions.

  81. #81 chigurh
    July 16, 2008

    “Did he directly threaten anyones life, no he did not.”

    Your former employer disagrees.

  82. #82 Norman Doering
    July 16, 2008

    chgo_liz wrote:

    It’s always the victims’ fault.

    Wait, doesn’t that mean we have to blame that poor abused cracker that was kidnapped by the college kid and threatened by PZ?

    Yes, let us punish the cracker! It’s that damn cracker’s fault.

  83. #83 Aliecat
    July 16, 2008

    “Did he directly threaten anyones life, no he did not.”

    As stated before, his actual intention is irrelavent. Threats against another person’s life are illegal and fall under making terroristic threats against another person. I have personally seen people arrested for this charge, notably men being arrested for domestic abuse. I also suggest that if her husband is incapable of reading anything online without filling with rage he should either stay off the damn internet or go to counseling.

  84. #84 pacoyogi
    July 16, 2008

    Dear Melanie,

    You are married to a man who used the word ‘cunt’ in a public diatribe. No doubt, since he is so loyal to his party (as you claim) he has used that word to you–much like John McCain calling Cindy that.

    Have some self-respect, woman. If not for yourself, then for your kids.

  85. #85 David N
    July 16, 2008

    Apparently, “bash your brains in” means one thing to us, and something completely different to the Krolls. — Aquaria

    Fairly obvious possible reason for that.

  86. #86 sue
    July 16, 2008

    No doubt, since he is so loyal to his party (as you claim) he has used that word to you–much like John McCain calling Cindy that.

    Did she (or he) say what party he was loyal to?

  87. #87 mr_subjunctive
    July 16, 2008

    I just want to go on record as believing that “mk” is Chuck pretending to be Melanie. It’s the same defensiveness, the same random capitalization, and I frankly have some difficulty believing that Melanie is going to be all that interested in going on line to read what everybody’s saying about her.

  88. #88 Stephanie Z
    July 16, 2008

    “God help your fagot[sic] communist ass…”

    Yeah, Sue, I think he did.

  89. #89 pacoyogi
    July 16, 2008

    Sue,

    Are you trying to be cute? FAIL.

  90. #90 Quidam
    July 16, 2008

    Thsis isn’t the first time Chuck has made explicit death threats:

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601009_bushs_nuclear_apocalypse/#28244

    By chuck kroll, October 11, 2006 at 6:54 am

    listen real close you moron, One I doubt you know the secrete troop movements of the United States Navy, and If you do, and wrote about them it is a felony. And Just so you know, my little brother is on one of the ships you wrote about. If anything happens to one of those kids, I�m coming after you. And I�m putting it in writing, I don�t care. God help your fagot communist ass if something happens to even one of those brave kids. I know where you work, it can�t be that hard to find someone as ugly as you. What kind of people are you? It is almost unimaginable that an American would seek to harm his own nation, with the bullshit you call writing, that is ment only to provide aid and comfort to the enemy. Well, I guess I�m one of the few people who remember sept 11, 2001. And how meek and mouse like all you socialist, communist, liberal, progressive (whatever name your calling yourselves these days)were back then. Not a peep out of you. You knew that the real America was awake listening, paying attention, and it was far to dangerous for you to be spouting out your anti American reteroic. Well I got news for you buddy, if any of those ships are attacked and sunk, you and your ilk had better think about a move to France, or maybe North Korea. Again I know your slow so I will say it again. You had better pray (opps sorry bad word for you darwinist�s)that nothing happens to even one of those kids on our ships or I will take you out myself, and stand over your body to the police arrive. No jury in this nation would convict me I�m sure. You Bastard.

    Yours,

    Chuck kroll

    ————-
    I doubt anyone who knows him well could be unaware of his ‘passion’ i.e. violent temper.

  91. #91 Kate
    July 16, 2008

    Melanie,

    It seems that both yourself and your husband lack the basic understanding that you are the only ones to blame for your misfortune. You violated your company’s security policies, which is why you were fired. No one but yourself and you husband are to blame. Both of you appear to have a lot of growing up to do. You need to learn that adults are responsible for their actions, and you do not get a free pass just because you think you deserve one.

    I know that the company where I work would have fired you immediately, then contacted the proper authorities over the matter of the death threat. Perhaps you have led a sheltered life, and have never been in the position of having to be responsible for your own actions, but again, that is no one’s fault but your own. You are usually required to sign many agreements when you are employed, both of confidentiality and those pertaining to proper use of company resources. You have broken both, and do not deserve your job because of this.

    Until the day that you and your husband learn how to behave in proper, polite society, you will be faced with many such “difficulties”, though I hope you have learned a very important lesson: Your religion does not give you the right to violate contractual agreements in the secular world, nor does it allow you to break the law.

    You deserve everything that has occurred, and no amount of whining on your part should, or will change that.

  92. #92 Carlie
    July 16, 2008

    Wow. Melanie, if you’re reading this, please get some counseling NOW. I’m not kidding. See, I get mad at things all the time, but never once have I made a threat of violence while upset. Normal people DON’T DO THAT. They don’t threaten to beat people up, or shorten their lifespans, or anything along those lines. The only people who do that are the ones who are prone to violence, and the only thing keeping them from acting on it is a fear of going to jail. God forbid he ever cross that line, and do it to you. Either you’re just as messed up as he is, or you’re being mentally abused just by virtue of him convincing you this is normal behavior. Chuck, if you’re reading this, you need help, man.

  93. #93 Spanish Inquisitor
    July 16, 2008

    Norman Doering said:

    It’s that damn cracker’s fault.

    So now you want the cracker to apologize? OK. I’ll bite. (pun intended).

    I still think everyone, including the Krolls, are losing focus here. Would ‘Ol Chuckie have gotten so enraged if his religion hadn’t infused him with the belief that the cracker was off limits to even a sly joke, much less an intentional provocation? He has such a high standard of respect for his precious cracker, contrasted with such a low standard of respect for human beings, and it’s his religion, his Catholicism, that causes this.

    He sees red when someone insults his religion and his party. Wanna bet he’s a Rethuglican?

  94. #94 Kaerion
    July 16, 2008

    Did she (or he) say what party he was loyal to?

    Based on the contents of one of his other death threats that was quoted above, namely:

    I’m coming after you. And I’m putting it in writing, I don’t care. God help your fagot communist ass if something happens to even one of those brave kids. I know where you work, it can’t be that hard to find someone as ugly as you…

    I’m more than willing to place a bet on which one it is…

  95. #95 Duae Quartunciae
    July 16, 2008

    One thing that has dismayed me is the number of people who are openly speculating about “divorce” and making hints about abuse.

    This is out of line, in my opinion. All other considerations aside, I’m very pleased to see the family sticking up for each other. Good luck, Krolls. And Charles… stay away from computers until you grow up a bit. Perhaps this will help you do that.

  96. #96 Steve_C
    July 16, 2008

    Yeah it seems like they deserve each other.

  97. #97 300baud
    July 16, 2008

    I disagree; we *should* be *extremely* anal about keeping authentication credentials confidential, especially when those credentials allow people to impersonate you. All she had to do was not click “save password” on a PC she knew was shared. That’s basic hygene, or at least it should be.

  98. #98 Steve_C
    July 16, 2008

    Yeah it seems like they deserve each other.

  99. #99 scote
    July 16, 2008

    //”I just want to go on record as believing that “mk” is Chuck pretending to be Melanie. It’s the same defensiveness, the same random capitalization, and I frankly have some difficulty believing that Melanie is going to be all that interested in going on line to read what everybody’s saying about her.”//

    I’ve been wondering that myself. The voice is awfully similar. I wonder if anyone has heard from Melony in person? One has to worry a bit for her given who her husband is.

  100. #100 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    I have the same question as Sue and I’m very disappointed to see this not an issue of actual discussion. What party? Obviously not Communist. Don’t assume he’s a Republican. He could be Nazi party, he could be Libertarian. Who knows?

  101. #101 BJN
    July 16, 2008

    The lost job is a self-inflicted injury, sad to say.

  102. #102 Scote
    July 16, 2008

    Don’t assume he’s a Republican. He could be Nazi party, he could be Libertarian. Who knows?

    I don’t assume he’s Republican, but I do consider it more likely than not.

  103. #103 craig
    July 16, 2008

    While I feel bad at the idea of a woman getting fired because her husband is a dipshit, it seems to me that this is a pretty clear demonstration of why company email policies exist in the first place. For that reason, it’s not at all unreasonable for a person to be fired.

  104. #104 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Scote:

    Don’t assume he’s a Republican. He could be Nazi party, he could be Libertarian. Who knows?

    I don’t assume he’s Republican, but I do consider it more likely than not.

    I think you missed the joke.

  105. #105 Longtime Lurker
    July 16, 2008

    “My husband went on to the drudge report site that he reads”

    Ah, herein lies the root of the problem.

    “responded as he always does when he is upset”

    Melanie, I pictured Chuck standing over you with his fists balled up as you were typing this. Please, divorce the brute before he clocks you with a skillet because his peas are undercooked.

  106. #106 craig
    July 16, 2008

    Oh and just a thought…

    They could always pray for her job back.

  107. #107 Johnny Coelacanth
    July 16, 2008

    Gosh, Melanie, you sound just as educated and intelligent as your husband does. Any sympathy I had for you pretty much evaporated in the midst of that semi-literate defense of the jerkoff who got you fired from your job. Have a happy marriage; I’m sure the makeup hides the bruises most days, right?

  108. #108 Kenny P
    July 16, 2008

    This reminds me of a commercial for “Hiring the Incompetent” that was on Saturday Night Live in its early years that had Laraine Newman as a fired traffic controller.

    LN as traffic controller: I was working at La Guardia one night when my pilot boyfriend said, “Where am I.” and I said, “Where were you on Saturday night?” Then, he makes a BFD to the FAA and I’m out of a job!

  109. #109 aegis
    July 16, 2008

    “Did he directly threaten anyones life, no he did not”

    Ah, Melanie – the rationalizations of the caught-red-handed. Your husband isn’t wonderful. He’s a bully, and all you do here is enable him. You see, what you’ve done is tried to reassign the meaning of a word, with a recognized meaning – fanatic, which describes your husband in this and in other unearthed postings.

    You then try to equate this with a word that has a more favorable meaning – “passion” – and think that by labeling it in a friendlier fashion to make it appear that your husband didn’t threaten anyone’s life.

    You are, of course, deluding yourself. “Brains Beat IN” does not generally yield positive results for the beaten; the concussive force of a crushed brain has a near 100% mortality rate.

    Thanks for playing. I originally felt sorry for you; now I realize that you are likely as dumb and deluded as your husband, and you deserved what you got. Perhaps you can ask your god for some help; post back when that works out for you.

  110. #110 Christian
    July 16, 2008

    @Greg: Your commenters just assume that the guy is a Republican out of the same reason they assume that he is a Catholic – because in their minds, only Xians and Repubs could possibly be stupid and mean enough to write death threats over a communion wafer.

    Take it from a Computer Scientist (which is what I do for a living): when push comes to shove, “IP evidence” is worth zilch. Here in Germany, a number of people have lost their jobs, their families and their homes due to computer crime related investigations and trials which later turned out to be based on technical SNAFUs. Just recently, a man who was accused of peddeling child porn over the internet was fired, divorced and imprisoned because the police treated a list of IP numbers as “irrefutable evidence – as good as fingerprints”. That was before the provider discovered there had been a little mix-up in their database.

    Now, I am not suggesting that this is the case here. But since the firing already took place and enough commenters here and over at PZ are calling for a divorce as well as for the FBI, I would suggest some caution. I highly doubt that it would advance the atheist cause if that guy ends up hanging himself – especially since he might eventually turn out not to be the person who wrote the letters.

    As for the whole “cracker affair” – my fingers have been itching for hours, but since I doubt that any critical views on this sorry affair would get much applause, I probably will restrain myself, even though all the gloating and boasting about this womans misfortune and the baseless speculations about the violence in her marriage – especially over at PZ – are really hard to bear. Not that I would ever defend the author of a death threat (let alone one that was written because of communion wafers), but I fail to see how most of the self-declared spokespeople for Atheism are acting any better than the Catholics they seem to despise.

  111. #111 Kristine
    July 16, 2008

    Was his text extreme yes it was, would he follow through, never

    Melanie – You make this excuse for your husband’s e-mail to PZ, but he doesn’t even think to apply this to PZ’s statements about a piece of bread? (Although I would take PZ at his word, since he at least is a man of his word.)

    And you see no irony here?

  112. #112 Virgil Samms
    July 16, 2008

    but I fail to see how most of the self-declared spokespeople for Atheism are acting any better than the Catholics they seem to despise.

    Well for starters, I’ve never made a death threat to anyone, over a cracker or for any other reason. I am oh-so-sorry if you don’t consider that to be a superior position. I will adjust my opinion of your judgement accordingly.

  113. #113 Gary Bohn
    July 16, 2008

    I’m pretty sure both Patricia and MK are Chuck. I took a look at the pattern of capitalization in all three posts and it looks like the two posts here were written using a word processor that auto capitalizes only the beginning of sentences and proper nouns. I suspect they where both originally written in the style of Chuck’s original message with random capitalization and corrected by the software.

    The following strange comment made haphazardly in the middle of what should have been a paragraph seems to bear (bare) this out.

    “They do offer a great service and i sure hope you utilitze them or continue to do so if you are a current customer. On that note, you have no way of knowing if this is me or not, but i can assure you it is.”

    Chuck has probably promised his wife that he will get her job back. That would explain the brown-nosing to the company by MK.

  114. #114 Scote
    July 16, 2008

    Posted by: Christian | July 16, 2008 4:32 PM:

    @Greg: Your commenters just assume that the guy is a Republican out of the same reason they assume that he is a Catholic – because in their minds, only Xians and Repubs could possibly be stupid and mean enough to write death threats over a communion wafer.

    Well, that’s one theory. Or it could be because c kroll said:

    “this email…was sent by an angry male catholic
    I know this to be true, since I wrote the original email to this so called teacher.”

    http://breakingspells.wordpress.com/2008/07/13/employee-of-1800flowerscom-issues-death-threats-to-professor/#comment-274

  115. #115 Epinephrine
    July 16, 2008

    Christian quipped

    @Greg: Your commenters just assume that the guy is a Republican out of the same reason they assume that he is a Catholic – because in their minds, only Xians and Repubs could possibly be stupid and mean enough to write death threats over a communion wafer.

    No, it has to do with the views expressed in various Chuck Kroll posts online:

    What’s next field trips to whore houses.

    Let’s wake up New Hampshire, and let’s do what we shoud have done a long time ago, run all these scum bag socialists from our state back to mass where they belong

    And how meek and mouse like all you socialist, communist, liberal, progressive (whatever name your calling yourselves these days)were back then. Not a peep out of you. You knew that the real America was awake listening, paying attention, and it was far to dangerous for you to be spouting out your anti American reteroic.

    I’m somehow guessing he’s not in the liberal camp.

  116. #116 Gary Bohn
    July 16, 2008

    Oops, the following should have been emphasized.

    On that note, you have no way of knowing if this is me or not, but i can assure you it is.”

    If anyone can do a better analysis, let me know if you agree.

  117. #117 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Man, what the hell is with the uptick in concern trolls lately?

    They’re like creobot roaches.

  118. #118 unicow
    July 16, 2008

    Your commenters just assume that the guy is a Republican out of the same reason they assume that he is a Catholic – because in their minds, only Xians and Repubs could possibly be stupid and mean enough to write death threats over a communion wafer.

    That’s just silly.

    I assume he’s a Catholic because they’re the ones who are most emotionally vested in transubstantiation, and most likely to pay attention to the Catholic League. A Buddhist, Hindu, or Zoroastrian probably isn’t going to get upset to the point of making threats, if they even hear about the whole thing.

    I assume the guy is a Republican because he takes what he reads on the Drudge Report seriously, expresses a lot of hate towards gays and “commies,” and generally says the things that I hear other Republicans saying.

    I could of course be wrong on both counts, but the evidence obviously points in a certain direction, and it has nothing to do with being “stupid and mean.” There are stupid, mean people of every religious and political stripe.

  119. #119 Damian
    July 16, 2008

    Christian:

    With all due respect, if you’d bothered to read through the thread at Pharyngula you would know that there is roughly a 50/50 split concerning the fairness of Melanie’s sacking, and the same number have expressed sympathy with her plight. A number of people, including myself, have also emailed the company to suggest that they reconsider.

    If you can’t discriminate between death threats, witch hunts, and people discussing an issue on a blog, then there is little more than I can say, to be honest.

    And by the way, there has been plenty of criticism of the whole incident. Strangely, we tend to argue on blogs about such outrageously offensive behavior as daring to criticize the Dear Leader™, rather than, you know, make death threats. :-)

  120. #120 Stephanie Z
    July 16, 2008

    Christian, you’ve hardly been silent about the cracker, and there have been several blog posts critical of PZ that have gotten positive reactions. Why not share your thoughts in full rather than saying, “I could tell you what I think, but you’d just be mean”?

    As for spokespeople for atheism, the only people I’ve seen saying, “This is how atheists behave,” have been PZ and Greg, and they’ve been telling people to show the world how “Christian” values are done. However, I admit that I haven’t read all the thousands of comments on the subject. If you write up your critical views, you can try to show me what I’m missing.

  121. #121 Jay
    July 16, 2008

    I have always been astonished at the viciousness and pure hatred of loving Christians, but this one wins first prize!

  122. #122 Neural T
    July 16, 2008

    Yeah, he clearly talks about “sending people back to mass” in that quote above. I’d give you 100 to 1 odds that he’s Catholic.

    And as for being Republican, it’s a matter of probability. He could be Libertarian or Nazi Party, but since Libertarians account for <1% of political affiliations, Nazi Party members are at a limit approaching zero, and Republicans are around 30%, the overwhelming likelihood is that he's Republican or some (probably theo-) conservative stripe.

    because in their minds, only Xians and Repubs could possibly be stupid and mean enough to write death threats over a communion wafer.

    That is a juvenile analysis.

  123. #123 Patricia
    July 16, 2008

    Good day all. My name is Patricia, this is my first post here. I am not Mrs. Kroll, nor do I know her. I live in Oregon, not New York.
    The patricia that posted that she has no position on religion is absolutely not me. I am an atheist, and one of PZ’s rowdies.
    Thank you Greg for allowing me to clear up the mild confusion of two patricia/Patricia’s. Twirling back off to squidland. ;)

  124. #124 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Geez people. No one is assuming he’s Catholic. He said so himself and was quoted as saying so by Scote in this very thread.

  125. #125 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    And Quidam posted the whole thing earlier in this very thread.

  126. #126 Neural T
    July 16, 2008

    Plus, Libertarians are usually only fiscally conservative and have great respect for individual liberty in the social sphere. This guy, with his rabid religiosity, and his rants about schools and morality, just smacks of being conservative Republican.

    People keep saying, don’t assume! Don’t assume! That email address could be forged. It could be someone completely unrelated to her. Yadda yadda. Most of the time, it’s easy to call a spade a spade (it’s just the law of averages). These people aren’t that sophisticated.

    I was the person who discovered Melanie Kroll’s name when I emailed her and got the auto-response, and later in that thread I suggested that it could be her husband.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! I was right. And I’ll call another spade a spade. This guy is a conservative Republican wingnut.

  127. #127 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    And furthermore, the quote comes from the link I myself provided in the very first comment on this thread.

  128. #128 Kristine
    July 16, 2008

    I highly doubt that it would advance the atheist cause if that guy ends up hanging himself

    Give me a break, the guy is obviously too much in love with himself. Besides, verbally he has, and continues to, anyway. Too late.

  129. #129 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    Christian: That is why I only gave the raw data. I assume this could be a broader network. But since it is a typical cable type provider, this is probably one home.

    I hope people listen to Christian’s views and understand that he has an interesting perspective to add to the table.

    Yes, I think Chuck is probably a Catholic but he could be any kind of fundamentalist, really. I do not assume he is a republican at all. Dollars to donuts says he’s not a Democrat.

  130. #130 Neural T
    July 16, 2008

    Part of my post above got cut off. It should read:

    And as for being Republican, it’s a matter of probability. He could be Libertarian or Nazi Party, but since Libertarians account for <1% of political affiliations, Nazi Party members are damn well zero, and Republicans are about 30%, there’s an overwhelming probability that he’s Republican or of some conservative stripe.

    Yeah, there are rare cases, but they are, well, rare.

  131. #131 JanieBelle
    July 16, 2008

    Hello? Is this thing on?

    Anyway.

    Any way it gets sliced, I’m worried about Melanie’s physical safety at this point, and honestly don’t give a flying crap about her job.

  132. #132 Aegis
    July 16, 2008

    “I highly doubt that it would advance the atheist cause if that guy ends up hanging himself”

    I highly doubt that it would hurt the “atheist cause” (whatever that is, I missed the memo) either.

    As the other poster mentioned, the two of them are far too convinced of their xian superiority to even consider such an action. Instead, they’ll get mad at those durned atheists that got the wife fired, forgetting all the while that they brought it all on themselves. I’m sad they have three kids; here’s hoping they pick up little of their parents views and they rise above the low standards set by them.

  133. #133 Neural T
    July 16, 2008

    Damn, it got cut off again. I figured out what it is. The comments thing won’t take the “less than” sign, which makes sense because it indicates an HTML tag.

    Again, it should read:

    And as for being Republican, it’s a matter of probability. He could be Libertarian or Nazi Party, but since Libertarians account for less than 1% of political affiliations, Nazi Party members are close to zero, and Republicans account for 30%, there’s an overwhelming probability that he’s Republican or of some conservative strip.

    Yes, there are rare cases, but they are, well, rare.

  134. #134 valhar2000
    July 16, 2008

    Christian wrote:

    but I fail to see how most of the self-declared spokespeople for Atheism are acting any better than the Catholics they seem to despise.

    In that case, may I suggest that you read what “the atheists” have written?

    On other news: I too am begginning to feel less sorry for Mrs. Kroll now.

  135. #135 Will K.
    July 16, 2008

    Was his text extreme yes it was, would he follow through, never.

    But Mrs. Kroll, you can understand how this might not be so obvious to people who aren’t married to Mr. Kroll, right?

  136. #136 freelunch
    July 16, 2008

    Something about this discussion brings “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” to mind:

    “You heard he has a temper.
    He’ll beat you every night,
    But only when he’s sober,
    So you’re alright.”

  137. #137 freelunch
    July 16, 2008

    Something about this discussion brings “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” to mind:

    “You heard he has a temper.
    He’ll beat you every night,
    But only when he’s sober,
    So you’re alright.”

  138. #138 inkadu
    July 16, 2008

    The sides in this really aren’t “Christian” and “atheist,” but “modern” and “tribal.” Some people are ready to get along with the continuing program of modernity, others would like to take their hyena femurs and bash heads whenever they feel threatened.

    And then I guess there’s a third group — people too stupid to see the difference between the first two groups. Christian seems to be in group three.

    As an illustration: Christian, you are a stupid gobshite. That is an insult. Had I threatened to kill you, I would have crossed a line. If you need further practical examples to study, I’m sure many here would be happy to provide them for you.

  139. #139 craig
    July 16, 2008

    If you regularly read Drudge and get pissed off – NOT at Drudge, but at the people Drudge intends to get you pissed off at, then you’re almost certainly a Republican.

  140. #140 yoyo
    July 16, 2008

    If you regularly read Drudge and get pissed off – NOT at Drudge, but at the people Drudge intends to get you pissed off at, then you’re almost certainly a Republican.

    75% chance you think michelle malkin has some good points, 80% chance you read townhall and there’s 100% chance you are a moron

  141. #141 yoyo
    July 16, 2008

    If you regularly read Drudge and get pissed off – NOT at Drudge, but at the people Drudge intends to get you pissed off at, then you’re almost certainly a Republican.

    75% chance you think michelle malkin has some good points, 80% chance you read townhall and there’s 100% chance you are a moron

  142. #142 sailor
    July 16, 2008

    Oh well, at least Greg now knows how to get a lot of traffic on his blog.
    I think Gary has a point. MK in this post is ether Chuck or someone else completely. If anyone is interested you analyse all the words in all the letters and see how the word usage compares. At least two of chucks’ masterpieces are now available in the threads.

  143. #143 Greg Laden
    July 16, 2008

    Sailor: Honestly, this thread, while having a lot of traffic, is not actually that much of an outlier as far as how many people have read it, but it is an outlier in the ratio of how many people have contributed to comments on it!

  144. #144 Jim Lippard
    July 16, 2008

    Christian writes: “Take it from a Computer Scientist (which is what I do for a living): when push comes to shove, “IP evidence” is worth zilch. Here in Germany, a number of people have lost their jobs, their families and their homes due to computer crime related investigations and trials which later turned out to be based on technical SNAFUs. Just recently, a man who was accused of peddeling child porn over the internet was fired, divorced and imprisoned because the police treated a list of IP numbers as “irrefutable evidence – as good as fingerprints”. That was before the provider discovered there had been a little mix-up in their database.”

    IP addresses are not as good as fingerprints, but they aren’t “worth zilch.” The “Received” fields in an Internet email message are quite reliable for the source IP address of the mail server that delivers the message to your own server, though there could be fake headers inserted prior to that. There is no question that the email P.Z. Myers received came from 1800flowers.com’s mail server. The folks at 1800flowers.com no doubt validated the source in their mail server logs. That doesn’t tie the source to a definite person, since machines can be compromised by third parties.

    The ISP misidentification cases you describe are usually caused by time zone translation issues when looking to see what user was assigned a dynamic IP address at a particular time. That doesn’t apply here regarding the source of this email being 1800flowers.com’s mail server.

    In any case, I think we have ample evidence that there wasn’t a misidentification of the source in this case.

  145. #145 Jim Lippard
    July 16, 2008

    mkroll wrote: “My husband went on to the drudge report site that he reads and clicked on a link and came across that man pz’s notice and responded as he always does when he is upset.”

    As he always does? If that’s accurate, ckroll has a serious problem and should seek help.

    rkroll, by contrast, has a completely different problem.

  146. #146 Alan Kellogg
    July 17, 2008

    People want to raise money so PZ will desecrate a death cookie. But PZ insists that any money raised be donated to a charity. The problem here lies in deciding on the charity. So here’s my proposal.

    I am of the opinion that charity begins at home. In my case that would be my home, my apartment. Since I’m the only one who lives here, this makes me the charity. You donate funds for PZ’s “Masticate a Death Cookie” fund and PZ donates the money raised to me (mythusmage -at- mythusmage -dot- com at PayPal). Be sure to round up to a whole dollar, otherwise PayPal will take take most of what you send in fees.

    PZ commits dental blasphemy on crushed burnt grass seed, and somebody gets rid of a bit of spare change. Win-win all around.

  147. #147 DingoDave
    July 17, 2008

    Melanie Kroll wrote:

    “First off, it is amazing at all the speculation out there. Number one, i will not be leaving my husband due to this mistake. Number two he is not a crazy lunatic, but a very passionate man when it comes to his party and his religion. He’s a great person, great father and yes feels absolutely horrible about what has happened to me. As his wife, am i worried about any threats.. no i am not as i know it was just a rage via email. Did he directly threaten anyones life, no he did not…Everyone has their opinions but the things that have been posted about my company and myself are herrendous (sic) and quite frankly is making me physically ill. Please enough with the harsh comments about me, my husband and my former employer. ”
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2008/07/pz_myers_death_threat_confessi.php#comment-988489

    Does this remind anyone else of Warren Zevon’s song ‘Excitable Boy’?

    Well, he went down to dinner in his Sunday best
    Excitable boy, they all said
    And he rubbed the pot roast all over his chest
    Excitable boy, they all said

    He took in the four a.m. show at the Clark
    Excitable boy, they all said
    And he bit the usherette’s leg in the dark
    Excitable boy, they all said
    Well, he’s just an excitable boy

    He took little Suzie to the Junior Prom
    Excitable boy, they all said
    And he raped her and killed her, then he took her home
    Excitable boy, they all said
    Well, he’s just an excitable boy

    After ten long years they let him out of the home
    Excitable boy, they all said
    And he dug up her grave and built a cage with her bones
    Excitable boy, they all said
    Well, he’s just an excitable boy

  148. #148 John Morales
    July 17, 2008

    Ms Kroll’s loyalty to her husband is laudable, yet I fear that, should she have received that exact e-mail, she would disbelieve the poster was “… a great person, [a] great father”.

    This is sad.

  149. #149 Chigurh
    July 17, 2008

    From the confession:

    “intellectuals such as Paul Myers to attack the religion of millions of Americans, and to encourage others to do so made me see red. Pardon the pun.”

    definately GOP

  150. #150 Greg Laden
    July 17, 2008

    Chigurh: What rules out white supremacist, nazi, and libertarian?

  151. #151 Matt Penfold
    July 17, 2008

    I do not know what Mr Kroll’s party is, but I am willing to bet that it will have policies I do not like.

  152. #152 chigurh
    July 17, 2008

    -a libertarian would respect our right to criticize his religion.

    -Nazism is traditionally Lutheran and they despise Catholics.

    -He pines about the “American Catholic Church”, neocons are notoriously iso-centric thinkers, and it would take one separate himself from the vatican.

    -poorly worded red pun

  153. #153 chigurh
    July 17, 2008

    and pretty sure a white supremacist would vote conservative

  154. #154 chigurh
    July 17, 2008

    do we know he’s white anyways?

  155. #155 Greg Laden
    July 17, 2008

    I have yet to meet a libertarian who does not reserve the right to criticize others to himself.

    Good point about the Nazi’s. Very good point.

    OK, so maybe he is a Catholic, possibly Black, Asian or Hispanic….

  156. #156 Russ
    July 17, 2008

    On the subject of whether mk was logged in/knew she was logged in to work…

    VPN is down, outlook’s running, and you click on a mail-to link…what happens?

    In some setups you’ll get to write and send your mail, and outlook will just hold onto it until the next time your VPN comes up.

    Just sayin’…that part’s feasible. Of course, whether or not you sent your death threat through the wife’s work account accidentally or deliberately is kind of splitting hairs at this point.

  157. #157 Ruth
    July 17, 2008

    Well, it is not splitting hairs as to the culpability of the wife.

  158. #158 chigurh
    July 17, 2008

    they sound like pretty poor libertarians. consider myself one, though left leaning. reconciles being a scientist/atheist with philosophy and politics pretty well, at least for me.

  159. #159 flea
    July 17, 2008

    I’m sure the makeup hides the bruises most days, right?

    Oh, come the fuck on. Rein it in, would you?

  160. #160 Desertphile
    July 19, 2008

    In the USA such messages are not considered by law enforcement as “death threats” when they are qualified—- saying “If you don’t stop doing X, I’ll kill you” isn’t a “death threat” but “I’ll kill you” is. I hope law enforcement do take the threat seriously however.

  161. #161 meekie
    July 21, 2008

    I don’t sympathize. I’m sure her computer had loads of confidential information accessible under her account. (Perhaps software that contained cc numbers/addresses of customers, manager screens, employee information?) That’s probably the main reason she was fired. Or at least the reason she won’t get rehired. Not because of the email sent, but the obvious lack of concern for security on her behalf. I mean, she was a manager? If I knew my husband had a habit of behaving in that manner, he’d be nowhere near my work computer. Being that she worked from home, she shouldn’t have been using a shared computer in the first place. This guy needs a Wizkid and a 2nd job. Because if I were her, it’d be cheeto fingers and soap reruns for at least the next 5 years.

  162. #162 watcher
    July 22, 2008

    I agree that the posts are the work of one person.

    I also agree that if the posting really is the wife, that she needs some type of intervention help. She defends a man who (on-line at least) acts in a violent manner and cannot control his temper.

    Defending this type of behavior (which enables the violence) is a major symptom of Battered Spouse Syndrome.

    The husband obviously is the cause of her job loss, although her lack of proper security practice enabled the husband’s behavior.

    Of course it could just be her public face that we are seeing, but her denial that her husband did what he did, even in the light of all the evidence, is also an indicator of spousal abuse.

    With the type of pressure that this family must be under because of the husband’s action, the entire family could be in danger.

    A posting above mentioned him hanging himself. That is not the type of behavior for his personality type. Given his strong religious fervor, he is in the group that would react with a murder-suicide.

  163. #163 vivafeminista!
    March 18, 2011

    “What would you do if Melanie received an email threatening to beat her head in?”

    Are you seriously equating violence against women against a punch up between males? Epic fail.

  164. #164 Greg Laden
    March 18, 2011

    Ah no, not at all. That was not an equivalence intended, implied, or reasonably interpreted from this.

  165. #165 Marion Delgado
    March 18, 2011

    What Greg’s proposing is not the generic atheist way but it is the bleeding heart liberal atheist way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that :)

    Also, note that violence against men is a “punchup between males” and to oppose it is “epic fail”, and violence against women is this inconceivable thing.

    VivaSexista would be a much better nickname. Epic fail, indeed.

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