Pharyngula

More crime!

I don’t know whether to be pleased or dismayed at this story of an obsessed Minnesotan who turned to crime for petty revenge. Barry Ardolf got mad at his neighbors, the Kostolniks, because they reported him to the police for kissing their 4-year-old child on the mouth, which is already a bit creepy, and then he got really creepy.

The man, a Medtronic computer technician, downloaded a Wi-Fi hacking program to tear into his neighbors WEP encryption. Ardolf created a fake Myspace page as well as several fake emails for Matt Kostolnik. The hacker then posted child porn on the Myspace page and emailed the same child porn to co-workers at Kostolnik’s law office.

To top it all off, the Blaine hacker sent death threats to Vice President Joe Biden and other politicians from Kostolnik’s Yahoo account. This granted Kostolnik a visit from the secret service who had traced the emails back to his IP address. One of the emails told Biden, “I swear to God I’m going to kill you!”

The good news: Ardolf was caught, tried, and convicted. That’s one lunatic punished and off the streets.

The worrisome news: he got sentenced to 18 years in prison with a further 20 years of supervision and restriction from computer access. That seems excessive for a non-violent crime, and for an individual who seems to need psychological help. But then, read this story of another grudge-bearing, angry, vindictive man…do we wait until the guy crosses the line into physical violence?

(Hi, Dennis Markuze! For some reason, these stories made me think of you.)