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 Internet Fight Goes a Bit Too Far

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Red
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

'All I did was call him a nerd and he came to kill me'

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John Anderson, left, and an image of Russell Tavares that Anderson posted on his website.


Photo: AP and John Anderson
July 27, 2007

A US Navy technician who got mad when someone mocked him as a "nerd" over the internet climbed into his car and drove 2100 km from Virginia to Texas to teach the other guy a lesson.

As he made his way toward Texas, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer Russell Tavares posted photos online showing the welcome signs at several states' borders, as if to prove to his internet friends that he meant business.

When he finally arrived, Tavares burned the man's trailer down.

This week, Tavares, 27, was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading no contest to arson and admitting he set the blaze.

"I didn't think anybody was stupid enough to try to kill anybody over an internet fight," said John G. Anderson, 59, who suffered smoke inhalation while trying to put out the 2005 blaze that caused $US50,000 in damage to his trailer and computer equipment.

"All I did was call him a nerd and he came to kill me."

The feud started when Anderson, who runs a haunted house near Waco, joined a picture-sharing website and posted his artwork and political views. After he blocked some people from his page because of insults and foul language, they retaliated by making obscene digitally altered pictures of him, he said.

Anderson, who went by the screen name "Johnny Darkness," traded barbs with Tavares, aka "PyroDice".

Investigators say Tavares boiled over when Anderson called him a nerd and posted a digitally altered photo making Tavares look like a skinny boy in pants too short for his legs, holding a gun and a laptop under a "Revenge of the Nerds" sign.

Tavares obtained Anderson's real name and hometown from Anderson's web page about his Museum of Horrors Haunted House.

Tavares took leave from his post as a weapons systems operator at the AEGIS Training and Readiness centre in Dahlgren, Virginia, and started driving. Investigators say he told them he planned to point a shotgun at Anderson and shoot his computer.

Instead, when he got to Elm Mott - after posting one last photo of a "Welcome to Texas" sign - Tavares threw a piece of petrol-soaked plastic foam into the back of Anderson's mobile home and lit a flare, authorities say.

Tavares' attorney, Susan Kelly Johnston, said his trip to the Waco area was a last-minute decision during a cross-country trip to visit his parents in Arizona. She said he never intended to hurt Anderson and did not think he was in the trailer when he set the fire.

James Pack, an investigator with the Sheriff's Office, caught up with Tavares after talking to people in several states and in Spain who had been involved in the online feud. Tavares' mobile phone records showed he was in the Waco area at the time of the fire, Pack said.

Tavares told investigators that Anderson had spread computer viruses and insulted his online friends for too long, Pack said.

"He lost everything - all over an internet squabble," the investigator said.

Tavares was discharged last year from the Navy, where he earned several medals - including the pistol expert and rifle expert medals - in his nine-year career, said Navy spokesman Mike McLellan.

Tavares would not let the feud go even at his sentencing. According to Pack, Tavares took mobile-phone photos of Anderson in the courtroom while the judge was hearing another case. Authorities ordered the photos erased.

Anderson, an ex-Marine who served in Vietnam, said he continues to be harassed online, has been startled by people knocking on his window late at night and found bullet holes in a door to his business.

He said he is convinced the harassment is related to the internet feud and plans to spend $US30,000 on more fencing topped with barbed wire.

"Before this happened, the rule was: Nobody messes with the haunted house guy," Anderson said.

AP


Shocked

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That dude needs some sedation. crazy.

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Josh
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You'd better not call me a nerd Red Razz

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This is the reason I'm more concerned about trolls getting my personal info than lads. Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That reminds me that I have to make a trip to Australia. See ya soon Red Razz
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yipes. I've repeatedly called an Eater member a geek and a nerd. Thank goodness for safe baiting. Whew.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ Yeah and if you call me that again I have a whole bag of petrol with your name on it. Cool

Seriously, that's a salutary lesson on why you don't give out personal details on the interweb. Good story.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:49 am Reply with quoteBack to top

TSnerd wrote:
This is the reason I'm more concerned about trolls getting my personal info than lads. Wink


I tried to invite one to my home but he's probably still travelling Russia looking for me...hm? Velocity?

...and this is Breadcrumb:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ Hey!!! Stop posting nerd pictures and say its me, or I will come to your place and eat all your prosciutto!! Laughing Laughing

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Don wrote:
I tried to invite one to my home but he's probably still travelling Russia looking for me...hm? Velocity?

I think the problem is that you didn't offer to make him a proper antipasto. World class internet ninjas will only track someone down if the munchies are worth the trip Wink

On a serious note, this story illustrates why folks shouldn't put their personal details on the web for some obsessed freak to find. I shudder every time I see a myspace page or family website with someone's RL details posted for all the world to see. Shocked

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Velocity and his awesome tracking powers would not waste time with Don's Italian food, even lovely bruschetta, I'm sure a good old Aussie barbecue would entice him to come.

That story is scary though, shows how far a person will go...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
That story is scary though, shows how far a person will go...


2100 km apparently...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That's about the distance from NZ to Australia... be afraid, be very afraid.

More seriously, it is a pretty scary article. In other places on the net I do have links to my real life personality, which I think is fairly safe because there's nothing that would really offend someone. However things like this do make me think twice...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Haha! Don. That's a world class picture you posted there. Gotta use that somewhere Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I often get into a fight with the internet...It always wins Sad

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Wow.

Just . . . wow.

To both the article and the LARPer picture.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sometimes the Internet is a really scary place Confused

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've been posting on various boards for a few years now and the only thing it's taught me is that the internet is full of boiler plated, certifiable, 100% genuine crazies. This is an extreme example but I am not at all surprised.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

A couple of billion people are interacting over the internet and the probability of dealing with a nutter are significantly higher than in any given town, simply because you're exposed to more people. For the same reason crossing a main highway in or around LA will be riskier than crossing a road in some mid-western small town. The same internet will then make us aware of such things.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^I called "sweets" a "twat" couple of times and he never came to get me. Razz

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Guys, stop cluttering the forum please. His clearly needs to go in the IP thread in Hints and Tips! Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Shit like that happens a lot. Like this.

It's all crazy. I just wonder how they get the addresses in the first place, unless the retards just give info to anyone who asks. It can't all be down to hackers getting into secure databases.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hmmm, the subject of this thread vaguely reminds me of something. Confused
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

im stil waiting on someone who said they would hunt me down 2 yrs ago and i even made them dinner for the day they cliamed they were gonna be coming round Laughing

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