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11/24/2003
05:13 PM
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Move Over Road Rage--Here Comes Spam Rage

A programmer allegedly threatened to maim, torture, and kill employees of a company he thought was spamming him.

A 44-year-old Silicon Valley programmer has been charged with threatening to maim and even kill employees of a Canadian Internet-advertising agency that he believed had repeatedly sent him spam.

The federal complaint alleges that between May and mid-July, Charles T. Booher left numerous voice- and E-mail messages for Internet-advertising company DM Contact Management Inc. demanding that it stop spamming him. The complaint states that DM president Douglas Mackay told Booher that the company wasn't responsible for the spam.

It seems Booher didn't believe him and allegedly sent a series of E-mail messages threatening to torture and kill DM employees if they didn't remove him from the company's mailing list. In one message, Booher allegedly threatened to "disable [Mackay] using a quick 22-calibre shot to your lower spine." The letter also threatened to take the company's president to a "secret hiding place" where he would torture him. In subsequent E-mail, Booher allegedly threatened to send the company packages containing anthrax and to slam a 10-centimeter ice pick into Mackay's left ear.

The complaint states that Booher allegedly continued his threats even after Sunnyvale, Calif., police officers ordered him to cease.

When two FBI agents arrived at his home July 23, Booher admitted to sending numerous threatening E-mails, the complaint states. He told FBI agents that he's a testicular-cancer survivor and he felt "the E-mail messages in regard to penile enlargement were frustrating," according to the complaint.

The FBI arrested Booher last week. He faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for "threatening interstate or foreign communications." Booher was released on a $75,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 11.

A copy of the complaint can be viewed here.

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