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Situations like this are why the phrase "Oh, snap!" was invented.
June 13, 2011 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Using a fake Facebook profile, Angela Voelkert got her ex-husband David to admit that he “planned to move somewhere warm with his kids, that he was still going to his next court dates, and would take off soon after” and ask his new teen-aged friend “to find someone at your school, there should be some gang bangers there that would put a cap in her ass for $10,000. I am just done with her crap!” Unfortunately for Angela, David was a step ahead and thoroughly played his ex-wife. All charges have been dropped and they are still Facebook friends.
posted by -->NMN.80.418 (139 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mastermind or garden-variety asshole? You decide!
posted by muddgirl at 12:29 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mastermind or garden-variety asshole? You decide!

BOTH parents are assholes for playing these games.

The kids should seek a divorce
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:31 PM on June 13, 2011 [51 favorites]


It's a shame, with all the energy they're putting into hating each other, they could have quite a marriage.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:31 PM on June 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Both of these people sound like vermin, and I weep for their kids.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:31 PM on June 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just because you're paranoid smarter than your ex
doesn't mean they're not after you you're not also an asshole.


Remember that movie when a young Drew Barrymore divorced her parents... yeah, here's hoping for some sort of emancipation soon for the children of these assholes.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:33 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


And I bet they're using these fake friends to boost their FarmVille profiles, too. Assholes.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:34 PM on June 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


Let the moralizing begin.. wag those fingers!
posted by stbalbach at 12:34 PM on June 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


Come on, it's a little funny.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:34 PM on June 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


It's hard for me to think of this guy as an asshole after just this. We don't know how much he's been having to deal with his ex trying to trap him into losing his kids.
posted by ODiV at 12:35 PM on June 13, 2011 [27 favorites]


She wanted to test her husband,
She knew exactly what to do,
A pseudonym
to fool him,
She couldn't have made a worse move.
He was freed after proving to investigators that he knew all along that his ex-wife was the one sending him messages from the “Studebaker” account. Voelkert explained that he played along with the ruse so that he could use his ex-spouse’s machinations against her in their custody case.

To support this contention, Voelkert provided FBI agents with a May 25 notarized affidavit in which he describes receiving a friend request from “Jessica Studebaker,” whom he suspected was his ex-wife. “I am lying to this person,” he stated, “to gain positive proof that it is indeed my ex-wife trying to again tamper in my life.” He added, “In no way do I have plans to leave with my children or do any harm to Angela Dawn Voelkert or anyone else.”
She sounds like a barrel of laughs. "again tamper in my life": what happened last time?
posted by adipocere at 12:36 PM on June 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's hard for me to think of this guy as an asshole after just this. We don't know how much he's been having to deal with his ex trying to trap him into losing his kids.

I would argue that when she initiated this, it became justified for David to do everything he did. Because Angela is crazy and vindictive and it is good to get the children away from her.
posted by kafziel at 12:37 PM on June 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


I am too lazy disgusted to take a look-see, could someone who did tell everybody why is the husband an asshole?
posted by hat_eater at 12:37 PM on June 13, 2011


I (years ago) had a recent ex create a new match.com profile, take out a new yahoo ID and email account, all that, just to “catch” me dating again. Wacky.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:39 PM on June 13, 2011


"Digital Detectives: Custody Battle Leads to Facebook Double-Sting" is the title of the Yahoo! article linked here.
posted by Raichle at 12:44 PM on June 13, 2011


I HORACE RUMPOLE HEREBY AFFIRM AND SWEAR THAT WHEN I ROB THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK NEXT MONDAY I AM ONLY DOING IT TO TEST THEIR SECURITY SYSTEMS AND I WILL IMMEDIATELY GIVE THE MONEY BACK if I get caught.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:44 PM on June 13, 2011 [34 favorites]


I would argue that when she initiated this, it became justified for David to do everything he did. Because Angela is crazy and vindictive and it is good to get the children away from her.


No but see, this is MetaFilter where the only proper reaction to someone trying to screw you is to soberly, plaintively respond in an ineffectual but morally vanilla way. If you can manage to spend the entire time quibbling about the details to the point with others to the point that you never even get that far then so much the better. The important thing is that you feel good about yourself at the end of the day. Also David is a man, so.. there's that.

/Jesus people it is possible to side with this guy without things turning into a reddit-style "MEN R TEH REAL VICTIMS" circlejerk, ya know
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:46 PM on June 13, 2011 [31 favorites]


It's hard for me to think of this guy as an asshole after just this. We don't know how much he's been having to deal with his ex trying to trap him into losing his kids.

He's playing into the drama by going even more over the top than her schemes though. Figuring out that it's a fake account and purposely giving misinformation is one thing, but pretending to put a hit out on someone is not exactly a way to deescalate a situation. Neither of them come across as very sympathetic in my opinion.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:46 PM on June 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Jeez, vermin? Her, maybe. What did he do to deserve that appellation?
posted by adamdschneider at 12:46 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


A man who is wronged by his ex-wife might be excused for playing her by leading her to believe that he plans on leaving the state with the kids.

An asshole makes the fake online chatter about hiring somebody to do physical harm to her.

That's the difference from my seat, wagging finger still moving
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:47 PM on June 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


From the scant information provided, it's hard to judge the husband as an asshole in this situation, especially considering the phrase "again tamper in my life" in his affidavit. This guy saw this coming a mile away (so how many times has his ex pulled stunts like this before?) and knew that the only way to make plain to the court the level of manipulation and harassment he was suffering was to hoist his wife on her own petard.

Pretty fucking ballsy way to make his case too--he knew she'd have to play this game all the way through having him arrested by the feds for his counter-gambit to work.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:48 PM on June 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Won't someone think of the children?

You know, since apparently neither of these two really are.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:50 PM on June 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


The only argument for this guy being an asshole is that he's on some level a pedophile because he married someone with the mentality of a 14-year-old. He was totally justified in taking it as far as he did. What the hell would he get from taking the high road? Intangible personal satisfaction? Looks like he's getting actual results as his antagonist slinks off with her tail between her legs.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:51 PM on June 13, 2011 [18 favorites]


Very true, burnmp3s, MCMikeNamara. A fake hit is definitely crossing a line. Frustrated is an explanation, but wouldn't be an adequate excuse.

LooseFilter: I don't think he intended it to go that far.
posted by ODiV at 12:52 PM on June 13, 2011


I expect adults (yes, even adults in a terrible divorce situation) to act like adults. By definition, this means NOT acting like 12 year old kids.

Childish behavior:
(1) Creating fake profiles to entrap a rival
(2) Fake-plotting illegal behavior to freak out your rival and destroy their credibility.
posted by muddgirl at 12:55 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


He needs something he can wave at a judge the next time she pulls something funny and a chat transcript of "Haha, Angela, I knew it was you!" does not suffice. She would just try again. People like this do not go away when you catch them at something, they just try again.

It needed to be something that she would take to the police. It needed to be something embarrassing, as well, when it did not pan out for her.

Put yourself in his shoes for a bit. You have an ex-wife who is trying to tamper in your life. She's only too happy to create fake identities and attempt to lure you in. What do you do? You could, conceivably, spend the next n years (until your kids reach the age of majority) wondering if each communication you receive is (apparently) yet another trick of your ex. Or you could bust her, big and legal and loud.

He's not destroying her credibility, he's documenting that she has none to begin with.
posted by adipocere at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2011 [15 favorites]


I bet his next step was going to be, like, having a mutual friend call her up and chat up the fact that it was a fake profile, and when she admitted it he was going to be like "Aha! I am conferenced in and I heard everything! Why are you such a bitch?"
posted by muddgirl at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Little did he suspect that the notary public was actually his wife in a Scooby-Doo mask.
posted by justkevin at 12:56 PM on June 13, 2011 [53 favorites]


Put yourself in his shoes for a bit.

That's the only shoes we can inhabit - the wife's perspective is not given at all.
posted by muddgirl at 12:57 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Little did he suspect that the notary public was actually his wife in a Scooby-Doo mask.

Why would he go to a Notary Public that looked like a cartoon dog?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:57 PM on June 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Some jerk guy does something jerky to his jerky wife using teh internetz. I understand why this made The Smoking Gun, because that site sucks. What I do not understand is how it got on MetaFilter.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 12:58 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why wouldn't you?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:58 PM on June 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


A fake hit is definitely crossing a line.

A real hit is crossing the line. This was something called "just desserts."
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:58 PM on June 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


(shit, that was a response to the Scooby Doo is my notary comment)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:59 PM on June 13, 2011


ODiV: I'm not so sure--creating the affidavit seems like the action of someone who thought there was a reasonable chance he'd need it. He did, after all, explain a kidnapping plan and try to set up a murder, however clumsily.

And I remain unconvinced that his motivation could only have been, as has been speculated, that he was just getting revenge or giving a taste of her own medicine. He may genuinely believe (rightly) that his ex is an unfit solo parent for their children, and is exactly thinking of the children by using her behavior against her to demonstrate said unfitness to the court.

Like adipocere said: "He's not destroying her credibility, he's documenting that she has none to begin with."
posted by LooseFilter at 12:59 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


BOTH parents are assholes for playing these games.

The kids should seek a divorce


I'm gonna go ahead and retract that comment because I don't know enough about the situation. Dad could be an asshole or just smart for doing this. It's tough to say and without knowing all the details none of us can say.

Same goes for mom. Dad might have been abusive or jerkish and she felt this was one way to prove it to a judge. Again, we don't know the details, just the information from an article written to draw eyeballs and clicks.

My Metafilter time would be better spent on cool stuff, not outragefilter or "look at the messed up stuff people do" filter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on June 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


He's mutually an asshole because in the midst of "ha ha, I'm going to screw with this person screwing with me," he instigated a very, very slightly reasonable suspicion of committing a crime. He has every right to fuck around with someone trying to defraud him on Facebook but it's not really helpful to anyone, taxpayers included, to make the FBI think he's a murderer.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:02 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


He may genuinely believe (rightly) that his ex is an unfit solo parent for their children, and is exactly thinking of the children by using her behavior against her to demonstrate said unfitness to the court.

If his ex believes that he is an unfit solo parent for their children - for example, if she believed that he would respond to the advances of a 17-yr-old high school student - would that justify her creating a fake profile?

In other words, why are his actions justified but hers not?

Or really I agree with Brandon Blatcher. I'm going to be labeled something or other because I'm defending the ex-wife, but I have a pathological need to look for both sides of a biased story.
posted by muddgirl at 1:02 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not so sure--creating the affidavit seems like the action of someone who thought there was a reasonable chance he'd need it.

It looks as though he was setting her up for their scheduled court appearance on June 8th. I seriously doubt he intended to get himself arrested. It's my impression he went too far to see how much he could get her to believe.
posted by ODiV at 1:02 PM on June 13, 2011


A fake hit is definitely crossing a line.

I'm on the other side. She established a fraudulent relationship (using a photograph of a real person) with the intent of tricking him into behaving badly and hurting his custody of his kids.

We don't know what happened before this or the reality of the situation, but all things equal, that's very fucked up.

As soon as she committed the fraud against him, I think he's free to be as fraudulent with her as he wants to be, up to the point of instigating actual harm against her or anyone else.

Vague, unspecified comments about wanting to find someone to "put a cap in her ass" don't cross the line, imo.

Worse than the vague murder threats are the threats to abscond with the kids, but I still can't find him much at fault yet.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:02 PM on June 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Jesus Christ, if the reason you think the guy's an asshole is because of the "fake hit," you need to get some perspective. Only a crazy person could feel seriously threatened by some guy who apparently thinks the way to hire a hitman is to get a teenage girl to find some "gang bangers" and offer to pay them. It's absurd. It's like getting all worked up about someone threatening to send their l33t h4x0r nephew to ruin your life.
posted by nasreddin at 1:03 PM on June 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


Worse than the vague murder threats are the threats to abscond with the kids, but I still can't find him much at fault yet.

How do those "threats" make him even a little bit at fault or a bad guy? Seriously, what's your thought process here?
posted by nasreddin at 1:04 PM on June 13, 2011


In other words, why are his actions justified but hers not?

Because she was fraudulent first, i.e. it's OK to con a con man. I doubt that's a legal defense, but it's certainly a moral defense.

It's like getting all worked up about someone threatening to send their l33t h4x0r nephew to ruin your life.

That was my interpretation too. It was almost a jokey throwaway comment that no one would take seriously ... unless the person you were talking to was your ex-wife .... in disguise!
posted by mrgrimm at 1:05 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find both of them icky. Divorce makes m]people behave badly, but this is excessive.
posted by theora55 at 1:05 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I doubt that's a legal defense, but it's certainly a moral defense.

"He hit me first" is actually NOT a moral defense.
posted by muddgirl at 1:05 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


nasreddin, I'm almost certain the "my evil plan was too stupid to actually work" defense would get you nowhere in a courtroom. Without that affidavit, he was probably in danger of going to prison.
posted by straight at 1:05 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Sorry, I didn't mean for that last comment to sound combative--I'm genuinely curious how an avowedly insincere threat in a situation like this can possibly reflect poorly on someone.)
posted by nasreddin at 1:06 PM on June 13, 2011


The wife is now dating a gay girl in Damascus.
posted by benzenedream at 1:06 PM on June 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


Nth-ing the "guy isn't an asshole if she's done this stuff before which seems to be the case".

Seems like a wasted opportunity to me - he had her hook, line and sinker, and all he could think about was getting *himself* arrested?
Why not say something like...
"that bitch doesn't even know that I had $75,000 of our money buried (someplace far away) so that she couldn't get her hands on it!" then drop hints and send her on a wild goose chase...
or a vague threat!
"She's not going to know WHAT to do come next thursday! She's gonna wish she left town, hell, she's not going to be able to avoid it unless she leaves the country!"
No specific threat, enough for a "questioning" but not enough for an arrest, and potentially enough to make her freak out and leave the country, missing the court hearing.
hell, you could get ALL kinds of vindictive.
"There's something I'm really worried about, cos I have this upcoming custody trial.. if it gets out I'll be in huge trouble.. " and feed her some false info to get her laughed out of court.
There are plenty of angles were you could get her fake persona to give you something in order to prove a degree of trust as well.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 1:06 PM on June 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


You know what? If two people are screaming at each other on the subway, I don't care which person is "right" in the argument. I just think Jesus I wish both of those assholes would shut up already.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:06 PM on June 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


It's like getting all worked up about someone threatening to send their l33t h4x0r nephew to ruin your life.

Speak for yourself. I'm behind 7 proxies.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:07 PM on June 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd kill* to see a timeline chat transcript, with quotes and screenshots, just so we can see who actually said what when, first.

* I'll hire this out, MeMail me. Caps, asses. I pay in pluses. You do this for me, I will favorite the hell out of you.
posted by adipocere at 1:08 PM on June 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Okay, glad I'm not married now.
posted by angrycat at 1:12 PM on June 13, 2011


Well, OK, it is an appeal to a particular moral system, but not a mature one.
posted by muddgirl at 1:12 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


"He hit me first" is actually NOT a moral defense.

"Yeah, they exterminated my whole village, but there is an upside: check out this Smug, yo"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:13 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


How do those "threats" make him even a little bit at fault or a bad guy? Seriously, what's your thought process here?

Again, we don't know their situation at all, but I would consider the "taking the kids and leaving" threat to be more credible than the "pop a cap in her ass" threat.

To an unbalanced mother (or father), the threat of taking her kids away is a bit cruel to me, regardless of whether or not she "started it."

(Sorry, I didn't mean for that last comment to sound combative--I'm genuinely curious how an avowedly insincere threat in a situation like this can possibly reflect poorly on someone.)

No offense taken (if you were talking to me). Regardless if the threat is insincere, even a toothless threat can cause emotional damage.

IMO, the correct action for him to take would have been to record his suspicions of his new Facebook "friend" and record all of her attempts to entrap/encourage him into illegal or custody-harming behavior, then turn them over to a judge (or the police, if serious).

It seems like proof of this fraud alone would help him out in any custody battle. I'm not so sure he's in a better position now.

"He hit me first" is actually NOT a moral defense.

How about "he stole my lunch so I took it bacK"?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:13 PM on June 13, 2011


Okay, glad I'm not married now.

I'm married and would be scared to get a divorce. She could just point to my Metafilter history, I'd be toast.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:14 PM on June 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


They deserve each other. Their kids deserve better.
posted by tommasz at 1:15 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm: I still say threatening physical harm is crossing a line because it has the potential to spiral out of control. I know hindsight's 20-20 here and I'm commenting after having read what went down. But someone going to the cops when they suspect you might harm them isn't that unexpected. And then not only have you wasted a bunch of police time, but what happens to your kids when you're arrested and then held in custody?
posted by ODiV at 1:15 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whole thing sounds crazy. Why did she send him a friend request posing as a 17 year old girl if not to try to catch him doing something inappropriate to use against him. Sure the mature think is to simply not accept the friend request, but I would be way too tempted not to fuck with them mercilessly.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:15 PM on June 13, 2011


Wow, though-the tortured "legalese" that isn't that he uses in his AFFIDAVIT (all caps) is almost too painful to read.
posted by atomicstone at 1:16 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not trying to be smug - I know that contentious divorces can be very stressful for both parents. I'm trying to explain that there are two sides to every story.

How about "he stole my lunch so I took it bacK"?

As far as I can see, no one's lunch was stolen. Children are not property, and I suspect in this case, both parents have forgotten this.
posted by muddgirl at 1:17 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


And going to the cops was probably the best thing she could have done. People get unpredictable when they feel threatened. He's lucky she didn't go after him in "self defense".
posted by ODiV at 1:18 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


IMO, the correct action for him to take would have been to record his suspicions of his new Facebook "friend" and record all of her attempts to entrap/encourage him into illegal or custody-harming behavior, then turn them over to a judge (or the police, if serious).

Sure, but like, it seems like a fuckbunch of work to try and prove that his ex-wife is pretending to be Jessica Studebaker. She could deny everything and make him look crazy in the process. If you're trying to prove that you're ex-wife is impersonating someone on Facebook, the easiest way is to get her to admit to it herself.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:20 PM on June 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't mean to get all "men are teh victims", but if the boot was on the other foot I think we might be more inclined to see her as giving him what he deserved - a sharp reality check that this is not how you get custody of your kids.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:20 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


If his ex believes that he is an unfit solo parent for their children - for example, if she believed that he would respond to the advances of a 17-yr-old high school student - would that justify her creating a fake profile?

In other words, why are his actions justified but hers not?


She created a fake identity for the purpose of spying/on entrapping someone else. How can you NOT see the difference between doing that, and "embarassing the person who thought you dumb enough to fall for a distasteful yet half-baked and straight-outta-studyhall ruse"?

Oh, right. One of the principles in the discussion has a vagina and the other does not. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:22 PM on June 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


By the way, something like 90% of divorcing couples with children manage to work out custody without court intervention.
posted by muddgirl at 1:22 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the principles in the discussion has a vagina and the other does not.

I think that's unfair. I believe that if the genders had been switched I would still be standing up for the unrepresented party. That's kind of what I do.
posted by muddgirl at 1:23 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, glad I'm not married now.

not exactly your garden-variety marriage, this.
posted by modernnomad at 1:26 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the principles in the discussion has a vagina and the other does not.

Sure, BUT WHICH ONE?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:29 PM on June 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think that's unfair. I believe that if the genders had been switched I would still be standing up for the unrepresented party. That's kind of what I do.

Including moderating a thread to repeatedly assert that the party that looks the better must have at least equal culpability? Come on. Something made you empty the clip of that gun you're holding at your hip.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:29 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a moderator now? Where's my gold star.

Wait, my comments have just as much weight as yours? how unfair.
posted by muddgirl at 1:30 PM on June 13, 2011


I don't know why they got divorced, they sound perfect for each other. Those poor kids.
posted by Space Kitty at 1:33 PM on June 13, 2011


I'm all for getting both sides of the story, but presumably the court did. In spades.
posted by ubernostrum at 1:34 PM on June 13, 2011


Oh, right. One of the principles in the discussion has a vagina and the other does not. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Including moderating a thread to repeatedly assert that the party that looks the better must have at least equal culpability? Come on. Something made you empty the clip of that gun you're holding at your hip.


Take it to MeTa if you must, MC? Right now you're just beating up a strawman in the actual thread.
posted by jaduncan at 1:36 PM on June 13, 2011


Seems like a wasted opportunity to me

That's all I could think too. He had her on the line ... and that's all he got? Whoosh.

Voelkert spent four days in custody until federal prosecutors moved yesterday to drop charges against him.

And then not only have you wasted a bunch of police time, but what happens to your kids when you're arrested and then held in custody?

Yeah, I was thinking about that ... unless she gets charges brought against her, he lost badly.

How about "he stole my lunch so I took it bacK"?

As far as I can see, no one's lunch was stolen. Children are not property, and I suspect in this case, both parents have forgotten this.


OK, I'll be less obtuse.

How about "she contacted me online via a fake personality in an attempt to glean damaging information or instigate damaging behavior, so I blew some smoke up her ass in an attempt to show her not to fuck around with me anymore"

Better?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:36 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you're trying to prove that you're ex-wife is impersonating someone on Facebook, the easiest way is to get her to admit to it herself.

He took it past the point of just getting her to admit it though. I doubt if he asked his lawyer "What should I do about this fake Facebook account?" that the advice would have been to make over the top claims about several illegal activities. He could have proved it without doing any of that or saying anything that could get him brought up on charges by the FBI.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:40 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, this guy has lots of teenage girls on his facebook friend's list, and the wife thought this one would fit in with the rest, but he figured out which kid wasn't the real one, or ?

I don't get how the wife thought this would work unless the guy already has a habit of friending the underage set.

It seems like the obvious solution is to...gasp...not friend people on facebook you don't actually know, much less children, when you yourself are an adult. At least until after your court case is all finished.

To put it another way, when the local wildlife officials need to trap a bear, they put food attractive to bears in the traps. How did the wife decide what was appropriate bait for her ex-husband, and why on earth did he ever get tricked in the first place (if my reading that there have been previous, less egregious 'tricks' played on him already is correct)?
posted by nomisxid at 1:41 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude is basically stalked by his ex-wife, so he mind-fucks her back. And somehow he's the bad guy. Seriously guys, I don't even want to understand that mentality.

"We don't have her side of it". Um, other than the fact her side of the story was all we had until the ruse was exposed.

What more do you need to paint a picture of clear cut obsession?

"A fake hit is over the line".

No, trying to entrap someone is over the line. The rest is just a matter of making them taste their own medicine.
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:44 PM on June 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


He took it past the point of just getting her to admit it though. I doubt if he asked his lawyer "What should I do about this fake Facebook account?" that the advice would have been to make over the top claims about several illegal activities. He could have proved it without doing any of that or saying anything that could get him brought up on charges by the FBI.

I think if he talked to a lawyer, the lawyer would've said "Don't accept the friend request", but that's not my point. How could he have PROVED it without the whole rigamarole he set up? She would've just denied she had been doing it.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:46 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the point of the exercise, burnmp3s, is not to prove that his wife is making fake Facebook accounts to annoy him, it is to prove that she is willing to go to some lengths to get him into legal trouble.

It is difficult to do that without setting up something very like legal trouble. How would you prove that she's willing to go all the way to a legal venue rather than a social networking setting? If he just cuts the situation off while it is still on Facebook, her trying to get him into legal hot water is purely hypothetical. Anyone could then say, "You don't know that she would actually go through with it."

He's proven that she would actually go through with it.
posted by adipocere at 1:47 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, he asked his wife to find someone to kill his wife. It's like saying go kill yourself. I doubt there was any chance that she would actually hire someone to kill herself.
posted by snofoam at 1:49 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


If they were my kids and I thought their mom was a bad parent, I'd do whatever it takes to keep them. Having the moral high ground but losing your kids isn't an acceptable or meaningful outcome. In very much the same way that it's immoral to shoot someone, and waiting to shoot them until they shoot you first may be the moral thing to do, but you'll very likely be too dead to find out.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:55 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


doctor_negative: Are you intending to support the mother's ruse?
posted by ODiV at 2:00 PM on June 13, 2011


The part of the affadavit where he said "I totally knew this was BS earlier but I couldn't be bothered to get an affadavit until now" was really convincing, as was "most of the things I said were false". (It looks like the death threat, and maybe the kidnapping, were both done after the affadavit, it's not clear whether the GPS monitoring was.)
posted by jeather at 2:01 PM on June 13, 2011


And I'm not trying to be accusatory or anything. I can honestly read it both ways, which I find interesting.
posted by ODiV at 2:01 PM on June 13, 2011


I would have told the fake facebook friend that I would love to meet her, but I would first have to try to get rid of the couple of awful sexually transmitted diseases I had. I had made a vow to myself not to infect anyone else.
posted by flarbuse at 2:01 PM on June 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


jeather: The first article says she friended him in "late May" and the affidavit is dated the 25th so it doesn't look as though he put it off for too long. I'd be interested to see the timeline though.
posted by ODiV at 2:04 PM on June 13, 2011


I expect adults (yes, even adults in a terrible divorce situation) to act like adults. By definition, this means NOT acting like 12 year old kids.



Have you been living in America lately? It seems to me adults behaving like children is being rewarded in almost every arena.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:10 PM on June 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


are.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:11 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the point of the exercise, burnmp3s, is not to prove that his wife is making fake Facebook accounts to annoy him, it is to prove that she is willing to go to some lengths to get him into legal trouble.

Well he's apparently willing to purposely get arrested by the FBI in order to get her into legal trouble, so it's clear that they both are willing to go some lengths in order to screw each other over in this custody battle. It could be that she's a terrible person who does this sort of thing all the time and that this was the only possible way for him to prove it, but barring that I think both sides should probably stop playing games and try to come out of it with something resembling a good compromise for both sides. At least in my experience, nasty custody battles are all about the parents trying to hurt each other and not about the welfare of the children.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:11 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


jeather: I just reread the original article about his arrest and it looks as though all claims listed (GPS, leaving town, $10k offer) were all made after the 25th.
posted by ODiV at 2:13 PM on June 13, 2011


Also, if she was really crazy, she would have hired a hit on herself so after her death he would be an accessory to murder.
posted by snofoam at 2:14 PM on June 13, 2011


"He hit me first" is actually NOT a moral defense.

What? Of course it is. If someone starts wailing on you you've got a perfect moral right to defend yourself (within reason of course). We can argue whether his response was entirely balanced or appropriate and how much rope you should give people intent on hanging themselves but in the real world it does matter who crossed the line first.
posted by Skorgu at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


This is all stolen from a Phillip K Dick story.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is all stolen from a Phillip K Dick story.

Weakly inspired screenplay or it didn't happen.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:45 PM on June 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Sheesh, couldn't she just have installed a keylogger on his laptop like most normal people do before getting divorced?

For certain values of batshit insane being normal, I mean.
posted by mikeh at 2:53 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would never occur to me to accept a friend request from someone I don't know, much less a 17 year old girl.
posted by vitabellosi at 3:24 PM on June 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


This was something called "just desserts."

pssst
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:05 PM on June 13, 2011


it would never occur to me that a friend request from a 17yo girl I didn't know was anything other than a spambot...
posted by russm at 4:07 PM on June 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


She created a fake identity for the purpose of spying/on entrapping someone else.

ISTR one or two states making fake online identities illegal for those purposes, after a teen was harassed to suicide by an adult posing as a teen.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:17 PM on June 13, 2011


So an affadavit is the same as adding "NOT!" to the end of your sentence?

I am going to kill you. NOT! haha.

Honestly, we know so little. He may have had a keylogger on her comp, he may also have had a GPS unit on her car.

The only thing we know for sure is that they should not have bred.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 4:19 PM on June 13, 2011 [3 favorites]



My son's mother has done similar things (and worse) in the past.

Her latest attempt was to make a fake friend to trap our son into saying something.

See, he's gay. She hates hates hates it. It's a sin against god and nature and she is absolutely convinced that he is gay because I molested him as a child (which isn't true of course, but yeah). So, if she can get him to talk about how he became gay then she can prove the molestation happened and then she can get custody back. Or something.

Anyway, he figured it out, like right away, and every time this "fake friend" brought the subject up, he insists that he is gay because his mom made him read the bible as a child and that she hates his father - so now he loves men compensate.*

They haven't spoken in several weeks, but the last time she emailed me it was all "You're going to burn in hell for turning my son against me".

*I wish I could take credit for putting him up to it, but believe me, he came up with that on his own. Her hatred of his gayness was the one thing that severed the tie between mother and son, and damn if I don't think its a crying shame no matter how insane I think she is.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:25 PM on June 13, 2011 [28 favorites]


So an affadavit is the same as adding "NOT!" to the end of your sentence?

Well in this circumstance, it's more like adding "I DO NOT MEAN WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY!" to the beginning of your sentence.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 4:28 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Put yourself in his shoes for a bit.

That's the only shoes we can inhabit - the wife's perspective is not given at all.


Did you read the first article?
posted by John Cohen at 4:31 PM on June 13, 2011


Maybe there's more to this particular story, I don't know, but I think the whole "oh you should always take the absolute high ground and not play into this sort of thing or you're just as bad" conceit in this thread is bollocks, and not because of the genders of the troll and the countertroll.

Granted, it hasn't happened in the past decade that I can recall, but I've had people make fake AIM usernames or use someone else's to try and "gotcha" me about something, and it's downright insulting. People who do this think that the rules of common decorum don't apply to them, or their cause is so righteous that it justifies lies and deceit. If this happens often enough, I will happily waste your time and potentially embarrass you. You don't get to throw a rock at my head and then expect me to politely ask you not to.

TL;DR: Don't start none, won't be none.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 4:43 PM on June 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is like arguing about the Middle East--your perspective is determined by where you came in on the story. He does look good and smart and she looks like a dope. But who knows what led her to act this way? I'm in no way justifying it; we simply don't know where all the crap began. A pox on both their houses, after the kids evacuate them.
posted by etaoin at 5:26 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the principles in the discussion has two vaginas and the other has none.

FTFY.

I'm not crazy about the mock threats to take the kids or kill the ex; I'd like the guy and the story a lot better if he "confessed" to something kinda gross but relatively harmless like "I used to pee in her shampoo bottle every time I took a shower" or something.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 5:32 PM on June 13, 2011


I also would like a proper timeline, because late May, to me, is any time after the 15th -- but none of this story makes all that much sense.

I think that the husband's plan was at best a bad idea, but I do think it is a reasonable assurance that he wasn't really going to have her killed.

Family friends had a divorce that looked almost exactly like this (death threats! psych lockups! random theft and destruction of property! asking friends to lend money and testify to that so that it looked like one of them had no money to pay alimony! etc), but with less internet and more expensive lawyers. In any one example, one of them looked terrible and the other looked slightly better, but there were lots of stories so it all evened out and they both came out having lost a lot of friendships and even more money.
posted by jeather at 5:47 PM on June 13, 2011


doctor_negative: Are you intending to support the mother's ruse?

No, the father's. My point is basically, morality is fine until a situation confronts you that you can't live with and for which you can find no moral solution.
posted by doctor_negative at 6:15 PM on June 13, 2011


There's one possibility that everyone is overlooking: maybe the kids are assholes too!
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:57 PM on June 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Aren't the real assholes here the feds? Apparently death threats are fine, but planting a GPS transponder on an American's citizen's car without a warrant is absolutely against the law. Except when they do it, then it's a-okay.
posted by mek at 7:10 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


doctor_negative writes "If they were my kids and I thought their mom was a bad parent, I'd do whatever it takes to keep them. "

Neatly summing up the problem of so many of these custody feuds. Both sides think they are saving their kids from a bad parent. Next thing you know there bunny is in the soup pot.
posted by Mitheral at 7:17 PM on June 13, 2011


I'm not crazy about the mock threats to take the kids or kill the ex; I'd like the guy and the story a lot better if he "confessed" to something kinda gross but relatively harmless like "I used to pee in her shampoo bottle every time I took a shower" or something.

This would work if your goal was just to needle her. His goal was to produce evidence of her trying to deceptively interfere with the custody process. She'd never go to the authorities with "He said he peed in my shampoo".
posted by kafziel at 8:08 PM on June 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Only a crazy person could feel seriously threatened by some guy who apparently thinks the way to hire a hitman is to get a teenage girl to find some "gang bangers" and offer to pay them.
The peak age for murder offenders in the US is somewhere around 19. I fear that if we had a way to play the "Bacon number" game we'd all find ourselves six degrees away from someone who would kill for money, and (due to both age and social network topology) the most general way to rapidly reduce your "Would-be Murderer number" would probably be to meet more teenagers and ask to be introduced to their worst acquaintances.

This is still an incredibly stupid way to hire a hitman, but does that necessarily make the threat less serious? I'd bet that if you plotted would-be murderers by IQ the results would skew even farther from average than the plot by age. Yet even a stupid threat to your life can be a successful threat. IIRC there's been more than one case where an unnatural death was solved after the discovery that the victim's husband hadn't so much as cleared "how to poison your wife" entries from his browser history.
posted by roystgnr at 8:17 PM on June 13, 2011


OK wait, I'm confused. Which one is Tom McMasters and which one is Bill Graber?
posted by DarlingBri at 8:28 PM on June 13, 2011


Wow! The comments at the Smoking Gun posts are crazy. You can't tell who is really who. Take the comment from Gamblinbug (no way to link to comments there, really?) stating that she's his sister. A cursory google turns up this moribund Blogger profile a set of pictures at Stickam and a YouTube channel, which all seem to confirm that it's his facebook friend Jesse Davis. I suppose his sister could be using his friend's user name but that seems a bit strange.
posted by unliteral at 9:20 PM on June 13, 2011


Actually, now I think about it, his sister might have married his friend in which case the double use of the user name makes sense. Crazy comments at the Smoking Gun anyway.
posted by unliteral at 9:23 PM on June 13, 2011


So, he asked his wife to find someone to kill his wife. It's like saying go kill yourself. I doubt there was any chance that she would actually hire someone to kill herself.

Bah, that's just what they want you to think!

Seriously, I've been tempted to initiate such an action, and that was mostly just because SOMEONE WHO WILL REMAIN NAMELESS ate two of the five tacquitos I was saving for lunch.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:40 PM on June 13, 2011


I used to pity myself because I only had five taquitos. Then I met the man who only had three.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:55 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't want your pity. However, I will take two of your tacquitos.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:01 PM on June 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mastermind or garden-variety asshole? You decide!

Neither, he's a Chessmaster.
posted by Scoo at 11:32 PM on June 13, 2011


I used to pity the man that only had three taquitos. Then he stole two of mine. So I "planned to move somewhere warm with his taquitos, make my next court dates, and would take off soon after." I asked my new, friendly teen-aged taquito thief “to find someone at your school, there should be some gang bangers there that would put a cap in his taquito for $10,000." Of course, I have a notarized affidavit dated from mid-June that all this was a ruse, to be used in further taquito custody battles.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 12:00 AM on June 14, 2011



whether he's an asshole or not in my mind takes a backseat to the fact that he's a total fool

Voelkert spent four days in custody

4 days in custody? yea, I bet that was fun. bonehead
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:20 AM on June 14, 2011


Damn. Poor kids.
posted by arcticseal at 1:09 AM on June 14, 2011


And somehow he's the bad guy.

If his wife was sexually abusing the children there would still be people on MeFi finding reasons why it's the guy's fault.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:16 AM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


SCOOBY-DOO IS MY NOTARY
posted by ennui.bz at 7:27 AM on June 14, 2011


Both of them are assholes. It would be nice if parents took that time and energy they expend on trying to one up each other and used it to actually parent their children. There is not a defensible position on either side.
posted by Kokopuff at 7:33 AM on June 14, 2011


Civil_Disobedient: And somehow he's the bad guy.

If his wife was sexually abusing the children there would still be people on MeFi finding reasons why it's the guy's fault


Outnumbered, no doubt, only by those people on MeFi explaining how it's the kids fault and they really need to take responsibility for their choices.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:13 AM on June 14, 2011


So an affadavit is the same as adding "NOT!" to the end of your sentence?

No, but I think an affadavit becomes a convincing piece of evidence when you have a notarized, dated document that says "my ex-wife has contacted me fraudulently under a fake name and I'm going to play along with her game in order to record details of her fraudery (and possibly collect evidence of harassment)."

Mastermind or garden-variety asshole? You decide!

Neither, he's a Chessmaster.


No, a chessmaster would have created a fake FB account to friend his ex-wife, convince her to create a fake FB account to friend her ex-husband, etc.

Also, a chessmaster would also not sit in jail for 4 days to say "ta da!"
posted by mrgrimm at 8:42 AM on June 14, 2011


Both of them are assholes. It would be nice if parents took that time and energy they expend on trying to one up each other and used it to actually parent their children. There is not a defensible position on either side.

I'm assuming that you know the people in question to be able to suggest that they need to "actually parent their children."
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:05 AM on June 14, 2011


Well yeah. They're tight on Facebook.
posted by ODiV at 9:21 AM on June 14, 2011


I fall on the side that thinks it's a bit odd that so many here are trying to claim both parents are equally culpable, those poor children, etc.

One parent tried to do something intentionally deceptive to the other in order to gain an upper hand in divorce/child support negotiations. The other responded in such a way as to expose that deception, which required doing/writing something extreme in response to force the mother's hand (and whether he went too far in that regard is a fair argument). He didn't set out to play dirty with his ex-wife, he responded to a situation she started with bad intentions.

Ignoring the loaded side-argument here about whether or not his being male is coloring some of the responses, I just fail to see how working to expose somebody who is trying to screw you over has anything at all to do with your skills as a parent?
posted by The Gooch at 9:25 AM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


ennui.bz writes "SCOOBY-DOO IS MY NOTARY"

Man I'd totally use the Scooby Doo Notary Company.
posted by Mitheral at 10:04 AM on June 14, 2011


They all sound insane to me.

I also second the "uh, you regularly friend 17-year-old girls when you're 38?" remark.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:06 PM on June 14, 2011


I didn't see anything saying he regularly "friended" 17-year-old girls. Did I miss it?
posted by ODiV at 3:22 PM on June 14, 2011


Yeah, you missed a baseless assumption from biased people scrambling for an excuse to make him the one at fault.
posted by kafziel at 3:36 PM on June 14, 2011


I also second the "uh, you regularly friend 17-year-old girls when you're 38?" remark.

As much as I hate Facebook, at least you don't get the porn/spambots attempting to friend you like myspace, so an message from a 17 year old girl would stand out like a sore thumb. I'd bet this was incredibly obvious, along the lines of "Dude I like Ur Pixx U R HOTT 4 an old guy!!". Now, if you're a 17-year old girl on Facebook there probably are tons of creepsters sending you friend invites, but not the reverse.

If you're a middle-aged guy going through a divorce and a random hot 17-year old decides to friend/message you, you would have to be pretty gullible not to figure it's entrapment of some kind.
posted by benzenedream at 4:31 PM on June 14, 2011


This is kinda hot. I've always fantasized about a Mr. & Mrs. Smith style intellectual combat relationship with a woman who can go toe-for-toe with me in any Thirty-Xanatos-Pileup.
posted by Eideteker at 6:34 AM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


As much as I hate Facebook, at least you don't get the porn/spambots attempting to friend you like myspace, so an message from a 17 year old girl would stand out like a sore thumb.

This used to be true, and I think it might be better now, but there was a stretch maybe a year or two where I regularly received a lot of friend invites from semi-attractive young women with no connections and few friends.

A dive into Facebook bots

Facebook Devil
posted by mrgrimm at 12:02 PM on June 15, 2011


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