As everyone on the Internet now knows, Dennis Markuze/Dave Mabus has been arrested pending psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he’s fit for trial. The whole place has gone quiet. Though I was by no means a major Mabus target, his footprint was everywhere. It’s like a persistent noise that suddenly stops and everyone wakes up and asks “what’s that?”
I hope Markuze gets the help he so obviously needs and I’m glad he’s unable to cause mischief. But being me, I can still find something to complain about.
Markuze was reported to the police years ago, when he was just an enormous nuisance. He was reported again and again as he became more aggressive and threatening. I wrote to the Montreal police myself. Lots of other people who were far bigger targets for Markuze did likewise.
And nothing happened. The Montreal police didn’t care. They didn’t care when he turned up in person at an atheist convention, after making thousands of death threats against atheists. They didn’t care until they got a taste of Mabus’ medicine. And they didn’t like it. They didn’t like it at all. A petition was set up by Kyle VanderBeek, which got nearly 5000 signatures. Each one sent a message to the Montreal police. Who immediately started complaining about spam! Meanwhile, some Twitter savvy gent baited Markuze into including the Montreal police in some of his threats.
And the deal was done. Markuze was arrested. Two decades ago, when people started complaining, would have been better. So what’s the deal? Did the Montreal police just not realise how much of a nuisance he was making of himself? Did they not take his threats seriously? Or did they just not care about a bunch of Internet geeks until it was made too inconvenient for them to ignore?
Nobody has Markuze’s footprint, but I’ve had maybe a dozen death threats from random Internet people over the last couple of decades. I didn’t take them seriously. Would the police have taken them seriously if I’d reported them? Would they have taken them seriously if they’d arrived by snail?