Many new readers will not know the story of Dennis Markuze. But skeptics and atheists who have been around for a few years will have experienced the messages, spam, tweets and general harassment by this disturbed individual better known as “David Mabus” and notorious for his Depeche Mode references and incoherent YouTube vids.
He was in court today and he pleaded guilty to the charges of threats and breach of probation.
St-Laurent man pleads guilty after posting threats online.
Dennis Markuze, 43, a man who often uses the alias David Mabus when he makes threats, appeared before Quebec Court Judge Jean-Claude Boyer at the Montreal courthouse on Thursday where he entered a plea to three charges in all, including a breach of his probation.
In one threat Markuze posted he wrote: “Die f–cking atheists. I will cut your heads off.” During the court hearing two years ago, a prosecutor said health professionals who assessed Markuze attributed cocaine abuse as what was behind the threats and what fuelled his aggressive and threatening stance supporting the existence of God.
At that point he received a suspended sentence that left us all perplexed. Within months, he was back at it and we logged the abuse and Tim Farley kept in contact with the Montreal police and the reporter for this story.
As the article notes, this has been going on before 2012. We have stories from 2011 on this blog.
This has been a long process that meant months of spam where many tried to get all of Markuze’s Twitter accounts closed. Portions of everyday was spent hitting “Block > Report Spam”. He tried to contact us on Facebook [Reported]. He sent obscene comments to our blogs and emails [Blocked]. It was annoying, but to the police it was not so pressing. But how was anyone to know if his threats were nonsense ravings or serious? How could we know that he wouldn’t follow through and attempt something drastic? Thus, this is essentially the most reasonable outcome that could be hoped for – that it is recognized that his is a nuisance and possibly dangerous. It’s been a quiet year or so with no messages from Mabus (or his many fake names). We can only hope it’s over for good. Again. His sentencing, however, will not be until November. It’s hard to predict what might happen until then.
Check out the Skeptools blog for more. And you can see details of how Tim Farley of Skeptools was instrumental in finally getting Markuze apprehended before he really did hurt someone or himself.
As rationalists, we need to always be aware that we don’t know the whole story. What we may interpret as hate may just as likely be drug addiction or mental illness. That means we can’t shoot hate back. We must be open-minded and empathetic, even for Mabus.
Tip: Tim Farley @krelnik on Twitter