Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign

Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

FRIDAY: (Telephone Filter) Johnny, it’s Joe Friday.

JOHNNY: Hey, Joe. How’s your part of the investigation going?

FRIDAY: (Telephone Filter) Liz just got back from the lab with the results.

JOHNNY: Uh, huh.

FRIDAY: (Telephone Filter) I think you’ll find them intriguing.

JOHNNY: Will I? I’ll come over and take a look.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out.

JOHNNY: The following is partial extract of the tweets sent and received during my investigation of The No Pings Only Matter.

THE GROUCH TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) A WordPress Engineer says they sent the pingback and email automatically.

JOHNNY: The Grouch wasn’t able to abide by a request to be left alone, so he wound up with yet another peace order issued against him. He was under a court order not to have any further contact with the victim. Of course, The Grouch being The Grouch, he found a way to contact the victim again. He wrote up a blog post and included a link back to the victim’s site.

Both The Grouch and his victim use WordPress as their blogging software, and the default setting for WordPress is to send and receive pingbacks when a link is created. That feature can be turned off at either end.

I contacted WordPress, and one of their engineers stepped me through the process of enabling and disabling pingbacks. I conducted a series of tests that demonstrated that when pingbacks are disabled, a live link does not result in a comment to the linked site or an email to the sites administrator.

There’s a theme that runs through most stories about independent investigators like me about tension between us and more official organizations. That isn’t true in my case; I try to get along. There were enough other angles to this case that I asked for some help from the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Office.

SOUND: Footsteps in hallway.

JOHNNY: It was just after 1 o’clock when I arrived at the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Office’s Internet Detail.

SOUND: Door opens.

SMITH: Good afternoon, Johnny. Come on in.

SOUND: Footsteps across room.

JOHNNY: Joe says you’ve got something for me.

SOUND: Chair pulled out.

SMITH: Yeah. The lab guys have finished the voiceprint analysis on that voicemail message. It’s a match with all the audio samples of his voice from his Internet radio programs.

JOHNNY: How good a match?

SMITH: In a couple of cases 100 percent.

JOHNNY: So clearly enough for a positive ID.

ANNOUNCER: I like long-sleeve t-shirts, and one of my favorites is the Hogewash! Res Judicata t-shirt. It’s exclusively available along with lots of other goodies at The Hogewash Store. Stop by today and spend some of your hard earned cash in support of Team Lickspittle. Or hit the Tip Jar. They’re both ways you can support the Team.

JOHNNY: How about that letter?

FRIDAY: The linguistic analysis that the lab guys ran shows it was likely written by The Grouch. The vocabulary, syntax, and such match very closely with his previous letters.

JOHNNY: Previous letters?

FRIDAY: Yes. We have his letters that he sent to the judges in The Bomber’s RICO case and that copyright lawsuit. We also have other correspondence related to the copyright suit. We even have the envelopes for most of that mail. The mail he sent to the U. S. District Court is postmarked from the same post office as the peace order letter.

JOHNNY: Sounds like The Grouch wrote that letter.

FRIDAY: The lab guys think so. I agree. He signed it, too.

JOHNNY: Oh?

FRIDAY: The signature is an original made with a ball-point pen. The motion used to form it  was too smooth for it to be a tracing, but there’s enough unsteadiness to be consistent with the signer having a motor disease such as Parkinson’s.

SMITH: And they say it’s his voice on that voicemail.

JOHNNY: Put all that together with the pingbacks, the emails via WordPress and ReverbNation, the admission on Twitter of a call to NASA …

FRIDAY: Yeah. It’s a pretty tight case.

JOHNNY: OK. Thanks, guys. I’ll get the report out.

JOHNNY TWEETS: (SYNTH VOICE) @TheGrouch No pings only!

MUSIC: Theme up and under

ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about next week’s intriguing episode of our story.

JOHNNY: Next time? When you pull on a loose thread, something will unravel. Join us, won’t you?

Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Swell theme and under

ANNOUNCER: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign, starring W. J. J. Hoge, is transcribed in Westminster. Be sure to join us next Monday, same time and URL, for the next exciting episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign.

MUSIC: Theme up to music out.

ANNOUNCER: Johnny Atsign is a work of fiction. If anyone thinks it’s about him, he should read Proverbs 28:1.

Be sure to tune in every Friday at 6 pm Eastern Time for an episode of Blognet or Blogsmoke on alternating weeks. This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.

40 thoughts on “Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign


  1. You mean to tell me he didn’t even disguise his voice? Hell, I try to avoid all his recording, but I’ve heard enough that it’s obvious that it’s Bill voice.

    Is this the first time the message has been played? I’m interested in how Bill would explain this one away.

    So how would one go about proving this in court?


  2. Well, now, wait just a minute – the adjudicated stalker and harasser claims he doesn’t remember doing those things, so they don’t count.

    And if he maintains that position, seems like it would bolster a vexatious determination, maybe a 5150, or maybe even a finding of mental incapacity.

    “Well, no, your honor – it’s not that I’m mentally incompetent, it’s that I’m a LIAR. Lying is a trick we journalmalists often use while under oath in court…”


  3. An adjudicated stalker that dumb ought to ask just who is trying hardest to get him incarcerated … his enemies … or his “friends”.


    • I honestly believe that William has lost his mind. I cracked wise about it before the letter, but now I’m convinced. Maybe he stopped taking his meds, but I doubt that anyone put him up to this.

      Whether he honestly doesn’t remember doing it or not is immaterial. The lad is clearly a nutter now.


  4. For those of you who are interested, here is a recording of Bill Schmalfeldt’s voice, ironically talking with current interning felon Neal Rauhauser.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5r-miSnfg8

    If anybody happens to know the whereabouts of Neal, please let law enforcement know, they’d like to have a word with him.


      • Yea, it looks like barber shops or stylists are out too.

        Neal isn’t too big on hygiene, is he? Although to be fair, it’s hard to bathe regularly when you’re hiding from the cops.


      • Apparently the down-twinkle Fairy doesn’t like you commenting about Neal and his snaggle-toothed ugly mug. I wonder why that is?


  5. Bill you have reached new heights in Oedipalness that no one may ever reach again.
    You thought it was a joke and so you laughed, you laughed when I had said
    that loosing you would make me flip my lid.. RIGHT???
    I know you laughed, I heard you laugh, you laughed you laughed and
    laughed and then you left, but now you know you utterly Oedipal… And..
    They’re coming to take you away, ha-haaa,
    They’re coming to take you away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa.
    To the happy home. With trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket
    weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and they’re
    coming to take you away, ha-haaa!!!
    Apologies to Jerry Samuels/Napoleon XIV


  6. A high percentage of the abusive comments and emails lobbed towards our host, if not all, probably came from him too. And now we’re going to find out.

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