This spring and summer there have a large number of criminal cases thrown out by prosecutors who seemed to be acting to protect violent criminals who happen to be connected to causes or individuals favored by those prosecutors. There’s nothing new under the Sun. This episode of Blognet first ran six years ago today.
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NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
MUSIC: Up, then under …
NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. A group of bloggers has been writing about the activities of a paroled domestic terrorist and his associates. He, in turn, had been seen stalking some of those bloggers, and photographs related to that stalking had been posted on the Internet. Your job … connect the dots.
MUSIC: Up then under …
ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.
MUSIC: Up and out.
SOUND: Footsteps in parking lot.
FRIDAY: It was Friday, March 1st. It was clear and unseasonably warm in Westminster. We were working the evening shift out of Internet Detail. My partner’s Liz Smith. The Boss is Twitter Town Sheriff W. J. J. Hoge. My name’s Friday. It was 9:06 pm when I escorted a pair of harassment victims back to their car.
FRIDAY: Be careful. You’ve done the right thing by making sure that everything was properly reported to the Howard County Police.
HUSBAND: Thanks for you help.
FRIDAY: Try to get a good night’s rest.
WIFE: I’m still shaking. He got so close.
FRIDAY: Your husband will take care of you. Meanwhile, we’ll get to work on the evidence you brought us.
HUSBAND: Thanks again.
SOUND: Car doors open and close.
FRIDAY: Just head down Main Street to the railroad crossing and turn left on 27. It will take you all the way to 270.
SOUND: Car starts.
HUSBAND: OK, got it.
FRIDAY: We’ll call you when we have something.
SOUND: Car drives off.
FRIDAY: My partner Liz Smith began investigating the metadata contained in pictures published the stalker, a guy named Timberland.
Monday, March 18th.
SMITH: Hey, Joe. Check this out?
FRIDAY: Whatcha got?
SMITH: Here’s the metadata from the pictures of that fizzled protest at BlogBash that were posted on the web.
FRIDAY: Uh, huh.
SMITH: Now, here’s the metadata from the pictures Timberland took of that couple at the courthouse a few weeks ago. Do you see it?
FRIDAY: Uh, huh. They were downloaded to the same computer.
SMITH: Not only that, but the same type of camera—an iPhone—took the pictures.
FRIDAY: OK. There’s something else that I saw. Bring up the light table display of the BlogBash pictures. Let’s see … click on that one.
SMITH: Yeah. That’s taken from the interior of a car. So what?
FRIDAY: The car has a fairly odd dashboard layout, doesn’t it?
SMITH: Oh. The instruments are in the center of the dash.
FRIDAY: That’s the dashboard of a Prius.
SMITH: I’ve got it! The picture from the courthouse shows Timberland in a Prius.
FRIDAY: All of which suggests …
SMITH: … that Timberland was outside of BlogBash taking pictures.
FRIDAY: Or that he was the subject of some of the pictures. We can figure out where the photographer was located based on the point of view of the snapshots. That will tell us which surveillance videos to check.
SMITH: I’ll get right on it.
FRIDAY: Yeah. Let’s find a photograph that will do him justice.
MUSIC: Stinger and under.
FRIDAY: The evidence showed that Timberland had been stalking the husband of the couple on both the 1st of March at the Howard County Courthouse and on the 14th at BlogBash. There was a clear pattern of sustained behavior. We put our report together, and the boss forwarded to the victims.
Monday. March 25th.
SOUND: Telephone rings twice. Receiver picked up.
FRIDAY: Internet Detail, Sergeant Friday. … Yes. How did things go with the State’s Attorney today. … Oh? … That’s unfortunate. … He said what? … Are you sure you didn’t misunderstand? … No, I’m not sure what we can do, but I will check. … No. … Of course, we will provide what we have. … I’m sorry that they took such a decision. … Yes. … Goodbye.
SOUND: Receiver hung up.
SMITH: What was that?
FRIDAY: Remember the couple from Virginia that Timberland stalked down at the Howard County District Courthouse?
SMITH: Uh, huh.
FRIDAY: The State’s Attorney’s Office won’t prosecute the case.
SMITH: You’re joking! There’s eyewitness testimony from the victims and courthouse security personnel, and there’s photographic evidence. What reason did they give?
FRIDAY: They weren’t too clear on that. But the strangest thing was the Assistant State’s Attorney telling the victims that if they didn’t want to be stalked they should stay out of Maryland.
FRIDAY: Yeah. It doesn’t make sense, but it seems to be the policy of Howard County State’s Attorney.
MUSIC: Up and under.
NARRATOR: On June 24th, a primary election was held for the Democratic Party nomination for State’s Attorney in Howard County. In a moment the results of that election.
PINKY: Look, Brain … the boss has got a lot more stuff than mousepads for sale at The Hogewash Store.
ANNOUNCER: That’s right, Pinky. There’s a lot of neat stuff to spend your money on at The Hogewash Store. There are shirts, and bags, and drinkware, and all sorts of other interesting items with the Team Lickspittle, Res Judicata, Collateral Estoppel, The Grand Hog, and Johnny Atsign logos. Loyal members of Team Likckspittle can show their support by shopping today. And did you know that there’s another way to show your support? Feel free to hit the Tip Jar.
NARRATOR: On June 24th, the primary election for the Democratic Party nomination for Howard Count State’s Attorney was won by the incumbent by a better than 2-to-1 margin. He is unopposed in the general election.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: You have just heard Blognet, a series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice comes from the office of the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Blognet is a work of fiction. Anyone who thinks it’s about him should read Proverbs 28:1.
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.
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BTW, here’s the status of the @itstime_2020 Twitter account as of 10 pm ET Friday.