Crime, gamer, harassment, Life, Swatting, video games

The Fall of @DemonTheLord Part 1

The monster who tried to kill me and my family is finally in Federal Prison.  October 13, 2016 was day one of his one year and one day sentence.  I’ve been unable to write about what he did, and how we got here, until the day he stepped foot in prison to pay for his crimes.

This is part one of three.  The before.  The how, what, and why.  I’ve chosen not to reveal the name of the monster who did this to us, or specifically where he is from.  Just the state that he lives in.  He wanted to be famous, in not revealing his name, even in writing this, I am denying him that.

seal_of_the_federal_bureau_of_prisons-svg

The Fall of @DemonTheLord

The FBI later told me that he sat, harassed, terrorized, planned and plotted in a dark, small room somewhere in Oklahoma.  Roughly 18 years old, with a twisted mind surrounded by computer monitors and computer equipment wrapped in an anonymous online name that gave him a sense of invincibility. He had two ridiculous obsessions.  To take over the internet and become its so-called king, and to have my daughter.

If your child plays online video games this is for you as they will become the #1 target for “swatting” in the United States. 

STATISTIC:  Between 2002 and 2006, the five swatters called 9-1-1 lines in more than 60 cities nationwide, impacting more than 100 victims, causing a disruption of services for telecommunications providers and emergency responders, and resulting in up to $250,000 in losses.  Source.  FBI.gov 

This is a true story. This is our story. This is my story. But it hasn’t ended yet. My hope is to inform others, to teach others, to warn others of what can happen to you and your family. What you thought could only happen to somebody else, or you probably didn’t even realize could happen to you…. You need to know.  I’m hoping by the end of our story you will understand what we are all up against, and how to protect your family as best you can.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  THE BACKGROUND

My daughter, who is 25 now, has played video games with her Dad and his friends since she was 8 years old.  Games like Halo, Rainbow 6, Call of Duty.  First person shooter games where you compete in battle campaigns solo, or with a team of players.  By the time she became so good at these games, beating her Dad and his friends all the time, Xbox released Xbox Live so she could now play with other gamers from around the world via the internet.  What a great idea, right?  She could now get even better by playing others just a good as she was.  Her “gamer tag” is how she, and other gamers, identify themselves online.  Just a fun code name so you do not have to use your real name online.  (Tip #1 NEVER use your real name as your gamer tag!)

My daughter became so good that when other gamers would see her sign in to play they would leave the game knowing that they could not beat her.  She later would use different names to sign in with so people would not realize it was her, and would play with her.  It seemed funny at the time that she was becoming so well known that people would avoid playing with her for fear of losing.  (Tip #2 The more well-known you are the more likely you are of becoming a target for “swatting”)

Years of gaming go by, and tons of people asking her to teach them how to play, or to let them watch her play and learn from her.  She decides to buy a web cam, one of those cute little round ones that would sit on top of your computer monitor.  This was before affordably prices laptops came with webcams included in the frame.  She then tapes the webcam to a headband so it faces her gaming screen, and then puts the live video feed online so people can watch her play.  It was so funny to see her sitting there, my cute little teenage girl, with this webcam on top of her head.  But hey, it worked and her friends loved it.  Now they could watch and learn and hear her talking to them while she played. 

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More years go by, and she found an internet based company that is dedicated to online gaming streamers who want to entertain their viewers like she had been doing already, but they could now make money doing it.  Thousands of dollars later she has a Star Trek like computer set up in her room, and she is a partner with this streaming company where subscribers pay $4.99 per month to watch her play, learn from her, chat with her, and discover new games and products she would tell them about.  She has thousands of online viewers, companies that sponsor her and send her merchandise to promote, and she travels the country as a female professional gamer to compete in tournaments, or be an ambassador to promote women in the gaming industry.

Cool, right?  Making money to play video games.  Who would have thought that would even be possible?  It’s a dream job.  Until you become so popular that you now have obsessive fans, and/or people who are threatened by your success.

I told her to shrug it off at first.  You have to have thick skin to be a female gamer.  A lot of men and boys in the gaming industry do NOT like female players.  At all.  They come together in groups to kick the girls offline, out of gaming sites, and off the internet completely.  Did you know that the male professional gamers for the most part will not allow female gamers on teams?  The women had to go out and make their own professional league, and my daughter was one of the first chosen to be in this league, and lead a team.  I’m so proud of her. 

pro-gaming-crowd

Now, my daughter has been harassed online pretty much from the beginning of online gaming.  Being a girl, and being pretty has helped and hurt her.  It’s not just gaming sites either.  Once you establish an online identity you tend to cross over social media platforms, and these harassers will follow you to every site you are on.  She has been told by a good number of these male gamers how they would like to kill her, and rape her. They have crashed her router with hundreds of men/boys hitting all at once on her screen telling her to go kill herself before they can find her and then either kill or rape her. Not necessarily in that order either.  They are very specific, and graphic, and have caused many of bad nights where she would be forced offline and just sit with me until the trauma had passed.  

Cyber Bullying Statistics 2014.      25% of teenagers report that they have experienced repeated bullying by their cell phone, or on the Internet. 52% of young people report being cyber bullied. …

Are you outraged yet?  This is barely the beginning……  Imagine holding your shaking, traumatized, and scared daughter after she has been virtually raped online.  Here’s where you say why didn’t you just tell her to stop streaming video games?  Why did you let her continue if it’s that bad?  Well, by this time she is over 18, and a legal adult, BUT why should SHE be forced offline and to quit the career she has chosen because she’s a girl and being threatened.  Why should she be the one attacked, and now be told to run and hide like she did something wrong?  Why do men/boys in this industry get away with and think that it’s okay to do this to a female who DARES to enter their “club”? 

All of that aside, my daughter continued to develop her career, have the time of her life doing what she loves, travelling the country, and mentoring other female gamers at the beginning of their careers.   

Then she caught his attention somehow, somewhere, in some game, or through some post.     

threat

MADNESS

The harassment and threats started sometime in early 2013.   I cannot remember exactly as the months have run together in my mind, but it started for my daughter first.  My daughter had by this time moved out into her own home in another city close by us. When the harassment became too much for her I was finally informed, and then in October 2013 it started happening to me.  Seemingly innocent enough, boy meets girl online and says he likes her.  Girl tells him that’s nice, but I have a boyfriend.  Then boy gets mad because she is not giving him what he wants. 

Hidden behind the online Twitter username @DemonTheLord he barraged her with requests to add him to all of her social media sites as a friend.  Sensing that something was not right in this situation my daughter repeatedly refused to interact with him.  She was used to fans, but he was aggressive and she did not want to interact with him.  He was in her streaming chat room, he was on her Twitter, he would not leave her alone.  He would tell her that he just wanted to talk to her because he liked her and thought she should be his girlfriend.  Finally, my daughter became more forceful and told him to leave her alone and do not contact her again.  She blocked him on her sites, she refused to answer any private messages that he still somehow was able to send.  He would then start to reach out to her friends, whom he did not even know, trying to get to her through them.  He was so thoroughly blocked from getting to her that I’m positive that is when his infatuation and obsession with her turned into anger and rage.

leave-us-alone

The rage took him from trying to interact with her online to obtaining her phone number somehow and calling, leaving messages, and texts to threaten her.  He was now demanding that if she paid him money he would leave her alone.  She told him no.  He then told her that if she added him as friend, and promoted him friend to her thousands of social media friends/followers to increase his number of friends online he would leave her alone.  Again, she said no.

Then starts the router “flooding” where she is hit so hard online that it cuts the internet off to our whole house.  Did you know people could do that?  I didn’t either.  Then he starts trying to hack into all of her social media sites…  She would get multiple warning messages each day of attempted hacking and to change her password to protect her account.  Keep in mind the phone calls, messages, and texts are still coming in during all of this. 

Then he goes after her financials.  Paypal, online banking sites.  It was a mess.  By this time she has asked me for help.  We barely blocked him on one site, and he was hacking into another.  This went on for weeks.  Then he somehow got my number.  We still do not know how this happened, but as a grown woman who has more information online that the daughter half my age, it apparently it wasn’t very hard for him to find out EVERYTHING about ME. 

I started getting phone calls and text messages from a different number each and every time asking me for my daughter’s information.  “Miss, I’m texting because I am with a very large gaming company that your daughter has bought merchandise from us, and we need to verify her address, and email information as a last step before we send out her merchandise.”, “Miss, I’m calling because I have a delivery coming for your daughter, please verify which bank the purchase was made from”.  You name it and he tried it.  I was so confused at first and would call my daughter to see if she really did have a package coming and she would FREAK OUT that it was him and to NEVER give any of her information to anyone.  I started to get a little scared then.

Then I get a text simply saying “tell your daughter that I am sorry, and that I had to”.  It had a short link to click on.  Once I clicked on it the link took me to a HUGE file sharing site where he had released not only my daughter’s name, and gaming alias, but MY name, address, phone number, social security number, previous addresses, maiden name……  EVERY POSSIBLE PERSONAL DETAIL ABOUT ME was now online and getting sent out to the internet for everyone to see.  He DOXXED us.   In case you do not realize this, doxxing is a CRIME. 

doxxing

dox  däks/  verb
gerund or present participle: doxxing
  1. search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.
    “hackers and online vigilantes routinely dox both public and private figures”

He said he was sorry, and he had to.  He was now using me, and my identity and location to blackmail my daughter to give into his demands.  I contacted the site trying to get my information down, to this day I have never received a response to my requests.

I think it’s important to mention at this point that my daughter has tried to spare her family any trouble from the social media, and gaming community since the beginning.  Here are just some of the things she has done, and has HAD to do to protect both herself, and her family.

·        She has NEVER used her real name online

·        She has NEVER linked her address, or phone number to any streaming or social sites

·        As her popularity increased she asked all of her family to NEVER interact with her on most of her social and streaming sites because it would lend clues to her actual identity, and put US in danger of the harassment that she endures

·        For security reasons she has purchased her own customizable modems so that she can change IP addresses as needed, and other technology to bounce her actual location to different spots around the world so her address can never be pinpointed

·        She moved away from home and we refused to change her address on her driver’s license because that information can be found online

Despite all of this he was still able to find me through her.  I was now a liability to her.  It was only a matter of time before he cracked all of her information too. 

NOVEMBER 2013

swatting

A few days later my daughter comes to visit me, and sits me down to tell me that he was hinting at “swatting” her as a punishment for still ignoring him.  Swatting is the act of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into sending a police and 911 response team to another person’s address, based on the false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage-taking or other alleged incident. The term derives from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), a specialized type of police unit in the United States and many other countries carrying military-style equipment such as door breaching weapons, submachine guns and assault rifles.   See Wiki page here

She explained to me what “swatting” was because I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.  She showed me You Tube videos of it happening to other online gamers.  I was now absolutely terrified.  She was only a little concerned about it because she did not really believe he would go through with it, but as I was still receiving increasingly nasty voicemails from this person I chose to take it as a 100% credible threat.  The one good thing about all of this was that my daughter no longer lived at home with us, but nobody outside of close friends and family knew that. 

I explained to my husband what was happening, and the implied threat we had received, and like my daughter he was not overly concerned.  “Swatting” happens to OTHER people, celebrities, not people like us.  I was so upset about it, and the danger to us and our animals, that he finally agreed to go with me to the police department to file a report about it.

This is the point where I felt as if I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.  We went in to file our report of the harassment, and the threat of being “Swatted”.  My concerns were brushed off by the police officer we spoke to, and I quote “Things like that don’t happen here”.  Because I only had an anonymous gaming tag to give them for the person we were being harassed by there was NEVER a report filed on our behalf stating that we were in fear for our safety, nor was our request to “flag” our house as a possible “Swatting” location ever set up.   I left the police department crying and in despair that I was not being taken seriously.

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING

Magically after the swatting threat was received all of the calls, texts, voicemails, etc just stopped.  I went from dealing with this harassment every single day to blessed silence.  I thought, we all did, that he had finally given up and moved on.  I’ve never been more wrong about anything in my life.

Part two will be coming in the following days.

 

jeanie

A little about me…… I’m a princess……yes, a real live princess….. I have a purse, shoe, and book obsession. I’m a borderline animal hoarder with 2 dogs, and 4 cats, and I’m also a House Cat, living in paradise with the love of my life AKA: Mr. Sexy Pants.  I’m also the proud mother of a beautiful 25 year old daughter who professionally video games for her career.  I can’t stand hot weather……… love when it’s cold outside, and I’m emotionally high maintenance requiring LOTS of attention. I only sing in the car, not the shower, and always by myself…… Last, but not least………I drive a little red hot rod Hyundai (yes I know, don’t say it), her name is Miss Scarlett

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