"Enlargement" Ads Induce Spam Rage

November 24, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A computer programmer who popped after receiving one too many penis enlargement ads has been arrested for allegedly making repeated threats to the staff of an Internet marketing company.

Charles Booher was arrested last week after he went on a rampage sending threatening e-mails to an employee of a Canadian company between May and July. This came after Booher sent requests to the company to be taken off its e-mail distribution list, according to a Reuters report.

Booher said the problem stemmed from a program he mistakenly downloaded from the Internet that brought a continuous stream of advertising to his computer. Despite his repeated efforts to be removed from the list, the ads kept coming. Finally, Booher said enough was enough w hen he received another e-mail promising to enlarge his penis and he went off bombarding the company with e-mails of his own. Using a return e-mail address that read Satan+hell.org, Booher made a series of threats to an employee of the firm, threatening to:

  • send a “package full of anthrax spores” to the company
  • “disable” the employee with a bullet and torture him with an ice pick and power drill
  • hunting down and contrasting the employee unless he removed Booher from the company’s e-mail list.

“This went for a long, long time. He seemed really dedicated to this,” said the object of Booher’s ire Douglas Mackay, president of DM Contact Management. Mackay’s company works for Albion Medical, a company advertising the “Only Reliable, Medically Approved Penis Enhancement.”

“He seemed like a guy just crazy enough with nothing to lose that might actually do something,” Mackay continued. Further, Mackay pleaded innocent to any wrongdoing since his company does not send spam. Rather, Mackay blames the barrage of ads on a rival firm, which Mackay says routes much of its unsolicited bulk e-mail through Russia and Eastern Europe . Mackay said such companies gave a bad name to the penis enhancement business.

After being hauled into to jail, Booher was later released on $75,000 bond. The Sunnyvale, California, man now faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for next month on charges of threatening to injure someone.

In a telephone interview with Reuters, Booher acknowledged that he had behaved badly but said his computer had been rendered almost unusable for about two months by a barrage of pop-up advertising and e-mail. “Here’s what happened: I go to their Web site and start complaining to them, would you please, please, please stop bothering me,” he said. “It just sort of escalated…and I sort of lost my cool at that point.” Further, Booher said he does not own any guns or possess any anthrax.