The Federal Bureau of Investigations is investigating a death threat made against the Chillicothe Guardian that occurred Wednesday morning.
The threat was received by the Guardian at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The message was sent through the “contact” page on the Guardian’s website and contained very disturbing words.
“You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words,” the message read. “You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker.”
The message went on to say, “You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands…. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.”
When the Guardian received the message Wednesday morning, the publication’s interim editor-in-chief Derek Myers contacted the FBI to report the threat.
“We were with the FBI for much of the afternoon, as well as in contact with the company that hosts our website servers,” said Myers. “We are taking this threat very seriously and are taking safety precautions to ensure our safety.”
Upon further research, the message appears to have been a copy-and-paste widely circulated “meme” comment on the internet. However, despite its regurgitation, according to attorney Brad Jones, people who have posted the message have been criminally charged.
“In Ohio, at least one person from Wilmington was recently charged and convicted of inducing panic and menacing for circulating the comment on a school district’s Facebook page,” Jones said. “Others across the country have been charged and even some receiving hefty jail sentences.”
According to the Guardian, the FBI is continuing their investigation.
On Tuesday, the Guardian also filed a police report with the Chillicothe Police Department documenting other threats sent through social media.
“Let this serve as a lesson to anyone who thinks it is okay to intimidate the news media that this behavior will not be tolerated,” Myers said. “We are confident in the authorities’ ability to hold the people accountable who sent these messages, both the local person on social media who threatened us on Tuesday and whomever sent the one through our website on Wednesday.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Per our ethics (chillicotheguardian.com/ethics), the offensive language in this article was reprinted to say in-line with our beliefs. Particularly, “We will use obscenities, vulgarities, or slurs only in direct quotations and only if the quote is essential to the story,” and “We report on hate speech and actions but include original offensive expressions only when specifically necessary for audience understanding of the case.” Further, we publicly disclose that the Guardian is responsible for the authoring of this article that involves our publication as a subject to the story.