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Mike Conalley - M.O.B Screen Name Warning Hoax

Summary:
Email claiming to be from the State Police warns that a person called Mike Conalley who uses the screen name "M.O.B" is murdering women he has contacted over the Internet (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, December 2006)
Subject: STATE POLICE WARNING DO NOT IGNORE!!

State police warning for online: Please read this "very carefully"..then send it out to all the people online that you know.

Something like this is nothing to be taken casually; this is something you DO want to pay attention to.

If a person with the screen-name of M.O.B. or goes by his name MIKE CONALLEY contacts you, do not reply. DO NOT talk to this person; do not answer any of his/her instant messages or e-mail. Whoever this person may be, he/she is a suspect for murder in the death of 3 women (so far) contacted through the Internet. He is a suspect in a shooting and is known for raping and beating young women. He is located in the central Illinois area. Please send this to all the women on your buddy list and ask them to pass this on, as well. This screen-name was seen on Yahoo and AOL so far. This is not a joke! Please send this to men too...just in case! Send to everyone you know! Ladies, this is serious.

Jennifer S. Faulkner
Education/Information Specialist Bloomington/Normal

[Contact Information Removed]

IF WE CAN PASS ON JOKES, SURELY WE CAN PASS ON A WARNING THAT MAY SAVE A FRIENDS LIFE




Commentary:
According to this bogus "State Police Warning" a person named Mike Conalley is using the Internet screen name "M.O.B" to contact women who he subsequently attacks and murders. However, the "warning" is just one more in a long line of similar hoax messages that use different screen names.

Although the "warning" claims that "Mike Conalley" is operating out of the US state of Illinois, there is no information about the crimes described on the Illinois State Police website. Nor are there any news reports about the supposed crimes from Illinois or elsewhere.

From time to time someone changes a few details in one of the messages and substitutes a new screen name before sending on the revised version. These revisions may be intended as pranks or be vindictive attempts to discredit the people named in the messages. Either way, the warnings are false and should not be forwarded. Another widely circulated variant uses the screen name "Monkeyman935".

This Illinois based version and several others are falsely attributed to Jennifer S. Faulkner. Faulkner's supposed location and contact details vary. This version claims that she is located in Bloomington/Normal Illinois. Other versions list her as a staff member of the Fire-EMS in Roanoke, Virginia. Although Jennifer S. Faulkner apparently did work for Roanoke Fire-EMS, she has denied responsibility for the message:
It seems as if this e-mail you are referring to has been forwarded many times with our contact information at the bottom. The information did not originate from and is not, in any way, affiliated with this department.

As stated, this version of the "warning" is totally unfounded and should not be sent onward. However, the original version, which warned of a person using the screen name "Slavemaster", apparently began circulation as a result of real crimes committed by serial killer John E. Robinson. After a lengthy history of violence and murder, Robinson was finally arrested in 2000. He was charged in relation to the murders of several women, some of whom he met via Internet chat rooms. Robinson, going by the nickname "Slavemaster", used the Internet to entice women into participating in sadomasochistic relationships, several of which ended in homicide.

However, even the original version distorted the truth and very quickly became redundant. Perhaps the message may have had some value as a warning for a short time when it first began circulating back at the turn of the century. However, as soon as Robinson was apprehended, the warning became just one more piece of Internet flotsam. Unfortunately, garbled versions of the warning continue to circulate years after Robinson's arrest.

These bogus warnings spread misinformation and cause unnecessary fear and alarm. They may also unfairly malign innocent people who have had their name and screen name plugged into versions of the hoax message without their knowledge or permission.

An earlier example:
State police warning for online

Please read this "very carefully"...then send it out to all the people online that you know. Something like this is nothing to take casually; this is something you DO want to pay attention to. Think of it as a bit of advice too. If a person with the screen-name of Slavemaster contacts you, do not reply. DO not talk to this person; do not answer any of his/her instant Messages or e-mail. Whoever this person may be, he/she is a suspect for murder in the death of 56 women (so far) contacted through the Internet. Please send this to all the women on your buddy list and ask them to pass this on, as well. This screen-name was seen on Yahoo, AOL, and Excite, so far. This is not a joke! Please send this to men too...just in case! Send to everyone you know! Ladies, this is serious.

Jennifer S. Faulkner
Education/Information Specialist
Roanoke Fire-EMS
[Contact details removed]


References:
Illinois State Police Home Page
Monkeyman935 Online Warning Hoax
Packrat Productions: Information
John Robinson first Internet serial killer - The Crime library

Last updated: 2nd January 2007
First published: 2nd January 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen