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Torture Couple Warning Email

Summary:
Email warns recipients that a fugitive couple accused of torturing their children may be in your area (Full commentary below).



Status:
Was true, but the couple have now been apprehended.

Example:(Submitted, February 2005)
Subject: keep your eyes peeled

This couple is on the run, so they could be anywhere - including your neighborhood, so keep your eyes peeled.

These folks are well off - have a home, a motorhome and a Lexus, and from their photos, they look VERY well fed, but it seems like they were unable to feed the children in their home inbetween sessions of torturing them.

This couple is on the run with their black and gold motorhome and gold Lexus - details on how to contact the Citrus County Sheriff's dept. are at the bottom of the article:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/02/03/family.torture/index.html




Commentary:
Information in this email was true at the time it first began circulating. However, the wanted pair described in the email have now been apprehended. At the time of writing, the couple were locked up in the San Juan County Jail awaiting extradition to Florida.

Since these alleged child abusers have now been apprehended, there is no longer any need to forward the email. In fact, forwarding the email might cause more problems as it could lead to false sightings, undue fear and alarm, and waste the time of law enforcement authorities obliged to field questions about the couple.

A problem with these sorts of warning emails is that they often continue to circulate long after the instigating issue has been well and truly resolved. They tend to mutate as they travel. Recipients may add or delete information either from misguided attempts to help the "cause" or from a malicious desire to spread misinformation. Locations and other details can be altered and the messages can even jump national boundaries and begin life anew in a different country with localized information. In spite of any initial value that such messages may have had, they can soon degenerate into nothing more than useless and irritating inbox garbage.

If you receive a "warning" email of this nature, you would be wise to check its validity before forwarding. Perhaps, as in this case, the information in the message was true but the continued forwarding of the message would be completely pointless.

References:
Extradition Date Unclear For Couple Accused Of Torture
Couple Awaits Child Torture Extradition

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen