June 4, 2003 Fake Beckner emails
June 04, 2003 - Ramsey Update #86
Wednesday, June 4, 2003
Mark Beckner, Police, (303) 441-4370
Jodie Carroll, Media Relations, (303) 441-3155
City Web site: www.bouldercolorado.gov
Ramsey Case New Release Index
Unlawful e-mails sent under Chief Beckner's name
The Boulder Police Department recently became aware that someone was unlawfully sending e-mails using the name of Chief Beckner. On April 25, 2003, Rocky Mountain News columnist Charlie Brennan received an e-mail titled as being from "Chief Beckner" complementing Mr. Brennan for a recent column he had written on the JonBenet Ramsey case. According to embedded information within the message, the e-mail was sent from a MSN Hotmail account, becknerbpd(at)hotmail.com. The e-mail was then signed off with "Regards, Mark." Please see below message text:

From: Chief Beckner
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 1:16 PM
To: brennanc@rockymountainnews.com
Subject: Great articles!
Just want you to know I thought those two articles you wrote today were excellent. You got everything right, as you always do.
Thanks for all your support. Eventually, we'll be proven right.

Being skeptical of the message's authenticity, Mr. Brennan telephoned Chief Beckner to ask him about the message. Chief Beckner confirmed that he did not send the message. The Chief was alarmed that someone was apparently using his title and name without authorization to communicate about the JonBenet Ramsey case with members of the media.
Search warrants were obtained and executed for MSN Hotmail in California. According to MSN Hotmail, the becknerbpd(at)hotmail.com account was established in 2000. The account creator provided information stating that the owner was "Chief Beckner" from "Boulder, Colorado," and furthermore, provided an accurate birth year for the Chief.
Further investigation led police to the Internet Protocol (IP) numbers from where the suspect had been accessing the becknerbpd(at)hotmail.com account. Since early March 2003, all access to the becknerbpd(at)hotmail.com account were from a single Netcom (now owned by Earthlink) dial-up account.
A search warrant was obtained and executed for Earthlink in Georgia. According to Earthlink's records, the account holder that has been accessing the becknerbpd(at)hotmail.com e-mail account is Susan B. Stine, 5760 Long Grove Drive, Atlanta, Georgia. Susan Stine is known as a close friend of John and Patsy Ramsey and has been interviewed as a witness in reference to the Ramsey investigation.
The search warrants also yielded other messages that had been received by the becknerbpd(at)hotmail.com account. A number of these messages indicate that the becknerbpd(at)hotmail.com user had been attempting to convince others that he/she was Chief Mark Beckner. Others appeared to be nonsensical. Please note that investigators were able to confirm that the messages to and from Rocky Mountain News reporter Charlie Brennan and Rita Johnson were received/sent by those individuals. The other messages were not confirmed as received or sent by those parties.
At the request of the Boulder Police Department, members of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) went to Ms. Stine's residence in an attempt to interview her on June 3, 2003. However, she refused to talk with the GBI agent.
Chief Mark Beckner is alarmed by the discovery that his name and position as Boulder Police Chief has been used in an effort to communicate with others. "Given the history of the Ramsey case and the concerns we have had with information being distributed to the public, often times inaccurate information, this discovery is disturbing," stated Chief Beckner. "I want the media and public to know that if they have received communications from this e-mail address purporting to be me, that it is bogus. My official e-mail address is public and is becknerm@bouldercolorado.gov."
Under Colorado law, Criminal Impersonation is a class 6 felony and Impersonating a Police Officer is a Class I Misdemeanor.
The Boulder Police Department and the Boulder County District Attorney's Office have agreed to issue a letter to Susan Stine advising her of the unlawful conduct and that the use of Chief Beckner's name in such a manner must cease immediately. The becknerbpd(at)hotmail.com account has been frozen by MSN Hotmail.
The Boulder Police Department would like anyone receiving e-mail messages from any reported member of the Boulder Police Department to know that official e-mail addresses use the members last name and first initial followed by @bouldercolorado.gov. If you are not sure that a message is legitimate, please call the department member to confirm that they did in fact send the message. "We are concerned that there could be other messages out there reportedly from either me or other department members that are fake in an attempt to either receive information or communicate false information," stated Beckner.
On June 3, 2003, Chief Beckner did receive an e-mail from Susan Stine in which she apologized for using the hotmail account, describing it as a sophomoric prank and apologizing for any distress she may have caused.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call Boulder Police Detective Jim MacPherson at (303) 441-3330.

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