In his first blog entry in January 2004, convicted sexual predator Joseph Duncan wrote that he was taking up blogging to document his comings and goings, in case he was "falsely accused of some crime or another." Indeed. By May of 2005 Duncan was a fugitive from fresh child molestation charges, but he didn't stop blogging, and police watched helplessly as the 42-year-old computer programmer's posts grew increasingly fraught and disturbed. A May 11 entry titled "The Demons Have Taken Over" was typical. "I am scared, alone and confused, and my reaction is to strike out toward the perceived source of my misery, society," Duncan wrote. "My intent is to harm society as much as I can, then die."
Four days later the brutalized bodies of 40-year-old Brenda Groene, her son Slade and her boyfriend Mark McKenzie were found at Groene's home near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Duncan turned up nearly a month later at a 24-hour diner just a few miles from the murder site, in the company of Groene's 8-year-old daughter Shasta, who had been missing since the attack. Duncan was arrested and charged with the Idaho murders, and is now suspected of having abducted and killed Shasta's 9-year-old brother Dylan as well.
After Duncan's arrest netizens spontaneously converged on his blog and occupied its comment system, filling it with a thousand messages angrily condemning Duncan, praising law enforcement or sending thoughts and prayers to Shasta and her surviving family members. By winter only the detritus remained. The most recent comments are all message board spam for low-cost mortgages, travels sites, sex dolls and Viagra.