Cyberstalker Busted for Threatening TV Station Employees

A man alleged to have posted more than 800 threatening and offensive messages on the KTBS-TV Web site has been arrested, according to the Shreveport Times. Keithville, La., resident Russell Davenport was arrested Tuesday at his home, where four computers were seized. He was booked on eight counts of cyber stalking; his bond was set at $400,000. Local media reported that Davenport started his correspondence last May. The station blocked his IP address, but he kept creating new ones to make blog postings.

TV personnel have for years had to cope with the obsessive attention and threats of deranged viewers. A stalker originally was suspected in murder of Anne Pressly, a 26-year old anchor for KATV-TV in Little Rock., Ark., who was found brutally beaten in her home last October. Pressly died a few days later in the hospital. A subsequent investigation suggested that robbery, and not stalking, was the motive.

Jodi Huisentruit was a 27-year-old anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa when she disappeared in 1995. Her fate remains unknown. Kathryn Dettman, a reporter KWTX-TV in Waco, Texas, was 36 years old in 1998 when she was stabbed to death by a stalker. The Columbia Journalism Reviewfocused on the issue some years ago in a story featuring George Kessler, a Duluth, Minn., meteorologist who was driven from his profession by a deranged called.