Massacre threat blamed on auto-correct

Last updated 16:56 09/07/2014

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A former civilian employee at a US army base is blaming auto-correct for sending a text message that suggested he was threatening to turn the base into "Ft. Columbine" in a massacre.

Douglas Kunz, who has pleaded not guilty and says he never intended to hurt anyone, told investigators that auto correct, neo-Nazis and his own venting on Facebook had led to a misunderstanding.

Kunz, a meat cutter at the Fort Carson base commissary in Colorado, was apparently upset that he couldn't get a transfer to another base. Co-workers became alarmed in January when he posted Facebook status updates and sent text messages that made them think their lives might be in danger, according to court documents.

"I am evil in every way. Why do you think I have 32 restraining orders on me. I respect no lives or people," investigators said Kunz wrote in a text message to a co-worker.

Kunz had a history of arrests on suspicion of disorderly conduct, being a peeping tom, felony stalking and violating a restraining order, investigators said. At the time of his arrest, he had at least one restraining order against him, according to court records.

Kunz, who is 54 or 55 - court records say he was born in 1959 - was arrested in May and released on a NZ$113,798  bond. He has been indicted on one count of sending threatening messages, which could result in up to five years in prison. Trial is set for August 18.

According to the criminal complaint, Kunz told officials he didn't own any guns. When investigators searched his vehicle and a storage unit that belonged to him, they found several knives, which they did not seize.

The criminal complaint details multiple allusions to several different massacres and said Kunz repeatedly tried to downplay the threatening messages by blaming auto correct or by saying someone else was using his phone.

At one point, according to the complaint, Kunz had sent an error-riddled message to a command sergeant major at the base: "Timothy mc veah [Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh] will look like a rookie by the time I'm done with everybody. I did nothing wrong now the Asian brother hood had a new domestic terrorist."

Kunz then sent a follow-up message, "Asian brotherhood," according to court records.

Kunz later texted a co-worker, "I just texted the s major green telling him I will become the domestic terrorist for the Arian nation," apparently referring to the largely defunct white supremacist group Aryan Nations.

He later told investigators that he blamed the message on a neo-Nazi who had come to his house and used his phone, investigators said.

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Court documents say Kunz admitted posting a Facebook status update in which he wrote: "Things fell all apart now. Work is (messing) with me to loose both jobs. Making me stay with false promisses. Its almost time for ft Columbine."

Except Kunz told investigators that was a typo and he meant "ft Columbia," an allusion to the city of Columbia, not to the high school massacre.

Kunz said the word was accidentally changed to "Columbine" when he hit the spell-check button.

-Los Angeles Times

- Stuff

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