Book talk in Wisconsin Rapids on 3/6

McMillan Library

McMillan Library

I’m excited to go to Wood County, the site of Arthur Koehler’s first criminal case testimony, on Thursday night for a talk at the McMillan Library.

Koehler’s work helped convict John Magnuson of creating a bomb that killed the wife of the Wood County Commissioner in December, 1922.

We’ll discuss Koehler’s work on that case as well as the work that made him famous, the “Sherlock Holmes of (his) era,” on the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case at the library in Wisconsin Rapids.

Here’s a preview of the talk from The Wisconsin Rapids Tribune:

It’s free to come and it all starts at 7pm.

The Daily Spam Report 2/26: Political prisoner, gay businessman, or Spam artist?

question markIt’s both rare and extremely gratifying when you catch one of the people sending us unsolicited emails in a flat-out lie.

Take, for example, today’s sender to The Spam Report. He claims his name is Ralph Akoum and that he is a Ugandan businessman who is gay. Because he is gay, he fears “that I might be facing a long term prison or be killed when I am accidentally caught by the wicked government of my country.”

He wants my help transferring $3 million in assets to a bank account here in the United States.

Now, this is extremely compelling. African nations routinely discriminate and persecute based on sexual orientation, but here’s the problem.

Regular readers to this blog may remember from just last week when we featured a note from “Ralph Akomu,” who, in that case, was ” from Harare capital the city of Zimbabwe. I am hidding to contact you from the netherland political asylum camp from the village of wagainingen in the netherlands.”

The notes are from the exact same email addresses, ask you to respond to the same email address which is different from the sender and are both from Ralph Akomu.

I don’t know if Ralph Akomu is a gay African businessman or a Zimbabwean political prisoner hiding out in the Netherlands or a guy sipping an umbrella drink poolside in the Caribbean because enough people have fallen for his scam.

Please don’t be the next one. He’s busted.

Just hit delete.

I’ll be off the next couple days, so we’ll be back next week.

Take care,


Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 5:14 AM
To: Adam Schrager

Dear good friend,

I am Ralph Akomu I am 35 year old from Uganda, I am a hidden gay here in uganda and I am afraid that I might be facing a long term prison or be killed when I am accidentally caught by the wicked government of my country. I am for this reason not comfortable with the live I am living here in uganda and to live a feaful life might be so dangerous to my health.

I am therefore soliciting for your help to transfer my business money to your safe account in your country and immediately this is done I will relocate to meet you and continue a good and free live again. I have the sums of three million three hundred thousands united states dollar which I converted from uganda shilling after some property was sold away from my home. This money is from my father acess in past, and after his death I tooked over all property.

Though I am writting this message does not mean I am happy but I need secret over this discussion because It is a serious issue here hence I am hiding to contact you this moment. I am will to give out to you 20% for your good heart assistant, and I will even make more contact to you because somebody else also want to run from the hurrable country because it is a great disaster now for those who need freedom of movement and speaks.

The government is in control and they went back to old system to enslave this country without freedom. I will be happy as you can guarantee to me of security discussion and transfer without circulating this discussion to the public.

Finally, the military itelligence is moving monitoring all system as well as the fund transfer movement to enable them put a stop to huge amount and label it terrorist fund or what ever they like to call and stop the gays and people choices. To avoid this, we might move this fund through a diplomatic means of transfer or as the banker may advise us which will give us all necessary information and we might be transfer to through Air cargo. Now which ever way of relocating I will appreciate to move my valuable items and come to western world from my free live.

I will appreciate to hear good responds from you, and I will update you of more information over this discussion.

My contact email is

My special greetings,

Ralph Akomu

Uganda business man.

The Daily Spam Report 2/25: Free money from a big bank

Money-IISometimes the most obvious red flag is, in fact, the most important to actually see. Take for example today’s Spam Report which comes from Lue S. in Monona who provided this email below from “Chase Online.”

Now, Chase is a major bank in this country and surely, there are millions of Americans who have accounts with them. Lue is not one of them.

“That made it really easy to delete,” she wrote, “after sending it to you, of course.”

Besides that red flag, how about the first thing I saw when I saw the note she sent. While it says it’s from “Chase Online,” the email address this came from is “”

There is no way a multi-billion dollar company cannot afford its own email address. Of course, it does. It does not request information from its customers through email and has warnings at its site that consumers can look at here.

Don’t know who doorbell21 is and I’m not interested in finding out.

Thanks Lue for sending this in.

If you have an spam email you want to warn your neighbors about, please send it to me: and then, just hit delete.

Have a great day.


———- Forwarded Message ———-
From: “Chase Online”<>
To: Undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Important Notification from Chase Online
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 01:40:49 -0800


You have an incoming payment slated for your account. This transaction cannot be completed due to errors present in your account information.

Please follow the link below to fix this problem immediately.

N:B: JPMorgan Chase has legal rights to return the money back to the account where it was coming from, if you fail to correct these errors within 72 hours of notice. 


Chase Secure Center



The Daily Spam Report 2/24: “Can I trust you?”

graphics-ambulance-841571From the moment I saw “Dear Sir/Madam” in my email early on Saturday morning after having been awakened numerous times by the little kids throughout the night, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit.

“Can I trust you?” he asked earnestly.

I’d like to think he could. I mean, I mostly do what I’m supposed to do in life and teach my children to do the same. With the exception of sneaking a cookie when their mom’s not looking, I am about as rock solid a person as I know.

Peter Van Edgar wrote me to share with me that he was dying from cancer and he needed me to help disperse $14 million to charity, save for the 15% I get due to my efforts. He apparently can’t trust his relatives as they are simply in it for the money which of course is why he was asking me if I was trustworthy.

I was so moved by his goals that I immediately did a Google search of Peter Van Edgar to learn about the wonderful charitable work he had previously undertaken before becoming beset with “Esophageal Cancer which was discovered very late, due to my laxity in caring for my health. It has defiled all forms of medicine, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.”

Apparently, Mr. Van Edgar is a modern medical miracle. You see he sent out this exact email to numerous people back in the spring of 2012. Instead of having a few months to live, he’s apparently had nearly two years.

I wonder what else he’s not telling me. Does that make me untrustworthy for his purposes? I hope so.

Just hit delete.


—–Original Message—–
From: Peter Van Edgar []
Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2014 5:58 AM
Subject: Can i trust you with Charity funds for the under-privileged..

Dear Sir/Madam

As you read this, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday.My name is Peter Van Edgar, a merchant in Dubai, in the U.A.E.I have been diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer which was discovered very late, due to my laxity in caring for my health. It has defiled all forms of medicine, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.

I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really care for anyone not even myself but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focus on my business as that was the only thing I care for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it.

Now that God has called me, I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my immediate and extended family members and as well as a few close friends.

I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul and so, I have decided to give alms to charity organizations and give support and comfort to the less privileged in our societies, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth.

So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in the U.A.E, Algeria and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this my self anymore. I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organization and to the less privileged in Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contented with what I have left for them.

The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of fourteen million dollars($14m) that I have with a Bank in Europe for safe keeping.

I will want you to help me collect this deposit and disburse it to some charity organizations and to the less privileged.

N/B:Kindly note that 35% of this funds must go to victims of Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Wilma and South Asia Earthquake,50% to other Charity Organizations around the World and 15% for your effort and time.

I cannot talk with you on the phone due to my health situation, as I am using my laptop to communicate with you. You should respond to this e-mail. If you are interested in carrying out this assignment on my behalf.

Please send me a mail to indicate if you will assist me in this disbursement reply via


I await to hear from you, may God be with you and your entire family.

Remain Blessed,

Peter Van Edgar.

The Daily Spam Report 2/20: The FBI has $8.3 million for me

FBI (1)Good morning everyone,

Sorry about missing the last couple days, but it’s been rather busy in my world. I apologize.

I’m back today wiith a vengeance. You may remember our past discussions about confusing with details, the goal of every good scammer. They want to sound authoritative enough so you believe them, but vague enough so you can’t wrap your arms around what they’re saying exactly.

Have you ever tried to carry large amounts of sand from one spot to another for a castle your  kids insist you need to build without getting it wet? I digress.

Anyhow, somehow the FBI is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to give me $8.3 million that some woman named “Mr.s Joan C Bailey from OHIO” is also trying to get. If reading that sounds as crazy as it did to write that sentence, you understand what you need to do.

Just hit delete.

Have a great day.


Sent: Saturday, February 15, 2014 5:00 AM










We believe that this notification meets you in a very good present state of mind and health. We the federal bureau of investigation (FBI) in conjunction with some other relevant investigation agencies here in the United States of America have recently been informed through our global intelligence monitoring network that you presently have a transaction going on with the We further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the Central Bank office accordingly as we will be monitoring all their services with you as well as your correspondence at all level.

We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs. Joan C.Bailey from OHIO has already contacted them and also presented to them all the necessary documentation evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your contract fund valued at about US$8,300,000.00 (Eight million three hundred thousand united states dollars), but the Central Bank office did the wise thing by insisting on hearing from you personally before they go ahead on wiring your fund to the Bank information which was forwarded to them by the above named Lady so that the main reason why they contacted us so as to assist them in making the investigation.

Contact immediately the office of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) via email with the below information accordingly:


OFFICE ADDRESS: Central Bank of Nigeria,

Central Business District,

Cadastral Zone, Abuja, Federal

Capital Territory, Nigeria.

Email: (

Telephone: +234 7010954683.

Meanwhile, we will advise that you  contact the office of the Governor of the Central Bank immediately with the above email address and request that they attend to your payment file as directed,so as to enable you receive your contract fund accordingly.

To this effect, you are required to reconfirm and authenticate your given particulars below for certainty and onward processing and release of you funds as we may not be held liable for any wrong payment.

FULL NAMES: __________________________________

CITY: _________________________

STATE: __________________________________

ZIP: ______________


SEX: _______________

AGE: __________________

TELEPHONE NUMBER: _____________________

Ensure you follow all their procedure as may be required by them as that will further help hasten up the whole procedure as regard to the transfer of your fund to you as designated. Also have in mind that the Central Bank of Nigeria equally have their own protocol of operation as stipulated on their banking terms, so delay could be very dangerous. Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation in advance as we earnestly await your urgent response to this matter.

Best Regards,

Robert S. Mueller

Federal Bureau of Investigation

J. Edgar Hoover Building

935 Pennsylvania Avenue,

NW Washington, D.C.

20535-0001, USA

Email: (

Telephone: +1845 382 9963

The Daily Spam Report: 2/14: I won the Sochi Olympic Lottery and one from Italy, too

olympic-rings-1366583052mobEvery time there is a major lottery jackpot to be won, news stations routinely quote the statistics that you’re likelier to die from bee stings or get hit by lightning than buy the winning ticket. Point being, it’s not likely to win.

So, imagine my surprise and sheer jubilation when within moments this morning I received two emails claiming I was rich. “CONFIRM YOUR PRIZE!!!,” read the first line of one. “Dear:Lucky Winner!!” read the other.

One is from the Sochi Olympic Lottery and the other is from something called the Lotteria Shop National and a guy named Pepe. Seriously, his name is Pepe. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Well, I’ve always stipulated I won the lottery when I met and married my wife. I’ve won three more times with my kids. My next lottery win will come when the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. Notice, I said “when,” not “if.”

Anyhow, I didn’t win. If you get these emails, you didn’t win either. They are phishing expeditions looking for personal information. No good comes from responding.

Just hit delete.

Have a great weekend.


—–Original Message—–
From: EuroMillones Lottery S.A. []
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 4:20 AM
Subject: PRIZE CLAIM / Ref: ES556719-G


This email is to notify you that you have won an Award Sum of 415.810,00 Ђuros of the ongoing SOCHI.RU Olimpic email lottery program held on the 09/02/2014.

Please contact the Payment Director with your winning info: REF NUM. (No: GFC8110/3740K) BATCH NUM. (HOL04-R591/XB301) WINING NUM.(NJP8182-131Y),Ticket Number: (0031-4365021) Lucky Number SPL (501/0267)

Kindly send the following to the below contact for easy identification/timely consideration:

1. Full Name:

2. Direct phone:

3. Date of Birth / Age:

4. Occupation:

5. Current Address (P.o Box not acceptable)

By contacting:-

Contact Name: Mr Ken Lawson.

Telephone: +34-911323001

Email: or

The  SOCHI.RU Olimpic email lottery is lawfullfully approved by the Russian Government and sponsored by Microsoft Corporation and is registered and protected by the Benelux trademark law.

Please note that the validity period of these winning is 14 working days; hence you are expected to make your claims immediately. Any claim not made before this date will be transfer to the suspense vault of the Spanish Gaming Board.


Sincerely yours,

Mrs. Angela Brown (Dr)

-Director of Operation-

—–Original Message—–

From: []
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 4:45 PM
Subject: Dear:Lucky Winner!!

Dear:Lucky Winner!!

Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice the result of Lotteria Shop National promotion.We are happy to inform you that your Email address have emerged a winner of Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros (450,000.00) Euros.

NOTE: to file for your claim, please contact the claim department (Mr.Pepe Juvani

Juanito) below on this information.

Contact:Mr.Pepe Juvani

Milan Italian

Find below your promotion date, Reference and Batch numbers,Remember to quote these numbers in your correspondence with your claims agent

Mr.Pepe Juvani,

PROMOTION DATE:02/13/2014.




TICKET NUMBER:654326/74754

NOTE: All winnings must be claimed not later than 30 working days, Congratulations once again from all our staff and thank you for being part of our promotions program.

Sincerely Yours,

Mrs.Agostino Rossi

The Daily Spam Report 2/11: Spam meets Downton Abbey

DowntonAbbey1“Did I win the crazy one of the week??????”

That’s what Vickie M. from Portage asked me when she sent me today’s viewer-submitted Spam Report. By virtue of its inclusion, I am definitively answering yes.

“Most of them I delete but this one was too off the wall had to send to you,” she followed up. And I thank her for it.

This has a Downton Abbey feel to it, no? I mean how often is it that you get a note from a “Lady Brenda Maciver?” Sure, the fact that it comes from a furniture store email address is not particularly noble nor British sounding, but I’m likely nitpicking.

I do have to say though I’m a bit disappointed that words like “Countess” and “Dowager” are not included.

I digress but here are a few particularly funny Downton Abbey spoofs, including my kids’ favorite, from the Sesame Street gang:

Basically, this is a boiler-plate attempt to get you to send personal information to whomever is on the other end of this email. With “due respect to humanity,” there is no pot of gold or funds to disperse when Lady Brenda dies. I’m guessing Lady Brenda is really a guy with a bushy mustache and a Hawaiian shirt poolside hoping to scam you drinking something on the rocks with a paper umbrella sticking up from it.

Don’t fall for it.

Thanks Vickie for sending this and if you have an outrageous, funny or worrisome email you want to let your neighbors know about, feel free to send it to me: and then, just hit delete.

Have a great day.


—– Original Message —–

From: “Lady Brenda Maciver” (

To: Vickie

Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2014 10:17 AM

Subject: With Trust and Love

Hope this comes to you in good health, I must apologise that i have to approach you this way. with due respect to humanity i am led to write to you from my sick bed, making you the beneficiary of my funds and carrying out my last will of succession for charity.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience so i could get more information to you via my Email.: With Love, Lady Brenda

The Spam Report 2/10: “100% FREE OF RISK”

NoRiskEvery so often, I get one of these spam emails that triggers some sort of memory. That’s not easy as I’ve bemoaned recently about how my kids don’t sleep and I’d forget my own name at times if it weren’t attached to my email.

For some reason, the story of Peterson Ehido from Harare, Zimbabwe and how he was offering me part of his family claim from a political asylum camp in the Netherlands sounded familiar. In the email, he told me that helping him recover his father’s savings was “100% FREE FROM RISK.”

Anyone who reads this regularly knows how much I love it when people write in all CAPS. That’s sarcasm by the way.

Anyhow, it’s a good thing that you can search within email boxes.

So, I found he had sent me the exact same email about a month ago, in mid-January, save for one major detail. Back then, he told me the story about how his father had placed with a private security company $3.2 million and that “netherland law forbiddes me to handle this transaction because Iam  not a citizen of the netherlands.”

I have no idea if that’s true or not, but that’s not germane to today’s Spam Report. What is relevant is that when he sent me the message today (which somehow contained a Sent Date of March 10, 2014), the amount of money he wants my help with to be $7.2 million.

Where’d the extra $4 million come from?

C’mon Peterson Ehido. If you’re going to scam me and anyone else, you can’t just miraculously find $4 million more that your father stored and that you have access to because you’re his first born. Doesn’t work that way.

Just hit delete folks.

Hope you had a nice weekend.


Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 9:25 AM
To: Adam Schrager


Address; Keijenbergseweg 10/12
6705BN Wageningen

Dear Friend,

Complement of the day to you and your love ones

I hope my email will arrive to you at good time.
My name is peterson Ehido from the Harare city of Zimbabwe, I live in the above address political asylum camp the netherlands.

Why I’m contacting you is to know how  we can have a personal conversation over
my late father property which was WILL to me after the death of my father.I am telling you but it is secret from my family
that my late father secured his consignment in the netherlands vault and this is reason I am inviting you for retransfer of my later father consignment as the new beneficiary to your safe company vault or private company  for security and further investment. It is my father private fund in netherland which was deposit before his death. In the year 2010 my father have a brief inlness which too his life
and brought sorrow in my life and my mother lives. I would not go far about his death because is painful to repeat the story again please.please be well informed that I am the first son of my father this is why I am in the netherland political asylum camp attempting to claim this
consignent.My father lodged in private security company  the box containing of the sums of
seven million two hundred thousand united states dollars.($7,200,000.00) The netherland law
forbiddes me to handle this transaction because Iam  not a citizen of the netherlands, according to my registration in the netherland political asylum camp.I will  release all neccessary details to you as I hear from you please.

I have call the company and explain my father death, I am the first son and the claim document is in my possesion

and the director advise that I should come forward for the claims. I would like you to represent my name
as the new beneficiary and claim my consignment. It is 100% FREE FROM RISK. The company advised that I must be with a new beneficiary
to make it easy and simple as i registrated in political asylum camp.

In my next mail I will explain the full details of the consignment box and it secure and free from risk,

I shall tell you more about myself when I read from you.
You may as well tell me little more about yourself when replying. He is my mail
Please you are free to call my only line +31 617646561
Waiting for your reply.
Thanks and best regards,
Peterson Ehido

The Daily Spam Report 2/7: “Dear” (Fill-in-the-blank)

dearWe’ve written here multiple times about how the lack of personalization in an email is a good tip-off that something’s not right.

Take for example, today’s submission, ostensibly from Dubai, our first contestant from that Middle Eastern country. Do you really think, sincerely believe, that someone you’ve never met will reach out to you blindly, so moved by your magnanimous nature, your inherent kindness, to ask you to help donate $18.2 million and not address you by your name?

It won’t happen.. I know times are tough and money is scarce, but this is not the answer and it never will be.

If you have an email you want to warn your neighbors about, send it to me: and then, just hit delete.

Have a great weekend.


—–Original Message—–
From: sarah bin []
Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2014 4:09 PM
Subject: Sarah Bin Rasheed

Sarah Bin Rasheed

Dubai, United Arab Emirate.

Contact email:


I知 Mrs. Sarah Bin Rasheed a Ekanka married to a Muslim, now a widow to late Khalifa Bin Rasheed former owner of Petroleum & Gas Company here in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I am 59 years old, suffering from long time Cancer of the breast. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating and it’s quite obvious that I won’t live more than 2 months according to my doctors. This is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. I don’t want you to pity me, but I need your assistance and trust.

My late husband died early last year from Heart attack, and during the period of our Marriage we couldn’t produce any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. The doctor has advised me that I will not live for more than 2 months, so I have now decided to spread all my wealth to contribute mainly to the development of charity in Africa, America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Am sorry if you are embarrassed by my mail, I found your e-mail address in the web directory, and I have decided to contact you, but if for any reason you find this mail offensive, please you can ignore it and please accept my apology.

Before my late husband died he deposited the sum of Eighteen million, Two Hundred Thousand United States dollars ($ Million) in a Bank some years ago, that’s all I have left now, I need you to collect this funds and distribute it yourself to charity, so that when I die my soul can rest in peace. The funds will be entirely in your hands and management. I hope God gives you the wisdom to touch many lives. That is my main concerned 30% of this money will be for your time and effort, while 70% goes to charities that will appreciate your assistance for this projects.

Please contact me through my private e-mail:, The doctor has stopped me from receiving and making calls due to my health condition.

I look forward to your respond and cooperation toward this great charity work..

Truly Yours,


The Daily Spam Report 2/6: Your friend did not die

medium_oak_casketA couple weeks ago, we shared an email sent to the entire Dane County Board that claimed to be from a funeral home and stated “we want to share your sorrow for your dear friend.”

At the time, the obvious tip-off was that they never named the “dear friend” who had allegedly died. The email included a link that, in theory, takes you to “find out more about the farewell ceremony.” We never click on links sent by people we don’t know and one check on line found the Kansas City funeral home in question claimed it had been hacked.

Well now, we have the same basic email from a different “funeral home,” this one in Canton, Texas, which also claims on its website that it’s been hacked and it encourages people not to click on any link in an email from the hacker.

Today’s submission was sent to us by Brian H. because nobody he knew had died and he thought the email looked “fishy.” He was right. It is fishy and not the good kind of fishy that you’d find in a clean Wisconsin lake or river, but more like the smelly, rotting kind that no amount of lemon or spices can clean up.

Please don’t fall for this. It’s not real.

Thanks again Brian for sharing. Have a great day everyone.


On Monday, February 3, 2014 1:23 PM, Eubank Funeral Home <> wrote:

For this unprecedented event, we offer our deepest prayers of condolence and invite to you to be present at the
celebration of your friends life service on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 that will take place at Eubank
Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m.

Please find invitation and more detailed information about the farewell ceremony Here.

Best wishes and prayers,

Funeral home receptionist,
David Nichols

Copyright 2014 Funeral Home Website Design By: Frazer Consultants LLC