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The Smoking Gun: Man Jailed For Threats Against NPR Hosts

FBI: Maine suspect menaced "All Things Considered" figures

March 16, 2011- A Maine man has been jailed on federal charges that he threatened to kill or harm two of the hosts of “All Things Considered,” the popular National Public Radio news program, The Smoking Gun has learned.

The defendant in custody, John Crosby, was arrested in late-January by FBI agents and named last month in a three-count felony indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Portland. The case against Crosby, 38, has not been publicized by the Department of Justice, nor has it been reported by NPR.

Crosby, whose rap sheet includes separate convictions for robbery and heroin possession, has been held without bail since his January 26 arrest inside a library at the University of Southern Maine, from which he graduated in 2009. During a search of Crosby’s Volvo station wagon following his bust, FBI agents found a shotgun and shells in the vehicle, according to court records.

Crosby, who graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, is pictured above in a mug shot taken after an April 2009 arrest for disorderly conduct.

In a filing yesterday, federal prosecutors opposed Crosby’s motion for a temporary release from custody so that he can attend a memorial service for his father. Government lawyers cited Crosby’s “history of violence” and noted that threatening communications he has been charged with sending “indicate that the defendant may suffer from psychiatric problems.”

According to an affidavit sworn by FBI Agent Nathan Jacobs, Crosby sent more than 20 bizarre, and often threatening, messages to NPR via a “Contact Us” form on the organization’s web site. Many of the messages--which were sent during a two-month period ending with Crosby’s arrest--“referenced ‘kikes’ and contained other generalized threats directed toward NPR,” Jacobs noted.

But it was a January 17 message that prompted NPR officials to contact federal investigators. In that communication, Crosby allegedly threatened to kill “All Things Considered” host Melissa Block, whom he described as “an annoying <unt who is helping to destroy me to use me as a human sacrifice. She will be raped, beaten, tortured, and murdered very soon.” Agents traced the threat to an IP associated with a Starbucks location on Congress Street in Portland.



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