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Alleged eBay Hacker Goofs up and Goes to Jail 669

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-thats-pretty-funny dept.
juliao writes "SecurityFocus is reporting that alleged eBay hacker Jerome Heckenkamp was jailed after his first solo court appearance." It's pretty funny actually, stuff like challenging the indictment on the grounds that they typed his name in all capital letters, demanding to immediately testify (even tho they were only there to schedule the trial), threatening the judge and so on. He would know better if he watched a couple episodes of Law & Order. Note that I base all court proceedings on the wisdom of Sam Watterston.
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Alleged eBay Hacker Goofs up and Goes to Jail

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  • by jeek (37349) <jeek@je[ ]net ['ek.' in gap]> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:21AM (#3187166) Homepage
    I seriously doubt anyone is stupid enough to pull those kinda tricks when their mind is clear.
    • I seriously doubt anyone is stupid enough to pull those kinda tricks when their mind is clear.

      He is probably trying to be too clever by half. Sounds like he is trying to apply elite hacker techniques to the legal system. And screwing up.

      when you are hacking a system, mistakes like that are not going to any great harm, usually "access denied" or something like that.

      hmmmm, never mind, he is in court because of hacking, anyhow. Maybe he is not so smart after all. maybe a slight bit of idiot savant.

      Speaking of mind altering substances, the only one I know of who definitely less smart is this guy [radiofreenation.net], who is currently facing a pakistani jail sentence.

    • by justanyone (308934) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @12:50PM (#3187989) Homepage Journal
      Don't piss off Federal Judges. Municipal judges, maybe. State court judges, work real hard to be nice to 'em. Federal Judges - um, pretend they're God and remember you aren't.

      Federal Judges are appointed by the President and approved by the senate. We have a lot of unfilled judgeships because it takes so long to put through the appointments. Congress, the President, the Supremes, the FBI, INS, and basically The Entire Federal Bureaucracy know many of their names personally and like to be in their good graces. They Get Things Done and they Dispense Justice to BAD GUYS.

      I know, they probably eat cheesburgers and fart like the rest of us, but it's a very BAD thing to piss them off. These kind of courtroom stunts will get you put in small rooms with Bad Guys and your anatomy will never be the same.

      "Don't play games with these guys! They can lock you up in a room and throw away the Room!" -Lithgow in 'Manhattan Project'.
  • by Anixamander (448308) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:23AM (#3187189) Journal
    Sounds like this kid is in way over his head, and maybe watched a few too many movies.

    Plus, you can tell he is a UNIX geek, since he seems to think the indictment is case sensitive.
    • Plus, you can tell he is a UNIX geek, since he seems to think the indictment is case sensitive.

      HIHLUC: Head-in-hands, laughing-uncontrollably.

      Anyway, you know what they say, that anyone who appears pro se has an idiot for a client.

    • or militia movement (Score:2, Informative)

      by Velex (120469)

      There are a few people who belive that the Sixteenth Amendment was never ratified that think that your name in all caps is the name of a legal fiction. I tried to understand the thinking behind that, but it involves conspiracy theories and a general detachment from reality. They also belive that the two letter postal code abbreviations for states represent different states than the ones that you write out longhand.

      • The argument is much more simplistic than conspiracy theories and detachments from reality. The idea is that legal matters must be exact in the spelling of any proper noun. For instance, if I drew up a contract with American Online, that could be an entirly different business than America Online. People have been looking for these little differences for years.

        I prefer to believe that the all caps is a legacy from the days of early computing where mixed case was just too much for something so small (or a lazy programmer).
        • by gorilla (36491) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @01:02PM (#3188087)
          It wasn't a case of 'too much', early computers simply could not handle mixed case. ASCII-1963 only had defined character positions for A to Z, as did Sixbit encoding. ASCII-1963 was extended in 1967 to encode a to z as well, but sixbit simply couldn't. There were only 63 possible codes, 26 for letters, 10 for numerals, 17 for other characters, and the remaining 10 for control codes. That left no space to encode the lower case letters too.

          Sixbit is ultimatly why MS-DOS had 3 name extensions and wasn't case sensitive. 3 sixbit characters fit very nicely into 18 bits, and early DEC computers were 18 bit systems. CP/M was developed to be partially a lookalike of these DEC computers, and MS-DOS was initially a clone of CP/M.

    • by sterno (16320) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @01:18PM (#3188224) Homepage
      To quote from the article:

      In a telephone interview after the appearance, Heckenkamp's father, Thomas Heckenkamp, said his son is only trying to protect his rights . "They've overstepped their bounds, and they're keeping him from defending himself," he said.

      I think this commentary speaks volumes about why this kid is there in the first place. Btw, yes, he's 22, and I say "kid" because he's acting like a child. But anyhow, if your child is acting like a tremendous idiot in the courtroom and your instinct is to criticize the court, you may have to accept that you are part of the problem. I'm not going to sit here and suggest that somehow this kid is blameless because his dad
      is apparently an idiot. Just pointing out that Darwinian evolution should smite this particular mutation fast :).

      I'm just hoping that we aren't going to get some stupid campaign trying to fight for this kids rights as though he's some hero of the Internet.
  • I shudder at the complete lack of true intelligence this person appears to have. At the very lease, a modicum of knowledge about the legal system and the way it works probably would have saved him a large amount of problems. But, he proceeded to go into the courtroom with a verbal loaded gun and empty it's entire contents directly into his foot.

    And this is someone who's supposed to be considered intelligent?

    • by Garfunkel (3569)
      I'm not sure that intelligence has anything to do with it. I think it's more of an issue of not really caring what's happening, or maybe just not understanding. Who knows, the guy is obviously a nut, but that doesn't mean he can't be a computer genious at the same time. (Note, that I can't say for sure whether he is a geniour or not, but he surely makes some bad decisions, but even intelligent people make bad life decisions).
  • Ouch.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by niftyeric (467236)
    Heckenkamp had been free on $50,000 bail, and living under electronic monitoring -- prohibited by court order from using cell phones, the Internet, computers, video games and fax machines.

    Do I really need to say more? :P
    Ah well, he shouldn't have been so stupid I guess.
  • Simply Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RembrandtX (240864) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:25AM (#3187217) Homepage Journal
    Not only is it sad that this kid was able to get rid of his council (twice) .. but he is ovbiously either REALLY moronic ..

    or he is going for an insaniy plea ..

    he did manage to menauver the judge into saying :
    "The comments that you are making to the court lead me to suspect that either you are playing games with the court, or you're experiencing a serious lack of judgment."

    its only a hop skip and a jump from there to have the judge decide that he ALWAYS shows a lack of judgement, and its a medical condition.

    he will have to take lithium forever, but at least he wont do hard time. (again)
    • its only a hop skip and a jump from there to have the judge decide that he ALWAYS shows a lack of judgement, and its a medical condition.

      Damn, I hate it when that happens...

      My comment was meant to say: if his judgement was so erratic and poor, how could he have managed to hack his way into such prominent sites? eBay and Lycos (et. al.) must be attacked quite regularly and we don't hear of them being cracked very often...

      Mind you, in this kid's case, the apple may not have fallen far from the tree. His dad does not have any problem with how Jerome conducted himself in front of the judge:

      In a telephone interview after the appearance, Heckenkamp's father, Thomas Heckenkamp, said his son is only trying to protect his rights . "They've overstepped their bounds, and they're keeping him from defending himself," he said.

      Dumb-asses beget dumb-asses, I suppose
    • by aunchaki (94514)

      or he is going for an insaniy plea ..

      Keep in mind there are two different sanity defenses:

      1) being insane at the time of the act

      2) being insane at the time of the trial

      The first is about the defendant's state of mind when the act was committed (and is basically an admission of committing the act).

      The second is about the defendant's ability to contribute to his/her own defense.

      • Keep in mind there are two different sanity defenses:

        1) being insane at the time of the act

        2) being insane at the time of the trial


        Errrrrmmmm ... no.

        The insanity defense goes to the existence of a culpable mind state at the time of the alleged offense, ONLY. It is an affirmative defense to criminal liability (which means that even if the defendant did the deed exactly as he is accused of having done, he cannot be guilty because he was insane and, therefore, lacked a culpable mind-state).

        Insanity at the time of the trial is "lack of competency to stand trial" and merely postpones the proceedings until the defendant can be rendered competent by therapy, drugs, ECT, whatever the psychiatric community's "silver bullet du jour" might be. It does nothing to keep you from going to prison.

        As I see it, this guy is merely showing his complete contempt for the law, the proceedings and the court. That being said, I hope he likes coveralls, because the attitude he seems to display is going to have him wearing them for quite a while.
  • by TheGreenLantern (537864) <thegreenlntrn@yahoo.com> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:27AM (#3187234) Homepage Journal
    Note that I base all court proceedings on the wisdom of Sam Watterson.

    Heathen. Michael Moriarty would lawyer the fuck out of Sam Watterson. All Watterson has going for him is hotter assistants.
  • Hmmmm??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BoyPlankton (93817) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:27AM (#3187235) Homepage
    In a telephone interview after the appearance, Heckenkamp's father, Thomas Heckenkamp, said his son is only trying to protect his rights . "They've overstepped their bounds, and they're keeping him from defending himself," he said.

    I wish the article went into more detail about this statement. I don't understand why the father feels that they are keeping him from being able to defend himself. He's getting his day in court and all. It appears to me that he's doing everything he can to screw up the trial instead of taking it seriously.
  • AKA - MagicFX (Score:3, Informative)

    by keep_it_simple_stupi (562690) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:29AM (#3187260) Homepage
    Jerome Heckenkamp, aka MagicFX, also brought down a major porn site [ourfirsttime.com] not too long ago, redirecting visitors to Disney's website [disney.com].

    I like his style!

    More info here [wired.com].
  • If I had a court order that I couldn't play video games, I'd probably go spastic too.
  • QMail? Qualcomm? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fruey (563914) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:30AM (#3187275) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps he would not even be in this mess if he did not tell Qualcomm. ( The company who owns the secure mail deamon Qmail) After all they were the ones who went to the FBI after machines were getting owned with a 0-day exploit for qpop. In his post to BugTraq he did say "I found this overflow myself earlier this month. Seems someone else recently found it before Qualcomm was able to issue a patch." But lets not be naive, he is a smart kid.

    Isn't Qmail open source, and Qpopper what he is talking about really?

    Qmail, as I understood it, has NEVER been hacked.

  • by Geek In Training (12075) <[cb398] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:31AM (#3187290) Homepage
    Can you imagine the court reporter, trying to type out the 'leet-speak?

    "1 0wn j00, y0 h0noR!!! m3 w1ll h4x0r joo and l3gAl 5y5t3mz!!!"

  • Heckenkamp had been free on $50,000 bail, and living under electronic monitoring -- prohibited by court order from using cell phones, the Internet, computers, video games and fax machines.

    This is what happens when you take away someone's video games!

  • by jquiroga (94119) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:32AM (#3187296)
    He mistook the judge for a server, and was trying to find his security holes, to sneak in and become root. It seems he didn't find any.
  • Nobody could be that stupid and manage to find security breaches. Come to think of it, I'm not sure someone could be that stupid and keep breathing. Well, we can only hope.

    Apparently he didn't notice in all of those "made for prison TV" movies that the wrongfully convicted sorts who defend themselves successfully spend months poring over legal documents and books. It doesn't sound like he even understands the legal process from a 10,000 metre view. (which you could get by reading a newspaper)

    He deserves what he gets, just for being a moron.
    • Nobody could be that stupid and manage to find security breaches.

      Eh... its all a matter of how long it takes to compile an exploit in comparison to how fast the sysadmin can patch their 200 servers....

      stupidity has nothing to do with it.
  • by iceT (68610) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:33AM (#3187307)
    Jerome Heckenkamp should:

    0) never be referred to as a hacker again.
    0) never be allowed to open his mouth.
    0) never have an article posted about him again.
    0) be praised for going out in a true blaze of stupidity.
    0) Cowboy Neal
  • Too bad he can't use a stupidity defense.

    "You're alleged honor, I shouldn't be put in jail on account I'm too stoopid for my own good!"

    ebay related front, check my journal. I've replied to the investigator with copious email and header info. So far the Tsuen Wan Police rate considerably higher, in my book, than the San Jose, CA police do.

  • by GigsVT (208848) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:35AM (#3187337) Journal
    Heckenkamp said he wanted to subpoena Nadel's "client" to appear in court, and Ware asked him who, exactly, he wanted to bring into the courtroom.
    When Heckenkamp replied, "The United States of America," Ware ordered him taken into custody.


    I think they meant at this point the judge ordered the defendant to be taken into custody, but it could equally mean he ordered the United States to be taken into custody. :)
  • by KevinGale (537574) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:37AM (#3187356) Homepage
    He seems to be trying to hack the court system. "Hmmm, if I feed it garbage inputs maybe it will crash and I can escape." Next he will try stealing robes in an attempt to fool the system into thinking he's a judge.
  • Proof (Score:5, Funny)

    by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:38AM (#3187374) Journal
    Proof that IANAL is more than a slogan, it's a way of life.

    Doesn't (er, didn't) he ever read Slashdot?

    • Re:Proof (Score:5, Funny)

      by Aceticon (140883) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @12:17PM (#3187734)
      Doesn't (er, didn't) he ever read Slashdot?


      Judging from the mess he did, i'm sure he read Sleshdot ...
  • Easy Way Out (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:39AM (#3187382) Homepage Journal
    Just to throw out a different spin on this, as everyone seems just to happy to jump on the bandwagon.

    There is a good chance that he is acting out because he has realised that he is screwed. He has probably talked to his lawyers and realised that no one is really going to be able to help him.

    People have posted "he'll get his day in court", but he probably already realises that on that day they will just go through the motions of convicting him.

    caged animals can act funny.

    .
  • Hooray! (Score:5, Funny)

    by GeekLife.com (84577) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:39AM (#3187385) Homepage
    First use of "alleged" in a Slashdot post ever? Maybe the subscription plot is actually causing editors (and contributors) to act more like professionals.
  • by zzyzx (15139) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:39AM (#3187386) Homepage
    Believe it or not, the names in all capital letters is one of the things that conspiracy theorists try to use. A fun read is the destroyed arguments [hiwaay.net] section of the Dixieland Law Journal. That page is a conspiracy site telling other conspiracy people that they're being a little too out there. The capital letters issue is explained and debunked [hiwaay.net] at a link there.
    • by Lionel Hutts (65507) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @12:08PM (#3187657) Journal
      Actually, this issue is raised all the time in America's funniest court: the Tax Court. Those of us who read Tax Notes Today (free trial at www.tax.org [tax.org]) see every tax case in the country, and a good 20% or so of them are totally frivolous. (10 cases so far this month have used the word "frivolous," in fact.) The claim that Social Security numbers are the Mark of the Beast is raised so often that the IRS recently sent a notice to all of its field offices, to ensure a coordinated response.
  • by pubjames (468013) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:40AM (#3187394)
    The Chewbacca Defense

    "Ladies and Gentlemen of this supposed jury, my accusers would certainly want you to believe I hacked eBay, and they make a good case. But Ladies and Gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk who carried a gun and ran from the mob. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it. That does not make sense. Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor with a bunch of two-foot-tall Ewoks. That does not make sense.

    But more important, you have to ask yourself what does this have to do with this case. Nothing. Ladies and Gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case. It does not make sense. Look at me. I'm a hacker defending myself and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and Gentlemen I am not making any sense. None of this makes sense.

    And so you have to remember when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating this case, does it make sense? No. Ladies and Gentlemen of this supposed jury it does not make sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor you must acquit.

    I know I seem guilty. But ladies and gentlemen this is Chewbacca. Now think about that for one minute. That does not make sense. Why am I talking about Chewbacca when my life is on the line? Why? I'll tell you why. I don't know. It doesn't make sense. If Chewbacca does not make sense you must acquit. Here look at the monkey , look at the silly monkey.

    The defense rests."
  • by mblase (200735) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:40AM (#3187395)
    Jerome T Heckencamp --> A KNEE JERK COMETH
  • "In a telephone interview after the appearance, Heckenkamp's father, Thomas Heckenkamp, said his son is only trying to protect his rights . "They've overstepped their bounds, and they're keeping him from defending himself," he said."

    yeah, and his clue meter is pegged at .0001

    protecting his rights? Hmm, more like killing his chances.
    • yeah, and his clue meter is pegged at .0001

      Wow... even his clue meter is out of whack. It should be registering a straight up 0. Looks like we'll have to calibrate it... I think the judge will handle that.

  • "It's people like you that give all self-representing defendants a bad name

    Sincerely,
    The Montana Freemen"
  • by Covener (32114)
    [google.com]
    google cache of siliconvalley.com piece

    Home-schooled than masters in CS by age 19... lots of interesting stuff.
  • Judge Judy (Score:4, Funny)

    by kvn299 (472563) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:50AM (#3187477)
    Would have a field day with this one.
  • Truth of life (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Eric Damron (553630) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:51AM (#3187491)
    Being that I work in a building full of lawyers and judges, I can tell you that they are just people too. You can "rub them the wrong way."

    It sounds to me like this kid went in with no understanding of law and wanted to control the courtroom. This WOULD rub the judge the wrong way.

    I have a friend whom, when he was young, was the same way. Once he got pulled over on a traffic violation and during the course of his conversation with the patrol officer he said: "Just how stupid do you think I think you are!"

    As my friend learned, when dealing with people in authority, it is better to show respect and to play by their rules. Just a truth of life.
  • "He who represents himself has a fool for a client."
  • The computer whiz then asked the court to identify the plaintiff in the case. Ware explained that the United States was the plaintiff, and was represented by assistant U.S. attorney Ross Nadel. Heckenkamp said he wanted to subpoena Nadel's "client" to appear in court, and Ware asked him who, exactly, he wanted to bring into the courtroom.

    When Heckenkamp replied, "The United States of America," Ware ordered him taken into custody.
    ...
    Heckenkamp's father, Thomas Heckenkamp, said his son is only trying to protect his rights . "They've overstepped their bounds, and they're keeping him from defending himself," he said.

    Right, it's the court keeping this moron from defending himself...

  • Dumb Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clark625 (308380) <clark625.yahoo@com> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:56AM (#3187536) Homepage

    What's the stupidest thing a person can do when placed under arrest? Not demand to talk to your lawyer or have one appointed. What's the stupidest thing you can do after that? Not allow your attorney to do his or her job.

    What is the very first thing that a rich, savy lawyer would do if he were arrested? Get the best darned attorney to represent him that he can afford. But why not represent himself, I mean--the accused is a lawyer, too. Well, when you're a defendant, your job is to help your attorney and keep yourself from doing stupid things like this kid has. It's your attorney's job to handle all the legal matters.

    Future note to all /.ers--if you get arrested, keep your mouth shut unless you have your attorney beside you. Let them take care of everything. And no matter what, don't ever think that you can properly defend yourself in court--it's called being railroaded for a reason. This guy's about to get the maximum sentence possible when he really could have gotten off with a slap on the wrist. Dumb.

  • Why is this article not in the "It's Funny, Laugh" section? The sheer idiocy and incompetence displayed by this |-|4>And don't make me criticize the "hackersdigest" website for its terrible spelling, grammar, unbelievably bad prose...

    Thanks, Slashdot, for reminding me that there are millions of stupid people in this world.

  • by Brian See (11276) <bsee&spelloutmyrealname,com> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @11:59AM (#3187559)
    Heckencamp sounds like he's read the standard tax evader propaganda. These are the people that argue in tax court that the Sixteenth Amendment (income tax) was never properly ratified, etc.

    A good link is http://www.adl.org/mwd/suss4.htm [adl.org], which collects cases smacking down defendants who, like Heckencamp, have raised an objection to their name printed in all caps. That argument is discussed in the same breath as other winning arguments like objections to a fringe on the courtroom flag or the presence of an eagle on the flagpole.

    Of particular relevance may be a relatively recent case from the 10th Circuit. Pasting from the linked document:
    US v. M.L. Lindsay (10th Cir 7/1/99) _F3d_, 99 USTC para 50648, 84 AFTR2d 5102; (tax evader complained of "his name being in capital letters in a prior order issued by this Court and then ... makes an incorrect reference to this form of using all capital letters as being proper only in reference to corporate entities. This is an incorrect statement of the law and ... is illustrative of [his] continued harassing and frivolous behavior." and fined under Rule 11
    • Some tax evader arguments are really funny. They always start with something like a clerical error, then build up and up- and in the middle, you hear something like "...and therefore the entire federal government is illegitimate...". They all end the same way- nobody owes any taxes.
      I especially like this one: Is U.S. income tax invalid because Ohio wasn't legally a state when the 16th amendment was ratified? [straightdope.com] On the 150th anniversary of Ohio's statehood, someone looked in the archives and realized that there had been an oversight, and that Ohio had never been formally admitted to the Union. (Statehood admission was handled much more casually back in 1803.) So in 1953 they introduced a bill making Ohio a state, retroactively until 1803. The tax evaders say that since Congress can't make laws ex post facto, Ohio wasn't a state all those years. The ratification of the 16th Amendment in 1911 was therefore invalid, because it was introduced to Congress by the Taft administration, and Taft couldn't legally be president since he was born in Cincinatti and was therefore not a citizen.
      There's another rumor going around about how the IRS is paying reparations for slavery to anyone who can prove they're descended from slaves. And I remember hearing once about how "all taxes are voluntary", but I forget the details of how that one works.
  • This guy deserves a big cellmate named Bubba. Who says the system doesn't work...this problem could take care of itself. After a little small-talk, I'm sure Bubba would "have his way" (in some way or another) with the poor kid.

    -Pete
  • maybe he has some tricks up his sleave. why don't you wait to see what happens in trial before you start dishing it out. To all those that are saying that he is a hacker, perhaps you have forgotten that he has yet to be convicted. And finally, for all of you calling him stupid, let's not forget that he was employed by Los Alamos while most of you probably sit alone in mother's basement all day long dishing out hate on forums.
  • by Ezubaric (464724) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @12:09PM (#3187670) Homepage
    He would know better if he watched a couple episodes of Law & Order. Note that I base all court proceedings on the wisdom of Sam Watterson.

    Maybe he's been watching Ally McBeal. That would make more sense. They once sued God, who is only slightly easier to get into court than the United States of America.
  • I think we'd all agree that:

    1. Belittling the justice system
    2. Nitpicking
    3. Trying to do a pathetic end-run around procedure

    ...are all excellent ways to piss off a judge and screw up your shot at freedom.

    If this guy keeps it up, he will provide us with many hours of hilarity. Plus, he makes me feel good about me.

    What sterling proof that "technically proficient" and "dumb as a stick" are perfectly compatible traits.
  • Um. What kind of guy would be able to break into eBay and then be so obviously incapable of defending himself? Back in younger days, I defended myself against a minor traffic ticket. What a mistake. I lost the 'big case'. The judge knew all my pals who were in mock trial, so I think he went easy on me. ( I didn't get the chair, just a big-ass fine.) Learned a bunch, though. Most importantly: IANAL!

    I wish I had a tape of that day. *cringe*

  • Reading the link to Jerome Heckenkamp [hackersdigest.com] posted in the blurb gives some of idea of why the writer (and others) would think Jerome fired his defense attorneys. Namely, he likely felt that a defense attorney did not have the computer acumen to adequately defend him.

    There's no end to the discussions on slashdot vis-a-vis the ridiculousness of the justice system attempting to regulate the computer industry without any clear understanding of how computers work. There's a good lesson in there. Computer-folk ought to at least allow that attorneys -- while incompetent at the keyboard -- know what they're doing in the courtroom.

    Just because you're a brilliant programmer, it doesn't mean you'll be a brilliant defense attorney. The years spent getting a JD, passing the bar and working as a lawyer have to count for something.

  • by xannax (185570) <trff@REDHATswbell.net minus distro> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @12:22PM (#3187785) Homepage Journal
    Like any other situation in life where someone else holds your future in their hands, the key to it all is playing by their rules. Sure, you feel like a dweeb sucking up to some Judge for fifteen miniutes, but when those fifteen are up, you can go back to acting like an asshole, or a saint, or even (god forbid) somewhere in between. I'm sure this kid had his girfriend/friends/whoever out in the gallery, and he was just trying to act the badass so as to impress her/him/them. Didn't quite work out. One other thing that comes to mind . . . This is a kid we're talking about here, no? His Father sounds like he's doing his best to get this kid convicted. Never go to court without a lawyer. Keep your mouth shut except to say yessir or nosir. And play the game. It beats getting it in the rear for three or four years from some guy named Bubba. .
  • In my mind, his actions make it all the more likely he is guilty.

    These actions just cry out, "i @M 1337! i \/\/i11 0n><0r j00 1@\/\/3rz! i \/\/i11 h@><0r D 13@g@1 5y573m!"

    And that is exactly the sort of attitude that somebody who would have done what he is accused of would have to have.

    The 0th rule of law - "DON'T PISS OFF THE JUDGE"
    The 1st rule of law - "A man who represents himself has a fool for a client".
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @12:30PM (#3187836) Homepage Journal
    He only proves the one thing many people here know, that most hackers are idiots.

    Hollywood is who convinces the public otherwise, showing hackers to be... computer experts, spyware experts, banking experts, encryption experts, wear designer clothing, able to run a 4second 40yard dash, and swoon woman like the latest Hollywood star.

    The rest of know that most people who hack do so because they don't have the attention span to hold down real jobs, don't have the skills to interact with a team of people on a face to face basis, and couldn't get a date unless they had money.

    Then again, maybe Hollywood is right, and only the dumb ones get caught.
    • by telbij (465356) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @01:23PM (#3188271)
      Or more specifically that 'smart' isn't a single trait.

      Being 23 myself, and having significant mathematical and technical skills myself, I have always struggled with the challenges of fitting in socially with those whose interests differ from my own.

      When people dismiss your knowledge and make fun of you for it, the way I see it there are 3 possible outcomes:

      1) You let it roll off your back since you can't please everyone all the time anyway.
      2) You become arrogant and dismiss anyone who you view as 'less intellignet' or 'not worthy of my time'.
      3) You learn to communicate with everyone on their own terms, the same way that most successful professionals do.

      #1 might be the easiest, but it never worked for me because I'm too sensitive. #3 is my choice, because it earns me a lot more respect.

      #2 is obviously the way this kid went, and I really feel sorry for him, because that is the road to bitterness. He's probably working himself up to a frenzy right now because he can't stand all those 'idiots.' Which is hypocrisy because he isn't even able to understand the basic tenets of respectful human interaction. It's sad to think that someone who supposedly values intelligence, doesn't value all the collective knowledge that society has about all kinds of topics. This kind of arrogance would seem to be chosen against by evolution in any period of history except the last few generations...
  • by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @12:33PM (#3187861) Homepage Journal

    In a telephone interview after the appearance, Heckenkamp's father, Thomas Heckenkamp, said his son is only trying to protect his rights . "They've overstepped their bounds, and they're keeping him from defending himself," he said.

    What an idiot. My first thought was, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

  • Hey, just (accidently) read the article - after posting about it 3 times of course - and I see that his trial is going to be where I live.

    Maybe if he doesn't retain a lawyer by then I'll go watch... it could be funny.

    "An idiot who represents himself has an idiot for a..." wait...

    =tkk

  • by evilpaul13 (181626) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @01:05PM (#3188119)
    I did 1 1/2 years ago, and I'm planning on fulfilling that threat in about 18 1/2 (bail time, baby!)
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @01:16PM (#3188214) Homepage

    ... that there are seven versions of every story in court.

    • Your version.
    • Your opponent's version.
    • Your attorney's version.
    • Your opponent's attorney's version.
    • The truth.
    • What actually happened.

    And the only one that actually matters:

    • The one that the judge decides to create from the other six.

    You know why judges find people guilty of contempt of court? It's because they can. If you or I could lock people up for contempt of us we'd need a heck of a lot more prisons. Dumb doesn't begin to sum this guy up. Perhaps he's trying to cop a diminished responsibility plea, or perhaps he genuinely doesn't understand that you don't kick the biggest kid in school in the pants then start reading the constitution at him.

  • Schizophrenic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @01:52PM (#3188501) Homepage
    IANAP (I am not a psychiatrist) but Mr. Heckenkamp sounds like he is a schizophrenic, or like he is playing to sound like one. He is about the right age (22) for this disorder to become apparent. His intelligence and criminal behavior also fit the common model for schizophrenia.
  • by nvts-NUTS (551113) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @02:36PM (#3188874)
    I remember it quite vividly. It was about 6 months before the whole hacking incident at Los Alamos happened. After talking with him for about an hour I found him to be a very smart individual.

    Working for a large company at the time they had all sorts of tests applicants had to go through. Apparently, he didn't score well enough on the tests for my bosses liking because despite my recommendation he didn't get the job.

    I guess I'm kind of glad he didn't get the job.

  • by edrugtrader (442064) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @03:13PM (#3189151) Homepage
    'hacked lycos' 'hacked ebay'....

    what exactlly did he do? find? he didn't get my max-bids did he?!?!
  • by ch-chuck (9622) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @03:23PM (#3189218) Homepage
    The computer whiz then asked the court

    Per dictionary.com:

    Wiz - A person considered exceptionally gifted or skilled.

    Whiz - To urinate.

  • This guy isn't just eccentric, from what the article is suggesting, he has symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder and/or Oppositional Conduct Disorder. These are real disorders, which affect people across a broad range of society. Here's some info on ODD [klis.com] have a peek and tell me this guy is not suffering from a psychological disorder.

    For those of you who would rather not click through:

    A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least six months during which four or more of the following are present:

    1. often loses temper
    2. often argues with adults
    3. often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules
    4. often deliberately annoys people
    5. often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
    6. is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
    7. is often angry and resentful
    8. is often spiteful and vindictive

    Although the website has more info.

    P.S. funny how that brief view of ODD describes alot of slashdot users! hahaha...smile, it's a joke

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