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Stalker Jailed For Planting Child Porn On a PC 368

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-do-I-love-thee-let-me-plant-the-ways dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An elaborate scheme to get the husband of a co-worker with whom he was obsessed jailed backfired on Ilkka Karttunen, 48, from Essex in the UK. His plan was to get the husband arrested so that he could have a go at a relationship with the woman. To do this he broke into the couple's home while they were sleeping, used their family computer to download child pornography, and then removed the hard drive and mailed it anonymously to the police, along with a note that identified the owner."

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Stalker Jailed For Planting Child Porn On a PC

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  • by Cowclops (630818) on Friday April 02, 2010 @10:36AM (#31706216)

    The answer doesn't seem to be in the article, but why would they search Karttunen's house after arresting the guy he was trying to frame? I understand how he would have been implicated after they searched his computer, but how did they figure out that they needed to search his house in the first place?

    Either way, guy is an idiot for copying the guy's hard drive to his own. And an idiot for trying the whole scheme in the first place. And an idiot for getting caught when it seems like it would be hard to trace that back to somebody.

  • by Tim C (15259) on Friday April 02, 2010 @10:54AM (#31706400)

    Unfortunately in the UK they publish names of anyone accused of sex crimes in local newspapers

    Really? I've not heard of or seen such a list - unless you mean in a "local man Joe Bloggs was arrested on Friday on suspicion of $crime" type story?

    you need a licence to talk to a child in the UK

    Bullshit. There have been controversial rules passed recently requiring anyone who has regular, official contact with children to register, yes - so a football coach teaching minors would indeed be affected. A licence to talk to a child though? Rubbish.

  • by Manip (656104) on Friday April 02, 2010 @11:00AM (#31706450)

    Those are exactly the type of stories I'm talking about. If Bob Smith is arrested for rape, then he is a rapist, even if he is entirely innocent. If John Smith is known as a kiddie fiddler then no amount of innocents will rub that off of him in a society obsessed by paedophilia and child safety.

    A little bit of hyperbole to make my point (*I guess that doesn't translate on the internet) but, yes, you only need a licence if you want regular contact with kids. But frankly the way society is going we're getting closer and closer to the point when some man talks to kids in the park and is arrested as a direct result.

    Do you think it is really reasonable to have to have a licence if you want to be a football coach? The statistics don't even really suggest it will help given that most assaults are conducted by family or friends.

  • This story is broken (Score:3, Interesting)

    by glebaron (737206) on Friday April 02, 2010 @11:22AM (#31706666)
    He stole the hard drive and the family didn't notice that it was missing and report a burglary?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 02, 2010 @11:26AM (#31706714)

    There have been controversial rules passed recently requiring anyone who has regular, official contact with children to register, yes - so a football coach teaching minors would indeed be affected. A licence to talk to a child though? Rubbish.

    Jesus Christ, that's your rebuttal? That you only need a license if you have REGULAR contact with children? WTF has happened to the UK? (btw, PARENTS have regular contact with children. Do you need a license for that too?)

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Friday April 02, 2010 @11:37AM (#31706840)

    I am a forensic investigator and it terrifies me that most people I meet in my field don't seem to care who goes to jail as long as somebody goes to jail.

    That matches my experience. A disturbingly large number of people in law enforcement seem to think that their job is to bust people, as opposed to busting the guilty and protecting the innocent. Nor is it necessarily born out of malice, though there's that, too; most of the time, it's just tunnel-vision and sloppy thinking.

  • by stonewallred (1465497) on Friday April 02, 2010 @11:42AM (#31706872)
    Idaho is west somewhere. Near where the people with the bones through their noses and lions and tigers live. Quebec is in French.
  • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Friday April 02, 2010 @11:44AM (#31706890) Journal

    Not directly related, but another very interesting (if disappointing) article [bbc.co.uk] from the BBC today about knee-jerk media reaction forcing the hand of the justice system, this time in terms of the drug trade.

    Choice quotes from the latest expert resigning from the government's drug advisory board:

    "We had little or no discussion about how our recommendation to classify this drug would be likely to impact on young people's behaviour.

    "Our decision was unduly based on media and political pressure."

    He added: "As well as being extremely unhappy with how the ACMD operates, I am not prepared to continue to be part of a body which, as its main activity, works to facilitate the potential criminalisation of increasing numbers of young people."

  • by Shotgun (30919) on Friday April 02, 2010 @11:47AM (#31706930)

    Exactly. So often, once an investigation is started there is a need to find a perpetrator somewhere...ANYWHERE...to justify beginning the investigation.

    Even worse is juvenile court. They use the justification that the "record is wiped clean" when they turn 16. So suddenly a note from a principal somehow becomes "evidence", and is sufficient to sentence a child to 9 months of probation.

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:02PM (#31707084)

    "One question - Why was the wife or anyone else using the "family PC" not arrested? Or are only males arrested for child porn?"

    Don't you know? Women can only be victims of sex crimes. A woman would *never* commit a sex crime against anyone.

    Yes, that's sarcasm, but most people don't want to think of women (or children) as being capable of bad things (even though they are just as able as men).

  • by Jesus_Corpse (190811) on Friday April 02, 2010 @01:03PM (#31707742)

    I work in forensics too, and I have somewhat the same experience with people in police forces. However, the place where I work is independent from the government, and only does the research. Law enforcement officers are regularly 'pissed off' that we can't do some facial recognition from 20x20 pixel faces, etc. However, the experts at our company always refrain from that practice

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe&jwsmythe,com> on Friday April 02, 2010 @01:05PM (#31707760) Homepage Journal

        Evidence is a tricky thing. I'd have to say from what I know of the law (and IANAL), that drive is worthless as evidence, or even as a hint to start an investigation on anything but a B&E charge. The computer may have the guys personal information on it, but even that can be faked.

        The chain of custody isn't always quite so cut and dried. At one point, there was an investigation where I showed up to work where I found a man with a federal badge. He wanted to know about an incident that I honestly knew nothing about. I listened to what he had, and then followed it through to the source, and collected the appropriate information. The investigator told me "I can't ask you for this without a warrant, but if you give it to me it would make my job easier."

        At that point it's all in who did what, and who's getting screwed. In my case, there was a server of another client compromised and used to attempt breaking into a federal network. When the client discovered it had been compromised, they pulled the machine for evidence (or to be cleaned later), and restored the data from backups to a clean machine. They were absolutely willing to hand over the machine, as long as they'd get it back. The only person getting screwed would potentially be the person who broke into their server.

        While I didn't deal in physical evidence, it was hearsay, which wouldn't be admissible. If I had gone and picked up the machine, there wouldn't be a good chain of custody. With the client's permission I sent the investigator over to them.

  • Re:Geez. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Friday April 02, 2010 @02:13PM (#31708514) Journal

    Well, he still had to plant evidence. Otherwise, the wife would just inspect the computer, find nothing, and conclude that this guy was even more of a screwball than she already probably thought he was.

    That said, if he had been a little bit better with computers, he would have given the person a flash drive with a file called "pictures.ppt.exe" that replaces itself with a file called pictures.ppt and launches PowerPoint, then installs a piece of code that runs automatically at startup and connects to a server somewhere, allowing him to control the other person's PC. Most people would be fooled by that, and as long as it doesn't contain known virus code as a starting point, no virus scanner will ever detect it. Failing that, he could break into that person's house without causing any damage, install the virus, and sneak back out, leaving no evidence of consequence.

    So once he had control over the guy's computer, he could have downloaded as much kiddie porn as he wanted to onto the other person's computer over the course of weeks. For the first several weeks, he would go for sources of content that don't leave a significant trail, using Tor or other techniques if necessary. This would ensure that he got truckloads of material. Then, for one week, he would go to lots of sites that have all the hallmarks of an FBI sting (or that of the equivalent body in the country in question), then would send an anonymous tip to the authorities, delete all traces of the bot, and sit back and watch.

    Not saying that this would get him the girl---chances are, it would just wreck the family's life and he'd still end up alone---but it would be a highly effective and almost completely undetectable way to frame an innocent person. The scary thing is that for all we know, this may have already happened.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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