Saturday, January 13, 2007

Miscarriage of Justice for Julie Amero?

Julie Amero was a substitute teacher of a seventh grade class at Kelly Middle school in Norwich, Connecticut. Now Ms. Amero is facing up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of risk of injury to a minor after several of the students in her class witnessed pornographic pop-ups.

According to the Norwich Bulletin, Ms. Amero had no criminal record, had undergone extensive background checks that included fingerprinting and had taught at Kelly for 1 1/2 years without incident.

Have you ever experienced pop-ups "gone mad" on a computer? Can you imagine the panic mode of trying to shut them down? When faced with such an overwhelming situation, would you be clear-thinking enough to know what to do with the computer? Is Ms. Amero a computer teacher?

There is a lot more to this story, including a rather strange posting at ComputerWorld by Preston Gralla, in which he akins the defense of Ms. Amero to the "Twinkie defense". It appears that Mr. Gralla is looking for attention, digging up random information without completing proper research. If he had, he would have known that the "Twinkie defense" is an urban legend. There goes any credibility to anything Mr. Gralla has to write about.

Alex Eckelberry, president, Sunbelt Software, provided background information and an excellent explanation of what can happen to a computer as obviously infected as the one in the classroom where Ms. Amero was substitute teaching. Mr. Eckelberry has offered Sunbelt Software's forensic services to the defense on a pro-bono basis for use in appeal. Bravo, Alex!

See Alex Eckeberry's posts at:
Dig the story

If you live in Connecticut, contact your state representatives and point them to Alex' posts linked above.


Storms24 said...

Hmm.. Why is it that people are so willing to accept the story that students accesses a malware-laden website?

Was it not Ms. Amero's statement that she didn't know which students were at the computer? Did the investigating officer not indicate that he was unable to locate any student who could corraborate Ms. Amero's version of the events (except to say that they saw porn on the computer while she was sitting in front of it)?

Is it not true that Ms. Amero purposely went to dating websites and her personal email accounts - in violation of district policy which forbid using school computers for personal entertainment? Is it not true that these accounts were accessed while Ms. Amero was to be teaching a class?

Does Ms. Amero not have a computer in her home with many of the same "cookies" from these porno sites logged in? Is it not true that Ms. Amero, when interviewed by police, responded that she, "couldn't remember" why she went to,, or Is it not true that there was less than 1 minute between Ms. Amero's accessing of her personal AOL account and the offending "hairstyle" website?

C'mon people, malicious spyware wasn't even part of her defense! Her statements to police (and her own attorney's opening arguments) were that she didn't expose children to pornography.

Note too, that Ms. Amero didn't notify anyone (not even the teacher that was logged in) of the incident? It came to light only after 12yr old students complained to other school officials that she had been "watching naked people on the school computer." Even by the defense's own expert, no pornographic sites were ever logged in prior to Ms Amero's day in front of the computer... Nor were any pornographic sites logged after her day of "teaching." (Incidently, the computer in question was not removed from the classroom until several days later.) Why is it that the malware only became active when Ms. Amero was sitting at the computer?

Why didn't she turn off the monitor? Throw a coat over it? Why did her students report that she simply sat at her computer for the entire period?

Finally, why hasn't anyone actually published the transcripts of the case to reveal the details? The lead detective says:

"No one's called or written me to ask for the facts. I have received a deluge of hate email and phone threats. I've returned the emails, offering the facts. I've returned calls to those who would leave their number, offering the facts. They just call me names and hang up. I offer the facts (in the form of recovered source code et all) to anyone who would request it. I'm not hard to find.
You have based your opinion on the disinformation fed to you by the media and by defense. As a result, the real victims have been forgotten and I have been the target of ridicule and death threats.
The verdict reached by a jury of the accused's peers was just. The evidence presented in court was factual and forensically sound. The "clicked link" story has been turned into something other than what it is.
Once sentencing is done I intend on presenting the evidence to anyone who wants to know the truth, though I doubt the conspiracy mongers want the truth. I have explained the process of investigating these types of crimes to Network Performance Daily.
You may also read the tale spun by the Expert on the same site. I have the evidence to prove this charlatan is being less than truthful and I would appreciate someone demanding from him the source code containing the malicious active content of which he speaks. As for the trojans, viruses, worms, and adware he spoke of: what were they? when were they created locally? what do they do?? He didn't say.
To all those of little faith who believe the Government (aka: BIG Brother) and its minions would conspire to persecute innocent, GOD fearing individuals for entertainment I say GET A GRIP.
Again, once sentencing is completed I would be very happy to share with you the evidence so that you are better able to form an educated opinion. Your missing 990 pieces of this 1000 piece puzzle." - Mark Lounsbury

Corrine said...

Storms24, I've allowed your comment, but am reminding anyone reading this that no source is provided for the purported quotation from Detective Lounsbury.

In fact, you either made it up or copy/pasted it from someone else who did. Detective Lounsbury has indeed been provided the opportunity to speak, and provided a "Commentary" at Network Performance Daily. See

Note in particular, that Detective Lounsbury cannot talk about the Amero case specifically until after Ms. Amero's sentencing.

The rest of your statement has about as much credence as the fake quotation.