Remember Dennis Markuze/David Mabus?

After atheists and scientists online spent years putting up with a literal veritable tsunami [FTFY -Russell] of increasingly violent and unhinged death threats from Montreal resident Dennis Markuze (among whose many aliases, “David Mabus” is the best known), the authorities finally took reports of his stalking seriously and arrested the guy last year. Here is the latest.

Dennis Markuze, 40, recently received a suspended 18-month sentence after he pleaded guilty to uttering threats toward eight people. The case was heard at the Montreal courthouse.

Markuze, a resident of St. Laurent, was ordered to “abstain from participating in a social network, blog and discussion forum” during the sentence.

According to documents filed in the case, Markuze resided at Freedom House, a rehabilitation centre, to deal with problems he had with drugs and alcohol before he entered his guilty plea. According to the documents, he began consuming marijuana at age 15 and cocaine at age 23. At 25, he started drinking heavily, according to an assessment filed in his case in March.

The same assessment described Markuze as being motivated to deal with his substance abuse problems and mentions he completed a therapy program in March.

“He doesn’t want to return to prison nor have more problems with the law,” Freedom House’s Clement Proulx wrote in the assessment. “He takes responsibility for what he is charged with and takes his sobriety seriously.”

It all sounds very much like a wrist-slap, but I suppose it’s harder to get more decisive action taken on matters like these. Still, the law in Quebec can no longer say he’s not on their radar, at least. Can someone of Markuze’s dysfunctional mental health be trusted to abide by a ruling to stay away from the internet?

Keep an eye on your inboxes and comment threads, people. Be ready to report the very first violation.

(PS: FFS, when I said “literal” I didn’t mean “literally literal,” I literally meant “literal” like you mean it when you don’t mean “literal”! Why does everyone have to be so literal? It’s literally the craziest thing in the history of ever, and I do mean that literally!)


  1. says

    If the guy has a legitimate mental illness (and I believe he does), then this is the appropriate outcome. Mental illnesses are often self-medicated with (and exacerbated by) drug and alcohol abuse. Punishing him for having a mental illness would be both unnecessary and counterproductive.

  2. terrycollins says

    “It all sounds very much like a wrist-slap”

    When (some) murderers go free after 7 years in Quebec and Canada, a suspended 18-month sentence for online death threats seems relatively fair. Heck, even Vince Li is being allowed supervised leaves, and he beheaded a guy on a bus just 4 years ago. Crazy system we have here.

  3. terrycollins says

    Besides, they have to keep room in the jails for the students who dare to protest the government.

  4. says

    Not suggesting he’s done anything to deserve breaking rocks, but I hope he’s at least got some medical/psychiatric supervision going on, rather than, “Just take your pills and be a good boy, mkay?”

  5. tracieh says

    Yeah, on the one hand, he’s a loose canon and I think dangerous. On the other, glad he’s finally got *something* on the record.

  6. Concentratedwater, OM says

    I think [he’s] dangerous.

    Thank you, professor.

    **dons black cap**

    “He shall be taken from this courtroom to a place of execution, and there hung from the neck until dead. May God have mercy on his soul.”

  7. Jandorian says

    The state of:
    a) mental illness care and the health care system in the US, or lack thereof;
    b) parole/probationary supervision and/or the public perception of it in the US (generally related to US residents’ view of government efficiency/competence);
    c) the general public’s understanding/ignorance of mental illness
    and d) Americans’ general ignorance of all things Canadian (see Homer Simpson’s sadly relevant “Anyone could miss Canada all tucked away down there”)

    will likely cause some differences in interpretation of this news between Americans and Canadians.

  8. lorn says

    Perhaps you meant it littorally.

    To the good, he is on record as being found guilty and this will show up if he repeats the behavior. This makes reporting it, and getting taken seriously by authorities, is going to be easier the second time round. Hopefully there won’t be a second time.

    Also good, he got some treatment. Certainly excessive drug and alcohol use can make existing mental issues more pronounced and potentially dangerous. Short treatment programs don’t have a great record for permanent cures but they can point the way and plant seeds of a lasting cure that might take root. Best case is that he took the rehabilitation to heart and will both avoid drugs and alcohol, and antisocial behaviors.

  9. Comment1 says

    Do we even have any other word for “literally”?

    Aside from “really, really, really. No, really. I really, really mean it”.

  10. Kazim says

    Veritable: being in fact the thing named and not false, unreal, or imaginary —often used to stress the aptness of a metaphor

  11. Comment1 says

    Ah! Thing is, “literal” would say that something isn’t a metaphor at all, rather than stress aptness. The whole problem is that literal is becoming exactly the same as veritable.

    There’s a difference between a literal arm and a leg/pound of flesh and a veritable one. Like if an operation to save your limbs was really expensive…

  12. Kazim says

    Oh, you literally wanted another word that means “literal”? I thought you were asking for a better word to use in a situation where you don’t literally mean “literally,” which “veritably” is.

    If that’s what you need, then maybe at least a few of these will fit the bill:
    accurate, actual, apparent, authentic, bona fide, close, critical, faithful, genuine, gospel, methodical, natural, not figurative, ordinary, plain, scrupulous, simple, strict, to the letter, true, undeviating, unerring, unexaggerated, unvarnished, usual, veracious, verbal, verbatim, veritable, written

  13. says

    And yet the murder rate in Canada is a third that of the States, and the incarceration rate is only one sixth that of America (which has the highest in the world).

    Not saying the Canadian justice system is perfect, but it is far less dysfunctional than the American one these days. Thus I would be inclined to grant that the Canadian courts know what they’re doing here.