Ricin Letters Suspect Paul Kevin Curtis Was ‘Framed’ with His Social Media Signature

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Paul Kevin Curtis has learned the hard way how one’s social media profile can be used to create the impression that you are behind something less than above-board. Curtis, who is an Elvis impersonator and who uses the sign-off “This is KC and I approve this message” on social media, was the prime suspect in the three letters containing ricin that were mailed to President Obama, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, and Judge Sadie Holland, also of Mississippi, last week. It didn’t help that the letters included that signature sign-off, “This is KC and I approved this message.”

this-is-kc-and-i-approved-this-message

 

Interestingly, while in the above screen shot P. Kevin Curtis seems to be endorsing Tupelo, Mississippi mayoral candidate Jason Shelton’s bid for election, it may well have been Shelton’s views of Curtis that helped to finger him as a suspect.


Said Shelton, at the time, “The guy is definitely not a friend of mine. He’s never been a friend of mine,” adding that he had actually blocked Curtis on Facebook.

“I think he’s insane and out to harm people,” Shelton was quoted as saying.

It also didn’t help Curtis’ case that the local sheriff said that Curtis was no stranger to his jail.

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“If it’s Kevin Curtis, we’ve had him in our jail about 4 times, mostly misdemeanors like simple assault,” said Prentiss County Sheriff Randy Tolar. “But in 2008 for telephone harassment and stalking.”

“I think he has some very serious psychological issues from my dealings with him. In the past I had read some of his Facebook postings and it was very far out there,” added Tolar. “He’ll get down on you and bash you with everything he’s got, even making up stuff, and I’ve seen that side of him.”

But it was the letters being mailed in his name, and including that signature sign-off, “I’m KC and I approve this message”, that made him the prime suspect in the effort to poison the president, Senator Wicker, and Judge Holland.

 

All that said, this week Curtis was cleared of all charges, and the investigation has now focussed on a different suspect.

But this serves to highlight that what you put out publicly, on social media, can be used against you in ways that you may never have considered. And while you are not likely to be framed as the next ricin mailer, plain old garden variety identity theft is no fun either.

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