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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quincy Woman Sentenced For Mailing And Tweeting Bomb, Anthrax And Death Threats

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Boston – A Quincy woman was sentenced yesterday for sending multiple bomb, anthrax and other death threats through the U.S. mail, e-mail and Twitter.

Linda Louise Culkin, 55, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. to 51 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay over $125,000 in restitution. She was arrested in January 2012 and has been detained since. In November 2013, Culkin pleaded guilty to three counts of sending threats through the U.S. mail, two counts of sending threats over the Internet, five counts of sending threats and false information regarding explosives, and four counts of sending threats about biological agents such as anthrax.

From 2009 through the end of 2011, Culkin sent bomb, anthrax, and other death threats to several people and their workplaces in the United States and abroad. Investigators numbered the threats into the dozens; one victim estimated over a thousand. One of Culkin’s hoax bomb threats caused police in a foreign city, near one of the biggest train stations in the country, to evacuate a building and close off a neighborhood to keep out pedestrian and vehicle traffic for two hours. One of her hoax anthrax threats included a letter that, when opened, had white powder that flew into the air and caused people nearby to be quarantined and fear for their health until the threat was determined to be a hoax. Two victims spent thousands of dollars on added security to protect themselves.

Culkin started sending threats primarily through the mail. After being questioned by law enforcement officers about the mailed threats, Culkin started sending threats primarily through the Internet. Culkin made use of the Internet’s relative anonymity by never sending the e-mail and Twitter threats through a home computer that might be traced back to her. Instead, Culkin used computers at her workplaces, the apartment of a close friend, and at public libraries where she was recorded by surveillance video while on a computer making a threat.

Shortly after Culkin was recorded on video, a search of her apartment turned up numerous articles related to the victims and the threats, some of which items were hidden inside chairs and couches, under rugs, and inside her cat’s play structure.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott L. Garland, who was with Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit during the investigation and is now with the Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit.

Updated December 15, 2014