Prankster makes fake death calls to Canadian military families

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 24, 2010 2:39 PM GMT
    By Marianne White, Postmedia News

    November 23, 2010

    Quebec military police are pursuing a prankster preying on families of soldiers deployed to Afghanistan by calling them in the middle of the night to say their loved ones have died.

    The relatives of at least three soldiers currently serving in the war-torn country have been targeted by the prank, a spokesman at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier said Tuesday.

    The wife of one soldier filed a complaint with military police after someone called her last week to say her husband had died in a roadside bomb explosion.

    "It's a shame and we're taking this very seriously," Alex Maille said.

    He stressed the military always delivers such news in person — never over the phone — and urged other victims to lodge a complaint to help put an end to the hoax.

    To ensure the families of soldiers on their first tour of duty in Afghanistan are aware of the military protocol in the event of critical incidents, CFB Valcartier's deployment support group will send a letter outlining the procedure.

    Meanwhile, CFB Valcartier's family centre is offering counselling and information to those who are worried about falling prey to the crank caller.

    The Department of National Defence said the prank is not something it has ever dealt with before.

    "We are not aware of other similar incidents," said DND spokesman Maj. Martell Thompson.

    He said the Forces are baffled at someone showing so little respect for the families of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

    "It's pretty low. I can think of a lot of things one can do to voice their discontent with the mission and this would not have made my list of what people would do," he said. "This does not fit into what a normal human being would do to another."

    The prank also struck an angry chord with Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

    "Military personnel should not be needlessly worried about their families when they are fighting for our country in far-away lands," he said in a statement. "Military families, who also make incredible sacrifices in Canada's name, should never be the target of such an insensitive, amoral and disgusting act . . . It is our hope that the perpetrators of this despicable action are brought to justice."

    Retired Canadian Forces colonel Michel Drapeau was fuming Tuesday when he heard about the bogus death calls.

    "I'm outraged. One must be a coward, a lout, to do something so wanton to families going though difficult days of anguish," he said. "It's disgusting and inhumane to put them through this. Really, it's over the top."

    Drapeau said the culprit should be charged and publicly exposed.

    A Quebec City police spokeswoman said the department has not yet received any formal complaint. She noted that if the prankster is caught, he or she could face jail time.

    © Copyright (c) Postmedia News

    Read more:
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 24, 2010 2:59 PM GMT
    What is wrong with people? This is so twisted
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 24, 2010 3:07 PM GMT
    They do this on the internet all the time, so I'm not that surprised it's happening on the phone for, how does fearthefall put it? The lulz. Ugh.

    The recipient of such a call needs to hang up on the caller, get a dial tone and hit *57. Then hang up, get a dial tone and call the police. The system traces the call and prints out all the info.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 24, 2010 8:27 PM GMT
    Crank calls to military families 'amoral': MacKay

    Last Updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | 11:58 AM ET Comments433

    CBC News

    Recent crank calls to military families claiming a family member had been killed in Afghanistan are "insensitive, amoral and disgusting," Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Wednesday.

    MacKay made the comments after at least three military families at CFB Valcartier were targeted, with one wife being told her husband had been killed by a roadside bomb.

    Military police are looking for the person responsible and say he or she could face jail time if caught.

    Speaking to reporters on Parliament Hill, MacKay said anyone caught would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    The CBC's Hannah Thibedeau reported that the military is seeking to remind families that it doesn't deliver such news over the phone. It is also sending letters to families, particularly families of new soldiers, outlining military protocols.

    CFB Valcartier's family centre is offering counseling to families who have been targeted.

    Read more:
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 25, 2010 3:46 PM GMT
    Well I think we can all agree for once that this is a really awful thing to do.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 25, 2010 4:03 PM GMT
    This is not funny in any sense and the prankster should be punished severely for his actions. Hopefully someday he will get a good dose of his own medicine.