The Monterey Herald is reporting that notorious network vigilante, author, founder of Better a Millstone, and self-described enemy of pedophilia, Walter Harlan (Mike) Echols II, was found dead in his jail cell over the weekend, where he was serving 150 days for violating his probation on an earlier charge of making terrorist threats. Mr. Echols was also awaiting trial on new charges of indecent exposure and resisting arrest.
Before becoming an Internet stalker and social parasite, Mr. Echols authored several soft-core books based on true-crime stories of adolescent boys being sexually abused. The best known of these was "I Know My First Name is Steven", which was made into a mini-series starring Cory Nemec. To Internet Denizens, Mr. Echols was best known for grepping the net for public discussions of sex, censorship, and age of consent laws, and harrassing people holding left of center positions on these issues by placing them on his Web page of "Internet Child Sex Predators and Child Pornographers and NAMBLA Members." He would include as much personal information as he could dig up, including work and home addresses and phone numbers, and suggestions that any children living nearby were in danger of being sexually assaulted. He made frequent ranting phone calls to people, their employers and landlords, and nearby businesses, in pursuit of this agenda. Mr. Echols had a lengthy criminal record, including child abuse, breaking and entering, being a fugitive from justice, assault, and was once referred to by the governor of Colorado as "a man who has no respect for the law." Mr. Echols' final downfall began when he bumped his leg on a bus, and attempted to harrass California transit officials into a $100,000 settlement, by threating to kill them, and to destroy their computer systems. He was convicted, and sentenced to six months in jail, of which he served two, before being placed on probation, and forbidden as a condition of probation from going near a bus. Mr. Echols said at his trial, that this was all a plot by "pedophiles" to destroy him, and after giving Mr. Echols some time to produce evidence of this odd allegation, he was given an additional fine for "wasting the court's time." He was arrested again around Thanksgiving, in two separate pants-dropping incidents, one where he boarded a bus in violation of his probation, refused to pay, and dropped his pants when asked to leave, and another in which he is alleged to have dropped his pants and waved his genitalia at a police officer escorting him away from a place he had been living illegally. Sentenced to 150 days for the probation violation, he was realeased on his own recognizance to seek medical treatment for heart problems, and escaped from the hospital, only to be later re-arrested when the unamused judge issued a bench warrant. He was finally returned to jail to serve his sentence, ranting that Monterey officials were plotting against him, and was found dead in this cell over the weekend. At the time, his attorneys were attempting to get him declared incompentent to stand trial on the new charges, due to his obvious mental problems. Better a Millstone, Mr. Echols' organization, was incorporated for him in the state of Nevada by a born again friend of his, who happened to be a federal suspect in a series of abortion clinic bombings. Despite this, and the fact that Mr. Echols had a long criminal record, the organization was awarded IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization status, giving Mr. Echols' harrassment operation a quasi-official status. Echols' antics were enabled by a large slew of people, like Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who secretly enjoyed seeing the illegal harrassment of people critical of the government's sex and porn agenda, and took every opportunity to minimize his illegal behavior, and portray him as a poor misguided soul who helped children instead of a habitual criminal. Echols first came to my attention a number of years ago, when I had an encounter with Noreen Gosch, a well-known child sex conspiracy nut, in a CNN chatroom. Ms. Gosch promotes a theory that there is an international Satanic pedophile conspiracy, run out of the CIA's MK-Ultra program, which ritually abuses children. This, according to Ms. Gosch, is done for the purpose of producing multiple personalities, so that the children may be used as operatives in order to compromise world leaders and other powerful people. A number of weeks after suggesting in the CNN chatroom to Ms. Gosch that she was in need of the services of a competent mental health professional, I did a web search of my name, and to my surprise, found that I had been listed on Echols' web site as an "Internet Child Sex Predator." Even more amusing, Echols listed my location as Salt Lake City, apparently after looking up the IP I had used to access CNN, which was that of an Internet provider in that city. I went to Echols' Web site, and discovered to my great non-surprise that that he was plugging Noreen Gosch's book on it. Unamused with Mr. Echols' antics, and with the smug disinterest of his latest Internet provider in removing the erroneous information, I suggested that other people so libeled might wish to email other users of Mr. Echols' ISP and inform them that they were sharing the machine with a convicted criminal and notorious liar. This prompted Mr. Echols to append to my blurb that I had urged people to take down Better a Millstone's website thus "encouraging illegal activity." While detailing all of Mr. Echols network adventures would require volumes, a few of his escapades do stand out in my mind. He once accused a Kentucky case worker of taking lewd pictures of a minor client and posting them on the Internet, and accused practically everyone in Kentucky of being part of a cover-up conspiracy. He posted stolen social service case records on his web site, and used information in them to contact and harrass other families whose kids were clients of the agency. He papered the boy's neighborhood with posters outing him, and the boy received homosexual slurs and death threats at school, and he and his family had to leave the state. When his behavior was criticized on a child advocacy web board, Echols screamed in ALL CAPS that the boy should "FIND JESUS" and "GET COCK OUT OF HIS MOUTH AND ASSHOLE." The case amounted to zilch, and at the trial, the case worker was found not guilty on all charges. The state of Kentucky gave serious though to prosecuting Mr. Echols on charges of interfering in a police investigation, but decided it wasn't worth the aggrevation. Mr. Echols set up a giant gallery on his web page, containing child porn he had downloaded from usenet, with the naughty bits blotted out, and invited people to try and identify the "child porn victims." He claimed he did this downloading only once "under the supervision of law enforcement", but constantly updated the web page with new child porn. When his detractors pointed out that all the pornographic pictures in the gallery were of adolescent boys in a very narrow age range, Mr. Echols quickly added some girls so that no one would draw the "wrong conclusion" about his interests. Originally included in this gallery was a shirtless picture of child actor Brad Renfro, which had apparently been posted to a newsgroup Mr. Echols was downloading his child porn from. Mr. Renfro was reportedly unamused at being featured as a "child porn victim" and the picture was deleted. For those who wish to read more about Mr. Echols, here are some links: Better a Millstone, shunned by better child advocates everywhere http://www.shadow-net.com/ Echols' death, as reported by the Monterey Herald http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/4935198.htm Echols' weenie-wagging, as reported by the Monterey Herald http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/local/4680079.htm The Unauthorized Biography of Mike Echols http://veridicus.netherweb.com/echols/aawalter_harlan_mike_echols.html CPAC Bibliography of news stories on Echols' criminal convictions http://www.thecpac.com/s-record.html Parody photo site of composite Echols pictures http://www.geocities.com/mrbob_inc/attention.html -- Eric Michael Cordian 0+ O:.T:.O:. Mathematical Munitions Division "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law"