The Ottawa Sun
October 23, 1996

Cops hunt source of kiddie porn e-mail

by Sarah Green

An e-mail message sent to hundreds of Canadian Internet users offering to sell or trade child pornography is likely the work of a sick sense of humor, police say.

The message, which was sent worldwide, including Ottawa, to Internet users on Monday, was far too widespread to be the work of true collectors of child pornography.

"It was a little too blatant to think it was legitimate", said Det. Sgt. Rick Burgess, who is with the OPP squad that investigates pornography.

The e-mail is signed by a man who identifies himself as Steve Barnard, who says he's been a "fan of child pornography" for four years and wants to sell his collection, which includes pictures, VHS tapes and audio recordings.

Burgess said New York City police questioned a man on Monday in connection with the e-mail, but no arrests were made.

The FBI said it is looking into the message as well. "The message is a hoax and the matter is being investigated", the FBI said in a statement.

Copyright © 1996 by the Ottawa Sun. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.