The Toronto Sun
Monday, April 21, 1997

Sommy is the Son

Mom, step-Dad crushed as Billy, 15, confesses to cyber-stalking

by Mark Gollom and Tracy Nesdoly

Debbie and Dwayne Tamai were in tears last night after learning that Sommy, the electronic intruder who harassed the Windsor-area couple for months, is their son.

Ontario Provincial Police say no charges will be laid against 15-year old Billy, who lives in the Emeryville home with his mother and stepdad.

Debbie Tamai issued a statement yesterday saying Billy confessed fully after police asked him to come in for questioning during the weekend.

She also apologized for her son, who was able to elude investigators, Bell Canada, Ontario Hydro, and even an espionage team hired by two television networks.

Charlene Tamai, Dwayne's mother, said Debbie and Dwayne "were both in tears" upon hearing the news.

"I feel terrible for the two kids. They've just been absolutely baffled by this whole mess", Charlene said.

She said Billy is "a normal teenager".

`SMART ENOUGH'

"How he was smart enough to get away with it, I don't know ... I'm sure they're devastated", she added.

One family friend told The Toronto Sun the couple never suspected Billy was the cyber-stalker and were completely surprised by the revelation.

Debbie Tamai was asked to bring him in for questioning and did so with the intention of clearing his name through a lie-detector test. Instead, he confessed to his family and police.

"After the initial shock was over, we realize this was a young man crying out for help", Tamai said. "At this point, we had to open our eyes and sit with him and ask him why he did all of this."

"He replied it started off as a joke with his friends and just got so out of hand that he didn't know how to stop it and was afraid to come forward and tell us in fear of us disowning him."

"There's no doubt that he needs professional help and we intend to get that for him right away", Tamai said.

NATIONAL ATTENTION

"When I asked my son numerous times if he knew anything about what had been happening around here and he replied `No, mom. I would never hurt you like this.'"

Calling himself Sommy, he attracted national attention after he began haunting the family's new home in December.

The intruder appeared to have tapped into the phone conversations with burps and babble.

He overheard conversations in the house and appeared to control the electrical power supply, turning individual appliances on and off at will.

The parents were so shaken by Sommy they put their house up for sale.

Bell Canada has changed the telephone number and the phone lines in the home and the cable in the new subdivision. It even tried to blow the bandit's equipment with a 600-volt blast down the phone lines, to no avail.

He was even able to elude a team of high-tech experts hired by two television networks. A two-day sweep intelligence and security experts - brought in by Dateline NBC and the Discovery Channel and loaded with high-tech gizmos - failed to locate Sommy on Friday.

It seems the high-tech harasser was actually low-tech - doing things like picking up extension phones and flicking switches, a source said. OPP will release more information on the case today.

Sgt. Doug Babbitt said a process of elimination led police to conclude no devices were ever planted in the home. They also ruled out an intrusion into the Bell Canada system.

"We eliminated all external sources and interior sources", said Babbitt.

He added that every time investigators set up equipment to try and track down the intruder, Sommy wouldn't call for eight or ten days.

"After going through the evidence gathered and the interviews, we concluded that charges would revictimize the family", said Babbitt.

"We felt it would be better for (the family) to settle this themselves than to charge them."


Copyright © 1997 by The Toronto Sun. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.