The Toronto Star
Monday, April 21, 1997

High-tech home stalking turns out to be inside job

Son, 15, evaded detection as he tapped into lines

by Stan Josey

Sommy the cyber-stalker has been unmasked.

The electronic intruder who harassed Debbie and Dwayne Tamai since December turns out to be their 15-year-old son Billy.

For months, Sommy haunted the Tamais in their custom-built home in Emeryville, just east of Windsor.

He eavesdropped on conversations, tapped into telephone lines, interrupting with burps and babble.

The sophisticated hacker managed to evade detection by police investigators, technicians from Bell Canada and Ontario Hydro as well as a high-tech espionage team.

The frustrated family had just recently put up their house for sale to escape him.

A two-day sweep by a team of intelligence and security experts, brought in by two television networks, failed to locate Sommy last week.

But on the weekend, Ontario Provincial Police asked Billy to come in for an interview and he confessed that he was behind the strange events.

The Tamais issued a statement yesterday saying their son had admitted to making the mysterious calls.

``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'', the Tamais said.

Throughout the ordeal Debbie Tamai had expressed anger some people had thought her son was really Sommy.

``I don't consider my son a bad person for all of this. I just consider him a boy who needs professional help to deal with his emotions'', yesterday's statement said.

``We would like to apologize to the world for any pain or harm that was caused by this whole situation.''

Police are calling the situation an ``internal family matter''.

``We felt it would be better for (the family) to settle this themselves than to charge them'', said OPP Sergeant Doug Babbitt.

Relatives last night expressed relief the case has been solved and hoped the Tamai home now can return to some semblance of a normal life.

(With files from Canadian Press and Windsor Star.)

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