High-tech stalker turns out to be an insider
Teen-ager confesses to harassing his family
April 22, 1997
Web posted at: 3:47 p.m. EDT (1947 GMT)
EMERYVILLE, Ontario (CNN) -- The Tamai family had put their
home in a small town on the shore of Lake St. Clair on the
market, ready to pack up and leave to escape months of high-tech harassment that even the experts could not explain.
A mysterious, electronic stalker who called himself "Sommy"
appeared to have tapped into the family's phone lines and
gained access to their custom-built home's electrical wiring.
Phone conversations were interrupted with burps and babble,
and lights and appliances turned on and off on their own.
But on Saturday, after police presented to the family all the
evidence they'd gathered, "Sommy" turned out to be 15-year-
old Billy Tamai, who "tapped" into phone lines from an
extension in his bedroom and flipped electrical switches in
"I just want to say I'm sorry," the teen-ager said Monday. "It
wasn't supposed to go so far, but I was too afraid to tell
Billy's parents were shocked to learn the identity of their
"He's my son. I don't know how I didn't know," his mother
told reporters on Sunday. "I must have been blind... I feel
so stupid, so sorry."
Billy confessed to the stalking, telling police that it began
as a prank and spiraled out of control. He was afraid to tell
the truth, his parents said, "in fear of us disowning him."
Billy eluded Ontario police, Bell Canada, Ontario Hydro and
an espionage team hired by Dateline NBC and the Discovery
Channel. The espionage team completed its sweep of the house
"At the conclusion of our visit, our team had formed the
opinion that this was not a high-tech assault, but rather a
low-tech lie," said Trevor Stewart of Nepean Systems. "Our
first suspect was Billy."
Sgt. Doug Babbitt of the Ontario Provincial Police said the
truth came out on Saturday after a long meeting between
investigators and the family.
"That's when 'Sommy' -- the stalker's moniker -- came forward
and identified himself," Babbitt said.
Babbitt said that no charges would be filed against the teen,
"because the family has been victimized enough already."
Family attorney Don Tait said the episode has caused a "real
rift in the family."
"There 's a lot of confusion as far as emotions are
concerned," he said. "They're angry one minute, the next
they're more concerned about his welfare."
Reuters contributed to this report.
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