Copyright 2012 John T. Reed

Recently, in a Facebook posting, I mentioned where I live. A reader publicly posted he was near me and that it would be “awesome” to have lunch with me. I have lunch with me everyday and it is not awesome. But because he extended that invite in front of everyone, I had to respond similarly and I said I could not accept such invitations from strangers in part because I get death threats. He expressed shock about that.

Well, here’s an example of one I just got.

This one is unusual in that the sender identifies herself or purports to. The others were all anonymous, or so they thought. It is fairly easy to track down the sender in many cases, as David Petraeus and his grilfriend recently found out.

I think the background is that I wrote an article titled “Should you go to, or stay at, West Point?” It discusses the pros and cons of going to West Point. I surmise that this woman read part of it and did not like it.

She said she read part of what I said,

…because my son has received a Presidential Appointment [to West Point] for his academic and football talents.

She then attacks me in the flailing manner I described in an article I wrote about trying to hurt the feelings of public figures.

Gray hog moms

Because she was an example of a category of people I mentioned in the West Point article—gray hog moms—I asked her for permission to quote her. She refused to be quoted by name.

A gray hog is a person who has an extremely high opinion of West Point. Rarely, you find cadets who are gray hogs. Still rare but more prevalent are graduates of West Point who are gray hogs come lately—the older they get the more West Point stuff festoons their home and/or clothes and/or car. Being a gray hog is uncool and you would get teased about it. (I have my diploma and about a half dozen other West Point items on the wall of my home office. I hardly ever have a visitor. Also have a mug on a mantle. I have a few clothing items but they only have initials USMA or the West Point crest so only members of the West Point “family” would recognize what they refer to. A non-“family” member guessed the crest meant I worked for Anheuser Busch.)

But the biggest gray hogs are the wives of grads and the moms and dads of cadets or grads. There are also some gray hog non-cadets, no-grads who are just sort of camp followers who have no relatives who went there. I find those a little spooky.

‘My SEAL is back and you’re gonna be in trouble…’

(That is a paraphrase of a line from the 1963 oldies song “My boyfriend’s back” by the Angels.) She bragged in the first email about being married to a 21-year Navy SEAL and gave his SEAL basic training class number, I guess as proof. ???


In her second email she says,

My husband always said academy officers always made the worst kind of officers.

I see. Begs the question of why you would consider letting your son become one. Are the SEAL’s academy officer superiors aware of his position on commission source?

She sent a third email for unknown reasons. It says,

Don't ever speak a word of my son, because unlike what you obviously didn't learn through your training as an officer, is that myself and those I love have the ability, resources and experience to come and kill you while you sleep. You don't deserve to breath the same air as me and mine.

Correct. There was no training segment in my five years of military training about SEAL wives’ and families’ experience at murdering sleeping people. I sent copies of the emails from this woman to the head guy at West Point. Perhaps they’ll add this to the curriculum.

And isn’t she a nimble writer? I mean how many times have YOU used the phrase “those I love” and “kill you while you sleep” in the same sentence?

We were trained in many ways to kill people, but not how to kill people in their sleep. Perhaps because it was not very sporting. Perhaps because it is so easy to do that no training is necessary.

Is this what SEALs are about?

Is murdering American civilians who displease their wives one of the things the SEALS are trained for and experienced at?

To get into West Point, we had to not only get admitted, but also pass a background check about citizenship and loyalty to the U.S. that resulted in our having a secret clearance the day we entered. Her phrase “myself and those I love” would seem to incude her son. If he has “experience” at “kill[ing me] while [I] sleep,” does he pass the West Point background check? Would he even be available to attend West Point? Seems like he would have to be at trial and in prison, if convicted.

The cadet murders

Before you conclude the statement is so preposterous that it should be ignored, I remind you of the Texas high school couple who went to the Air Force Academy and Naval Academy. The girl, Diane Zamora, who went to Navy bragged to her roommate about having killed a girl in high school for having sex with her boyfriend, David Graham, who went to Air Force Academy. The roommate told the authorities at the Naval Academy. They investigated and found it was true. The boy was the actual murderer but the girl was there to assist and the boy did it at her demand as penance for his infidelity. They two were thrown out of the academies, tried, and convicted. The boy had also been admitted to West Point. There was a made-for-TV movie about it.

‘Experience’ at killing people in their sleep?

Then there is the SEAL. The woman did not say her husband is retired or a former SEAL, and it might not be relevant even if he was currently not active duty.

Seems to me that the woman needs to explain what role(s), if any, her U.S. Navy SEAL husband and/or her son, if he has accepted an appointment to West Point, played in the “experience” of “myself and those I love” at killing people while they sleep.

She also needs to explain the words “ability” and “resources” regarding killing people while they sleep.

I forwarded her emails to the FBI.

Long header

Here is the long header from the email. Last time I get a death threat I wrote a little article about it and posted it along with the long headers. Some readers who knew computers sent me helpful analysis as to the identity of the sender. In that case, where the Marines’ name was invoked to intimidate as the name SEAL was in this case, the FBI told me it was a sort of Nigerian financial Internet scam that was being sent to many people. “Pay us or we’ll murder you using our Marine training and experience.”

X-Apparently-To: via; Fri, 16 Nov 2012 08:28:10 -0800
Received-Spf: pass (domain of designates as permitted sender)
X-Ymailisg: BHibRoIWLDtchKKmZB0gGoE7sIV7SM9vannsJiU2BXqBXi.4 yCXpzJc0PhLhZ7BprXXJculsJ8LRuUY3fv0DJWNFCE5joRZLOMesSU17ezv6 dmYkjgebc3wOIi0m.OhgdBIPAhOg2DU_pfHuCR04Pj97jJadUFYDGUlFlp6d sopTLMxc7DeoMFcut0w4gys_VCRMbumD2b0IO8gjhpfnbqFDikgyviWHoowK VAB21oM2AfqUe1FbDDM1OI.dHBAMyukcw5do7DeMD5w-
X-Originating-Ip: []
Authentication-Results:; domainkeys=neutral (no sig);; dkim=neutral (no sig)
Received: from (EHLO ( by with SMTP; Fri, 16 Nov 2012 08:28:10 -0800
Received: from [] ( []) by (Oracle Communications Messaging Server 7u4-24.01( 64bit (built Jan 3 2012)) with ESMTPSA id <> for; Fri, 16 Nov 2012 15:27:47 +0000 (GMT)
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="Boundary_(ID_GGlpAmli2OEZVjSolnukOw)"
X-Proofpoint-Virus-Version: vendor=fsecure engine=2.50.10432:5.9.8185,1.0.431,0.0.0000 definitions=2012-11-16_03:2012-11-15,2012-11-16,1970-01-01 signatures=0
X-Proofpoint-Spam-Details: rule=notspam policy=default score=0 spamscore=0 ipscore=0 suspectscore=0 phishscore=0 bulkscore=0 adultscore=0 classifier=spam adjust=0 reason=mlx scancount=1 engine=6.0.2-1203120001 definitions=main-1211160134
References: <> <>
X-Mailer: iPad Mail (9B206)
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-Id: <>

A reader says,

Mr. Reed,

In case you'd like this for future reference - I use this site to trace all kinds of things. Normally you'd do so quickly before a reply since miscreants tend to change emails quickly.

There is one tool for email header analysis.

Seems to me that the gray hog mom has closed that account. Wonder why?

The DNS stuff analysis says the sender is in Holbrook, Long Island, NY.


So, if you thought I was exaggerating about getting death threats, nope. It is part of being famous or in my case, mildly famous. Indeed, today’s (11/17/12) Peggy Noonan column in the Wall Street Journal has this statement about Petraeus friend Jill Kelley going to the FBI when she got threatening emails from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus girlfriend and another West Point graduate:

Just about everyone, certainly every woman, in the public eye in America receives agressive, insulting, menacing emails. We didn’t know we could get FBI investigations opened for that!

Note to Peggy Noonan: If you get a “menacing” or death threat email, forward it to the FBI or your local police depending upon jurisdiction. Let them, not you, decide whether they should do anything about it. At least, if you turn up murdered, they have a suspect instead of one of your relatives telling them “Oh, she didn’t have an enemy in the world.”

When I told the theratener that I had forwarded her email to the FBI and West Point, she replied,

I’m so scared. You must think you’re really important.

Nope. I think your SEAL husband, and maybe your West Point cadet son, are important.

I got a response from the FBI which I will not reveal. None from West Point.

Writing. It’s not just a job. It’s an adventure.

John T. Reed

I appreciate informed, well-thought-out constructive criticism and suggestions.

Link to information about John T. Reed’s Succeeding book which, in part, relates lessons learned about succeeding in life from being in the military

John T. Reed Publishing home page - John T. Reed military home page