CSI: Laramie: How cops busted the student who threatened to rape herself on Facebook
Meg Lanker-Simons, the 28-year-old University of Wyoming undergrad who allegedly threatened herself with rape on an anonymous Facebook forum, is in the news again.
The kerfuffle began in April when an unsigned posting was made to a Facebook page called UW Crushes. “I want to hatefuck Meg Lanker-Simons so hard,” the post read. “That chick runs her liberal mouth all the time.”
The posting brought national attention to the Cowboy State’s flagship college. There was a feminist rally. Initially, the administration stood firmly behind Lanker-Simons. A school official denounced “rape culture.” (RELATED: Police say 28-year-old undergrad threatened herself with rape in Facebook hoax)
Police investigated the incident, quickly determining that Lanker-Simons posted the message on her computer while it was in her possession. It was her alleged obstruction of the investigation that led to a misdemeanor change or interfering with a peace officer.
According to the affidavit, a search warrant served on a company called SurveyMonkey.com was essential.
The post went through SurveyMonkey’s website, so the online questionnaire outfit was able to provide a slew of useful information including IP addresses and login information for the administrators of UW Crushes. The website also provided the IP address of the computer which generated the post.
University police then asked an information technology staffer at the school to “research the IP address of the original sender of the message” and “see if he could track that to one specific computer or individual,” explains the Boomerang.
The employee soon struck gold. He told police the IP address belonged to a computer called “ElComputerdeMeg.”
“The user logged into the computer at the time was meghanm, or Meghan Michelena, also known as Meghan Lanker-Simons,” the affidavit testifies.
An attorney for Lanker-Simons filed a number of motions last month including one seeking the suppression of certain evidence.
The pending misdemeanor charge against Lanker-Simons isn’t her first rodeo in Wyoming’s criminal system. She was also convicted of aggravated assault over a bizarre 2005 gun-brandishing incident. (RELATED: Wyo. student who threatened to rape self on Facebook was convicted of assault)
After Lanker-Simons was fired from a radio station, she returned and pulled a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun from her purse. The radio station was evacuated. Police caught Lanker-Simons as she tried to flee in her vehicle. They held her at gunpoint.
In July 2006, Lanker-Simons — then known as Meghan Michelena — was sentenced to six years of probation.