JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri man has registered Internet domain names that reference killing the president of the United States and major-party candidates in the 2000 election, Missouri Digital News has learned.
Darryl Bozwell of St. Charles has a domain name library that includes: www.killbillclinton.com, www.killclinton.com, www.killgeorgebush.com, www.killalgore.com, www.killbillbradley.com and www.killjohnmcclain.com. (yes, he misspelled it.)
The addresses do not constitute a threat against the president or presidential candidates, he said.
"If you read it as three words, yes, it is a threat, it's a sentence," Bozwell said. "But if you read it like a web address, it would not be perceived as a threat. It just happens to spell out a sentence."
But the Secret Service immediately expressed an interest in Bozwell when asked to comment on his Web names.
Under federal law, it is illegal to threaten to harm the President or a presidential candidate.
"If somebody makes a threat or implies a threat that could possibly be charged as a crime," said Mauri Sheer, who heads the Secret Service office in Kansas City. Sheer would not say if Bozwell is breaking the law.
Past prosecutions have involved threats made verbally, through the mail, or via e-mail, Sheer said.
Bozwell said he requested information about the legality of the domain names in a January e-mail to the Secret Service.
"No response," Bozwell said. "I would take a guess they were thinking this guy is nuts."
He registered the names within days.
Asked why, Bozwell said he wanted to prevent other, less scrupulous people from registering them. He also registered nonpolitical names, including www.killacat.com, through the same service, Domains are Free, a California company.
"I am trying to get those characters off the screen of the computer," Bozwell said. "The system that assigns web addresses does not recognize 'kill' as anything but letters."
"The only reason I pointed out the candidates by name is because they are the only people who can get something like this public," Bozwell said.
The former computer-maker, who says he has been on disability for about four years, claims to have registered thousands of Internet addresses since October. Bozwell said it cost about $2,100 to register those with "kill."
Bozwell was not the first to register this type of name. On March 4, 1999, a California man registered www.killthepresident.com, which redirected visitors Thursday to a site with depictions of bestiality.
Stephen Yomtobian, listed on the Internet as the owner of that address, refused to comment.
"You people are really bad, I don't want to talk to you," Yomtobian said.
None of the sites registered to Bozwell contained threatening material when visited by a reporter Thursday.
Bozwell said he plans to transfer the domain names, but "they have to be absorbed by some responsible party."
A responsible party, Bozwell said, would be willing to hold onto the domain names and keep them out of the hands of unethical people.
Bozwell added the "kill" series to an Internet auction shortly after being interviewed. Bidding started at $3,500.
And what if the Secret Service comes to St. Charles?
"Bring 'em on," said Bozwell, wielding two modems through a homemade computer.
Bozwell was quick to point out, however, that he doesn't want to be adversarial.
To see who owns what on the Web, go to Checkdomain.com