Pamphlet threatens UCSC researchers

July 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There are some people in Santa Cruz very nervous over a pamphlet that contains a lot of personal information about them. Police are looking for whoever left pamphlets listing the names and addresses of U.C.S.C. researchers at a cafe.

The crudely-constructed pamphlet titled "Murderers and Torturers Alive and Well in Santa Cruz" warns "We know where you live. We know where you work. We will never back down."

A customer at a café brought the pamphlet to police. It was the title that caught his attention, but once he opened it, he found what could be considered a hit list.

In between all of the advertisements and coupons that cover a wall at Caffe Pergolesi were 12 small booklets, available for anyone to take. They show personal information about a dozen area medical researchers and scientists.

"The language that was used in this brochure is very threatening," said Zach Friend, from the Santa Cruz Police Department spokesperson.

Each page had the researchers' picture, home address, and telephone number. The booklet's back cover made it clear. Whoever is responsible for compiling this list will not stop until the abuse of animals ends.

"We don't know if these addresses are even accurate. Any individuals, any local community member can be living in these homes, not even necessarily an animal researcher, so for us, they could be targeting absolutely the wrong people," Friend.

Santa Cruz Police, county officials, and the FBI are warning everyone on the list. Half are researchers at U.C. Santa Cruz, including, one who was terrorized back in February. The U.C.S.C. cancer researcher who works with mice was attacked at her home. No one has been arrested and detectives don't know if the same people are responsible for both incidents.

"A threat like this is kind of scary, Santa Cruz is pretty nice area so it's surprising someone would make a threat on other people's lives," said Michelle Brackett, a Scotts Valley resident.

At Caffe Pergolesi, those who come here daily never noticed the pamphlets. Police have no idea how long they'd been sitting on this shelf, but the fact that they even exist, isn't necessarily hard for some regulars to believe.

"I've heard a lot of stories about people in Santa Cruz who have strong beliefs about things like this, about animal rights, vegetarian movements and stuff like that. So it doesn't surprise me that much," said Coady Barnum, a Santa Cruz resident.

No groups have taken responsibility for this, but I'm told the FBI is watching a few local groups very closely.


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