If you’ve missed the ongoing war between The Smoking Gun and a loose online collective of crank-callers known as “Pranknet” (and occasionally as “Prank U”) you’ve missed a horror story of epic proportions.
TSG’s insanely detailed account of the vicious series of “pranks” played on a patron and desk clerk in a Motel 6 is a revolting chronicle of human emotional sadism, as is their account of the “pranking” of an ESPN reporter who was supposedly convinced to throw the lid of her toilet tank out the window of her room at the Hilton.
Back in August, TSG made the decision to track down and “out” the so-called leader of the group, Canadian Tariq Malik, who uses the moniker “Dex” in homage to his role model, the Showtime serial killer Dexter.
Now, the latest news is that Pranknet hoo-haw James Tyler Markle, who was sentenced late last year to five years in prison for convincing the staff of a McDonald’s to set off the fire suppression system and then break out all the windows at the restaurant, has arrived at Texas’s Huntsville Prison to begin serving his sentence.
According to TSG, this harmless prankster, this lovable yet misunderstood 20-year-old, also pled guilty in 2005 to sexual assault of a five year old girl during church services in Diboll, Texas. Let me repeat: During. Church. Services.
Wait, what the hell am I saying? Does it make it worse that it’s during church services? No, what makes it worse is that Markle, who according to TSG threatened to kill the girl’s parents if she told anyone, was free to commit the McDonald’s “prank,” and a similar one at an Arby’s — not to mention one at a Wendy’s for which he was already on probation from a Louisiana parish — because he only served 30 months for the aggravated sexual assault of a child.
In claiming his innocence in the series of phone “pranks,” Markle told the Lufkin Daily News, “I’m a good person. I haven’t done anything wrong. … I don’t go anywhere. All I do is go to church and home.” Canadian Malik, aka “Dex,” is still at large.
If you’ve got a strong stomach and absolutely nothing better to do with your time, you can read all the Pranknet stories at TSG here. And I mean ALL of them — there are a lot.
I’ll be busy taking a shower…ew. Just…ew.