A Maine man is in jail on federal charges that he threatened to kill or harm Melissa Block and Guy Raz, hosts of NPR's All Things Considered, the Smoking Gun website is reporting. According to an FBI affidavit, John Crosby sent more than 20 bizarre and often threatening messages to NPR through its “Contact Us” website form. NPR contacted the FBI on Jan. 17 after Crosby allegedly described Block in a message as "an annoying [expletive] who is helping to destroy me to use me as a human sacrifice. She will be raped, beaten, tortured, and murdered very soon.” A Jan. 23 message traced to Crosby targeted Raz for violence and used a racial epithet. Crosby is charged with two counts of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce, as well as unlawful possession of a firearm. He was arrested late in January.
Joyce Slocum, NPR's interim president, sent a memo to staff today (March 16) saying in part: "Our top concern is the safety of our staff and visitors. Given the sensitive nature of this situation, federal officials advised us to not draw public or staff attention to the matter. This is standard protocol in situations such as this."