State blogger IDs figure in scandal

By Bryan Dean Published: October 6, 2006
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William Kerr can’t afford to buy a cafe mocha at Starbucks.

He has to find an electrical outlet for his beat-up laptop because the battery doesn’t work. But Kerr used his laptop this week to write a blog post that started a national media frenzy and led to threats against him and his family.

Kerr, 32, of Moore is the blogger who Wednesday revealed the identity of Jordan Edmund, a 21-year-old working for Rep. Ernest Istook’s gubernatorial campaign who may be involved in the Mark Foley congressional page scandal.

Kerr posted Edmund’s name and age, along with a rundown of how he connected the Californian with sexually explicit instant messages from Foley. By Thursday, the negative comments on his Passionate America blog had gone too far. One threatened to hunt him down. Another posted a picture of Kerr’s 11-year-old son.

The blogger, who goes by the name “Wild Bill,” took down the comments after his son’s picture was posted.

“I’ve been bashed before,” Kerr said. “I knew it was coming. My wife didn’t think it was funny.”

‘The pieces all fit’

It started simply enough. Kerr was reading the news online late Saturday or early Sunday - he’s not sure whether it was midnight or not. He was reading an ABC news transcript of instant messages between Foley and a former House page.

Something about the tone of the messages didn’t seem right to Kerr. Some of the messages seemed edited, and it wasn’t clear whether some of them were sent before or after the page’s 18th birthday.

The page’s replies made Kerr think the attention from Foley wasn’t entirely unsolicited. In some cases, the teen stayed online for more than an hour exchanging explicit messages with the Republican congressman.

“If you are a victim, why don’t you just turn your instant messenger off?” Kerr said. “I pretty much believe the kid was egging him on the whole time. He saved every single one of them to his computer.”

Efforts to reach Edmund on Wednesday and Thursday were not successful. His attorney, Stephen Jones, said his client has left Oklahoma.

By entering a slightly different Web address, Kerr found a different version of the transcript that showed the former page’s America Online screen name.

He enlisted the help of another blogger to look up the AOL profile for the screen name. It had a first name, Jordan, and a home state, California.

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