Investigation Unresolved, Yet Another Email Hits Inboxes

Three days into an ongoing investigation into the source of a death threat that was emailed last Friday to hundreds of Harvard affiliates, law enforcement offered no updates on their progress even as more evidence continued to arrive in students’ inboxes Monday.

Harvard University Police Department spokesperson Steven G. Catalano said Monday evening that the investigation remains ongoing and declined to comment further.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Harvard affiliates received yet another email Monday morning from one of the addresses under scrutiny for sending the racially charged death threat Friday afternoon. The email, received by students at 11:10 a.m. Monday, was sent from the same “hotmail.de” address that issued the original threat last Friday.

The body of the message was not signed, though the sender self-identified as a 15-year-old Vietnamese person living in France and appeared to apologize for the racially charged nature of the original threat, which disproportionately targeted women of Asian descent.

“[I]t is not really meant I apologize for the insult,” the sender wrote. The message echoes earlier ones in apparently asking The Crimson to delete its online story on the death threat. In broken English, the message references sending something through Dropbox and “my list as I have the email made​​.”

The “hotmail.de” email account is one of two at the center of the ongoing investigation. A second Google Mail account, which allegedly belongs to a person called Huy Dinh, sent several hundred affiliates an identical threat Friday afternoon.

That Google Mail account had targeted dozens of students before the threat was issued Friday, and for some recipients, the current investigation is only a continuation of months of unwanted contact from the person or people involved.

“I am mostly confused, honestly,” said Michelle Chan ’15, who said she has been receiving emails from the Google Mail account that allegedly belongs to Huy Dinh since August 2013. “I wish it would be over with.”

Other students said Monday that they were not necessarily worried by the growing number of emails, but instead doubted their authenticity. In community advisory messages issued over the weekend, Catalano told University affiliates that the original email likely originated from outside the country.

“It sounds like it was just a prank,” said Linda Wei ’16, who received the original threat Friday.

Still, students continued to rally around their peers in solidarity. The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, for example, drafted an open letter to the Harvard community, writing that “there is a space for this dialogue beyond the communities and individuals directly affected,” according to a copy of the draft.

“We are in solidarity, as communities of color, as collectives who believe in the power of a unified front that carries on internal and external dialogues,” the letter reads.

Administrators also plan to host a community discussion event at Holden Chapel at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to address the incident.

—Staff writer Meg P. Bernhard can be reached at meg.bernhard@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @Meg_Bernhard.

—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at mconway@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.

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