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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Message from Eponymous Rox

Smiley Face Killers blogger, Eponymous Rox, isn't missing, hiding, dead or drowned:

Thanks for the emails and private messages. As many visitors to Killing Killers have recently learned, a great deal of my SFK content, published here and elsewhere over the past six years, was illegally republished by a notorious Kindle self-publisher based in London, and I am still pursuing the matter.

Of course, I'm not the only one who serial plagiarist 'Tessy Rawlins' (alias 'Stephen Young' and 'Steph Young') has robbed over the years -- she's also pinched content from Websleuths, Reddit, Wikipedia, the Humanoid Database and the popular 'Missing 411' series, just to name a few -- but I do intend to be the last. Which is why I've reported her long-running cut-and-paste scam to both US and UK authorities.

Because the Rawlins/Young scheme is still semi-active on Amazon and depends on fresh or freshened uploads to remain profitable, I am rethinking how my Smiley Face Murders work will be offered online now, if at all. In the meantime, below is a screen-grab of the first death threat that 'Stephen Young' emailed after I initially complained about her cyber crime spree in June; and beneath her email, you'll find the facts of this case as it stands today.

Stephen Young <stephenyoungauthor@hotmail.com> wrote to Eponymous Rox: "you should probably watch your back from now on"
(click image above to enlarge, print and share)

Steph Young: "I'm a breed of serial criminal you have never met before!"TO CATCH A THIEF [OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY]: Whether by cutting-and-pasting blog posts, eBook chapters and news articles into Word docs and fraudulently self-publishing these via Amazon, Smashwords and fake sites, or through pirating complete digital editions so they can be illegally downloaded by the thousands for free, such flagrant thefts of intellectual property have become an epidemic in recent years. Indeed, law enforcement agencies now warn that piracy has become the most frequent and fastest growing white-collar crime in the universe, and that they're literally swamped with complaints about it. Like the ones I filed against Amazon Kindle self-publisher 'Steph Young' this year.

'Steph Young' opened her own copy-paste operation on Amazon's self-publishing platform as 'Tessy Rawlins' in 2013. Through "cut and paste" thievery and sockpuppetry, ripping off countless readers, writers and websites for a full year, until folks began flagging her "blatant" scheme and her sales petered out.

In 2014, she altogether abandoned self-publishing under her infamous Rawlins moniker, reincarnating herself instead as 'Stephen Young' and upping her con job a notch:  Now she was not only falsely claiming to have "written" all of the content she was heisting, splicing and dicing, but approaching fringe talk shows for interviews as a guest "expert."

From 2014 through 2015, an American crime phenomena that shyster Steph Young often feigned to have expertise about in these interviews was The Case of the Drowning Men: Investigating the Smiley Face Serial Murder Theory. In reality, though, she'd never penned a single article or even once blogged about Smiley or Smiley's victims before. In fact, to this very day, neither 'Steph Young' nor 'Stephen Young' nor 'Tessy Rawlins' has any writing credentials or bibliographies other than *their* self-published Kindle catalog of plagiarized works, for the simple reason that none of *them* can write:

"Writing is terrible. Another self-published book with no much-needed editing. The writer lacks the most basic grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills. I wish Amazon had a minimum quality requirement or at least a separate "Amateur" category to weed out books like this from professional offerings, so buyers could at least know what to expect when they spend their money." - June 23, 2016, Format: Kindle Edition

"Is this a high school paper, or what? ... badly written: Sentences have subjects and verbs. They are not a series of dependent clauses joined by semi-colons. Long rambling sentences are not a sign of scholastic achievement. They are distracting. Adjectives are not verbs. Words do not bleed, you can cut them ... Well, the author did follow one prime rule of writing. 'Write crappy first drafts'..." - November 30, 2014, Format: Kindle Edition

"Why so many 5 star reviews? This book is laughably bad. I got about 25% done and gave up. There appears to be no research. All the stories are anecdotal. The narrative bounces around from topic to topic. Worst of all..the book is just dull. Many paragraphs and thoughts are repeated. And repeated. The cases are interesting, but the writing and content is very poor."  - August 31, 2016 Format: Paperback

"Poorly written, and full of grammatical errors ... it needs some very heavy editing. The book is rife with typographical and grammatical errors, awkward and confusing word choices, and immense logical leaps. It's an intriguing enough a premise, but the execution is a failure" - July 29, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

As to her claims that she's a Smiley Face Killers expert, poor blundering Young doesn't even know where Boston Massachusetts is, a major SFK kill zone, let alone the difference between a 'Harvard Man' and a man from Harvard:

“False, misinformed fact checking. I am 14% through on my kindle and have seen so many factual errors that really bother me. I was surprised at how up to date this was published, including the disappearance of Zachary Marr (who has since been found, also in the water). The problem is Young kept referring to him as a Harvard University student when he was in fact from the TOWN of Harvard - a very different place, far from the university. He was a student at Mount Wachusett Community College near his town. Young also refers to UMass Dartmouth as being 4 hours from Boston - UMass Dartmouth is 1 hour south of Boston, perhaps Young is confusing Dartmouth College in New Hampshire (which is still only 2 hours from Boston). I'm not sure if I will continue reading this book, at this point I'm just not sure what facts will be true and what will be sloppy, false information? I do think the premise of this book is great. I'm quite interested in why these young men are vanishing and do definitely agree there is some strange connection. I'd like to read more into these but I'm afraid this isn't the book for me.” (9 people found this helpful.) - March 19, 2016, Format: Kindle Edition

Even worse, Britain's self-appointed *expert* on America's unsolved Smiley-Face disappearances and murders exhibits no better understanding of crime cases that occur on her native soils and shores either:

"Young refers to three people who, she claims, went missing in Clapham Wood, Sussex, in southern England, between 1972 and 1981 ... This is a case that I’ve personally researched, and I’m not aware of any convincing evidence that the people in question were in the wood when they went missing. All three bodies were eventually discovered, none being found in the wood itself."  NOT TO MENTION THAT: "there are numerous typos and grammatical errors. Even the semicolon in the title seems wrong – shouldn't it be a colon that separates the main title from the subtitle? The book lacks an index, and there’s no bibliography. There are relatively few specific references for the cases cited. In places, there are unexplained acronyms/abbreviations. And some of what Young quotes from other people strikes me as being more or less incomprehensible. In places, material is repeated. There are no maps or photographs." AND REGARDING THE MANCHESTER UK DROWNINGS: "Young refers to a psychologist who has taken an interest in the case. She names him as “Professor Gary Jackson” of the “University of Birmingham” (p. 91). In fact, though, his first name appears to be Craig, not Gary, and he’s based at Birmingham City University, not the University of Birmingham!" - July 14, 2016, Format: Paperback

So, perhaps Rawlins/Young should study up more before "hastily" self-publishing the content she's "copied and thrown together, with many editing errors." - March 7, 2015, Format: Kindle Edition

But the inability to compose coherent and structurally-complete sentences of her own, or to even conjugate verb tenses and punctuate properly, isn't the reason that Steph Young launched her plagiarizing career. In fact, this illiterate young Brit really doesn't have any interest in writing books at all, which, on the average, takes an experienced writer about a year to finish just one. No, Young is only interested in selling books as an "Amazon business," she confessed in one of her recent menacing emails. Accordingly, she's hastily cobbled together about ten such copy-and-paste Kindle editions annually, for a grand total of 30 so far, in only three years.

Toward the close of 2015, however, with absolutely no published Drowning Men work nor books of her own to speak of, Young realized that, to continue her talk-show hoax regarding the complex and ever-evolving Smiley Face Murders, she'd have to finally *produce* something on the subject. And that's when she asked me if she could "use" my extensively published SFK content.

Prior to receiving that email request, I was unacquainted with this imposter -- obviously, she was NOT granted any right to use any of my work in any form whatsoever.

see 2016's revised and expanded edition of THE CASE OF THE DROWNING MEN
NEW, Expanded and Revised
INVESTIGATING THE THEFT OF THE CASE OF THE DROWNING MEN - AND ALL OF MY SMILEY FACE KILLER WORK & MISSING/DROWNED DATABASE: Frequent visitors to this site probably recognize my nonfiction title (left), The Case of the Drowning Men: Investigating the Smiley Face Serial Murder Theory as having been released in both print and digital first-editions in 2012.

You can now also recognize my Drowning Men work -- plus all my facts, phrasing, forensics, findings, victim interviews and missing found-drowned caseload -- in two of Young's 2016 plagiarized versions of it, which she deceptively titled "The Case of the Smiley Face Killers..." and "Dead in the Water ... Investigating the Smiley Face Killers" (the latter incorporating my 2013 Crime Magazine piece 'Dead in the Water', one of many SFK feature articles I wrote for CM since 2011.)

In June 2016, upon discovery of the illegal use, reuse and misuse of my work, 'Stephen Young' was sent a takedown/reimburse demand, to which she replied contritely, stating, "i would also like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere apologies with regards to this matter, and would like to think that this could be settled amicably."

In good faith I undertook to do just that, but on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 6:11 AM, I received a starkly different message from her via a 'James Howarth' of howespercival.com in Milton Keynes UK in which he baldly asserts, among many things, that his client "Stephen Young" had "amended 'Dead In The Water' so to remove" from this one illegal republication "all" the work stolen from Killing Killers and other publications which, if not thus expunged, clearly identified me as the true creator of most of the book's content.

To wit, “our client has (without prejudice to our client’s position) amended ‘Dead In The Water’ so to remove all quotations from the Interviews and all references to the Blog or the (presumably) nom de plume 'Eponymous Rox' … rest assured, of her own volition, our client has no intention of ever quoting from, referencing or even recommending your work or mentioning your name in future. I trust that this will represent an end of the matter.”

I politely wrote back to ask attorney Howarth if drag-n-drop diva Tessy Rawlins, who claims in her Amazon bio she's also Stephen Young, was his "client" too ... and never heard from him again. 

NO END TO THE 'STEPHEN YOUNG' & 'TESSY RAWLINS' AMAZON SCAM, UNLESS 'STEPH YOUNG' IS STOPPED:  Do you blog? Did you finally publish that manuscript you slaved over for years? Have you ever posted on sites like Websleuths or Reddit or Killing Killers, or shared your heartfelt opinions via Twitter or Facebook? Well, long before Steph Young self-published her illegal knockoffs of my Smiley Face Killers work for exclusive sale via Amazon's $10 'unlimited free download' subscription plan, her ignominious aliases 'Tessy Rawlins' and 'Stephen Young' had been busily robbing other content creators just like me and you, and making out like a bandit.

It's terrific that, from the very start, conscientious customers were flagging Rawlins/Young as a fraud on Amazon so to warn off others from unwittingly enriching her. But simply posting scathingly-honest reviews won't ensure that Amazon execs take swift action to stop such scammers. That's what all the various 'report abuse' buttons on each of Amazon's webpages are for. And it only takes a minute or less to click these and send Amazon the kind of valuable feedback consistently expressed by real reviewers of scammer Young's phony books:

"Abridging of story significantly changes meaning -- integrity of author in doubt.  I did not finish the book because I had good reason to doubt it's completeness and accuracy. Upon reading the story of  Lloyd Glenn and his son Brian, I recalled that I had read this story before, several years ago, but it seemed like part of it was missing. I found the file I had saved on my computer, and sure enough, the story had been heavily abridged. Although it might simply have been edited for length, it seemed very suspicious because the edits significantly changed the story that was told and the meaning of the experience. I do not mean that the parts that were included were altered, for the most part, but it appears that Tessy Rawlins has edited out several parts of sentences, sentences, and whole paragraphs in order to change the message of the story to one that she is presumably more comfortable with. It makes me wonder, also, if she  actually got permission from the authors of these stories to republish  them, or if she simply copied and pasted from the Internet, and then  edited them to her preferences. (10 people found this helpful.)" - July 27, 2015, Format: Kindle Edition

"Acknowledgement is needed. Author needs to give credit where credit is due.....he uses a lot of material from Albert Rosales' Humanoid Database, without giving credit or mentioning the database." - October 5, 2015, Format Kindle Edition

"Another take on the killings detailed by Eponymous Rex."
- June 7, 2016, Format: Kindle Edition 

"Nothing new here. Derivative. Just repeats previously published material from other authors." - April 30, 2015, Format: Kindle Edition

"The Banal Meets Boring. Just..awful. For the reviews to be legit, I have to assume that people doing the reviews have never read another book before on this subject. Or..perhaps never read any other book before..on anything..Or, the reviewers are family and friends of the author..When you remove the  truism`s/cliches.. and the quotes from other books..there is nothing here." - January 1, 2015, Format: Kindle Edition  

"She ripped off Missing 411- How about you quit ripping people off and tell them you stole the idea from David? Pretty spineless." - August 2016, Format: Kindle Edition

"Plagiarism at its finest! This work, and I have a hard time calling it 'work', is a complete ripoff of the very successful Missing 411 series by David Paulides" - August 2016, Format: Kindle Edition 

"Somebody in the cyber-woods wants your money. Predators in the Woods is an eclectic collection of short eye witness accounts about encounters with paranormal creatures. Exactly half of the e-book consists of excerpts from other e-books...There is no attempt at a synthesis or explanation." - January 2, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition

"Summaries. rather than telling a unique story, this short booklet is a compilation of other people's stories." - August 11, 2013, Format: Kindle Edition

"Cut and paste? No sense of direction and explanations. Disappointed. Cut and paste. Shouldn't Amazon have a minimal standard for kindle books? Can anybody cut and paste and call it a book and have a milking cow?" - November 24, 2014, Format: Kindle Edition

"Book of lists. This really wasn't so much a book as a group of bits and pieces of information stuck together. No introduction or explanation to the chapters at all so you really don't what you are supposed to be reading. I see why it was a free download." - March 6, 2015, Format: Kindle Edition

"The stories are great, but I feel like they're copied and pasted from other sources. Was an editor involved in this at all?" - March 1, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

"This book seemed to be hastily written-stories copied and thrown together - with many editing errors..." - March 7, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

"A lot of repeated stories found in the other book by him." - September 12, 2015 Format:  Kindle Edition

"I think all of the stories could be found via a Google search..." - July 17, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

"Choppy. This book is a waste of time and effort. There are copious numbers of missing or duplicated pages, not to mention tons of typos. The missing pages would cut short stories or pick them up halfway through. Very, very frustrating. Please fix or pull this work!!!!!" - May 9, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

"Terrible Book! This is one of the worst, most ridiculous books I have ever read. It's now quite obvious that all of these five-star reviews were written by the same person — the author himself." - March 25,2016 Format: Kindle Edition

"Seems a bit cut and pasty. This book was a mish mash of news stories everyone has read..." - April 26, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

"Poorly written, and full of grammatical errors … The book is rife with typographical and grammatical errors, awkward and confusing word choices, and immense logical leaps…the execution is a failure" - July 29, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

"Where to begin? This book has so many problems that I just can't even begin to list them all! If you can get past the poor writing, bad grammar, poor spelling and improper word usage, the punctuation will put you over the top. This guy has no business writing books!" - Format: Kindle Edition

"Glad I only 'borrowed' it" By Thomas Byrne on "…This entire book seems as though it was lifted from anecdotes on the web." - August 7, 2014 Format: Kindle Edition

"Scammy. This 'book' is short chapters that read and sound like a second-rate wikipedia entry. One could easily read all of this on your own, for free if you hang out on WebSleuths or similar forums." - July 17, 2016, Format: KindleEdition

"Interesting subject matter, writing is terrible. Another self-published book with no much-needed editing. The writer lacks the most basic grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills. I wish Amazon had a minimum quality requirement or at least a separate "Amateur" category to weed out books like this from professional offerings, so buyers could at least know what to expect when they spend their money." - June 23, 2016, Format: Kindle Edition

"Cheep ripoff of missing 411. This whole book has a corny uncredited feel to it..." - March 9, 2016, Format: Kindle Edition

"Blatant rip off of David Paulides' work" - August 2016, Format: Kindle Edition 

"Give it a pass. Do not be fooled with the 'well researched' comments in some of the other reviews. This is nothing more than a chaotic and poorly organized collection of folk story's and conspiracy theories. Not very informative and written (poorly I may add) along the same lines as "what ifs." - March 19, 2015, Format: Kindle Edition

"Not Nearly the Deep Investigative Journalism Suggested ~ not even close. I only downloaded a sample, but what I read was disappointing. For each case, the information was appoximately a page in length. The information was so sparse, I did not understand what the mystery was so I went on the web and looked up the individual's name to get more on the disappearance. Once I looked it up, I saw that important pieces of info were left out of the incredibly short articles I read and, in fact, there really was no mystery." - November 27, 2015, Format: Kindle Edition

"Is this a high school paper, or what? Badly written: Sentences have subjects and verbs. They are not a series of dependent clauses joined by semi-colons. Long rambling sentences are not a sign of scholastic achievement. They are distracting. Adjectives are not verbs. Words do not bleed, you can cut them. The reader wants to be shown, not told. Well, the author did follow one prime rule of writing. 'Write crappy first drafts....'" - November 30, 2014, Format: Kindle Edition

"Do NOT waste your money! This book is a total rip-off...." - August 20, 2014, Format: Kindle Edition

(per Amazon biography: "Tessy Rawlins ...Also writes as under pen name Stephen Young")


SCAMAZON AND THE DIGITAL DOLDRUMS: Parasites like Rawlins/Young have plagued Amazon's Kindle self-publishing platform [KDP] ever since its inception roughly a decade ago, and Amazon's only gotten more lax about policing these rogues in the past few years because of the steady decline in eBook sales.

In recent times, we've all heard about just how bad a 'corporate citizen' this behemoth web-retailer really is anyway, especially with respect to its employees. But Amazon's failure to modernize its outmoded KDP platform by at least utilizing plagiarism-detection apps, as most other responsible online publishing sources are finally doing, is a deliberate invitation for fraudsters like Steph Young to come and hawk their illicit wares.

And, now, because Rawlins/Young herself has been operating with impunity on Amazon's under-policed site for three (known) years, she and her ilk has been allowed to spread like a cancer there, which, at this late stage, would be quite painful to excise. Yet excise them Amazon must do, because it's false advertising for  the "most customer-centric company in the world" to make a claim like that while knowing for a fact that its KDP customers and content creators are being "ripped off."

Pursuant to American penal code, it's also called 'aiding and abetting.'

to be continued...

1 comment:

  1. If you've also been plagiarized by this maggot 'Stephen Young' -- or her aliases 'Tessy Rawlins' and 'Steph Young' -- I'd like to hear from you. You can contact me at eponymousrox[at]gmail[dot]com.