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Loony in botched fake massacre threat

All in an AOL chat room, apparently

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A police investigation into threats in an AOL chat room to "shoot up" a school degenerated into farce when it was revealed that the complainant had sent the messages to herself.

A 15-year-old student at Osbourne High School in Manassas took transcripts of the conversations in the chat rooms to police, claiming that two of her classmates were making the threats.

According to a report in The Washington Post, it quickly became apparent that she had cooked up the whole scheme in order to get the supposed culprits into trouble.

She had in fact created multiple fake identities, and had spent her time in chat rooms talking to herself.

However, compelling as this evidence may be for an insanity plea, it did not throw the police off the scent for long, since all the accounts were operated from her family computer.

"She created a dialogue with herself in order to implicate a third party, who was not in any way involved in the crime," a police spokesman told the Post.

A spokeswoman went on: "Teenagers may assume they are anonymous on the Internet, but there are ways of finding out who they are. Frankly, it's not that tough to figure it out, so they shouldn't even be trying."

It transpired that one of the girls she sought to implicate was out of town on a sports trip when the "exchange" took place.

The student cannot be named because of her age, but is facing charges of harassing the other girls by computer. She is alleged to have made postings in their names, threatening a Columbine style massacre at her school. ®

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