Woman accused of threatening journalist held without bail

Former Amherst resident faces dangerousness hearing Wednesday following threats to shoot people at The Walpole Times

For the Recorder
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A former Amherst resident, now said to be living in Shutesbury and accused of threatening to shoot people at The Walpole Times newspaper office, is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing Wednesday.

Amy I. Zuckerman, 64, who provided an address of 457 Wendell Road in Shutesbury, was arraigned Monday in Wrentham District Court on a Walpole Police warrant charging her with making terroristic threats.

Zuckerman was arrested on the warrant by Amherst Police at the police station, 111 Main St., Saturday morning. Amherst police had listed her address at the time of her arrest as 16 Berkshire Terrace in Amherst.

Walpole police officer Gaelen Z. Beberman cited an email from Zuckerman to an employee at the newspaper, in which she twice threatened to shoot people at its office, as the basis of the criminal complaint.

“Anyway, I can shoot you walk through that window at The Walpole Times,” Zuckerman wrote. “Start reading my tweets and Facebook posts. Those people on the list will save your life.”

Beberman observes that Zuckerman likely composed the email using voice-to-text technology, which caused some words to be spelled incorrectly and sentences to be incomplete or illegible.

“However, the message regarding shooting through the window seems clear and is mentioned more than once,” Beberman wrote.

He contacted Northampton, Amherst and Shutesbury police about Zuckerman — an author, journalist and founder of the Hidden Tech networking association — and reviewed her Twitter account, where she wrote about a potential attack on the power plant at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, such as speculating on how many grenades it would take to blow up the plant.

“It seems that Amy has a habit of threatening serious acts of violence on specific locations and is not afraid to do so on public forums,” Beberman wrote, adding that he also notified the FBI’s Boston office about her writings.

The incident at the Walpole newspaper came the same day the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton sought a trespass notice against Zuckerman following an incident at the newspaper’s 115 Conz St. office. After Zuckerman was asked to leave the building due to her behavior, she wrote a lengthy email to staff members that raised additional concerns, according to the newspaper.