Minnesota Man Gets 18 Years in Prison for Being the Neighbor From Hell

Kim Conte

mailboxesYou think your neighbors are annoying? Just wait until you read this horror story: A man in Minnesota spent two years terrorizing the family who lived next door to him by hacking into their home Wi-Fi network, setting up fake email accounts in their name, and basically making their life a living hell. It sounds absolutely terrifying, right?

But that's only the half of it ...

It all started back in 2008 when Matt and Bethany Kostolnik filed a police report against their next door neighbor, Barry Ardolf. The couple was disturbed when they saw Ardolf plant a "wet kiss" on the lips of their 4-year-old son who had wandered over to the man's property and called the cops. As the story goes, Ardolf, a computer technician, downloaded a program to a hack into the Kostolniks' Wi-Fi network and proceeded to terrorize them via the Internet as revenge for the kissing incident.

So what kind of havoc did Ardolf succeed in wreaking on this family? First, he created a fake MySpace page and several fake emails for Matt Kostolnik; then, he posted child porn on the MySpace page and emailed it to co-workers at Kostolnik’s law office.

And that's not all. Ardolf also sent death threats to Vice President Joe Biden and other politicians from Kostolnik’s email account. One can only imagine how upsetting it would be to have the Secret Service show up at your door after they traced the email to the IP address.

Thankfully, Ardolf's reign of terror came to an end when Kostolnik's bosses hired a firm to investigate, and it was discovered that he was behind the fake messages. He was charged with identity theft, making threats against Biden, possession of child pornography, as well as distribution of kiddie-porn, and received an 18-year prison sentence.

If that seems like too harsh of a punishment, consider the emotional trauma he put this family through by violating their sense of safety in their home. Couple that with the fact that the same guy who inappropriately kissed a child on the lips was also in possession of child porn, and I'd say a severe punishment and lots of time behind bars are exactly what this disturbing situation warrants.

Do you think the neighbor from hell should have gotten more or less prison time for terrorizing this family?


Image via Ed Siasoco/Flickr

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