FBI Wiretap Uncovers Massive Seventh-Grade 'Crush Ring'

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Vol 32 Issue 17

CBS Picks Up NBC Nightly News

NEW YORK—In an effort to bolster its flagging ratings, CBS announced Monday that it has picked up the longrunning NBC program NBC Nightly News. CBS—which paid $150 million for the rights to the highly rated news program after a lengthy bidding war with NBC, ABC and Fox—will run NBC Nightly News in its 7:30 p.m. EST time slot, immediately following CBS Evening News. "We are delighted to welcome the newest member of the CBS family," CBS president Laurence Hewitt said. "Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather are nighttime television’s new dream team. When put back to back, these two powerhouse shows form the most unbeatable, exciting hour of news anywhere." NBC will also air reruns of CBS Evening News weeknights at 11 p.m. EST, followed by Fox Tuesday Night At The Movies.

Man With Hammer-Induced Thumb Injury Appeals To Christ Almighty

MANHATTAN, KS—In his third hammer-induced communion with the Son of God in as many days, local resident Bart Peintner made a vociferous appeal to Lord Jesus Christ Almighty Monday following a blunt ball-peen-hammer blow to his left thumb. "Holy Jesus Christ Almighty in Heaven!" said Peintner, who was repairing a chair at the time of the thumb injury/spiritual communion. Added Peintner: "Jesus Fucking Christ!" Spokespersons for Fucking Christ were unavailable for comment at press time.

Enormous Grace Slick Threatens California Coastline

SACRAMENTO, CA—In an emergency measure Monday, California Gov. Pete Wilson ordered two dozen Northern California coastal communities evacuated following the appearance of an enormous Grace Slick along the coastline near Monterey. "We have no knowledge at this time of how this Slick may be contained," Wilson said. "But we are urging all residents in the immediate area to leave their homes and seek shelter inland." Slick, who has reportedly reached an area coverage of 4.5 acres, was unavailable for comment. "I just hope the indigenous wildlife of this region can be saved," said Greenpeace director Ron Wooten after surveying the damage. "So much devastation to the local ecosystem has occurred already. I pray the Slick does not continue to spread." Slick's rapidly spiraling mass has already destroyed the city of Berkeley, which Slick herself helped build on rock and roll.

Former President Carter Sole Attendee At 1997 Solar Power Summit

ATLANTA—The 1997 Solar Power Summit got off to an auspicious start Saturday, with a star-studded celebrity panel featuring such luminary as former U.S. president Jimmy Carter. "Solar power is the cleanest, safest, most ecologically sound power source available. We owe it to ourselves and this planet to invest in the development of renewable solar resources," said Carter, addressing more than 1,500 seats at the Atlanta Convention Center. "Your attendance at this summit stands as testimony to your commitment to a safe and clean future." Immediately following the summit, Carter boarded a cab to the Atlanta Marriott Hotel for MetriCon ’97. "America is slowly but surely ‘centimetering’ toward progress," Carter quipped.

This Column Is A 'Re-run'

Doc McGillicuddy ordered me not to write my column this week because I am just getting over a bout of the pleurisy, and I need my bed-rest. McGillicuddy suggested I consent to what he called a "re-run," or a printing of a previously published column.
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FBI Wiretap Uncovers Massive Seventh-Grade 'Crush Ring'

WASHINGTON, DC—The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a 400-page report Monday offering detailed evidence of a massive seventh-grade crush ring operating in the Dallas area.

FBI director Louis Freeh answers questions before Congress regarding the discovery of a massive crush ring in an Arlington, TX, middle school. Five seventh-grade girls, all of whom allegedly like the same boy, were implicated in the ring.

The ring, which FBI officials said involves five seventh-grade girls and has been in operation for nearly seven months, centers around Arlington, TX, eighth-grader Dylan Wagner.

"Between May and November 1997, the FBI used wiretaps to collect over 900 hours of recorded telephone conversations among five Arlington West Middle School girls regarding Dylan Wagner," said FBI director Louis Freeh, appearing before a select Senate subcommittee. "Transcripts of these girls' conversations overwhelmingly point to the existence of a collective, five-way crush on Mr. Wagner, whom the girls believe to be the cutest guy in school, if not the nation."

The frequency and length of telephone calls, Freeh noted, were fairly stable over the seven months, but increased sharply if Wagner got a haircut or was absent from class.

Stacy Lindstrom, 13, and Jenny Chung, 12, cited by the FBI report as leaders of the ring, have allegedly logged an average of 17 Wagner-related phone hours per week since May. The pair was recorded discussing, among other things: how much they liked Wagner; which one of them liked Wagner more; and what they would do if Wagner ever spoke to them.

The two are also co-authors of the Official Everything In The World About Dylan Wagner Handbook. The handbook—a highly classified 12-page document assembled by Lindstrom and Chung containing a reported 47 pieces of information about Wagner, including what his favorite movie is, what girls he has allegedly kissed, and what shirt he was wearing during a Sept. 12, 1997, trip to Westlake Mall—has thus far eluded the FBI and is believed to be hidden deep within Lindstrom's closet.

FBI officials believe the four girls pictured to be the most active members of the crush ring--a clandestine network devoted to the admiration of Dylan Wagner.

In addition to Chung and Lindstrom, FBI officials named two other key members of the crush ring, Tonya Shanklin and Lisa Rugowski. A fifth member, whose identity has yet to be determined by the FBI, is referred to in the report by her alias, "Kell."

Also captured by FBI operatives was a 40-minute, Nov. 28, 1997, conversation between Shanklin and Lindstrom involving highly classified crush-ring operations, including plans to slip an anonymous note through the slats of Wagner's locker; ride past Wagner's house on bicycles; call Wagner's house and hang up; and take pictures of Wagner competing in Arlington West's Dec. 11 wrestling match against Tyler Middle School.

"The wiretaps reveal the extremely sub rosa nature of this crush ring," said FBI field operative Ron Pitti, who coordinated the wiretap effort. "Each girl was separately sworn to secrecy regarding any shared knowledge of the crush. In addition, each member was explicitly informed that the other members of the circle would, and I quote, 'totally kill you' if word of the crush ring ever were to get back to Dylan Wagner."

Arlington West science teacher and playground monitor Ida Edgell said she had suspected the girls "might be up to something," but opted not to investigate. "I've definitely seen these particular girls congregating in a suspicious manner during lunch hour," Edgell said. "But as long as no one's smoking or climbing up the flagpole, I just let them be."

While it is still unclear what action, if any, the federal government will take against members of the crush ring, their families are already moving forward with punitive action: The day the FBI report was released, Rugowski's parents scheduled an emergency house meeting.

"Lisa told me she was spending all that time on the phone working on a collaborative science project," Rugowski's mother, Sandra Rugowski, said. "Boy, oh boy, someone's getting grounded and good."

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