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By Kevin Poulsen
Threat Level
July 9, 2009

A Miami man who achieved fame as a teenager for hacking NASA and the 
Pentagon took his own life last year after Secret Service agents accused 
him of being part of the conspiracy responsible for the largest identity 
theft in U.S. history, his family says.

Jonathan James, 24, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 
his home on May 18, 2008, less than two weeks after agents raided his 
house in connection with a hacking ring that penetrated TJX, DSW and 
OfficeMax, among others. In a five page suicide note, James wrote that 
he was innocent, but was certain federal officials would make him a 

=E2=80=9CI have no faith in the =E2=80=98justice=E2=80=99 system,=E2=80=9D he wrote. =E2=80=9D Perhaps my 
actions today, and this letter, will send a stronger message to the 
public. Either way, I have lost control over this situation, and this is 
my only way to regain control.=E2=80=9D

The note was provided to this week by James=E2=80=99 father, Robert, 
who kept the details of his son=E2=80=99s death quiet for over a year because of 
the ongoing prosecutions over the retail hacks.


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