Matthew Haviland is a 30-year-old Rhode Island man facing federal charges accusing him of making violent threats against a Massachusetts college professor because of his anti-abortion views and hatred of the Democratic party and liberals in general. Haviland was arrested April 24, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced in a press release.
Haviland, a Trump supporter, also made 100 threatening calls to an abortion clinic and called for Women’s March protesters to be “slaughtered,” according to court documents. Haviland wrote in an email that Democrats “must be eradicated,” writing, “I will kill every Democrat in the world so we never more have to have our babies brutally murdered by you absolute terrorists,” prosecutors said. Haviland, who had a small following on a YouTube channel where he made similar threats, appears to be a big fan of right-wing media members and Twitter personalities, promoting the work of Ben Shapiro, Scott Adams, Mike Cernovich, Jordan Peterson and others. In another email, Haviland said the university where the professor works should be “bombed” and said there should be “another war,” according to prosecutors.
Note: This story contains graphic and disturbing language.
The professor and the university where the professor teaches have not been named, but WCVB-TV reports that the professor works at Harvard University. Haviland is accused of telling the professor in an email, “I will rip every limb from your body and eat it, piece by piece … I will bite through your eyeballs while you’re still alive, and I will laugh while you scream,” according to court documents. Haviland was angered by the professor’s advocacy for abortion rights.
Prosecutors say Haviland wrote in other emails, “You will be held accountable for every [expletive] baby you murdered through your horrible deception of they are not humans,” and, “You will have your face ripped off and eaten by me, personally. I will enjoy raping your body after you’re dead. And that will only be the start.”
Haviland was charged with cyberstalking and with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. “As I have said before, this office will take a hard line on threats of violence motivated by politicized issues, regardless of whether those issues arise on the right or the left,” U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement. “Americans are responsible for what they say, and if they put others in fear for their lives, we will prosecute.”
“Simply put, words matter, and today’s arrest of Matthew Haviland should serve as a warning to others who think they can use the internet to terrorize people. Don’t do it,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division, said in a statement. “Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but when you threaten, harass, intimidate, and put others in fear for their lives, it’s a federal crime.”
Haviland, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, has been appointed a public defender, who declined to comment at this time when contacted by Heavy. Haviland remains in federal custody and was scheduled to appear in court on April 24 in Boston. Haviland faces up to 5 years in prison on each charge if convicted.
Here’s what you need to know about Matthew Haviland:
1. Haviland Wrote Dozens of Emails to the Professor, Including One Saying, ‘You Will Have Your Face Ripped Off & Eaten by Me, Personally. I Will Enjoy Raping Your Body After You’re Dead,’ Feds Say
Matthew Haviland sent dozens of emails to the unnamed professor and to the Harvard University department where she works, according to an affidavit filed by Chelsea Police Department Detective Richard Laft Jr., who investigated the case in his role as a member of the Boston Division of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Laft wrote in the affidavit that Haviland sent 28 emails to the professor on March 10, 2019, between 4:01 p.m. and 7:28 p.m., several of which contained direct threats, and others of which contained “related violent sentiments.” Laft wrote that, “a number” of Haviland’s emails referred to abortion “and appeared to associate abortion with the violence he wished upon” the professor.
On March 15, 2019, Haviland sent about 11 similar emails to the admissions department of one of the professional schools where the professor works, Laft wrote.
Laft said the professor Haviland allegedly targeted has published and spoken in favor of abortion rights and has “also published highly critical views regarding President Trump.”
In his first email, prosecutors say Haviland wrote, “So this is how it is now. You get to make wicked allegations, calling them evil, calling them deeply corrupt, with no evidence, and in your very allegations asking for people to come forth with evidence to support what you say and you are the right one, right? I think you are the evil, I think you are the person, along with all your Leftist brethren, trying to destroy this country by being able to take down someone without any evidence ever.”
He followed with a second email, according to court documents, “How about, for example, killing babies? How about this witchhunt society where everyone gets burned at the stake before even asking for evidence, much less getting it. You are the evil and it goes right down to killing babies, and I am fighting against your ideas and your practices and you are fighting against a ghost you invented of us. Fight against ideas, how ’bout that.”
Haviland also allegedly wrote, “You who try to shut people up based on race, you who take a president who’s taking our country in a place of more freedom rather than less, you who would brutally murder a child after they were born (or before they were born). You are evil. Pure evil. All Democrats must be eradicated, like the Confederates before them and among their ranks. They must be slaughtered.”
Haviland is accused of writing to the professor, “you deserve to have your legs torn off like the f*cking babies,” and calling the professor Stalin and saying the professor deserves “to be ambushed in a hallway and raped until your assh*le bleeds. … You deserve to have your innards ripped from your body and savored over the flesh of all abortion doctors.”
Haviland said, according to prosecutors, “You who would actively destroy our liberty in the name of fighting fascism. You are the worst person in the world, just like every other baby-killing f*cking Democrat.”
Haviland grew increasingly graphic in his emails, prosecutor say, closing with, “I will torture you relentlessly until the end of time. I will feed your body to the pigs again and again until you have died 1,000 times and I will start raping you while I do it. And you will suffer, oh you will suffer. And I will enjoy your screams like fine wine while I pet myself. I will eat your f*cking face off and throat [sic] in the garbage.”
The professor told investigators they were “very concerned” about the emails and feared the sender would act upon the threats, according to court documents.
Haviland also sent emails to the school where the professor works. In one email he said the university should be “criticizing the brand of feminism that is taking over the West and castigating man as evil outlaws in society who should shut themselves up forever and never be understood or heard again.”
Prosecutors say Havland also wrote that, “cisgender,” is an “insult means we should be ashamed of the genders we are born with. You are evil, you’re not progressive, you are evil.”
Prosecutors Haviland also wrote that he was going to send the email to someone at The Washington Post, “as an example of the constant abuse I get, to the f*cking day, for being a white person.”
Haviland wrote, according to court documents, “We’re in a war, do you get that? It’s another civil war, as people who don’t care about skin color versus you people who demonize people for their color, for their ability to even f*cking walk, for their gender.”
2. A Friend Said Haviland’s Views on Abortion & Politics Have ‘Become More Extreme’ Within the Last Year & Concerns Over His Social Media Posts Have Led to At Least 5 Welfare Checks
Haviland’s social media postings and YouTube videos have raised the concern of those who know him in recent months, investigators said in court documents. A longtime friend told investigators that Haviland’s views on abortion and politics have “become more extreme,” within the last year, according to court documents. The friend, “believes this is at least in part because of the way the news media portrays President Trump.”
The friend told Detective Laft that he has known Haviland for 11 years. The friend said “he/she has been living in fear because of Haviland’s violent social media posts and text messages.” The friend said he or she was “concerned that Haviland may find and hurt” him or her and/or her family.
Prosecutors also said Haviland made 114 calls to a women’s medical center in Rhode Island that is advertised as an abortion clinic on April 5, 2019.
According to prosecutors, Haviland admitted to leaving voicemail messages that, “spoke of babies being murdered and drew comparisons between Nazis and a doctor who worked at the clinic.” Haviland told police he placed the calls, but had no intent to harm anyone. He said he called to vent about his beliefs against abortion.
Haviland also sent text messages to a friend comparing abortion to slavery and the Holocaust, according to court documents. Additionally, prosecutors believe Haviland made threatening comments on Medium posts in recent months.
Laft wrote in the affidavit that between June 2018 and April 2019, police in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, made at least five wellness checks on Haviland at his home, at the request of someone concerned about his mental health.
According to Laft, Haviland told police he was “only expressing his political views and has no intention of harming himself or anyone else,” when visited on April 5. “He admitted that some of his language had been strong. The police recommended that Haviland think about the way his statements would be interpreted by those who read and heard them and Haviland agreed that he would,” Laft wrote.
The detective said on April 12, during another welfare check, an officer determined Haviland didn’t pose a threat to himself or others. But Laft wrote, “notwithstanding that assessment, I am aware that persons close to Haviland have expressed concern about his increasingly extreme statements over the last year and both they and (the professor) have expressed concern that Haviland might harm someone. Based on my training and experience, and information provided from others in the JTTF, I believe that people who make statements like Haviland’s are difficult to deter and can quickly escalate to increased harassment or violence.”
You can read the full affidavit below:
3. Haviland Has a YouTube Channel With Videos Titled ‘Let’s Vote to Have the Freedom to Kill an Abortion Doctor’ & ‘Homosexuality Is a Mental Disorder’
Matthew Haviland has a YouTube channel registered with the same username used on a Medium account listed in court documents. On the YouTube channel, Haviland uses the name, “Democrats Dehumanize Developing Humans.” He also has a Twitter account that uses his real name.
Haviland’s Twitter and YouTube comments include angry messages to Democrats and positive messages to other Trump supporters and conservative media figures and Twitter personalities. Haviland’s YouTube videos include titles like, “Let’s Vote to Have the Freedom to Kill an Abortion Doctor,” and “Homosexuality Is a Mental Disorder.”
On April 23, a day before his arrest, he posted a video in which he said, “the Democratic party is what happens when you go absolutely soulless.”
In another video, Haviland said that a baby could be charged with murder if the baby somehow killed an abortion doctor, while an abortion doctor is protected by law.
In another April 22 video, Haviland said there should be a “vote to kill an abortion doctor.”
In other videos, Haviland accuses the media of being “monsters” and spreading “cultural Marxism.” Haviland also ranted about why he loves Trump, saying he does good things, and saying Trump “did nothing f*cking wrong.”
On Twitter, Haviland appeared to be angry about people calling things racist. He tweeted in 2018, “We need to stop assuming, or ‘crying,’ racism about everything. If someone goes so far as to say that calling someone an ‘illegal immigrant’ is just a form of racism, then that is totally ignoring the issue the other person is talking about and inferring way too much into what they are saying, so basically just trying to assassinate their character rather than talk about the issue.”
4. He Is Originally From Manasquan, New Jersey, & Graduated From Emerson College in Massachusetts in 2012
Matt Haviland is originally from Manasquan, New Jersey, according to his now-deleted Linkedin profile. He graduated from Manasquan High School in 2008. Haviland has lived in Rhode Island since 2013, but has also spent time living in several other places around the country, including, Topsham, Maine; Dover, New Hampshire; Belmar, New Jersey; Irvine, California; and Boston and Allston, Massachusetts, according to public records.
Haviland attended Emerson College in Boston and graduated in 2012 with a degree in writing, literature and publishing, according to his Linkedin profile. While at Emerson, Haviland was the editor-in-chief of Gauge Magazine, “a design-oriented magazine completely produced by and for Emerson College students.”
While in college, Haviland also worked as a server at a restaurant and as a deckhand on the Block Island Ferry, according to his Linkedin profile. He also worked at the Jewish Vocational Services, a workplace development organization also known as JVS Boston, as a receptionist and classroom attendant.
5. Haviland Is a Writer & Worked in Journalism as a Reporter & Editor Until 2016
Haviland is a freelance writer, according to a profile he created on MeetAWriter.com. He wrote in the profile, “Having worked in the industry before, many little credits to my name in terms of reviewing TV shows, movies, and more, as well as having edited books for publication while writing and editing content marketing material and been the editor-in-chief of my college magazine, I have experience all across the board, from the business side to the writing side and then the editing.”
Haviland added, “I have been an accomplished user of Chicago (Manual of) style, a great lover of witchcraft and wizardry (meaning Harry Potter), and an explorer of the form from all variations, from modern poetry to postmodern and from modern literature to the same. This is my nature. This is my life. This could be yours, if you want it. The talent, I mean.”
Haviland worked as a journalist after college. In 2012, he was a reporter for The Coast Star, a New Jersey newspaper. He also worked as a contributor at Pop-Break.com and as an editor at TFH Publications. In that role, he wrote articles for Tropical Fish Magazine. He also worked as an editorial project manager at Walter Foster Publishing in 2016. He was most recently a seasonal game advisor at a GameStop store, according to his Linkedin profile.
Haviland expressed anger on Twitter toward journalists and the journalism industry, writing that the media is the “enemy of the people,” echoing the words frequently used by President Trump.
He wrote, “And this is why journalism is the enemy of the people, as it is–because they’re not interested in reality, even when they get facts right (and a lot of Woodward’s stuff was wrong)–they just want to cause division and take people down.”
In a series of August 2018 tweets, Haviland wrote:
Our media is actively trying to kill us. Supporting war (Trump “became president” when he bombed someone, “committed treason,” when he tried to turn an adversary into an ally by saying, “Hey, let’s not throw blame around, you say one thing, they say another, how about peace”), actively trying to disinform us about national events (whether it be weather patterns that are unnatural due to geoengineering, 9/11 and the questionable nature of those events [Tower 7, anyone? Oh, but you’re crazy, if you talk about that, says the media, our beloved saviors and prison guards]), instigating racism (by trying their hardest to make every white person hate all black people by blasting them with black guilt setences, saying for even being fucking alive, they must pay a price to this other group of people, in the name of “good faith” and diversity but really just dividing us so starkly it’s not even funny), turning facts on their heads, saying a penis is nothing (if anything, it makes you a bad person, but there is no biological sex, right? Let’s erase all that, right? I don’t have a penis, I have a thing that could be seen as a penis or otherwise a symbol of masculine hate or otherwise just ignored, because I’m a woman, right?).
In a June 2018 tweet, Haviland wrote, “And why is wearing a MAGA hat suddenly anti-black? I know it’s the media sentiment to say all conservatives and people who like Trump are racist, but that’s not, actually, literally, a fact. That’s actually just a stereotype.”
In another tweet that month he wrote, “I love Trump, in terms of his willingness to be friends with people and speak reality rather than doubletalk, about things.”