BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) – A Bloomington man is facing several criminal charges after police say he posted threatening messages targeting IU President Pamela Whitten, former Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, and several other local government officials.
Police arrested Joseph Voelker, 44, at his home on Friday after a swift investigation.
The investigation was opened by detectives with the Bloomington Police Department after being contacted by the Bloomington FBI and Indiana University Police Department, warning about an account on the social media platform “X,” formerly known as Twitter, that was posting threats against several public officials in Bloomington. Police say he also threatened members of his own family as well.
According to court documents, the “X” account, which was still active at the time of this article, had the bio listed as “From before. Joseph Voelker of Bloomington Indiana.”
Police reportedly found several posts that threatened death or violence, including one that mentioned Whitten.
“The president of Indiana University is a fraudulent lying [expletive] and facilitated torture. She will be killed or life in prison. Every enabler will be killed or life in prison you stupid [expletive]. You knew what you were doing. You are inferior trash, its why you tortured me for clout. Was it worth it you stupid [explitive]?”
Like many other social media posts cited in the probable cause affidavit, Voelker signed the post with “King Joseph.”
Investigators talked with Voelker’s mother, who told police he recently sent her threatening emails and they had similar statements to the posts made on X. She also said that he signed the emails with the “King Joseph” signature.
“Idiots like judge Diekoff and police chief Diekoff will be killed. They violently terrorized me for decades. They violently tortured me and laughed. Literally. Its the most egregious violent crime ever.”
Court documents show that investigators also found posts with threats towards former Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
“[Expletive] like mayor Hamilton and governor Holcomb will be killed. Same for most of the Senate and a lot of others. You stupid [expletive].”
According to court documents, when police went to meet with Voelker at his home, he ran inside and barricaded himself. He was arrested after police obtained a search warrant.
Voelker refused to speak to police until a lawyer was present. He was jailed on a level 5 felony count of intimidation for the threats against Judge Diekhoff, and two level 6 felony counts of intimidation. Under Indiana Code, making a threat to a sitting judge or bailiff is a higher charge.
Online court records show Voelker had his initial hearing on Tuesday and entered a not-guilty plea. He is due back in court for a hearing on March 21.