KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A former Knoxville resident was indicted in California after he allegedly made 31 threatening calls, mostly to the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville and its parishes, according to an FBI affidavit.
The affidavit describes several voicemail messages left by David Webb, 40, blaming the church for the loss of custody of his son, using threatening and explicit language. An order of protection has been in effect since 2013, sought by the mother of his son, Mary Susan Julian.
“…the Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville owes me a ton of money! Like, tons of money,” he said in a message left for St. John Neumann Catholic Church on February 16, 2016. “Your diocese owes me over a billion… I haven’t seen my son in probably four or five [expletive] years because of your [expletives] religion… You do not want me coming into your mother [expletive] churches on Easter [expletive] Sunday.”
During a call to the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville on March 22, the affidavit says he told a receptionist that he blamed the Catholic church for breaking up his family, he acknowledge making several calls to the church, and said he used to want to be a priest, but now he just wanted all Catholic churches to burn down.
FBI agents interviewed Webb at his home in California on March 24, where he admitted to making the calls and agreed to stop. The calls stopped for about two months, according to the affidavit, but then resumed.
Webb reportedly made calls to Sacred Heart Cathedral School and to the Catholic Diocese on June 11. During a voicemail left for diocese receptionist, he reportedly threatened her and Bishop Richard Stika, should Webb be forced to do jail time in Knoxville.
“Okay, [expletive], okay, let’s see what the [expletive] happens if I go to [expletive] Knoxville and do [expletive] jail time. Let’s see what the [expletive] happens to your [expletive] [expletive] after I get out of jail… So tell Bishop Stika to go [expletive] himself.”
After several more threatening phone calls, some of which accused the church of stealing his son or said it was Curtis’s fault he had not seen his son in years, federal court orders were obtained for cell phone data which revealed all the calls came from a California number.
He was indicted on June 21 on a federal stalking charge.
Knoxville Catholic Diocese spokesman Jim Wogan issued the following statement: “The emails and phone calls we received were explicit and extremely threatening in their language and tone. We felt the only course of action was to turn the entire matter over to the FBI. The allegations made by Mr. Webb have absolutely no merit.”