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This article was published on November 22, 2013


    Alleged Silk Road founder’s matter-of-fact journal details accounting, bug fixes and murders

    Alleged Silk Road founder’s matter-of-fact journal details accounting, bug fixes and murders
    Jon Russell
    Story by

    Jon Russell

    Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

    Details of an online journal belonging to Ross Ulbricht — the man US authorities suspect of running Silk Road, the recently-busted online marketplace for illicit goods — have surfaced as evidence for his trial, and boy do they make for some reading.

    Evidence already suggests that Ulbricht ordered at least one murder on a Silk Road user, but entries to the journal — reported by Ars Technica — suggest he ordered a hit on four men who had been scamming him. The journal, obtained after his computer was seized, also rather ironically outlines an escape plan in the event that authorities moved in on Silk Road.

    What’s most striking about Ulbricht’s entries is the matter-of-fact way he details all manner of updates about Silk Road — from accounting details to bugs, and murders — as this excerpt shows:

    03/28/2013
    being blackmailed with user info. talking with large distributor (hell’s angels).

    03/29/2013
    commissioned hit on blackmailer with angels

    04/01/2013
    got word that blackmailer was excuted

    04/04/2013
    withdrawals all caught up
    made a sign error when fixing the bond refund bug, so several vendors had very negative accounts.
    switched to direct connect for bitcoin instead of over ssh portforward
    received visual confirmation of blackmailers execution

    Here’s another, which appears to show a four-man hit was ordered:

    04/06/2013
    made sure backup crons are working
    gave angels go ahead to find tony76
    cleaned up unused libraries on server
    added to forbidden username list to cover I <-> l scam

    04/08/2013
    sent payment to angels for hit on tony76 and his 3 associates
    very high load (300/16), took site offline and refactored main and category pages to be more efficient

    Authorities say there is no evidence that any of these murders took place, and there’s a suggestion that the Silk Road user who Ulbricht paid to carry them out may have conned him.

    Despite the mounting evidence that Ulbricht was Dread Pirate Roberts, the alias behind Silk Road, his mother maintains he’s “one of the best people I know.” Mrs. Ulbricht has set up the Ross Ulbricht Defense Fund in association with an activist as she seeks to help fight his case.

    Image via Bad Man Production / Shutterstock