Eric James O'Kelly- Oregon- 2011 May 6, 2018 1:06:17 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on May 6, 2018 1:06:17 GMT -5
(Above: 1st photo: O'Kelly, circa 2011. Photo Credit: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office website. 2nd photo: O'Kelly, circa 2016. Photo Credit: inc.com via Devschool students)
Fugitive Profile as of May 6th, 2018: (Based on Clackamas County Sheriff's Office website, Oregon online judicial records)
Year of Birth: 1975
Weight: 175 lbs
The search for Eric O'Kelly, the first of my planned (non-breaking news) fugitive cases this week, is perhaps one of the most bizarre stories we've ever profiled on this site.
Officially, O'Kelly is one of the Clackamas County (Oregon) Sheriff's Office's most wanted fugitives for an alleged domestic violence incident in which he is accused of threatening and attacking a relative in Milwaukie, Oregon as the result of an argument. He allegedly pushed her into a bookshelf, hit her on the side of the face, and yanked a Bluetooth headpiece from her ear and broke it. He also allegedly threatened to burn her house down. (I was able to find through Oregon's online court records that the alleged incident happened in 2011). He had seemingly been on the run since that incident.
In 2016, a man known as Jim O'Kelly would surface teaching an online coding class to students that he ran from his resort home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. According to the website inc.com, on the morning of September 27th, 2016, students logged on to the Slack messaging app to talk coding with Mr. O'Kelly. He posted a snippet of code but soon after 10:45 am, was nowhere to be found. O'Kelly was a tattooed man known for being quirky and his quick temper. While some students were upset he was a no-show, others were concerned.
The next day, O'Kelly didn't show up for any of his appointments and also did not answer phone calls or emails from his students. It seems most of the students interviewed for the Inc story paid around $5,000-$6,000 in tuition money (One paid $14,000). On September 28th, 2016, O'Kelly's assistant broke the unfortunate news that O'Kelly had changed all of the passwords to the school's bank accounts.
The devastated students from the coding school known as the Devschool went online trying to find out everything they could about their teacher. They eventually got a tip leading to his true identity: Eric James O'Kelly. And soon they would see his wanted person information on the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office website as well.
In total, the Devschool students estimated O'Kelly may have made off with more than $100,000 of their money.
Although the students weren't sure if O'Kelly had planned to allegedly scam them all along, he is said to have acted questionably for a long time.
According to inc.com, the Devschool website prominently features testimonials from several "alumni," with the individuals' names appearing alongside company names and small photos. One person listed was Eric Douglas, an employee for Intuit. The only problem is a company spokeswoman says no one named Eric Douglas works for Intuit. Another person listed was "Meghan Holden" whose photo was of a different woman that seems to have been taken from her Facebook profile. That is just two of many testimonials students suspect are fake.
Elsewhere on the web, O'Kelly claims to have been employed with Intel, Apple, Callaway Golf, and Robert Half, among others, on his AngelList profile. O'Kelly said he worked for Microsoft in a Q&A with Course Report. None of the companies say O'Kelly has ever worked for them.
One student interviewed for inc.com says O'Kelly was a self-taught coder but boasted about falsifying information about attending schools to get jobs. One software developer who was hired to help teach the class says O'Kelly told him more than once that he never pays taxes.
And O'Kelly's personality was said to be eccentric, according to one student interviewed for inc.com: "He had a penchant for oversharing personal information and sometimes ripped hits from a colorful glass bong during video lectures with the students. His body was covered in eye-catching tattoos (his right forearm says "b. social" in an old-timey typewriter font while his left features a variation of the red Amsterdam flag with three bold black X's)"
Despite this, students said initially they were learning and hopeful they were on their way to earning a $55,000 a year job once they graduated that the Devschool website had promised. According to inc.com, however: "Over time, the mood at Devschool started to change. The quality of O'Kelly's teaching declined, students say, as he lost patience with them and appeared disinterested in their projects. Simultaneously, his live video webchat sessions became more sporadic, the students say."
According to Adam Tolley, the software developer hired to help, O'Kelly flew off the handle at him after a disagreement about how to teach a lesson, and informed him that he was fired and would not be paid for his last few weeks of work because he had mishandled lessons. (Tolley and his students disputed that).
According to an email reviewed by Inc, after Tolley tried collecting unemployment, O'Kelly fired off another message, calling him a "loser" who had been only a contractor and therefore gets "sh** for being fired chump."
Another student quit after not liking the way O'Kelly had taught the class and wrote a negative review online after she was not satisfied with the amount of her tuition that was refunded. Once again, according to inc.com: "I'll write a f***ing website about her crazy sh**. I could make her unhirable [sic]," he wrote on Slack, according to a screenshot sent to their reporter by one of the students. "I am sooooo f***ing mad."
O'Kelly also allegedly sent her threatening emails and attacked her on review sites, posting her personal information publicly, which he later deleted.
O'Kelly encouraged the remaining class members to write positive reviews after those alleged incidents, but instead several students dropped out, with O'Kellly eventually going off the grid on that September 27th morning.
Since then, there have been some positives as the students have come together and continue to work on coding.
As for O'Kelly's possible whereabouts today, students say he had mentioned plans to relocate from Puerto Vallarta to Puebla, a major city in central Mexico, from which he logged into the Slack group once on September 11, 2016.
Relevant Links for this posting:
Thoughts? As of May 6th. 2018, O'Kelly is still listed on the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office website as one of their most wanted fugitives. Also, as of 5/6/2018, according to a search of Oregon's online judicial records, O'Kelly still has warrants for the alleged domestic violence incident in 2011. They are only listed as misdemeanors so I am wondering if this perhaps how he has been able to hide in Mexico for all this time, but that would be speculation on my part. As far as I can tell, he has not been criminally and/or federally charged for any alleged misdeeds in his role with the controversial Devschool. Or at least not yet.
Admin Note #1: According to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office website, anyone with information on the whereabouts of Eric James O'Kelly and/or any of their most wanted fugitives should contact them using their online Tip sheet and/or calling their Tip line at (503) 723-4949.
Admin Note #2 If you have any (news-related) updates on this case, please contact us here: amwfans.com/thread/1662/website-contact-form