By Ben Cohn
Published: November 2nd, 2016
Following an extensive manhunt conducted by the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the mastermind behind CUNYFirst was found living in squalid conditions in a basement room.
Janet Martinez, a 53-year-old woman, was secretary at Brooklyn College in the West Quad for 15 years before quitting in 2012. She had become fed up with the thankless requests she had been receiving constantly from students and decided to make it her life’s missions to punish everyone in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Coworkers described her as a normal, quiet employee who functioned exactly as she should have within the system.
After storming out of the office on that fateful day, she went on to teach herself 10 years of computer programming in under three weeks. From files found during the FBI search of her computer, it has been revealed that she plotted for years to exact her revenge on CUNY and thought the perfect way to do so was to come up with a series of impenetrable slight inconveniences. She wrote many manifestos on the subject of annoying CUNY students and even started a blog, CUNYSUCKS.blogspot.com, under a fake name.
Eventually, she created a fake website building company, performed real work by creating websites, and compiled a strong portfolio for her business. This was all to convince CUNY to hire her company to create its new website when it was searching for someone to do it. She charged CUNY double the going rate because according to her journal, “[she] knew that CUNY only did things when it knew it would be over the budget for no reason.” The next stage of her plan was to construct a website that, on the surface, seemed like it would be a helpful interface for students. But in reality, it would only serve to be a diabolical annoyance.
The evilest feature of the site that she bragged about in her journal is the “reset your password” screen that pops up. Martinez wrote the algorithm so that whenever students are logging into the site for their most important task of the year, they would be blocked from doing so because their password had expired. She wrote, “The passwords will be long. Yes, so long, and they will require so many characters, it will truly be a great triumph.”
CUNY officials caught wind of her scheme after the number of students’ complaints reached into the hundreds of thousands. First, the NYPD was contacted. Then, the FBI tracked her Internet Protocol (IP) address and began following her blog for clues of her whereabouts. NYPD head-honcho James O’Neil said he knew she was in Flatbush because she was constantly complaining about dry jerk chicken and the dollar vans.
FBI chief James Comey said, “What we were dealing with was the embodiment of a super evil bureaucratic combined with a nasty vendetta.”
Once FBI agents swarmed the house, she did not put up a fight. She came out with her laptop and she asked to write one final message to CUNY students before she was put in handcuffs. Agents reportedly stood by as she edited the banner of the CUNYFirst website to be a giant picture of her giving everyone the middle finger.
Martinez will be arraigned next week, and her bail is set at $1 billion.