Bunn Family PR Firm Linked To Recent Cyber Attacks
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) October 29, 2017
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) October 29, 2017
Matrix, LLC, a Montgomery, Alabama-based PR firm that was hired by the family of accused rapist Terry Jackson "Sweet T" Bunn, Jr., to clean up his "street" reputation, is directing a non-stop wave of cyber attacks against my public Facebook and Wikipedia pages. Tuscaloosa-area law enforcement officials privately refer to Sweet T as a "dirt bag" because of his propensity for cruising local bars and club in search of young coeds for sexual encounters.
In September, the firm used an Internet hacker to unlawfully deactivate the selected "Follow" notification of more than one thousand of my Facebook "Followers". These deactivations occurred without the authorization or knowledge of the adversely affected "Followers"
In August, Matrix used a hacker to edit my Wikipedia page in order to delete extensive information on my personal background, business career, and landmark legal cases. The firm also coupled this sabotage with an active campaign to "push" any negative Internet articles that tagged my name to the front of the Google search engine.
Matrix offers clients like Sweet T and the Bunn family a "comprehensive approach to problem solving" by any and all means necessary.
Sweet T is the "suspect" University of Alabama honors student Megan Rondini reported as her rapist during the early morning hours of July 2, 2015. He was able to escape a criminal prosecution because of Tuscaloosa Sheriff Ron Abernathy's direct and favorable intervention in the police investigation into Megan's rape case.
The Bunn family and its Tuscaloosa-based paving company business wield considerable influence in Tuscaloosa because they are big boosters to the Alabama Crimson Tide football program. They also control many local public officials, including Sheriff Abernathy, former district attorney Lyn Head, and her successor in office, Hays Webb.
In sabotaging my Facebook and Wikipedia pages, Matrix seeks to: (a) roll back my growing Facebook readership, which had reached 5,000 "Friends" and nearly 18,000 "Followers" before the cyber attacks began, and (b) undermine my credibility as a specially-trained online journalist by removing all references from my public Wikipedia profile to the litany of nationally recognized landmark legal cases handled by me over the last four decades that exposed police cover-ups, public corruption, and gross miscarriages of justice in Alabama.
As we reported Thursday night, Tuscaloosa native Joe Perkins runs Matrix. For decades, Perkins has been a political hatchet man for two of the state's perennial power players -- the Alabama Education Association and Alabama Power Company. Matrix has been paid millions of dollars by these clients for Perkins' trusted consigliere role. The Mobile Press-Register and Yellowhammer News have called Matrix "the closest thing Alabama politics has to a non-governmental secret agency."
Interestingly, this is not the first time Matrix has gone after an investigative journalist in order to protect a client. In 2011, Matrix launched a clandestine attack against Birmingham News reporter John Archibald after he wrote an article on the financial crisis that caused Jefferson County, Alabama to file for bankruptcy. Matrix quietly leaked court records showing that Archibald had declared a personal bankruptcy eight years earlier. The move was designed to embarrass and humiliate Archibald because he had been highly critical of some of Matrix's powerful clients. Archibald had not publicly disclosed his personal bankruptcy filing prior to Matrix "outing" him.
In the aftermath of the in-depth BuzzFeed News article last June about Megan Rondini's rape case, Matrix began an endless campaign to smear Megan Rondini, the Rondini family, and me. I was targeted for destruction because I am the only Alabama journalist who has consistently reported exclusive news stories about the police cover up in Megan's rape case. These stories have propelled the growth in my Facebook readership.
To date, Matrix, Sweet T, and the Bunn family have not been able to offer the public any credible version of the facts to counter the detailed factual reporting in my news articles in Megan's rape case. Furthermore, they have never demanded a retraction of any of the facts I have reported. Instead, they have resorted to Internet sabotage and unlawful hacking activities.
After jumping into the fray to protect Sweet T, Matrix got the Tuscaloosa News to publish a July 27, 2017, Bunn family-sponsored attack ad against Megan Rondini and her family. They also caused the publication of a pro-Bunn family story in the Alabama Political Reporter on August 21, 2017. Additionally, Matrix persuaded the Tuscaloosa News to publish a September 27th pro-Sweet T "investigative" article about Megan's rape case. The article was long on verbiage, but short on substance. Finally, Matrix got the News to run a nauseating editorial a couple of days later that openly sucked up to the Bunn family.
On October 4th, Matrix surreptitiously delivered a flash drive to the law office of the Rondini family's Birmingham attorney that contained two nude photos –- one of a male and another one with a male and female in bed -- and a one-minute-long "video diary Number #1" recorded by Megan while she was home alone, sitting up in her bed, playfully talking about her evening at Harry's Bar, and eating a snack.
The purpose of the flash drive was to threaten and intimidate the Rondini family, which has a federal court wrongful death lawsuit pending against Sweet T and other defendants for causing or contributing to Megan's suicide after he escaped criminal justice in her rape case.
Unbeknownst to Matrix, the nude woman in the photo, which was taken in 2014, is not Megan Rondini. The video, which shows a facial shot of Megan, was recorded on May 27, 2015. None of these items had any relevance to the rape incident Megan reported to police on July 2, 2015.
Metadata from the flash drive confirmed that these items were loaded from a laptop used by a Matrix employee who thought the drive had been wiped clean. The flash drive yielded a treasure trove of email exchanges between this Matrix employee and others. It also contained sensitive internal messages and chatter between Matrix operatives.
The investigation into Matrix's harassment of the Rondini family and the firm's sabotage of my Facebook and Wikipedia pages is ongoing.