Suv off swampy

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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:41 pm

The Sod Off Swampy movement now has a judicial branch:

An aspiring physicist was sentenced Monday to more than eight years in prison and ordered to pay $3.5 million for his role in a spree of arson and vandalism that targeted gas-guzzling Hummers and other sports utility vehicles.

Rejecting pleas for clemency from William Cottrell, a 24-year-old doctoral candidate in physics at the California Institute of Technology, U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner added more time to the sentence after finding that Cottrell was trying to sway consumers with his anti-SUV message.

The slogans Cottrell spray-painted onto vehicles included “Fat Lazy Americans,” “No Respect for Earth” and “SUV Terrorism.”

Cottrell, who admitted only spray-painting and testified he did not know that two friends were bringing Molotov cocktails, promised he would never break the law again.

The two friends have fled the country to avoid prosecution, authorities said.

Where did they go? Any guesses?

UPDATE. jlyoder in comments: “I’m so embarrassed to be a physicist.”

Posted by Tim B. on 04/19/2005 at 07:19 AM
    1. I clicked on the “Any guesses?’’ link and hit the SMH registration wall which I declined to pass (they ask too damn many questions) so I will guess that they nipped over the border to Canada and are now going to ask for asylum as persecuted refugees.

      As for Cottrell, if he’s such a bright boy he should know better than to indulge in that kind of vandalism.  Fortunately he now has eight years to look forward to when he’ll never have to lay eyes on an SUV.  Hope he enjoys it.

      Posted by Sonetka’s Mom on 2005 04 19 at 08:31 AM • permalink


    1. Sonetka’s Mom, you can bypass those annoying registrations through

      me, I’ll bet that those two fugitives from justice are working some minimum wage job in Canada during the day, drinking at night, and complaining about the crushing of dissent under the alligator leather jackboots of George McChimpy Hitlerburton Bush all the while.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 04 19 at 08:39 AM • permalink


    1. I hope he manages to avoid the prison Hummer parking in his slot when he bends down to pcik up the soap in the shower block.

      Posted by Craig UK on 2005 04 19 at 08:40 AM • permalink


    1. Greenland?

      Posted by crash on 2005 04 19 at 08:45 AM • permalink


    1. He can kiss his Ph.D. candidacy goodbye too.  Ph.D. committees are notoriously stuffy about granting their precious degrees to jailbirds, even in the interest of lefty politics.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 04 19 at 09:47 AM • permalink


    1. I’m so embarrassed to be a physicist.  When they get into it, physicists can be the biggest blowhard marxists there are.  I can’t wait to get my Ph.D. and get out of academia permanently.

      Posted by jlyoder on 2005 04 19 at 09:51 AM • permalink


    1. Rebecca — even if he’s accepted back into the academic fold, any work he’s done towards his thesis will be old hat by the time he gets out.

      Short of sending in the 4th ID and actually shooting these scumbags, swingeing custodial sentences are the only way to deal with eco-terrorists. I really hope this doesn’t get overturned on appeal.

      Posted by David Gillies on 2005 04 19 at 10:00 AM • permalink


    1. Einstein was a Marxist, so John Ray notes.

      Posted by Louis on 2005 04 19 at 10:51 AM • permalink


    1. Luckily he was still too smart to visit Stalin instead of Roosevelt…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 04 19 at 11:32 AM • permalink


    1. Don’t worry about Mr. Cottrell.  He can get various liberal arts PhDs from places like UMass, Amherst probably by just identifying himself as a jailed eco-terrorist.  I favor a PhD in Social Work, for him myself, but I would supose he would accept one in Creative Lit or some such.  He would surely be as employable as the Weathermen who eventually got out, and they killed people.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2005 04 19 at 12:09 PM • permalink


    1. Let me get this straight.  Here we have a 24 year old physicist / doctoral candidate who was sentenced to 8 years in prison for arson and vandalism.  Which is a high profile crime that probably will mean time spent in something a bit more onerous than a Martha Stewart Bed and Breakfast type of prison.

      His mom might as well go shop at Sams Club Warehouse for the economy size bottles of salad dressing and scented lubricants.  He’s definitely going need them.

      Posted by wronwright on 2005 04 19 at 06:22 PM • permalink


  1. His dos amigos took the blackbird, hit the broken trail down to ol’ Mexico.
    Gone South of the Border, down Mexico Way.

    While young Billy {the kid} Cottrell is having his daily cavity probe, his two aliados blancos will be getting Montezuma’s revenge.

    Posted by papertiger on 2005 04 20 at 01:43 AM • permalink