School reunion e-mails answered with a threat

A former Lakeland High student is charged.

Published October 5, 2007

LAKELAND - A man accused of threatening to make the Virginia Tech massacre look like a "birthday party" at his 20th high school reunion was arrested by sheriff's deputies who found hundreds of homemade explosives at his house, officials said Thursday.

Timothy Joseph Vaughn, 39, referenced the April shootings that left 33 people dead at Virginia Tech when he sent an e-mail to the coordinator of the reunion for Lakeland High School's Class of 1987, Polk County sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Rodgers said.

Vaughn sent four e-mails to the coordinator after getting electronically generated e-mail reunion reminders from the Web site Classmates.com, Rodgers said. In the first three e-mails, he asked to be left alone. He made the Virginia Tech threat in the fourth on Sept. 10, Rodgers said.

"I have been 20 years getting over your preppy b-------," he allegedly wrote. "Nobody talked to me back then, so stop talking to me now. ... I can make Virginia Tech look like a f------ birthday party."

Detectives who arrested him Wednesday said they found 178 homemade M-80 and M-100 explosives and about 700 others under construction. Vaughn, who is unemployed and lives with his parents, told deputies he never actually planned to use them to disrupt the reunion.

Vaughn was charged with 178 counts of possessing a destructive device and one count each of aggravated cyberstalking and possession of materials to manufacture a destructive device.