Holliston man indicted in Jodie Foster threats

David Riley

A federal grand jury has indicted a Holliston man on 10 counts of mailing bomb threats to two airports, a hospital, a bank and homes in California.

The indictment against Michael Smegal, 42, of 148 Dalton Road, Holliston, was unsealed last week. It says he sent threats - including ones to Los Angeles International Airport and a children's hospital in the city - between last September and January.

Smegal was arrested last month for mailing a letter to Van Nuys Airport outside Los Angeles that mentioned a gas bomb and actress Jodie Foster.

He was released into his parents' custody on $10,000 bond and ordered to stay away from Foster and not use the mail or Internet, nor the phone without supervision.

At the time of the arrest, federal authorities said the note was nearly identical to more than 100 sent to celebrities, businessmen, airports and elsewhere since last fall.

Smegal was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Boston yesterday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler lifted the condition that he remain in custody of a third party while released on bond, but she added a new condition that he receive residential treatment, court records say.

He now faces 10 charges of using mail to make a threat concerning the damage or destruction of property by means of fire or explosive, the indictment says. Each count says he knowingly made false threats about an attempt to kill, injure and intimidate people at each location.

The document lists six homes in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Malibu where Smegal is accused of sending bomb threats. In addition to the two airports, it also lists a Wells Fargo Bank and Children's Hospital, both in Los Angeles.

A statement filed last month by an FBI agent said Smegal had admitted to sending bomb threats in 2004, as well as some of the more recent ones. A criminologist also matched DNA on two letters Smegal admitted sending to Foster in 2004 with three of the more recent letters, Agent Joseph Altman wrote.

The same FBI statement said Smegal told the agent he had sent the letters to the airport because he believed it was connected to the Screen Actors Guild, and he thought the union had made disparaging remarks about Foster.

Smegal's next court hearing is May 15.

David Riley can be reached at 508-626-3919 or

MetroWest Daily News