Encino man who threatened to shoot Boston Globe employees pleads guilty

Robert Chain leaves a Los Angeles courthouse after being released on bail on Aug. 30, 2018. His wife, attorney Betsy Staszek Chain, is by his side.
(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

An Encino man who said he would kill employees of the Boston Globe after the paper called on news organizations nationwide to denounce President Trump’s attacks on the media pleaded guilty Wednesday to making threatening calls, federal prosecutors said.

Robert Chain, 68, pleaded guilty to seven counts of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston said in a statement.

He faces five years in prison per count at sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 23.

Neither Chain nor his attorney spoke when they left court. But his attorney, William Weinreb, said last month his client took “full responsibility” for his actions.


“He is anxious to make a full, public apology, expressing his sincere remorse to those he affected,” Weinreb said in an email last month.

Chain was arrested in August after authorities said he made 14 calls threatening the lives of Globe staff in retaliation for its coordinated and nonpartisan editorial response to Trump’s frequent attacks on the news media.

“You are the enemy of the people,” Chain said on Aug. 13, according to prosecutors, echoing Trump’s repeated references to the media. “We will hunt you down and kill you and your dogs.”

Many of the calls were laced with profanities.


After one call on Aug. 16 when Chain threatened to shoot an employee at a specific time, local law enforcement responded to the Globe’s offices and maintained a presence outside the building.

When the FBI raided Chain’s home, they found 20 guns, including a semiautomatic rifle he purchased in May 2018, according to court records. He did not face any firearms-related charges.

Chain is retired from the international sales and trade business.