Rep. Anthony Weiner's errant public tweet of a lewd photo of himself two weeks ago may have easily gone unnoticed if it hadn't been for a single Twitter user who spotted and documented the gaffe, and shared it with the world.
Now, a week after the photo helped lead to Weiner's dramatic mea culpa, the man whom some conservatives have hailed as a harbinger and a hero remains silent.
Records show Dan Wolfe, using the Twitter alias PatriotUSA76, was the ringleader of an informal posse of conservative Twitter users known as the #bornfreecrew who, annoyed by Weiner's politics and bombastic style, scrutinized his online behavior.
"We didn't like the fact that he [Weiner] was so arrogant and that he'd come down to the floor of Congress and waste our time with his huge sandwich boards and just ripped the Republicans apart," said Mike Stack, a 39-year-old member of the #bornfreecrew who lives in New Jersey.
"As the months went by, I noticed Wolfe was very, very fixated on Weiner's followers, and a few times he said to me, 'Oh, he added this one and added this one,'" he said. "And we all noticed some of the girls were getting younger and younger, like high school age."
For months, Twitter records show, members of the group messaged some of the girls and Weiner, at times harassing them publicly for their electronic ties as they tried to ferret out any inappropriate behavior, Stack said.
"I busted his balls. I never said anything threatening, I would never do that," Stack said. "But with the women, I mean, you can follow whoever you want. It's a free world, free country. But why are you so enamored with this guy if you're in Seattle or Texas? It didn't make a lot of sense."
On the evening of May 27, Wolfe happened to be monitoring Weiner's Twitter profile page just as the photo of bulging gray boxer briefs appeared. He excitedly messaged his group about the post and forwarded a screen grab to conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart of Biggovernment.com before Weiner quickly took it down.
"I was shocked," Wolfe told the website in a message shortly after the story broke. "I capped [screen captured] it. Capped the tweet, everything. That's all. Then I RT [retweeted]."
But as Weiner then began to insist he was a victim of a "hack" and "prank," his online supporters made Wolfe their top suspect, casting him as a political operative who acted nefariously to bring the congressman down.
Amid the intense scrutiny, Wolfe deleted his Twitter profile and Yahoo email account last week, and has stayed mostly silent and out of the spotlight since.
"I have A LOT of personal problems," Wolfe wrote to a friend on May 30 in an email chain obtained by ABC News. "If all this comes out along with everything I'm dealing with here -- I don't know what to do," he said, referring to the accusations against him.
"I got death threats. I got people use Google skyview to print pictures of my house, my address," Stack said. "These people say I set up Rep. Weiner, I framed him. Mediaite says I was harassing these girls."
As for Wolfe, Stack said he's gone into hiding. "I haven't heard from him since Weiner confessed," he said. "And now some of us are speculating who this guy really is. No one has ever met him in person or spoken on the phone."