Victims  Speak Out

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Angela, my sister, said something just took control of her pen while she was writing.  Following was the result.  At the time of this writing, she had already been subjected to six months of stalking by her ex-husband.   Three months later, he killed her.

Dear Friend:

I miss you!  I haven't heard from you in a long time.  Why have you been avoiding me?  I speak to you, but you don't listen.  I stand beside you, but you don't even acknowledge my presence.  Please talk to me and tell me what's wrong.

I must say, I miss the sound of your sweet voice.  You used to call on me every morning and every night.  You'd tell me your hopes, dreams, and goals, asking for my help in attaining them.  You'd relate your troubles, worries, and fears, leaning on me to get through the hard times.  Lean on me now.  I am here.

I keep trying to attract your attention, but you don't even notice my efforts.

This morning I sent a glorious sunrise to brighten your day; but when you rushed to work, you only frowned and shielded your eyes from the golden sun.

Later, I sent a gentle breeze to bring the sweet aroma of the flowers to your office window; but you just shut it tightly against him.

I had to try again!  As you drove home, I sent a blushing sunset to cheer you.  You didn't even glance at it.  I cried then.

Did you even notice my tears tapping lightly against your windshield?  You showed no sign of it.  Couldn't you feel the warm wetness on your face?  You didn't even raise a hand to wipe my tears from your face.  I suppose my rain was to gentle to bother you.

I can tell you are hurting, and I can help to heal you.  I only want you to be happy again.  If you are hurting, I can heal you.  If you are worried, I can ease your mind.  If you are angry, I can calm you.  If you are discouraged, I will embrace you and give you hope again.  Just reach out to me and I shall be there for you.

By the way, Dad sends his love and also hopes to hear from you soon.

Love Always,

Your friend, Jesus


 In Loving Memory of My "Little" Sister - Angela Castaldo

 A True Angel Touched Our Lives

I'm glad I got to know you.  I'm touched you became my friend.

And I'm very lucky you are my sister.

 

I was touched by an angel for 26 years. Actually, I got to live with her for 20 of those. This angel was my sister, Angela.   Angela reminded me very much of the song   "The Tears of a Clown."  Although she wasn't a "clown" per se, she had a lot of tough times, and just kept right on smiling,.most of the time.  I would love to tell you of all the wonderful times we had as sisters and friends, but I think the story that needs to be told is about the last year of her time on earth.  But, first, just a little background.

Angela was one of those people who sought the good in everyone she met.  "Everyone has a little bit of good, if you just look for it. It's up to us to help them display it."  "People aren't born mean or grumpy or sad . . . life makes them that way."  She felt the same way even after she decided to divorce her husband of one year. He became very possessive when their son was born. No one except Angela, her husband and myself was allowed to take care of the baby or even hold him.  From the very first day at the hospital, it was like noon but Nathan knew how to care for an infant.  The possessiveness got increasingly worse.

Then Nathan was injured at work and Angela started looking for a job.  He started accusing her of having affairs with coworkers, and liking her job more than her family.  He began trying to prevent her from visiting family members.   For some reason, it was okay to visit me and my kids, but not when we were at Mom's house.

Nathan underwent another personality change when he began taking different medications from several different doctors for his injury. The mixture of drugs made things increasingly worse. He started lashing out in anger, putting holes in the walls with his fists and breaking things around the house.  "You're face is next," he'd say. Through it all, Angela always seemed to remember the good she use to see in him.

One day, he tried to stop her from taking the baby to visit family.  He grabbed the baby and pulled her arm up behind her back, leaving bruises.  That was the last straw for her, and she decided to leave him. Instead, he moved out of their apartment, saying he did not want to disrupt the baby's life.  Although, Angela tried to arrange visitation, Nathan kept coming back at all hours of the day and night.  He stole her mail and harassed office workers into letting him in the apartment.  When they finally refused, he broke in and took the baby's furniture.  He said a son should not be raised without his father.  Angela could not get help because they were still married.  So, we managed to borrow the money for a divorce.

Only, divorcing him did not help.  He only got worse.  He began stalking her.  At first, he just seemed to be everywhere she went.  He went to their son's daycare and raised heck.  He called her constantly at work.  Then he began just sitting outside the babysitter's or daycare.  One time I recall he jumped over the fence because another toddler had taken a toy away from HIS son.  The daycare asked Angela to find somewhere else to take the baby.  They felt the situation was getting dangerous for the other children.

At the new place, her ex called the police and said the babysitter was beating the children so bad they were all full of blood.  It may sound funny now, but the kids had just eaten spaghetti and had sauce all over them. When her ex-husband looked in the window at the sitter's house, he jumped to the worst possible conclusion. Maybe by this time the drug mixture was frying him or more likely he is a person who must be in control and will do anything to maintain that control.

Then he started sitting outside her place of employment. He just sat there in the parking lot for hours at a time. One day he'd leave roses on her car seat and the next day he'd call yelling and screaming that she was a "whore-slut-bitch" (and other names I prefer not to put here) and would tell her she was unfit to be a mother.  Then he'd call again and ask her to meet him for coffee somewhere so they could talk.  We never knew what to expect next.

One evening, before she got off work, he broke into her apartment and fixed her dinner. When she walked in he said, "Hi, Honey! I fixed you dinner."  She slammed the door shut and drove straight to Mom's house.  The stalking continued. He broke into her apartment several more times just to leave notes that said "You can't get away.  I can always get to you." "You will always belong to me."

Angela finally went to court for a Protective Order.  What we were to come to realize is that protective orders only protect you from LAW-ABIDING or law-fearing people.  As long as he was 200 feet away when the police arrived, he was not in violation of the order.  Two hundred feet is not all that far, especially when one has at the very least 5 minutes (police response time) to move that far away.  Additionally, his visitation rights with his son continued and overrode the protective order.  Her divorce decree also overrode the protective order in requiring her to provide him with a valid phone number and address at all times.  Moving was out of the question if she was to abide by the law herself.

In a time span of three months, Angela recorded almost 75 phone calls to 911. There were more but not from her personal phone.   At one time while she was staying with my older sister, Angela received a death threat phone call from her ex. She called the police and admitted herself and her son to a women's shelter. Boy, do I feel sympathy for women forced to go there.  You are allowed to keep your job but . . . you must have your own transportation. You have to provide outside daycare for your children.  So, while you may sleep safely at night, daytime, and workplace harassment can still take place . . . and it did.

The counselor at the women's shelter advised Angela to quit her job and go on welfare so she would not have to leave the premises.  How could she properly raise a child under those conditions?  Why is it that the women must put themselves in prison to prevent their own physical harm?   Something seems backwards here!

Fortunately, in a way, Angela's bosses decided to hire a security officer at work. They put locks on the door going to the interior offices, so only the reception area was accessible to non-employees. Her ex raised hell in that reception area several times, but at least she felt safe behind locked doors... until she got off work.

Angela left the shelter, feeling no safer there and very lonely. (They can't have visitors.)  She rented an apartment close to work.

Now, her ex-husband started playing mind games with her.  He used to remove parts from her car, knowing she would not be able to tell what was wrong.  Then he'd show up in the parking lot and offer to "fix" the car.  Or taunt her that he'd fix it if only there wasn't that Protective Order keeping him 200 feet away.

This nightmarish hell of an existence went on for 9 months.  Then he was caught leaving her apartment while she was at work one day.  He had taken a radio from her apartment. She pressed charges against him. However, he was released on bail.  Now the phone calls varied between begging and threatening for her to drop the charges.  But she refused.  Perhaps this is what pushed him to stab her 24 times the day before his court hearing. . . perhaps it was more.  The only thing I truly know is that I will never see her smile again.  She'll never come bouncing in the room, spreading cheer.  She'll never sit and reminisce with me again.  Her son will never know what a wonderful loving mother he had or what she sacrificed to try to give him a "normal" life.

My sister is still my guardian angel.  She watches over me as I take exams at school.  She whispers in my ear to keep going when times are tough. She talked me into going back to college before her death and I'm sure I saw her at my graduation when I earned my AA degree.  I'm sure she was there when I earned my Bachelor's last December.  But, now I have to feel these things only in my heart.  I can only reach out and hug her in my mind.  I can only imagine her smile.  That has to be enough . . . I wish that weren't so.

I love you, Angela, and miss you very much.  Thanks for being my angel.


Women Stalking Women  -  Victim's night of terror - Woman "happy to be alive" after being shot by stalker.

Thousands of women live in fear of men - and sometimes women - who stalk them.  They are followed, subjected to endless phone calls and cruel pranks, and even physically assaulted.  A Tribune sports freelance writer fell prey to a stalker and almost lost her life.  Shot twice in the head earlier this month, she is recovering and her alleged assailant is in jail awaiting trial.  This is Mary's story.

Friendship had a price.  It meant condoning behavior that harassed people's families and friends, infiltrated their jobs and threatened their personal safety.  People's tires were mysteriously slashed, individuals were tailed through Valley streets, car windows were scratched and paint bore the rate of irrational mania.  I couldn't justify surrounding myself with such negative energy - especially for a friendship that had existed for just two months.   I asked to be left alone.  It didn't happen.

I spent the next two months victimized by vicious e-mail, life-threatening phone calls and drunken visits to my home.  My harasser told lies at my workplace, threatening my integrity among my co-workers and demanding unwarranted action from my superiors.I wasn't the only victim.  At least six other women suffered similarly.  Three weeks ago, we recaptured our freedom.   The price is having a lasting impact.

As a stinger for the Tribune sports department, my job is to watch an event and, using my laptop computer, report the story back to the Mesa office.  On May 10, I covered a softball game in Phoenix and planned to file my story from a friend's nearby home.  I arrived at the north Phoenix apartment, dropped off my laptop and decided to move my car next door in case our stalker happened to be out on one of her terrorizing jags. I found a parking place that seemed secure, stepped out of my car and was startled by the sight of the stalker's car.  I hurried back to my car and started the engine.  Just then, I saw her approaching my driver's side window from the rear.  She began banging furiously on my window.  I reached for my cell phone to dial 911, and when I looked again I saw her back up, point her gun and begin firing shots into my car.  The flash of the gun followed by shattering glass was somewhat surreal.  I felt a burning sensation behind my ear and in the back of my head.  Blood poured from my upper lip.  I ducked.  When I arose, she fired again - this time from the passenger side.  A bullet lodged deep into my shoulder.  It was hot and painful. Amazed that I was alive, I threw the car in reverse and began driving out of the lot.  I grabbed my phone, called my friend's daughter and warned her to lock the door and call 911.  Still driving, I called my friend, an emergency room nurse, and warned her not to return home.  She stayed on the phone with me until I reached her at a restaurant. When I climbed out of my car, she immediately made me lie on the ground as she pleaded with a 911 dispatcher to send paramedics.  She begged me not to die.

I subsequently received excellent medical attention from some wonderful people at the Phoenix Fire Department and John C. Lincoln Hospital.  The outpouring of love and support from friends and acquaintances gave me the energy to leave the hospital in less than 24 hours and is aiding a speedy recovery.   The Desert Vista softball team touched my heart with a team photo and an autographed softball that wished me well.

I don't think of myself as a hero, I'm just happy to be alive.  My pain is a constant reminder that trust cannot be extended to everyone.  My car is fixed, I'm back to work part time, my wounds are healing quickly.  And I feel safe in my home.  For now.


Story From A Victim’s Assistant About A Stalker and Death

By Jennifer Wood

Ms. Wood has written numerous articles on domestic violence. 

This is a true story that was sent to me from a dear friend in Louisiana.   She is the Victim's Assistant spoken of in this story.  What a powerful job she has and what an impact she makes in people's lives.  You know who you are, my dear!  After reading this story, my heart and sincere appreciation goes out to not only the victims, but to the people who supported them also.

We recently had a double homicide / suicide-by-cop here.  It was related to a stalking case I worked last year. My stalking victim was stalked by her ex-husband, primarily through their 3-year-old daughter.   He had also done the same thing to his first wife and son (who is now 10). After the stalking conviction, he moved on to another woman. When she broke up with him in January and tried to end the relationship he began stalking her, too. Finally, he showed up at the hospital where she worked as a physical therapist on a night when he had unsupervised custody of the child (my client was with her new husband at an awards banquet 6 hours away). He had made a cassette tape of his plans the night before and carried them out in the hospital parking lot. He shot his ex-girlfriend in the face and killed her, then dragged her body to a grassy area.

Then he went to his vehicle, unbuckled his 3-year-old daughter by his 2nd wife (my stalking victim) and carried her to his ex-girlfriend's body.  He placed the child on his knee and shot her in the face/head, killing her.  Then he shot his ex-girlfriend again two more times and stabbed her with a knife several times.  Then he kneeled between the two bodies and tried to kill himself, but the gun jammed.  By then the police had arrived, so he pointed the gun at them and forced them to shoot and kill him.

All of this happened in the hospital parking lot in front of several employees. On the tape he left behind, he mentioned his plans to also kill his son from his first marriage (luckily, he could not find his son in time so he carried on without him).

The man was a firefighter/EMT. He stalked his victims through his job.   He used the 911 system to obtain my victim's new unlisted phone numbers every time she changed them. He used the emergency cell phone in the ambulance to harass my victim (and probably his ex-girlfriend too). He used his job to track license plates of vehicles in my victim's driveway and would then call her and tell her who was/had been at her house.  He would follow her, harass her, leave hundreds of phone messages, and stake out her home for hours on end. He would page my victim constantly, and use his daughter as his excuse for calling my victim many times each day, even when he had her that day. When He was convicted of stalking, he received two years of supervised probation and ten counseling sessions.  Because he was a fireman, the judge also made his conviction eligible for expungement at the end of his probation, meaning the conviction would not exist on his record.  The judge justified this by saying he wanted the defendant to keep getting promotions and pay more support for the daughter.

Charles saw his probation officer just hours before his murdering spree. This man was a classic abusive partner / stalker and had a pattern of abuse / stalking at least three women before committing these murders. He left behind many torn lives and a legacy of grief.  His daughter would have turned four just four days after the murders.

Again, my thoughts and prayers goes out to all the victims in this case. I am truly sorry that this had to happen but I hope that by printing this story it brings to light some of the awful things that do happen. If you are being stalked or are in fear of being stalked, please reach out and get the help you need.  Remember, no one deserves to be physically, sexually or emotionally abused.


Unknown Stalker

As I read your story I began to cry as it is all too familiar to me the feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, and the never ending terror on  a minute-by-minute and day-by-day life I lead.

I am a stalking victim to an unknown stalker.  It is very possible it is someone that was within my circle of friends or acquaintances at one time or another.  This person knows me or has met me before and has asked about my life from others that know me or possibly has been watching me for years as they say.  I am married with 2 young children.  My family and I (mainly me and my young daughter) continually receive threatening letters sent to my home through the mail.

Although we do have a few suspects, it is not certain who it is that is actually doing this to us.  As you stated, the local law enforcement is not educated in this crime.  I continue to educate myself, as well as my family, and closest friends as to what to do for protecting ourselves and how to best try to deal with being upset and depressed all the time.

This person has not only threatened my family and myself but has also threatened those that are around my family and I as well.   A whole community has been threatened.  I don't know what this person's intentions are but I do know they are SICK!

I recently had a professional hand writing expert look at some letters and give an expert opinion as to what kind of person would do this and why.  This is a control freak and a very sick person!  This person hates me so much that their hate has become obsessive towards me. 

I do not know what it will take to convince the detectives and law enforcement of who this is.  I know it is hard to trace letters, as that is all they have been doing for 2 years now and we will be starting the 3rd year in April.  This person has made verbal and visual contact seldom throughout.

I have been doing the same as you did in the beginning calling endless phone numbers for support groups and there are none in my area.

I feel that I have to make positive changes so that people in my kind of situation can begin to try to live life again and regain some control of our lives when this is happening to us.  I am trying to get a support group in this area going.  I plan to start at my church.  I have been trying to live, take care of my children, and work to the best that I know how.

My husband has been a great support for me and he too is feeling those horrible feelings but I think just not knowing who is the worst!  My independence has been taken away from me and I was a very independent person.  It is so hard for me.

I practically am begging the law enforcement to help me.  They say my case isn't priority and that they are doing all they can, when they can.  I don't know whom to trust.  They have manipulated me and in a since victimized me just as the stalker has.  Because of them not being educated in this and admitting to not being educated and they don't seem to want to take any kind of action to educate themselves.

Because I have learned from support systems on the Internet and through crisis hotlines telling me to continue educating myself it makes me look like the one doing it to myself to them.  My husband and I have done everything they have asked.  Still here we are today in the same place we were 2 years ago when this all began....no where.

During that duration, we moved temporarily out of our house for 3 months and I quit my job for 3 months, have missed a lot of work, even took my children out of school last year and home schooled them due to this person threatening them and have been struggling to catch up financially and still continue to struggle through every day as they come.  My children are the most traumatized simply because they are children.  My husband and I as adults can't make since of it because we simply have sane thinking and not sick thinking.  Can you imagine how my children think?

These criminals need to be stopped and I firmly believe in what you have accomplished through this website.  I want to thank you for all the information you have presented on this website.  It is very informative and helps a great deal.  I too hope that I will be able to do the same for me and my family as well as other victims out there with getting my support group started.  Thanks again and may God bless us all!

I hope that the public will read this and start to realize what a horrible crime this is.


Stalked By My Husband's Ex-girlfriend

My husband’s ex-girlfriend has stalked me for over three years. I have endured death threats against not only myself, but also my children. She has repeatedly told me that she was going to put me "in the morgue, minus my teeth". I have received literally HUNDREDS of harassing phone calls, which range in content from threats and name-calling, to silence and hang-ups. Usually, she calls just to say, "watch your back, little one". This woman has convinced herself that I am stalking HER, even getting herself put on our local news as such. She did this the day she found out that my husband and I had gotten married. She has stolen my car and my mail. She has tried to have me investigated for mail fraud, applied for jobs where I have worked, stolen things of mine from my car, broken into my home, and she follows me everywhere I go. She knows my daily schedule down to a tee, and, even though I alter it regularly, she keeps up with me.

She stalked my ex-husband, whom I share a child with, for three months, began sleeping with him, got him to move in with her, and then began calling me to tell me all about it, and how nice it was that she was going to be my daughter's "step mommy".

I have been forced to change my life drastically. I found a job in a high-security building, changed my phone number, put every type of call block and identification possible on my phone, and the last time I changed my number, she got it within an hour by calling the phone company, claiming to be me forgetting the new number, and getting the new number. This forced me to have two separate phone numbers, each with a distinctive ring, one being only given to close friends and family. I am even considering purchasing a gun for protection, and I have always been against guns in my home because of my children.

I have gotten protection orders against this woman, which, as is so typical of stalkers, was repeatedly violated. The police have done next to nothing about it. She was arrested twice for violations, but the prosecutors dropped the charges on technicalities. She even confronted me after the last court appearance telling me " you can't touch me, but I sure can get to you". As it stands now, I have no protection order. The last time I went to court, the judge told me to "grow up and get over it", and to "quit wasting the court’s time". He renewed my order for only 9 months, and made it clear that it would not be extended again. It is a terrible way to be treated by agencies that are supposedly there to protect innocent people.

I have pretty much given up on this ending, and have learned to live with it, with the fact that for the rest of my life I will be watched by this woman who hates me so intensely. I live with the fact that I will spend the rest of my life living in fear of this woman. I also live in fear for my children's safety, as she has tried to pick up my daughter from school, and when my son was born, she called the hospital trying to find out which room I was in. This was after repeated threats by her to come to the hospital and hurt him, or take him. When she found out I was pregnant, she had to be physically restrained because she said she was going to come over and "beat the bastard" out of me.  No one should be subjected to this kind of emotional hell.

How have I resolved my fear of my stalker? Well, I haven't. I am scared every day. I am more scared when I actually see this woman, or her car, but I do live in fear. However, I know that her main objective is to destroy me mentally. She has told me, as well as several other people, that her main goal is to make me go crazy. I will NOT let that happen. Besides, I have a good life. I have great friends, a loving husband, two beautiful children, a great job, and I am basically in a very good place in my life. Being a stalking victim is the main problem in my life. I will not let this woman destroy me, no matter what. I think that I have proven that it is not going to happen. I have dealt with this for over three years, and there is no way I will let her take my happiness away from me. I just try to focus on the POSITIVE points of my life, and doing POSITIVE things with my experiences as a stalking victim. It's like the saying goes; I try to "make lemons out of lemonade". I will in no way let her actions run my life. I just have to alter a few things, but I still have my family and my great life. She will never take that from me!!!!  

My stalker is a very unhappy person. I know that she considers my life with my husband as a life that should be hers. I actually feel sorry for her. I know that if she were more secure within herself, she would not focus all of this hatred on me.

I have read hundreds of articles, books, etc., about how to protect myself, and I have used this information to protect my family and myself. I have stopped short of buying a gun, though I am considering it, but even that is more because of the state of society these days than my being stalked. It is kind of ironic that by me being stalked, I probably am safer than I have ever been because of the precautions that this woman has forced me to undertake. I have a cell phone, alarm, drive with all four doors of my car locked at all times, and many other precautions that I probably would not be using if not for my situation, and most of these are things most people, even if they are not stalking victims, should be utilizing.

I hope you are well and safe!!!!


Grandmother of Seven

I am a grandmother of seven.  I stopped thinking of myself as “attractive” many years ago when I gained an extra sixty pounds.  I am a happy person, helpful to all our neighbors in this isolated rural area of Northern Arizona.  When neighborhoods are 30 miles in diameter a person tends to be nice to everyone else because of the possibility of being stranded on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.

Our next-door neighbors became upset with my husband and me.   I still do not know what triggered the problems.  Our neighbor “Junior” lived only a quarter mile away, and was our “closest” neighbor.  He was a lonely man in his thirties, his mother and father lived 300 miles away in California. He was unemployed, claimed to work on his father’s “ranch” (no livestock or crops). He tended to get drunk, and occasionally used “recreational drugs” as he called them.  I knew he liked me but I’m old enough to be his mother, so I accepted his kindness and help in an appropriate way.   Junior would come to visit and ask if he could help about our ranch. His father visited monthly, his mother far less often.  The father told us that his son had problems living in the city, but that he loved his son, that this son was all he had.  Whenever our families got together, I became uneasy around Senior because he would wink and smile at me when others weren’t looking.

That year we began having small items disappear from the property.  Soon it was vandalism of water pipes, electric generators, and the garden and propane valves.  One-day bullets began ricocheting about the house.  My husband went over to these neighbors and told them about the ricochets.  They said “Sorry, we’ll shoot elsewhere.”  A month later while the father was visiting, it happened again.   My husband went over and told them that the bullets were hitting around our house.  Both the father and son were drunk and they called my husband a liar.  The next month when the father was up again our house was besieged with bullets.  This time when my husband went over the father threatened him and called him worse things than just a liar.

One night in that fall, after I returned from working a full day in Flagstaff (a 2 hour drive away), high-powered rifle fire sounded outside our home in the dark.  We turned the lights out, hit the floor and called the sheriff department.  The next day we asked the father and son next door if they knew where it had come from.  They told us it had come from the other side of their property and that it had worried them too.

Beginning in July, we finally knew who was doing the shooting.   It was the father and son.  We began suspecting that they were listening to our cell phone conversations, (none of us have electric lines to our homes let alone telephone lines).  The father was staying weeks at a time with breaks of about a week between his visits.  They seemed to know everybody’s business even though none of the neighbors talked to them.  These two told us repeatedly that they would kill our dogs, horses and us.  We knew the son had a prior arson conviction (or so he told us) and his threats of burning our house down were taken seriously.  That summer was when the threats of raping me began, first by the son, then the father.

My husband Bob became very ill that summer.  As soon as he began having medical testing done, Junior began driving past our home yelling, “Die Bobby die”.  Both father and son began driving by at night shooting at our house from the road. We would receive “hang up” phone calls.  Shots were fired nightly until midnight, but not always in our direction.  Explosives were detonated in the roadway in front of our home.  The local sheriff department refused to respond to our calls claiming the neighbors “have the right to shoot on their own property”, they have the right to drive down the road, they have the right to yell whatever they want from the roadway, were we sure it was an explosion and not just fireworks?

Since July of, there have been over 3 dozen reports taken by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.  They have responded to half of our calls.  Senior began waiting for me on the road at night, seven miles from any occupied dwellings.   He would block the road with his truck, branches, rocks, whatever was available to impede my progress home at night.  He would always be waiting at the blockage or within a quarter mile of the roadblock.  He always claimed to be there to clear the road or that he just happened to be on the road, “going home himself”.  In all the years of living in that isolated area I had only met two other people on the road after sunset.   I began changing my work days and hours, yet this man always knew when and where I was.

Junior began broadcasting music over a loud speaker.  Soon we realized the songs contained our names and threats against us.  The songs with my name were about me lying and going insane.   The songs about my husband were about his dying and leaving me alone for my new love.  We recorded threats on a video camera.  Gunshots and the music were recorded by us.  Then the Sheriff dispatchers began saying “Your neighbors called in ten minutes ago claiming you started shooting at their house and that you are threatening them”.  These horrible neighbors told other people that we were the “crazy people”.  Soon none of our friends would visit because of fear from the gunfire and threats to them for being our friends.  The father and son told the sheriff deputies that we all spoke together on a regular basis because we were all still friends; “they” had to forgive us because my husband Bob was “touched in the head”.  After a year of no help from the Sheriff department I obtained an Injunction Against Harassment.

They contested it.  The judge dropped it and stated we were “just a bunch of people that can’t get along together”, “no need” for an Injunction Against Harassment!  Of course the shootings at night continued, the loud music continued and the verbal threats.  All of the signs on the road directing people to our ranch disappeared except one; it was smeared with human feces.  Then that sign was ripped off of the posts, burned and tossed in our driveway.  I videoed them driving by that night but was not close enough with the infrared camera to catch them tossing the damaged sign.  I tried to get a new Injunction but the courts would not accept my filings.   I appealed the judge’s decision.  I could not find any attorneys to help in Kingman, so I did the appeal myself. Almost a $1000 and ten months later I lost my appeal on a time technicality and the mysterious fact that the transcript from the hearing had been lost immediately after I filed my appeal.  I was able to get a new Injunctions six months later when I had a broken leg and had to argue for four hours with court clerks before I could see a judge.

Six months later they contested the new Injunction.  The injunction against Junior was upheld, so he appealed, saying the videos should not have been admitted as evidence.  Senior’s injunction was dropped because he convinced the judge that he was a big businessman in California.  Of course they had an attorney, I didn’t.  But I won the appeal and the injunction against Junior was upheld.

But the shooting continued.  Three days after the hearing, an eerie song would echo through the hills during the night, with my name over and over.  The sheriff department called our problems a “feud”.  Even when the son showed up at my employer’s company headquarters in Flagstaff, the city police and my local sheriff department did nothing.  I was afraid when I worked at the ranch, afraid while in Flagstaff and terrified when traveling on the road.  Counselors advised us to sell our ranch and move.  Doctors advised us to sell our ranch and move.  I was laid off partly for excessive absences due to court filings and the days I could not concentrate because I had been awake all night from the gunfire or waiting for the sheriffs to arrive in the wee hours of the morning.

Junior and Senior decided to expand their attacks to others.  I witnessed them and another man, doing criminal damage to another neighbor’s property, and recorded it.  Finally something substantial to hit these guys with.  My husband was hospitalized for a week that month.  During that week more vandalism and a fire happened.  Senior claimed that he saw “Crazy Bob” setting the fire and damaging property.  Junior made a report that “Crazy Bob” had broken into his house and stolen guns.  A search warrant was issued for Junior’s residence.   Over thirty guns were confiscated, a scanner capable of intercepting cell phone conversations, a karaoke machine was set up next to the scanner to record the intercepted conversations and a drawer full of audio cassettes.  The so-called stolen guns were found in Junior’s possession.

During his arrest an accomplice claimed that Junior and Senior harassed us “for fun”.   That the cell phones where scanned “to know what is going on”.   When Senior was arrested, he accused me of being a witch.   That I had sexual powers over men and that he had recorded cell phone conversations of me talking to deputies of three different counties proof that I was a sexually promiscuous person. 

Items confiscated during the execution of the search warrant established that they had in fact been scanning and recording local cell phone conversations for almost five years.  Some were 911 calls, some were personal calls.  Many were calls of other local people doing banking business and doctor calls.  Junior and Senior knew where all of us were, where we were going, when and why.  They knew when there would be no witnesses around when they could do their shooting or vandalism.

Sounds like the sheriffs and the courts finally had enough evidence to put these guys away, right?  Wrong, at the very next hearing a judge called our situation a “feud.”  Senior was found in contempt of court, but the fine was suspended.   Junior pled guilty to misdemeanor criminal damage and got 3 years probation and is forbidden to come back to Arizona for those three years.  Senior convinced a jury that he was a victim of prejudice from the Sheriff department and was acquitted of lying to a law enforcement officer.

As for the hell my husband and I went through, no charges have been brought. “You should be grateful that they are gone”, and “maybe they have spent enough in attorneys fees to leave you two alone now” are the comments we have received from the county attorneys office.  Our only recourse is through the civil courts.

We never retaliated, and always did what we could within the law.   But all that got us was a lot of anxiety, fear, pain, loss wages, a home secured like a jail and a ranch we could only half use as long as Junior and Senior were loose.

These men haven’t done anything to us for two months now.  The bad news is that Senior has targeted the property of friends of mine who testified at the last hearings.  I see the cycle beginning again to my friends in the next county.  The official comment from Yavapai County Sheriff Department was “that is just fallout from that feud back in Mohave County”.  I know that as these newest victims choose not to pursue charges, Senior will only get braver and more dangerous in his malicious acts, just as he did to us.  I really don’t want to get involved, but I can’t desert my friends, I WILL BE THERE FOR MY FRIENDS.


Stalking and Children

This is not something that I usually talk about bit if it will save one child, one woman, or one man then its well worth the turmoil.

About five years ago,  my husband of four years never came home.  He was in police custody.  You see, he was a child stalker, waiting and watching, planning and hoping.  His targets were the young and innocent.  It was said that he was always in the toy isle of the stores, watching and waiting for the perfect victim...a child alone in the store toy area or one that simple happened to wonder into the public restroom - his attack spot.

I'm sorry for what my husband did, for all the little children that I know he hurt both physically and mentally, and for the lives he destroyed.

Yes, my husband was a stalker and our young were his prey.   The after math of the ordeal was that he was allowed to plea bargain down to a lesser charge and a lesser sentence.  He didn't have to stand up to what he really did.

My thought is this - Why should he have been allowed to plea bargain for anything less then what he did?  After all, our children didn't get to plea bargain for their freedom.


Empowerment

I just wanted to put in writing how strongly I feel about your efforts on behalf of stalking and domestic violence victims. 

Because of you, I can vouch for myself how empowered I feel to stand up, even with fear in my heart, to push for what is right.  Your ability to be empathic based upon your own experience I know allows me to courageously step forward into an unknown future and into an unknown place to say "you can't get away with doing that to me anymore." 

I have never felt so strong with pushing forward 99.9% because of your ability to be there for me.  I feel incredibly fortunate to know you and relate on such a deep level with you.  It is my hope that I can someday be there for someone else the way you are not only there for myself, but for others that are operating from the same type of baseline.  To essentially hold someone's hand as they try to do the right thing and get a new life started free of the fear coming from a life full of "walking on eggshells" that we all seem to relate on.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  One of your biggest fans.


Stalking Victim Fighting Back Through Legislature

Tisha Jackson is sharing her story so others may be able to avoid the worry and fear that she had. 

The former Independence resident and Fort Osage High School graduate is working with state legislators to help strengthen stalking laws in Missouri.  Jackson said she is motivated by her own experience of being stalked for almost seven years by an ex-boyfriend.  Jackson said it began in  when she and her boyfriend broke up after a five-year relationship.

"The stalking began the end of March 1993," Jackson said.  "It was an abusive relationship for the last three years we were together.  But now it is mostly head games."  Jackson said, as recently as about a month ago, tires on her vehicle were flattened, her dogs were poisoned and mail has disappeared from her mailbox.

Jackson went to Independence police in 1993 shortly after the incidents began.  "I tried to get a restraining order, but at the time there was not a law that would protect me, since we were not living together, had not been married or didn't have any children together," she said.   "I could not be issued a restraining order because I fell through all the loopholes.  The stalking law was still being developed at that time."

Jackson said she believed deep down that her ex-boyfriend was going to kill her and the only thing to do was move out of state.   She decided to go to Washington, where her brother lived, and a state that has a stalking law.  But Jackson became homesick and longed to move back to Missouri.   Shortly after her return the stalking began again.  "Weird stuff started happening, but it was nothing that I could prove," Jackson said.

The stalking died down for nearly three years and Jackson began to believe it had ended.  However, in 1998 he began to contact Jackson's family members and question them on her whereabouts.  "He would call my aunt, cousins and old friends, anybody he could, to find out where I was, if I was married and if I had had any kids," Jackson said.

Finally, in March 1999 Jackson once again headed to the Jackson County Courthouse to talk to a judge about her situation.   "The judge didn't believe me.  She was rude and nothing was done," Jackson said.  "I then went to the Independence Police Department again and was going to talk to the original detective I spoke with in 1993, but, as luck would have it, he was no longer there.  I was told since I was now living in Johnson County and the stalker is in Jackson County I should seek help in Johnson County."

Jackson finally convinced a judge to listen to her story.  A court date was set and the judge was going to hear Jackson's case.  However, when the court date finally came, Jackson's stalker had not been served his court papers and the hearing was postponed.

"I then was told if I wanted to make sure I got a court date I needed to hire a private processor and investigator to find out where he lived so he could be served his papers, "Jackson said.  After doing that, Jackson got her wish last April and went to court.  She had three witnesses, but they all declined to appear in court because she said they were scared for their own lives.

"The judge would not accept anything," Jackson said.  "I was unable to present anything.  The judge would not cooperate with me." 

Finally, Jackson took it upon herself and began a huge e-mail campaign and started contacting other stalking victims to hear how they dealt with their situations.  "I sent every state representative a copy of my story and asked for their help," Jackson said.  "Vicki Hatzler of Harrisonville and Matt Bartle of Lee's Summit both responded to me.  Matt is trying to help to change the Missouri stalking law."  After Jackson wrote exactly what she wanted to see in the Missouri law, she presented it to Bartle.

"I pulled all the stalking laws from all 50 states and rewrote the Missouri law based on what I thought were the best, "Jackson said.  "I made sure it will cover all the loopholes.  For example ... third-party protection.  Currently, if a stalker is harassing family members but not the victim, the law would not protect the family members."

Jackson said she also was sure to explain definitions.  "All judges define words differently, and we sat down and wrote out each definition's legal meaning to ensure the words would be the same," she said.   "In May of this year I presented the final rewrite of the law to Bartle."

Bartle said the bill is under review and has been submitted to the legislative research office.  "We want to make sure we get something that's meaningful," Bartle said.  "I'll introduce it, and we'll have to wait to see what happens."

Jackson's story has received other media attention and since that time has caught the attention of State Sen. Ronnie DePasco of Kansas City.  Jackson said DePasco wants to work with Bartle to get the law passed.

Jackson said if the law is passed and her stalker begins again, the law will stand behind her and she will be able to present all the evidence she has collected over the years.  "From my understanding, the first time he does it it'll be a misdemeanor, then a felony, and each time after additional fines and ultimately prison time will be added," Jackson said.   "I am just trying to get everyone's support to open their eyes.  I want to try and bring awareness of how serious the law is and that we need to do something for both men and women who are being stalked."

Jackson has developed a web site to ask for additional help in contacting the legislation - www.stopstalkinginmo.bizland.com.


The following letter was received from a victim in Canada. The outcome of her case is all to common, not only in Canada but throughout the United States. Do stalking victims need more help and assistance from the Judicial Systems? Read this letter and decide for yourself.

A Letter of Hope - Is the Legal system helping "women?" 

Dear Friend,

Ffinally, after a long and rough year, going to hear a sentence of my accused. As I was listening, I was hoping what the police, and the crown had said, "that a crime like these do get noticed by judges and he will serve time in a Federal Prison for his crime against you." They believed it was a serious crime, plenty of evidence, and lots of witness. Patrick Smith attempted to slay my brother and myself. He harassed, stalked, abused, and threatened my life and my child for three years.

At the age of 38, Patrick had a history and was living in the Everton, Washington area. He had an ex-wife and a son from a previous relationship. He was charged and convicted of telephone harassment and uttering death threats to his child and ex-wife. He was sentenced to a few days in jail, and he was denied rights to his son. He was order by the court to take an anger management course, but never fulfilled his obligations to the court.

BC Court Judge Wong had a psychologist to review Patrick's behavior. The report discovered that Pat had an anger problem and needed help. However, BC Court Judge Wong's did not believe in the seriousness of the crime nor Pat's past conviction and without any warning he rendered his decision, "Three years probation, no contact of the victims, not allowed within six blocks of the family's home for the three years, keep in contact with a Canadian probation officer, and you may escort yourself to the border, just wait for the paperwork". Pat  does not serve any time for his crime against my family and me.

A day before, in the same BC Courts, a man was convicted of beating a dog and is now serving a 15-month sentence. At this point, I feel my life is worth less than a dog. I do not believe Judge Wong's attitude towards this case was serious enough to make a change, and I wonder why.

I came home with my mom from work. I walked ahead of my mom looking for the house keys. I heard the side gate open and close. It was Pat Smith. He reiterated to me, "I told you, I was going to kill you - you *%$#(ing bitch." Pat jammed the rifle end into my chest and he pulled the trigger several times but the rifle jammed. The rifle was fully loaded. I found out later the gun jammed by one bullet and was unable to fire. I was lucky and so was my child and family. Pat had smuggled the rifle across the border into Canada

Pat had no permit for the rifle, which was taken from his friend's home in Everton, Washington.

Today, I still remember his one of many messages he left on the answering machine, "I am the judge, I am the jury, your Canadian laws do not apply to me". I sit here almost finishing writing this letter, thinking how true that statement is.

So far, I have faced a bail hearing, pretrial hearing, court date re-scheduling, four different crown councils, while putting my child and family at risk, as Pat is set free. I am beginning to think they should not have arrested him because justice is never for the victim. After all the tears and the sleepless nights, I have been told by Victim Services of BC to relocate, hide; basically to disappear.

I had a feeling Pat would be set free, call it intuition. I wondered if his lawyer and Judge Wong knew that Pat was going to be set free from prison or from rehabilitation because Pat's mother was already to take him home. It means Pat serves no time in jail for his conviction.

How does a judge come to such a soft sentencing after such behavior of a twice-convicted criminal in the same incidences? Pat received a three-year probation for his second crime in 10 years. If any of my family or I had died that night, the courts would have seen the seriousness of the crime. Pat's sentence for murder could have been 25 years.

How many more battered women, men, and children need to die to force the courts to make a difference?  The results of Judge Wong's sentencing of Pat  was a waste of time and taxpayers money and has put my child, my family and myself at extreme risk.

How many times have we as a society seen this situation arise with death as the answer to the victim? I have never been outspoken and maybe that's why I'm a victim. However, Pat Smith got away with another crime and now he can stalk and hunt his prey.

I think this was an injustice, and a poor decision by Judge Wong. I am writing to you in hopes that you would express your concerns and comments to the Minister of Justice or to your Justice Department about judges' sentencing process. I am hoping, with your support, that we can make a difference by making judges more accountable with their rulings.

I know this incident happened in Canada but I believe it's a global concern.

Lydia, Vancouver, Canada 

End Stalking In America, Inc.

endstalking@aol.com

 

Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or mental advice. Professionals should be contacted for all legal advice, mental and threat assessments.


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Evolution of E.S.I.A. - "My Story"      Firearms-Personal Protection     State Stalking Laws    Recommended Reading

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