Up Close and Personal - Part 9
WASHINGTON – To commemorate the fourth anniversary of National Stalking Awareness Month, officials from the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) have joined with the National Center for Victims of Crime to host a program dedicated to educating the public, law enforcement agencies, and social service organizations about the serious dangers of stalking.
"Stalking is an unwanted intrusion into the privacy of an individual," said Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield. "Increasingly, stalkers are using high-tech methods to commit their crimes, and we must have the tools to detect and prosecute them. That's why as part of our observance of Stalking Awareness Month, we are releasing two new resources that will enable law enforcement and prosecutors to better manage digital evidence and to investigate crimes involving the Internet."
Click on the victim's name to read the story:
Joelle Ligon - Seattle, WA 2004: "Her case spawned a state law earlier this year banning cyberstalking and became the first in the country to be prosecuted under an obscure amendment to federal telecommunications law."
Claire E. Miller - Manhattan, NY 2006: "Mari J. Frank, an attorney and privacy consultant who specializes in cases of identity theft, called Ms. Miller's situation "identity theft for revenge."
Angela Moubray - Chicago, IL 2002: "Stalkers often stop once police or private agencies come to them with evidence that ties them to the threatening messages. In Moubray's case, the perpetrator lived in another state, so WHOA linked her up with a policeman in the stalker's hometown. One visit ended the Internet stalking."
David Knight - CBC News 2005: "A kid from school sent me a message on the internet saying, 'Hey Dave, look at this website,'" says David. "I went there and sure enough there's my photo on this website saying 'Welcome to the website that makes fun of Dave Knight' and just pages of hateful comments directed at me and everyone in my family."
Anonymous - Geocities 1990's: "He has done full, complete background checks on us. He had information that covers high school through 21 years of marriage. He has altered this information to suit his own needs. He was able to obtain a copy of the deed to our home and the blueprints of the house. He has information on our extended family." (Note: If you read the pages of screen shots provided at this site, you should recognize the jargon is strikingly familiar.)
Cynthia Armistead - 1996: "This site exists to tell our story and to present the evidence that, while not necessarily sufficient to obtain a criminal conviction, is still damning when examined in context. Legal advisors have since told me that there was more than enough evidence to obtain a civil judgement, but I did not have the resources to pursue a civil case it when the case was "fresh."
Ex-girlfriend - Hauppauge, NY 2006: "A Long Island police officer has been charged with hacking into the e-mail account of a woman he met through an online dating service and posing as her in messages sent to himself and to other men. "
Deirdre Des Jardins - Santa Cruz, CA 1999: "Mike has posted hundreds of messages and sent countless emails to Deirdre. Many describe detailed revenge fantasies, torturing and killing animals and his growing collection of guns. Others accuse Deirdre of having AIDS and mental disorders, and divulge intimate details of her life to her online peers. "
12-year old schoolboy - UK 2006: "They put pictures of him in school uniform on it along with a series of bizarre claims and hurtful jibes - including the repeated accusation that he was gay. The website also included a section where visitors could post their own foul-mouthed insults about the lad. One callous visitor even wrote: "A cool hate website." One bully used the site to offer a £5 prize to anyone who stole the boy's school diary."
Wendy Grossman - net.wars 2006: "One of the many great ways the Net has democratized society is in making it possible for even very obscure, ordinary people to be impersonated. To be fair, in my egocentric haste to simplify the story, I've left out the fact that several other, even more obscure, people on the newsgroup were impersonated, too. Which, you know, is kind of too bad. Otherwise, I could be flattered, right? I'm *that* important."
Kathleen O'Donnell - Minneapolis, MN 2002: "They became more and more threatening," O'Donnell recalled. "Then he started to change my Web site password, and I couldn't get into my e-mail." Using her password, the hacker posted her high school class picture, defaced with pornography, on her profile page."
Judge Michael Kirby - Sydney, AU 2007: "A profile claiming to represent Kirby appeared on popular website MySpace and included a photograph of the judge and offensive comments. Other MySpace profiles claiming to represent high-profile Australians including prime minister John Howard and immigration minister Amanda Vanstone were still active."
Anna Draker, Asst. Principal, San Antonio, TX 2006: "Draker found out in April that someone had created a page on MySpace, a public free-access Web site popular among students, using her name and picture from the school's Web site. The page was filled with, according to Draker's attorney, Murphy Klasing, lewd, defamatory and obscene comments, pictures and graphics. It was written as though Draker herself had posted the information."
Dennis McCann, Ringmaster 2001: An evidentiary site containing 1300 pages of documentation regarding the activities of a known cyberstalker who has been charged with at least eighteen criminal counts in and around her home town of Chicopee, MA.
Amy Boyer - Nashua, NH 1999: "What we found on his computer was a Web site that he had constructed (titled) 'Amy Boyer'. When we clicked on the Web site, what we saw there was a detailed chronicle of how he had stalked her for years, how he felt about her and how much he wanted to kill her. The website existed for about two and a half years, but was never reported."
Sandra Berfield - Everett, MA 2000: "Lt. John J. McLean, who heads up Medford's Cybercrime Unit, was among the detectives called in to investigate the deadly pipe-bombing in Berfield's Everett apartment on Jan. 20, 2000. A search of the defendant's computer produced "hits" within the hard drive, indicating the topics had appeared in Caruso's Internet, word or scanned-in data. Some of the information was later linked to ussearch.com, an identity-research site that was subpoenaed for evidence."
William Berkeyheiser - Philadelphia, PA 2005: "'Should I know you?' Berkeyheiser, 62, asked before Douglas shot him on the front porch of his Washington Crossing home, according to court records." Douglas had paid an online information broker, A-Plus Investigations, $150.00 for personal information about Berkeyheiser. "
Dr. Heather Bazzel - Columbia, TN 2005: "Miles Scribner pulled out a .38-caliber handgun and shot Bazzel several times, then turned the gun on himself. He died on the scene. Bazzel was taken by emergency medical helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she died a short time later. ''Originally, he was a patient of hers,'' Brown said, ''but once he got obsessed with her, she was terribly frightened of him and got the order of protection."
Jayne Hitchcock - WHOA 1996: "Stalkers targeted Hitchcock after she tipped off authorities to a scam on the Internet. She got it shut down but not before her mailbox was bombarded and insults emailed to her employer under her name."
Cari Benson - Alberta, Canada 2006: "Judge Gary Cioni said cyberstalking can be much worse than traditional harassment. "In a case like this, where electronic means are used to attack a person, one wonders where the end of the road is in society today," he said."
Peggy - Cleveland, OH 2000: "But Thomas McCarthy's secret life ended in a Cuyahoga County courtroom yesterday, when he pleaded guilty to 37 crimes, including rape, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Prosecutor William D. Mason said he expects the 44-year-old former Cleveland firefighter to die behind bars. By the time police caught up with McCarthy last year, he had gathered dossiers on more than 2,200 women from four counties and six states. In recent years, he was stalking women in Cuyahoga, Summit, Lake and Lorain counties."
On that note, I'm reminded of a comment one of the brilliant misfits made in defense of Loretta Serrano's vindictive behavior:
On August 10, 2006 9:49 AM; traumatizednomore said...
"If you think Lo is the only woman to ever read her hubbys email or do anything vindictive think agin [sic]!"
(Be sure to scroll down and look at the paint job.
"I know it was wrong, but I did it anyway."