Donna. 48 Hours show on stalking
To: Cindy Hill Msg #130, Jul-27-93 08:37AM
48 Hours had a show on stalking recently. (It might have been a repeat.)
One of the segments was about a soap actor who'd been stalked for 6.5 years.
"The scariest part, to me, is the way he doesn't give up. You know, in all
these years, he - does - not - give up." -- Andrea Evans
Showed some of the letters she's gotten, asking how, when, where she'd like to
die. She had two armed guards at all times, was advised to go only to work
and to home, had her phone tapped. Finally moved; the show was careful not to
show her home or the car she drives. Evans talked about having alarms, dogs,
"all sorts of things just to protect myself" -- and it was her responsibility
to do all this for herself. "I don't get mail. I don't register to vote.
Things, just basic, little things that people take for granted, that I don't
have any more, that I've lost the right to."
Evans says that in the beginning, she wondered if she was overreacting, but
has decided she isn't. A psychiatrist told us "Anyone who is in the public
eye who receives consistent, threatening messages from a stalker, should
definitely take that seriously."
Then we got treated to information on how NOTHING can be done, legally, about
stalkers who haven't yet struck. In most places throughout the U.S., stalking
itself isn't illegal. Consulting with an FBI special agent got us, "Everybody
has their rights. And these people tend to be very intelligent and they know
what line they can cross and what they can't." Example: Postal Service filed
charges against a stalker for sending threats through the U.S. Mail, and the
stalker just switched to using a delivery service. The FBI agent pointed out
that these people often don't have criminal records, which generally gets them
very lenient treatment if they ever make it to court for any of the components
of their stalking.
Fortunately, the show didn't present only "public eye" victims or only female
stalking victims. I'm thinking this show almost has to be a repeat, since
their segment on this one guy is a foggy reflection of what some people have
warned me a certain local has been doing to me for years. Their segment is
about a fella who met a woman at a bus stop, learned of a shared interest in
the Russian language, had a few Russian language lessons with her, and the
stalking started when she asked him out and he politely informed her he didn't
want a relationship with her.
After Rebecca Shafer (sp?) was killed by her stalker, the L.A. area PD set up
a Threat Management Unit to act on such situations before they go too far.
They say "more than half" their cases involve people who are not famous". The
Threat Management Unit's strongest advice to any victim: "Take this
The rest of the segment talked quite a bit of how intelligent these people
are, how they manage to find P.O. Boxes and unlisted phone numbers (without
seeming to have contacts or professional experience in finding people), and
how obsessive and repetitive they are.
I don't know if this observation on my part is significant, but: in an hour
show that dealt with two female and two male victims, and two public and two
private figures, both the female victims were in the public eye and both the
male victims were not in the public eye.