I got my anonymous cyberstalker of 1.5 years arrested for harassing me and threatening to shoot up the college where I teach. AMA!
As this case is still going through the court system, I prefer to remain as anonymous as possible. I sent proof to the mods by showing my ID, a copy of my Order of Protection, a copy of a syllabus I used as a college adjunct, and a screen shot of my stalker's charges that were posted online. They've verified this proof and you can also quasi-verify by checking out the posts I made about this in r/askreddit one year ago and in r/privacy when I was in the midst of everything just a few months ago.
The basic story:
I'm a female adjunct professor who TA'd for a course 2 years ago. That summer I received disturbing, violent, suicidal, and affectionate text messages from an unknown number. This soon progressed to email messages, facebook messages, and then every social networking site I was connected to. The more I blocked the incoming messages or deleted myself off the internet, the more the stalker persisted and found new ways to get to me, e.g. by emailing and facebook messaging/stalking my roommate, close friends and family and threatening to kill them if I didn't come back online or respond. The stalker soon learned of my home address, my family's home address, and threatened to physically harm me by coming to my apartment, tying a rope around my neck, and "taking me away."
I continued monitoring just my old inactive facebook account to keep the stalker preoccupied. Eventually, the stalker got sloppy and started sending me messages about college course-related information. I did my own investigative work with this information and worked with my college to identify the stalker as a former student of mine from a course I TA'd in 2011. The college called her in for a meeting to discuss her academic standing, my case, and other behavior issues she was having, but she was difficult and refused to attend. In the meantime, she, the stalker, sent me a message saying that she wanted to "shoot up" the school and discussed how she was going to steal her uncle's guns so that she could come and do it when she came in for the meeting. I informed me school and my detective and she was arrested. She spent 2 nights in jail, was ROR'd, and me and my roommate were given orders of protection.
AMA, and I'm just sitting at a desk all day today so I can answer questions all day long.
Here are some things I'd love to talk about:
- more details/particulars about my stalker's behavior, about the case, and my experience with it all
- anonymity/privacy on the internet
- the actual privacy level of social networking sites
- the law around stalking and harassment / privacy
- police mentality around these cases
- tracking a stalker: personal and legal documentation/reporting
Edit: Hey guys! Loving all your questions - and I'm still here (12:26 PM EST). Keep 'em coming. I'll get to as many as I can!
Edit 2: Wow guys, so many good questions. I wish I could get to you all. I will try to answer them over the next couple of days too if I don't get to yours. Also, there are a lot of repeat questions! So please look at my user page to see the responses I have already given to make it easier to track what's been asked/said. I'm still here answering (1:39 PM EST). Also, just a few points/clarifications:
Why would I do this AMA if the case is ongoing? - A news reporter recently wanted to run a story on this case. I refused to comment because I didn't want it to get misinterpreted and I didn't want my name to be attached to my comments (for my stalker to easily find/see). Instead I'm taking my story into my own hands and using as a moment to educate anonymously. Yes, an AMA is very public and potentially risky (although my identity is nowhere here), but I am willing to take the risk if it means informing people about this topic. This is an issue that can potentially affect everyone. I did nothing to intentionally provoke my stalker and that is the case for most stalking cases. My number one goal is to help others going through this or help prevent it from happening to YOU. I hope it proves useful.
What's next? - Some people have requested I update you when she goes to court and is actually sentenced. I promise to do that. But it might be a while - sometimes these cases take years.
Edit 3: Still here (3:00 PM EST). I'm out at 6:00 though! And will try to answer as many as I can in the next few days. Thanks for all your questions everyone. And the PMs - Glad to hear all your stories and offer my support/advice!
Edit 4: Done for the day everyone. I'll keep checking this to try to get to any more questions in the next couple days, as promised. Thanks again for all of your great questions. I will update when I have more on the sentencing.