Hey Reddit!

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.

Comments: 2253 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

Helgeland929 karma

Were you surprised that the stalker was female? From what i know most verb stalkers are male.

cyberstalked1056 karma

I wasn't too surprised - I actually kept gender out of my assumptions during the entire 1.5 years. Most my friends and family assumed male, but I was always like "ehhhh I don't know!"

I was skeptical because I am bisexual and I am very clear online and through the research that I do that this is my sexuality. Also, her messages to me, like the way she wrote and thought, just seemed more feminine to me.

SlowFoodCannibal653 karma

What are some steps one can take to prevent this sort of thing from happening? Do you still feel this person is a risk to you or others?

cyberstalked942 karma

What are some steps one can take to prevent this sort of thing from happening?

Thank you for asking this question. It's actually my main motivation for doing this AMA.

The answer is YES - I do. One thing to keep in mind is that if someone wants to stalk you - they will and they will do so easily through the internet. Even my parents who are basically nonexistent online have their names, ages, and home address posted online. But you also shouldn't go through life constantly worried that it will happen to you.

And you'll have a much lower chance if you follow some basic guidelines:

  • The best thing you can do is stay off of social networking sites, especially Facebook. Many of these sites haven't totally worked out their privacy stuff yet across devices - e.g. Myspace allowed my private blogs to become public if accessed through a smartphone. I know it's hard to get off these sites, but I haven't been on Facebook in 6 months and my social life has been unaffected, or else it has only forced me to be more social. I have learned the very very hard way how incredibly unsecure Facebook is--EVEN if you put your privacy settings at their highest. I was always ridiculously unsearchable, uncontactable from time I signed up. Where I went wrong was using a username (the facebook.com/____) that I used for other sites (so my stalker just typed it in and hoped for the best).

  • If you MUST use Facebook, make up a new username for your profile URL, use a pseudonym as your searchable name, and make up an email address to use just for that account. I would also encourage you not to post pictures of you or people you know in your main photo/cover photo. Also, make all your privacy settings "custom." Facebook logs the location of where you login from, so don't use facebook on your smartphone and never use "check-in" sites like Foursquare. Additionally, if you get a message from someone you don't know, do not respond to it. As soon as you respond, Facebook thinks that you are friends and starts to allow that person to see a log of your "activity" which includes comments on people's public images and walls. [All of this might be changed now, but it was true only 6 months ago)

  • If you use the same "username" or "screen name" across multiple accounts (blogs, magazine sites, social networking sites, dating sites, etc.) change them. As annoying as it is, make them ALL different. Keep a passworded record of them on a piece of paper next to your computer or something if you need to remember. Having the same username across accounts makes it very easy for people to track information about you across the internet.

  • As an academic - always give out your university email address (and nothing else as a point of contact) and only respond to emails you receive through your university address. If someone wants to start stalking your university email account, you can always get the university to change it.

I might add to this as I think of more things...

Packersobsessed414 karma

I think what you are doing is great, but there really is no way to stop a stalker, or to prevent from getting stalked. I am a Criminal Justice Major and took a class from a retired police officer. He told us this story of a stalker stalking a bank teller because she was friendly to him one day, and so he made up in his head that they were supposed to be married. She was friendly to every customer, but his thought process made it so he wanted her, and he was going to get her.

This stalking became violent and he even killed her cat and vandalized her boyfriends car. She even lost her job because of it and it wasn't her fault at all. I think people think others "do" something to "become" stalked, but becoming the victim is as easy as doing your job. I hope this AMA helps people realize that

lazermole236 karma

I'd also like to point out that there were stalkers before social media existed.

I had two stalkers/harrassers in high-school who stalked me the old-fashioned way (figured out the routes I walked home from school). And a stalker/harrasser in college was an ex-boyfriend's friend who got my info from my ex (we did not part amicably).

Obviously it's a great idea to keep yourself as untraceable online as you can, but people can still get your info the old-fashioned way (either by watching your routine, or casually getting the info from any acquaintances you may have - some of these people can be quite charming and seem perfectly harmless)

cyberstalked126 karma

You are absolutely right. And this is another reason why I did this AMA. To educate people about how easy it is to be stalked.

I actually consider myself lucky - the horror stories I have read about stalking cases are insane.

It can happen to anyone. So this AMA is relevant to everyone.

The_MAZZTer110 karma

I should note that regardless of whether or not you are on Facebook, or if you use a pseudonym or not, you can bet if you have relatives that are they will post pictures and other information that includes you and tag you in them.

I haven't used Facebook in years and I have a bunch of pictures linked to my profile I never posted.

cyberstalked125 karma

Yes. You cannot control what other people do with your info on Facebook. I encourage people to "accept" friends wisely and to have a discussion about what's okay/what's not okay to share/post.

perceptionist75 karma

Thank you for posting this. I am glad you have come to some resolution. I kept my old Facebook page open (not public, just semi-active) as a hopeful deterrent to my stalker, but I don't know how much difference it made. I made the mistake of opening a Google+ account in lieu of Facebook when the harassment first began, then forgot about it. Although I thought it was completely private, he has somehow gathered information from it. So far he hasn't figured out my alter ego, but I have definitely slipped back into lax habits about posting actual profile photos. And I need to change the related email address... I just wonder if it will ever end. I feel trapped in some way every day, despite having moved across the country.

cyberstalked57 karma

Have you gone to the police? File the report the next time the stalker makes contact. Tell them how long its been going on.

Definitely do everything you can to be anonymous on the interwebs.

Changing locations is great. I actually faked a move to another state in order to throw her off. It worked for a while...and then the arrest took place.

TreborCee574 karma

Do you think it her obsession was "I want to BE you", or was it more like "I want to be WITH you?"

cyberstalked975 karma

It was more like "I want to be your best friend." shudder

Edit: I laughed several times over the chain that stemmed from this.

Ghostbuster_Venkman461 karma

Best guess, as I assume you haven't been able to get a clear reasoning from the alleged, what do you think drew them to you? Like, any notable incidents? Anonymised/generalised to your liking, of course.

cyberstalked757 karma

I literally had no interactions with her that I recall. She was 1 student in a class of 600 students. Plus she came to class only about 8/25 times. MAYBE I took an exam from her and smiled "thanks!" But that's about it.

It's possible she has some sexuality issues and saw me as a confidant. I do my own research on gender/sexuality and this is not unknown among my students. She also thought I was "really pretty" and may have been attracted to me. She also had no friends and may have just wanted a friend.

regularbananalater398 karma

What does your order of protection entail, exactly? Do you have a police detail protecting you at all times, or is it more along the lines of "If she tries to contact you we'll arrest her...in theory"?

cyberstalked678 karma

The order included the following:

  • Stay away from (my name) at my place of home, school, business, - employment, or go within 100 yards of me
  • Refrain from comunication or any other contact
  • Refrain from assault, stalking, abuse, harassment etc.
  • Surrender all handguns revolvers,...other firearms, etc.

Basically if she tries to contact me again, it is no longer an issue between me and her, it is a direct violation of an agreement between her and the judge - a felony.

Oh and she already has a felony charge for the "terrorist threat" against the college, so this would be seriously bad news for her. She'd have to be especially dumb...

bolshevikbuddy298 karma

She'd have to be especially dumb...

If she already has a felony charge, I think it's safe to assume it's a psychological issue and not simply her own stupidity. I sure hope she gets the proper care for herself, and you have my deepest sympathies for what you've had to go through.

cyberstalked369 karma

Definitely psychological - even though she absolutely knew what she was doing. She admitted guilt all the time and was very savvy about what she was doing - even congratulated herself often for being so good at stalking me.


bing_crosby128 karma


cyberstalked84 karma

WOW. The attorney and prosecutor? Damn. Just shows the extent of the mental issues going on with stalkers...so sad! And yes, scary.

Vigilant as ever.

anacondatmz229 karma

Sure it might be pretty dumb of her to contact you at this point, however if you look at her actions up until she hasn't really portrayed herself as being level headed. With the school, police now involved her back is up against the wall. Be safe out there.

cyberstalked207 karma

Most definitely.

When she was ROR'd I was like - "EEEP!" But I think the silence and the order of protection is a good sign that things are going to stay this way...

I'm just curious now if it will go to trial and what her sentencing will be life...if any.

mokarney150 karma

What exactly is ROR'd?

InsanityWolfie59 karma

Released on Own Recognizance.

Pretty much, what I gather is that this is what they do with low risk criminals, or if they dont have room to put them up until their court date. Basically, the criminal gets to stay at home until they start trial or whatever, under the understanding that if they fuck up again, theres going to be a hell of a shitstorm.

Marksta70 karma

Why of all criminal offenses would you allow mentally unstable, school shooting up threatening stalkers to be free until trial?

InsanityWolfie44 karma

My guess would be because she never actually did anything violent.

cyberstalked54 karma

Yes, and she has 2 family members in law enforcement.

Gravy-Leg__143 karma

Please don't be overconfident about your safety due to the order of protection; she could do something violent against you at any time. I highly suggest you read Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear - it is loaded with great advice for people in your situation. Good luck.

cyberstalked99 karma

Thanks for the reading suggestion!

I am armed with much more awareness and a trusty pepper spray now. But I am certainly not taking things for granted.

kodt367 karma


cyberstalked237 karma

Can you link to that case with the teenage boy?

Also - My stalker has not had her case presented to a jury yet. The court date was postponed to August. She still has the potential to be put in jail for months on end. If I decided to talk to the news, I'm sure things would be different. But I don't want the extra attention nor do I care to ruin her life even more...I just want her to get help.

lgyfs244 karma

I know someone being harassed right now, and she's afraid to go about the protection order thing because she's afraid it will make her stalker get angrier and resort to violence. At this point, it's him sending her unwanted sexts, texting her 100+ times/day, asking her friends about her, and not leaving her alone after she's made it clear that she doesn't want him to contact her. I'm not close to her, just an acquaintance. I went through a little safety plan with her (where to stay if things get bad, get an emergency phone he doesn't know about, emergency fund, list of things for an "emergency pack" for the car, etc.), but not sure what else to say, since I obviously can't force her to do anything, especially since we're not close friends. Her actual friends are even telling her that she's overreacting, that she should ignore it, which really, really pisses me off because they're her friends and they could be the best resource for her but won't be.

At what point do you go to police? What do I say? How can I be helpful?

Edit: Thanks for the resources, everyone. I'll sift through and give her some more resources.

AMerrickanGirl241 karma

cyberstalked240 karma

Thanks for linking :)

And I'll just emphasize this - AT EVERY POINT go to the police. If she's scared to leave the house she can call 911 and they will come and take down her report in her home. I did this the first night I was threatened and scared.

wikkedwhite234 karma

If you had to tell her somthing if she seen this thread, what would you want her to know?

cyberstalked667 karma

I have a lot of empathy with her because she is clearly not mentally well. I am a 5th year psychology graduate student, so I say this with confidence. I mean, she knew what she was doing and was savvy at doing it, but she couldn't stop herself and therein lies the disorder. Her mother also told the cops that she has no friends and that she was special ed in high school. So there is something there that needs to be worked out...to say the least.

So I would tell her that I hope she gets the help she clearly needs. I would tell her that I never meant for her to get arrested and have to go through this hell, but that she drove me to do it. Ideally I would like her to just get better and have some REAL friends one day. I would also tell her that I hope she finds something she enjoys doing in life - because it became very clear to me that she hated being in college.

bumbletowne173 karma

My cyber stalker just sent me really supportive pms and emails where he slowly revealed how much he knew about me for four months. I ended up talking with him on Skype and he turned out to be just a really depressed math teacher with a failing marriage. We ended up talking about online security and He apologized profusely and I haven't spoken To him since.

He was Canadian.

cyberstalked78 karma

Lucky situation. That easily could have progressed into him thinking you two were BEST of friends.

I would not recommend this to others.

GGmasterGG156 karma

how did u figure out who the stalker really was?

cyberstalked445 karma

I was monitoring her messages to me. She eventually got sloppy and told me about a course she was trying switch a course she was taking to a different one for the spring semester. She said she emailed the professor about it. I had to look up the course she was talking about and then emailed the professor to ask him if he did, in fact, recently receive a message from a student about trying to switch it. He confirmed, and gave the name of the student to the legal department at the college. Legal eventually told me her name and showed me her picture.

ukbrah298 karma

You're like Nancy Drew...

cyberstalked482 karma

I had to be. Nobody would help me!!!

SweedishMeatball108 karma

Do you think that she really slipped up or do you think that maybe that was her way of "dropping hints" because she wanted you to know who she was?

cyberstalked188 karma

I have definitely thought that she might have slipped up hoping she would get caught. I mean, a year and a half of it - she had to be exhausted too, no?

Plus, she clearly wanted out of that college. She hated it. Was failing miserably. Resented everyone and everything. I don't think she wanted to be there, but didn't have the social skills to speak up about it or go about withdrawing through the proper channels...

It's also possible that she just didn't know that I was reading all of her messages. She hoped I was, but she couldn't be sure because she was sending me the messages on Facebook and I wasn't being active on there at all (I also blocked my browser from showing her that I was viewing the messages - hooray for Chat Undetected!)

torrentfox151 karma

You did what I could not. Congrats!

My stalker was from a different country though, but given your experience I'm sure you understand how easy harassment is simply with an internet connection. I'm glad he never made it onshore.

Did your stalker do the alternating idolize / demonize thing? Did she ever send you any gifts?

cyberstalked167 karma

YES. She absolutely did that. She would love me one second, hate me another second.

I never received any gifts - thank gosh! She got my address toward the end, so I think she just hadn't mustered up the courage to actually physically send anything. That's speculation though!

Your guy sounds pretty horrible though - what did your stalker send you?!!

torrentfox388 karma

It was horrible. The few people I mentioned it to were like "um, well you've got it under control, and you're a grown man, so you're okay, right?" - they don't really understand what it means to be someone else's most-loved and most-hated, or what someone will do (or threaten to do) in order to keep you a part of their life - they want to be your everything, and they do everything they can to exert power over you. I'm sure you are very familiar with how terrifying that is.

To that effect, my stalker would order candy, gifts from amazon, flowers, greeting cards, computer parts and have them sent to my dorm - I was still a student at the time. He made harassment a fulltime job. My phone rung off the hook. When I stopped acknowledging him, he contacted my friends, family. I told them to just not respond. It took months of making sure to silently ignore him before he stopped. Years later after I graduated and started a life and a job, he tried to get me fired by making an anonymous complaint to my company, saying that I offered to sell client secrets to an unnamed third party.

I haven't heard from him in two years, but I'm positive he thinks about me every day. I'm just glad it's been long enough that I don't think of him much.

To anyone being stalked, I would offer the following advice:

  1. It's not your fault.
  2. It's not your fault.
  3. Cease communication with your stalker. Cut all ties. You don't owe them anything, not even an explanation. If you're part of a scene and have to make a temporary exit from it, do it. Your stalker is probably resourceful, so this may also mean changing your phone number. If your stalker reappears like a persistent itch through a certain communication channel, realize that the act of blocking them itself may be visible to them. If they can just make a new account, it does nothing. I recommend not using FB chat. For Pidgin, check out Privacy Please. It allows you to suppress their messages silently, which is crucial to the actively-ignore process.
  4. Document everything and keep it in a safe place.
  5. Exercise any and all legal and institutional recourses you can, as early as possible. If you're a student, there may be services available specifically for you.
  6. Carry yourself, and keep your composure. Your stalker is looking for a reaction, and as long as they're getting one, you're at risk. There is a reason they call the behavior predatory, and you need to avoid acting in the prey role. This applies double if you're a man, since people will not naturally come to your aid or even necessarily recognize what's happening as a real problem (see #8 below). NOTE: This does not mean returning threats, or displaying force or means. Your stalker doesn't view you as a peer, and this will be seen as a challenge to their (self-perceived) authority over you. You've already cut off contact, right?
  7. Protect yourself: Put yourself in your stalker's shoes and find all information you can about yourself on the internet. Change all your passwords. Trim your social media / communication service friends lists of anyone you don't remember or recognize. Remove as much unnecessary personal information from the net as you can. Get good locks for your doors. If you can, become competent with a weapon, and carry it with you, but be aware of state/local/campus/work law and policy.
  8. Find one good friend and ask them if they will support you through this time. Have a huddle with them every once in a while and talk things out. You'd be surprised what isn't obvious to you that can be plain as day to the friend.

And lastly... I want to stress that it can happen to anyone. It can happen to any gender. A stalker can be of any age, any gender, any background. It's a one-sided kevlar chinese finger trap that you don't even realize you're in until you're stuck, and it takes a lot of effort to get out. So don't be stupid like I was and do it alone.

Edit: Accidentally some words

cyberstalked121 karma

This is excellent advice. Could not have said it better. Should be upvoted more!

I might add just one thing -

Take different paths/routes to work and the things you do and every time you leave somewhere and get somewhere else, tell a friend or family member. Make sure this is a friend/family member who is okay with you doing this a lot and understands the reasons/how important it is and what to do if they DON'T hear from you.

Poobslag145 karma

How are you doing? Do you feel safe?

cyberstalked187 karma

Thanks for this question.

I'm actually doing a lot better. It's been over 3 months since her arrest and I haven't received any contact from her. The order of protection gives me piece of mind. Plus knowing that she lives with her mom and has two cops for uncles helps.

Let's just say that I feel safer than I did for a whole year and a half not knowing anything about the person.

djdanlib138 karma

I totally understand where you're coming from. I have a female stalker too, and nobody will take it seriously. I'm much larger and stronger than she is, so people assume I can't possibly be affected by it. Not even the police, who tell me that an Order of Protection isn't likely to happen with the lack of a sexual relationship / living together.

It's amazing how resourceful and persistent she is... I blocked her Facebook account which she had been using to stalk me, and she found ways around it and continued to monitor my activities. (I stopped posting things that would give anyone clues about them.) I kept her out of the loop with a romantic relationship I had last year, she got an informant and knows a lot about it. I told my phone to reject her calls, she started calling from payphones. I spelled out very clearly in an email how I don't want her to contact me over a year ago, and she still finds me in person at places like the grocery store and makes public scenes! She shows up at my door and at places where I am known to be (I have some regularly scheduled things) just to hassle me some more. She wants to tell me how horrible she thinks I am, she wants to bring me down, and even sent me a 40-page, single-spaced letter about it just a couple weeks ago. I was not the only person who received a copy of that letter.

I lose a lot of sleep over this. Every time she gets ahold of me, I get anxiety that lasts for days. I try to avoid going to places I know she might be, and I hide details of my life from everyone just in case her informants (I don't know who they are) are paying attention. It's so much stress all the time and it affects me almost every day.

Any guidance would be appreciated, especially along the lines of the legal system which you have dealt with.

cyberstalked131 karma

Best guidance I can give is: The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

I was persistent with the police. I made multiple reports. Talked to several cops and detectives. Finally contacted the detective's supervisor and was very straight-forward and assertive on the phone, threatened to go higher/go to the media, etc. They finally started to listen. The fact that you KNOW who she is...this should be a no-brainer. If she makes direct threats, you build a case through multiple reports that she is stalking you, keep track of all of the threats, and bring that documentation of those threats with you when you go to the precinct to make the reports, then they should have enough to make an arrest.

Tell them you are increasingly afraid that she will take her threats to the physical level. Tell them you want to press charges immediately. Keep being persistent at this. Do not leave the police alone. Otherwise they will figure you don't care or that the threats stopped.

djdanlib11 karma

Thanks so much for replying. My biggest hindrance to it is that she is non-violent. There have been no threats. This complicates things so much... I just want her to leave me alone, and not to have to hear about her latest attempts to get information from various friends. She needs help, I need sanity, and there is just some kind of hang-up in the way... Anyways, it's some small comfort to know I'm not the only one who thinks this is serious.

cyberstalked12 karma

Have you outright told her to stop, informed her of the harassment/stalking laws that she is violating, and told her that you've already informed the police and that if she won't stop you'll press charges?

She might get scared enough to stop just from that - even if it is a white lie.

flyingfalcon12118 karma

How often were the threats?

cyberstalked183 karma

Weekly in the beginning, and then progressed to daily in the last 6-8 months of it.

And when she wasn't messaging/harassing me, she was usually doing it to someone connected to me (friends, my roommate, family, etc.)

HippieTheSpaz99 karma

I'm having similar issues with a creep online. He's been coming at me for months now

cyberstalked236 karma

Get offline ASAP. Remove yourself from everything. Search your name on Google, Bing, etc. including any and all screen names you have every used. Delete everything - contact site admins and have them delete your accounts if you can't figure out how. GET OUT OF THERE.

And go to your local police preccinct IMMEDIATELY and file a report. Everytime he does something -- ANYTHING -- go to the police and make a report.

I made so many reports over the 1.5 years that the cops HAD to pay attention to me eventually. PLUS, she was arrested on 22 counts because I reported so many. Making reports will only bolster your case AND protect you in the end...

Also can you please elaborate on what he is doing so I can better answer this for you...? You can also PM me.

livmaj50 karma

Delete everything - contact site admins and have them delete your accounts if you can't figure out how. GET OUT OF THERE.

Any suggestions for this? There is one particular site I used to use with a screen name that I had used previously and I wanted it removed. I have asked the admins twice and have not heard anything from them at all. Do they have a responsibility to do this? Am I SOL?

cyberstalked68 karma

That's a good question. But basically if they had a privacy agreement on their site and you agreed to it, I don't think they have to do anything for you.

I would search around a bit more, try to find out more about the site. Try [who.is](who.is) to get more information about the site and who owns it. Basically become a stalker. Hahaha. But yea, this will get you more info and just keep trying to contact. I had to do that and eventually go through to site owners.

ShmoopyPunch97 karma

Damn man, I just saw the title and I had to drop in to say, good luck man.

I had problems with a few cyberstalkers and some people who were in my own family. I haven't been able to really do anything like this despite the death threats. One fucker even left dead animals in front of my house for like 3 months. The police wouldn't even investigate shit so I abandoned my old sites and changed my name. So far so good.

Seriously dude, good luck.

cyberstalked68 karma

Wow that is seriously intense. I'm glad you've managed to get away from it. Be safe!

LovesScience78 karma

Do you think you can ever enjoy using social media sites ever again? I would assume they might make you nervous now.

cyberstalked142 karma

Yes and no. It's more about smart use of social media now. I do use things that can be anonymous - like pinterest and reddit! :)

I am completely off Facebook though. Because, well, fuck that place (see the link). hahaha

Odontoblastoise65 karma

If you are still going to TA or teach in the future, get yourself a google phone number that forwards to your real cell number and give that one out to students instead. Also, good for you for taking your own protection into your own hands. Too often people assume that some law enforcement agency is going to go all out to keep them safe when the reality is that they don't have the time or the motivation to go after it. My question is this: Are you angry now knowing that at least one government agency recorded every single text and harassing comment, and knew exactly who this person was from the very first keystroke, yet they were unwilling to act to stop it? Remember they also have record of every request you made for help from your local authorities.

cyberstalked94 karma

Are you angry now knowing that at least one government agency recorded every single text and harassing comment, and knew exactly who this person was from the very first keystroke, yet they were unwilling to act to stop it?

Hahahaha - YES!!!!!!!!! I was like...well fuck you NSA!! lmao. I am a huge supporter of internet privacy regardless of my situation. But Snowden's news was like a slap in the face. Thanks, government, for taking care of your citizens. Really, thanks. bahaha

pcomet23556 karma

This may be a dumb question, but there wasn't a way to go the phone company and have them tell you who's number was constantly harassing you? I was always curious about that.

cyberstalked104 karma

I had my first detective on the case subpoena the phone number(s) she used. Came back with nothing attached to it.

Detective even warned me that 99% of the time phone numbers come back with the name "Mickey Mouse" or some other nonsense. Anyone can buy a pre-paid phone, pay with cash, and it's untraceable.

I was able to get her IP address though - through the emails she sent. I gave that to the cops and they said they were doing something with it. But they were really vague and elusive and it took months until finally I blew up at the detective's supervisor for someone to take me seriously. That got things moving...a little. I never got a chance to see the result of the IP subpoena because she was arrested before it went through.

t3rrapins48 karma

What was the scariest thing that happened to you throughout this experience?

cyberstalked103 karma

Probably when I found out she had my parents address and said that she was driving down their street (most likely a lie, but I couldn't have known for sure at the time).

Also when I found out she had my address and knew the route I took to work.

I also had several weird incidents over the 1.5 years not knowing who it was in which I would think I was being followed or when someone I didn't know would start talking to me or calling me (only to find out later it was nothing). I'd always be running, hanging up, etc. I basically looked and acted like a schizophrenic, but with good reason.

President_Skoad44 karma

When this first started did you do anything to protect yourself? Such as defensive classes, buy a weapon, install cameras, or anything?

cyberstalked110 karma

Actually yes. I did not like the idea of getting a gun for myself (I just...can't. I hate guns for me personally. No judgment on anyone else).

But I did get bear spray/pepper spray.

It's actually illegal to carry in my town. But a lawyer friend connected me to a social worker who specially works with stalking cases through a police precinct, and she told me to get it regardless. She said "It's about protecting yourself right now. That comes first. You can explain why you had the spray later if god forbid you have to use it."

Gabeyluke37 karma

Omg that must have been so traumatic, what was the people the stalker was contacting to get you back online replying to her?

cyberstalked67 karma

In the first 3 days of it, my friends responded like, "Who are you?" and one of my friends was even like "FUCK YOU GO AWAY" or something to that effect haha.

But once I knew that my friends were being contacted, I told my friends NOT to respond.

Only once - when I thought maybe this person is someone I know - did I have my best friend simply ask "Who is this? Are you ___?" But that was it.

Otherwise, no response from me or them.

StinkNugs37 karma

Was your stalker just a sad keyboard warrior fulfilling fantasies, or was she actually insane, and prepared to carry out her threats?

cyberstalked65 karma

It's really difficult to know. I wasn't willing to take the chance.

My gut feeling was that she felt very safe contacting me through the computer and phone - like she was untouchable - and that she most likely preferred to keep it that way.

But the more I ignored her/was not contactable, the more she threatened actual physical stalking and violence. We both worked/went to school in the same location, and she verified "hanging out in the stairwell" next to my office a lot. Soooo...yea. I also feel like it was only a matter of time...

itzjamesftw36 karma

I hope this question doesn't seem out of line, but it's just the general curiosity. Was your stalker attractive? I mean, if you would have met casually, and not under these circumstance, would of you found her attractive?

The reason I ask, is because due to the memes, jokes, and mannurisms of the Internet, the stalker card usually gets labeled on the nerdy kid, the kid with acne, the quiet kid, etc. This may fit the bill, but I think it's a general misconception. I don't think there is a face to a stalker.

cyberstalked12 karma

To me? No. To someone else maybe. But it was a crappy little college photo from the shoulders up. And she looked angry in it. Sooo...hard to even make a judgment like that.

But I get why you're asking. Not all stalkers are anonymous like this one, some of them are ex significant others. So at least someone loves them/finds them attractive...

OtisTheZombie28 karma

Wow. Ok, here are a few questions.

  1. Mods, can you please provide proof approval?
  2. Any idea what was going through her mind to start this crazy obsession? Did you notice she was "off" in class?
  3. What kinds of things was she sending you? Was it romantic or was she just obsessed in general?
  4. What did the police say? I'm guessing they were less than helpful by the way you phrased your post.

Thanks for sharing. Stay safe! =)

cyberstalked84 karma

Hey, thanks for your questions - all good ones!

1 - Hopefully approval soon!

2 & 3 - I know my stalker's mind ALL too well. I basically received a stream of consciousness from her for 1.5 years. Literally messages all day every day. Especially toward the end. She was basically just obsessed with me. She said to me once that she wished she knew me in real life. The detective told me after she was arrested that her mother told him she "has no friends," which doesn't surprise me based on her behavior. I believe she just thought I was cool and interesting and wanted to be my friend. She also had the sick idea that I was being corrupted by my friends (I have a lot of LGBT friends) - she wanted to "protect me" from their disgusting sinful behaviors.

I never even really noticed her in class - it was a class size of about 600 students, plus records show that she only attended about 8 out of the 25 class days (she failed, obviously). When the college administration showed me her picture I recognized her, but nothing stood out in my mind about our interactions. Her picture was kinda creepy though - basically like a "I hate that you are taking my picture right now" look on her face. She looked miserable.

3 - In the beginning and throughout, the police said to me "9 times out of 10, cases like this end up being a disgruntled ex boyfriend. Just talk to him and maybe he'll stop." I tried this. I tried everything. Nothing worked to stop her. They were VERY unhelpful and even told me once "Unless this person is standing in your apartment with a gun to your head, we can't find out who it is or do anything about it." They attempted to get subpoenas on the phone numbers, but they took forever and were dead-ends. The only time I ever got even an ounce of serious interest was when I talked to the detective's superior and got really pissed on the phone with him. He assigned a detective who could devote the attention needed to the volumes of messages I was receiving. But it ended up being my own exhaustive monitoring of her messages and inquiry into her name through my college that ultimately led to her arrest.

stanfan11414 karma

She also had the sick idea that I was being corrupted by my friends (I have a lot of LGBT friends) - she wanted to "protect me" from their disgusting sinful behaviors.

Do you think she was dealing with her own sexual identity crisis?

cyberstalked2 karma

Yes, I think it was partially that. Also because of broader mental health issues, possibly because of social circumstances as a result of those issues, etc.

She was very homophobic and fearful of me being "contaminated" by those "gross gay people you hang out with." u/Defenestrationiste explains the connection to sexuality well...

vocoders2 karma

Based on question #1 and her not liking gays, was she religious as far as you're aware?

cyberstalked15 karma

I don't know her actual religious identity. But she has an Arab name and she also was very anti-Semitic (and racist) in her messages to me (I have a very Jewish last name). So...possibly?

I think she just might have been dealing with some internal homophobia.

adwv9117 karma


cyberstalked37 karma

She made a billion fake accounts with different emails and user names. I reported many of them - but had to stop doing that because it would delete her message whenever I reported. And I needed those to keep a record.

SwankJob16 karma


cyberstalked21 karma

I couldn't take a chance with her physical threats. I took every one of them seriously, in spite of the police's general ambivalence.

When she told me she was driving down my parents street, I was actually concerned. And when she threatened the college (including specific administrators), I was actually concerned.

tayrannosaurusrex12 karma


cyberstalked30 karma

I think I might have answered your question already here.

Let me know if you want me to elaborate...

FrenchToes9 karma

Did you learn any valuable lessons from this situation?

cyberstalked7 karma

(1) how to better protect my identity while still having fun and staying connected to friends online.

(2) don't trust people as much. I am a very trusting person from the start of meeting someone. And although trust wasn't really an issue with my case, the fact that this was basically a random person REALLY puts things in perspective. Like...ANYONE can be a threat. It's pretty crazy. At the same time, I have to be realistic and trust that people are generally good.

(3) how terribly, awfully behind our laws are around cyberstalking cases. it was so so difficult to get the police to do ANYTHING for me because the laws just aren't caught up to address the complexities of the internet-age.

(4) this whole experience reinforced the way I see the world and the people in it: That people have the potential for good, but that usually some failure of the system turns them into criminals, creeps, assholes, etc. I strongly believe that my stalker is a good person, but that her actions are a response to her circumstances. I hope that she finds some piece with herself and the world around her and stops hating everything/one so much.

hey_sergio8 karma

what is ROR

cyberstalked9 karma

Released on Recognizance

Copenhagen19937 karma

Is there any reason that she chose you to harass? Did she fail the course you were a TA for? How did you eventually identify her? One more question, how come she didnt spend more time in jail? It seems like stalking to that extent, as well as threatening to shoot up a college would yield more serious consequences than just 2 days in jail.

cyberstalked19 karma

You would think, right?

She actually only spent 2 nights because the court system here gets REALLY backed up. So they didn't get to her case until the 3rd day.

She was arrested right after that Florida school had a shooting threat (I might be getting this wrong, too lazy to look it up...), so I was sure she would be staying longer.

Thing is - she lives with her mom, and two of her uncles are on the police force here. Lucky her had them vouching for her, so I'm sure that's why she was ROR'd.

(I answered your other questions elsewhere!)

Edit: Wanted to add that she still might go to jail. The case has not been reviewed by a jury yet. If there is enough evidence (which there is AMPLE) to go to trial, she will get her sentencing there. She could still have to do time.

arati_fingers7 karma

do you own and know how to use a gun?

cyberstalked3 karma

nope. and I do not want to - unless the zombie apocalypse is imminent.

I own and know how to use pepper spray, though.

Toxicbutt3 karma

Are you aware that her "agreement" is just words on a piece of paper and she could just come to your house and still hurt/kill you?

cyberstalked10 karma


I just have to hope she won't. Especailly because, if she does, she gets another felony charge.

She also lives at home with her mother and two of her uncles are cops. I'm hoping they will keep a watchful eye on her...

gladwinBU2 karma

So, why, the fucking hell, did she do all of this?

What was your relationship with her that she picked you also?

cyberstalked2 karma

She was a student. And that was the extent of the relationship. See this comment for more details.

goodinbed2 karma

Have you discussed your case with other colleagues? Has anyone else at your uni been through a similar experience?

To your understanding, was this a "typical" stalking? Sorry you went through this!

cyberstalked2 karma

I have discussed with other colleagues.

According to the legal department, they never experienced a case like mine before. So probably not.

Yes, to my knowledge her behavior was textbook "love obsession stalking" in which she thought there was some sort of relationship where there was none. The alternating between loving and hating me. The threats and not being able to control the behavior of searching for me. The thinking everything I did was because of her. All of it was typical. Edit - Typical also of someone who has some serious mental issues!

killbone1 karma

WHY? Why was it you? Did you any relationship with her other than just being a teacher? Was she attracted to you sexually?

cyberstalked3 karma

No relationship. She was just a student among many. Nothing significant about my interactions with her (I don't even remember any!).

Most likely she just wanted a friend. Maybe she was dealing with some internal homophobia too...