Chapter 5 Summary-Bad Men Do what Good men dream

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timer Asked: Apr 4th, 2017

Question Description

Read the main text and write a detailed summary/reaction to the Chapter 5-Stalkers: Forever Yours. APA writing style 2-5 double spaced pages for each summary.

5 Stalkers Forever Yours If you leave me, I will track you down, I will kill you. —A stalker’s prophetic threat to a woman he later murdered K ristin Lardner, a 21-year-old art student in Boston, met Michael Cartier, 22, a nightclub bouncer, in January of 1992. They started dating. On April 16, 1992, they had an argument, and he struck her about the face, knocked her to the ground, kicked her over and over, and told her, “Get up or I’ll kill you.” By the time she staggered to her feet, he was gone. Two motorists stopped by and assisted her home. She determined never to see him again. But Lardner had a hard time getting rid of Cartier. Spurned, he called her apartment 10 times a day and showed up at the liquor store where she worked part-time. There, he would be alternately violent and tearful, telling her that he did not know why he always hurt the people he loved. Maybe it was because his mother never loved him. He knew he needed help. Lardner was now terrified of Cartier. She knew he was on probation, but she did not know why. His probation officer did—it was for attacking a woman with a pair of scissors—and when Lardner complained to the probation officer, she was told to take her complaint to the Brookline District Court. She did, and while she was there she filled out an application for a complaint that charged Cartier with 77 78 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream domestic abuse. Now he would be ordered to stay away from her, she thought. She would not have to feel the dread of catching a glimpse of him stalking her or experience the awful panic and terror of a direct confrontation that could turn violent. Inexplicably, the court did not immediately issue a summons for his arrest. On May 30, 1992, Michael Cartier found Kristin Lardner and shot her in the head and face, killing her in broad daylight. When the police burst into his apartment, they discovered Cartier sprawled on the bed, with a fatal, self-inflicted bullet wound to the head. After the murder and suicide, the police investigated. They learned that the Brookline District Court had never issued the summons for Cartier’s arrest. They found a friend of his who told them that Cartier had spoken to him a few weeks earlier, telling the friend he could not live without Lardner, and vowing that he was going to kill her with a gun he was going to buy. Another friend described Cartier as a man unable to handle rejection, someone who had always been extremely jealous and unpredictable. According to other sources, Cartier had experienced extreme abuse as a child. As a youngster he had shown signs of severe emotional disturbance. Stalking: An Epidemic Problem The FBI Classification Manual (1992) defines a stalker as “a predator who stalks or selects a victim based on a specific criterion of the victim.” Federal and state laws (all states have enacted anti-stalking laws) define stalking as a crime in which a person “on more than one occasion” engages in “conduct with the intent to cause emotional distress…by placing [another] person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury,” or the “willful, malicious and repeated following and harassing of another person.” Plainly and simply, stalking is terrorism directed against an individual in order to obtain contact with and gain control over that individual. In the United States, more than 1 million women and more than 370,000 men are stalked annually. Despite official classifications, the definition of stalking remains hazy. The term is used very broadly, particularly by law enforcement. For example, the man who cases a woman’s home before a sexual assault is often dubbed a stalker. Is the contract killer who follows his victim to determine the best point of attack a stalker? What about the rejected husband or lover who cannot let go? Is the egotistical person who writes a movie star for a date a stalker? Those who are called Stalkers: Forever Yours 79 stalkers present a wide spectrum of behaviors. There is no stalker syndrome, only a common behavioral pathway to the victim for a broad variety of motives. Stalking is frequently precipitated by a rejection or the onset of a mental illness. The stalkers most often examined by psychiatrists are those with the delusional belief that they have a special relationship with a stranger, who is then pursued. In most cases, the stalking victim is a woman and the stalker is a man, but there are cases in which women stalk men or stalk other women. Men stalk other men, and they stalk children; and children stalk other children. Stalkers may be straight or gay. They are not hit men or professional kidnappers; for one thing, those criminals tend to work in groups. Many stalkers are loners who have abnormal mental and emotional fixations on a specific individual. Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence The statistics on stalking and intimate partner violence are chilling. Each year, 4.8 million women experience intimate partner–related physical assaults and rapes. Men are the victims of about 2.4 million intimate partner–related physical assaults. Studies reveal that 76% of intimate partner murder victims were stalked by their intimate partner; 67% were physically abused by their intimate partner; 89% of murder victims who were physically abused were stalked in the 12 months before the killing; and of the 79% of abused victims who reported stalking to the police, more than half were murdered by their stalkers. Although intimate partner stalking does not necessarily result in physical violence, the psychological violence is severely damaging and long-lasting. Domestic violence is a frequent backdrop for stalking. The stalking usually begins when the abuse victim leaves or when the abuser is forced to leave by the authorities. About 30% of women who suffer physical injury by spousal abuse are eventually killed by their partners. The FBI estimates that one in four women who are murdered are killed by husbands or partners. Doctors are told that every physician in America, regardless of specialty or where his or her practice is conducted, has seen a battered women in his or her office in the last 2 weeks. Battered spouses often find it very difficult to leave an abusive partner. Victims stay for many reasons: first and foremost, there is the real threat of further harm or even death if they attempt to leave. Abused 80 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream women are used to hearing the very real threat, “If you leave me, I’ll kill you.” Also, they may feel ashamed, they may feel grateful when the abuse stops and bend over backward not to reexperience the terror of abuse, or they may have nowhere to go or no means of financial support. In between the violent episodes, the spouse may be loving, kind, a good provider, and an esteemed citizen. Victims often are bewildered when the abuser apologizes for the progressive violence but then blames the abused person for the incidents. Stalking is often an invisible crime until violence breaks out. One study showed that the time from the beginning of stalking to the occurrence of violence was 5 years. Until the violence reaches such a level that the victim has to go to the police or to the hospital, the victim usually does not talk about being stalked. Most stalking victims suffer in silence. The act of stalking plays on a victim’s deepest fears of being hunted, harmed, and killed. Common symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and depression. Kristin Lardner must have experienced such feelings. Even reporting stalking to the authorities does not always bring protection; 54% of women who reported stalking to the police were killed by their stalkers. This was Kristin Lardner’s fate. Stalkers are motivated by myriad reasons. In cases where celebrities are stalked, mentally disordered people desperately seek contact in the search for identity, love, power, and relief from their personal problems. Some stalkers even seek contact with total strangers to redress perceived or real grievances or wrongs. Statistics reveal that of all the victims of stalkers, 38% are ordinary people, mostly women; 17% are high-profile celebrities; and 32% are lesser-known celebrities. Of the remainder, 11% are corporate executives stalked by current or former employees, and 2% are people such as supervisors stalked by disgruntled subordinates and psychotherapists stalked by current or former patients. Stalking has always existed. It is rooted in the ancient concept that women are chattel or property. By wielding power over a man or woman, the stalker is asserting that he or she will be part of the victim’s life whether the victim likes it or not. In the past, stalkers were brought up on charges of criminal trespass or not prosecuted at all. The residue of this old way of looking at stalking can be seen in the common but erroneously held belief among men that women somehow entice their stalkers. In fact, however, 90% of stalkers suffer from Stalkers: Forever Yours 81 mental disorders, and the remaining 10% are very upset or angry persons. Today, stalking is recognized as a major social problem, with an estimated 200,000 stalkers on the loose in the United States. Some experts assert that this figure is apocryphal and that nobody knows how many people are stalked. One out of every 20 women, at some time during her life, will be stalked by a former boyfriend, an ex-husband, or a stranger. Statistics show that 77% of women stalked and 64% of men stalked know their stalker. Most of the targets of stalkers are single or divorced women between the ages of 20 and 45. The stalking may begin in a benign fashion, perhaps with a compliment, but can escalate into a pattern of surveillance, obscene language, harassment, threats of bodily harm, and actual physical injury or murder. Stalking occurs at all socioeconomic levels. Proof that education and professional stature are no bar to stalking comes from the case of then 63-year-old Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of the State of New York. After Joy Silverman ended a relationship with Wachtler, he conducted a 13-month campaign to threaten and terrorize her. Wachtler was arrested when he demanded that Silverman pay him $20,000 or he would kidnap her 14-year-old daughter. He received a 15-month federal prison sentence and was fined $30,000 for stalking and threatening Silverman and her daughter. Before the court, Wachtler explained his bizarre, 2-year harassment as the result of a “sick and aberrational” attempt to create a situation that would recapture the woman’s need for him. Stalker Typology The Celebrity Stalker In our mass-entertainment culture, some entertainers may enjoy an audience of 100 million people or more. These large audiences, coupled with our fascination with the personal lives of entertainers, sports stars, and other celebrities, have produced some inevitable consequences. Out of 100 million viewers, some will feel that the entertainer is speaking, singing, or performing directly to or for them. Others will develop the notion that their own destinies are inextricably intertwined with that of the media star. Some will write love letters. Others will write hate letters or letters that say they are being tormented or abused from afar by the entertainer. Still others will have deviant 82 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream sexual thoughts. Considering that scantily clad entertainers enter the bedrooms of millions of viewers, many of whom may themselves be in various stages of undress, it is not difficult to understand that this situation will stimulate some viewers to act in aberrant ways. One of them was Teddy Soto, an admirer of Christina Applegate, who played the “teenage sexpot” character of Kelly Bundy on Fox television’s show Married . . . With Children. Soto was noticed hanging around the security gate of Columbia Pictures television studios, where the sitcom was taped. He was recognized as a man who had previously been arrested after being spotted near Applegate’s home. When he steadfastly refused to leave the security gate at the studio, the guards arrested him. Soto may have had trouble distinguishing between the actress Christina Applegate and the Kelly Bundy character she played. Applegate has been emphatic in telling people that privately she is the antithesis of the Kelly Bundy character, who on television wears extremely tight skirts and tops that reveal cleavage. Soto is an example of how tenacious some people will be in their attempt to contact media stars about whom they have developed an obsession—or a delusion. Only a small minority of stalkers are disgruntled fans. The vast majority of stalkers of public figures are mentally ill. They tend to be media addicts who are highly self-absorbed loners. Some of them delude themselves into thinking that they have a special relationship with a famous person. Others believe that they can become celebrities themselves by their association with a famous person—even if it means killing that person. Mark David Chapman, who stalked and killed John Lennon, was one of these. He described himself as a “nobody” who “didn’t know how to handle being a nobody.” Chapman said he struck out in anger “to become something he wasn’t, to become somebody.” Margaret Ray, a 41-year-old stalker, reportedly believed she was actually a specific somebody, the wife of David Letterman, and she repeatedly broke into the talk-show host’s home. Forensic psychiatrist Park Elliot Dietz has researched the subject of celebrity stalkers and has found that celebrities who are perceived as “nice” attract more pursuers than do those celebrities with a less friendly image. The obsessed fan generally pursues the nonthreatening, “girl-next-door” types, not the actresses who project strong personalities, such as Elizabeth Taylor or Joan Collins. The friendly, outgoing image of actress Rebecca Schaeffer, who starred in the television Stalkers: Forever Yours 83 series My Sister Sam, attracted the attention of a man named Robert John Bardo. He sent her a fan letter. She did what most actors and actresses have been urged to do in such instances: she sent him in return a picture of herself with a brief thank-you note. In this case, it was a mistake because Bardo misread this as a real interest in him, and he stalked and killed Schaeffer. Almost always, a confrontation between the stalker and the person who is the object of his or her intense fantasy is ineffective in deterring the stalker, no matter what the celebrity’s intent. Such contact will likely reinforce the stalker’s unshakable belief that a love relationship exists between him or her and the celebrity. The only way for a person being stalked to help himself or herself is to enforce complete separation from the stalker. People in love think constantly about their loved ones. What is she or he doing now? I wish I could see her this very moment, at work, at play. What is he thinking about? Is he thinking of me? Even reasonably healthy people “mind stalk” those to whom they are attracted. People harbor subconscious wishes to merge with others that derive from the earliest stages of human development. But aberration can occur. I once examined a short, skinny man with a hawklike appearance, who repeatedly stalked and injured his ex-wife. When I asked him why he did this, he chillingly said: “Before we married, I loved her. Once we married, she was mine. And since I’m no good, she became worthless. She is me. I can’t let her go.” So it is no wonder that stalkers reflect the entire spectrum of psychopathology, from the moonstruck adolescent to the delusional psychotic. The difference between the healthy and the nonhealthy is that the latter are driven by internal psychological needs to actually pursue their object of interest, whether or not that person wants to be pursued. Stalkers cannot confine their obsessions or delusions within their heads; they must act them out. Bad men do what good men dream. Many stalkers are men who have been rejected by women. Most stalkers are mentally ill loners without meaningful lives of their own. But there is some psychological distance between a vengeful ex-spouse and an obsessed celebrity stalker. In the following pages, I look into some of the psychological profiles of stalkers, but I need to warn the reader in advance that the categories into which stalkers are placed are not as neat or as all-encompassing as those for rapists or for other criminals described in other chapters. The lines separating categories of stalkers must not be seen as hard and fast. 84 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream The Immature Romantic Stalker Let us begin with that moonstruck adolescent. It is not unusual for an adolescent to become infatuated and romantically preoccupied with some person. Indeed, the relationship may be totally one-sided and exist only from afar because the idealized person of the adolescent’s ardor may be unaware of this interest. The young romantic sits outside the person’s house, hides in the bushes, follows his or her car to steal a glimpse, or telephones and hangs up just to hear the voice of the person. Boys are acculturated through television and movies to persistently pursue the woman of their desire. Unlike adult stalkers, adolescents usually do not make threats. In developmentally normal adolescents, these pursuit behaviors usually cease as the person matures. Most people have gone through this phase. In some adults, however, the behavior may continue and become fixed—and that, of course, can cause problems. The Dependent, Rejection-Sensitive Stalker Generally, the dependent, rejection-sensitive stalker is a person who is extremely sensitive to being rejected and at the same time is extremely dependent on the person with whom he or she has a “love” relationship. This jilted lover gathers intelligence on the person who has rejected him or her and attempts contact through incessant phone calls, e-mails, letters, gifts, and visits. Some rejected lovers badger the victim’s friends, coworkers, or relatives for information. Others go further, reading the victim’s personal mail, breaking into his or her house, checking the computer, listening to the answering machine, even watching the person sleep. The most vicious of this category of stalkers applies every means of harassment and of psychological terror he or she can dream up. Some of the more harsh tactics include pouring weed killer on a lawn, taping gun cartridges to a car window, leaving threatening notes scrawled in nail polish, destroying property, sabotaging cars, killing the victim’s pets, and threatening the victim’s children. Many of the men in this category hide their dependency feelings behind a hypermasculine, macho image and are chronically abusive toward women. They attempt to cover their deepest fear—that the woman will leave them for another man—by saying, in effect, “If I can’t have her, nobody else will.” Michael Cartier, the Boston nightclub bouncer, had been overheard saying words to that effect, and in Stalkers: Forever Yours 85 many ways Cartier fit the profile of a dependent, rejection-sensitive stalker. Many such stalkers sustained significant losses in their childhoods, either through the death of a parent or through psychological and physical abuse or parental neglect. Stalkers usually have an impairment of attachment, reflecting childhood disturbances in their relationships. They are unable to grieve normally, let go, and find other relationships. Often, the abandonment rage is a defense against feeling intolerable hurt and humiliation from childhood rejections that get tacked onto the current loss. Cartier was reported as having been abused as a child, although the abuse was denied by his mother, who insists that he was born troubled. As evidence, she cites early behavior in which he took bottles away from his baby stepsister and lit matches behind a gas stove. At age 5 or 6, the mother reported, Cartier ripped the legs of his pet rabbit right out of their sockets. By age 7, he was in a state-supported residential treatment center for troubled children. At 12, Cartier graduated to a treatment center for disturbed adolescents. He dropped out of high school because he was facing about 20 criminal charges that he had accumulated in various Massachusetts jurisdictions. He expressed his extreme bitterness toward his mother in his wish to get a tattoo depicting her hanging from a tree with animals ripping at her body. At age 18, Cartier asked his stepsister if she wanted him to kill their mother. He had beaten several women before Kristin Lardner, and, as he had with her, would then break into tears and ask for their help, citing his belief that his mother had never loved him. The Borderline Personality Stalker The label borderline is an attempt to convey the notion of the thin line walked by the individual between relative normality on the one side, and, on the other side, serious problems in being able to correctly differentiate reality from fantasy. It is from this group that most celebrity stalkers come. Borderline individuals have unstable but intense personal relationships that alternate between extremes of overidealization and devaluation. They can change from adoration to hate in a heartbeat when the person being idealized does something—or is perceived to have done something—that pricks the balloon of perfection. 86 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream In psychiatry, the mechanism of imbuing a person with either all good or all bad characteristics is known as splitting: the good and the bad representations exist simultaneously but are kept apart from each other through a failure of cohesive integration; they are split. The borderline stalker does this to the idealized person, but he or she also splits his or her own self-image. Most normal people are able to integrate the good and bad perceptions and feelings they have about themselves and about others into a realistic whole. Borderline individuals cannot. They also tend to be impulsive, to be emotionally unstable, and to shift moods rapidly for periods that may last from a few hours to a few days. Depression is a common complication of borderline personality disorder. Such depression further influences the borderline individual’s behavior. For instance, it magnifies inappropriate, intense anger and an inability to control one’s temper. The utter hatred vented by individuals with borderline personality disorder can be withering. Their sense of self can be so fragile that the slightest insult or criticism can produce in them intense feelings of rejection, abandonment, and shame. And when rejected, the borderline individual may discharge his or her hatred in attempts to destroy the victim’s career, reputation, family, friends, and, in some instances, the victim’s life. Rejected borderline individuals often threaten suicide. They exhibit marked disturbances in self-image, sexual orientation, career choice, types of friends, and value system. They experience chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom, and often make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Borderline individuals tend to project their disavowed, unacceptable thoughts and feelings onto others, whom they then try to control. This is a common underlying psychological mechanism observed in borderline stalkers. Impairments in reality testing and the blurring of boundaries between themselves and others facilitate this process. Such was the situation in the movie Fatal Attraction, with its classic borderline female stalker. Borderline patients are typically difficult to treat. One minute the therapist may be revered like a god. In the next moment, if the borderline patient feels provoked or rejected, the therapist can be attacked with a venomous, eviscerating hate that cuts to the soul. Recently, I was asked to evaluate a couple experiencing marital problems. The husband had borderline personality disorder. The wife experienced depression secondary to the marital discord. In a separate interview, the husband described his wife adoringly but, without blinking an eye, Stalkers: Forever Yours 87 went on in the next breath to make astonishingly degrading, depreciating comments about her. He was totally oblivious to the utterly contradictory views he held of his wife. The simultaneously held split images that stood in such sharp contrast were mind-jolting to me. When I interviewed his wife, she told me that she could tolerate her husband’s irresponsible spending, even his affairs with other women, but she could no longer withstand his bouts of virulent hate directed at her. As with the rejection-sensitive stalker, the borderline individual is often found to have experienced physical or sexual abuse as a child. In general, the categories of rejection-sensitive and borderline have many overlapping characteristics. Among celebrity stalkers, however, there appears to be a troubled combination of low self-esteem and an overidealized view of their victims. One wants to say to them—as some who wish to help them do—“get a life,” because they do not seem to have lives independent of the celebrity they are stalking. In fact, obtaining a life is exactly what they are doing by stalking a celebrity. In fastening their lives to a well-known figure, celebrity stalkers attempt to achieve meaning. Overidealization, however, is a fragile thing, and one that easily and quickly can turn to murderous anger and hate. All of the characteristics that psychiatrically define a borderline personality disorder seemed to be on display in an interview that Larry King conducted with Mark David Chapman, the assassin of John Lennon. As a youngster, Chapman idolized John Lennon. When Chapman insisted that the man who shot Lennon was not the man he had become after some years in treatment and confinement, King asked him who he had been at the time of the murder: C HAPMAN: On December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman was a very confused person. He was literally living inside a paperback novel, J. D. Salinger’s book The Catcher in the Rye. He was vacillating between suicide, between catching the first taxi home back to Hawaii, between killing, as you said, an icon. At the time, Chapman went on, Lennon was “an album cover to me. He didn’t exist, even when I met him earlier that day when he signed the album for me—which he did very graciously.” Chapman believed that he was unable to “register” that Lennon, or Lennon’s son, whom he also met that day, were human beings: “I just saw him as a two-dimensional celebrity with no real feelings.” King asked him why he had wanted to shoot the “album cover”: 88 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream C HAPMAN: Mark David Chapman at that point was a walking shell who didn’t ever learn how to let out his feelings of anger, of rage, of disappointment. Mark David Chapman was a failure in his own mind…. He tried to be a somebody through his years but as he progressively got worse—and I believe I was schizophrenic at the time, no one can tell me I wasn’t, although I was responsible—Mark David Chapman struck out at something he perceived to be phony, something he was angry at, to become something he wasn’t, to become somebody. Chapman told King that before he stalked and killed Lennon he had gone to art galleries and had his picture taken with other celebrities: “I felt important while I was with them. And then, after, you disintegrate again.” The love and hate that seem to have alternated in Chapman toward Lennon were similar to what Robert John Bardo apparently felt toward the actress Rebecca Schaeffer. At Bardo’s trial, forensic psychiatrist Park Elliot Dietz explained on the witness stand the mechanism of good-bad splitting that is so often seen in borderline individuals. Dr. Dietz said that Bardo’s love and hate existed simultaneously in his mind and that he could switch between love and hate “in an instant.” That was why, Dr. Dietz testified, Bardo could love and adore Schaeffer at the same time that he was plotting to kill her. In his opinion, it was a sudden switch that occurred in Bardo’s brain during his second visit to Schaeffer’s doorstep that led to the fatal shooting. The Erotomanic Stalker A person who suffers from erotomania has the entrenched delusion that he or she is ardently loved by some other person. This delusion usually involves idealized romantic love and spiritual union, rather than simple sexual attraction. The one loved is usually of higher status than the adorer, a famous personage or a superior at work, although it can also be a complete stranger. Approximately 25% of delusional stalkers have stalked others before switching (often after a job reassignment) to the current victim. Margaret Ray, arrested repeatedly for stalking David Letterman, previously had stalked Yul Brynner. The erotomanic individual makes persistent efforts to contact the one about whom he or she has delusions through the telephone, by letter, by e-mails, through visits, through the sending of gifts. Whatever obstacles are put in the erotomanic individual’s path are viewed as tests of the ardor of their love. Stalkers: Forever Yours 89 Studies show that people who write love letters to a delusionally loved person, even if the letters make no threats, are nonetheless prone to violence because of their abnormal craving for contact with the loved person. Research reveals that threatening letters sent to Hollywood celebrities were not associated with approaching them. Nor were the threatening letters sent to members of the U.S. Congress. Disorganized letters (that is, those showing evidence of psychotic thinking) also were less often associated with approaches to famous persons. People who wrote 10 to 14 letters had a 66% likelihood of approaching the celebrity. Those who wrote fewer or more letters were less likely to approach. Interestingly, there is a dichotomy between the gender groups of erotomanic stalkers. In clinical practice, psychiatrists see mostly female erotomanics, whereas in forensic practice, they tend to encounter more males. Males more than females tend to run afoul of the law in their pursuit of delusionally loved persons or in some misguided effort to rescue them from an imagined danger. Under current standards of diagnosis, those suffering from erotomania are classified as having a delusional disorder that is distinct from schizophrenia or mood disorders. Erotomania can exist across a whole spectrum of psychiatric disorders. Only 25% of stalkers are pure erotomanics; the other 75% have a second psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, or a mood disorder. The symptoms persist, studies show, for an average of 10 to 12 years and are not as uncommon as once thought. Apart from the delusion and its consequences, erotomanic individuals do not display odd or bizarre behavior and may not intend any harm to their victims. In fact, they generally do not understand that their victims are being harmed by their stalking; on the contrary, they believe the victims are enjoying the attention. During a preshow warm-up of the game show Wheel of Fortune, a man in battle fatigues and dog tags jumped out of the audience and screamed to letter-turner Vanna White that her boyfriend was dangerous and associated with the Mafia, but that he was there to protect her. Security guards escorted him from the studio, but he returned again and again. Court papers later revealed that he had been calling the show’s production office and stating that he wanted to marry Ms. White. Margaret Ray insisted that she was already David Letterman’s wife. She broke into his home for the seventh time 3 days after being 90 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream released from serving a 9-month sentence for trespassing on his property. For her, as for the battle-dressed admirer of Vanna White, arrests and imprisonments were merely obstacles to be overcome, opportunities to demonstrate the strength of their love. John Thomas Smetek, later described as a 39-year-old drifter from Texas, walked up to a repertory theater where actress Justine Bateman was appearing in a play. Business card in hand, he pushed past patrons waiting in line and presented the card to a ticket taker. A love note to Bateman was written on its back, and with it Smetek delivered a verbal ultimatum: he was going to kill himself with a .22-caliber pistol. Eventually, Smetek was talked into surrendering. He was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor, but he explained to the authorities that he had done all of this so that Justine Bateman would know how much he still cared about her. He claimed to have had an affair with her 7 years earlier. Authorities determined that he had been stalking her since March. At that time, he had bluffed his way onto the set of her television series, Family Ties, and twice managed to come face to face with her before disappearing. At the theater the night before the suicide threat, he had also come near her, shouting “I love you” to her as she left a rehearsal. “I love you 6 trillion times,” John Hinckley, Jr., wrote to the object of his unrequited ardor, actress Jodie Foster, just a few days before he set out to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. “Goodbye,” he wrote to her. “Don’t you maybe like me just a little bit?” He was trying to impress her with what he was about to do, although he did not spell it out. “You know a few things about me, dear sweetheart, like my obsession with fantasy; but what the rabble don’t yet understand is that fantasies can become reality in my world.” The Schizophrenic Stalker Schizophrenic individuals experience illogical, bizarre, and delusional disturbances in their thinking. They also exhibit many other disturbances in their perceptions, emotions, sense of self, volition, and relationship to the outside world. Schizophrenic individuals often have hallucinations, mainly auditory and visual. Their emotions are flat; their sense of self is fragmented. Withdrawn and self-absorbed, they often exhibit unusual or bizarre mannerisms but are usually loners who try to avoid all contact with other people. Stalkers: Forever Yours 91 Most schizophrenic stalkers do not wish to make contact with their victims. But some are driven to make contact because their own bizarre delusions convince them that they are tormented by their victims or that they have been somehow ordained, fated, or commanded to contact their victims. It is such schizophrenic individuals who are compelled to pursue their victims, driven, as it were, to seek relief by contact with them. When stalking is a symptom of chronic schizophrenia, this behavior may become intractable. Some schizophrenic individuals are psychologically fused with their victims, hopelessly unable to discern where they stop and the other person begins. Thus, killing the victim is tantamount to committing suicide. Michael Perry, who had escaped from a mental institution, stalked singer-actress Olivia Newton-John. He wrote her two letters saying that he wanted to get in touch with her to prove to himself that she was real and not just a “Disneyland mirror image.” Reportedly, he believed that Olivia Newton-John was responsible for dead bodies that were rising through the floor of his house and that her eyes changed colors as signals to him. He compiled a death-list of 10 names that included Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He killed five persons, including his father and mother, whose eyes he shot out. Two weeks after those murders, he was in a hotel room in Washington, D.C., near the Supreme Court building. There were seven television sets in the room, all of them tuned to static and with eyes drawn on the screens with a marker. Fortunately, he was arrested before killing any more people on his death list. Individuals like Perry can be extremely dangerous because of their persecutory or messianic delusions about specific individuals. But the majority of schizophrenic individuals who have delusional beliefs are too disorganized and self-absorbed to be capable of planning and carrying out a reasonably competent, sustained stalking. As an aside, let me point out that some serial murderers, particularly serial sexual murderers, are stalkers, in that they often track their victims. Richard Ramirez, a California serial killer, was dubbed by the media as the “Night Stalker,” but there was no discernible pattern in his killings and so could not be said to have stalked anyone. Most serial killers who stalk are not interested in the socioeconomic status of their victims or in their specific personalities, and so do not really fit into this chapter about stalkers. Serial murderers who stalked, such as Ted Bundy and Edmund Kemper, are discussed in Chapter 11. 92 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream The Cyberstalker The Internet provides the stalker with another avenue by which to arrive at a person’s doorstep. The stalker can obtain private information to facilitate pursuit of the victim as well as to communicate with the victim for the purposes of harassment and threats. Cyberstalking statistics show that between January 1, 2000, and December 2001, 83% of cyberstalking victims were women and 64% of the harassers were men. When the victims were asked where they first encountered the abuser or stalker, the top three locations were e-mail (39%), chat room (15%), and message board/forum (11%). Most cases were resolved after reports were made to the stalker’s Internet service provider. Prosecutors are increasingly prosecuting cyberstalking crimes. Cyberstalking is just another example of how far stalkers will go to harass and frighten their victims. Prevention and Protection Preventive Measures Stalking is psychological terrorism. Inflicting terror on the victim often is intended, but it is also sometimes an unintended consequence of the stalker’s obsession. No matter where the victim goes, he or she is at risk. It is difficult to appreciate the intensity of fear felt by victims for their lives. The horror is so intense and constant that it often defies our understanding and taxes our ability to empathize with the victim. The stalking victim gradually becomes a captive of the stalker. As the terrorism escalates, the victim’s life becomes a prison. Friends may fall away for fear of becoming entangled and stalked themselves. The victim scurries from the protective cover of home to work and back, much as a prisoner is shuttled from cell to cell. Frequently, the workplace is no refuge from the stalker. Some victims are too terrified to leave home. They live in solitary confinement, peering out at the world from behind blinds. Sometimes, if help cannot be obtained, the only release is death—at the hands of the stalker. Such was the fate of Kristin Lardner, who was gunned down in broad daylight by Michael Cartier. If the stalker shows up repeatedly at the victim’s place of work, the victim may lose his or her job. Friends may have to do the victim’s shopping. E-mail contacts can be endless and visually threatening. The telephone may ring incessantly. One victim’s home was buzzed Stalkers: Forever Yours 93 by a stalker in a small plane. Other victims have lost pets, cars, homes, and have had defamatory material spread about them (e.g., the victim has AIDS) at work, school, or on the Internet. Some victims of stalkers have had to move away from their homes, their towns, even out of the country. As an extreme measure, a few stalking victims change their identities. Andrea Evans, who had a starring role on ABC’s One Life to Live, a series taped in New York City, felt forced by a Russian immigrant stalker to give up her job and her city. He sent her letters with threats written in blood, and despite his frequent hospitalizations, he continued to disrupt her life for some time. Eventually, her career in shambles, Ms. Evans left New York for an undisclosed location. Actress Theresa Saldana’s stalker, Arthur Jackson, came all the way from Scotland to see her, then stabbed her 10 times and left her for dead. Imprisoned in California, he frequently indicated in letters that he intended to finish the job of killing her when he was released. For the new threats, he received additional jail time. Jackson has been described by psychiatrists as a very dangerous, paranoid psychotic. He said that he wanted to kill Saldana so they could be united after death. Upon his release in the U.S., he was returned to Great Britain to stand trial for another violent offense, and in 2004 was reported to be in a mental institution there. Arthur Jackson is a classic example of a stalker who is “forever yours.” All states and the District of Columbia, recognizing the magnitude of the stalking problem, have passed anti-stalking laws. Victims can also obtain restraining orders to try to stay out of the clutches of stalkers, but these orders have had inconsistent success. Restraining orders are not effective against desperate people who have nothing to lose. To obtain such an order, the victim must go to court, itself a difficult process. Then, once the protective or restraining order is in hand, the victim must deal with the possibility that it may further inflame a determined stalker, perhaps pushing him or her over the edge into violence. Experts now suggest that the victim who obtains a protective order should also attempt to have criminal charges pressed. The combination may get the stalker off the streets and into jail, preventing immediate physical harm to the victim. A federal task force has recommended that stalking be considered a felony offense. A number of states have already taken this step, codifying stalking as an offense punishable by up to 5 years in prison. The most effective laws concerning stalking are those that define the 94 Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream offense broadly, stating, for instance, that it means willful, malicious conduct that involves repeated harassment. Under such a definition, any word, gesture, or action that is intended to diminish a person’s safety, security, or privacy will meet the definition of stalking and give the authorities reason to charge the stalker. In some states, however, the anti-stalking law is hampered by stipulations that an arrest warrant can be obtained only if the stalker has also made a “credible” threat against the victim, such as causing the victim to fear death or bodily harm. Unfortunately, this makes it necessary for the victim to prove violence directed against him or her even before that violence takes place. Moreover, threats are not highly correlated with actual violence. Protecting Yourself Laws aside, the reality is that stalking victims are and must be responsible for their own safety. Here are some techniques to decrease the risk of being psychologically or physically harmed by stalkers: • Take the stalker seriously. • Inform family and friends about the stalker. • Improve home security with deadbolts and outside lights. • Establish workplace security. • Have coworkers screen your calls. • Obtain witnesses to any stalking. • Vary your driving routes. • Do not get out of your car when next to a van. • Limit the time you spend walking. • Unobtrusively take pictures of the stalker. • Make a record of the stalker’s patterns. • Use telephone caller identification devices. • Do not respond to the stalker’s calls, e-mails, letters, or invitations to meet. • Remain in public places, and try not to travel alone. • Maintain a continuing relationship with the police. • Call police immediately if you are physically threatened by the stalker. • Consider obtaining a restraining or protective order. • Couple the protective order with the pressing of criminal charges whenever possible. • Obtain legal counsel. Stalkers: Forever Yours 95 No one wants to move and take up a new identity. Total protection is too expensive and restrictive. But careless disregard can be fatal. A balance must be struck between the freedom of one’s lifestyle and adequate security. With the enactment of laws making stalking a felony and public understanding of the dimensions of the problem, help for stalking victims and potential victims has arrived. Police everywhere are now listening seriously to women who complain of being harassed and stalked. Law enforcement agencies are revising their training procedures to take this crime into account. In some cases, arrests are required in cases of domestic violence to prevent the most common form of stalking, which arises from domestic violence. With regard to this particular crime, which is usually directed against women, society finally appears to “get it.” Kristin Lardner’s death and the violent maimings and deaths of thousands of other stalking victims have galvanized our legislatures and law enforcement agencies to finally face the epidemic of stalking and its related violence. This page intentionally left blank

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