Cyber Stalking
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Stalking, whether it's done over a computer or done in person….
it can be devastating for any victim who endures it.

I myself have been stalked four times in my life time….four times too many.  Although my ordeals are over….well…I hope they are….there are many people out there who aren't so fortunate. They continue to be the victim of these people who find pleasure in turning other people's lives upside down.

In my book…they're nothing more than a criminal mind at work.

My sister and I were out shopping one day and she pointed out a creepy, grungy guy and remarked to me "Doesn't he look like a serial killer?"  I pointed in the opposite direction, to a clean shaven, attractive man standing near his car, looking over his receipt to see if the cashier overcharged him and said "No…he does".  Because we all know people like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer…..they were the attractive, nice guys, you'd look at and say "No way....he's a serial killer? He doesn't look like what I pictured a serial killer to look like."  No…of coarse they don't.  These are the cons that slip silently in to our lives by passing themselves off as the nice guy/girl next door.

They slip in silently by gaining access to your personal space by working you over with trust and friendship before they lunge in for the kill.  Honestly.

Two of my stalkers, I've met face to face.  They followed my every move….I couldn't leave my home to run to the grocery store without seeing them in my rear view mirror, trailing behind me.  One actually went to my place of employment, snapping pictures of me as I worked.  A good citizen came over to me and said one day "Hey, did you know that guy's over there taking pictures of you?"  I replied "Yah, but I don't know what to do." This burly, nice looking man obviously saw the hopelessness in my eyes and in my voice…and walked over to this man and had a talk with him.   The stalker left me alone for a few days…but eventually…he was right back to work.  Eventually he found someone new to cling to and left me alone…that was my salvation.

Another stalker, we discovered was not only following me all over town, but also coming to our home in the middle of the night.  He became friends with our outside dog, by rewarding him with treats and was hanging out in our backyard while we slept.  Imagine my shock when he called me on the phone and made me aware he was right outside my window as I slept…as my infant laid in a crib sleeping and my youngest son slept in his bedroom all alone.  It took me threatening a restraining order on him (twice) before he hid in the shadows for another year...before contacting me again.

The other stalkers were people I'd met over the Internet.  Not that I was looking for trouble….it's just that you can't isolate yourself from the world in fear that each and every person you come in to contact with, is a ticking time bomb…the next person about to turn your life to a living hell.

Though I hesitate to share this here…I live in a haunted home.  Yes….a home filled with ghost and goblins and who knows what.  When I first sought assistance with getting help for the paranormal activity plaguing our home…I had no idea that I would end up conned and setting myself up to be a victim again.  This man claimed to be a paranormal investigator…wanting to come to our home to investigate and document the paranormal activity.  Help us.  As time went on, I began to notice the same familiar pattern….constant contact, either by phone or email.  It seemed as though, he couldn't talk to me enough, he had to know where I was, what I was doing 24 hours a day.  It wasn't until my husband spoke to him on the phone that I realized that something was seriously wrong.

He was polite with my husband but suddenly was very angry with me…almost possessive.  He began trying to convince me that my husband was of no use to me…he couldn't help me or protect me from our ghostly activity…and he said that I needed someone like him (the stalker) who could protect me.  I nipped it in the butt…and this angered him.  His anger escalated to the point that he threatened to come in our home in the middle of the night and cut my throat.  The authorities were notified and we've never heard from this man again.

My last incident….though some would say was probably a mild form of stalking….in my book….when someone is contacting you more than what is comfortable for you….it becomes stalking, period.  Stalking is stalking.

With my work here on Missing Pieces, I am required to contact potential guests for interviews.  Discuss their case and then pass on the information to our host for the actual episode airing/recording.   This particular guest, I called and interviewed her….and as with all our guests, I close the call with "If there's anything you need or questions you have, please don't hesitate to get back with me".  I had no idea this particular, potential guest would take that beyond the boundaries a normal person would.

Halloween night, as my family gathered around my dining room carving pumpkins, this person called me…wanting to talk to each and every one of my family members…..I was stumped.  I'm thinking "What's going on here…this is my personal space she's injecting herself in to….this isn't right".  Trying to be polite, I just continued to talk to her on the phone, describing every pumpkin, each of my family members were carving.  I got off the phone and found myself having to explain to my family how this woman calls me morning, noon and night….all the time.  For odd little things…like what she should pack to go on a trip.  She even called me one day and told me the night before; she was going to call me at 2:00 in the morning, because she was bored. I had to be very firm with her and explain how that would not be an appropriate time to call me because my husband and children are sleeping.  Not to mention, if I get a call at that time in the morning, I would immediately worry that something terrible happened to one of my family members.  No one ever calls you at that time of the morning, unless there's something seriously wrong.

The problem became more serious when she would tell me over the phone, each and every time she called "I love you", "I'm thinking about you", "You're my best friend". She would even send me e-cards.  I'm like "Whoa….what's going on here?"  Still…knowing that this was not normal behavior, I tried to continuously prevent the problem from escalating…by remaining pleasant and nice to this person, going along with everything they said.  The fear of finding her at my front door step began to consume me.  I shared with our host "Todd" my thoughts on this potential guest and felt that there were serious issues with this person that made me feel uncomfortable and that this potential guest appeared very unstable.  I felt, to say the least….very uncomfortable with this person and slowly but surely, tried to cut ties with her.  I slowly began to not answer the phone when she called, not return messages she left….didn't answer her emails…and this was a very slow process to protect myself, to avoid causing her to lash out at me….as many stalkers I've already experienced first hand.

Though she left me alone….her attention and focus is now on another victim.  My fear is that perhaps she doesn't realize that her behavior is unstable and she's on a mission to destroy everything in her path.  Perhaps she does know and just doesn't care who and what the effects of her actions are. I can only hope that if she should happen to stumble on this episode, she will stop and think for a minute that what she is doing is not only unhealthy and unstable but also affects many more than this one person she's set her targets on.


My personal message to this person:
"Please, if you read this episode…please stop.  There is nothing to gain by what you are doing.  You are not just lashing out at this person, everything you do affects many, many people.  The damage you do can be irreversible.  You're anger can only be destructive and there is nothing to gain from it.  Nothing positive can come from it.  Find something else to occupy your time.  You are a very smart person with a lot to offer…use your energy in a positive manner to help people, not destroy them….PLEASE!"

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Aired: October 24, 2006
Guest: Kimberly Bruklis
Program Director/Associate Producer