Part IV

☆ November 10, 2010

Earlier posts:
Intro, Intro Addendum
Part I, Part II, Part III

My best friend has always said that I get the “shrapnel version” of events.  The bombs in her life tend to go off right in her lap, whereas the bombs in my life leave me with shrapnel here and there rather than blowing me to bits.

On a Saturday afternoon, an email came in from the stalker.  “I have to see you.  I’m packing a bag and driving up there…. If you don’t want me to come or if you’re going to tell the Sheriff’s department, just email me and tell me so.”

The last time I had responded to his emails was exactly one month prior, when I had said, “Stop, or I will get law enforcement involved.”  He, of course, had continued, sending me hundreds of emails, to which I did not respond but had forwarded to the Sergeant who had taken my case.

When this email came in, my immediate urge was to write back and say “NO!  What part of NO don’t you get???”  But instead I called Dispatch.  The Sgt. was not in but I was transferred to the Lieutenant on duty, who knew the details of my case as well.  She said, “Don’t write him back.  He will only interpret that as contact, even if you are saying, ‘don’t contact me.’  If he emails you again with his whereabouts, call back.  I’m working an event tonight and dispatch will patch you through.  If he enters the county, he enters our jurisdiction and we can take him in.  If he shows up at your house, call 911.”  At this point, I knew what the stalker looked like and I knew what he drove.  I was remarkably calm, thanks to the internal transformation described in Part III, and went about my day.

Mike came down at dusk.  He had a holstered pistol slung around his shoulder with baling twine, the twine fuzzy from years of use.
“I dusted off my ol’ .44 Magnum,” he said.
“Bailing twine?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said.  “This thing’ll stop a grizzly bear, but you got to keep it close to your body.”
Mike spent years guiding pack trips in the mountains surrounding Cody, an area rife with grizzlies.  “If a grizzly shows up and there’s a horse wreck on the trail, and you fly off and your horse runs away, your gun does you no good if it’s tied to the saddle.  Gotta keep it on your body,” he said, patting the holster at his ribs.
“May I see it?” I asked.  I had seen it before but had paid little attention.  He unholstered the gun for me.  Black, heavy.  His initials were engraved in the handle.
“I don’t ever want you to have to shoot this gun,” he said.  “The recoil would probably break your wrist.  Shoot a guy in the leg with this, and he’ll fly back thirty feet.”

Mike and I played with Charlie and Chloe, then walked Daisy & Co. down to the corrals and tucked them in for the night.  When we got back to my place, I checked my email.  I grabbed my phone and was patched through to the Lt in seconds, and read her the email that had just come in. “I’m at the motel in Ten Sleep, room XX.  I need about an hour to freshen up and then we can meet.”

This is what I mean about the shrapnel version.  I still can barely wrap my head around the cocktail of insanity, narcissism, and stupidity that swirled through this guy’s veins and brain.  He pretty much served himself up on a platter, but ONLY because I had done my due diligence in the steps I had taken with law enforcement.

“We’re on the way,” she said.  “Sit tight, stay safe, I’ll be in touch.”

Mike and I sat outside.  It got dark.  Headlights approached and we could tell from the starlight that it was one of the deputy’s trucks.  He drove slowly past the driveway.  We could hear his radio crackling but couldn’t make out what was said.  “Is he lost?” Mike wondered aloud.  Just beyond the driveway, his truck squealed in a tight U-turn, sending gravel flying.  “Apparently!” I said.  But he didn’t turn up the driveway; he sped back towards town at full speed.  “Something’s going on,” I said, looking at Mike, who was looking at me.

Fifteen minutes later, the Lt. called.  “We got him,” she said.  “We arrested him at the motel on stalking charges and we’re taking him in.  Call the prosecuting attorney Monday morning, he’ll tell you what happens next.  Make sure you ask him to set a high bond.  [the Sgt’s name] and I will be back Tuesday.”

Part V is HERE

Comments

78 Responses to “Part IV”

  1. Stephanie
    November 10th, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    You handled this very well – it takes character and gut to handle stuff this well. You make all us cowgirls proud! I just wish this hadn’t happened to you. I have to say though given how much wood your chop – and the amount of manual labor you do – I would be willing to bet money you could handle that 44 just fine. I shoot my hubby’s 50 whenever he has it out (again – 44 or 50 we use them mainly as bear guns as well) while I am not super accurate with it, it hasn’t damaged my wrist.

  2. Teaspoon
    November 10th, 2010 @ 9:53 am

    I’m glad to hear the enforcement arm was on the ball, even if we already know the courts mostly dropped it.

    Also, I can totally see a baling twine harness for Mike’s holster. Gotta use what you have to get the job done.

  3. Phyllis
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:01 am

    My heart is pounding! What an absolute IDIOT!!! I’m so glad you have Mike!

  4. Marg
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:03 am

    I want to cry when I read these posts. Why do people do this to innocents? I know it is because they are mentally unstable but it shakes me to the core and I’m not even involved. Be safe!

  5. Maggie
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:08 am

    I’m so glad he never got as far as your house! Holy man, how stressful.

  6. wyomama
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:11 am

    Wow. Not long enough of a prison term for this freakazoid.

    I will say this. Raw milk increases bone density like you cannot believe. ;) If all you’ve got is a .44, don’t be afraid of it. Your bones are fine.

    And don’t ever, ever, EVER aim for the leg. Aim for the chest or the belly. And don’t hesitate, and don’t only fire once. It’s highly likely that nerves and adrenaline will cause you to miss or veer off target anyway.

  7. Jenny C
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    Thanks again for keeping us posted.

    Wow… insanity stalking the sane – no way to know what on earth to do moment to moment. Too confusing and weird for words. Good they got him that evening, but it sounds like maybe it wasn’t enough.

    Mike and a .44 Magnum were the highlights of your post in Part IV, second only to the knowledge that you’ve stayed safe and sane through this.

    I’m praying.

  8. angie
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:18 am

    “I need about an hour to freshen up and then we can meet.”

    that makes me shudder.

    good thing you got your self a sexy cowboy to watch your back! ;)

    but seriously, wow… :\

  9. shreve
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    Wyomama ~ Yes & yes to all you said! I’m glad you reiterate that – I was just repeating Mike’s words verbatim in the story but from a technical standpoint, yes, you are correct on all counts.

  10. Janine
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:33 am

    chills..I am here and need an hour to freshen. Really…

  11. wyomama
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:34 am

    LOL – I realized after I posted that it was really unlikely that Mike would actually advise you to *try* and shoot someone in the leg. I’m sure he’s totally solid on the firearms stuff. :)

  12. Carolyn
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:34 am

    So sorry you are having to deal with all this.
    Makes me want to ask that Judge, “What part of psychotic and dangerous don’t YOU understand?”
    Sending you and Mike and your “farmily” my heartfelt
    best wishes.

  13. Heather L
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    Shreve,
    I have to say that you are very very very brave. I am very sorry that this has happened to you and the farmily and Mike. But I would agree with Wyomama dont be afraid to use the weapon to protect yourself and your family, and don’t stop shooting. Glad Mike is there to help you & the farmily.

  14. Chair
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    As a fiercely independent (yet very happily married to a man) woman, I balk at the idea that you need him to protect you -that you couldn’t handle it on your own. I suppose it’s a question of need vs. want. I doubt you need Mike around as The Man Will Take Care Of The Damsel In Distress, though, of course, emotional and physical support is always a good, good thing. I’m feeling inarticulate right now, hehe, sorry if that doesn’t make sense -I’m sure you get my meaning, though.

    I also expect you have the strength to handle the .44 and, if it came to it, it’s probably worth a broken wrist to defend yourself from a psychopath. Maybe it’s time to take up bow-hunting? :D

  15. shreve
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    Chair ~ Did you not read part III? Mike was with me because he wanted to be by my side. As my partner.

  16. Chair
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    Hm, OK, re-reading my comment, it comes across as militant feminist.. sorry. Where’s that coffee? I certainly have moments where I need my husband and when he’s out of town on work trips and I have a Creeped Out Moment, I immediately wish I had him with me for support, back-up. I suppose I’m just trying to say that I admire your independence and strength (of various sorts) and while it is very, very excellent that you have a very, very excellent partner to back you up, I’m sure if Mike happened to be out, you could manage quite well on your own -as you said yourself, you’ve prepared for it and you’re intelligent, resilient and strong.

    OK, coffee time. :)

  17. darrell
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    Terrible you or anyone has to deal with this sort of thing. My dad raised me to treat every woman as though I were her personal bodyguard. “Keep your mouth shut, be polite and if someone bothers a woman, you break em up in little pieces.” Several of my ex-girlfriends have been harassed and even some were raped. Glad you handled this like you did. Tell as many people as you can. It could save lives.

  18. shreve
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    Chair ~
    :)

    Darrell ~ good on you and your dad

  19. Pam Wilson
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    I was stalked by a creep like this. It began with email then he found my address at a time when it was not listed anywhere. I felt exactly as you described about the sick, inflated, audacity of a male who had been told in no uncertain terms “no” and continued to behave as if we’d shared an illicit tryst he wanted to build on. When a state trooper told him to cut it out he said, “But what will I do with myself now?” It was three years of email hell (he found my email address at work as well as home) before I got smart enough to ask for help. I’m so glad you’ve done everything you could right away, dismayed at the hint of trouble with the judicial.

  20. Jerry Johnson
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:52 am

    In reference to Teaspoon’s comment, many times the police get the blame for putting someone back on the street or dropping the ball, when, in reality, it is the court system and our weak suspect-protecting laws that put them back out there. I recall having to get inventive one night when a woman threatened to kill herself with a knife. The hospital psychologist did not take her threat seriously and was going to release her that night to try again. So I drafted a complaint charging the woman with unlawful use of weapons…threatening to use a weapon against…herself. It accomplished the purpose which was to get her off the street for the night until her mind could clear. The prosecutor called me in the next morning to tell me that they couldn’t really follow through with the complaint. I explained my reasoning for issuing the complaint. We both just smiled knowing that it served its purpose. Sometimes law enforcement has to get creative to get the job done. I’m glad that your law enforcement kept you safe. I would have loved to have been there for the takedown of this psycho. He was expecting you and ended up staring down the barrels of several firearms. I am just relieved you are safe; although do not let down your guard.

  21. Assana
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:55 am

    Just like Phyllis, my heart was pounding while reading this. Arhghg. So sorry you had to go thru it.

  22. Jerry Johnson
    November 10th, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    Ref: Wyomama’s post…she is correct. There is a reason police targets are all center mass targets. And we are always taught to fire multiple rounds; “double taps” as they are called. The body does not respond well to multiple traumas and shuts down faster which aleviates the threat to you. This is why buckshot from a shotgun is so effective. We do not shoot to kill; we shoot to “stop” the attacker. If the result is same; so be it. You do what you must to stay safe, my friend.

  23. Marlene
    November 10th, 2010 @ 11:17 am

    WOW…that guy defintely has some deep mental
    issues…those people are running around loose
    gives me the creeps….after you he will probably go on and do it again to someone else!!..we have to defend ourselves..the law can not really do it..thats for sure…Marlene from Cambria

  24. Kar
    November 10th, 2010 @ 11:36 am

    A part of me thinks that this was a waste of time and you should’ve let Mike shoot him like a charging grizzly. Then throw his wounded carcass into one of the pens.

    The more Christian, suburbanite part of me is glad that you called the cops and that they caught him. I hate to say this but I’m glad that the sergeant was female. I’d like to think that a male wouldn’t brush this off and take this seriously but regardless, they took him in.

  25. Siobhan
    November 10th, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    Whatever downfalls in the justice system – your police department is top notch. I am so impressed with how they handled this. That they recognized and respected the threat that this man posed, that they acted so promptly to arrest him and keep you safe. Kudos to them.

  26. Maia
    November 10th, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    Shreve, this whole thing says something very sad about our society, when a creep like that cannot tell reality from his own sick fantasies. Anyone with a half a brain, who reads your blogs or your book, might be able, after a day or two, if they’re slow, to figure out that you are in love with and committed to Mike. Even if you wrote Mr. Moron an email that said something like “Thank you for taking the time to comment,” it doesn’t change that. That’s what’s real.

    What disturbs me is that I don’t think, Mr. Jerk is all that unique. I think there are a lot of folks like that out there. People with borderline personalities who can’t tell virtual reality and gaming from reality. I don’t know what the answer is. For him, maybe a year or two in jail would wake him up to what’s real and what isn’t. Too bad he didn’t get his wake up call.

    And as for you, Ms. Stockton, once again you show the world what grace and courage and class under difficult situations looks like.

  27. Sherri
    November 10th, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    This has been a very interesting read to date. Thank you for sharing this ordeal with us. it may help someone else in a similar situation one day.

    (Coming up: Wherein I learn firsthand the motto of our Judicial System: Let’s not be accountable for ANYTHING except misogyny!)

    I think the next installment is going to really p*ss me off!!!

  28. catherine
    November 10th, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

    Just reading this chapter I get so angry. All my life I was against having a gun. Signed petitions, blablablabla…. Now with the complete breakdown in our court system and mental health system, and health care in general, one better think twice about NOT having a gun. We have problems here in the desert with the ” smokers”( crystal meth addicts), they are like the zombies of the” walking dead” movie. There is no reasoning with them, nothing can be said, the brain is FRIED, they will not remember what they have done one hour prior. If one comes to my door,it will be a while before the cops get here, there is no options but to be armed, and I mean it ! Stay safe.
    On a lighter note, I just got my beautiful print of Charlie as a baby. I am framing it and hanging it in the foyer.

  29. SC
    November 10th, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

    Recently after midnight one night the dogs were going crazy. I looked out and someone was in the front yard with a flash light. Now, it’s a mile to our nearest neighbor. So out I go with the person in my sights, finger on the trigger with pressure I asked who was out there. They said Sheriff’s Department. I told them I needed more proof than that. So the other person that I didn’t know was there Turned on the blues. If the cop had shined the light at me I would have killed her and the other cop that was hidden would have killed me. They were looking for a runaway. Why didn’t they come to the door? Anyway, that was the first and hopefully the last time I will ever have a human in my sights. I went in and threw up.

  30. Sierra
    November 10th, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

    Between your first post about this and now I have gained a stalker of my very own. He’s a meth addict my mother had an affair with and somehow he’s latched on to me as well. My mother started the procedure of getting a restraining order, but the law enforcement she talked to said they wouldn’t do anything about him sending inappropriate sexual messages and blackmailing my mom for money–he had to make threats to our physical safety. She thought she might still have a voicemail with a threat but they wouldn’t wait for her to find it.

    I’m a little scared; he’s a black belt and much larger than I am. He knows where I live and work, and probably knows which college I attend.

    I just wish that people like this didn’t exist.

  31. Teaspoon
    November 10th, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

    Re: Jerry’s comment

    Yes, there are some awfully good cops out there — I used to do clerical work for a police/sheriff office, so I know a number of them.

    There are also cops like the two that responded the day my father pointed a loaded twelve-gauge at my mother’s head after knocking her into a chair so hard that it broke and told her that her kids were going to see her brains splattered against the wall.

    They made him promise not to do it again. No report, no case number, nothing in writing at all.

    When it comes to violence against women, the system is broken at ~all~ levels, though which levels a particular community has to deal with at any given time are mutable. The reality is that none of the various arms of the justice system are blame-free for the way things currently aren’t working, and they all need to drop the blue wall and clean their own houses first.

  32. Pam
    November 10th, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

    Kar’s comment reminded me of the time I was chased on a local trail by a man. I made it to my car, called the police, and a sherif’s deputy came to tell me “he probably just wanted to meet you.” Two years later the same guy was arrested at the same spot. Who knows how many women he terrified before we were taken seriously.

  33. Teaspoon
    November 10th, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    @Sierra

    I’m sorry he’s doing that to you and your mother. I hope that you and your mother stay safe. Depending on who your mother spoke to, she may be able to ask to speak with a superior officer or whichever governmental body oversees the law enforcement branch she reported the stalking to. You may also want to look into making your own report of his behavior, especially since he’s targeting you, as well.

  34. Chris
    November 10th, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

    Like so many others here, I am struck by the contrast between how your local law enforcement responded and how the courts let you down. As you said, you got your ducks lined up so the cops could do their job; that is to your credit.

    How Mike supported you is heartening: a partner and a good friend at your side and at your back.

    SC: to my mind you responded entirely appropriately. Fortunately the second cop defused the situation. Your self-control is commendable, and your reaction at the end very human ;)

  35. Pat D.
    November 10th, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

    Fascinating account of your ordeal. I’m only sorry you had to go thru it…

  36. mlaiuppa
    November 10th, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    I suppose if you have to be stalked, this is about as good as it gets. At least he was a civil stalker, telling you where he was, keeping you up to date, etc. It could have been a whole lot worse.

    I’ll hold off on comments on the judiciary until that post.

    You are so lucky to have Mike.

    ***************

    I don’t do Twitter and don’t know if you’ll read my e-mail but I have a copy each of Catching Fire and Mockingjay I’m willing to lend you. Sent an e-mail to the gmail account so you can reply there. That’s my work e-mail.

    Will repost this on other two Honey threads so you see it.

  37. Carrie
    November 10th, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

    I’m with Sherri–I just KNOW part V is going to result in a forehead-shaped dent in my desk.

    “I need about an hour to freshen up and then we can meet.”

    This made me cringe. “What a forking creeper!” would be an understatement, but I’m saying it, anyway: WHAT A FORKING CREEPER!

  38. Rhea
    November 10th, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    I work for a local PD. It never ceases to amaze me how often police DO THEIR JOBS when they arrest someone only to have the suspect let off with a slap on the wrist from the judge. I’m about to say something that I want you to know I don’t apply to your situation AT ALL but needs to be said about law enforcement: not every person who calls the cops first is necessarily the “victim.” There are so many instances of people wanting to get back at someone, revenge for some past squabble and even woman who want to bulk up their case for custody of children (that’s the worst) that they will fabricate lies or embelish the situation way beyond what actually happened. Jerry I’m sure you encountered this in your career. Anyway, law enforcement really has it’s hands tied what with threats of “civil rights infringement” and using “undue force” in subduing a suspect. There’s good & bad in every police dept. but ultimately the outcome lies with the courts.
    Stay safe and thanks for the update.

  39. Random Charlie Fan
    November 10th, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

    My goodness, I have a very strong disliking for this man by now. What kind of sick person does that kind of thing and cannot understand the meaning of a simple word like no? Some people are just…ugh >.<
    And it’s really too bad this guy didn’t get more punishment. To be honest, I think he should go to mental rehab or something… It’s a very good thing that you’re safe, though, and I think you dealt with it in the best way possible.

  40. pam
    November 10th, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    shreve,,,I must agree with wyomama…any cop will tell you to aim for the largest body part AND keep shooting. and shooting. We’re NOT trying to maim someone or scare them,,,at this point, it’s their life or yours.

    So sorry you are having to go through this…people are just nuts!!!!
    You KNOW I am with you spiritually and send you all my own strength and I admit that I am a pretty strong woman. No man/nut is going to get the best of us!

  41. pam
    November 10th, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

    btw Jerry Johnson knows what he’s talking about….if it means the other person’s death,,,oh well,,,had to be. YOU stay safe!

  42. ABQ Annie
    November 10th, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

    I recently lost all faith with the judicial system with a great injustice that was done to me that went to court, but in the end justice was served, restoring my trust in it.

    After reading your book I worried a little bit about you being so trusting that weirdos would not track you down in such a small town. We can’t let fear control us and our lives though. However between you and your Mike I think this guy has something to really fear if he actually shows up on your doorstep…like a man who can kill a mountain lion with bale twine.

  43. Colleen G
    November 10th, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

    WOW. Thank goodness for the local law officers. Thank goodness for you using your head, keeping your cool and calling the police. Thank goodness for that awesome badass Mike who provides all the right security and teaches you how to stay safe. Baling twine. Hmmm, gonna go get some of that. Stay safe. xo

  44. TT
    November 10th, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    Shreve, thanks for the update; I was just thinking about this situation and thought I’d check the post. It does send chills up the spine but is very informative. Thank you for sharing this with your readers so we can all learn from this.

    I hope Charlie, Chloe, Eli, and all the other critters are doing well!

  45. Torchy
    November 10th, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

    We have a teeny cabin, pretty isolated, in the Sierra, and the last burglary got my favorite shotgun, so just got back from a gun store, which kind of creeps me out to replace it with what they are calling a “home defense” or “tactical” shotgun – pump with an 18″ barrel. While I haven’t yet decided to get it, I did stay home this week cuz I would have been there alone. And, we’ve rehearsed scenarios, like someone trying to get it, I say “go away, I will shoot.” More trying and I shoot right through the doors and straight into his middle. I hope this day never comes.

  46. Scotty
    November 10th, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

    was so pleased to hear that at the very least he had time to freshen up…before the sheriff slapped the cuffs on him. HAHAHAHA! book em danno.

  47. Lesley
    November 11th, 2010 @ 12:20 am

    “I still can barely wrap my head around the cocktail of insanity, narcissism, and stupidity…”

    My thoughts exactly! I’m curious to know if he’s a sociopath or mentally ill. Did the judge send him for psychological testing?

    How many other people has this creep threatened?

    I have to say I’m tickled the cop who nabbed him is a female. I visualize her as Marge Gunderson from Fargo.

  48. Janetyjanet
    November 11th, 2010 @ 6:14 am

    lordy, reading all this leaves me feeling so conflicted…

    Not on the main point that you = right, him = wrong, that part is fine & clear!

    It’s just thinking about the gun side of things. Living in the UK, even the countryside, guns are very much less of an everyday item as they seem to be in the US. We seem to have lower gun crime that correlates with the tighter gun laws and my ‘liberal left’ leaning mindset has always been that the less guns the better.

    And yet, and yet…

    I ask myself, what if I were in your situation? What if I knew someone was stalking me and was causing me to fear for my safety. Wouldn’t I want to do anything and everything I could to protect myself – up to and including arming myself? Like some of the other posters, I live in an isolated area with the nearest police station half an hour away – so what would my options be if someone turned up uninvited, meaning me harm? Hmmmm.

    It’s a difficult thought to wrestle with and I’ve not arrived at a personal answer yet – but thank you for having the courage to deal with your situation and for sharing your story with us. Food for thought indeed!

  49. Lizzie L
    November 11th, 2010 @ 7:22 am

    I admire you so much for bringing this to light so that others will know what to do in this situation. There are so many crazy people in this world, and it’s easy to panic and do the wrong thing in a sticky situation. You didn’t do either. You really kept it together and did everything right. You’re incredibly inspiring!

  50. Lyn
    November 11th, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    To everyone who is undecided about whether an individual should have a gun…in some cases, the survivor is going to be either him or you. The guy isn’t there to take you to lunch. If you’re able and prepared to defend yourself, you have a choice. If you are unarmed, you are the perfect victim and you and possibly your family are very likely to end up dead.

  51. Jen
    November 11th, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    Reading this through a cellphone in a warm cafe makes this event all the stranger and more harrowing. Writing about it tn such detail is an interesting choice knowing he is such a wickedly sick psycho. You cannot live in fear however. Live aware. These things are terrible. I am glad the law was watching out for you and the farmily. Stay safe.

  52. mlaiuppa
    November 11th, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    I am reminded of a time when my neighborhood wasn’t that safe. Drug dealers were running prostitutes in the apartment building next door and selling blatantly in the alley.

    My friend who lived across the alley from me was a car mechanic and I would take him to work in the morning and then pick him up after work in return for free car maitenance.

    We discussed the situation.

    I am not a violent person but I was being pushed to that point.

    He said *if* I ever got to that point that he would help me choose a gun. Used at a pawn shop would be cheaper. First we would go to the gun range and practice. The had guns for rent. He suggested a smaller caliber. People think bigger is better, but he said that a 22 will bounce around and tear up the insides better than a bigger caliber that will just go through.

    He also said that once you commit you do not shoot to wound. Aim for the biggest target (body) and keep shooting until the gun is empty. Even if the guy goes down, he might get up.

    He also said that if it happened and I didn’t see a weapon, get a knife from my knife rack in the kitchen and put it in his hands. I wasn’t too happy with that. But he said it the police likely wouldn’t question it and would make things easier paperwork wise.

    I’m happy I never got to that point. But if I had, that is exactly what I would have done.

    I’m a little more comfortable with a bow and arrow, having taken archery and practiced in my parents’ back yard. Also with a sword, although currently I don’t own one light enough to wield nor does it have an edge.

    Luckily the neighborhood worked with the police to get the situation under control. They made one arrest (the woman who managed all of the apartment buildings in the area and specialized in renting to criminals) and suddenly it was a lot easier for the neighborhood watch and the police to clean up the area.

    That was 20 years ago and it’s a quiet, peaceful neighborhood every since.

    I’m glad I wasn’t pushed to the point of having to buy a gun and practice. But I was prepared to do that if necessary.

    You’re very lucky to have Mike.

    This guy is sick, but he doesn’t sound like he’s totally whackjob over the edge yet. I would hope the arrest and court hearing knocked enough sense into him to back off and never contact you again.

  53. Alicia S
    November 11th, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    Hugs Shreve. Big, safe hugs to you! I love the partner comment. That is how I am with my other half, Dave. We are partners who look out for one another.. he would’ve done the same thing.

    And you’ve totally got that .44 magnum! The bigger the gun, the less recoil it’ll have. (There’s more ‘gun’ to absorb the shock.) It’s the little guns that shoot giant rounds that’ll break your wrist, thumb, whatever.

    Sending calming vibes your way.

  54. TTaylor
    November 11th, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

    I’ve been reading the comments along the way on these posts and the different views re: gun ownership. The comments have been very interesting. I believe that a person one can only do what he/she is comfortable doing. If he/she is nervous about having a gun around and using it, it probably wouldn’t be much use in a real situation. However, if this person gets a gun and gets the proper training, he/she doesn’t really know what they’d do in a real situation. I just always hope that people never have the need to find out! I know, in a perfect world…..

  55. Spitt
    November 11th, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

    You’re an amazing role model to all of us ladies. Stay strong and safe.

  56. Hawk
    November 12th, 2010 @ 7:07 am

    Having read this post twice now, and read some of the comments (I skimmed some, sorry)…I have to say my own piece.

    You’re lucky the guy was being “civil” and telling you where he was and all. You’re lucky you had Mike there – two sets of eyes and ears are better than one, especially with this kind of madman. Could you shoot a large-caliber pistol? Probably, if you were taught how to go with the recoil. I can’t imagine you’re weaker than the female Lt.

    Shoot a guy in the leg? Sure. If you can hit that target at range, it might work out well, and then you might not kill him. Killing people is so messy – legally and practically speaking. But many defense teachers I’ve listened to DO recommend shooting for the biggest body part you can target. And to keep shooting until they drop.

    You still might not kill the guy – the stomach’s a plenty big target – and if he’s seriously coming onto your property, he can be assumed to have intent to harm. And where you live, I bet there’s a plausible defense-of-property plea for such cases.

  57. Carolyn
    November 12th, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    I just hope the Judge gets it this time and puts this creep away for as long as is possible.

  58. Janetyjanet
    November 12th, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

    @ TTaylor – amen to that!

  59. Penny
    November 12th, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

    My sister used to be a cop. I was living alone at the time and was considering getting a gun for protection. She asked me several questions, but the ones that stuck with me were If you get a gun will you be prepared to use it? and If you do use it are you prepared to live with the consequences? That was 20 years ago. I am living alone again now, and I live in a rural mountain area. I still don’t have a gun. After reading all of this I may start thinking about it again.

  60. Patty
    November 13th, 2010 @ 4:13 am

    Think about it, as females, we are brought up to know that the other half of our society, men, are threats. From day one we are taught this, and we live every day with this knowledge. It colors every single action we take in life weather we realize it or not, it is so ingrained in us. From just walking down the street, parking a car, always deciding which is the safest action to take. Again, we might not be actively thinking about our safety in any one circumstance, who could live with such active paranoia? But it’s always there, in our sub conscience, put there by our parents/care givers from the beginning of time.

  61. shreve
    November 13th, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    Patty ~ Speaking only for myself here, but such thoughts weren’t passed to me by my parents; rather, it became learned knowledge via observation and experience (of self, friends, etc). I don’t think parents are to blame; predatory and/or abusive individuals are to blame (as are the systems that support & protect them)!

  62. Scott
    November 13th, 2010 @ 9:02 am

    Thank ‘dog’ you’ve got great people around you. This whole thing is just awful.

  63. msdramateacherlady
    November 13th, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

    I continue to be in awe of your strength and wisdom.

  64. Sharon
    November 13th, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

    Hi Shreve, I live in a ‘burb outside of DC. I first learned of you when on vacation out west, I got “The Daily Coyote” for the plane ride home. I’ve been a fan ever since. When the east coast rat-race frazzles my nerves, I take a “Charlie-Honey” break, which always refreshes me. Have to say Ive been on the edge of my seat over the creep-freak posts and I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I’m always amazed at your insight and strength of character. I’m a firm believer in karma (reap what you sew) also believe when that doesn’t work, arm up! Whole heartedly wish that you and yours are wrapped in love and goodness. For many of us, you are a breath of fresh air. Thank you so much for all your great photos and posts.

  65. Martha Parks Johnson
    November 13th, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    Shreve
    I am so impressed how you kept your cool, prepared to defend yourself and your farmily and did not let yourself be vicitimized. As a social worker and therapist, I know how easily that can occur. I am proud of you, I pray for you and your farmily.
    Peace be with you
    Martha

  66. daria
    November 14th, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

    Shreve, I hope that you don’t feel silly or weak or unfeminist for having Mike help you protect yourself. The only thing you as a feminist (that I’ve gathered here you are?) need to feel bad about is the fact that women feel marginalized, used, and unsafe in our society, which I think you already do. So I think it’s completely fine for men to step in and help us protect ourselves, just as women should help men protect themselves. We are living in a society together, in partnerships, and need to take care of each other. There’s nothing unfeminist about that. It’s great that you were able to find the inner strength to stand up for yourself and it’s great that Mike was there to support you, just as I’m sure you’d be there to support him if danger was coming his way. In any case, phew, what a story! I’m so glad you and your family are safe!

  67. daria
    November 14th, 2010 @ 9:15 pm

    P.S. Oy, I hope my comment didn’t sound presumptuous or irritating. I never know how these faceless and brief comments will come across and therefore usually don’t comment. My main point was that: girl, you did everything good and right!

  68. Carrie
    November 14th, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

    Shreve, this has made my heart beat so hard, so scared thinking about the parallel in my life. I am so glad that you are such a strong woman with a strong man in your life, but I think that even without the man in your life you would be able to fend for yourself. I know you would be.

    A man I had dated briefly, broke off with nicely and sanely, got hooked up in something bad, went off to jail for a year, then came back… “wrong”.

    He stalked, followed, called, chased, and bugged me for 15 years, sometimes he was in jail and I’d have a quiet year or two, sometimes he’d just drive by every night checking up on me, I moved and lost him for 2 years, but one night he was on a breaking/entering spree (for drug money) and spotted my car. He tore the siding off my house, broke my door down, broke out windows, almost killed my dog and 2 of my cats and chased me around my house and yard until a car drove by and saw us. The car didn’t stop, but it stopped HIM, this gave me the opportunity to call the sheriff and they found him, dropped the harassment and stalking charges with regards to me, charged him with all the b/e he’d done all night, and oddly enough, stealing a case of soda out of my car. He was released a year or so later. I told the police in town and the sheriffs department that I feared retribution and they laughed at me. He wasn’t out 3 days when he found me at my NEW, new house, and my new job. He was threatened with complete and final bodily harm if he ever breathed within 10 miles of me by a man at work who cared for me. I moved yet again, but kept/keep posted on HIS whereabouts via a friend and I just pray that he will not find me again. I’m married with a step-son now and I’d hate to think what me and my husband would do if he showed up. I don’t think he’d try any of this again… I’d like to anyway.
    I just thought, this all started in 1985 and ended in 1999, so I guess my math is fuzzy.

  69. CeeBee
    November 15th, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    A former coworker was like your stalker. He’d call “the love of his life” at her workplace, she’d answer (no Caller ID back then), would hear his voice, would immediately hang up, and he would then tell me, “She must still love me. She answered the phone and said ‘hello’ to me.”

  70. IMJOToday
    November 15th, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

    Great. I’ve been reading your account of your trauma, and I JUST find out my niece is being stalked, harassed, threatened by a now ex-boyfriend. Her relationship with him was a result of very poor judgment, and weakness on her part, but what – it’s her fault? HE is the victim in this?? She’s in Texas and swears that she can’t get a restraining order against him unless he actually touches her. she says she’s talked to 2 lawyers and the police about him. I can’t believe that is accurate – she must not be telling me everything. In any case, she is ready and prepared to defend herself should he completely go off the deep end – which could happen, as he is mentally unbalanced, and a drunk to boot. She says she is not scared. I am the one who is scared, and angry because I am helpless.

  71. shreve
    November 16th, 2010 @ 8:13 am

    IMJO~ Your niece is probably telling you the straight facts – it is *not* uncommon for law enforcement/the court system to deny protection until there has been an actual (and recorded) threat or an assault. My situation, with the incredibly proactive law enforcement, is the exception, not the rule.

  72. Janice
    November 16th, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    I had an online stalker for a couple of years. I knew the guy casually through some friends, and he began commenting on my blog as a “secret admirer.” I didn’t ignore him from the get go, because I had no idea it would turn into anything. But after some troubling calls, emails, and comments, I wanted it to stop.

    I finally cut off all communications with him, but even after several months he persisted. Eventually, I took my case to the campus security, and they told me that I should “be careful” what I write online; there are a lot of weirdos out there. There was nothing they could do because the man hadn’t “technically” threatened me. I felt so helpless, and like I was to blame. That I should have seen it coming. That I somehow deserved it.

    After a few more months, I couldn’t take the harassment anymore and I shut down my blog for good. This was years ago, and it still hurts to think about how I gave up that part of myself just to feel safe again.

    Although our experiences were different, your story resonates with me so deeply, and it is so important to tell. Stalking (online or otherwise) is a cruel violation that nobody should have to go through. I am so sorry this happened to you, but the way you handled it is truly inspiring. I look forward to reading the rest of your story.

  73. Theresa Szpila
    November 16th, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

    Hi, Shreve,

    I’m sitting here, completely flabergasted, trying to grasp this jerk’s “freshen up and meet” comment. Boy, am I glad Mike brought you his .44 for safety. This guy’s insane narcissism just makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up in horror. I’m also glad that Ten Sleep has such a terrifically responsive police force. I’ll reserve comment on the judiciary until I read that post. In the meantime, stay safe!!!

  74. Teri
    November 16th, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!! WHAT AN IDIOT!! Hang in there and stay safe! Please!

  75. Catherine Chandler
    November 18th, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

    Shreve…once again, thank you for sharing your experience with everyone, and helping others learn how to handle a situation like this (guns aside, people.) I hope this man rots in jail. He has serious delusions. As weird as this may sound, I’m glad that you had your wits about you enough to do what’s right…I would hate to think what would have happened had this man latched on to someone who was too scared to go to the police or was not quite as strong.

  76. Lindsay
    November 18th, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

    Among a variety of reasons, your story is partly why I have decided to get a gun and take a gun safety/shooting class. I, too, am an independent female that lives alone, and I could use the extra self defense. I hope I never have to use it in self defense, but they’re fun to shoot at the range!

  77. Wine Dog
    November 21st, 2010 @ 9:37 am

    I am really sorry you had to go through all of this. It’s a very offensive juxtaposition to the purity of living on a ranch.

  78. Rachel
    December 29th, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

    All your actions are completely impressive, I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with this mind-numbing idiot, but I’m glad you know you can defend yourself, so many women unfortunately do Not know this. I hope this is the end of the road for the stalker and you never hear from him again.

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