Part VII

☆ March 7, 2011

Earlier posts:
Intro, Intro Addendum
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI

When I left off, the stalker had been unable to pay his bond to get out of jail before the trial; he had requested that his bail be waived and, during that hearing, gone into a graphic tirade about a double-murder fantasy of his while on the stand.  His request was denied and bail remained at $10,000.

At that point, I was finally able to move everything about this to the back of my mind for the first time since the stalking began ~ he was obviously stuck in jail and the trial was six weeks away.  But the relative peace I enjoyed did not last long, for I soon received another call from the Victim’s Advocate.

She told me the stalker had changed his plea ~ to Guilty.  This was not some sudden bout of conscience; this was simply strategy, to speed up the process and, in his mind, hopefully get out of jail before the trial would even have taken place.  The Prosecuting Attorney was able to require a mental evaluation, which had to be scheduled and completed before the sentencing hearing could be scheduled.

The eval was scheduled, then it was rescheduled, then it was canceled, then rescheduled.  It came out during the sentencing that the individual who finally did administer the mental evaluation considered the stalker “outside their realm of expertise” and recommended he be seen by someone with more focused qualifications, but, due to the disorganization surrounding the initial eval or, perhaps, just a general disorganization and ball-dropping by the Prosecuting Attorney, that never happened.  The only good thing that came from the mess surrounding the mental evaluation was that it did keep the stalker in jail for another three weeks.

And then it was time for the sentencing hearing.  I did not have to go but I chose to go, and when the stalker’s public defender saw me in the courtroom she threw a fit, literally shouting, “Why is she here? She doesn’t need to be here, we’re going to change our plea back to Not Guilty.”  She muttered nasty stuff under her breath about me before the judge arrived, loud enough to be sure I heard it all, and then she really did try to change the plea back to Not Guilty but it was not allowed.

There was a short hearing which consisted of the Prosecuting Attorney and the public defender each stating why they were right and the other wrong, and then the judge made his pronouncement.  This was the same judge who had presided over the bond hearing, when the stalker had described his elaborate plan to murder two innocents, and I was convinced he would give the stalker the maximum sentence of six months to be served in jail.

The judge did sentence him to the maximum sentence of six months.  I was sitting next to the Victim’s Advocate and got excited when I heard this.  “Don’t get excited yet,” she whispered with the dry resignation of having seen this over and over again.  And she was right.  The judge went on, citing this and that and time served while held on bond and probation and waived court fees and then, speaking directly to the stalker: “you’ll be free to go at 7am tomorrow morning.”  This is what I wrote in my notebook at the time:  I hold bullshit in too high esteem to call this bullshit.  This is disgusting irresponsibility.  This is a system that fails the responsible and the innocent, one that is hideously mired with subtle and not-so-subtle misogyny.

Afterward, I met breifly, separately, with both the Victim’s Advocate and the Prosecuting Attorney.  Both said, “Don’t worry about him bothering you anymore; you’ve been too difficult, caused him too much trouble.  He’ll find someone else.”

* * *

I did not write this series for catharsis.  I found catharsis with my handgun.  I wrote this for others, because I would have liked to have read something like this when I was going through it myself.  It would have helped me.

I also feel that violence against women is a topic that is still too ignored.  I took self defense classes in my teens and 20’s but still found myself unprepared in my ability to respond to the physical and psychological demands of being stalked.  It wasn’t until I started thinking like a fighter and had a crash course in strategy and fighting back ~ which I lived and breathed every day for months ~ that I gained the skills and the mindset that brought clarity and confidence.  And now, I don’t have to stay in that zone, because I know I can access it any time I might need to.

My longwinded point is, don’t wait for a reason.  Learn these skills now.  Hone your inner fighter and let her live inside you, quietly dormant but agile when you need her.  I had the shrapnel version.  I wasn’t beaten, raped, killed, or permanently disabled like so many women are every day.

I love knowing I can fight.  I love knowing that by writing this, other girls and women are accepting (yes, accepting) their own power, as well.

Comments

118 Responses to “Part VII”

  1. Jaimie Brunet
    March 7th, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    Awesome. Just awesome.

  2. Rachel
    March 7th, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    “He’ll find someone else.” WTF? So the goal is to get him to stalk some other woman? Shouldn’t it be to stop him from stalking anyone else? That’s like, an attempted murder and them saying “oh, I wouldn’t worry, they’ll find someone else to kill.”

  3. McSherrie
    March 7th, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    I am working on my Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology – focusing on victimology – and I have to thank you for this series. The lessons that you so painfully learned and are passing on to all those who read your posts are powerful and the best way to reduce violence – not just violence against women, but violence as a whole.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. And know that your sharing has done much to help others going through abusive situations like stalking.

  4. MissPickles
    March 7th, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    Brilliant.

  5. falnfenix
    March 7th, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    My longwinded point is, don’t wait for a reason. Learn these skills now. Hone your inner fighter and let her live inside you, quietly dormant but agile when you need her.

    AMEN. AMEN AMEN AMEN.

    i’m so sick and tired of women relying on someone else to protect them. i’m so sick of people in general – not just women – saying “SURELY this won’t happen to me!” sure, there’s a chance it won’t, but there’s just as much a chance it will, and turning a blind eye to the possibility only makes things that much WORSE if – gods forbid – it DOES happen.

    i wrote a post about it over on blogher, and it was mostly ignored. i wrote a post in my *own* blog, and it only garnered a couple of comments, despite hundreds of people reading it. i don’t know if this is just something people refuse to admit is reality, or what.

    in any case, i’m glad he’s left you alone (so far, anyway), and i’m equally glad you’re willing to do whatever you must to protect you and yours.

  6. Kim
    March 7th, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this (and having to relive and remember all the details to do so) with such clarity.
    I love the vision of an inner fighter, agile and ready when necessary, and accepting your own power. Too often, we cave and give our power away.
    Thanks for being you! Peace, Kim

  7. Celina
    March 7th, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

    Between Mike, Charlie, and the rest of the farmily (Not to mention your skills of self protection). I think you’re pretty safe.

    How good the system works (in many cases) depends on who makes the better argument, who knows whom, and who plays dirty. Unless it’s black and white. Shouldn’t be this way.

    Take a deep breath, keep your chin up and keep smiling. Hug a loved one and continue sharing your wondrous life, pics and writings.

  8. Carolyn
    March 7th, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

    All you say is true, both about women being strong and knowing they can hold there own and the complete failures in our system of justice. Having just witnessed
    my own complete miscarriage of justice, which I won’t go into here, I am extremely disillusioned by Judges who are too removed from reality.

    While I sincerely hope they are right, that this a*h***. isreally gone, the fact that now he’ll “pick on some one else”really infuriates me. Can you see the headlines?
    Everyone dropped the ball once more and the buck gets passed around at lightening speed. Justice without a backbone is justice denied. And I think his defense atty should take him home with her, she was so infuriated….geez!
    This guy should be locked up permanently and certainly before some one gets seriously hurt.

    Thank you for sharing this. You are indeed a courageous and wonderfully outspoken woman.
    Very best wishes to you, Mike and the whole farmily!!

  9. Laura
    March 7th, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    Thank you, Shreve. Thank you for advocating strength rather than violence or helplessness.

  10. Chris
    March 7th, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    Again, thank you for sharing this. Your courage and ethic are wonderful examples for all who read this account.

    Live strong, Shreve.

  11. Amanda
    March 7th, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this and also confirm that this is true: “Don’t worry about him bothering you anymore; you’ve been too difficult, caused him too much trouble. He’ll find someone else.”

    Though my mess wasn’t with a stranger (my own biological father tried to steal from me, ruin my credit, get me in trouble with the IRS, and then sue me), fighting back isn’t what they expect. In some cases, would-be predators so narcissistic, sociopathic, and delusional that your defending yourself doesn’t occur to them. Good for you for being strong. I only hope the stalker learned a lesson (or that the next person he terrorizes is able to fight back as ferociously as you did).

  12. Olivia
    March 7th, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    “He’ll find someone else.” Wow, that hits hard. With perpetrators like this stalker, I believe the judge should consider future victims as well as the crimes against the current victim.

  13. hello haha narf
    March 7th, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    heartbreaking that a judge could listen to someone accused to stalking talk about double murder and then just open the jail doors…

  14. Kar
    March 7th, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

    “He’ll find somebody else?”

    That’s one of the most disturbing statements I’ve heard in regards to this unfortunate event. So what do you do? Just utter an under the breath prayer for his next victim and hope that they have good aim and a quick draw?

  15. Kyrie
    March 7th, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    So what was your crash course?

  16. Rhonda
    March 7th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    How much jail time would you be satisfied with? I realize the stalker was let off a bit lightly, but he did jail time and this will affect various things throughout his life. The system didn’t completely fail you. So I’m wondering, would six months be enough? Maybe one year and mandatory counseling? They can’t lock him up and throw away the key, even if that seems best.

  17. Kimberly
    March 7th, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

    I find it disconcerting that the judge would let someone like that simply walk free.

  18. Lizzie L
    March 7th, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    oh gosh… this guy should not just be let go like that. He should have to serve that jail time, if simply to show him that he can’t get away with that kind of psychotic behavior, and I think he should have mandatory psychiatric care. I know that kind of thing costs money, but not as much as it will cost if he hurts someone else…

    You are so brave and inspiring, as always. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  19. Beverly Murphy
    March 7th, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    Really? find someone else?? and these people are ‘trained professionals’. I am no expert and have maybe read too many true crime books, but in all reality, this is probably NOT his first time stalking someone and the next ‘someone else’ may not be as strong or be able to fight. God help us..
    thank you Shreve for sharing this very personal experience.

  20. Deb
    March 7th, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

    I’ve only started reading the comments a bit at a time. Remarkable how they can be as brilliant at the post by Shreve.
    Shreve- I love how you live your life with integrity, developing both the Inner
    Sage and Inner Warrior.
    It’s a good reminder in a much lesser situation where I live, and a reminder that bullying (in my situation – or psychological intimidation , which is what it really is) needs to be addressed and how misunderstood it is on the continuum of violence. I need to remember that others will likely not understand it, unless they’re in my situation or a similar one.
    What you’ve written speaks to it and how I’m needing to hone that inner warrior, like an Aikido practitioner who was able to deter an a violent attack in a subway by be willing to follow through and skillfully addressing a potentially dangerous situation. Hopefully we’re able to diffuse, or otherwise address it by being unwilling to cave, as someone else here so eloquently put it.

  21. Jay
    March 7th, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    I’ve followed your blog for a while. Great job standing up to him. We all support you!!

  22. LisaAR
    March 7th, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    I thank you for sharing, and I’m very glad that you found your inner fighter to combat the threat you were (are) faced with. I can’t help, though, but be filled with a deep sadness for the realities illustrated here. Why should a woman HAVE to learn to fight? The truth is, because that is what happens in this world. Women ARE attacked…raped…killed. That people do this to each other…that is the profound sadness (and anger, honestly) that I feel.

  23. Deb
    March 7th, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    “He’ll find someone else.” Wow, that hits hard. With perpetrators like this stalker, I believe the judge should consider future victims as well as the crimes against the current victim.
    ~~ Olivia’s comment
    ________
    This shows me that the system is as overloaded and might be working as poorly in the US as in Canada.
    It shows me not only is it “mired with subtle and no-so-subtle misogyny, but it doesn’t really seem to be working. It’s like people are trying, but find their hands are tied – by the inadequacy of the system.
    Too bad there’s not more “Circle of Justice” initiatives for lesser crimes, and as a prevention so the courts aren’t inundated with the adversarial cases where lawyers can profit so much from defending someone who is guilty.
    There are even whole books about High Conflict court cases that people with Personality Disorders and the system seems to thrive on. The author, William (Bill) Eddy, has a website since it’s so common: http://www.highconflictinstitute.com/
    (sorry I don’t know how to hyper-link on here)

    One of his books helped me understand what to expect and prevent an escalation with someone I had close contact for a year. It was such a relief to have input from someone else that knew what I was dealing with even though I’d never met him!
    Grateful to have posts of this kind on the web to arm us in times of need.

  24. CatScott
    March 7th, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    I wish I could say I was surprised, but I wasn’t. That doesn’t mean I’m not angry. God, I get so angry when I think of the women who are victimized each and every day.

    I completely agree with nurturing your inner fighter. I was once a victim, and become a survivor. Being a survivor wasn’t enough for me because it was too closely related to the victim I had once been. After years of therapy I have chosen a new moniker: Warrior.

    There is a bill in the Georgia State Senate that would change the word VICTIM to ACCUSER for crimes of rape, stalking and domestic violence. I’ve been assured by a friend in GA that this bill has no real traction, but what my guy friend didn’t understand was that it was filed in the first place. It’s an attack on women, and it made it as far as becoming a bill. That says a lot about misogyny in America.

    CNN Article:
    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-07/us/georgia.rape.law_1_fraud-victims-word-victim-burglary-victims?_s=PM:US

  25. catherine
    March 7th, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    Interesting post from Svensto. Violence is just that violence,it can be from strangers or a family member. I feel for both of you, she is and you are strong women. The power is all in ourselves, just have to dig it out. Sharing stories is a start.

  26. Carrie
    March 7th, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    I knew the ending would be disappointing, and I’d braced myself for it–but DANG. And how delightfully reassuring to hear that he’ll move on to a new target! Huh-freakin’-zah.

    I recently took a self-defense class, and it did wonders for my confidence. I’m pretty petite (and probably an easy target), but I left that class feeling like I could kick ALL OF THE ASSES. It was awesome! I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.

    Finally, here’s something soothing for you, and for anyone else in northern climes: http://www.rainymood.com/

  27. Nan
    March 7th, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    I don’t think violence against women is “too ignored” –on the contrary, it is extremely popular ENTERTAINMENT in this country. When you start keeping a tally of the TV shows and films that center around women being found dead or being murdered, raped or beaten, it really opens your eyes. Try ignoring the message (because of course many of the films & shows are saying “this is terrible” re: the ubiquitous dead girl )– and just look at the simple fact that American movies and television pretty much REVOLVE around violence to women. It sends much too strong a subliminal message regardless of what the surface morals/messages might proclaim. Our motion picture and television industry have created a worldwide entertainment out of violence towards our gender (much of it sado-sexual). ‘Normal’ people eat popcorn to it!!! Would we stomach this many thousands of movies and TV shows about, for example, house pets being sexually assaulted and killed? You know we wouldn’t. So shouldn’t we start asking ourselves why is it OK for women and girls to be depicted like this?

  28. Penny in Co
    March 7th, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the entire series Shreve. I am glad it is over, but disgusted with the way it happened and the attitudes. As far as the Public Defender..she is a “piece a” ….all I can say about her is KARMA. I was thinking of taking the “Fight Like a Girl for Life” with my 18 year old daughter who will be going off to college. Things got busy and I then thought..oh we can take it the next time (I already missed it once). Thanks for the inspiration to DO the class. I am glad you are past this. (well as best as you can be)…
    Penny

  29. kym
    March 7th, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

    Do you think all this helped lead you to the EMT training? Seems like a good line of work for a fighter.

  30. Ryan
    March 7th, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

    I can relate to a firearm as catharsis: I drew a bead on a stalker that had his twisted sights on my mother many years ago. I was all of ten years old when he showed up at our farm one warm summer evening while my mom was in town at choir practice.

    Given his over-the-top efforts to study and memorize my mother’s work and social calendars, I am still at a loss why he decided to come to the farm when he should have known she was in town. He showed up around 8 and started banging on the door, shouting for my mother (and eventually, my sister and I) to let him in. Without my mother on the premises to mediate my decision-making process, I grabbed my father’s 30.06 (one of many of his possessions he left at the house when he decided to leave a few years earlier) and mimicked the swift & silent motions which I had seen my father perform while hunting expeditions. With my sister staring at me in disbelief, I marched up to the front door, threw it open, chambered a round and placed the end of the barrel within an inch or two of his forehead.

    We both remained perfectly still for several seconds, although, it felt more like several hours, if not years. Finally, I told him that if he ever upset my mother again or came out to our farm one more time, I would promptly put a slug in his head, no questions asked (or something to that effect, I know it was something I had heard on some TV show).

    Eventually, he slowly walked backwards off of the porch (his hands held up the entire time), all the while looking at me in disbelief with a smidgen of rage. He got into his old 70-ish Ford pickup, turned around and left for good.

    My mom was both surprised and happy that the stalker suddenly vanished. I never told her what happened until many years later (after some prodding from my sister, who helped in keeping it under wraps for many years). It sounds, however, that not much has changed in terms of how the ‘system’ takes care of stalkers. We called the sheriff’s office on numerous occasions, only to be met with distain and, sometimes, laughter on the other end of the connection. More often than not, the sheriff would pick him up and toss him in the drunk tank for the night, only to be released the next morning to begin anew. Some people, unfortunately, have to learn life’s lessons the hard way. In this case, via a ten year old kid and the barrel of a rifle.

    I’m glad, however, that despite the slap on the wrist he received, that you were able to break the cycle and rid yourself of him.

  31. Jessie Lyn
    March 7th, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is truly a courageous one, and empowering as well. Inshaallah this man will get what he deserves. Bless you.

  32. Melanie
    March 7th, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

    I just found your blog and I’m wondering what sort of classes you found to release your inner warrior. Life has sort of done that for me, and I try to help others, but I would love to hear who you used.

  33. pam
    March 7th, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    Shreve, you are a very strong woman and I admire the way you were able to solve a problem that was created for you. You seem to be free of this in your mind, rather than letting it fester. It is so sad that the judge let your stalker go “on time served”.
    But, I am happier that you have learned to fire a gun and even more ecstatic that you are in the right mind to USE it , if necessary.

  34. carmel
    March 7th, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    GIRL POWER !!

  35. Jeanny yoga girl
    March 7th, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    I completely agree with Rachel, second comment.
    That is NOT the law… it is a farce…letting a menace to society, a sick,potential murderer, walk away???
    You are so right Shreve, most woman are ignored when they file a domestic assault charge and even a restraining order. The law claims that a woman has to be dead or almost dead before the cops arrest the bastards. Then they STILL get out of jail, and do it again and again.
    Kudos to you for knowing your own strength and having that handgun. Love it!

  36. Patr
    March 7th, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    Shreve, you are my hero and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing this amazing journey and keeping you perspective in the correct place. You stay strong and stay the course.

  37. sarah
    March 7th, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Shreve, i started reading you and stayed reading you for other reasons, but i think that this is one of the most powerful windows into your world that you’ve shared. Thank you for this series. Namaste and Happy (almost) International Women’s Day.

  38. jenna
    March 7th, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

    when I tried to file a restraining order against my stalker, the form asked me to list at least 3 incidents where he made me feel threatened in order to qualify for the order.

    3 incidents?

    Why is one threat not enough?

    Thanks for bringing to attention our ridiculously inadequate judicial system in protecting women. ALL women need to know about this and realize they must count on themselves to be safe. Perhaps we could also write to representatives and such to make something happen.

  39. Jenny_in_Van
    March 7th, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

    Shreve these series of posts were so powerful. When reading this last entry my insides burned with anger over the justice system. I’ve always thought the US to be much tougher on crime than Canada (where I’m from), but it’s sad to see that an obvious evil nut-job walks free in times like these.

  40. Birdy
    March 7th, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

    Thank you for this, Shreve. I am infinitely sorry you had to suffer through this experience but grateful it was you and not some other, less-prepared and less strong person.

    Sharing my story in comments is fun, I swear to you… so here it is!

    I am the child of a repeatedly raped, abused and psychologically tormented woman. From her early childhood on to her present life, my mother has suffered some sort of abuse from the men in her life. Being that as it is I have been raised to be the ultimate man-fighting machine. I have had to defend myself thrice and am grateful for the skills my mother gave me – recently, however after discussing anxiety and aggression issues with my doctor, I learned that my constant state of readiness and defensiveness is not natural – or healthy. I do things like carrying my keys splayed between my fingers of my right hand, my pepper spray primed in my left. I carry a panic whistle and a mini air-horn. I walk with my jacket unbuttoned or unzipped so I can easily slip out of it and my shoes untied if need be so I can kick them off. Or even purposely criss-cross the road so that lights always stay behind me so that I can see the shadow of anyone approaching me. I know to push into an attacker, not away and to go for the eyes with my fingers, pens, sticks – whatever! Not to mention the years of self defense training.

    Stay alert, but don’t let it rule your life. Now that I am getting on in years and less than a prime target, I’m learning to relax. It is AMAZING! To not have to prowl the house at night checking and rechecking each door and window is… I can’t describe it.

    Lastly, I have been aggressive with my upbringing to the point where I wish someone would assault me. I suppose it is because I put so much effort in being prepared that at the end of the day, it is a disappointment to not be able to fight. Especially if I hear of a person being attacked in my area. I live in a city with one of the highest missing person rates in America; with a horribly booming market on child porn and prostitution and a date rape scene that boils my blood. Learning of another being hurt angers me so – if only it were me instead of her the attacker would regret it!

  41. Dan
    March 7th, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    Reading your story brought tears to my eyes and twisted my stomach into knots. I can’t imagine what this experience must have been like for you – deeply sorry you had to go through it. The fact that you gained the strength you did out of it (and have written this to spread your strength to others) is amazing!

    One reason it was so terrible for me to read is that, as a teenager, I nearly became a stalker myself. Over a few years, I developed an obsessive adoration for a girl I knew only slightly – but thinking myself unworthy, I mainly kept my “love” to myself until a period of desperation brought me to contact her. I agonized over a few long letters before she wrote back and told me to leave her alone. I thank my lucky stars that I still had enough mental balance to realize what a crazy thing I was doing and not pursue her any further. But it was very hard to regain my self control. After that, I had to deal with the guilt and self hatred which still comes up when I read a story like yours.

    Now my story has only a tiny fraction the intensity of yours – I truly would never have done a thing to hurt this girl. The stalker in your story was as different from my timid teenage self as could be. But I think it shows a piece of the same picture. The wonderful instinct we call love has a dark side – hard as this is to accept – and, far too often, it becomes a sickness that hurts both the sufferers and, worse, the innocent people they affect.

    What can we realistically do about stalking and predators? I don’t have an answer. I sure don’t think we can lock up everybody who has the potential to stray in this direction. Some, of course, are true threats to society, and it’s appalling that the judicial system turns a blind eye in so many of these cases.

    I certainly agree with you about the importance of learning self-defense, especially for women. But the best feeling this blog has given me is the knowledge that people are talking about these issues. The less ignorance about the dark side of human nature, the better.

    All the best to you, Shreve, from a fellow rural Westerner.

  42. Barking up the wrong stalk – Michael Alan Miller
    March 7th, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    […] that we can put away for decades those who use marijuana, but can barely put in jail such scary people as described here. This was the same judge who had presided over the bond hearing, when the stalker had described his […]

  43. Scotty
    March 7th, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    omG!!! wow.. to say the least here is a big PFFFFFFFFFF up your nose w a rubber hose.. to the judge and the stalker and his attorney.

    “Why is SHE here?” BAAAHAAAAAA roflmao.
    how you must have loved her angst at that moment.

    alas it didn’t matter because the judge ruled in their favor anyway. the next judge that hears a case on this guy (is there any doubt that one will?) will see this case and because of your efforts, you may well save a life.

    mostly i want to say, you rock Shreve. you kicked his sorry ass and stuck him in jail and cost him money. you may not think you prevailed but in so many ways you did and i’m damn proud of you. ~beams w pride~

  44. Mishka
    March 7th, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    Great story, thank so much for posting it as hard as it might have been to relive it all. I hope that he has chosen to leave you alone at this point, and hope he hasn’t moved on to another victim.

    You are so right in saying that violence against women is not brought to the forefront enough even in these “enlightened” days. Perhaps you can publish this in hardcopy for schools or social programs to use to help educate people better on how the system works and what it can and can’t do for a person.

  45. Maggie
    March 8th, 2011 @ 6:10 am

    Rhonda, are you actually a woman? You disappoint me. You totally missed the point. Why anyone would defend that man is beyond me. The fact that you even seem to sympathize with him is frightening. Are you secretly his defense attorney?

  46. Maddy
    March 8th, 2011 @ 6:23 am

    The sad thing incarceration is only a temporary measure. They don’t stop. He has already shared with the judge his fantasy of double murder but it certainly made no impression. We hear about his sediment of society every evening when HLN covers crimes against women and children.

    The only thing that would stop them is “lock ’em up and throw away the key,” but for some unknown reason they seem averse to doing that.
    They claim not to have room to house these people. That would be a great cause for our tax dollars.

    This dude is a predator and he is not going to change. The only thing we as women can do is to take our RAD courses, not let a stranger get within 15 feet of us when we are alone, walk in the company of “dog” as much as possible, and follow Shreve’s example. Be at the ready to defend yourself because in many cases, you will get little if any warning.

    At one time the elderly were spared but to often it is reported that they have also been victims. Age in no longer a deterrent.

    Years ago I heard it said that “our society will get the children it deserves”. We have them. The are known as bullies and predators.

    Unfortunately, what happened to Shreve is a great example of how we don’t deal with our problems and they just continue to escalate.

    End of rant. Thank you Shreve for sharing your experience with us. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  47. Holly B
    March 8th, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    Thank you!

  48. Cathy
    March 8th, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    Thank you, Shreve, for telling your story. I love the expression “inner fighter”. I’ve had to go there a few times, and I always come out feeling like a warrior. No handgun here though, but I do understand why (in your situation) you have one.

  49. Wendi
    March 8th, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    “he’ll find somebody else” I am shaking with utter terror AND anger to know that here in America, our own judicial system would knowingly and have no problem setting a terroist free to be able to terrorize another law abiding American citizen. God bless America beccause we sure as hell need all the blessing we can get.

  50. Leah
    March 8th, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    Hope he truely does leave you alone and that the wall of fortitude that you tossed at him helps to change his future path. If not, you def. gave it your >100% and shared your strength with all of us…including all the women out there who need to read experiences like this to spark their own inner strength. This series has been full of enlightenment, grit, and determination. I am sure it has helped many to find the strength to support their own ‘inner fighter’.

  51. Marg
    March 8th, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    Where to start in straightening out these messes? The way we raise our children so they understand not to hurt others? Our mental health systems to repair impaired thinking? Our justice system so they act to protect victims? Everyone is overwhelmed and stunned by what happened to you but it is so disheartening to know that the person who said that your stalker would just find someone else is unfortunately most likely correct. Thanks for sharing Shreve, I know that must not have been easy to relive.

  52. Wendy
    March 8th, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    Well done you for seeing this through twice, once for real and again in writing it so well for us. The law truly is an ass! I am from England and I’m afraid we are even more lenient with the criminal. Here if someone defends themselves, they often end up in court being sued(successfully) by the criminal for damages! These judges might be very cleaver and know the law, but they have no common sense!

  53. Leisa
    March 8th, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    Thank you for sharing all of your story, Shreve. There just aren’t any words to explain the feelings the statement that he would “find someone else” bring out in me. I am so glad you are safe, but what about the next person? The man who abused and stalked me, my ex-husband, indeed went on to abuse 2 more women. I was able to help ex-wife #3 when his defense attorney claimed there was no pattern of abuse in his past. He went to prison for a few years.

  54. mlaiuppa
    March 8th, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    I can’t help but wonder if the outcome would have been different if it had been a MAN that was stalked.

    Sorry. That’s just where I am right now.

  55. Donna
    March 8th, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    That was my first response also, he will find someone else. What happens when the person he does find isn’t a strong woman like you…..I just can’t believe the judge letting him go.

  56. shreve
    March 8th, 2011 @ 10:11 am

    M ~ I think the outcome would have been different (in this case, in this court) if the stalker had not been WHITE.

  57. sybann
    March 8th, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    AUGH! “He’ll find someone else…”

    Many of us prosecute assholes like this (and go through so much crap) so that they do NOT find someone else.

    Justice is not only blind, she’s deaf, dumb and moronic – and NOT female.

  58. Kim
    March 8th, 2011 @ 10:27 am

    I found this poignant especially since today (the 8th) is International Women’s Day.
    “Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself.” Susan B. Anthony

  59. sybann
    March 8th, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    Nan – In my family if any form of entertainment consistently victimizes women, we don’t partake. There was a new show (last season I think) that featured two female friends in areas of law enforcement – I watched 2 or 3 episodes before deleting it from TiVo due to their constantly being targets. Not realistic and NOT entertaining.

  60. Becky
    March 8th, 2011 @ 10:48 am

    I got goosebumps reading your last paragraph! :D

  61. Pat D.
    March 8th, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    Thank you for the conclusion to your experience. Would you have fared better with a female judge? Hard to say.

    I do think it’s odd to find “subtle and not-so-subtle misogyny” in The Equality State, which was a trailblazer as far women’s right to vote goes:
    http://theautry.org/explore/exhibits/suffrage/suffrage_wy.html

  62. jan wherley
    March 8th, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    Has he been freed without any psychiatric assessment? It should be done, no matter how long it takes.

    It is still a possiblitity that he could reoffend. Anyone could be the target and it is not fair that we all must live in fear, knowing that people like him are free.

    I would suggest that you be on your guard, but that is no way to have to live. jlw

  63. Trisha
    March 8th, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Your words are empowering.

  64. Cara
    March 8th, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    Amen! I COMPLETELY agree that everyone should learn how to have a warrior mentality and be able to back it up. I have practiced martial arts for years and it always drives me crazy when I see those one-day self defense courses for women (or, even worsem Tae Bo type places that advertise that it will help you defend yourself). Learning to really defend yourself isn’t just a couple of moves. It’s mentality to be able to actually hurt someone. It’s practicing until those movements (whether shooting a gun or gouging an eye) becomes instinctive. Otherwise a real person (male or female) in a real situation will likely freeze and not remember what to do.

    I believe that it’s our responsibility to learn to defend ourselves and to teach our children how to as well.

    Rachel, Carolyn and others who feel that this prosecution was a screw-up and that someone dropped the ball: unfortunately it was not a screw up. Everything went “by the book” so to speak. He pled guilty, he was sentenced, and since he had been in jail for a while he got time served. The government can’t go around locking people up forever because they have violent thoughts. The procedure to institutionalize someone for being mentally insane is incredibly long and complicated because, again, we don’t want the government to be able to lock people up without showing they absolutely have to.

    As to whether it would have been better had he stayed in jail another six months, my experience (working in the court system) has been that he would have gotten no psychiatric help and would have reoffended almost instantly after stepping out of prison.

    The system is incredibly far from perfect, and Shreve acted exactly as she should have here (as a strong advocate for herself), but unfortunately there is really no way to prevent these people from trying to hurt someone. We can only lock them up after they actually do. Until Minority Report is a reality, that’s the way it’s going to be.

  65. Janine
    March 8th, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

    Thank you again for sharing your life and your experiences.

  66. Theresa Szpila
    March 8th, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    Thank you, Shreve, for sharing your nightmare with us. I am so very proud of you and of how you have handled this. And I’m grateful for all the lessons learned that we now may benefit from.

    But I am also completely appalled that you had to go through this at all, and even more upset at the thought of this unbalanced predator “finding someone else” to target.

    And he will find someone else. The fact that the person who did his evaluation wanted this nut to be further evaluated by someone with higher credentials says a lot about how unbalanced this stalker is. That fact alone should have ensured mandatory monitoring and counseling. Not that I believe counseling would do any good in this case – but mandatory monitoring would at least have kept this lunatic on somebody’s radar.

    Sending hugs and blessings to you and all the farmily – and prayers of protection too! Stay strong. Stay safe. And know that we are all with you!

  67. Angie
    March 8th, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

    ——————————————————————————–

    A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
    -Christopher Reeve

    When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.

    -Audra Lorde

  68. Liane
    March 8th, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    Brava, Shreve. And thank you.

  69. Marlene
    March 8th, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    pathetic excuse for a legal system…and they say we don’t need guns or protection..can you imagine what is out there..loose becase of our “lack” of system ..just waiting for the next victim…pretty scary.. marlene from cambria

  70. Mary
    March 8th, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    Thanks for finishing the story, how awful they let him go. Keep Charlie close, I don’t think he will let anyone hurt you. Glad you are okay, thanks for the advise.

  71. Lisa Hooper Holzhauser
    March 8th, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    What a story! Violance against women is terrible. Just heard on the radio how it’s rampant in Guatamala. The sad thing is that it’s hard for men to take it seriously, even the good guys.

  72. RIDivergirl
    March 8th, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    Thank you, Shreve.

  73. Sunny
    March 8th, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

    You are amazing. As always.

    xoxox,
    A

  74. Meg A.
    March 8th, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story and strength.

  75. Festive
    March 8th, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

    Shreve.

    Thank you for sharing this story. While I hope that he truly “moves on” I am frightened for his next victim. May she have the same support system and power that you have.
    And may someone in her support system have a gun and be there when he threatens.

    HUGS to you

  76. Diane
    March 8th, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

    So he is out tomorrow, wtf… You said he is from a surrounding Wyoming town. As a woman in Wyoming it would be great to know what town? I know you probably are reluctant to give his name (and give him any publicity) but perhaps naming the town would be sufficient enough to give warning to other unsuspecting women.

  77. Carmen
    March 9th, 2011 @ 12:30 am

    Shreve-

    On June 8th, 2010, my father lunged at me, knocked me to the ground, kicked me repeatedly in the sides and (when I rolled onto my side to protect my stomach) my back and head, and threatened me with a 9mm handgun, all in response to me saying, “Get the fuck out of my room,” during an argument that had escalated so much that I feared for my then-two-year-old daughter and myself. My daughter was cowering in fear under the bed the entire time. I called the police, and they took him off to jail.

    It was my farm, in my name. We all lived there, my father, my daughter, my sisters, and I, but it was my home.

    In some strange occurrence, at the hearing for the restraining order (protective order is the proper term, I believe), the Judge awarded my father the residence for immediate occupation. My father now lives in MY HOUSE, on MY 60 acre organic farm. It still is in my name, but I am not truly allowed on the premises, for even though the protective order is against him, and he is supposed to leave when we occupy the same area, why would I risk the safety of my daughter and myself?

    Yes, the justice system is a corrupt and stupefying system. I am so enraged that you have had a semi-similar experience with the unfairness of our justice system. I am truly moved and empowered by your newly-found strength and will to defend yourself. You inspire me.

  78. Angie
    March 9th, 2011 @ 2:04 am

    Carmen, I really hope Karma/Kismet pays your father a long visit. I’m sending my vibes you get your life restored and that the monster inside your father dies.

  79. TomT
    March 9th, 2011 @ 6:01 am

    Carmen, your story is mind boggling. I hope things work out.

    Shreve, wouldn’t it be nice if convicted stalkers, rapists, etc. be required to be eternally branded? I’m thinking like some sort of large bright orange bracelet. A real skin brand would be best but I’m a reasonable man. :)

  80. Jo R - (Joshie Boy)
    March 9th, 2011 @ 6:22 am

    Good for you, Shreve…you have absorbed and embedded the archetype Warrior Woman psyche.

  81. Colleen G
    March 9th, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    Your story is incredible, truly. I echo your “bullshit” sentiment. Putting it mildly, the “system” is definitely failing criminally and mentally ill people and more importantly, failing their victims. I am so upset and disturbed to know that this sicko is free and walking around. It infuriates me. Peace to you my warrior friend.

  82. Ginny
    March 9th, 2011 @ 8:39 am

    When will the justice system actually stand up for and protect the victim. I just don’t get it. Good for you taking maters into your own hands and learning how to defend yourself.

  83. Laura
    March 9th, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    The justice system worries more about violating the criminals rights than their victims. Thank you for sharing your scary story.

  84. shreve
    March 9th, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    Carmen ~
    I have no words (well, no polite words). Jaw on ground…

    TomT ~
    BRILLIANT idea. I love it. How do we make this happen.

  85. Sandy
    March 9th, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. As a former public defender I want to assure you that not all of us are like the one you encountered. I’m sorry you had that experience, yes she has a job to do but as someone who used to do that very job on a daily basis I can assure you it doesn’t have to be done that way. It shouldn’t be done that way.

    And I absolutely agree with the “learn to protect yourself now” idea. I’ve taken several self-defense classes myself and have never regretted it for a second.

  86. Teaspoon
    March 9th, 2011 @ 9:52 am

    I’m sorry the system failed you, Shreve, and I’m glad you found an answer of your own that you can live with. Thank you for sharing your story — every scrap of light cast on the abysmal situation many women face has the potential to make a few more people see it for what it is.

    Peace and safety to you and yours.

  87. Kati Guerra
    March 9th, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

    Congratulations and Thank Goodness! You are a brave and wise soul.

    I think you might find this of interest:

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-03-08/stacey-lannert-redemption

    Different form of victimization, but very compelling especially for what the victim was able to overcome and how she went about it.

    Thanks for all you do for man and beast alike. Kati

  88. Donna Dowling
    March 9th, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    Wonderful! Thanks for posting all of this.

  89. Beverly West
    March 10th, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    I am an attorney that represents victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It is all I do (I’m an employee of a non-profit that works with these victims).

    Shreve’s story is so, so familiar. It is what I see every single day. Most of the time we have to fight to get an arrest, let alone a prosecution and jail time. The justice system is not responding appropriately to these crimes – and these crimes are so much more destructive than the majority of other crimes.

    Many defense attorneys are wonderful people who believe that everyone deserves to be defended in court (and I believe that as well). There are many, unfortunately, that are like the one that Shreve encountered. They go on the offensive, attacking the victim, and even attacking me. Every day I’m grateful that I have this job, that I can stand between the victim and those who would victimize her again. But there is not much funding for positions like mine, and most victims can’t afford an attorney. So when you hear about low reporting rates for these types of crimes, know that this is one of the reasons.

    Those of us who work with victims every day know very well the awful irony involved in getting the stalker to leave the victim alone – it means they’ve found another one. I hate it. I don’t know what to do about it, especially when stalking is a misdemeanor in the state I am in (which means little, if any, jail time).

    Shreve, I’ve said this before, but it is worth repeating – thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing your story. Every victim I work with feels better when she finds out that she is not alone in what she experienced, and I know that you have given this to many people out there, probably many more than have commented.

  90. Julia
    March 10th, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    You are right about the psychological demands of being stalked. I would say they are more difficult to overcome than the physical, especially if one is physically unscathed. I can only compare your battle with mine on the psychological level – I had breast cancer and while the chemo was physically the worst, the psychological struggle was (and still is) more difficult due to its ephemeral nature. I have drawn much strength from my better understanding of good and bad energy (in the sense that the Dog Whisperer uses the term “energy”) and I recommend it.

    Thank you for sharing your odyssey. I am sure it will help someone.

  91. Theresa Szpila
    March 10th, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

    From Beverly: “Every victim I work with feels better when she finds out that she is not alone.”

    With that awareness also comes the courage to plan and to act. I’m sure others with animal rescue groups are familiar with what I’ve encountered – terrified women who have had an epiphany, who finally see a way out, gallantly holding on until their pets are safely removed from the home before they themselves flee with their children. That takes courage on their part, buckets of it, largely because it takes time to orchestrate, no matter how quickly we volunteers can move, as secrecy is often a factor.

    Women benefit greatly from knowing the stories of those who went before them. Knowledge is hope. Knowledge is courage. Knowledge is power. Knowledge makes it possible to take that long leap of faith that they will come out into the daylight on the other side of the darkness, no matter how frightened they are while going through it.

    The justice system has failed you abysmally, Shreve, but your telling your story will prove to be an empowering gift to all who need it for years to come.

    Now, if only the justice system could catch up to the rest of us…. In my mind’s eye, I still see the loaded weapon the stalker had on him when he was arrested: the equivalent of a small cannon! I cannot say loudly or often enough how appalled (still!) I am by all that has happened (including, Carmen, what has happened to you; talk about surreal and unjust!).

  92. Meghan
    March 10th, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

    And drug users (not dealers, just addicts) get more time in jail. Really disappointing. Where are the mandatory minimums when it involves personal safety of a woman?

  93. Amy
    March 11th, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    Thank you, Shreve. Thank you, thank you for sharing your story. You are a powerful example to us all.

  94. Alex I.A.
    March 11th, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    Thank you for spreading awareness.
    I remember the story of Esther (as weird and off as that story is) but the lesson that strikes me is, when a person or group are permitted and empowered to defend themselves, then the initial attack won’t even happen. If all women were knowledgeable in emergency-castration type techniques, attacking women would be a much less desirable prospect. Raise the numbers, equip yourself, put your daughters in martial arts classes, and be force for pacifism by being one of the many who make attacking women a very risky endeavor.

  95. Cora
    March 11th, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    I’ve only just found your blog today (actually, I found “The Daily Coyote” link from Cute Overload and eventually made my way here), but I’m just in love with your writing style and photographs. What a way to pass a gorgeous day stuck inside with a chest cold and sinus infection! I’m so sorry to read this account of all that you and so many commenters have suffered, but am glad to be able to read the whole series to completion and a measure of closure. Such strength (and restraint!) you’ve shown. I’m afraid that having shotgun and motel room number in hand I might have been tempted to take the law into my own hands (to, admittedly, potentially disastrous results). Even an Aries can learn to think first! (just a little gentle humor). I’ll definitely be returning to your blogs; I’m so glad your words and images are here for all of us. I’m already enjoying living vicariously through your “farmily.” (love that term–and all your other unique contributions to the lexicon!)

  96. Sue
    March 11th, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    BRAVO Shreve for your strength…I thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts with all of us.

  97. Nan
    March 13th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    I came back to add this to comments. I just found out about this event in England, Million Women Rise — it looks amazing — this should also be held in the US.
    http://www.millionwomenrise.com/
    Would be great to see this spread to every major city here, wouldn’t it?

  98. TGW...
    March 14th, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

    Thank you for writing this!

  99. Kristan
    March 15th, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    Wow. Not quite the ending I had expected, but a “happy” enough one for you, and certainly an empowering one. Thank you for sharing your story.

  100. Rachel
    March 15th, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    You are a beautiful example of courage and strength. Thank you for sharing this story. “Your Story” is far longer, and even more interesting than this one small chapter. Take very good care of youself please!

  101. angie
    March 17th, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

    WHAT?!?!?! this makes me feel sick.

    thank you for being such a strong, empowered, responsible woman.

  102. Charlotte
    March 21st, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    Wow. Just… wow. This brought tears to my eyes thinking about how flawed our system is to let this dangerous person go free with little to no regard to the victim(s). Did they even try to get this person mental help? *shakes head sadly*

    There must be a better way…

  103. Joseph Dobrian
    March 22nd, 2011 @ 7:21 am

    “You’ve caused him too much trouble; he’ll find somebody else” is probably a correct assessment. I’ve had friends in similar situations, and that is how it works out. These men are of a type, and their behavior is highly predictable.

    Thanks for putting this out. It’s important. Unfortunately a lot of people will draw the wrong conclusions — but for whatever it’s worth, you did right.

  104. Erica
    March 22nd, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    I am late commenting, but I wanted to say that you are not alone in your frustration. Each time myself or a co-worker testifies on a case, and we hear “guilty” but then witness all penalties being dismissed, we are equally angered.

    Thank you for sharing this story, with us. <3

  105. David
    March 24th, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    “I did not write this series for catharsis. I found catharsis with my handgun.”

    My new email signature! AWESOME!

  106. Caroline
    March 28th, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    It is both sad and refreshing to read your story. I am sorry that you went through this horrible occurrence, both inside and outside of the courtroom; it is such a shame that “he will find someone else to bother.” What a terrible POS and that public defender will have so much blood on her hands for the terrible people who continue to perpetrate crimes.

    I was glad to see that you went pro-active and learned how to defend and fight for yourself. I was stalked by an ex-boyfriend 12 years ago and did nothing at the time until he “found someone else to bother.” I wish that I could go back and have him prosecuted, but at least when the PI for the State Dept interviewed me 3 years later I confessed what he occurred.

    After college, I moved into a very low-income area (ghetto) w/ 2 of my friends. (We were very broke). At that time I began to study criminal psychology and learned self-defense which I believe saved me in 2 different situations.

    I have trained myself to look for escape routes and items to be used for defense whenever I am in a new situation, even if that means I visualize myself hurling canned fruit at a robber while I am in line at the grocery store.

  107. Maarten
    April 5th, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    Thank you for writing this and sharing your experience openly, Shreve.

  108. Scott
    April 9th, 2011 @ 7:23 am

    You said it: “disgusting irresponsibility.” Thank you. By sharing your experiences, you’ve earned endless rolling plains of good karma.

    Something I learned about recently is krav maga — an efficient hand-to-hand combat developed by an Israeli martial artist. It can make ordinary people somewhat extraordinary. :)

  109. Jess
    April 16th, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

    I’m going to echo what other people have commented on: “He’ll find someone else.” That just gave me a few inward chills. It’s sort of like an ominous, slightly cliffhanger ending to a horror flick. Only much worse, because this is real life.

    I’m a college student, and I hear about female students being sexually assaulted and raped now and then. And it scares me really badly. I have anxiety problems, and I’m constantly on high alert when I’m out in public. I see everyone as a potential threat to me, either physically or psychologically. But reading how you handled your situation made me feel a little empowered – like, here’s what happened to this woman and here’s how she kicked ass. It makes me think that if something like this ever happened to me (god forbid, knock on wood), then hopefully I could be just as strong.

  110. Emily
    July 13th, 2011 @ 2:00 am

    Goodness.. it just goes to show that truely, honestly, you cannot rely on anybody but yourself for protection and justice. Thank you for having the courage to share this story, and I commend you and look up to you, for having the courage to take matters into your own hands, to take back the power that that… parasite… was trying to take from you. It’s like he saw the light and bliss in you, and wanted to take it, to fill his disgusting, black, twisted soul. You’re a helluva woman Shreve.

    May your days be filled with peace, but may you never lose the fire that makes you, independant, glorious you.

    Em

  111. Chris
    August 16th, 2011 @ 11:24 am

    Sigh. The only positive I can think of, regarding the results of the court proceedings, is that now law enforcement has a record of this individual and a precedent has been established.

    Thank you for pointing out that social and cultural restrictions on female protective aggression pertains only to human females.

  112. Kristina
    September 18th, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

    I think I’ve never been afraid to fight to protect myself is a.) because I was the only girl in a family of all older boys and b.) because my family had to move after three year long episode if stalking. It was about thirty years ago, and stalking laws were very, very different. But the police still knew bad how things could get, and eventually told my mother to simply “shoot through the window and drag him in.” Texas home defense laws.

    I’m the liberal, tree-hugging, literature-teaching hippie in my family. I rarely advocate violence. But some things and some people cannot be reasoned with. Like with anything else you face in life, preparedness simply makes you stronger. Bravo for sharing your story, Shreve. I remain an admirer.

    And hello to all the animals!

  113. Goedjn
    October 14th, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    Seems to me that the problem isn’t that the guy committed a crime and didn’t get punished enough. It’s that the focus was on criminal behavior and not on him being a dangerously unstable psycho who needs to be institutionalized until a competent psychiatrist testifies that he’s under control. I wonder who has standing to initiate that process?

  114. gribble
    November 9th, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    A friend of mine sent me the link to this site after I told her part of my stalking experience. It happened six years ago and it still colors my view of the world. Reading the first two parts of this blog…well, it could have almost been written by me. The escalation pattern was identical. At first, emails seemed normal then out of the blue, totally crazy email. Told him he crossed the line. He apologized and said it wouldn’t happen again. Things would be fine for awhile and then WHAM! crazy emails again. We worked for the same organization and he found ways to force interaction. I didn’t understand that my safety was in question until he showed up at my house on a weekend (he lived ~600 miles away). That’s when I started getting more and more scared. I stepped down from a committee to avoid contact with him at work. My co-workers went out of their way to be buffers. All that did was make him try harder. I wish I had gotten police involved sooner than I did. I was able to get a restraining order and I moved out of state before the order expired…partly out of fear. I found out that last year he committed suicide. As horrible as it sounds, I was relieved when I found out. I am not the kind of person that gets enjoyment out of another person’s suffering and I find it upsetting that was my response, but it was my authentic response. One thing I would like people to understand is that people who do this kind of thing aren’t targeting you because you did something wrong or in anyway “asked for it”. The fact that it happens to you is just bad luck. This kind of person will find SOMEONE to victimize. It has nothing to do with what choices you make or who you are. You just have the misfortune of crossing their paths at the exact wrong moment. Thank you for writing this. It’s upsetting and comforting to see a story so similar to my experience.

  115. Sharon Muczynski
    October 7th, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

    YOU ARE amazing! Thank you so much for your story. It WILL help other women, and you should know that.

  116. Kayla
    October 17th, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    Thank you for posting this. I have a stalker right now actually. I hate knowing that he is not getting any type of punishment for the disrespect and disturbance he’s cause in my everyday life. I used to live afraid until I had a reason to learn how to fight. I now know I am able to destroy when it comes to protecting myself, my home, and my family. As a single girl living alone, I always knew this could happen. Never really thought it would until it did. So I just live in confidence knowing that if something happens again, I will be okay. I have internal guardians and power on my side.

    Going to the police did not even do anything. They told me they had no grounds to say anything to him. After he’s followed me places and shown up in the middle of the woods while I was on a hike with my dog. Ridiculous things that no normal, sane, respectable man would do. Grateful for my dog, Storm. She stands in front of me to protect what’s hers and knows this man is not a good one. With the two of us, we will, if need be, give a good name to women standing up for themselves in situations like the one you just described. Good luck with yours.

  117. Carie Sipka
    January 14th, 2014 @ 9:23 am

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book The Daily Coyote. I’ve actually read it twice and shared my copies with 3 of my sisters. You tell a great story! I daydream about living in a place like I imagine Wyoming to be. I hope you write more stories in the future.
    Carie

  118. Jim Vaught
    February 18th, 2016 @ 8:52 am

    Hopefully this weirdo isnt a problem for you (or anyone else) anymore. Did not realize the extent of it until catching up on my old reading lists just now. WOW.
    Not having much internet the last few years has been a blessing in some ways.. but every now and then get to try and keep up with things. Hope the Farmily is doing well. Keep up the great work. Any time you ever need another box of sticks.. gimme a shout, lol !
    JV

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