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April 3. 2009

John Lennon, signing an autograph for stalker Mark Chapman, who killed him hours later. Chapman kept lingering around Lennon's apartment, getting closer and closer to him, before he fatally shot the singer.

According to many psychologists and psychiatrists, stalkers have a mentally ill tendency of trying to move close to their victims. It is a mental deficiency that causes them to believe, they are somehow apart of their lives, having them closer by. This is classic stalker conduct.

It also sets the stage for greater, unlawful surveillance and sick, hoped for encounters. When their twisted fascination grows, indirect, unwanted communication is not enough anymore and they seek direct contact, which is inappropriate and illegal.

When a stalker targets an individual, it can take some time before their true intentions manifest. Some take stalking lightly, not realizing that the victimizer's conduct betrays poor mental health.

I'm not referring to admirers, who accept and respect social boundaries in pursuit of the object of their affection. I'm referring to those who seek to inappropriately insert themselves into someone's life, that wishes to have no contact with them.

Famous and non-famous people have been stalked. The victims sometimes do not have much in common per se, but the stalkers do. They are mentally ill individuals that refuse to accept reality or the boundaries of the law, which states one is not to stalk and harass others.

Rising star and actress, Rebecca Schaefer, was tracked down by a stalker that hired a private investigator. Irrationally believing in his mind, she had somehow lost her innocence and deserved to be punished, he kept lingering around her home, until one day, he went too far and fatally shot her at her front door.

Stalking victims such as singer John Lennon and actress Rebecca Schaeffer were followed and hounded by individuals that bizarrely claimed a connection to them, based on what they believed to be a bond of some kind, which just was not there. They invented the entire thing in their minds.

Non-famous stalking victims are often chosen by bullies and psychotics that suffer from mental illness and perceive the person as a way to sickly bring to life, crazy ideas and strange notions, they hold in their heads. They often project false situations, scenarios, slights and imagined offenses upon victims. Said items are very far removed from reality. 

Stalkers convince themselves that victims want to be pursued and hounded, even when there is no proof to suggest that. Stalkers sometimes claim an illogical connection to their victims, irrationally believing they were significant to each other in a past life. While others latch on to a shared hobby, occupation or some astrological belief, which leads them astray.

Another rising star, Selena, whose life was tragically cut short, by her crazed, jealous fan club manager, who was stealing from her and convinced herself that she owned the young singer, she went on to kill.

Psychologists for years have tried to find a link between obsessive stalkers' misconduct, in attempts at identifying what causes them to behave in this severely dysfunctional and crazed manner.

Most people would be embarrassed to engage in conduct obsessive stalkers do, but something is not working correctly in their brains, that allows them to persist in behavior society condemns as dangerous, sick and detrimental.

Psychologists agree, that if there is no legal intervention, a stalker's conduct will escalate. It goes through stages, sometimes concluding in murder:

  • Following the victim around in person or indirectly via private investigator. Due to murder cases that have stemmed from stalkers retaining private investigators to do ground work on innocent victims, some PIs now make clients sign a disclaimer promising they will not use the results of surveillance to stalk, harass and or terrorize anyone. 

  • Phoning, writing and or emailing the victim repeatedly.

  • Showing up at the victim's place of employment or trying to interfere with the victim's job.

  • Hacking into the victim's email account and or computer and tampering with and or stealing the victim's mail.

  • Illegally wiretapping the victim.

  • Breaking into the victim's home and or other personal property.

  • Stealing items from the victim's home and or other personal property.

  • Installing surveillance bugs in the victim's home.

  • Attempting to contact the victim's family and or friends. Some stalkers try to have others contact the victim for them, as a twisted, roundabout way of gratifying a crazed need they have to reach the victim, that wants nothing to do with them.

  •  Moving closer to the victim.

  •  Kidnapping or harming the victim's pet.

  • Assaulting the victim.

  • Attempting to murder or murdering the victim.

When law enforcement and the court system fails to take appropriate action in neutralizing a stalker, it sometimes leads to the death of the victim.

Profiling the stalker and victim

'Special link'

A slightly less common form of stalker may be "delusional". In this situation the perpetrator may be incoherent, believing "a special link exists between them and their victim", even though there has been no prior conversation between the pair.

...The least common, but perhaps most dangerous, type of stalker identified is the "sadistic" obsessive. He, or she, has a tendency to focus their attention on a person who they deem to be happy, and therefore worthy of victimisation.

Often combining physical, emotional and sexual intimidation, such stalkers may also broaden their targets to family and friends in a bid to isolate their victim, exert control over the person's life and, ultimately, lower their self-esteem...

She added: "Some stalking can result in violence and even the death of the victim."...


The Psychopath (Antisocial)

Stalking is a crime and stalkers are criminals. This simple truth is often ignored by mental health practitioners, by law enforcement agencies, and by the media. The horrid consequences of stalking are often underestimated and stalkers are mocked as eccentric and lonely weirdoes. Yet, stalking affects one fifth of all women and an unknown number of men and often ends in violence and bloodshed.

A 1997 Review Paper titled "Stalking (Part I) An Overview of the Problem", Karen M. Abrams, MD, FRCPC1, Gail Erlick Robinson, MD, DPsych, FRCPC2, define stalking thus:

"Stalking, or criminal harassment, is defined as the 'willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassing of another person', usually requiring a 'credible threat of violence' against the victim or the victim's family (1). 'Harass' refers to willful conduct directed at a person that seriously alarms, annoys, or distresses the person and which serves no legitimate purpose (2).

Typically, the behavior involves such things as loitering near the victim, approaching, making multiple phone calls, constantly surveilling, harassing the victim's employer or children, harming a pet, interfering with personal property, sabotaging dates, and sending threatening or sexually suggestive 'gifts' or letters.

The harassment usually escalates, often beginning with phone calls that gradually become more threatening and aggressive in nature, and frequently ends in violent acts (3). In essence, the offender's behavior is terrorizing, intimidating, and threatening, and restricts the freedom of and controls the victim...

Psychopaths regard other people as objects to be manipulated and instruments of gratification and utility. They have no discernible conscience, are devoid of empathy and find it difficult to perceive other people's nonverbal cues, needs, emotions, and preferences. Consequently, the psychopath rejects other people's rights and his commensurate obligations. He is impulsive, reckless, irresponsible and unable to postpone gratification. He often rationalises his behaviour showing an utter absence of remorse for hurting or defrauding others.


Police: Stalker moved into nearby apartment

...William Dericco, of the first block of Capano Drive in the Cavalier Country Club Apartments, is being sought by New Castle County police on six counts of violating a no-contact order...

The 50-year-old victim told officers that Dericco has been stalking her for more than a year, despite past arrests for violating a no-contact order.

An investigation determined that Dericco had called the victim 20 times from different phone numbers trying to talk to her.

Each time, the victim had the numbers blocked so he could not call her from those numbers again, Navarro said.

According to the victim, over the past week, Dericco has continued to call her at various times of the day and night.

He was last arrested in August for harassing the victim and was ordered to have no contact with her.

Navarro said officers discovered that he ignored the court order and even moved to an adjacent building in her complex to be near her.




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