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Sunday, November 14

  1. page Typology of Stalkers edited TYPOLOGY OF STALKERS Zona, Sharma, and Lane (1993) distinguished between three major categorie…

    TYPOLOGY OF STALKERS
    Zona, Sharma, and Lane (1993) distinguished between three major categories of stalkers:
    The Simple Obsessional stalker,
    The Love Obsessional stalker, and
    The Erotomanic stalker.
    SIMPLE OBSESSIONAL STALKER
    The first category of stalkers, the Simple Obsessional stalker, represents the most common form of stalking and generally involves cases wherein the victim and stalker had some prior relationship. In many instances, the stalker is a former intimate partner, a boyfriend or husband, and the stalking is an extension of domestic violence. Most cases of simple obsessional stalking involve male perpetrators and female victims. The nature of the prior intimate relationship is not always a marriage or long-term common law relationship. Some instances of simple obsessional stalking may also involve brief dating relationships. The common characteristic of these cases, however, is the existence of a former interpersonal relationship between the victim and offender.
    The simple obsessional stalker is generally characterized as socially immature and is usually low in self-esteem, insecure, and prone to jealousy in relationships. These individuals have difficulty maintaining relationships and it is hypothesized that they use violence in relationships to maintain control over their partners and, following the dissolution of relationships, they engage in stalking behaviors to continue to exercise control over their partners. The motives of the simple obsessional stalker often reflect two opposing desires – to force their ex-partner back into the relationship and to exact some measure of revenge. Zona et al. (1993) described the stalking behaviors of simple obsessional stalkers as a “sustainable rage in response to a perceived narcissistic injury” (p. 901).
    The patterns of stalking evidenced by simple obsessional stalkers differs form the patterns observed by the other two categories, which may in part be due to the existence of an actual prior relationship. Simple obsessional stalkers frequently attempt to contact their victims by phone and are also significantly more likely to attempt face-to-face contact with their victims, which represent a significant risk factor for violence (Meloy & Gothard, 1995)
    LOVE OBSESSIONAL STALKER
    The second category of stalkers is referred to as the Love Obsessional stalker. In contrast to the simple obsessional stalker, the love obsessional stalker has had no prior intimate relationship with his or her victim. The stalker and the victim are often no more than casual acquaintances – neighbors, coworkers, or classmates. In many instances, however, the stalker and victim are strangers. The stalker may become familiar with the victim through the media and these types of stalking cases often involve celebrity stalking. The John Hinckley, Jr., case is a good illustration of the love obsessional stalker. On March 30, 1981, Hinckley attempted to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagan, missing Reagan but seriously wounding others, including U.S. Press Secretary James Brady. The motivations underlying Hinckley’s behavior were bizarre. After multiple viewings of the film, Taxi Driver, Hinckley developed an obsession with Hollywood actress Jodie Foster. Following several failed attempts to make contact with Foster, Hinckley undertook his attempted presidential assassination in a bid to gain Foster’s attention and affections. At present, Hinckley still remains institutionalized in a psychiatric facility.
    The love obsessional stalker often suffers from a mental illness, such as depression, and struggles with his or her self-image. These stalkers pursue their victims in a misguided hope that they can establish a relationship and, that by virtue of associating with famous people, they can raise their own level of worth. Love obsessional stalkers will typically send written correspondence, such as fan letters or poems, and may also attempt phone contact with their victims. They may also even attempt to visit the victim’s home to satisfy some element of a fantasy that a relationship is possible. Love obsessional stalkers, however, do not frequently attempt face-to-face contact with their victims.
    EROTOMANIC STALKER
    The third category of stalkers is referred to as the Erotomanic stalker. Erotomania, or de Clerambault’s Syndrome, is a delusion. An individual suffering from erotomania believes that another person is in love with them. The erotomanic stalker, in other words, believes that a relationship with their victim already exists. In most cases of erotomanic stalking, the perpetrator is a female and the victim is a male of higher social status. The erotomanic stalker’s obsession is not always based upon sexual attraction but may rather reflect an idealized love; they believe that their victim is a ‘perfect match’ and that their relationship was meant to be. For almost 10 years, talk show host and celebrity David Letterman was stalked by Margaret Ray, a woman suffering from schizophrenia. In 1988, Ray was arrested driving Letterman’s stolen Porsche and broke into Letterman’s home on several occasions. She believed that she was in fact married to Letterman and the mother of his child. Sadly, Ray committed suicide in 1998 by kneeling in front of an oncoming train. Despite the bizarre behavior of erotomanic stalkers, they are less likely to seek direct face-to-face contact with their victims and present a lower risk for violence.

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  2. page Defining Stalking edited ... ACADEMIC PERSPECTIVES In the academic literature, stalking has alternatively been referred t…
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    ACADEMIC PERSPECTIVES
    In the academic literature, stalking has alternatively been referred to as harassment or obsessional following (Kropp, Hart, & Lyon, 2002; Meloy, 1996; Spitzberg & Cupach, 1993, 2007; Westrup & Fremouw, 1998). According the Oxford English Dictionary, to harass or harassment is to “torment [someone] by subjecting them to constant interference or intimidation.” The DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) defines obsession as “persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety of distress.” Definitions in the literature that have referred to stalking as “obsessional harassment” conceptualize it as an abnormal or long-term pattern of threat or harassment directed toward a specific individual (Meloy, 1996; Meloy & Gothard, 1995; Zona, Sharma, & Lane, 1993). Tjaden (1997) defines stalking as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated physical or visual proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats sufficient to cause fear in a reasonable person” (p. 2). Across these legal and academic definitions, a few commonalties arise. Generally, stalking is conceptualized as a pattern of persistent behavior on the behalf of a perpetrator that is intended to instill a sense of fear in another individual.
    PERCEPTIONS OF STALKING
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    To examine what factors are used by people to distinguish stalking incidents from non-stalking incidents, Lorraine Phillips and her colleagues at John Jay College (Phillips, Quirk, Rosenfeld, & O’Connor, 2004) administered a series of six vignettes to a random sample of undergraduate students. Each vignette described an ambiguous stalking scenario in which a doctor receives persistent phone calls, letters, and gifts, from a potential suitor. Two independent variables were manipulated in the study. The first independent variable was the gender of the perpetrator. In some vignettes, participants read about a male doctor being stalked by a woman, while other participants read about a female doctor being stalked by a man. The second independent variable was the nature of the victim/offender relationship. The victim and offender were (a) former intimate partners, (b) acquaintances, or (c) strangers. Participants were then asked to indicate whether the behaviors in the vignette constituted stalking and whether the victim should be worried for his or her safety. When there was no prior relationship between the victim or target and the stalker, participants were significantly more likely to consider the actions described in the vignette to constitute stalking. On the other hand, when the victim or target and stalker had previously been in a relationship, participants failed to characterize the same behaviors as stalking. Phillips et al.’ study shows that the context in which stalking occurs may influence people’s perceptions of the behaviors and raises some serious questions about the ability of the law to identify and prosecute stalking. This finding is also particularly surprising in light of an emerging pattern in empirical research which shows that in a large proportion of identified cases stalkers pursue former intimate partners

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  3. 12:58 pm
  4. page Defining Stalking edited ... An implicit or explicit threat that is evidenced in the pattern of behavioural intrusion; and …
    ...
    An implicit or explicit threat that is evidenced in the pattern of behavioural intrusion; and
    As a result of these behavioural intrusions, the person who is threatened experiences reasonable fear.
    ACADEMIC PERSPECTIVES
    In the academic literature, stalking has alternatively been referred to as harassment or obsessional following (Kropp, Hart, & Lyon, 2002; Meloy, 1996; Spitzberg & Cupach, 1993, 2007; Westrup & Fremouw, 1998). According the Oxford English Dictionary, to harass or harassment is to “torment [someone] by subjecting them to constant interference or intimidation.” The DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) defines obsession as “persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety of distress.” Definitions in the literature that have referred to stalking as “obsessional harassment” conceptualize it as an abnormal or long-term pattern of threat or harassment directed toward a specific individual (Meloy, 1996; Meloy & Gothard, 1995; Zona, Sharma, & Lane, 1993). Tjaden (1997) defines stalking as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated physical or visual proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats sufficient to cause fear in a reasonable person” (p. 2). Across these legal and academic definitions, a few commonalties arise. Generally, stalking is conceptualized as a pattern of persistent behavior on the behalf of a perpetrator that is intended to instill a sense of fear in another individual.

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  5. page Famous Stalking Cases edited ... {rebecca_seventeen_may_1987.jpg} Young upcoming actress, Rebecca Schaeffer {Robert_John_Bardo…
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    {rebecca_seventeen_may_1987.jpg} Young upcoming actress, Rebecca Schaeffer
    {Robert_John_Bardo-Police_photo.jpeg} Robert John Bardo, Obsessed Fan
    On July 18th, 1989, a young and upcoming actress, Rebecca Schaeffer, was murdered by Robert John Bardo, an obsessed fan. After a brief career in modeling and small parts in commercials, Schaeffer landed her break at 19 years of age, winning one of the starring roles on the television sitcom, My Sister Sam in 1986. It was during her stint on this television series that Schaeffer attracted the attention of Bardo, a young man living in Tucson, Arizona. Bardo was attracted to Schaeffer’s youthful image and soon began writing fan letters. His letter-writing eventually progressed to efforts to gain access to Schaeffer on the set of her show. Following the cancellation of My Sister Sam, Schaeffer tried to break into feature films. She obtained a small role in the film, Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills, which Schaeffer hoped would allow her to transition into more serious, adult roles. Bardo, still fascinated with Schaeffer, saw the film and was outraged by a scene in which Schaeffer was lying in bed with a male character. He felt the scene was a betrayal of Schaeffer’s wholesome image and began to become increasingly hostile in his letters, referring to Schaeffer as “Miss Nudity 2-shoes.” Eventually, as Bardo became infuriated by his failure to contact Schaeffer, he hired a private detective agency, which was able to obtain Schaeffer’s address through motor vehicle records. Over the course of his obsession, Bardo had developed delusional beliefs that God had appointed him to punish and kill Schaeffer for becoming an “adult fornicating screen whore.” He showed up at Schaeffer’s apartment, spoke with her briefly, and showed her an autographed photo he had received from her in a fan mail package. Schaeffer asked Bardo to leave and not return. Shortly thereafter, Bardo returned, rang the doorbell, and shot Schaeffer once in the chest. In the aftermath of Schaeffer’s death, the state of California would enact the first official stalking law in the United States (Meloy, 1998).
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Friday, November 12

  1. page Patterns of Stalking edited PATTERNS OF STALKING VICTIMS AND PERPETRATORS Victims of Stalking Women at greater risk of cr…

    PATTERNS OF STALKING
    VICTIMS AND PERPETRATORS
    Victims of Stalking
    Women at greater risk of criminal harassment:
    Women are three times more likely to be stalked
    Most victims are stalked by a partner
    Partners represented almost half (47%) of all victims of stalking offences.
    Over half (53%) of female victims are stalked by partners and 29% by acquaintancesAlmost half of male victims (48%) are stalked by acquaintances and 26% are stalked by a partner.
    Stalking Perpetrators
    Common demographic characteristics of stalkers -
    A larger proportion of male offenders
    Late-bloomers - Older relative to other offender groups
    Higher levels of educational attainment
    Difficulty with employment
    Psychopathology or mental health problems are a common feature -
    Substance abuse
    Personality disorders

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  2. page Famous Stalking Cases edited FAMOUS CASES THE REBECCA SCHAEFFER CASE {rebecca_seventeen_may_1987.jpg} Young upcoming actres…

    FAMOUS CASES
    THE REBECCA SCHAEFFER CASE
    {rebecca_seventeen_may_1987.jpg} Young upcoming actress, Rebecca Schaeffer
    {Robert_John_Bardo-Police_photo.jpeg} Robert John Bardo, Obsessed Fan

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    10:55 am
  3. page Defining Stalking edited DEFINING STALKING Stalking is an old behaviour, but a relatively new criminal offence. LEGAL P…

    DEFINING STALKING
    Stalking is an old behaviour, but a relatively new criminal offence.
    LEGAL PERSPECTIVES
    The First Formal Stalking Law
    State of California, 1990 -
    A stalker had to make a “credible threat of death or great bodily injury” toward the victim, placing the victim in reasonable fear of the same.
    The Canadian Criminal Code
    Section 264 Criminal Harassment
    Criminal harassment is comprised of four interrelated behaviours:
    Repeatedly following another person from place to place
    Repeatedly communicating with, directly or indirectly, the other person
    Besetting or watching a place where the other person is living or working
    Engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or family members
    These behaviours must cause the persons to fear for their safety or the safety of others
    Common Legal Elements
    While specific laws in different jursidictions will vary from one another, there are three common elements found in most stalking laws:
    A pattern (course of conduct) of behavioural intrusion upon another person that is unwanted;
    An implicit or explicit threat that is evidenced in the pattern of behavioural intrusion; and
    As a result of these behavioural intrusions, the person who is threatened experiences reasonable fear.

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