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Friend has a creepy problem

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My friend broke up with this guy well over 2 years ago. He was really bad news from the beginning, but she was lonely and he plied her with all sorts of expensive jewelry and gifts and she went for it. They dated for quite some time never steady because he would do demented things like demand that she wear a certain dress, wear only so much make-up a real control freak. They had major blow-ups and the last straw for her came when after a fight, he broke into her home and decapitated all her stuffed animals, let her lizards and exotic birds out of their cages and let all her cats out. So she broke up with him for the final time and he was so devastated, he split for back East. She lives out here on the West Coast.

OK, fast forward to this Christmas when I get a panicked call from her because she has received a Christmas card from him. Her first contact in 2 years. The card is signed Jeri and Jim Jones (as if they are married!) Inside, is a Christmas letter to all their "friends" talking about what he and jeri did as a couple during that year! it really creeped her out. Then he had an aside for her telling her he was coming to California soon to "take her back forcefully or peacefully" because they were "meant" to be together! She was seriously creeped out and had been having nightmares since the card arrived.

She has been to the police, they can do nothing till he gets into the state, because right now, there is nothing but threats. I told her to do several things, to install a security system, buy a guard dog, take self-defense classes and get a re-issuance on the last restraining order she had against him. If anyone else can think of anything else please let me know. I also told her she can come and stay with us, but she has a good job, she takes care of an ailing father and her daughter's kids, so her upheaving her life right now is really out of the question.
post #2 of 16
Hissy - this one sounds like a certified wacko! I am anxious about your friend's situation just reading this thread. I like your suggestions about the security, etc. Wouldn't this situation apply to the new federal stalking laws on the books? It might be worth a call to the local DA's office to inquire. I find that sometimes, the local police are too quick to make judgement on a situation involving 'ex's' etc. They are uncomfortable with DV cases and cases involving relationships. (No offense meant to anyone connected with the law!)
post #3 of 16
As a non-American I will ask a dumb question. Would the FBI not be interested in this? Taking her forcefully is a definite threat of violence and interstate to boot. How about the postal service..using US mail to threaten violence must be some kind of Federal crime?
Let LOTS of people know. Send a photocopy of the letter to the city editor of his hometown newspaper. Put the glare of the public spotlight on this creep.

As a last resort,I heard of this being done. Meet him in a seedy,tough bar..lots of hardcases. Stand up with a handfull of bills and say "This freak is threatening to hurt me and my kids. Here's $500 for the first one to put him in a bodycast." Pay up too;it'll be worth it.
post #4 of 16
A Women's Shelter might also be a possible option for her if she has to leave her home because of this man. The workers in these shelters are specially trained to deal with the type of situation your friend is in. If she went to your home or someone else's, others would be endangered along with your friend if this man found out where she was. He sounds very unstable and likely to do almost anything.
post #5 of 16
I don't know if this is even a good suggestion or not...but... does she have the financial resources to hire a private investiagtor to keep an eye on this freak to see what he's really up to? He may just find it fun to threaten her and have absolutely no intention of doing anything. But, if he IS planning on coming to get her, a PI may be able to discern when... and at the very least she'd know where he was. At the most, the PI might get enough info on the guy to have him arrested!
post #6 of 16
As I told you earlier, Hissy, I second the idea of a PI. If it were me, I would want to know about this creep's movements in advance.

Calling the DA, or some federal authority also sounds like a bonified suggestion to me.

Maybe the local authorities are too quick to dismiss. My friend si going through a simialr situation with an ex (although not anywhere near that eerie), and the local police say he has to try and make physical contact with her before anything can be done.

I am saying a big prayer for your friend tonight. Please keep us posted. I am worried sick about this.
post #7 of 16
This is a very serious problem and should be treated as such. My daughter was stalked for a thankfully short time before the creep owed so much money to his dope dealer, he had to leave town. It is very tempting to dispose of these creepy things. It is very important that she keep any papers, gifts, etc., and gather up the ones that others may still have. Log any contacts and put a trace on her phone. Invest in good locks and a high quality cannister of the hottest pepper spray she can find. This stuff works very well and is non-lethal. It will drop most people in their tracks and if she accidentally hits someone else, it won't hurt them. Get a cell phone and keep it with her at all times. These were instructions that we were given by the detective that handled our report. She was a minor at the time and this idiot had a criminal record, so we were able to get more attention than 2 adults would get. He also recommened a self-defense course if one were available. I hope this is resolved for her soon.
post #8 of 16
I'm surprised the police cannot do anything til he gets into town! What does the police have to say about where he lives? Can't they do something? I thought there is a stalking law out there? Hissy, I hope your friend will be ok, and that this guy was just all talk. Can she maybe move out of her current residence & move somewhere else?
post #9 of 16
Stalking IS illegal. The problem is, the police can't just pick someone up for being a jerk (that's a nice word, I'm thinking something stronger). He can send letters and maybe even call her (caller ID is a good thing, too, and save the info on any suspicious calls that come in) but until he makes a move, it's all just threats. Unfortunately, it's legal to threaten most loony actions, as long as you don't do them.

I'm sure he thinks he's being terribly romantic with all that "we belong together" stuff. You have to prove intent, and often you can't do that until the person makes a definite move. That's one of the frustrating things about restraining orders: You have to have one to protect yourself legally, but the only time it can be enforced is when the guy gets within, what is it, 50 feet? of his victim, and by the time the cops get there, he's already done whatever he intended to do. But if you don't get the order, nobody takes the female victim seriously after the fact.

You don't say what state your friend is in, but in CA there were buildings that were designated DV-free and the employees would assist the victim (it's not always the woman) and put the attacker out of the store. I remember that the Post Office and Noah's Bagels were two of those places. They had notices posted. So she might keep an eye out for some of those.

Also, she might try not to be alone if at all possible. Maybe have a friend stay over a few nights a week, for example. Esp. Fri and Sat because she'd be missed at work on other days. (Tell the boss, the security guards, other people in her department, etc.) And a nightly phone call to a couple of friends would be a good ritual. That way, if she didn't call, people would know almost right away that something was wrong. And a phrase of some kind so that if they called and he was there, she could tip them off without him knowing.

I hope it doesn't come to any of this. I hope he is just a sick ba- uh, boy with a big mouth and nothing else.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Your suggestions and input are much appreciated. I have relayed all of this information to her. She is hoping that Jim is just playing a sick game from his home and messing with her mind. She is going to ask the police to do drive-bys when possible, she is also going to install a camera to sweep the outside of the home, install motion detectors, buy a guard dog.....what a mess. Her life was finally coming back together after suffering the loss of her mom last year. And she is not dating anyone at the moment, she is really soured on guys right now (not that I blame her) after all the jerk put her through. She will talk to the guys where she works, show Jim's picture around and let them know to call authorities should he arrive. I hope this is all just a mind game on his part, and nothing bad will happen. He is one sick mann.
post #11 of 16
All these suggestions seem good. The only thing I can think to add is that she hire a lawyer. Show the lawyer a letter & get him to send an "official" letter outline that she will not stand for this harrassment & get the lawyer to threaten a harrassment lawsuit if it continues!
post #12 of 16
I hate to add a scary thought...but, since she has animals and he knows they are important to her...if he is like other perpetrators of relationship violence, he is likely to hurt the animals first as a way to control and manipulate her.

Sadly, there are very few domestic violence shelters that will help a woman (or man) keep her pets safe...one exception is in San Diego, where they have a wonderful program that resuces not only the human victim but also puts the pets in a safe place until the woman is able to find her own place.

So, your frind might want to find a safe place for her pets to go for a few days if she sees that she or they are in danger. Some veterinarians will board in a crisis situation, and some shelters will. HOWEVER...if she goes to a shelter, she must be very careful to make sure they understand that she is not surrendering the animals! Also, if she takes her animals to a vet, she may want to go to a different vet from when he lived with her so he won't be able to track down the animals.

Also, I think Kittyfoot has a point. The letter sounds like "terroristic threatening." She should contact the local postmaster and see whether federal charges might be possible. This way she won't have to worry about local laws and hesitant police officials.

I wish your friend much luck and a safe new year. My thoughts are with her.
post #13 of 16
I just wanted to say that although this thread is certainly about a subject that is beyond frightening and creepy, it is kind of a welcome relief in the lounge.

I feel, for the first time in awhile, that there is a thread of substance worth posting to. It seems as though the lounge has been full of so much fluff lately.

The other cat forums do have some good material, but naturally, it's strictly confined to the care of the cats.

I enjoy the lounge because of the other discussion that goes on, not necessarily cat-related, just talk between members about various topics.

I have read with interest all the replies here. They are good solid suggestions and have reminded me what a good community of members we have here.

Here's to more thought-provoking threads in the future.
post #14 of 16
Hissy, here is another suggestion for you to give to her...
Move. peroid. get a po box and have all your bills and mail go to it that way he can't find out your address then, get an unlisted, unpublished number that way he can't find out what it is.. It is close to what I did when I got away from my ex, but I never left the town. Now we live in the same town, just apart and neither one knows where the other is at anymore and I like it that way...
And please, tell her to be careful.....
post #15 of 16
any word from your friend?
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Her father gave her a big chunk of change and she has hired a P.I out of a town in Missouri (which is where Jim is living) The man is going to be putting a tail on this jerk and will call her immediately if he even looks like he is leaving. I guess the biggest problem is the farmhouse is really isolated, there is no cover nearby so all this spying has to be done from quite a distance.

She isn't in a place in her life where she can just uproot herself and move, her father owns the house she is living in and he is old and infirm and she takes care of him solo. She has a good job she doesn't want to leave and her daughter has now moved in with her along with her 2 grandchildren. She is also, finally going to be taking driving lessons for the first time in her life, so she doesn't feel so trapped.

Thanks everyone for your excellent ideas on this!
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