My Experience with a Stalker
I met him at a college party. He was very quiet and didn't say much until he started drinking. Then he would become the life of the party by singing Def Leppard songs word for word. "Rockin' Rodney" everyone called him.
He eventually moved in with my brother. Whenever I saw him, I felt sorry for him. He was a loner whom all the girls ignored. Except for me. Like I said, I felt sorry for him. I talked to him and we became friends, sort of. A college classmate of mine was from his hometown. I asked if she knew him and she told me he was strange and in high school he was considered a real weirdo. I thought that was kind of mean.
Eventually, my brother graduated from college so I really didn't have any reason to make the 50-mile drive anymore to visit him. I forgot all about Rodney, but it soon became apparent he hadn't forgotten me.
A Creepy Reunion
It was a cold, blustery day in January and my shift at work had finally ended. It was dark in the parking lot. When I finally got to my car, I got in and started it up. I had to get back out to get the frost and snow off of my windshield. That's when I noticed him. He was sitting there, not too far away in his pickup. He startled me and I felt a tingly sensation down my spine. It wasn't from the cold.
He called out to me and told me I looked different, more ladylike, or something like that. It had been about a year since I had last seen him. I asked if he lived in Fargo and he told me no, he had moved back home. He decided to make the three-hour drive just to see me, despite the ugly weather. I was getting more creeped out by the minute.
I don't know what else I said. I just got into my car and drove home. I kept looking back to see if he was following me. When I got home and looked around, he was nowhere to be seen.
What is Stalking?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), stalking refers to repeated harassing or threatening behavior by an individual, such as:
- following a person
- appearing at a person's home or place of business
- making harassing phone calls
- leaving written messages or objects
- vandalizing a person's property.
I began to recount conversations I had with Rodney when he and my brother lived together. The times he called me and said things like he was moving to South Carolina for work and that I should move with him. The time he sent me Black Hills gold jewelry for my birthday (which I later pawned off). At the time, I thought he was just being funny or being a friend. My roommate used to tease me that he was in love with me. I suppose I should have cut off communication with him but I was just too nice.
After the parking lot incident, things got really strange. He obviously knew where I lived because a couple of times he showed up at the apartment when I wasn't home asking my roommates where I was. They began to get creeped out as well.
Then something really strange happened. I lived with three other girls and our apartment was actually the upper level of a house. My then-boyfriend and his roommate lived on the main level. One night, I was at my boyfriend['s sitting on the couch with the windows opened behind us. We talked about Rodney and my ex called him certain names. The next day, Rodney called me and asked why we called him those names. He had been outside under the window listening to our conversation.
From time to time I would see Rodney in his pickup across the street from where I lived. I tried to ignore him, thinking he was harmless. Weird but harmless.
Then one day my ex called and told me Rodney had followed him to work and threatened to hurt him. As soon as Chris got home, he got out his hunting rifle. It was obvious he had taken the threat seriously.
The phone calls from Rodney increased. This was before caller ID so I never knew if it was him calling or not. As soon as I realized it was him, I would hang up the phone. He was persistent though and would try to call back several times throughout the day. It was beyond frustrating for both me and my friends.
During this whole time, I always thought Rodney would eventually just go away and leave me alone. When this didn't appear to be the case, we got the police involved. We told them about the parking lot incident, the threat and the never-ending phone calls. They told me that every time he called I was supposed to write it down in a journal and if I ever talked to him that I needed to write down every word. Eventually we were able to put a restraining order against Rodney.
Finally, Rodney left me alone. Apparently he went back home and rumor had it he had gone crazy one day, ransacking his parents' home and ending up on the roof with a crowbar threatening his dad. Later I heard he was admitted to the psyche ward at the state hospital.
The whole ordeal was emotionally draining and I was so thankful to know he was put away somewhere. Currently, I have no idea where he is. I can only hope he got the help he so desperately needed.
If you think you are being stalked:
- File a complaint with the law enforcement
- Document all incidents
- Get a restraining or no-contact order through the clerk of courts
Some Facts about Stalking1
- 6.6 million people are stalked each year in the United States.
- The majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know.
- 1 in six women are stalked to the point they feel their life is in danger
- 1 in 4 women report being a victim of stalking in their lifetime
- 1 in 13 men report being a victim of stalking in their lifetime
- Many victims report being stalked through the use of some form of technology (such as e-mail or instant messaging).
- 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next.
- 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop.
- 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization.
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before
- 78% of stalkers use more than one approach
- 11% of stalking victims have been stalked five years or more
- 1 in 5 female victims experienced being stalked between 11 and 17 years old.
1Source: The Stalking Resource Center