Genetic research is finding it’s law enforcement niche.

Even though, I am considered an expert in the field of stalking and threat assessment, I was a cop for over thirty-four years, twelve of those years in homicide. In fact, in November of 2018, I was able to present one of my last Cold Case homicides, a no-body case that took place in 1988 to the Orange County D.A.’s Cold Case team which was accepted for filing. I have at least two more active cold case homicides that I am still involved with, so, basically, once you are in homicide for any length of time, its involvement never seems to leave you.

The reason I bring all this up, is because of the newest tool that law enforcement has just recently engaged to assist them in both recent and cold cases that have any DNA evidence generated by the suspect(s). This all kind of began in my mind when the Golden State Killer case was solved utilizing DNA from the suspect, a once cop, whose DNA signature was developed by Parbon Nanolabs, and a genetic history that lead to the killer extrapolated by one Ce Ce Moore, now the star on ABC’s series The Genetic Detective. Back in the day, I can remember attending briefings on the Golden State Killer, who at that time had been active in the Irvine area as well as various other cities in California.

Prior to leaving formal police work back in November of 2004, my partner and I had no cold cases where DNA evidence was left behind by any suspects. Parbon and Ce Ce, were not on the radar until 2018. However, I was just advised by a homicide detective that proceeded us, that he did have a current homicide with DNA evidence, with no matches in CODIS (Combined DNA Index System-a federal database where criminal DNA is registered.) He was able to reach out to Parbon and Ce Ce, and as “luck” would have it, had a suspect match in a short period of time. His suspect lived in the city, and had no criminal record. Not going into specifics, case is still being adjudicated.

I really like the fact, that the DNA combined with the ancestry hunters like Ce Ce Moore  have progressed in this direction. I truly hope, it helps solves a great many more outstanding cases out in the world.

Stalking Laws in India, may need a re-think.

Over the years, I have received requests from potential stalking victims for assistance from countries that either did not have stalking laws in place, or if that country did, it appeared in many situations, either tended to ignore them, or were untrained in how to investigate a specific case. I am particularly frustrated by victim contacts from countries where stalking and domestic violence, are never addressed due to how women are looked at within those countries. I can name several, but Mexico, most if not all Communist countries, and many Arab countries come to mind; primarily those with Sharia law in place. It becomes even more problematic when a victim has obtained a copy of my latest book, Antidote For A Stalker (Amazon), and has read how they can assist law enforcement with their case, and what we would like to see law enforcement do on a specific case, and they find that when they try to do this, there is no where for them to turn, not even when the printed directions are there.

Trust me, I will go out of my way if at all possible to assist a victim by contacting the agency that they are dealing with and offer my expertise and assistance; as well as a copy of our Stalking Investigative Protocol, which is about twenty-one pages in length, but when followed should generate a successful prosecution.

All that being said, India was one of the countries that I received a number of victim requests for assistance. These folks included a physician, a PhD, and several other well educated women that were both frustrated and concerned with their stalking issues and others that they knew of. At first, India did not have a stalking law, but it appears that in 2013, Section 354D was added to India Criminal code, which covered stalking. Like me you can Google the definition, which in my opinion does not go far enough under its’ coverage; especially, who can be a victim of stalking. First, off, it only covers woman being stalked by a man, which is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t go anywhere near where it should be. First of all, we know that the vast majority of stalking is Intimate Partner or domestic violence related; however, women do stalk men; as well as same sex partners do stalk as well. So, it kind of leaves out a pretty good junk of the population. Also, the law does not cover family members or significant others. Stalkers will oftentimes go after these folks to get to their primary target. So, again, in my humble opinion, India, needs to take another look at their current legislation.

Now, to my last point, even with the legislation on the books, I am still getting requests from folks from India about their law enforcement agencies not being willing to work their cases. Now, in all fairness, I get those complaints from victims in my country as well as those in countries that usually are supposed to be better up to speed on stalking. One of the biggest reasons for some victims not getting assistance from the U.S. and other U.K. and European Countries with existing laws, is training, not necessarily that law enforcement is blowing them off. Unfortunately, I do run across that type of attitude as well. In the United States, where we have about 7.5 million folks stalked annually, only 5-16% of all stalking cases are prosecuted as stalking because oftentimes stalking incorporates lessor crimes so many times detectives will submit one of those crimes for prosecution, and move on to another case they have pending. Again, in my opinion, that is merely a lack of training, and direction.

In closing, I would hope that if a country does not have stalking legislation, they get it, and when they do, the people charged with assisting the victims of said stalking, actually do something about it.

 

 

 

 

Stalking on the Increase in our Military

I have known for years, that stalking is a large issue within the ranks of our military. A recent study from the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, titled “An Examination of Stalking Experiences During Military Service Among Female and Male Veterans and Associates With PTSD and Depression,” is just another verifier of this issue. The study indicates that approximately 58.5 % compared to about 37.2 % of males were plagued by an individual generating stalking behaviour towards them. This oftentimes lead to the victims experiencing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as depression in many cases.

 

I am continually trying to get training to not only those that are charged with investigating stalking within the ranks, but to the fine men and women who protect this great country. Unfortunately, it has been an up-hill battle. Hopefully, we will start making progress in the near future.

A Strange Attachment

Just so you might better understand what I mean when we use the term attachment when discussing a stalking scenario, let me explain. Whenever a stalker decides to actually begin stalking a specific target, I refer to this as the unfortunate moment a stalker begins or attaches his or her desires to that specific individual.

Example:

Not too long ago, I received a phone call from a private high-dollar civil attorney, which is not uncommon. However, I thought this contact was somewhat unusual because the attorney had obtained my name from one of the defense attorney’s I would oftentimes go up against when I was a robbery, homicide detective. Funny, how that works.

The attorney had been retained by a successful Hollywood tour company that specialized like several did in finding where celebrities either resided or had locations they frequented so they could drive-by these locations and do whatever presentation they had gleaned from their “research” on that particular celebrity estate.

Apparently, during one of these tours, the guide had pointed out a specific residence and stated it belonged to a well-known female celebrity. Either the tour guide had pointed out the wrong residence, or had not done his homework on same because it turned out that particular dwelling did not belong to that celebrity or any other for that matter.

Unfortunately, one of the tour’s passengers had a major fixation on this particular celebrity and more than likely had joined the tour with the ulterior motive of having her home pointed out to him. This encounter caused this individual to immediately attach to that property because a day later that same subject showed up at the estate that he had been told belonged to his celebrity, and somehow got onto the grounds and attempted to gain entry into the residence. Even though he was told by the present owner the person he sought never lived there he continued his attempts even after he had been contacted and admonished by local law enforcement. The obsessed fan was finally taken into custody when he confronted and assaulted the owner whilst trying one more time to forcibly gain entry.

Now you might be able to understand why I was being contacted by this barrister. So, during several of the fan’s entry attempts he advised the frustrated owner, that he was positive that the female actress in fact lived at this home because the tour guide had told him so, and he would not lie about something like that. Therefore, the owner of the residence who had been plagued by this clown had decided to sue for damages.

I have no idea how this action played out. After giving the attorney some advise, I stepped back from the case.  Now, you can see just how easy it is for someone, more than likely with a mental disorder to attach to a specific target.

 

Why we oftentimes charge stalkers with burglary, when they don’t actually take anything.

On 04-19-18, I got a request for a consult by a newspaper reporter who had been following the trial of a stalker who had stalked a female off and on for over thirty years. The stalker was currently on trial for multiple counts of aggravated stalking. The reporter described the elements of the case in depth advising that she had never heard of a stalker doing any of the things that this individual had done. After she was done, I explained that one of the reasons I have always enjoyed investigating and consulting on stalking cases was because these individuals were just so weird, and I learn something new on every case I take on.

The reporter said that the stalker advised law enforcement when he was contacted and finally arrested that they needed to get a hold of the victim so that he could send her some of his sperm to produce a viable off-spring; even though she was married and had three healthy and reportedly happy children. The stalker was concerned that the victim was getting too old to produce a child. The reporter was amazed, when I explained this type of request in some form or another does transpire in other stalking consults I have conducted, more often than she would imagine.

Another thing she brought up that about a year or so before the stalker had been arrested he had once again found the victim and her family, and knocked on her front door demanding to talk to her. He was successfully turned away; reportedly not seen at the residence again. The victim and her family then decided to move to another location. As they were packing their property for the move, the victim found a receipt with the stalker’s name and signature on same placed in the bottom of one of her clothing drawers. Obviously, this caused the victim extreme fear and emotional distress. After she reported this information and turned over the item to the agency handling her case, a charge of burglary was added to the suspect’s stalking charges.

Why, one might ask, the stalker didn’t take anything that they were aware of. However, he did enter the victim’s residence without her permission, and in this case without her knowledge. In most states, burglary is defined in general as entering any four-walled structure with the intent to commit grand or petty theft or any other felony. The stalker entered the victim’s residence for the purposes of stalking, in this situation, a felony; therefore burglary applies.

Stalkers oftentimes will enter into a victim’s residence for a variety of reasons, primarily, to find out as much about the victim as possible. They may take items as trophies, to both generate their fantasy about the victim and in many cases cause her fear and emotional distress. Many will leave messages or other items that let’s the victim know they had violated their space. In this victim’s case a signed receipt. Others will damage property; especially items that mean something to the victim. This is why we file burglary charges on the stalker. Remember, the more felony charges we can attach to the stalker, the longer they stay incarcerated.

Just so you know, the stalker was convicted of three counts of aggravated stalking and is looking at a possible sentence of fifteen years.

Silent Stalkers

Christina Grimmie’s recent appalling death at the hands of a stalker; although less prevalent than most types of stalking needs to be addressed because with the amount of information generated by social media those of us in the business fear, more of this type of stalking is going to raise its ugly head. For lack of a better term, we have decided to refer to this variety of stalker as Silent. From incidents that we have reviewed, most of these individuals have self esteem issues, and don’t posses the requisite social skills to develop a relationship with many individuals in their lives; let alone the target they unfortunately satiate on. They oftentimes sit by themselves in their rooms searching the Internet in the hopes of gathering any bit of information they can on their target. They may develop digital diaries concerning their target laying out their feelings towards them, as well as what they are or would like to do to them, some may even post this information.  Silent stalkers, are just that, they rarely if ever generate any kind of contact with their target; even though in some cases the stalker may go to the same school, or other areas they may both frequent in their community. In the case of Christina’s stalker he truly felt that Christina and he had a connection; even to the point of being together. (Dr. Kris Mohandie, whom I know & respect, stated he believed the stalker exhibited a form of Erotomanic delusional disorder). If you saw the recent 48 special on stalking where Grimmie’s case was one of those profiled, her stalker, who never contacted her, did present unusual and strange behavior, causing one fellow employee to report same to a supervisor resulting in no action being taken. You know what “they” say, it is the quiet ones you have to look out for. So folks, if you see someone who seems to be directing an overabundance of strange or what could be described as delusional attention towards another, celebrity or not, please take the time to alert someone. Just remember, there are those among us that lurk, but don’t alert. 

If I can’t Have You, No One Else Will, is an ongoing issue!

When I first began working stalkers in 1991, I began hearing from the victims of certain stalkers, that their pursuers had uttered this phrase on more than one occasions; “If I can’t have you no one else will.” When we continued our investigations into these particular stalkers, we found that they had developed tunnel vision towards their targets and exhibited an extreme fixation for their prey.

Recently, after teaching a group of victim advocates, D.A.’s and law enforcement at a venue sponsored by the Community Action Partnership of Madera County, [Located in Central California], managed by Tina Rodriguez, MA., I found that Tina, who conducts domestic violence workshops at both a California Women’s Facility, were many of the most violent inmates are housed, (of which I can attest to having one of the most predatory females I’ve ever arrested housed there) as well as a prison for men, had been conducting research on both domestic violence related cases including stalking. She advised that so far she had conducted interviews with twenty-nine male inmates. Out of those twenty-nine, she interviewed four that had murdered their targets. She stated these particular four showed no indication of remorse and made comments to the effect that now that she/their victim,  was gone they would not have to worry about her being with anyone else. She also found that they were resolved to being incarcerated, and actually felt at peace knowing they no longer had to keep thinking about  not being with the females they killed. Tina also indicated that even though there had been at least some law enforcement intervention in three out of the four cases, the suspects were so obsessed that they continued on until they had made their kills. She advised that “all four had some type of personality disorder” and described an intense “preoccupation” with their targets.  She noted that they all seem to fixate on two specific strategies on how to lure their victims closer “and how to kill them if they declined” their advances.

Tina said that she is “currently compiling a list of questions for female inmates, and has observed thus far a common theme of disassociation in these women and an eagerness to gravitate towards violence,” as well.

 

Mental Health As A Defense-Revisited

In one of our discussions we expressed that oftentimes mental health is found not to be a very viable defense concerning the crime of stalking because the stalker oftentimes shows planning in his or her pursuit of the victim. However, some defense attorneys will still attempt to travel this road to get their client off by showing that even though their client did have a mental health issue; they were also insane (a much higher bar)  at the time of the stalking.

Just a point of information, for those of you interested in those diagnosed as a psychopath, recent studies like the Hare study indicate that a true psychopath does not have a mental health issue, but are in fact born with this particular condition. Something that many of us who have dealt with these people in the field have been espousing for years. So when we would oftentimes say, “Well, no one is actually born bad; Hare’s and others in this field are telling us, yes in fact some people who commit violent crimes are in fact born bad.” The studies also indicate that their are levels of psychopaths. In other words, many successful people; especially in the business arena are in fact psychopaths but don’t rise to the plateau if you will of a serial killer.

Here are the twenty items Hare Psychopathy Checklist came up with. Take a look, and see if you know anyone like this:

  1. Glib and Superficial Charm
  2. Grandiose Self-Worth
  3. Seek Stimulation or Prone to Boredom
  4. Pathological Lying
  5. Conning (or cunning) and Manipulativeness
  6. Lack of Remorse or Guilt
  7. Shallow Affect
  8. Callousness and Lack of Empathy
  9. Parasitic Lifestyle
  10. Poor Behavioral Controls
  11. Promiscuous Sexual Behavior
  12. Early Behavior Problems
  13. Lack of Realistic, Long-Term Goals
  14. Impulsivity
  15. Irresponsibility
  16. Failure to Accept Responsibility For Own Actions
  17. Many Short-Term Marital Relationships
  18. Juvenile Delinquency
  19. Revocation of Condition-Release
  20. Criminal Versatility

Now, my first stalker was a textbook psychopath. He fit into all of these categories, and stalked my victim off and on for over twenty years.

Again, a horrific act of terrorism occurs & gun control is partially blamed.

An overwhelming act of barbaric terrorism transpires in a Gay oriented establishment in Orlando Florida, and The President not only can’t call it an act of Islamic terrorism, but instead goes on to push his agenda on gun control. Relating that it is too easy for people (I am assuming he is referring to the average Joe on the street) to get guns; which is by the way our right under the second amendment as long as we follow the rules, like not committing a felony, not being the recipient of a restraining or protective order, being a US citizen, and not having any documented mental health issues. The fact that it has been reported that this particular shooter had radical Islamist leanings, and  was a security guard who had been back grounded and  was trained in the proper use of a firearm didn’t seem to come up during his speech.

I would hope that those in the know that surround the President would have briefed him on the true facts. That would be that a handgun, assault rifle, etc, is merely the tool that any perpetrator is utilizing to commit an act of violence. As indicated, if a potential shooter doesn’t have a criminal history, has not been diagnosed with a mental disorder and is not currently the person listed on a restraining order, he or she is legally able to purchase a firearm. As we continue to preach; it is threat assessment and human intelligence that will assist law enforcement entities in forestalling as many violent endings as possible. However, if threat assessment is either not practiced or neglects to generate a plan of action our country on the whole will continue to suffer from these excessively devastating outbursts.

This is what I believe, the more honest, caring and level-headed Americans who are trained in the proper use of a handgun should be allowed to carry that same firearm for the protection of themselves  and their family, the better off we would be. Especially in light of what is transpiring in our society today. Keep in mind that those that generate oftentimes deadly violence against others in the name of terrorism or whatever else; don’t want those they are harming to be able to defend themselves.

 

Was Christina Grimmie’s Killer a Stalker?

People in the media are saying that an incredible talent has been taken away from us. I would agree, but only in part. The truth of the matter is that a young, vibrant women who had parents, relatives and friends whose souls will be scared in perpetuity has been torn from the fabric of our world by yet another deranged individual; who when all the dust has settled will probably be found to be just another stalker with a mental health issue and an overwhelming desire to control, and/or posses another gleaming diamond in the black of night.

I would hope that this twenty-seven year old male did not show up on anyone’s radar prior to this terrible act transpiring because if he did, once again those tasked with protecting a potential target, in this case Christina failed. Again, we need to go back to what we have been discussing in previous blog entries and what I constantly preach when I teach, the only way we have any chance of preventing or at the very least minimizing these types of events is via threat assessment resulting in a protective action.

Folks, unfortunately because of the world we currently reside, things like armed security, metal and explosive detection are going to have to be an automatic wherever a crowd gathers; especially in a venue such as this.