landscape with green forest

Path Divided

PAGE 38

“Right there with ya, Higgins. He’s a hunter of the worst order.”

Brewster was right; Higgins couldn’t think of a more apt description.

Stalking was about inducing fear. Higgins needed to return to the victim’s house to find out if he’d sent her anything like chocolates or mail or correspondence and to learn if his fantasies centred around love or vengeance.

While usually lacking social skills, most were intelligent and planned their stalking behaviour and it was always obsessive.

He’d talked with a psychologist the second he’d considered the possibility a stalker was involved and Jenny indicated that stalkers were jealous, manipulative, narcissistic, socially awkward and always needed to be in control.

She explained there were stages to stalking. The first stage was characterized by an attempt at wooing their victim.

They often went so far as to gather personal information on the victim from employers, family members, friends, neighbours, anyone that might give them the insight they were looking for.

Gifts varied depending on what they knew the recipient fancied, whether it be chocolates, flowers, favourite brands of tea, coffee, anything to give them an in while attempting to establish or maintain a relationship – as proof of their love.

She suggested looking for phone calls, emails, letters. This phase included following or running into the individual they were attempting to woo.

When and if those initial attempts failed, phase two began; spreading false damaging and negative information to anyone that would listen. If they’d been closer to or part of the family structure, they started there and moved on to other family members, friends, employers, church members, schools, and their place of employment.

They often left evidence behind to show the subject of their adoration that they’d been at their home or workplace unable to see the contradictory nature of their actions versus their words.

The final and most deadly phase which often included harm to the victim ranged from vandalism to family members or friends’ property to personal violence that all too often ended in serious physical injury or death.

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