#Fact: This is how I obtained tangible proof that I was being stalked (… for 4.5 years)
I’ve spent the last (almost) month since the first post talking to every applicable type of expert and “authority figure” imaginable.
I forgot in the process that I am my own authority figure.
This is my truth.
And I’m going to continue to tell it.
Here’s the song I’m listening to while writing this … maestro …
Thank you to everyone for the continued support. It’s physically strengthening my voice to police and police-like officials.
This is part two of a series of posts.
I walked into the police station borderline hysterical in physical fear of my every ounce and being.
… and if you’ve ever seen me cry before, I don’t do the “pretty person cry”
… I’m a baby sea lion at best, a potential missing link at my worst.
I said to the officer “I’m being stalked, but it’s by a group of people – not just one single person.”
The officer looked down, and said, “so people are out to get you?”
Picking up the paranoia title that was just placed in front of me, I said, “no. It’s one, or maybe multiple people running the operation. It’s a group of people. They’re a series of proxies that just show up EVERYWHERE I go.”
“How do you know they are there for you?”
“Body language,” I admitted. “I recognize it well – it’s a skill.”
I was calming down at that point switching from hysteria to pride that I even recognized “it.”
Remember, the “it” is still in question.
“I have a license plate of one of the people,” I admitted as I told him the pattern I spotted.
“He then took me mildly seriously as he looked up the plate.”
Remember in the last post my father said to make note of what I was seeing?
I took that literally.
“What information do you want me to give you? It wouldn’t be abnormal for this person to be in that area.”
I then thanked him for his time, as I quickly, and unfortunately realized there was nothing the police could do.
My experience at the police station was almost identical to this man’s story starting at eight minutes in.
<tangent> This is what’s interesting about having the life experience of not only being stalked but also surviving taking a brick to my head.
When I got hit in the head, not only was I helped by countless bystanders but taken to the hospital where I received treatment. (Still eternally grateful to you all Shane Powers, Jenn Hoffman, and Julie Reynard.)
While there, I was never once asked by the police “why I was hit in the head with the brick.”
They could visibly see I had a gash in my skull.
I then received four staples to my head, watched a man get sentenced to 19 years in jail, got a ride home from the DA, and now annually have to write a letter to keep him where he belongs.
I wrote this myself … I’m proud of that fact.
(My GBI charge was misfiled – not mad at the DA about it, but it is what it is.)
The victim’s advocate told me not to take any of it personally (and to read the book The Four Agreements) which I did and listened to … and still don’t take it personally.
I was in the wrong place at the wrong time within striking distance of a mentally ill man but was never shamed for it.
Now as a stalking victim also seeking help (with just as much if not more support) – not only do I have “fewer options legally,” but I’m also being asked the “why” as if I’m the psychiatrist, AND being asked to show evidence (as if I’m the police officer) ALL WHILE BEING THE VICTIM.
I get it, one crime you can see and the other isn’t as obvious, but WHY WOULD I BE WRITING THIS IF I DIDN’T PASSIONATELY BELIEVE THIS IS CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR? </tangent>
I need proof I’m being stalked … BUT I KNOW I’M BEING STALKED, I cried to myself (hysterically … again) inside my car.
I then thought about access points. My phone was obviously public enemy number one, but also I wondered what “listening/surveillance” devices actually looked like.
For all I know, a device could be right next to me and I’d never know it.
I decided to change that and educate myself.
I then googled a “spy shop near me” and found one open in the valley.
I hope none of you ever have a reason to go into a spy shop.
The energy is less “cool Batman Bat Cave” and more like a seedy pawnshop that is stocked with both sadness and sorrow.
Do I get another phone? I wondered to myself still questioning the access point.
I then crossed the street to a Best Buy where I browsed phones.
Logic then kicked in as I thought I can’t buy a burner if I don’t know where the access point is.
I know nothing about burners nor if tracking is device-driven, number centric, or if even by placing it on my credit card if that would defeat the entire purpose.
(I rarely carry cash.)
Standing in Best Buy, I found myself as an actual expert in tech confused by the devices I’ve spent my life helping people understand.
Now out of breath and confidence, I (for the first time) went back to the car empty-handed in both confidences of tech knowledge and devices.
That Monday, when Louis came into the office, I asked him if I could confide in him what I was noticing.
We walked over to the plastic tables outside KFC as I admitted my truth, “I know I’m being followed. It was the SAME investigator at a VERY DIFFERENT type of spot with the SAME BODY LANGUAGE AS THE OTHERS!!! I know you hire them, does any of this sound familiar to you?”
“Are you asking if I’m following you again? Why would I or anyone follow you, Jen?”
“I know it’s happening – you can’t move me from that.
I know what I’m experiencing (concurrently blocking left and right hooks of mansplaining and TBD gaslighting).”
I continued, “what I’ve been trying to figure out is the why. It’s not for professional purposes, my father (who has also hired them) said people don’t get followed for years at a time by “normal” investigators.
It has to be for romantic purposes – and someone with access to a LOT of money. The financial commitment to this alone makes it a 1% of a 1% situation.
They don’t even seem to be ‘legit’ investigators. They’re almost like characters playing a part.”
“Your last two boyfriends are very wealthy. Are they still interested in you?”
“No, I’m friends with both of them. They wouldn’t do this, but I’ll call and ask just in case.”
Which I did … seconds later.
I described to them both (individually) the same details I was noticing and asked if it was them or if they’ve even heard of anything like this.
Their response, while separate was the same – “you need to go to the police.”
“They don’t believe me,” I said to the first of the two BFs.
“Make them, I know if ANYONE can it’s you.”
I thanked them both for the continued support as I felt more lost than ever.
<tangent> My last BF’s family owned a massively popular sporting team. When he was growing up, he and his family were protected by the SAS. They’re still homies with the lead guy (which is surprising since he wrote a “tell-all book” about his experiences), and we would all get drunk together and he would tell these INCREDIBLE stories of now being an “enforcer” let’s say, traveling the world – specifically to Qatar.
(I had never even heard of Qatar before [epic Jeopardy fail] so I mistakenly thought he kept saying guitar. Qatar is a country and not a musical instrument … got it.)
“I was on assignment and all I had to do was use an ashtray to take him down,” he said with a mix of pride and laughter.
I had no idea what he fully meant by that, nor did I care to ask.
He made it very clear though that it was/is very easy to make something look “accidental.”
Also relatively inexpensive, the “undisclosed services” had a market rate of 5K.
Super interesting guy, but there was also a true layer of sadness present.
After leading this glamorous life working for the team, he now lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Orlando. There was no sadder visual to me than seeing this very large man sitting in a one-bedroom IKEA furniture-filled apartment adjacent to the happiest place on Earth. </tangent>
I then realized to understand who would be behind this, I’d have to first understand their psychological profile.
The stalking has a very tangible “I’m one step ahead of you,” at all times. It was/is about control and intimidation. I could tell they weren’t actually investigators, so it was someone who valued control over the actual quality of said surveillance. They didn’t seem to care that I knew they were watching me (and sometimes taking pictures and video), they actually enjoyed that they knew I knew they were there. The fact that it’s gone on for so long had an “unrequited love” vibe to it.
I then thought of two more people (whose names were also given to the investigators) and while they didn’t hit the obsessively controlling need to be “one step ahead at all times,” they did fit the financial profile and I was the one to break off dating with both of them.
It still didn’t make sense to me asking either of them this question, but desperate to want the behavior to stop, I still tried.
Their responses ALSO while separate were the same as before, “you need to go to the police.”
I then thought back to the profile and the personality of someone who WANTS you to know they CAN watch you.
They only know I am onto them because I am LETTING them know.
What if I didn’t acknowledge the behavior, I thought?
I then thought back to the early days of Talk Nerdy To Me™️ Lover, and a rather … uh … “excited” follower, who seemed so mentally “off” it made me question my (and other writers for the blog’s) safety.
I messaged security expert Gavin De Becker, who replied personally out of being impressed that I was able to guess his email address.
I explained to him the behavior I was noticing and he told me to read his book. (Not in a douchey way, but as a “this should ACTUALLY be required for life reading.”) And specifically marked two chapters.
Chapter eight titled, “Persistence persistence, persistence,” and chapter 13, “Better to be wanted by the police than not to be wanted at all.”
Thanks to his help and this book, I learned in that particular instance (and technically others … being a woman online is not easy …), it was smarter to create a folder where the emails filtered into than to respond to a single email or with worse – a restraining order.
Once a week (or once a month) I would check the emails in the folder. That way I could be proactive instead of reactive preserving personal sanity and allowing for an accurate assessment of the situation.
For the next year or so, I religiously followed Gavin’s advice now applied in this situation. That was until I had proof it was actually happening.
In June of 2019, my mom, my second mother Debra (who at one point legally would have been my mother), and her daughter Ashley (who I’ve known since age 7) all went on a cruise originally slated to go to Cuba but based on limitations placed on the country weeks before our departure, wound up going to the Bahamas.
I knew I was still being followed at this point, but followed on a CRUISE SHIP?
That’s next level … and legally speaking international waters.
I put the stalking out of my mind, but as per usual, kept my eyes and ears as open as they could be (considering I’ve also gone deaf in my left ear from an overactive hypothalamus gland from the stress – hopefully not permanent).
Being out of mind didn’t mean they weren’t literally out of sight.
Not only did it take less than a day to “spot” the investigator – but this particular person seemed even more empowered and bold.
It’s like he was a bot brought to Earth from Google Uranus.
His entire job was to ONLY take pictures … so … so … many … pictures.
I didn’t say anything to my mom, Ashley, or Debra at first, again trying to continue Gavin’s advice.
Cruise ships are contained … it’s a series of contained rooms and behavior.
What I didn’t notice back on land, was that there could be a possibility that the “investigator” wasn’t acting alone.
Why would I even think that there was more than one person involved? One was terrifying enough.
Through room after room that we moved to on the ship, I noticed the same pattern of behavior among MULTIPLE people. They never acknowledged each other, which is strange, because cruise ships are MASSIVE and even the handful of times I kept bumping into people casually, we’d laugh about it introduce ourselves and move on.
“OMG, I SAW WITH MY OWN EYES,” breaking my own pattern on day four. “THEY ARE WORKING IN A POD!!!” I said to the group while inside the Havana lounge.
“ARE YOU KIDDING?” my mom shouted. “YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH THESE ASSHOLE STALKERS?!”
“Yes,” I said hopping out of the barstool breaking my new pattern.
The Google Uranus guy is the patsy!!!! They WANT me to think it’s just him, but what I noticed was also the guy who never looks at us, but is always in earshot. HOW MANY OF YOU ARE THERE … ON THIS CRUISE SHIP?
(Spoiler Alert: In total, I counted six.)
What are the odds these two who didn’t seem to even know each other would be consistently together over and over?
“They’re working together!!! This is a team effort!!!”
I then walked up to Google Uranus (who was really tall and from a physical perspective extremely intimidating to my 5’7 stature) and shouted “WHY ARE YOU FOLLOWING ME?” so loudly the entire bar and bartender turned.
I quickly grabbed his phone from his hand and as I did I scrolled through four days worth of hundreds if not close to a thousand photos of our trip.
Not ours as in the cruise he was also on, but ours as in photos SOLELY of Ashley, Debra, my mother, and myself.
“Do you want me to delete them,” he asked soullessly?
“No, because they’re already uploaded remotely.”
I then pointed to the guy within earshot, and said “YOU TWO ARE WORKING TOGETHER.”
Quickly, I questioned if there could be more.
“And as an actual strategist (I said that out loud) if I wanted to capture this moment I would ALSO have someone filming from … there.”
I then pointed to the EXACT spot where a woman and her partner were filming me.
Not too strange considering I was causing a scene, but I recognized her.
She and I have been on the same bathroom schedule for DAYS.
Ashely then commented LOUDLY noticing her following us into the restroom too.
(Our dads are besties and I don’t know if a shark/ hawk is a thing but imagine both. We were both “trained” from an extremely early age to be not afraid but to be very aware of our surroundings. We were both taught to not only see something but to SAY it – LOUDLY.)
“YOU ARE ALL WORKING TOGETHER. STOP FOLLOWING ME.”
Google Uranus’ behavior was so bad and creepy he was banned not only from that bar but from being around us for the rest of the cruise.
This is him (in blue) getting kicked out. The woman (coincidentally also in blue) who filmed us and a guy on the right who is with and or knows them who is REALLY uncomfortable. So much so he even picks his own shirt up as if to cover his face.
“You knew it!!” my mother said. “You knew you were being followed and you are!!!”
“Yeah,” I said with sadness, “but now I know I have proof of it, but technically it’s just people showing up taking pictures and video.
I’m legally considered a public person.”
“Being right” on the stalking didn’t feel good at that moment. Nor did even seeing him get kicked out of the bar … he’s the symptom, not the source.
For the first time in two years, I had external visual confirmation of what internally I already knew.
I am being stalked.
I am actually being stalked … again.
These are the messages I asked both Ashley, and my mom to write out after the surveillance footage from Hotel Normandie was captured. I tried to remain as neutral as possible and purposefully screenshot not only the answers but the way I asked the questions …
That night, my mother went to bed as Ashley and I went upstairs to dance at the club … where we were also followed and filmed.
Look at the metadata from the photos.
This is when I confronted him …
He’s actually smiling in this photo.
This is him an hour and 20 minutes later. We were the last three people at the club. He STILL has his phone in his hand recording.
Let me zoom in so you can see it better.
His cup is on the table, he’s wearing a rosary of some kind, and holding his phone blatantly filming.
I don’t know why I didn’t immediately go to the authorities on the cruise.
It’s not illegal to take pictures of people (and even not illegal to post them on social media – it’s only considered defamatory if you attach “an opinion” to it).
It’s not that they’re taking the photos and videos, it’s the way they are going about it. The preying, the “I’m watching you” style of intimidation that is calculated, organized, and physically terrifying.
The only thing I can remotely compare it to is paparazzi, but with a paparazzi, you know what the end goal is.
(Is the word “paparazzi” even a “thing” anymore?)
This behavior is similar in predatory nature but without a known purpose.
I don’t have enemies that would spend this amount of money to again, do what … I’m not EVEN SURE!
Again, unrequited romance?
You’re REALLY going about this the wrong way if you know ANYTHING about me.
Which considering the “quality” of the surveillance, I can’t speak to the competence of the “investigators” nor the level of emotional empathy it requires to understand how big … loving … and also lethal my mind and heart can be.
After I got off the cruise, I immediately texted my friend Batz.
He expressed extreme concern and wondered why I didn’t come to him sooner.
Here are the texts …
Some messages had to be omitted for privacy purposes.
<tangent> Imagine SIX people following you around a cruise ship.
Once I was capable of laughing at the absurdity of the situation, I questioned starting a company that pairs targeted individuals with “investigators” similar to a rewards program.
Five investigators = one free cruise for the TI (the term used for people who are stalked like this)!
Make it six and we’ll throw in the drink package too. YAY!!!
Do the math … SIX people on an international cruise (at approximately $900 per person – which is a low estimate) is roughly $5,400.
$5,400 Just. To. Blatantly. Take. Photos. And. Videos. Of. Myself. And. Family.
Well, technically speaking, I only saw one phone … but the photos I took also tell their own truth.
If you’re going to document this much of MY own life, at least have the courtesy of making it rewarding for me as well.
I mean … there could have been some cute photos on that phone.
… and now we’ll never know.
GOSH! WAY TO BE STUPID AND SELFISH AT THE SAME TIME! </tangent>
Batz BTW was also my friend who was murdered just last year [unrelated].
The stalking is the reason why we were so close before the end of his life and the reason why when I was interviewed by the police they said “I can see he was very protective of you.”
I sought Batz’ help but knew not to accept it.
I then called Jefe (who was only my boyfriend at the time) and told him what Batz had suggested.
“You can’t be used as bait,” he said. “It’s not only unsafe for you, but you’d be an accessory to assault and open yourself up to criminal charges.”
“What ELSE do you do in this situation,” I asked. “The police aren’t doing anything.”
“Let me make some calls.”
Jefe previously was the right hand to a notoriously private but well-known family.
He then gave me a number to call of a private investigator the family uses.
I took a few deep breaths before dialing.
How did I get here? I wondered?
Focus on the facts and next steps, I thought correcting myself as I called.
A very calm and collected voice answered the phone, which was in stark contrast to my completely freaked out slightly shrieking barely recognizable version of self I was presenting.
I then went into my truth of what I’ve noticed for the last two years, going to the police, confronting people, confronting “investigators,” and most specifically what happened on the cruise – which was the only “real” proof I had.
I hung up the phone proud to tell my truth and followed it up with a hug from my girlfriend and her family who were so sorry I was going through this.
I want to type the words “and this is where I got help,” only I’d be lying if I did.
It took TWO MORE years (coincidentally almost to the day) to finally be believed, and it wasn’t until COVID that Jefe revealed the investigator thought I was lying.
His follow-up call to Jefe included “I see this a lot with women. It’s an attention ‘thing.’”
I HIT THE ROOF when he told me what he said.
BTW, Jefe wasn’t “withholding” the information from me, he just didn’t agree with it.
He’s lived through this almost as long as I have – he’s not stupid.
What it took to be heard (and listened to) was for the behavior to be seen.
And did I mention I have additional footage?
… AND a LOT more help thanks to the internet!
Sadly, this isn’t just my story.
This. Is. Real.
Organized. Stalking. Is. A. Real. Thing.
Let. This. Be. Heard. Loudly …