Stalking Crimes and Victim Protection
Stalking is a very "real" crime with devastating consequences.
Posted Jun 14, 2016
Stalkers and Other Obsessional Types: A Psychological Typology of Those Who Stalk
By Joe Davis, Ph.D *
* Dr. Davis is a former member of the District Attorney Special Operations Divsion's
Stalking Case Assessment (SCAT) from 1995-2004.
ABSTRACT: Stalking, an age-old phenomenon, was discussed in the ancient writings of Hippocrates, researched extensively in the early 20th century by French psychiatrist G.G. de Clerambault, given notoriety with the tragic death of former Beatle John Lennon, and viewed as “Fatal Attraction” in local theaters across the nation. Stalking is unique as the repetitive, harassing, long-term course of conduct and behavior reflects the internal dynamics of the stalker's motivating mental disorder. Furthermore, the investigation of stalking is difficult. The numerous and progressive acts, comprising the intentional course of conduct, require a continuity of purpose: harassment designed to control the victim. A multi-disciplinary approach, utilizing law enforcement, legal, medical and mental health professionals, is necessary to effectively eradicate this encroaching behavior. In 1990, the first Anti-Stalking legislation was passed in California. In just six years, all fifty states have followed suit. Public awareness has encouraged federal legislation to stop stalking behavior as a course of conduct crime and to give victims a measure of protection. This research paper is a compilation of the many periodicals, law review articles, studies and projects of law enforcement, legal counsel, medical professionals, forensic mental health professionals, forensic examiners, and criminologists generated since 1992. The study of stalkers and stalking behavior is a work in progress. As questions are answered, statutes are amended and diagnoses are distinguished, it becomes a mere stepping stone to the future understanding of the pervasive stalking phenomenon facing our culture and society today.
KEYWORDS:Stalking, stalker, de Clerambault Syndrome, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-V), typology, profile, stalker typology, love-obsessional, simple-obsessional, erotomania, personality disorder, celebrity, course of conduct crime, delusional disorder, credible threat, temporary restraining order (TRO), risk assessment, threat management, intervention, psychodiagnosis, victimology, victim assistance.
Stalking behavior, historically characterized as romantic, obsessive advances has recently been identified as psychopathological by both the forensic mental health, law enforcement and legal communities. Stalking behavior is broad in scope and can be evaluated as to potential threat as well as charted on a continuum with gradient variations of mental disorder and resultant injury to the victim (Sapp, 1996; Hammell, 1996; Davis, 1996; 1996; Zona et al., 1993; Dietz et al., 1991).
Erotomania, the delusional belief that the stalker is passionately loved by an unattainable victim, generally a celebrity, is classified diagnostically as a delusional disorder, known as "de Clerambault's Syndrome" (Zona, Sharma, and Lane, 1993) (See Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition , DSM-IV. Axis-I, Clinical Disorders: Delusional Disorder, Erotomanic Type - Diagnostic Features). The subject goes to extreme lengths to contact or make his or her presence known to the victim. However, the incidence of physical injury is anecdotal (Davis, 1996; Menzies, Fedoroff, Green and Isaacson, 1995; Zona et al., 1993; Meloy, 1992; Dietz et al., 1991).
Press coverage of these rare occurrences of injury has dramatically increased the public awareness of stalking behavior. Media attention directed toward a high profile target, such as Rebecca Schaeffer (killed by convicted stalker John Robert Bardo) or David Letterman, has publicly exposed the devastating fears, injury and pain of the celebrity, opening the floodgates for numerous victims recoiling in fear behind bolted doors, drawn curtains and unanswered telephones of the homes and offices of ordinary people. Press coverage of celebrity victims and their families has given a reverberating voice to the thousands of unrecognized victims who were forced into hiding, terrorized into silence, and ignored or disbelieved when they finally summoned the courage to seek help (Davis, 1997; Chipman, 1996; Zona et al., 1993; Dietz et al., 1991).
'Simple obsessional' stalking of the most common, yet least protected victim, generally begins when the relationship between the two people has gone bad or there is a perception of mistreatment (Wells, 1996). It is usually preceded by domestic violence or other assaultive behavior. Often rationalized, excused or denied until the victim has suffered irreparable harm, this behavior is not limited to the poor, the uneducated, or the incompetent. The 'simple obsessional' stalker may reveal indices of personality disorder; however the stalking is more often the result of the power struggle of the insecure stalker following his or her perceived rejection by the helpless victim. In fact, schizophrenia, hallucinations or bizarre behavior, if more than incidental, removes the behavior from classification within the stalking continuum (Zona et al., 1993). The stalker's life from all outward appearances is seemingly normal (Edwards, 1992).
The middle ground of the stalking spectrum is that held by the 'love obsessional'. This stalking behavior type orchestrates a calculated and relentless harassment campaign intended to make the victim aware of the stalker's existence. The victims are generally known by the stalker, perhaps as a co-worker, a friend of a friend, a bank teller or grocery store clerk. The communication efforts of the stalker are creative yet unintelligible from the perception of the victim: a cellophane wrapped rat for Valentine's Day, severed fingernails of a stranger or assorted issues of Texas Monthly Magazine (Dietz, Van Duyne, Martell, Parry, Stewart, Warren, and Crowder, 1991).
The recognition and identification of stalking behavior as criminal is difficult, because from all outward appearances, most of the stalker's acts are considered normal behavior (Edwards, 1992). Some of the conduct may involve criminal activity such as trespass, vandalism, threatening phone calls, petty theft offenses or domestic violence. However, these offenses, if charged at all, are generally not dealt with severely. The nominal punishments -credit for time served or brief probationary periods - - are minimal deterrents to obsessional behavior. Until the recent media blitz following the murder of television actress Rebecca Schaeffer by Robert John Bardo in 1990, and resultant public awareness as to the seriousness and degree of stalking in our society, the law enforcement and legal communities failed to look far beyond isolated misdemeanor convictions. The heightened awareness and increased understanding of stalking behavior has presented the criminal history of the stalker in a focused perspective to empirically demonstrate the escalation of the violence. The stalker does not stop until he or she is stopped. Stalking involves certain elements of control, manipulation, fear, and psychological power over the victim (Sapp, 1996; Davis, 1996; Hammell, 1996; Zona et al., 1993; Dietz et al., 1991).
California was the first state to enact anti-stalking legislation in 1992, Penal Code 646.9, after the murder of stalking victim, actress Rebecca Schaeffer. Since that time all 50 states have enacted similar statutes (Walsh, 1996). The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has developed a Model Anti-Stalking code (NIJ, 1993). Security expert, Gavin de Becker and Forensic Psychiatrists, Park Dietz and Michael Zona were instrumental in establishing the Threat Management Unit (TMU) of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
There is an important distinction between making a threat and posing a threat (Fein, 1995). These concepts are not mutually exclusive. Within the overlap, constitutional issues arise for the protection of the stalker's First Amendment rights. Current California cases, including People v. Halgren, Cal. App. 4th., filed September 28, 1996, by the Fourth District Court of Appeal, uphold the constitutionality of Penal Code 646.9 (Chipman, 1996; Wells, 1996).
This research will first examine research findings on stalkers: Who they are, what they do and why they do it, why they select, and when they stalk, their chosen victims. Next, this paper will review the development of threat management and assessment which monitors both the stalker and educates the victim in order to modify behavior and arrest the progression and escalation of the stalker's violent behavior. Finally, a brief study of the California statute, Penal Code 646.9 as amended, will reveal the efforts of the legal community to stop the stalker while protecting the victim (Wells, 1996; Jordan, 1995).
WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND WHY: NO ONE PROFILE OF STALKERS
There is a plethora of clinical research and data defining the characteristics of stalking. (Davis, 1997; Hammell, 1996; Sapp, 1996). In fact, stalkers come from all walks of life and intelligence levels. They may be devoid of any criminal recidivism, include persons with diagnosable mental illnesses, as well as individuals with socially maladaptive behavior. Many possess dependent or controlling personalities (Wells, 1996). Empirical studies of behavioral characteristics used to determine motive or to predict violence are in developmental stages. There has not been enough time since recognition of stalking as criminal to answer key questions (Chipman, 1996).
Michael Zona, a consultant with the Los Angeles Police Department, has classified stalkers in three broad categories. 'Erotomaniacs', those who falsely believe the victim is in love with them, comprise a mere 10% of all stalkers. The 'Love Obsessional' stalkers, generally strangers to the victim, who employ harassment to gain their victim's attention, constitute 43% of stalkers. The commonest types, yet the most injurious of all, are the 'Simple Obsessional' stalkers, the ex-spouses or ex-lovers, who account for almost 50% of all stalking cases. As with other domestic violence or abuse situations, this type of incident is frequently unreported until irreparable harm or even death occurs (Johnsen, 1993). Zona has also classified the victims into four groups: 38% are ordinary citizens, 13% are former employers or supervisors, 32% are lesser known entertainment or community figures, and only 17% are recognized celebrities (Zona et al., 1993; Johnsen, 1993).
San Diego County Deputy District Attorney, Paul Johnsen, pointed out that Zona's statistical base comes from the Los Angeles area where nationally known celebrities abound, yet the residency of stalkers is not limited to Southern California. Nationally, the percentage of celebrity stalking is lower. The category percentages would dramatically change if the stalked domestic violence victim came forward with greater frequency (Zona et al., 1993; Johnsen , 1993).
Statistical percentage reports aside, stalking is a matter of major concern today. It is estimated that more than 200,000 women are being currently stalked. One in twenty women will be stalked during their lives. Ninety percent of women murdered by boyfriends or husbands were stalked by their killers (Wells, 1996; NIJ, 1993).
Probably the most critical observation of consequence is the relationship of the stalker to the victim. Sapp (1996) has developed various psychological typologies (Table 1). This typology examines specific stalking behaviors along a “credible threat profile continuum”. The “credible threat continuum” has been divided into minimally three general stalking classifications and into seven types, based upon a progressive degree of relationship. Application of the diagnostic features of obsessional mental dysfunctions described in DSM-IV and the statistical likelihood of threat and violence demonstrate a direct correlation between the degree of relationship between the stalker and his victim and the incidence or likelihood of physical and psychological injury (Davis, 1997; Wells, 1996; Sapp, 1996; Meloy, 1992).
In contrast, an inverse proportion of the degree of mental disorder is observable; the more distant or unattainable the relationship, the more acute the delusional disorder, and the less likelihood of injury to the victim (Sapp, 1996).
EROTOMANIA: TARGET UNKNOWN
"Types I, II, and III" are typological categories which define stalkers who choose an unknown victim. Delusions of "destiny" exist, and "but for some insurmountable obstacle or unawareness", the stalker and the victim would be united (Sapp, 1996). Random Targeting Stalker selects a complete stranger at random, who nevertheless meets the stalker's requirements. The Type II Celebrity Targeting Stalker pursues an unattainable celebrity or public figure, given the victim's notoriety, economic or social status (Sapp, 1996). The stalker engages in repetitive, harassing conduct which is generally limited to extensive communication and threats through the mail or by telephone (Sapp, 1996; Morin, 1994). The Type III Single Issue Targeting Stalker chooses victims who are involved with a topic of particular concern to the stalker: economic, political, social or environmental matters (Sapp, 1996). The selected issue is the perceived source of the psychopathological logical attachment or relationship between the stalker and the intended victim (Davis, 1997, Sapp, 1996; Morin, 1994).
Contrary to popular misconception due to extensive press coverage of celebrities, these three types of stalkers rarely engage in face-to-face contact with their victims. Actual attempts to harm either the victim's person or property are virtually non-existent (Zona et al., 1993). Delusional Erotomanic stalkers steadfastly believe they are passionately loved by the object of their delusion. They focus on a spiritual union rather than a sexual attraction. If they are violent, they may direct the violence to a third party they presume to interfere with the relationship (Meloy, 1992; Dietz et al., 1991).
The difficulty of classification and identification of any type of stalker is highlighted by the case of John Hinckley, Jr., the would-be assassin of President Reagan. Hinckley has been described as a particularly dangerous case of erotomania (Goldstein, 1987). The opinion of the prosecution expert at Hinkley's trial was a diagnosis of personality disorder, while the defense expert opinion found schizophrenia: none of the psychiatrists involved in Hinckley's trial mentioned erotomania (Clark, 1990). Less than two hours before his assault on the President, Hinkley had written a letter to Jody Foster. The second paragraph began: "As you well know by now I love you very much. Over the past seven months I've left you dozens of poems, letters and love messages in the faint hope that you could develop an interest in me." [emphasis added] (Clarke, 1990). Such a statement refutes any delusional erotomanic conviction Hinckley might have possessed that he was passionately loved by Foster. The statement more accurately reflects the unrealistic hopes of a disturbed and immature fan suffering from unrequited love (Menzies et al., 1995).
According to Park Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist who researches and investigates celebrity-type stalkers, there is no composite of "star" stalkers, although their letters share common delusions communicated to their victims: sharing a life of love (e.g., Rebecca Schaeffer, Theresa Saldana); or a business relationship (e.g., Johnny Carson, Monica Seles and Steffie Graf); or rescue from harm or miserable fate (e.g., John Lennon, Michael J. Fox). Generally, non-threatening celebrities are the object of obsessive fixation. The stalker is more likely to fixate on the approachable "girl-next-door" such as Olivia Newton-John as opposed to an actress who plays cold and ruthless characters as did Joan Collins (Dietz et al., 1991).
LOVE OBSESSIONAL: TARGET KNOWN
Stalkers of the second general category choose victims they have previously met, no matter how fleeting the acquaintance, or victims who are co-workers with whom the stalkers interact on a regular basis. The chance-met victim could be a grocery store clerk, a bank teller, or a friend-of-a-friend. Often health care professionals are targeted, due to the intensity of medical appointments (Wells, 1996). The Type IV Casual Acquaintance Stalker perceives and builds a fantasy relationship from passing casual interaction with the victim. However, the Type V Co-worker Targeting Stalker targets a co-worker with whom he or she interacts on a daily basis.
The stalker misconstrues every contact or interaction as an affirmation of the purported relationship, no matter how innocent or accidental the conduct of the victim (Sapp, 1996; Morin, 1994).
Often, these stalkers are affluent, well-educated, high-strung professionals with no personal life except their out-of-control obsession with the corporate colleague who is barely known to this new breed of 1980's-driven American sociopath (Edwards, 1992). The Threat Assessment Group (TAG), founded by Park Dietz, has worked with the LAPD and developed a personality character profile of the workplace-type stalker: Dietz states this type of stalker is a workaholic who feels cheated out of his personal and professional aspirations, and who perceives proof of reciprocal interaction with the victim through innocuous circumstances. Although generally intelligent, he or she is angry, paranoid, deceitful and without remorse, taking no responsibility for his or her actions. Stuart Fischoff, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles, believes many single professional men no longer differentiate between their social and personal lives (Edwards, 1992).
The rigid boundaries between 'work friends', 'social friends' and 'intimates' have been warped by networking, power lunching and corporate retreats designed with the expectation, albeit tacit, requirement for the employees to interface emotionally. Business lunches and office functions have become a substitute for courtship (Edwards, 1992).
The Threat Management Unit (TMU) within the LAPD, previously directed by retired LAPD Captain, Bob Martin, charts this unexplored territory. "The workplace stalker generally does not conceal his relentless pursuit. The stalker's co-workers are aware of his odd behavior, but it is generally water cooler gossip and viewed as quirky, because he talks rationally on any other topic and he competently does his job" (Edwards, 1992).
The TMU pays particular attention to the "dangerous days": Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, July 4th, Easter, and Christmas. Brainstorming is necessary. Victims rarely understand the significance of the "gifts" the stalker sends. Trying to learn the nuances of the obsession, it is a mind game, a contest of wits that becomes a race. No one knows what triggers the anger of the stalker. What is the cause of his or her sudden decision that it is time for the victim to die? Justice Department studies of stalker mentality have noted the stalker imputes great power to the victim. Paranoid, the stalker lives in an emotionally charged universe, a dream-world full of perceived signs and symbols generated by the victim. A stalker aims for more than friendship or true love: he or she seeks to become the most important thing in the victim's life. And by terrorizing the victim, the stalker tries to make this wish come true (Edwards, 1992).
SIMPLE OBSESSIONAL: TARGET FORMER INTIMATE
The largest and by far most violent type of stalker, the ‘Simple Obsessional’ (Zona et al., 1993) has been categorized by Sapp (1996) as Type VI, the Intimate Partner Targeting Stalker, and Type VII, the Domestic Violence Targeting Stalker. The common threads of power and control over the victim, who is viewed by the stalker as valuable property, are exacerbated by denial the relationship has terminated. Rejection is unacceptable. The difference between the two sub-types is the existence of prior domestic violence in the Type VII relationship. Repetitious physical assaults of the past relationship are accelerated and even justified because of the termination. "What's past is prologue" (Shakespeare, The Tempest Act II, Scene 1).
This most problematic group stems from domestic violence which is emerging in epidemic proportions. On a national scale, FBI statistics reveal that acts of domestic violence occur at least once every 15 seconds and also that 30% of murdered women were killed by their boyfriends or husbands (AMA, 1992). Surveys indicate that law enforcement is contacted in fewer than 50% of the San Diego stalking cases. Of the reported cases, 57% culminate in temporary restraining orders, but such judicial action augments the risk of violence to the victim (Hammell, 1996).
Intimate Partner and the Domestic Violence stalker motivations may be exhibited by contrasting feelings: intense affection or extreme disdain for the victim. The stalker's behavior may be irrational, and even violent, or may manifest in benign acts such as flattery (NICJ, 1993). But the single, unifying issue of stalking intimates is control. Psychological and physical terrorism permeate the stalker's behavior and depend substantially upon the perceived inequality of power and control between the stalker and the intended victim. From the victim's perspective, stalking is "a nightmare which I am unable to stop" (Sapp, 1996; Davis, 1996; Walsh, 1996).
Due to the prior intimate relationship, stalking behavior is not readily recognized until a serious pattern has emerged. Often excusing or dismissing stalking as retaliatory behavior coincidental to child custody battles or bitter divorce actions, victims are reluctant to report the conduct because their fears have not often been taken seriously by friends, family or law enforcement (Sapp, 1996). The victim may be in complete denial of the harassing conduct, particularly if there are co-dependency issues. By the same token, a "vindictive victim" may cry "wolf", encouraged by the exposure given stalking on radio-television talk shows and the "Soaps" (Chipman, 1996; Davis, 1996).
Former close contact and intimate knowledge affords the stalker easy access to the victim. Unnoticed for a time by neighbors and co-workers of the victim, the stalker's harassing behavior includes annoying phone calls, unwanted letters, unauthorized removal or address diversion of the victim's mail, arrival at the victim's home or workplace, or vandalism and trespass by tampering with the victim's answering machine or automobile (Wells, 1996).
Law enforcement and the legal system respond to harassment which violates criminal statutes. However, conduct short of such violations cloaks the stalker with perceived immunity. The 1996 presentation of "Stalking the Stalker" by the San Diego District Attorney's Stalking Strike Force, included an opening statement by "Jodi" (the victim’s real identity is protected), a stalking victim: "The loss is more than just time out of your day to fight it. It's your soul, it's your privacy, it's your being, it's your emotions - everything is taken away from you. You are robbed of everything" (Chipman, 1996; Davis, 1996).
THREAT EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT:
PREVENTION, PREDICTION OR INTERVENTION ?
Stalking is extremely complex and volatile. For successful management, and intervention in stalking cases, the stalker's profile requires accurate assessment. Designed to modify, control or eliminate inappropriate behavior, the focus of intervention is doubly directed to stopping the suspect and to educating the victim, utilizing methods dictated by the specific case variables. In some instances, suspect intervention would be devastating. But more often than not, an aggressive approach is required, particularly with multiple and progressively harmful criminal violations (Sapp, 1996; Williams, Lane, and Zona, 1996).
Stalking is an evolving, continual or progressive crime. By definition, it is not static. California Penal Code section 646.9 defines stalking: "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family, is guilty of the crime of stalking." The elements require actions to occur on multiple occasions. This requires a “course of conduct” involving a behavioral pattern composed of a series of acts over a period of time, which demonstrate a “continuity of purpose”. The credible threat must be expressed or implied from the course of conduct, and made with the intent to place the victim in fear for their safety. There must also be an apparent ability of the perpetrator to carry out the credible threat (Hammell, 1996; Davis; 1996; Wells, 1996).
Contrary to the twin traditional law enforcement goals of apprehension and prosecution, threat evaluation and assessment entails investigative and operational techniques used to identify, assess and manage the risks of targeted violence and potential perpetrators. The distinction between making and posing a threat is important: Some people who make threats ultimately pose them; many persons who make threats do not pose threats, while some persons who pose threats never make threats. Violence is a process, an incremental development of problems, conflicts, disputes and failures which results in a physical act. Threat assessment identifies the "attack-related" behaviors and attempts to move the suspect away from employing violence as a viable option (Sapp, 1996; Fein, Vossekuil, and Holden, 1995).
Once the suspect is identified, the possible risks posed to the potential target are assessed. Investigation focuses on both the suspect and the target. The suspect's behavior, interests and state of mind are evaluated. Multiple sources of information are utilized; personal interviews are conducted with the suspect, paying particular attention to body language, gestures and eye contact. Interviews with family, friends, neighbors or previous victims are conducted. Prior criminal history, medical and mental health records, letters, books, journals and diaries of the suspect are identified and evaluated. From the information gathered, the factors indicating risk to the victim are assessed. Were there past or present threats to kill this victim? Is there a history of violence against this victim, or others? Weapons, violations of TRO's, possessiveness, jealousy, depression are all factors predictive of future violence. Substance abuse, irrational mood swings, and past history of stalking behavior are additional factors for consideration (Sapp, 1996; Hammell, 1996; Davis, 1996; Wells, 1996; Dietz et al., 1991).
Information regarding the potential target is equally important. How well does the suspect know the victim and his or her personal lifestyle including daily work patterns? Is the victim vulnerable to attack or afraid of the suspect? Is he or she sufficiently sophisticated to grasp the need for caution and avoidance of contact? The victim must be educated about the phenomenon of stalking. The predicament and problem are the victim's. Law enforcement can only operate within the scope of its limited powers. The victim must explore his or her options for additional security, modify behavior by employing unlisted phone numbers and Post Office boxes. He or she must also consider the possibility of relocation and steps to secure absolute anonymity. Ultimately, the victim must develop a tolerance level for some of the stalker's behavior in order to avoid becoming dysfunctional (Sapp, 1996; Wells, 1996; Davis, 1996; Williams, 1996).
The third component of an actual threat evaluation and assessment is actual case management. First, a plan is developed to manage the subject and the risk, whether through detective contact, restraining orders, arrest and detention or aggressive prosecution. Secondly, the plan is implemented and executed by meticulous documentation and consultation with the assessment team and the external experts. Unanswered questions must be confronted and answered. Redirection may be required. When it is determined the suspect's possible violent action toward the victim no longer poses appreciable concern, consideration may be given to closing the case (Sapp, 1996; Wells, 1996; Fein, 1995; Dietz et al., 1991).
STATUTES: TO STOP STALKERS IN THEIR TRACKS
In 1990, California "created" a new crime by passing the first anti-stalking legislation in the United States. With unprecedented speed, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have passed similar protective measures, acting as a catalyst for federal Canadian anti-stalking laws (Walsh, 1996). On September 25, 1996, President Clinton signed a stricter and aggressive anti-stalking bill into law, validating nationwide restraining orders and extending protection to the victim's family. This law also made it a federal crime for a stalker to cross state lines with the intention of harassing a victim (West's Legal News, October 8, 1996).
During the past six years, the remaining fifty states drafted individual anti-stalking legislation, while California amended Penal Code section 646.9 three times (Jordan, 1995). The amendments have specifically addressed, expanded and redefined "threat". Threats relating to family members are covered. Threats made in any manner causing reasonable fear for the victim's safety are within the protection of the law. Threats, implied by a pattern of conduct, or made with the apparent ability to be carried out, and causing reasonable fear for the safety of the victim, are statutorily prohibited. (Cal. Penal Code section 646.9 (a) (West Supp., 1996).
Punishments have been increased by each amendment. A second stalking conviction is now a felony. TRO violations are no longer necessary to make a first offense a felony. An initial stalking conviction in violation of a TRO is now punishable in state prison for up to four years, as is a second conviction, not necessarily against the same victim, within seven years (Cal. Penal Code section 646.9 (a) (West Supp., 1996).
Effective January, 1996 Assembly Bill 985 (AB 985) amended Californian Penal Code section P.C. 646.9 (a), removing the specific intent requirement and establishing an objective standard of fear on the part of the victim (Cal. Penal Code section 646.9 (a) (West Supp., 1996).
In 1993, at the request of Congress, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) developed a Model Anti-Stalking Code. In 1994, Congress added subtitle F, "National Stalker and Domestic Violence Reduction," under Title IV Violence against Women in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. 534 et seq; 42 U.S.C. 14031 et seq. (Supp., 1996).
Under these provisions, states or local government units are eligible to receive grants to establish programs designed to improve stalking and domestic violence data entry processes in State and local databases which are integrated with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). (42 U.S.C. 14031, West, 1996). Pursuant to 42 U.S.C.14038, the Attorney General, in conjunction with the States, shall compile data regarding domestic violence and intimidation (including stalking) as part of the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
The daily utilization of these databases is critically important. Prior to felony arraignment, state criminal history research is linked to these key interstate sources, the primary tracking tools of prior convictions and outstanding warrants for interstate offenders (Chipman, 1996).
By definition, stalking research has no conclusion. It is an evolving process, ever changing with each level of understanding. Those who understand it best are perhaps the stalkers and their victims. We are on the outside, looking in at incomprehensible behavior, inconceivable terror, and debilitating fear. Perhaps the best conclusions are observations of the victims (Chipman, 1996).
Kathleen Tobin Krueger, stalking victim and wife of former Texas Senator Bob Krueger, spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee, relating the horrifying experiences she and her family suffered because of a stalker: "I'm convinced that stalking is the most under-reported and fastest growing crime in America today. . . Maybe, just maybe, by coming forward and putting a face on the victimization of stalking, I can, in some small measure, help to bring us all relief from within the legal system. But I need your help." Yes, we all must help".
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