Morgan is starting a new semester, just picking up those last few credits and taking two dance classes per day at CMC. After spending the night at a friend’s house she arrived home at 6:30 am, had breakfast and dressed for her first day back at college. The last few days were quiet, no stalker, she was bubbly and happy, not a mention of the stalker, plans for the future filled the air.
After Morgan and Steve left it was quiet and calm as I worked. Steve had filled the bird feeder and they were singing outside my office window, I loved it and couldn’t help but smile.
Late afternoon Steve and I were in the yard discussing where to put the camera, we only had one, and I felt we had to make it count, I wanted it outside Morgan’s windows. Steve felt nothing was happening on her windows, and the trail over the berm needed a night of surveillance. Our discussion deteriorated, and then we were arguing with all of our bottled up frustration. With no agreement in sight I held the ladder, and we hung it over the front door. There was a spot on the trim where it didn’t stand out like the proverbial sore thumb. I said this would be a good test, and tomorrow we’ll put it somewhere that it will do some good. We didn’t talk for hours, Morgan was in her room singing, and we went to bed. Morgan felt like now with school starting she was determined to sleep in her own room and not be afraid of this stalker anymore.
At ~ 11:00 pm it started, he didn’t elude the new placement of the motion detectors, four total, and each receiver was lined up on my dresser with a post- it stuck on that had the location written on it. Steve announced he’s over on Rhonda’s side (where Morgan’s bedroom was in our house), and was pulling on clothes, grabbing his things, and heading for the front door. I stayed in the room this time so I could watch the receivers, and know where he was. I was going to call Steve with updates until I saw his cell phone lying on the nightstand. We had to get better at this.
In what was becoming a horrible disheartening sequence of events the motion detector in the front went off, that was Steve, then lights went on along the side yard, then the motion detector on the back corner, Steve, moving around the house. I waited for another set of alarms. One that would belong to the stalker, but it didn’t happen. I went out the back door and sent Steve to the front while I tracked him down in the back. We both came up empty, then argued about how we can’t both leave the house, Morgan is alone then, even if we lock up on the way out, it is just not safe.
This all repeats itself over and over, I lose track of how many times. I call dispatch and as night turns to morning (it is now after midnight on 8/30/2011), we are standing in the house at a quarter to 1 am with three deputies who have come up just as empty as we have in this desperate fight to catch him. They are going now, and hope they have scared him off, hope it’s going to be a quiet evening for us now. I’m wondering about the catching him or making him just go away. I’m so tired that scared away sounded good. But, I know that is not the solution.
We go back to bed and just as I’m drifting off to sleep I startle. The wildlife cam! I shake Steve, the camera, the test, we have to look at the images, we should at least have the Deputies leaving caught on camera – otherwise it is worthless. Steve gets dressed again and goes out to get it down. The motion detector tells me he is in the drive.
It’s our first time using this camera, and it takes a while to get the card out and into a computer. It has taken 12 pictures, little thumbnails on the screen, most are nothing, until we get to the last four. And . . . here, date and time stamped, are those four – depending on your browser you should be able to click on the picture for a larger version.
The first Deputy to leave –
Then the next two Deputies –
Then we see the stalker, leaning against Steve’s truck, and watching the Deputies leave. An authority on stalkers refers to behavior like this as “thumbing their nose at law enforcement”, and believes this is at the top of the list of danger signs, but at the time we did not know that, and we were not told this bit of information. As for the picture, the upper left corner would be the street, so you would turn left at the end of the drive to leave our block. And quite a few experts in disseminating images have had a look at this, and a remarkable amount of information has been uncovered, but we welcome any observations. Either leave a comment or, if you prefer, the tip line on Morgan’s website for more privacy.
Next is the desperate attempt to knock down the wildlife cam that just took his picture, it is spinning to face down the street toward the end where the sheriffs trucks were depart ing from. If, as we believe the two streaks in the upper right are lights on the Deputies truck, the stalker was that close!
The stalker never expected a camera and in what was a rare event was caught off guard. The cameras that can take low light photos glow red as they are taking a night picture. Animals, supposedly, are unable to see this red glow, this animal obviously did noticed it, as you can see him. as we believe, spinning his face back to the camera, to be caught as a blur. He obviously knows just what is happening, as just after this image is captured, the next is him trying to destroy the black box mounted 12 feet high over the front porch. While his attempts to knock it down fail, he does succeed in breaking it. I called dispatch and the Sheriff’s call me back, they can’t believe he was right there the whole time and popped up as soon as they were leaving. Two of the Patrol Officers are coming back right now. The officers are visibly upset and look at the first three photos again, and again, they want copies which we give them on a jump drive. Then they checked everywhere outside again. This time he really has left for the night.
Steve and I look at the photos ourselves for a longest time after the Deputies have left. Mercifully Morgan has slept through it all, he was focused on our closet and he doesn’t know she is back in her room. We just have to stop him somehow, and maybe we can’t positively ID him from this photo – but, as Steve points out, our list of suspects, which had been growing, just got very short.