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Please help me keep my girlfriend safe from a stalker
November 1, 2009 9:23 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend is being stalked by a fugitive, what can I do to try and keep her safe, and where can I turn for help.

My girlfriend is being stalked by an ex-con. He want to jail for trying to kill her, and her family members. He got out about 3 months ago, after serving 3 years, and he is now stalking her again.

The police are looking for him, but this has been going on for 2 weeks now, and they have not found him.

He started out making threatening phone calls, saying he will kill her her family. He was seen outside their place of business, they called the cops of course, and he ran before they got here (just).

He has not been observed since then, and he has not made a call.
The police told us to do a *57 after he called. he has not called back, but from my own knowledge of phone systems, *57 might not work at all, depending on how he is placing the call.

We have tried to reach out to the media, to try and get his photo and details out to the people (Co), and harness the hivemind in that way, but DenverPost, 9news and other outlets I have tried contacting have not taken any interest. I guess the stalking is not a serious enough crime.

So my girlfriend and her family are at their witts end, after looking over their shoulder for a killer, who might be anywhere.

Any advice you all could offer would be great at this point.
I know the police are trying, but what can we do to try
and keep safe, and still try to keep sane.
She did not work at all for the first week, but she cannot
afford to not work for long.
posted by digividal to Law & Government (77 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not trying to be flippant when I say that this is why Colorado has a "Concealed Carry" law.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:30 PM on November 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


Start with the Stalking Resource Center, mentioned in a previous thread.
posted by Gorgik at 9:41 PM on November 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I agree. Get her a LARGE dog, and a hyandgun (with good training in how to use it, of course!)

The dog will give her advanced warning and time to get to her gun, and with proper training, she can prevent her own death. I lived in fear of my abusive ex until the day I owned my first firearm. A nice .38 revolver is easy to aim and use, and isn't expensive to purchase or buy ammo for. And in many cases, merely SHOWING a gun is sufficient to send the baddies running away to look for easier 'prey'! She doesn't HAVE to shoot the guy, but if she does, she MUST be prepared for the emotional as well as legal ramifications. She should remember the magic words: I WAS IN FEAR FOR MY LIFE! No court in the land will convict her!

Remember, one definition of the word police is "to clean up after". Court cases have shown that the police do NOT have the duty to protect any individual citizen. They are there to take names and try to catch the baddies. They will applaud your girlfriend for making their job easier by protecting herself in a mature fashion!

(My local police LOVE me! When the gangs near where I used to live were capping off on New Years Eve, I finally called the cops at about 2 am. They arrived in force, and chased the gang kids home. The corporal asked me if I was afraid, and I replied, "Nope, they've used up all THEIR ammo!" The corporal grinned and wished me a pleasant new year!)
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 9:42 PM on November 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Probably a long shot, but what about America's Most Wanted? I doubt that this guy really is one of America's Most Wanted, but it's worth a shot.

As for your girlfriend, does she have the financial resources to buy a bulletproof vest that she could wear under her clothes? She might need to modify the type of clothes she wears so as not to weird people out. More importantly, perhaps, could she legally purchase and carry a concealed pistol and, crucially, start taking a training course immediately in how to handle it? Something relatively small-caliber that she'll be able to control? Something like a Glock 28 firing a .380 ACP round? Others will be able to make better specific recommendations.
posted by Dasein at 9:44 PM on November 1, 2009


Jinx has, in the above post, offered some bad advice that could get someone killed.

You do NOT use a gun as a deterrent to scare someone off. Ever.

You pull a gun out when you intend to use it to shoot someone to kill them. And once you make the decision, you do it quickly. Period.

Doing it Jinx's way is probably the best way to get YOURSELF killed.
posted by meadowlark lime at 9:46 PM on November 1, 2009 [68 favorites]


Can she stay with relatives or friends in another state, or at least another area, for at least a few days, if not a couple of weeks? This would a) remove her from immediate harm b) allow her to steel herself emotionally and prepare for a protracted fight.

It is quite amazing how flexible one's workplace can be when the seriousness of personal safety is made absolutely clear.
posted by desuetude at 9:59 PM on November 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am way way out of my depth here, but personally I would get a big rottweiler. Heck, I'd get two.
posted by Spurious at 10:14 PM on November 1, 2009


Also, if you have the money, consider hiring a private investigator to do "counter-surveillance". For example, have the PI sit outside her work and follow the guy to his motel (then call the police).
posted by Spurious at 10:17 PM on November 1, 2009 [10 favorites]


This is a pretty crazy scenario, and I suggest you ask the police for advice. Here are some of the things you should consider.

1. Get an alarm system.
2. Bars on windows.
3. Put cameras everywhere.
4. Put up posters in your neighborhood.
5. Put a mailer in people's boxes.
6. Call his family. Send him a message through them.
7. Hire a PI to track him down.
8. Move and change your name.
9. Keep up the pressure on the police.
10. Put up a webpage that searches on his name will lead to.

If jail and a manhunt won't keep this man away, nothing will. You need to disappear. You need him to know you know where he is and can make his life hell with family, friends, girlfriends, and at his workplace. You ultimately need him to go back to jail, if possible, and should never stop trying to put him there. This is hardly fair to you, your girlfriend, or her family, but I'm not sure what else you can do.
posted by xammerboy at 10:40 PM on November 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


Further to Chocolate Pickle, Colorado is an undisputed "shall issue" CCW state, where anybody who satisfies the conditions must be issued a permit. Depending on where she is, she may also be able to open-carry (wear in plain sight). Training, of course, is highly recommended.
posted by rhizome at 10:41 PM on November 1, 2009


Can she stay with relatives or friends in another state, or at least another area, for at least a few days, if not a couple of weeks? This would a) remove her from immediate harm b) allow her to steel herself emotionally and prepare for a protracted fight.

It is quite amazing how flexible one's workplace can be when the seriousness of personal safety is made absolutely clear.


Best suggestion here.
posted by jayder at 10:45 PM on November 1, 2009 [13 favorites]


Personally, I would move and change my name. At the very least move to another part of town. She should probably then get rid of any sort of myspace/facebook that would allow him to piece together her new name/location.

And I have to agree with meadowlark lime. For the reasons stated and also because this guy is not some casual criminal doing a cost/benefit assessment before her mugs her. He is obsessed with her and wants to kill her and her family. Or at the very least terrorize her. You cannot depend on him to act rationally or logically if she pulls a gun on him in an attempt to scare him off.

I would be most worried about him attacking her as she gets in and out of her car at home and at work. She's vulnerable. She's likely alone. And she likely does it at the same time every day. If he's stalking her, he knows her schedule. I would suggest having a friend from work come meet her at her car in the morning and then escort her back at night. Ideally a security guard. Same deal at home if possible.

But really she needs to disappear until he is caught. She needs to get on a plane and go stay with a friend in another state who this ex-con doesn't know or would be able to link her to. A job and money are not worth dying for.
posted by whoaali at 10:49 PM on November 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


Nth gun + concealed carry permit, however, it is VERY VERY IMPORTANT that she receiving training on how to use it in an actual life-or-death self-defense situation or it will be useless or even dangerous to her.

Insights Training Center is absolutely excellent; unfortunately, they are in Seattle. However, they seem to have an extensive network of contacts and may be able to recommend a good local resource if you/she contact them. (They are also worth the trip if she has the time/money to travel to Seattle for one of their classes.)

The reason I like Insights so much is they spend just as much time teaching how to avoid having to ever pull or use your gun as they do on how to shoot people. While other defensive handgun schools publish "success stories" of their students shooting people in self defense, Insights bragged that none of their graduates had ever had to shoot anyone in the US. (Qualifier "in the US" added because many of their graduates are military in Iraq or Afghanistan, which is a different situation.)

Insights will still teach you how to shoot and kill someone if necessary, but the instruction they give on avoiding and assessing those situations, how to make that decision, and the ramifications of shooting in self defense is part of the complete package any defensive handgun course should include but often doesn't. So hopefully Insights can recommend a local school or trainer with a similar philosophy and approach.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:56 PM on November 1, 2009 [4 favorites]


"Depending on where she is, she may also be able to open-carry (wear in plain sight)."

Don't do this. Even if it's technically legal to open carry, most people generally don't know the law and thus seeing a civilian opening carrying a gun often makes other people FREAK THE FUCK OUT and react violently and/or call the police to report that some crazy person is brandishing a gun. Open carry is a good way to get shot yourself.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:01 PM on November 1, 2009


Find out who his parole officer is and bust him.
posted by ambrosia at 11:03 PM on November 1, 2009 [24 favorites]


Suggestions for firearms and dogs are incredibly dumb as a short-term solution. Without proper training and experience they former poses more of a risk to the wielder and innocent bystanders than to a determined criminal, and the latter is simply not going to be settled and bonded if you're worried about risk in the next week or two (which it sounds like you are).

In the short term, desuetude has the hands-down best answer: get leave from the workplace for a month or two and just dissapear, ideally out of state or even out of country (think: friends in Canada and a parole-breaking serious offender trying to get across the border). Talk to your local Women's Refuge (or equivalent thereof) about anything they can do for you, media people they can help you contact, and so on.
posted by rodgerd at 11:15 PM on November 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ambrosia, the problem is that the cops have been looking for the guy and haven't been able to find him.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:26 PM on November 1, 2009


I think the biggest problem is that the police can't provide 24x7 attention, so it's going to take some time to find this person.

I would consider hiring a PI, or maybe an off-duty police officer, to discretely observe the ex-con's parents' and friends' neighborhoods, your girlfriend's neighborhood, and your girlfriend's work neighborhood.

I would also recommend your gf call the local womens' shelters and ask them if they have recommendations. They might be able to get more news attention on this matter (and thus increase the chance the stalker will be spotted), and they should also have experience in how to keep safe in this kind of situation.
posted by zippy at 11:31 PM on November 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I were in your shoes, I would be taking leave from * my* work (or just flat out quitting if that's what it required) and shadowing my girlfriend's every move for the next couple weeks. I would remain out of sight as much as possible, and I would be armed. I would very likely enlist my father, brothers and/or friends as necessary to ensure rolling 24-hour surveilance, and the *very* least that would happen to this guy the next time he showed his face would be a very immediate and very unkind citizen's arrest.

This guy wants to do serious harm to, or even kill, your girlfriend and her family. The police can not and will not do more than what they have. They will not be there next time he comes, as they have already demonstrated. You need to get off the internet, and get out there and find him before he finds her. Her running away, moving, changing her name, etc. - all band-aid solutions. This guy has declared his intent to kill your girlfriend. The only solution is to stop him - he needs to be in jail if safely possible, worse if not.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:16 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Both of you need to take leave from your jobs. Change your routines. Stay with relatives. She should not be left alone at any point... and I don't mean that her 78 year old mother should be with her, either. Somebody who might stand a chance of controlling the situation, not just another victim.

I'd buy a gun or two (his and hers). Pistols, revolvers maybe. Not a shotgun or rifle, as it's trivial to take a long away from somebody when you're indoors. Buy them immediately--thankfully, Colorado doesn't have a waiting period. Then I'd take some of that newly-free time and spend it learning how to operate that weapon down at the range. You need to keep in mind that a gun is not a deterrent or a shield. If he threatens your girlfriend's life, she should use the weapon to shoot him. Not to scare him off (which won't work), but to end the damn threat by incapacitating her attacker.

If she's mentally unable to take a life to save her own, then no weapon is advisable. Instead, you should hire somebody who is mentally prepared to protect her by employing violence. In fact, if you have the cash, that might be a better idea over all.

I'd also hire a PI to find this dude, so that his location could be handed over to the police.

Yes, this is all expensive. But your only other option is for her to disappear. Change her name, move to Massachusetts, never visit home again. If you want to stay with her, then you have to do the same thing.

As for getting his photo out there: how about reddit? There have been a bunch of posts on the front page of reddit dealing with missing persons and acquaintance's killers. Why haven't you linked his photo from this post? What's his name? Why are you withholding all that?
posted by Netzapper at 1:09 AM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


A horror show.

If this clown has left you an option to blowing holes through him I surely cannot see it. Talking about you AND your sweetie having to find some jam inside yourselves -- jesus christ.

The instant he sees you, you're on the list too. And your family.

Peace, love, and understanding and all -- I'm all warm just thinking about it. Golly gee. But the fact is that if you see this mans face you've got to act right now, and not the peace sign. Glocks are foolproof -- you needn't stay away from an automatic like in the old days, they're point and click anymore. Glocks shoot like a dream, too -- they don't jump much, I was astonished at how they stay on target; my Smith and Wesson jumps around like a kid after a coke, compared.

I hate to be typing this on MetaFilter, it's oh so politically incorrect and all. But unless this is a joke of some kind, this is what you're going to be prepared for. A horror show.

And Reddit is a great idea, btw.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:50 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Start self defense training immediately.

I am a bit bugged by the suggestions that she abandon her life in fear, but I understand the notion of avoiding conflict, that's human nature. Still, a short term break to go and compose herself would probably be valuable (just inform the local police of what's been going down when you arrive).

If she does get a gun, go to a place that with a range connected so she can test it out. Handguns can be very difficult to shoot accurately, especially with no training and high calibers. Then practice shooting, a lot. Shooting a gun at another person is not something that comes naturally to sane people.

Also, I don't know how restraining orders work, but you should make sure that hers is totally up-to-date.

And contact the dude's parole officer for sure.
posted by paperzach at 2:13 AM on November 2, 2009


I would make sure that she, you, and her family members all have up-to-date restraining orders out against him. He must have a parole officer, and one phone call may put him back in the slammer for parole violation.

For her, delete facebook accounts or any easily accessed public listing. And really, I think she should leave town for a couple of weeks, at least. Maybe she has a friend or relative that could take her in? And she might be able to get a temping gig to pay the bills.

I also think that a big, noisy dog is in order. I don't have strong feelings about gun owndership, but it doesn't seem like a good idea in this case (i.e. frightened, inexperience user + gun is generally not a good mix)

I also like the suggestion of contacting a local women's shelter- they probably have the best advice on how to use the legal system and police to help her.
posted by emd3737 at 3:31 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


And in many cases, merely SHOWING a gun is sufficient to send the baddies running away to look for easier 'prey'!

If JAIL TIME wasn't enough to scare this guy off his selected 'prey', what makes you think a gun would?

Seconding the women's shelter.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:54 AM on November 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow all this talk of acquiring a gun and using it for this single purpose, albeit in self defense, is seriously bad advise for one reason: if OP and her family were so inclined they wouldn't be asking this question in the first place. They'd already have the weapon. They'd already know how to use the weapon. They don't have the weapon nor do they know how to use the weapon. And that's the crux of the problem.

You see, the threat is immediate; if someone is not already trained in how to use a gun they simply won't be in time to use the gun. Its really as simple as that. And someone who is untrained with a gun - gosh, they'd be more of a threat to themselves, their family, friends, the general public (or even law enforcement for that matter).

Walking out of a gun shop and being proficient with the weapon, enough to engage in self defense? Sorry, but guns just don't work like that. Get the gun, get minimally several months of fairly intensive training and then you might be a credible threat to an assailant, you may be able to defend yourself in a hostile situation.

Possibly. It still depends largely upon the mindset of the individual carrying the gun. Some folks just aren't fighters, they aren't hard people, they just aren't tough guys.

I suspect this is the case here. Otherwise OP wouldn't be asking this question and wouldn't be screwing about with the police. OP - and possibly some friends - would either have solved the problem or convinced the problem to find something easier, that it wasn't in the problem's self interest to continue to pursue OP's girlfriend.

Also, I'm not so sure you want to be walking the path of upping the ante here in terms of violence; after all, the criminal either already has or will get his own gun. And then you've taken the problem to another level entirely.

Well, from the perspective of having been in firefights, with people shooting guns at me, doing their best to kill me, my own opinion, based on personal experience is that these are situations to be avoided. Seriously. And god help you if you do kill someone; anybody at all with any reasonable degree of emotional intelligence will be tormented by that action, they will relive that situation in minute detail every day for years to come, always asking themselves if it was really necessary to take another person's life, no matter how justified it was at the time. And regardless of the answer to that question is, they will ask it again the day after. And the day after that. Some people can never accept that they've taken a life, they never find peace again afterwards.

Best to take the path of least resistance here. Disappear for a short time. The police are aware of the situation, are actively looking for this guy.

I think OP and his girlfriend should come to Europe for a few weeks and let the police do their job. Once he's caught return to prepare an appropriate victim's impact statement, and then make sure you're aware of upcoming parole hearings.
posted by Mutant at 4:16 AM on November 2, 2009 [24 favorites]


I think the gun and dog ideas are bad news. I say that as someone with home defense training and experience working with bite dogs. In this case, a little yappy dog is going to be as useful as a rottie, because what you need is notification not attack.

I recommend getting in touch with your local 911 dispatch and giving them all your telephone numbers, and letting them know that if a call comes through you need immediate police/ems dispatch at the address, as you fear for your safety. Then I'd make sure that she and everyone in her entire family carry a phone at all times. I would move her location, and put her on a second floor if possible. That way, if he comes in at night, you can hear him before he gets there.

I'd probably go ahead and throw deadbolts on the interior doors too. I would make sure that upon leaving and entering the home I was accompanied by someone. Whether it's you or her friends or whomever. Check the whole house first, all closets and behind every curtain. Then lock the doors and barricade in the bedroom.

I would tell the police I wanted her in protective overwatch, and if they refused, THAT would be my angle for the media. POLICE REFUSE TO PROTECT WOMAN. I would also notify the media that the parole board had let the guy out after 3 years, whereby he immediately and without hesitation started to pursue your gf and her family again. I would imagine that a bit of publicity would get a public watch group willing to lookover her and her house.

Lastly, if you do elect to get a weapon for home defense (and you're staying with her, right?), I highly recommend any pump action shotgun. High power, minimum penetration through walls, inexpensive, extremely deadly, less accurate aiming required, and a sound that will make someone piss his pants. "Honey did you hear that sound? Cha-chuck! I wonder what that was?" And then, of course, if he comes you need to be ready to kill him. You'll probably need to state something like "YOU ARE INSIDE MY HOME. LEAVE OR I WILL KILL YOU", depending on your personal protection laws. And then you aim center mass and pull the trigger. And yes, with a shotgun, you pull...no squeezing.

Just really don't get a weapon if you're not familiar and comfortable. And if you do, barricade yourself before using it, make him come in the room to get you.
posted by TomMelee at 4:30 AM on November 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


You haven't mentioned what sort of financial situation you're all in, but if I were in this situation and fearing for my life I would go deeply into debt in order to either (1) get myself and my family out of the country, or (2) hire a good bodyguard.
posted by you're a kitty! at 5:37 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Taser. Pepper spray. Dog. Change routines frequently. Have NO internet presence. Unlisted phone number. Document everything.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:57 AM on November 2, 2009


I vote for a dog at the least. We live in a not-Cherry-Creek area of Denver, and having the dog makes my wife feel very safe.
posted by monkeymadness at 6:17 AM on November 2, 2009


Get the family together and pool resources to hire a private detective to find this guy.

Actually, skip that. If it were me, and the police had actually issued a warrant for this guy's arrest, I'd see if I could hire a bounty hunter with a PI license (a lot of states require that a bounty hunter also hold a PI license).

Typically, bail agents hire bounty hunters to locate and arrest defendants who've forfeited their bail bonds (usually by not showing up for a court appearance). The bounty hunters generally work for a percentage of the bond. However, given the circumstances, you might be able to hire one to track down this guy and bring him in, if the bounty hunter also holds a PI license in your state.


In the meantime, get the aitch-eeee-double-hockey-sticks out of town. Set up a meeting with her HR rep, and have a police officer and an attorney present to explain the gravity off the situation. The HR rep should have some appreciation of the company's potential liability if they don't support a leave of absence for your girlfriend. If not, she needs to quit and not look back. It sucks, but we're talking life or death here.


Good luck to you and your girlfriend. Please be careful out there!
posted by magstheaxe at 6:42 AM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


There is mostly good advice here. But I think a CCW permit, a handgun, and proper training is your best hope. We are ultimately responsible for ourselves.
posted by I love You at 6:55 AM on November 2, 2009


You pull a gun out when you intend to use it to shoot someone to kill them. And once you make the decision, you do it quickly. Period.

Yes, absolutely.

My dad collects antique hand guns and is an avid target shooter and I was taught at a very, very young age that you never, EVER point a gun at anything you don't want to kill. That is the only reason to ever point a gun at ANYTHING - to kill it. End. Of. Story.

And yes, anyone who owns a gun needs to be trained in how to use it or it's a recipe for total disaster.

Both of you need to take leave from your jobs. Change your routines. Stay with relatives. She should not be left alone at any point... and I don't mean that her 78 year old mother should be with her, either. Somebody who might stand a chance of controlling the situation, not just another victim.

I totally, totally agree.

I haven't been in your situation, but I have a relative with a violent history who is out on parole and it terrifies me to think about him tracking me down and even trying to contact me - even though I have no reason to believe that he would ever intend to harm me personally, I know that he could and I have about a thousand contingency plans in my head for what I would do if he did.

All of them involve leaving town. I know that it would be a hassle to do so, but I also know that if I stayed and he got involved, he would ruin my life. Her life trumps everything. Mutant's advice is fantastic - if you absolutely can't leave, let every agency possible know that there is a *killer* out there with a known target and that your girlfriend's safety is in danger. The police, EMS, etc. If they blow you off - call the media and say that an ex-con is out with a known target for murder and the law enforcement refuses to do anything. Hire a bodyguard. Any amount of debt you have to go into is worth it to keep her safe.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:21 AM on November 2, 2009


I would ask the mods to anonymize this, if I were you.

If he's stalkery enough, he'll find away to find everything your girlfriend has ever said on the internet, and he can probably find your MeFi account. I've had weirdo stalkers find me in all sorts of strange ways - and none of them wanted to *kill me* which I imagine is pretty motivating in terms of being willing to spend a lot of time digging into people's internet histories.

The last thing you need is this guy being aware of the steps you're taking to avoid him.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:23 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I did attempt to procure a handgun for person protection due to this situation, and I was turned down by CBI. I am writing a letter to appeal the process, and request information as to why I was turned down. The salesperson at the store that tried to sell it to me, said that it was often a misunderstanding or such that led to a denial. Anyways the CBI will respond to my letter within 5 days, so 7 days total I guess. I did carefully read laws regarding who may buy a firearm, and I have no idea why they decided I was not allowed, I do fulfill all the different criteria I could find.

The family has standing restraining orders, they are quite strict. He violated his parole the moment he spoke to any family member. Of course he broke it more by leaving the state he lives in, and coming up to Colorado to stalk in person.

My girlfriend has already uprooted her life completely once, and they were living in Colorado to hide from the guy. They even lied to most people about where they lived, and even so the fugitive managed to hunt them down again. The prospect of repeating the uprooting process is not appealing to them, but is being considered.

We have been in frequent contact with his parole officer.

Police should be looking for him in two states right now, and there is a general warrent out for his arrest.

We are thinking about hiring a PI.

They do not work for a huge corporation, but rather in a small business they operate on their own. Its very hands on customer service, and they fear that a lot of customers would into return if they cancelled their appointments for weeks on end.
They built this little business from scratch when they had to run and hide the last time, and they are proud of what they have achieved. It is not a job that can be done "at a distance".

I have been advocating a rottweiler.
posted by digividal at 7:30 AM on November 2, 2009


A nice .38 revolver is easy to aim and use, and isn't expensive to purchase or buy ammo for. And in many cases, merely SHOWING a gun is sufficient to send the baddies running away to look for easier 'prey'

This advice, if followed, will get the asker's girlfriend killed. It should be deleted.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:36 AM on November 2, 2009 [9 favorites]


I won't say yea or nay about guns – that's not really the point of this thread, I figure – but I think you should know what the best defense is in this kind of situation: people. I know you tried getting the word out to local news and media, but those aren't the most immediate people you should be getting the support of.

You should try to have a private, confidential, neighborly talk with everyone who lives within two hundred yards of the house. Go door to door and do it if you have to, but please make sure you let people know that they need to be on the lookout. I know that this might seem a little embarrassing, and I know it's not fun to tell a bunch of strangers (and you did just move there, you say) all about your private lives. But you don't need to tell them everything – you only need to make it clear that your girlfriend & co are in danger because there's a nasty stalker about. The best way to go this would probably be for all of you to go around from house to house together and make this clear to everyone; that way it's clearly not just one person saying it so it has more authority, and that way you guys can rely on each other in the process and hopefully get the community around it.

Because if there's one thing that seems to put guys like this behind bars efficiently, it's the old lady across the street noticing the something odd or the construction worker down the block being in the right place at the right time. There's greater strength in numbers.

And though I can understand a concern about the family business's future, I think you might even consider going around the area near where they work, too, and making sure people there know what's up as well. Again, if they'd sighted him a few minutes earlier last time because of a random guy who'd been paying attention, they might have caught him, right?
posted by koeselitz at 7:56 AM on November 2, 2009 [12 favorites]


Also, I live in Denver, Colorado; I'm a Colorado native, so if there's anything I can help you with at all, my email's in my profile. Good luck.
posted by koeselitz at 7:57 AM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


This advice, if followed, will get the asker's girlfriend killed. It should be deleted.

Agreed. Never, ever, ever threaten someone with a gun. If you've drawn your gun, the very next thing you do should be shooting someone with it. Don't pull out a gun unless you're willing to kill the other person.
posted by EarBucket at 8:10 AM on November 2, 2009


koseselitz: That is a good idea. I will distribute posters of the man, to all the business around where she works, and to all the neighbors where we live. I will make sure to tell them the story so that there is context for them.
posted by digividal at 8:22 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Handgun and a dog are a good ideas. She should get proper training for the handgun, spend time at the shooting range to get comfortable with it, and probably get a CCW. As many people have said above, don't point a gun at someone unless you intend to shoot them.

Also, in many states you do not need a permit to buy a shotgun.

In addition to alerting neighbors, make sure you have plenty of outside lighting around your residence.
posted by paulg at 8:45 AM on November 2, 2009


digividal: I did attempt to procure a handgun for person protection due to this situation...

You do not need a handgun. Your girlfriend needs a handgun. She is ultimately responsible for her own safety, and you are not a professional bodyguard.

She needs to take self-defence classes and apply for a concealed weapon permit. She needs proper training from a certified instructor, preferably in close attack scenarios. (You are getting a lot of bad advice regarding guns as deterrents in this thread. Be very clear on this point: a handgun is not a deterrent. It is a weapon. And if you do not know how to use it safely and quickly, it worse than useless.)

You need to alarm all involved residences, with panic buttons, and alarm the shop, with panic buttons.

But your very best defence is a strong offence, and that means PLASTERING every lamp post and mailbox around both home and work with HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN? flyers and instructions to call police on an open bench warrant on sight.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:58 AM on November 2, 2009


Nobody needs a fucking gun.

The best outcome from that is that YOU OR YOUR GIRLFRIEND WILL KILL A HUMAN. Far more likely is that you or your girlfriend will shoot the other, or showing the guy a gun will get HIS weapon out of his pocket.

Dog and PI seems like a good idea. Posters are a good idea. Gun is a very bad idea.
posted by cmoj at 9:15 AM on November 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


digividal: koseselitz: That is a good idea. I will distribute posters of the man, to all the business around where she works, and to all the neighbors where we live. I will make sure to tell them the story so that there is context for them.

Yeah, and make sure all the neighbors know what you and the whole family look like, and also what he looks like, so that it's easy to spot uncomfortable situations quickly; also be certain that they all have your direct number(s) and know to call 911 first and you second.
posted by koeselitz at 9:19 AM on November 2, 2009


By the way: good for you, man. I think you're awesome trying to do the right thing and be helpful here; it's scary now, but we all wish you luck, and my best vibes are out to you and yours.
posted by koeselitz at 9:23 AM on November 2, 2009


I've been thinking about this since yesterday, because I wanted to add something useful to the conversation. I still don't know if I have much of anything, but this is my 2 cents.

Basically, you need to be inaccessible to him until he resurfaces, and they can put him back in jail. That could take a few days or a few months or longer depending on how patient he is. I think heading to Canada (or another country, Canada just seems easiest) for a bit is an excellent idea. It will be very difficult for him to cross over the border without being arrested. It is unfair and crappy that everyone may need to uproot their lives all over again, but it may come down to this. Do you know how he was able to find her and her family? If you can find the source of his information, do whatever you can to change and obscure that, even if it's something as basic as changing a social security number, which is completely doable.

Have the police discussed with you trying to draw him out of hiding? I don't mean using your girlfriend as bait or anything, I'm just wondering how proactive they are being about his reappearance. A PI or bounty hunter is an excellent idea, and I think a dog would be a help, not just as protection, but as a comfort during this stressful time. It doesn't need to be a rottweiler either. As long as your dog adores you (which happens relatively quickly), they will protect you by raising a ruckus and attacking, if necessary.

Most of all be vigilant and be flexible. As much as it sucks to have to make major adjustments because of this criminal's behavior, in the long run, everyone's safety is the most important thing. Best of luck to you all, and I hope they catch the bastard soon!
posted by katemcd at 9:31 AM on November 2, 2009


I don't have any advice but if this jerk has threatened to kill her, her family, you too are in danger. Usually psychos like this are pissed off at anyone in their way or associated with her (i.e. that she loves). Most likely he will take out people that she loves first (to upset/hurt her psychologically), then her, then himself because he doesn't want to go back to jail. His mission is accomplished.

I wish you and her the best. Be safe, do everything possible to get away, get a new life, and keep an eye out for him. Domestics (even in this situation) never end well.
posted by stormpooper at 10:26 AM on November 2, 2009


They built this little business from scratch when they had to run and hide the last time, and they are proud of what they have achieved.

It sounds like you are putting the safety of the business before her safety. She needs to get out of there and lay low until he is caught. You know who he is and he is wanted, these are huge pluses in your favor. He has violated his parole, so he just needs to be located and he goes back to prison. Right? You need to hire a street smart PI and flush him out. While she spends a little time in the sun somewhere else.

I was close to a similar situation that ended very badly. The PIs were hired afterwards and the guys were caught, but so what. And the business closed. No pride, no achievement. Nothing you'd want. Fuck the business.
posted by okbye at 10:33 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to go against everyone else saying to have her internet presence and her phone, etc. changed. She should leave those open and available, in case he tries to contact her or threaten her. It'll be tangible evidence -- something she'll need to show he's repeating the pattern of stalking and harassment. SAVE EVERYTHING, if ANY contact happens. Changing numbers, hiding your information -- all that does is give him ammo in court to show he didn't know how to contact her. The fact that he's been in jail already for the same behavior establishes pattern, and he knows he's not supposed to contact her; she need not warn him again.

Do you have messages saved where he's threatening her? Emails? Notes? Give them all to the police. They now have probably cause to arrest him on sight and should put out an APB based on this. I know you say they're looking for him, but a web site is the best way to get word out quickly yourself.

Monitor everything. Go to a security store and get a CCTV setup, here are simple instructions. I've done it and it wasn't that hard; you just set up security cameras to activate at all points of entry to the business and home, and make it motion or sound-activated. There is no stronger evidence in court than video with sound or a picture showing the guy's features.

Finally, yes, a dog is a good idea, but unless she's taking it with her and it's trained to attack and kill on command 24/7 it's not a perfect defense mechanism. Also, we don't know if she's allergic, etc. A concealed gun, permit, and weapons training are a good idea.

Finally, I'd suggest she make a major change in her appearance. Cut and color her hair, rent or borrow a different car, take a different route to work, add or subtract glasses and change her clothing. This is in regards to the "she has to go back to work sometime" statement; if that's really true, make it harder for him to watch for her. She should also have an armed escort to and from her car, if possible. You can in some places pay for extra police patrol in your neighborhood or around your business -- check into that as well.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:03 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's good advice in this thread, and I also want to applaud you for wanting to be proactive in keeping your girlfriend safe. This has to be horrible for her and her family; I imagine they are all suffering their own brand of PTSD after the first time he stalked them.

First of all, he seems to have located the business, but not your home thus far, is that correct? He showed up at the business and called there. So my concern would be having someone around when she travels to and from her place of business, so that she is not alone, and taking different routes or not going straight home whenever possible. A PI, in my opinion, is not a bad idea, to watch the place when she is going in and coming out. If he sees the guy, he can call her and the police and follow him.

What is the security like at her place of business? I imagine she has customers/clients coming in all the time. Is there any way to screen people? A front desk with a receptionist who knows what he looks like? A panic button in case he does show up, like banks use? Could they afford to hire a security guard there, to at least dissuade the stalker from trying anything?

At home, have a security system. Dogs are great, but what you want is to get the police there. You don't even want to mess with the guy if it is at all possible. The less your girlfriend sees of him, the better. As for the rest of her family, do they have security systems in their homes? Alarms to go off? Sensor lights that turn on at night if someone comes near the house are actually pretty easy to get these days and set up.

I would have your girlfriend carry a personal alarm, pepper spray or the like, something she can hold in her hand as she walks to her car or any place where she is especially vulnerable. The point of this is to draw attention from bystanders to scare him off should he approach her and also to get away. I don't like the idea of the gun so much because the capacity for something to go seriously wrong is much higher. She could accidentally shoot you or a member of the family and then have to live with a totally new kind of hell.
posted by misha at 11:10 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did attempt to procure a handgun for person protection due to this situation, and I was turned down by CBI.

First of all, unless you have the luxury of being able to provide 24-hour protection for your girlfriend, you are not the person who needs to be buying a gun. Second, this. Third, I disagree with those upthread who think that drawing a gun = killing someone. As any cop will tell you, you can draw a gun to control someone. What you don't do is flash it around and then leave it holstered. That's asking the other person to take it from you/stab/shoot you first. You draw it on the guy if he's near you and you don't want him to get away. But if you don't know what you're doing, I agree that doing this sort of thing is a great way to get killed after he takes your gun from you.
posted by Dasein at 11:16 AM on November 2, 2009


Take off. In this case it's just not worth staying; the guy sounds very reckless and police are bound to catch him sooner than later. I'd cross a border just to make it that much harder for him to follow and it wouldn't be the Canadian border. Mutants suggestion of going to Europe is a good one, he will have a very hard time following her there while evading arrest.
posted by fshgrl at 11:22 AM on November 2, 2009


Wow, wondering where the line is in terms of "gun safety" answers and yeah, MeTa.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:33 AM on November 2, 2009


WTF is up with all the 'buy a gun' advice? Whatever you do end up doing, buying a guy to shoot a stalker seems like it will end up badly. What you want to do is avoid the dude entirely. If you can i'd take a leave of absence and travel some place else till the police catch the dude.
posted by chunking express at 11:37 AM on November 2, 2009


Sadly neither of us can afford to take off to a different country or leave our jobs until this man is caught. I know that sounds like we are perhaps not committed enoughs to our safety, but it is an economic reality. Things are hard for many people economically these days.
I wish we could take off for Europe or Canada until its all over.

I have tried today to contact various people in the local media in Colorado, but so far I have had no luck in getting a response.

The reason I tried to procure a gun, instead of my girlfriend was that I have a military background, so I am more comfortable with guns than she is. It was her preference.
I do my best to provide security for her, but as is pointed out I am unable to do so 24 hours a day.

Thank you all for your support and your suggestions.
posted by digividal at 11:51 AM on November 2, 2009


Buy some pepper spray and get good with it. In fact, buy two canisters and have her practice with the first until it's empty and she's a pepper-spray sharpshooter. Set up targets at six feet, ten feet and fifteen feet. It can be incredibly effective if used properly and worse than useless if you don't know what you're doing.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:53 AM on November 2, 2009


None of us can help her.

The people who can help her are risk specialists/threat assessment/personal security specialists. In the US, the biggest name in this field is Gavin de Becker Associates. A Google turns up a bunch of Colorado businesses like this one.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:54 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sadly neither of us can afford to take off to a different country or leave our jobs until this man is caught. I know that sounds like we are perhaps not committed enoughs to our safety, but it is an economic reality.

You're not going to earn any money if you're dead. Of all the things that are worth going into debt for, "protecting your personal safety" is right up there.

In any case, you're not the right person to provide security for your girlfriend. The right person to do it is a professional.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:05 PM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


What state is he from? You should check if criminal court dockets are public in that state and check his incarceration status. There is a possibility that he got picked up on his warrant already and is sitting in jail right now, in fact guys like this are basically incapable of not having contact with law enforcement, they do little shit to attract police attention like drive cars with busted tail lights and get into drunken altercations pretty much constantly. Anytime a client of mine goes on the run and then gets pulled back into the system on a bench warrant I love hearing the story of how they got caught. Usually it's along the lines of "I was exactly where I should not have been, doing what I should not have been doing if I wanted to not get caught. How did they get me?!?!" I know it's scary, but he's not a super human movie character. He's a plain old parole violator and he's going to get caught and busted back to the pen do the rest of his time plus a bunch more like any other parole violator. I personally would just want to be a hundred percent sure he wasn't already locked up before dropping all kinds of coin on the other resources being recommended.
posted by The Straightener at 12:22 PM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Straightener: We are in contact with his parole officer in New Mexico on a daily basis, as well as law enforcement in New Mexico, we could have heard he he was caught.
(And law enforcement here in Colorado)

We are praying that he will get picked up (anywhere really) for something stupid, that does not involve us.
posted by digividal at 12:53 PM on November 2, 2009


I would also second the body armor. Especially if the last time he tried to kill her was with a gun.
posted by whoaali at 1:09 PM on November 2, 2009


I can't believe I didn't think to mention this -- wasp spray is just as good or better than pepper spray, is easier to handle, costs a lot less, is lots easier to get your hands on a case of it. It'll spray a good fifteen feet and it'll keep on spraying for a long, long time.

The personal defense guy who told us about it says that it'll knock someone down and incapacitate them "until they get to a hospital and get the antidote". Um, yeah -- I'm not so sure that every hospital has antidotes to wasp spray hanging around or not: "Nurse Ratched, hurry on over to the wasp spray antidote cabinet and bring that right over now!" I don't know if it would cause permanent blindness or not but in this case I would damn sure hope so.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:24 PM on November 2, 2009


Seconding TomMelee: I would tell the police I wanted her in protective overwatch, and if they refused, THAT would be my angle for the media. POLICE REFUSE TO PROTECT WOMAN. I would also notify the media that the parole board had let the guy out after 3 years, whereby he immediately and without hesitation started to pursue your gf and her family again.

If you're not getting a response from the media, as you've said, it might be worth your time to find a local media consultant, someone who DOES have good contacts with the media. Call a PR firm, do a Google search -- I'm sure someone would be willing to help you on this pro bono. It's amazing the response you can get once the media's been alerted to something like this.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:02 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


He went to prison for stalking and threatening her and her family. Just out of prison, he is stalking and threatening death. Go to the Chief of Police & the District Attorney. They should be providing protection. He's out and actively threatening; a bit late to start self-defense courses or gun training. The police should provide round-the-clock security. Police Depts and DAs are very sensitive to public opinion. If it were to be in the news that he got anywhere near her, let alone harmed her, and they had previous knowledge of the situation, it would be a Big Story. Gently remind them of this reality if they decline to protect her adequately.

Also contact the local Legal Aid and Women's Shelter. Maybe you can find a group of individuals to be her posse. Not in the vigilante sense, because that may not be effective, but in the Visible Presence of Protectors sense. Make sure her employer is aware, and if they have any security at all, they should be informed also.

A weapon that might be useful in this circumstance is a tazer.

How horrible for all of you; I'll be doing what passes for prayer. Please update.
posted by theora55 at 2:03 PM on November 2, 2009


Regarding the dog: I wasn't suggesting getting some super trained K-9 police dog. I was just thinking of some territorial breed that will (1) instinctively bark vigorously at any stranger in finds in the backyard (or the living room) and (2) will sense when its owner is in physical danger and response.

Dogs are (relatively) cheap, capable, and offer emotional comfort.
posted by Spurious at 2:26 PM on November 2, 2009


Oh, and nthing a taser. Preferable the shooting kind, like this.
posted by Spurious at 2:27 PM on November 2, 2009


I had a similar thing happen to me. A family member of a man who was on trial for attacking me became convinced that if I was not alive I could not testify against his brother and the brother would go free. This was in Texas.

Keeping in contact with the police and parole officer is very important. Not only does it keep you informed, it keeps your situation on their radar.

I would highly recommend contacting your local Victim/Witness Coordinator, if you haven't already. The police should have contact info for you.

In my case, I stayed with a friend and the Victim's Compensation program payed for my lost wages, because I did not go to work on advice of the police. I also spoke someone at the local battered women's shelter about how to keep myself safe. Even though this was not a domestic violence situation, the strategies are the same and it was very helpful. All this was done with the help and advice of the Victim/Witness coordinator. The one I worked with was super useful in helping me determine what fears I had were legitimate and which ones were not. They helped me find solutions to the real stuff and helped me to sleep better about the ones that were not. For example, they found out that the sister of the guy did not have access to any of my personal info because of her particular job. Their whole job is to help you get through this situation. Mine cut through tons of red tape for me and told me about helpful programs that I did not know existed.


One of the worst parts of being a victim of a violent crime is that it forces you to make choices that you don't want to make even after the crime itself is over. I would urge you to really think hard about her going to work. It really sucks that the family may lose their business. It is not fair. However, none of this is fair and decisions need to be made on the basis of what will keep her and her family alive.

(BTW my user name is based on my being a Houston Astros fan, not on being a gun fan.)
posted by colt45 at 2:37 PM on November 2, 2009 [7 favorites]


If you think media attention will help, there are a few things you can try:

1) Contact the media department of the police department that's searching for the guy. (Not the police force in Colorado that's failing to protect your girlfriend). Briefly explain the details - that the guy has started re-offending against your girlfriend immediately after his release. Ask them if they'll consider issuing a media release calling for public help to find him.

2) Leaf through your local paper, or the papers of the state where the guy was in jail. Find the names of crime reporters, and look for other reporters who've written sympathetic articles about people in tough situations. Call the papers and ask to speak to them directly. Briefly explain your case and ask if they're interested. Assume anything you tell them may be published; don't give them information or let them take photos which could help the stalker find your girlfriend.

3) Find a local politician with a history of advocating mandatory sentencing or opposing early release on parole. Link your girlfriend's problem to the politician's cause. They'll use your situation as a real-world example of their pet issue, and you can use their prominence as a way to get on the media's radar. The media angle here is that the state has released a criminal who went straight back to committing the offence which put him in jail in the first place. For 'tough-on-crime' politician, telling the public that this guy should never have been released is a golden opportunity to gain easy political mileage. Use that fact to your advantage.
posted by embrangled at 7:12 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


For now, she should not be anywhere she has ever been. Period. Seriously. Not her home, not her job, not her favorite Olive Garden. she should be somewhere very much else.

Also, I know you think the police would know if he's been picked up - Sure they are on it and would want to know, but things slip through the cracks. You should do some checking.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:42 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I don't know if it would cause permanent blindness or not but in this case I would damn sure hope so."

The problem with using any sort of spray is that it is easy to get it in your own eyes/lungs if you are in a small space, or downwind, or fall or are pulled into the cloud. Or get it into the eyes/lungs of an innocent third party.

That's why pepper spray (which does not cause permanent damage) is better than mace or any other kind of spray that might cause permanent damage. The immediate stopping power is about the same, but you don't have to worry about long-term harm to yourself or innocents if the cloud of spray doesn't stay put.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:19 PM on November 2, 2009


xammerboy: "Call his family. Send him a message through them."

No, don't. The Gift of Fear (written by Gavin De Becker, mentioned above) specifically states not to respond to stalkers. It might encourage him to get a response.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:20 AM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


dancestoblue: "I can't believe I didn't think to mention this -- wasp spray is just as good or better than pepper spray, is easier to handle, costs a lot less, is lots easier to get your hands on a case of it. It'll spray a good fifteen feet and it'll keep on spraying for a long, long time.

The personal defense guy who told us about it says that it'll knock someone down and incapacitate them "until they get to a hospital and get the antidote". Um, yeah -- I'm not so sure that every hospital has antidotes to wasp spray hanging around or not: "Nurse Ratched, hurry on over to the wasp spray antidote cabinet and bring that right over now!" I don't know if it would cause permanent blindness or not but in this case I would damn sure hope so.
"

And then you open yourself up to lawsuits.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:22 AM on November 3, 2009


Dog the Bounty Hunter often hunts fugitives in Colorado on his show. He might be able to help the police catch the fugitive.
posted by dreaming in stereo at 5:46 AM on November 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I were in your shoes, I would be taking leave from * my* work (or just flat out quitting if that's what it required) and shadowing my girlfriend's every move for the next couple weeks. I would remain out of sight as much as possible, and I would be armed. I would very likely enlist my father, brothers and/or friends as necessary to ensure rolling 24-hour surveilance, and the *very* least that would happen to this guy the next time he showed his face would be a very immediate and very unkind citizen's arrest.

This is very romantic, but sooooo full of possible backfire for the participants. For example:

* Getting killed/injured by some unrelated gun owner with a nervous trigger finger who sees some guy lurking around.

* Getting killed/injured by the stalker for being in the way of his object of obsession. (Possibly stalker is better at this creepy dangerous stalking behavior than well-meaning relatives?)

* Getting killed/injured by the police who are looking for a guy stalking the OPs girlfriend.

* Killing/injuring the wrong guy. Living with that guilt. Possibly getting charged with a crime.

What are the local laws on vigilante justice? And citizen's arrest, really? That sounds like a pretty great way to get shot in the face.
posted by desuetude at 11:07 AM on November 3, 2009


And then you open yourself up to lawsuits

I know nothing about wasp spray; for all I know it does nothing. So I'm not necessarily recommending that. But in terms of your objection, well, I'd have to repurpose a slogan; better judged by eleven than carried by six.

If someone were trying to murder me, and had tried to murder me before, worrying about being sued would rank right down around "is this pepper spray ecologically friendly" in terms of my priorities.
posted by Justinian at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2009


Justinian: "But in terms of your objection, well, I'd have to repurpose a slogan; better judged by eleven than carried by six.

If someone were trying to murder me, and had tried to murder me before, worrying about being sued would rank right down around "is this pepper spray ecologically friendly" in terms of my priorities.
"

Quite true. But what I'm thinking is that if you carry around a can of wasp spray to use as you would mace/pepper spray, and blind someone (or worse), a lawyer is going to say you intended to do harm by carrying around something not intended for use on humans, intending to use it on a human that attacked you. (There's an e-mail going around, posted on Snopes that advises people to keep a can on their desks.)

The Snopes article goes on to talk about the effects of pyrethrin (a main ingredient in many wasp sprays) being more harmful than expected, and that many states prohibit any other kind of self-defense spray other than pepper spray.

If you're in trouble and wasp spray is the only thing within reach, fine. But if you have the time to buy some pepper spray, carry that around instead. Besides, I'm guessing it's far more portable than a can of wasp spray.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:35 PM on November 4, 2009


Sorry, folks, studies have PROVEN that more crimes are prevented ENTIRELY when the intended victim merely SHOWS a gun. Criminals want EASY targets.

I speak from experience. Not of killing a person, but in preparing myself to be SAFE from an attacker. I was in fear of that man until the day I held my first handgun. Then I felt safe. YMMV. I understand the HUGE concept of killing another human. I'm NOT saying "go out and hunt the fucker down". I'm saying be prepared to protect yourself if someone attacks you. There is a HUGE difference in those two concepts.

There is NO SHAME in wanting to protect yourself. Cases in court have shown that the duty of the police is not to protect any single individual from known harm.

I am not embarassed to help help ANYONE to be safe from attack. I DO advocate getting training, and living in such a way that you DON'T HAVE to use the gun, but to be ready with it if things get bad.
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 8:06 PM on December 14, 2009


Please note that to use a tazer, pepper sprays or stun guns effectively, you have to be in close proximity to the intended target. Not so much with a "Great Equalizer".

And as for killing someone who is obviously such a scofflaw, well, I wouldn't feel too bad if a "person" like that were to die. That may be the only thing that stops him.

Seriously, there are MANY MANY times where a criminal fled the scene because someone showed a firearm of some kind. Granted, this person who is "after" this woman may not be deterred by the mere showing of a gun, but the "I was in fear for my life" defense with all this history will definitely keep her out of prison. There is really no way this will end all pretty with a big bow. There WILL be bloodshed. She should just be darn sure it's not going to be HERS.

All the namby-pamby feel good tripe won't prevent a baddie from hurting a person. But lead poisoning will sure stop them. And the threat of it can certainly give pause. But yeah, if she doesn't want to go that route, fine. A noisy dog to give her advanced warning is a good thing. Time is what she needs most, as it may take the cops up to half an hour to respond to her call.
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 8:19 PM on December 14, 2009


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