The Psychology of Stalking
Book Review

Here's a review of a book on stalking, titled The Psychology of Stalking, and the reviewer, Sheryll Thompson, really has the problem of multiple stalking CLEARLY understood and in focus. Having a psychotherapist ACCEPT that multi-stalking really is happening really makes the heart of this veteran multi stalking target leap for joy!

Here's the review excerpt as I received it, and the book details from follow at the end:

Have you seen a book review on the subject by a Los Angeles 
psychotherapist, Sheryll Thomson?

She complains that the book doesn't cover multiple stalkers and that
police don't enforce anti-stalking law.  I can't find her in phone
directories or the California State physicians directory.

Here is part of her book review:

"Meloy doesn't mention multiple stalkers in his book, in fact,
denigrates such stories by default and by being too vague in describing
the differences between false and real cases (investigators 'had the
feeling' the case was false), doing nothing to prevent law enforcement,
with little more in the way of studies to go on, from concluding that
more often than not a given case is 'self-harm' or simply a lie.

Psychotherapists: Many or most psychotherapists also have no choice,
not hearing or knowing about the increasing multiple stalking cases
(and being themselves too shocked at such stories and in denial -- as
the society was about child abuse, wife-beating and one-person stalking
for decades before acknowledging the seriousness and actuality of these
crimes; and as we all were about the reality of terrorist threats to our
nation though there was plenty of evidence for years apparently that
these threats were real) they leap to the conclusion that their client
is delusional. In fact, to be fair, most multiple-stalking cases are
burgeoning exponentially, at the same rate as the internet, and all of
this is new. (As Meloy, to his credit, attests, and he gives sound
reasons why a person, who might not have been a criminal before the
advent of the internet, might resort to deadly and terrorizing tactics
when he thinks the internet will allow him impunity. p. 12)

There are now two cyberstalking laws in California (written after the
book was written); one convicted a man (named Delapenta) who had set up
a website in the name of a woman he had been turned down by for a date.
He had published her name, address, phone, and ways to bypass her
security system on this site; he said (as if he was she) 'she' wanted
to be raped and to ignore any calls for help she might make -- that
this was just part of 'her' game. The young woman was terrified at the
calls and visits by strange men and remained so for at least a year
after the perpetrator was caught (by her father spending weeks
searching on line at first and then pretending to be a website visitor,
and by two men who came to her door admitting what was going on; not by
any police investigation).

There are many such stories which have been published, which make use of
personal identity information on the internet, including photographs (in
one known case, brazenly taken head-on of the victim by strangers with
long-distance lenses in food stores, concerts, in an empty hotel lobby
after a conference, across a children's playground of herself and her
grandchild -- the stunned victim found that the photographers drove away
in cars which had no license plates), to recruit and evoke stranger-
stalkers to target one individual. Some sites might be 'dead pool' sites,
which include gambling on the person's death date --this is an effective
come-on as, unlike 'hate sites', 'players' have the impetus of winning
money or earning it through individual assaults or 'attacks'. These may
be like a computer game, but in which a real person has been chosen
(likely by a known perpetrator, maybe a family member -- like the father
who was afraid without cause that he, himself, would become incarcerated
or abandoned if his abuse of his daugher came to light) to be the target
in real life. Some of the sites may require illicitly shared software in
order to 'play' and the website may not be findable by ordinary search
techniques. A person playing this 'game' might get points for making one
or more assaults of some kind on the victim, terrorizing her/him and
possibly hastening his/her death by suicide or homicide. There was one
such report (1997) of a Dungeons and Dragons game, originating on the
internet but played out on the street, which resulted in the suicides of
three terrified teenagers.

Clearly a new book needs to be written, and soon, incorporating all the
now-known cases of multiple (stranger) stalkers elicited on the internet
targeting a single individual as well as the continued gap in law
enforcement between what needs to be known about how to investigate these
cases (sophisticated cyber-training and sections in police departments
devoted to such crimes) and how victims are being treated today. Likely
legistatures need to vote money toward these sections and not just make
new cybercrime laws."

I [Sheryll Thompson] am a licensed psychotherapist with a personal and 
professional interest in 'multiple stalking' cases, in which a perpetrator
organizes other individuals, likely strangers to the victim, to stalk
and harass a feared or hated target individual, often over the internet.

This is a basic, beginning book, written in 1998 and way behind in
filling the need, considering the proliferation of actual crimes
originating on the internet especially those in which a single website
recruits or incites multiple individuals, usually strangers, as
stalkers against one individual. In addition, unfortunately, this
well-meaning but limited book has likely set back law enforcement help
for victims of multiple-stalker, internet-originating crimes by years:

In particular, the chapter on 'false victimization' is unnecessary and
could well have been left out as it gives inexperienced, overburdened
or uncaring law enforcement personnel, as they read the chapter about
a variety of cases which at first sound like legitimate stalking cases
but turn out to be false alarms, rationale to superimpose them upon
all pleas to law enforcement for help, and justification to dismiss
out of hand legitimate cases as illegitimate -- without investigation.

Other examples of little or no cyberstalking training (in the LAPD;
there is no cyberstalking section though the law now mandates it): A
lone law enforcement individual manning the phone at LAPD's
'cyberstalking' section has said, 'cyberstalking is threatening
e-mails -- period!' (2001)(This misapprehension is not discredited in
Meloy's book.)Another LAPD detective, a woman, said, 'Just don't go on
line' and when she heard about skin-burning chemicals inserted in the
victim's newspapers, 'Just stop taking the newspaper'. Another
detective, when hearing about a rationally-described but complicated
case of internet-originated stalking and harassment insisted that the
victim go into a psychiatric facility for a three-day hold in order to
'determine what is going on' -- this is without the first attempt at
interview or investigation. Other detectives, more restrained, have
explained that they need 'proof' before even beginning an
investigation and gathering proof,leaving the victim in a helpless,
catch-22 situation (and, being put off by the multiple-stalker nature
of the crime as described refused to look at the evidence at hand).
(...) "



The Psychology of Stalking: 
Clinical and Forensic Perspectives
by J. Meloy (Author) 

List Price:   $65.00  
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours
Only 4 left in stock--order soon 
(more on the way).

Hardcover: 327 pages ;
Publisher: Academic Press; (May 26, 1998) 
ISBN: 0124905609 

Book Description

The Psychology of Stalking is the first scholarly book on stalking
ever published.  Virtually every serious writer and researcher 
in this area of criminal psychopathology has contributed a chapter.
These chapters explore stalking from social, psychiatric, psychological
and behavioral perspectives.  New thinking and data are presented on
threats, pursuit characteristics, psychiatric diagnoses, offender-
victim typologies, cyberstalking, false victimization syndrome,
erotomania, stalking and domestic violence, the stalking of public 
figures, and many other aspects of stalking, as well as legal issues.

This landmark text is of interest to both professionals and other 
thoughtful individuals who recognize the serious nature of this ominous
social behavior.

Key Features:

* First scholarly book on stalking ever published
* Contributions from virtually all major 
  researchers in field
* Discussion of what to do when being stalked
* Uses examples from recent publicized cases