Re: Ask the Mineshaft: #Yesallwomen edition

1

LB's response sounds exactly right to me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:36 PM
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I agree. I think it's important to be rational about fear, but also, some things are not worth it, and your safety should always be #1. It's not worth cheap rent if you're living in legitimate fear.

On another note. Creating or allowing a climate of intimidation and fear towards a member of a protected class (race, gender, etc) can be considered a form of housing discrimination and is a violation of fair housing laws. It's a bit tenuous, but there's a chance that if Ed is racially intimidating people and the landlord knows this and chooses not to act, they could be prosecuted for violating fair housing laws. If the landlord were made aware of this fact, they might be more proactive about dealing with Ed. On the other hand, if Ed is unstable, this might not be a can of worms you'd want to open. I guess the issue is if he's crazy but harmless, you'd want to avoid him and hope he's treated with compassion. If he's crazy and dangerous, you'd want him to get out of there ASAP and into a situation where he's getting appropriate treatment.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 7:57 PM
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This is genuinely disturbing, but it doesn't sound like this guy has a criminal history. If so, and checking seems worthwhile, it is relatively unlikely that a 50-something with no history of arrests for violence is going to start at such a late age. Or at least, start violence outside of a domestic context. Of course, it's also really unlikely that such a severe mental illness would first manifest itself at such a late age. I wonder if it he didn't have some kind brain damage from a stroke or injury? Not that those causes would necessarily make it safer to live next to him than if he somehow just decided Hitler had his good points.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:00 PM
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The more I think about this, the more I think contacting the landlord is best. Walking around shouting racial epithets really isn't ok, even if he's not going to physically harm anyone. Put pressure on the landlord to deal with the family. If the family knows that Ed's in danger of getting evicted, they might make another intervention.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:03 PM
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I think I'd go further and say move now if at all possible. You have a stalker living across the street. It's mildly reassuring that since the police told him to back off he mostly has, but that has to be offset by his apparently worsening mental health problems. I'd certainly be getting out on the double based solely on specific fear of Ed at the very first sign that his cop-induced inhibition might be fading, if not sooner.

You have a broader problem, though, with your PTSD/trigger issue. It's totally understandable that being across the street from this guy has you constantly on edge and viewing all men with suspicion. I can't speak to your financial circumstances or the other barriers to moving, but it's hard to see that problem getting better while you still have to look at Ed (or at least his rose bushes) every damn day.

I mean, the only alternative route I can think of is something that would get him out of that apartment, and I'm not sure that's in your power, though others may have constructive ideas about how you could push in that direction.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:05 PM
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Yeah, I was going to say it sounds like stroke to me. Schizophrenia usually has first onset in the early 20s, and it sounds like Ed was pretty normal until a few years ago. My guess is stroke victims are less likely to turn violent than paranoid schizophrenics, but you might want to look that up. Anyways, definitely get the landlord to let the family know that Ed is still not ok.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:07 PM
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I was also going to suggest getting in touch (or getting information from) the family somehow. I'd be most concerned that he doesn't have guns in the house, and that he's listed wherever he needs to be listed in order to be denied a gun if he tries to buy one.

he seems to have gone off the deep end when I called the police

Uh, he gifted you a used condom and a teddy bear before you called the police.

my (white) boyfriend

Race traitor.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:09 PM
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I'm not saying for sure it's a stroke. I'm just thinking that there can't be that many things that can cause that kind of change at that age and that leave someone alive and able to live out of the nursing home/state hospital for very long. Especially not if you figure the six months was actual recovery time and not, as also seems possible, the amount of time it takes a family to decide that no matter how much they love somebody, they can't live in a house with a guy wearing a Hitler mustache.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:15 PM
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But, talking to the family is indeed a good idea if possible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:16 PM
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no matter how much they love somebody, they can't live in a house with a guy wearing a Hitler mustache.

I once met a Romanian guy with a Hitler mustache. I decided to ignore it and chalk it up to cultural differences, except that at one point the conversation took a turn and somehow the guy ended up ranting about how I needed to acknowledge that "Romanians are Aryans too." He went on at some length about how 'next time' Romanians would assert their rightful place as members of the master race, and how Swedes needed to be on guard because we were weakening ourselves with social democracy and pacifism. At this point I kind of slowly started backing away without saying anything, and made a vow to never again end up in conversation anyone with a Hitler mustache.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:25 PM
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Hey Ile, the shooting brought back some ugly memories from long ago for me, too, so much sympathy.

I bet I'll be in the minority, but I don't think you're in danger. It sounds like Ed is unpleasant and unhinged, for sure. I imagine he's been struggling with illness for a long time, but I think the order you're assuming might be backwards. It sounds like you think you tipped him into worsening behavior, but I bet his illness worsened, or he needed his medication adjusted, or he stopped taking them, which caused him to act in such a creepy and wholly inappropriate way. It sounds like he needs more family involvement for sure, but it sounds like he's forgotten all about you. Also, hate to say it, but it seems like your boyfriend is a pretty strong deterrent, which is a good thing for keeping Ed far away from you.

That said, you should be able to relax in your own home and neighborhood, and if this makes you unable to, something should change.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:25 PM
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What's the basis for thinking the guy was harmless until recently? He was scary the moment Ile moved in. The police didn't tell her he had a criminal record, but would they necessarily? And even if he didn't, he could have been scary for a long time without getting arrested.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:40 PM
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Apparently, years ago, he had been a friendly attendant of a neighborhood black church, but now he was walking past the church sometimes and shouting, "Fuck y'all N-----s!" She wanted the landlady to contact his next of kin. When I ask M when the trouble started, she dates it to fall of 2010.

This seems to be a pretty good sign that he was normal until something drastic happened. I would still vote stroke, but it could be all sorts of other things.

I think that she should contact the landlord and get them to notify the next of kin. She could also notify the next of kin, but if the landlord does it they'll have more weight to make the family do something.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:44 PM
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If the landlord and/or next of kin aren't responsive, then she could call hotline for the Fair Housing Council of her state and ask for advice. They may not be able to do something, but they would have resources for who to contact if they can't help directly.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:45 PM
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"Romanians are Aryans too."

I think Hitler classified them as Latins. It was a good status, comparatively, but not Aryan. Still, it put Antonescu on the buddy list with Mussolini and well ahead of Franco.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:49 PM
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12: The police would not say, but I think you can look that sort of stuff up yourself. Not that I've tried, except to figure out what happened to some of my neighbors in the 80s.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:50 PM
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If 12 is to me, I think he was more of a threat to Ile when he was engaging with Ile. I don't think he was or is harmless, but it sounds as if he's got a different focus lately. If she's the subject of his shouting (or a member of a group he's shouting about), then he seems like a bigger danger to her. I took the shouting to be random rantings, like about the Illuminati or the UN or just obscenities or totally random strings of words.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:51 PM
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de-urking.

So something that has always bothered me: In a rougher crowd in a rougher neighbourhood, I saw much the same thing play out except the recepient of the attention was younger. Police response the same, his response the same... So one evening the boys wander over and beat him within inches - I mean, knee gone, both clavicles, most ribs, fractured skull. Nobody saw anything, of course

He comes back 2 mo later and never bothers anyone, even a little bit. Never moves quite right either.

Good result? Bad? I'm torn.


Posted by: bedspins | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:53 PM
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Consequentialist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 8:58 PM
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19: if so wouldn't I know the answer?


Posted by: bedspins | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:00 PM
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Right. Sorry. I should find the fruit basket, but it's so late.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:02 PM
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18

I vote for bad. No one deserves to get the shit beaten out of them. But I'm also a deontologist.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:04 PM
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I'm with ydnew in 11. Anxiety is a very reasonable reason to move, but I don't get an escalating into violence vibe here - there's no bluster about guns, no physical confrontations, etc.

You know, I bet gswift is the right person to answer this question.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:08 PM
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All of the advice above is well-considered, and I'm prone myself to want to change venues from unpleasant associations, rather than facing them down.

But I'm surprised that you're connecting him to Rodger/entitlement culture.

I wouldn't say a stroke victim, if that's what he is wouldn't be using the internet in an unhealthy way, but I didn't see you mention any connection to that you were aware of. And I feel that we established the R/e culture was very much a young man's internet phenomenon, albeit with real world consequences sometimes.

It sounds like an unpleasant situation even without further developments, which the atmosphere of the past week has made more acute for you even without any obvious connection. I feel many women have a sense of helplessness concerning the mopey guys who might turn out to be dangerous. Our attempts as men to normalize and contextualize the mopeyness, by testifying to ourselves having hostile feelings at some point, probably makes this worse. We mean most guys will grow out of it, but that's no consolation if the whole situation puts you on edge.

And I think the behavior in 18 criminal, and ought to be prosecuted. How much did you witness personally?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:11 PM
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I don't think beatings are inconsistent with deontological ethics.


Posted by: bedspins | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:12 PM
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Sure, for instance, you could have a deontological system that said "all persons must be beaten".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:16 PM
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26 until morals improve.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:17 PM
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24: the aftermath, and some of the noise. I was maybe 14 or so, so kept right out of it. This isn't by any meant the only such communal "justice" I witnessed, but the most public and accepted.

Another guy in the complex was shot dead probably for his actions (theft, in that case) , but all anyone said about that was rumour. This instance was very overt.


Posted by: bedspins | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:17 PM
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Move.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:25 PM
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Apparently, years ago, he had been a friendly attendant of a neighborhood black church, but now he was walking past the church sometimes and shouting, "Fuck y'all N-----s!"

Other armchair diagnoses that fit this would include early onset dementia or a brain tumor. I recall a very moving essay by Tim Wise talking about his dementia-suffering mother who had been a civil rights activist in her youth screaming racist obscenities at her caregivers in the nursing home.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:26 PM
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But, yeah, move.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:27 PM
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Romanians, or at least the one I knew, put a lot of energy into the classification of Romanians as Latins, rather than Slavs. There was a Trajan-and-the-Dacians (doo-wop-wa-wa-wa-doo) argument for this that I've forgotten.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:28 PM
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Deontology will continue until beatings move.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:31 PM
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Move for sure. Why put up with this? Just be glad you don't own the place.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:34 PM
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15, 32

Yeah, that's been my experience with the non-neo Nazi Romanians I've met. They almost always emphasize that they are 'Latin,' NOT Slavs. Also they tend to really dislike the Roma, who IME Western Europeans tend to associate with Romania. Still very problematic though.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:37 PM
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*whom


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:38 PM
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I mean, odds are the dude won't kill you. But I can almost guarantee that you'll feel better in a smaller but more stress free place.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:39 PM
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I should add that I do not advise the writer-to-the-Mineshaft to move out of callousness regarding what seem to be genuine and severe mental and emotional problems rather than, necessarily, willful wickedness or elderly-Fox-News-habitué provocativeness, but rather an abundance of caution.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:45 PM
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Also they tend to really dislike the Roma....

They sure do.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:48 PM
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Comity Flip Halford and several others, if you move you likely will be happier and less hassled. Even though moving (transaction cost incarnate) is unpleasant.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 9:53 PM
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There was a Trajan-and-the-Dacians (doo-wop-wa-wa-wa-doo) argument for this that I've forgotten.

It's not that complicated: Trajan conquered Dacia, and it's been Romania ever since.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:04 PM
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If you feel unsafe, you should move. You seem to feel unsafe.

Think of it this way: when you were about to sign the lease on your current place, if the landlord had said, "By the way, you'll be scared of your neighbor, and you can't be sure whether you'll be a target when he finally snaps," would you have signed the lease? I think I know the answer!

Since I'm pretty sure you're not in Chicago, let me be the first to suggest a Help Ile Move meetup.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:06 PM
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Trajan is a great name, too bad it only has Duke associations for most Americans, even if Trajan Langdon seems like a pretty cool guy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:13 PM
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I may just be an out-of-touch coastal elitist, but I'm pretty sure the name Trajan has no associations whatsoever for most Americans.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:16 PM
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Trajan Langdan is probably recognizable to Alaskan basketball fans.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:20 PM
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Yeah, probably, hence the "elitist" qualifier.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:21 PM
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On Googling, I see what you mean. Ha!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:22 PM
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His dad's book is very good, btw.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:23 PM
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If it were me, I'd be asking myself whether I was really unsettled, or just unsettled because of the UCSB incident getting all the coverage.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:25 PM
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I suspect that Ed would be difficult to evict*, so moving might be the only option if things seem too unsafe.

*Though I guess his family could come get him again.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:29 PM
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Wow, you guys really pour in fast. Thanks! I'm glad, most of all, that my thinking this is remotely problematic is not totally crazy, because I think I've done such a good job of putting it out of my head for most of the time that I feel a little crazy to have it back on my head's front burner again.

First to clarify from the OP: He hasn't bothered me or my boyfriend since 2010. I have not heard that he has *directly* harassed anyone since he came back in late 2012, only that he still sits in his house and randomly shouts, and sometimes walks around and randomly shouts. . .and it seems to be more along the Fuck this/that and less N word.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:32 PM
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Oh, we looked up his criminal history thenabouts, and found nothing but some traffic violations, but I have no idea how exhaustive the thing we found was. We also found his dad's obituary, which implied he comes from a large and prosperous upper middle class Roman Catholic Family in the greater area but not super near by, and was sort of interesting b/c everyone else we could find from the family (including the deceased father) seemed to be very white collar/graduate degree-intensive, and he had (at the time) a very blue collar job at a local construction supply store. (Something one of the neighbors told me before the trouble started as in, "if you want to buy large amounts of ____ to build a _____ in your yard, perhaps Ed across the street might be able to hook you up. He works at ____ as a ____." Another testament to the idea that before he started stalking me, no one had any problems with him.) My boyfriend had decided, after talking to him that one time, and investigating him online, that he must just be a bit "simple" somehow.

Buttercup: I did not know that! I think I can actually figure out who the landlord is, and you have convinced me that it is at least worth looking up the pro-active neighbor lady two doors down and talking to her about it. That alone was worth the price of writing this up and makes me feel less totally powerless. Did not know about the Fair Housing Council either!

3 Moby Hick: that's interesting and makes me sad, which often, weirdly, dilutes my fear.

6:Osgood Yousbad: yeah . . .it's really not just the rent, I realized as I was thinking about this driving home. It's also the sheer inertia of moving. We're each really really really bad at moving and one of the sad things we discovered by moving out/in together is that we are, together, even worse at moving than the two of us put together. I feel like we have only recently got the house set up decently. But also, most of the time I manage to ignore ED almost completely.

7 ogged part 1: good call.
7 ogged part 2: is your baby-mama Mexican?

24: I think I am reminded of this less by Rodgers himself and more by the ensuing conversation and also the theme of a troubled adult whose family is nearby but not super near. And also tangentially b/c of the weird way the lady cop recounted telling Ed about online dating sites. And I guess the general general narrative of seemingly "nice guys" misogynistically brooding over rejection for a very long time.

30:Oh wow, that's just heartbreaking.

42/49: yeah, I'm definitely unsettled, right now, b/c of the wider conversation about stalking/brooding misogynists, etc. Nothing in particular has actually happened in the last few weeks. I don't think I've heard him shouting in over a month. Until the last few days I wouldn't say I felt unsafe on a day-to-day basis.



Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:51 PM
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I won't try to diagnose the guy (personal story below), but I also won't say do-X. You need to find your own comfort level. Given financial tradeoffs (idk, but it sounds like it is at least on your mind), perhaps waiting and seeing is viable. If Creepy Dude goes off-meds again, or if your anxiety doesn't decrease, seriously consider moving. Seriously - 30% of rent for not feeling constantly anxious is worth it.

I am not a Creepy Dude specialist, but by all accounts, people who go from zero to Norman Bates are extremely rare. There is an extremely noticeable ramp up.

Consider motion-activated lights, a different gate setup that doesn't permit access without a clear indicator (then you have trespassing as a weapon), or at the cheapest, a Radio Shack motion sensor that dings when someone crosses the gate. (The first two can be cheap enough - I don't know the setup - to burn on an apartment. )

(as promised) A relative of mine sounds somewhat like Creepy Dude. Various diagnoses, from bipolar to schizophrenia, manifested in late puberty. He is physically pretty intimidating, and when on a tear will look really scary. He tends to get worked up in complicated, shouting rants about religion, genetics and whatever he's been reading this month. He actually isn't physically dangerous, and I admit to intimidating him more than once just to shut him up. (If you haven't met me in person, that might not be funny.)

My point being is that it can be hard to tell when a nutter is actually dangerous. On the other hand, even if Creepy Dude isn't, I know how fucking unpleasant that is to be around, which might be a separate vote for moving.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:56 PM
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And my sense of timing is as good as ever.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:58 PM
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Peter Dickinson's The Dancing Bear was one of my favorite books when I was a girl, and in it some inhabitants of what is now Romania made a very big deal about how they were Romans, not Slav Barbarians or even Greeks. I think they get peeved about getting left out of the usual Romance language round-ups, and might have been particularly peeved about being forced to learn Russian during the cold war. But as a nation of very pale and fairly poor people aren't they sort of classically susceptible to master race sentiments?


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 10:58 PM
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53: that was indeed helpful.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:00 PM
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Despite the circumstances that prompted this post, it's nice to see you around, Ile.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:04 PM
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Aww, thanks Teo. I've been semi-lurking/one-off commenting more recently.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:14 PM
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Yeah, I've noticed you've been commenting from time to time lately. Anyway, sorry to hear you've been worrying about this issue lately. I liked LB's response in the OP because it left room for this either being a big problem or not, because it seems like you're unsure whether it is.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-14 11:31 PM
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One last suggestion, on our cross posts.

His family are, perhaps, your friends. At a wild guess, they want him to happy, healthy, and not causing problems. So consider subtle ways of reaching out to his family (maybe at a remove).

It sounds like there hasn't been A problem in a while, so there is nothing immediate to address. But find out with whom you should talk if that changes.

This is a violent, fucked up society. That isn't changing. But remember School House Rock - knowledge is power. You can live where you want, and only reasonble tradeoffs. Period.

Volcanic lairs not included, I have no experience there.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 12:20 AM
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Volcanic lairs not included, I have no experience there.

They're okay in general, but every once in a while they erupt and then you're just screwed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 12:23 AM
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Technically, I think you are ejected, which is similar to eviction, although I don't know lava law.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 12:51 AM
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You might also just be badly burned, but I don't think there's a legal term for that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 12:59 AM
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Embroiled in conflict in contract dispute.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:09 AM
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Ah, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:11 AM
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Lava Law: opinions authored by justices entranced by lava lamps.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:17 AM
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Depending on the properties of the landscape, is there is a rifling effect of surrounding bodies, "screwed" might work. Long shot.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:21 AM
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But yeah, I'm thinking that his family might be good to reach out to, somehow, especially perhaps in the current environment. I just looked up the obituary again and google stalked the siblings---there are multiple lawyers, a cpa, a doctor, and some business executives.

My current plan is to first talk to the other neighbors and get a sense of the current situation and what they know; then maybe send a note to the landlord and/or the family members. Is it okay if the note is anonymous?

In general I'm feeling much better and more empowered. Thank you Mineshaft!

I'm slightly discombobulated by this
story about how the Isla Vista police didn't watch Rodger's YouTube videos or look him on the state gun registry, b/c if nothing else, it seems like a wellness check on someone thought to be suicidal should be include a gun check.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:23 AM
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woops I messed up the link here it is. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/police-didnt-search-database-showing-calif-shooter-had-bought-guns/2014/05/30/59ad5186-e74f-11e3-a86b-362fd5443d19_story.html


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:24 AM
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Fuck it it.

What is safe is first.

Have a plan. Do not contact anyone before your plan is done.

You need to think about the plan, likely more than you think you need to think about it. Seriously.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:40 AM
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69: Wow, that's bizarre, and I hadn't heard about it before. I expect they'll start searching that database a lot more now.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:44 AM
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[Grumbles' phone number, redacted] if you want to talk, I do this sort of thing.

Please delete.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 1:48 AM
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Too late. I've already put "For a good time, call Grumbles" all over town.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 2:57 AM
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Just tried but no answer. Was still kind of a good time. Will try again every fifteen seconds all day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:27 AM
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Ah, well. It is already all over several Midtown bathrooms, as far as I can tell. Or maybe I know those people.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:47 AM
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I agree you should start by expressing concern to the family. If they don't engage, I would slightly favour moving, but I agree it's a faff, and you probably want to exhaust other options first. But don't just leave it. Remember, nobody has a criminal record until they do. A friend of mine used to work with this guy. She said he was pleasant, introverted, left wing, a good colleague... (25 years later he'd probably have been on Unfogged.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 5:19 AM
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(25 years later he'd probably have been on Unfogged.)

Nope.

From the link:

...Nilsen admitted to masturbating as he viewed the nude bodies of several of his victims..

That's a clear violation of the NMM rule. Not one of us.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 5:56 AM
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I agree with reaching out to family. If I were trying to take care of Ed from a distance, having connections in his neighborhood would be a huge assistance.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:00 AM
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You know, I wouldn't. The main safety in the situation seems to be that Ed isn't interested in you at all anymore. I wouldn't interact with his family and possibly draw attention to yourself: having a sibling call him with "Hey Ed, your neighbors across the street are worried about you" seems like a bad outcome.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:16 AM
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79. Wouldn't you have that conversation with the relative when you talk to them?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:22 AM
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Yeah, but why would I trust someone I don't know to manage their communications with their mentally ill brother to protect me? People are careless, and people are stupid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:25 AM
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Talking once or twice removed can work well, especially if family is involved. It depends on the people, and is completely context-specific. With my crazy family member, a call to an outreach group of a local church (read: slightly less creepy religious group) kept him involved for a couple of years, not making trouble for others.

If the lack of an absolute fix bothers you, think of dentistry. Even if they don't tell you, everything they do to your mouth comes with an expiration date, they could tell you, at the least in an actuarial sense.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:43 AM
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I agree with reaching out to family. If I were trying to take care of Ed from a distance, having connections in his neighborhood would be a huge assistance

I would absolutely not want the family to think of me as their "connection in the neighborhood" for helping them deal with their brother, which is part of why I don't like this idea. I know you didn't mean anything like assisting in care taking, but even "please call us if he's acting crazy so we can intervene" is more responsibility than I'd want to be shouldered with. If you had sympathy for the guy and wanted to help, then sure, but that doesn't sound like Ile in this situation.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:43 AM
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Anecdote: A friend of mine was in a scarier situation (I'd say) that worked out okay: She was living in a group house with some people she didn't really know (i.e. Craigslist group house) and there was one couple where the guy would hit on every woman he knew if his girlfriend wasn't around. Started hitting on my friend, got obsessed with her, and was kicked out of the house for various bad behaviors, after breaking up with GF. So then he starts prowling the neighborhood, breaking into people's houses and rummaging through their underwear or whatever, and also attacked my friend's van one night (not while she was in it). Sounded like he had had a rough life and probably was self-medicating for at least bi-polar if not schizophrenia. Anyhow, friend and others tried to track him down, but he had apparently been couch surfing, quit his job, and just kinda disappeared.

I guess I would say that moving seems like the wisest choice, but I sympathize with the desire to avoid it if at all possible. I agree that further calling attention to yourself is not a good idea, but I think having someone speak to his relatives (like the lady down the block, for instance) would be wise.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 6:46 AM
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I agree with urple in 83: stirring the pot is going to dredge up old stuff from the bottom. And you don't want the family to be relying on your keeping an eye out for the guy.

My thought is that you keep the products of your google-stalking in a convenient place -- and if you haven't made a list of the emails of all his siblings, do so -- and send an email if there's an actual incident of police calling level.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 7:36 AM
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Lighter note anecdote: A couple of female friends of mine were hanging out in their group house late one evening when some creep showed up outside their window and started masturbating. They were not so much intimidated as amused (pot might have had something to do with this), so they grabbed a camera and started taking pictures. Unfortunately when they developed the pictures it turns out that every time the flash went off the reflection from the window washed out the picture so there was nothing to show to the cops and/or friends and family.

The end.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 8:43 AM
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86 They didn't find $5?


I agree with LB, CharleyCarp and urple above.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 8:50 AM
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I'd be thinking about moving. Even if he's no longer specifically obsessed with Ile, a more generalized "f--k n----rs" obsession is still bad news. For anyone who's darker skinned (not necessarily African-American), this is still true. You can't be sure you're not also a target of those rants.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 8:58 AM
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I guess I'm in the minority. I would take this very seriously. Frankly I'm disappointed that the police didn't take this more seriously.

I would definitely NOT make yourself known to the family (anonymous note, okay, but nothing that would alert them to who you are or that they might be able to draw on you for help).

My experience is that having a criminal record is a VERY imperfect tell for scary/stalkery behavior. There are so many steps along the way that can lead to not having a criminal record, and so many ways that white guys in particular can skate their way through horrible behavior without acquiring one.

I also don't think it matters whether this is brain injury, dementia, unmedicated illness, or just plain creepiness. It's not your responsibility to treat him and I don't think that knowing what is causing his behavior would make your predictions about his FUTURE behavior any more accurate.

Bottom line: You are *already* enduring adjustments to your daily life that are unreasonable (even if they have become habitual/mostly invisible to you) -- and he's not even interacting with you these days!

Moving is a hassle and money issues can be tough, but you don't know what other housing possibilities might be out there until you put the word out. I would start looking for new housing options. It doesn't mean you HAVE to move, just look. You may find something that surprises you.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:05 AM
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Also, maybe I'm just feeling cranky today, but dude, idp, 24 is *illustrative* of the exact issue.

A woman tells you a story about an angry, boundary-crossing man who has signaled numerous times that he does not respect her privacy or her utterly reasonable requests -- and you say you are "surprised" she is connecting it to men feeling violently entitled? Really?

****
In other news, YesAllWomen has been retired at the request of its creators due to the rape and death threats they are getting. (Lovely.) Folks seem to be using EachEveryWoman now.



Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:11 AM
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90.3 Jesus.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:19 AM
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Witt has it right in 89.

90.3 is appalling.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:44 AM
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At this point, I'm not really trying to give advice to Ile, who will do what she feels comfortable doing, but the cautions about not getting in touch with the family (especially a family that's mostly white-collar, so will be culturally familiar to Ile) seem a little too much "it's a big scary world!" These are regular human beings that she can talk to. She's not volunteering to become his keeper, and while I can imagine some strange scenario where the family is full of nutcases, it seems far more likely that she or her boyfriend can say, "Hey, what's up with your guy? Should we be worried?" and get an answer that's at least informative, if not dispositive. It's also possible that they don't know about his interactions with Ile, and that might be information that prods them to do more.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:56 AM
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Yeah, ok, I'm convinced. Don't be point person for the family.

I still don't think he's a physical danger, though. I think it's completely appropriate to move due to anxiety, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:56 AM
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But ogged also makes sense! I personally would probably contact the family, and just not agree to anything I didn't feel like doing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:58 AM
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But I have GREAT boundaries.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:58 AM
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Witt is, as usual, making sense.

Count me with the people appalled by 90.3. It's not actually all that surprising, unfortunately. Horrible, but it seems to be the way of things that threats go with anything that challenges the mindset of nasty little MRA types.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:02 AM
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Here's a slightly different perspective: potentially violent people are everywhere, and if you're in a sufficiently dense city, you're guaranteed to have someone in close proximity. It's similar to the child molester database - every neighborhood's got some.

What makes this guy different is that he's acting outward and causing you anxiety. But that doesn't say much about increasing the constant background risk that we incur just by living. The anxiety should be addressed, because that's the current problem, but potentially violent, unstable people can be quiet and unknown but not guaranteed to not exist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:04 AM
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The problem with getting in touch with a family member now is that they might mention it to the creeper, or, even if cautioned about doing that, they'll certainly talk about it with other family members who will all then be discussing it amongst themselves. Someone is likely to slip and mention something to the creeper and then he'll return his focus on Ile.

It might be called for if the situation were ongoing but now that it's stopped why risk drawing his attention.

But why stay? Is it just inertia or are there positive aspects to the house/neighborhood other than lower rent.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:05 AM
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I'm repeating myself, but all the serious advice I've heard about dangerous crazy people is to not engage. You don't want them aware of you and thinking about you. If he's not dangerous, there's no need to do anything. If he is dangerous, then you really don't want to be part of his world.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:05 AM
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Here's the thing about contacting the family. As soon as you do, your privacy is out of your control. You are trusting them to be as scrupulous as you would be in not letting the loose-cannon guy know that YOU are the tattletale.

I just don't think that's realistic. All people can be disorganized and gossipy at times. Families say things in front of other family members that they forgot they said. Family members have disagreements among themselves about how dangerous someone is or what kind of treatment they need.

You're not just telling one responsible member of the family. You might also be telling her obnoxious husband, who might be a blowhard who is resentful that the family has spent so much money on crazy Uncle Joe, and will rant about the busybody neighbor who just HAD to contact the family and get things riled up again blah blah blah.



Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:09 AM
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I disagree with 98 in that this is not just dealing with the fact that there are these type of people in the world, in the abstract. This is a situation where the person has already proven himself to be creepily fixated.



Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:12 AM
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Here's a slightly different perspective: potentially violent people are everywhere... What makes this guy different is that

he has a history of unpleasant interactions with you in particular. And we really don't know if he's actually forgotten about Ile, or if he is just censoring himself around her.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:14 AM
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If there was a low key way to talk to his family (like he had adult children who also lived nearby and you ran into on a regular basis) then just a "Is he dangerous?" might be useful. But in the current situation I agree that going out of your way to talk to the family is more likely to make things worse than better.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:14 AM
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He hasn't interacted with Ile since 2011. He is not creepily fixated on her. He does have the capacity to fixate on specific people, but Ile is not the current fixation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:20 AM
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Witt is totally right. As I see it your best options are (a) do nothing and just accept the fact that you're OK with a bunch of low level anxiety about this or better option (b) which is to move. Getting more involved is the absolute last thing you want.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:22 AM
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Fuck yes to 106: don't get involved. It isn't your expertise or responsibility.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:28 AM
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I'm still waiting for gswift to weigh in. My guess is he'll say 1. don't contact family or get involved, 2. this guy is probably all bark. (But what do I know, not being gswift.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:34 AM
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105 -- He outward behavior is not a reliable indication of whether he is or is not currently fixated.

And what's Ile supposed to say to these people? Your brother is nuts (they know that) and 4 years ago acted badly? What are they supposed to do about that now?

I wasn't keen on contacting family, and am now convinced to back off from it completely: keep email addresses of the siblings, and provide them to the police should there be a report-worthy event.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:35 AM
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I wouldn't view contacting the family as getting involved so much as putting them on notice/making a polite threat. Somebody like that guy is almost certainly being supported by family members and thus they have more leverage and more incentive to try to keep an eye on the situation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 10:36 AM
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Ile at 68: My current plan is to first talk to the other neighbors and get a sense of the current situation and what they know; then maybe send a note to the landlord and/or the family members.

This strikes me as a good plan.

You said early on in your post that you'd resolved to become more engaged in your newfound neighborhood; here, it's the entire neighborhood that may have a problem, and ideally the neighbors should share with one another whatever information they have.

I say this partly as a landlord who was informed two years into a problem situation that my then-tenant was creating problems in that neighborhood. I'd had no idea, and was tremendously grateful to the neighbor who phoned me to very tactfully let me know. Now, the former tenant wasn't scary, but he was obnoxious, his lifestyle was troublesome to the neighborhood, his dog was destroying property, he was holding very loud parties into the wee hours, beer bottles were smashed in driveways ... I had no idea, and was mortified.

If Ed really is a danger, I'd feel badly for any future tenant of your apartment, should you move, particularly if it's a young woman. So yeah, talk to the neighbors, see if they feel unsafe, see if Ed's still shouting the n-word at them .. and go from there. There's more safety in numbers.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 11:00 AM
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90.3 In other news, YesAllWomen has been retired at the request of its creators due to the rape and death threats they are getting. (Lovely.) Folks seem to be using EachEveryWoman now.

Is there a link to substantiate that? I've seen that claim floating around with no further information, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The hashtag is already all over the place and it seems hard to track it back to one person. The threats sound sadly plausible, if people even know who the creators are, but it's not clear to me why asking for people not to use the tag would help with that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 11:03 AM
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Tangentially, a friend of mine discovered that her four year old's (for next year) preschool teacher's husband is a gun-flaunting shithead on FB. She is completely freaked out and planning to send her kid elsewhere. I think it's completely reasonable to make such a decision and reduce one's anxiety, but I probably wouldn't yank my own kid.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 11:10 AM
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112: Her request has been discussed pretty extensively on Twitter.

Not sure how you would "substantiate" threats. Do you mean screenshots?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 11:13 AM
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114: All those tweets (that I've seen, anyway) are just saying the same thing you did. It looks to me like it could have started as a troll trying to shut down the #yesallwomen hashtag.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 11:17 AM
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See footnote.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 11:25 AM
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Ile, my primary concern is really whether you feel comfortable now doing things outside around the house when your boyfriend isn't around.

Having once been on the receiving end of a phone call from my then-housemate telling me not to come home without extreme caution, without phoning the housemate first to let him know I was en route, I know the level of alarm attached. In that case it was a former boyfriend who'd freaked out and was throwing the furniture I'd loaned him out a 3rd floor window. (I was right to break up with him! The moment I felt in danger in his presence, it was over, now.) But the series of conversations that night was only made possible by people networking to alert one another on events.

I don't want to reawaken your fear, but Witt is right that this should be taken very seriously. Given that Ed seems to have subsided into a neighborhood crackpot, moving out may be hasty, but talk to people for sure.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 11:32 AM
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116: But there's a big difference between asking that information that personally identifies them be removed from a website and asking that no one else use the hashtag at all. I still suspect a troll.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 11:49 AM
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Hi everyone! I don't think I can do a one-by-one reply now, but again, thanks for taking the time to advise me.

I never had any intention of contacting the family in a way that revealed my identity, and that has been doubly confirmed by a) most of your advice and b) some more of my googlestalking last night, which revealed to me that he seems to have at least one brother (the nearest living one) who has a number of likes/memberships on FB that I find to be more correlated with somewhat less sympathetic views on these issues.

I think, at this point, talking to lady down the street (which I kinda wanted to do anyway, for other, positive, reasons, but like I said, I'm a terribly disorganized person who procrastinates a lot unless motivated by stronger emotions than duty or interest, like anxiety or enthusiasm) feels like the best and least--unintended-consequential thing to do, and then I will take grumbles advice and plan much more carefully---perhaps even calling grumbles? I also like the idea of setting up a file that is ready to go in case anything big happens again.

NP: yikes! I agree your friend's story is worse.

113: Part of me was like, hmm, that seems unreasonable, but then part of me remembered that when I was a 4-year old in preschool there were several family medical situations that necessitated a very late pick-up from pre-school that ended up with me spending the evening at the teacher's house (later recompensated, of course). Which was actually totally awesome (she had a 12-year old daughter who doted on me but didn't talk down to me and was really really cool), but it brings to mind the dilemma y'all were discussing recently about dealing with gun habits in the houses you let your kids visit.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 2:06 PM
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That's true - I would arrange back-up parents in the area for anything unforeseen because there is no way in hell that my kid would go home with that teacher in an emergency. (In this case, the teacher actually lives in a separate town, so it's likely a different emergency plan would take hold, anyway.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 4:40 PM
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If it were me, I'd move.

Re fixing it: I wonder if some meeting between family and the church pastor and/or elders could help. Ie, people who knew him in a better state and who might be motivated to help him. Whether they hit on something fixable or just come to realize that the guy is a real problem, they might be a help to each other to get him out of there.

Side note: I don't like how much of the early deflections of him were based on Ile already having a boyfriend. Creeping on single women is still not ok.


Posted by: Calypso | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 5:43 PM
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119: I'd bake a really simple coffeecake and take it to the neighbor lady to have a chat. I would not take it in a real pan, because the last two times I did this IRL the neighbor person did not return the pan. (!! What's normal to you all? Normal to me is return the dish washed with a note in it. Fancy is returning it with a new batch of yummy in it. And a note.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 7:06 PM
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I don't like how much of the early deflections of him were based on Ile already having a boyfriend. Creeping on single women is still not ok.

I noticed that too. I can see why people do it, because it's an effective tactic, but it's maddening that one of the most effective ways to say "Stop bothering this woman" is "Another man has rights to her already."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 7:10 PM
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Also, it makes breakups double risky ("So I saw Boyfriend move his stuff out yesterday, and that's why I broke into your apartment.")


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 7:12 PM
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OP Move if practical. Sure the odds are against anything bad happening. That's also true of Russian roulette. It really fucking sucks that this means you have to disrupt your life and find a less desirable place because of this dude, but peace of mind and lower risk would seem to be worth it. Again if realistically practical. Depends how tight money is in your household.

122 Return the pan yes, bake something else in it - no. Sure it's nice but that kind of neighbourly gift should not be seen as incurring any sort of obligation. And some of us don't bake. For me the closest alternative would be to invite my friendly neighbours to dinner.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 7:21 PM
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I never thought contacting the family in an identifying way was the way to go, but it sounded like there was some potential for the family to move him out for whatever reason he left before. But if that's not a possibility - and 119 doesn't sound encouraging - then it really comes down to either moving out or not.

Unless the bar for eviction is lower than I'm guessing. I suspect that if he gets evicted for something, it would be something you wouldn't want to be there for.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 8:10 PM
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This-ends-badly novelistic approach: organize a campaign to gaslight Inappropriate Ed out of his house. See, any action you take is reasonable and kind compared to that.

Another argument for talking to neighbor lady -- someone should be collating reports, so you don't know too late that A was hearing epithets and B was hearing plots to kill all them and C saw the guns. And, as someone above said, keeping an ear out for places to move to is also a good idea, though you really shouldn't have to.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 8:36 PM
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Get a dog. A pitbull is a good choice.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 8:47 PM
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Another thought: Ed is working age, but doesn't appear to work. He has a landlord, so doesn't own the place, but can disappear for 8 months without giving up the apartment. Maybe he's already on some kind of disability. Maybe a call to social services would be useful.


Posted by: Calypso | Link to this comment | 05-31-14 9:17 PM
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what on god's green earth, beloved commenters other than witt and flip (and maybe I missed someone)? MOVE THE FUCK OUT THE HOUSE. oh there's crime everywhere. there's not specific stalkers fixated on you everywhere? oh he hasn't made unwanted approaches to you at 2am when you tried to get inside your house, or left used condoms and teddy bears for you, for four years now. he fucking did those things, ever? you don't own this place. I've only moved 5 times in the last 14 years in narnia, most recently last october. I have ten trillion material possessions, and had to get rid of like half, and miss my old house, and it was a drag to organize moving and painting and I don't have my headboard or curtains made yet. but it's not that bad. you get to ditch a ton of stuff you don't need and feel virtuous. you get an organizational fresh start. depending on how tight money is, you can hire the movers to pack as well as move. it's often not much more, and it's some sanity-saving swass. but even if not, just the two of you, right? not that bad.

why take the risk? why ever have to worry about him? lie awake in bed and second-guess yourself? panic when the doorbell rings later than you expect? I've had a couple of serious stalkers, and generally they come to me (although in one case I've been dumb enough to get involved with him in the first place when I knew he was crazy, just because I was feeling nervous breakdowny.) if any of the fuckers lived across the street I would move, full stop. I don't care how much he hasn't hassled you lately; you don't need to be there when he starts again. you could never have to worry about him again. to avoid that spurt of adrenaline you sometimes feel getting out of your car at night that has your hands shaking when you get inside? that is worth two thousand dollars. it's not as if I'm not going to call you dumb if you don't move, that's up to you and I won't judge your decision, but seriously, speaking as a stalkee with plenty of trauma to be stressed about after the fact, I would advise you to move away now. no apartment is that good.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 2:23 AM
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I think the general consensus of commenters has been in favor of moving, actually. Certainly that seems to be LB's advice in the OP, on balance.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 2:28 AM
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Based on the original post aren't we talking about somewhere with a totally disfunctional rental market where moving is very very expensive? Like thousands of dollars a year for every year for a long time? I mean moving may very well be the right thing, but moving is a huge expensive deal if you have old rent locked in.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 2:52 AM
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I believe we are talking about such an area, but I'm not sure the OP says so explicitly.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 3:09 AM
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At this point rents are crazy high and our landlords crazy lazy about reacting to the market, and we would either have to pay 30% more per month or take a huge cut in living space if we moved.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 3:22 AM
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consensus for moving? hm, I didn't think so but I didn't head count either. I guess it was more like I expected everyone to say "get the fuck out" and a good number of people thought that his lack of recent bad behavior was enough to give him a pass, or that various other work-arounds sounded obviously better. like discussing contacting his family--that seems so obviously a horrible idea that I don't know where to start. how low do the odds that he knows it was you who tried to have him evicted have to get before anyone ever anywhere knowing your name starts to sound good? [I know the contacting the family and the contacting the landlord are separate, but they'll be pretty easy to link up.] and getting a pitt bull is great and all, for example, if you have the time in your life for an intelligent, muscular dog who needs lots of exercise and can become bored easily, much more so than a lab or a springer spaniel or something. we've had them for years and I love them, and they are great dogs, intensely loyal. they don't drive home in your car with you, though. and 30% a month, fuuuuck, OK, also perhaps giving insufficient weight to that. I have an easily triggered RUN AWAY AAAA reaction, I guess. 30% a month is a lot of money.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 4:14 AM
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Yeah, I find this thread very strange for the opposite reason. He hasn't interacted with ile are her boyfriend since 2011. The total symptoms described since he got back from his 2012 family-hiatus are best described as Tourette-ish.

Ile's anxiety is very real and I don't want to dismiss how awful anxiety feels. But if she'd fundamentally prefer to be talked into staying, I absolutely don't think he's currently a physical threat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:08 AM
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Tourette's isn't right, insofar as it doesn't sound like a tic at all. I just meant that he sits there and hurtles racist epithets at people from his porch.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:11 AM
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But specifically, the Rodgers massacre has really gotten under Ile's skin and I see zero parallels whatsoever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:14 AM
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He hasn't interacted with ile are her boyfriend since 2011.

Yeah, this. The reaction here seems overblown to me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:26 AM
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The tricky thing is that it's essentially impossible to reasonably estimate small quantities without tons of data (and even then it's often too hard). One in a thousand vs. one in a million vs. one in a billion chances of something terrible happening with this particular person just aren't going to look different, even though they're extremely different in terms of actual safety. From that point of view, it maybe makes more sense to focus on how bad the anxiety is rather than trying to actually sort out what the threat is. Is eliminating the anxiety worth $10/day? If so, move. If not, don't and try to find other ways of lowering the anxiety he causes you.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:36 AM
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I think that the anxiety is a big issue, yeah. like, isn't ile checking her mirrors before she gets out of the car late at night, maybe more than she needs to? does she feel ok being there and SO is out of town? maybe it sounds scarier to us because we're just hearing all about it but the thing is, "oh he's been fine for ages" seems like a bad argument in favor of a known crazy person. crazy people are more likely to get crazier than they are to get saner IME.

heebs, have you ever had a stalker? I had a persistent, friends had to chaperone me around the campus after dark stalker for like almost 2 full semesters in grad school. fundamentally he was such an incompetent human being, but that didn't make him any less threatening at all--if anything it was the reverse. I mean, he couldn't interact with other people normally. but even repeated "leave her the fuck alone" warnings by my 6'2" BF and 6'3"...eh, other BF, didn't suffice at all to get him to lay off. the electric undercurrent of crazy underneath the kicked puppy of sad loserdom made him really very frightening.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 7:16 AM
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And now he edits a web magazine? Or different guy?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 7:20 AM
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Crazy loser guy snaps and shoots people women, blaming in part the girl who didn't return his crush in fifth grade. I can see how that might get a former stalkee's attention.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 7:27 AM
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141: yes. I had en ex boyfriend who would come over in the middle of the night and crawl into bed next to me, and I'd freak out when I woke up next to him in the morning. I was at my parents' house in Florida over Xmas break, and he drove down form michigan without telling anyone and showed up on our doorstep. This kind of thing went on for six months.

No one gave me clear advice on setting boundaries, and I thought I should treat him with kid gloves, so it got dragged out and worse than it otherwise might have been, but I think it counts as stalker ex.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 8:19 AM
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That's one each. How can I know who to side with?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 8:26 AM
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Ties are broken by a single 10-minute round of hand-to-hand combat. If no clear victor emerges, then in order: highest annual income (five-year average), highest SAT/ACT scores, most children.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 9:16 AM
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Getting a big dog's not a crazy idea. The security people generally say that if you're not going to spend millions on 24 hour armed guards, monitored cameras, etc, the best thing that you can do is a big dog.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 9:31 AM
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147. But, as has been said, keeping a dog is a massive time investment and, if it's seriously big, financial too. Plus it won't ride home from work with you.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 9:44 AM
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146 -- I think you're forgetting the Summarize Proust rule.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 9:52 AM
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Getting a dog is like buying your own stalker to keep other ones away.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 9:53 AM
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I haven't weighed in because I don't like to let security drive my decisions, to an extent where I don't feel that I should advise more reasonable people. I will say that although I wasn't scared before, with a large dog, I am really really not scared at night in the house open to summer.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 9:54 AM
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A big goofy furry stalker who is always ready for a river trip. Best kind.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 9:55 AM
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A big goofy furry stalker who is always ready for a river trip. Best kind.

I don't know... that could also be a bear or a giant otter. Or Sasquatch. I'm not sure any of those would be good choices.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 10:15 AM
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149 Man reminisces about childhood - lost security but also obsessive jealousy of his mother's affections. Recounts family friend's affair and obsessive jealousy with a high end courtesan. Becomes a successful social climber. Has affairs, plagued by obsessive jealousy and social anxiety. WWI happens, friends die. The end.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 10:32 AM
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That's pretty good, but I really don't see how you think you're going to beat al or hg.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 10:39 AM
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153 -- My son went to Sasquatch last weekend. Sounds like a pretty good time to me.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 10:45 AM
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Ile should totally get a pet bear. That'll solve all her problems.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 2:29 PM
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Ties are broken by a single 10-minute round of hand-to-hand combat. If no clear victor emerges, then in order: highest annual income (five-year average), highest SAT/ACT scores, most children.

I'm screwed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 3:36 PM
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Well, you're ahead on number of children, at least.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 3:40 PM
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I just assumed that would be the highest ranked category from the get-go. I should really read the fine print.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 3:41 PM
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Ile, I haven't been answering because I don't know what to say, but I think it absolutely makes sense that you'd be triggered by this. I also wouldn't trust my own judgment on this from so far away, and think you should talk to the neighbor woman if you think she's reasonable and not just a busybody, which is certainly the impression I get. But don't underestimate how being stalked or gaslighted does a number on you and constrains your life in ways you may not notice at the time. I'm so sorry you're dealing with that.

My rape and abusive relationship both involved non-white men and I'm not sure I can say that's a dynamic involved but it's something and I can tell that's going on with you too (and might be another reason the Rodger case is triggering you) and I'm happy to talk about that one-on-one if you think I might have anything helpful to say or if you want someone who's willing to listen.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 5:50 PM
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sorry thorn, that sounds shitty also. and sorry ile! I didn't say that! also, sorry heebie-geebie, that 1000% counts as creepy stalker. driving from michigan puts him in totally top class.

my stalker does not, so far as I know, edit an online magazine, no. I've had two other stalkers of the "seriously, leave me alone and stop coming to my house" type. OK and, "stop telling me you knew where I was during every part of yesterday." but neither was so creepy as loser boy because he was so persistent and so socially incompetent. of course I talked to him a million times before I realized he was going from harmless acquaintance who has a crush on you to stalker. it's hard to dial back the social interactions then and you feel responsible for the problem. my BF was not entirely helpful.

mmm, if ile's up for a dog, fuck it, get a pitt bull, they're so great, and loving, and loyal. they would stop a bullet for you even if they knew what one was. people have to beat them all the time to make them mean. and it's only their loyalty to their owner that will make them fight so hard. when I used to live in the mission I would often confound dudes with pitts on scary spiked collars, trying to look tough by being like "ooooh, who's the best dog in the world? who's the best?" they cut the tails off partly because they are bastards and partly because when a pitt wags that thing it's like a whiplash over every nearby surface that sweeps everything off all low tables, and they're wagging it a lot of the time.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 1-14 7:53 PM
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Uh yeah, rents are really crazy. In fact I just actually looked today and I think the increase would be more like 90%. :-( And I am crazy broke. And crazy disorganized. Did I mention that?

In general I am really good at putting anxiety causing things that are not at an active boil out of mind. (Perhaps why I am so disorganized.) I'm usually the opposite of obsessive. I am very easily distracted, even from my own fears and anxieties and miseries. Stories like 144 seem much more extreme to me. And I guess I forgot to say, the PTSD was less about Rodgers per se (though a bit) and more about reading about his community of "anyone who rejects me is awful!" online friends and also the general outpouring of stalker memories.

Yeah, dog not happening. I like them okay but I am not a pet person at all. I have still not recovered from the death of my childhood turtle.

I made some sweets to take over to the neighbor lady but they got coopted into an emergency run to comfort my best friend from high school who got laid off for the 4th or 5th time in a 3 years. Damn but this economy blows.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 5:38 PM
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I was at my parents' house in Florida over Xmas break, and he drove down form michigan without telling anyone and showed up on our doorstep.

In the late 90's I ran mission control for a friend of mine who decided to win back a girlfriend who had dumped him without warning by flying from California to Texas, driving to her family home in McAllen, and serenading her with Dire Straits' "Romeo and Juliet" while wearing a mariachi outfit. (Mission control meant I printed out Mapquest directions, helped him find a mariachi suit, and provided moral support.)

A begrudging reunion was followed by the revelation, back in L.A., that she had been sleeping with their mutual colleague.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:09 PM
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#yesallwomen


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:09 PM
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(sorry, that wasn't supposed to come out as "yes all women cheat on their boyfriends with colleagues" -- more like "this story has a creepy cast now that I've read the #yesallwomen hashtag but even still has redeemingly weird specifics")


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:11 PM
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164: That story could not be more '90s unless Quentin Tarantino wrote it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:14 PM
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167 is funny.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 6:46 PM
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I agree with the Calypso above who noted that women shouldn't have to claim being in a different relationship to get out of being pursued by a guy. But when a guy shows up in a mariachi suit singing Dire Straights, I also think a woman should be free to use whatever excuse she believes will get him out of the way the fastest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 7:30 PM
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If anybody is looking for a really complete picture of a profoundly repellent, self-pitying, MRA-ish, stalker-y, child support-evading, dangerous misogynist asshole and the men that enable him within the framework of a TV show that seems queasily unaware of what it is actually showing, I highly recommend the past few couple seasons of the crab fishing show,


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-14 7:42 PM
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Not an easy call to make, but a couple things to consider.

Not having much of a criminal history, reduced risk of guys at his age committing violent acts, etc, means nothing. This isn't a population study, it's an individual we know some things about. From what you know it was a sudden recent onset indicating a mental issue that wasn't present before so what he was like when he was a different person is irrelevant. What he is now is a mentally disturbed person with a penchant for fixating on you and a willingness to take actions to act on that fixation. It also seems apparent that while he hasn't fixated on you lately his aggression seems to be as strident as ever and since he's not acting logically it's not like he couldn't start right back up for no apparent reason.

Confrontation is generally ill advised. To make it work you have to be willing to follow through. He gets told once and the second time it happens you just go straight to beating that fuckstick to the point that he gets sent somewhere in an ambulance. If that's not an option then don't do it, and even then you have to consider that he's disturbed enough that it won't be a one time thing.

The family generally will be useless. That guy could spend years being the aggressive neighborhood stalker and then one day he'll wave a knife at the cops and they will rightfully shoot him in the face and SOP is for the family to tearfully get in front of a news camera telling everyone what a great universally loved person he was and call for all the cops to be fired.

All that being said, the time lapse here is encouraging. He's not exactly striking me as a guy with impulse control so if you really were an overwhelming obsession I doubt he'd be able to refrain from acting on it (unless he really is afraid to do it again, but that's still a win)


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 3-14 8:12 PM
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Thanks, gswift. I think you're probably the most informed person here on this sort of thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 5:51 AM
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It's hard to judge these things from a distance but the other thing besides the time lapse that I would say is encouraging is that all the stories seem to be him just yelling at people and not actually say, taking a swing, waving a weapon around, etc. Lots of crazy dudes like to yell crazy shit at people but play it up a bit and aren't actually down for a fight and magically recover some of their sanity when the cops show up. A smaller percentage actually try and assault people and we have to fight them every time we come out. To me this guy sounds like the former rather than the latter.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 4-14 7:52 AM
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