How to Fuck Up a Stalker

Back in the days before Internet and caller I.D., I met a man through a personal ad named Paul B. We talked on the phone a number of times and I wasn’t so crazy about him, but decided to meet him anyway to see if there was any chemistry. There was something about him that I didn’t like, but could not figure out exactly what. He seemed very nice. He was intelligent, well spoken and funny. I decided I would meet him and see if I felt differently in person.

At the time I was working in Manhattan, so I told him to meet me on the corner of 53rd and Lexington. It was close enough to walk from my office without giving away where I worked.

The time and day came to meet. I left the office and took the short walk. I saw him. He was sitting in his big luxury car, pulled over to the side, where he shouldn’t have been parked. I knew it was him without his saying so. Not liking what I saw, I decided to keep walking. Realizing that wasn’t a nice thing to do, I walked around the block and came back. He was still there waiting for me. I again didn’t like what I saw, so I decided yet again to keep walking.

My conscious got the best of me and third time was the charm. I decided to stop and say hello.

I approached the car and asked through the passenger window if he was Paul. He said yes and asked why I walked by so many times. I told him I was nervous. He asked me to sit in the car with him to talk for a few minutes, and I told him I would, but I was leaving the door opened while we talked. He thought I was ridiculous but said ok.

After talking for a few minutes, I was more at ease. I also found something about him slightly attractive. He had pretty eyes, beautiful teeth and a nice smile. I like to try to find things I like about people.

I had to get back to my office and he asked if I would meet him for coffee one night after work. I agreed to meet him for a cup of coffee a few days later.

We met in a diner located in the county where I lived, but nowhere near my home. We had coffee. We talked. We said goodnight.

I didn’t necessarily have a bad time, but still without a reason I could not identify, I did not like him. Frankly, he gave me the creeps.

He called a few days later. I told him nicely that I didn’t feel any chemistry in person and wasn’t interested in seeing him again. He asked if he could still call to say hi. Trying to be nice, I stupidly said yes.

He called almost every day for two weeks. I never answered his calls. Finally I took his call and told him I had been away and didn’t want to talk to him after all because I didn’t really even see a friendship developing between us. He begged me to continue speaking with him and to meet him one more time. I must have said no 100 times. At this point I was still nice.

I decided to change my tactics. I agreed to meet him but had no intension of showing up.

As expected, he called the night I was a no show and he left a message for me. I still remember his words and tone of his voice. He was condescending yet very calm. I could hear shakiness in his voice. I don’t know if it was due to anger or if it was him being upset, but it was definitely there in his voice – emotion.

I never called him back.

Around two months later I started to receive phone calls in the middle of the night and early morning hours. The person never spoke. They only breathed heavily into the phone. They remained on the line until I hung up. They never hung up first. I started to sleep with my phone off the hook.

After a few weeks of these calls, I tried to contact the phone company. Unfortunately, they were on strike. I spoke with someone who explained that a trace couldn’t be put on the line due to the strike, but I should keep a diary of date and time of calls.

My phone rang one Sunday afternoon and I answered it. It was Paul. He “just called to say hello.” I was very freaked out and told him I wasn’t interested in saying hello. He didn’t say anything, so I hung up.

The night calls continued and the person didn’t say anything. Then I started to receive messages on my answering machine during the day. The messages were in what was supposed to be a disguised voice, but it was clear who it was.

The first messages talked about my appearance. The second message talked about my bad attitude. The third message was what I wore to work that day at such and such address. He gave my work address.

At this point I wanted to call the police, but because I met him from a “kink” ad, I was too embarrassed.

The calls continued – both the night calls and the sporadic messages. In the messages he always gave some kind of personal information about me. It was mostly addresses and telephone numbers, including those of my sisters and finally my home address.

I called the phone company again and was again told there was nothing they could do at this time. They told me to call the police.

During these weeks I started dating someone. I told him all that was happening. He was upset and started staying with me. The calls happened almost every night I was alone and they never once happened when he was there.

My boyfriend told a friend about the calls and the friend asked him if I knew the guy’s phone number who I thought it was. I knew the number he gave me originally. My boyfriend’s friend told him about a cross phone directory, or a reverse directory. It was a phone book that listed phone numbers in numerical order. Once the number was found, it gave the address it belonged to and the owner’s name.

We called local libraries but none had a copy for New York City (where Paul had told me he lived). Finally, I called the New York Public Library and they had a copy.

My boyfriend and I trekked into Manhattan and to the library, only to find a dead end when we looked it up. All it said was “business number.” When we investigated, it was a roll over line to a business phone number.

The calls continued.

One day I decided called the operator. I simply dialed “0.” I told her that there was an unfamiliar phone number on my phone bill and gave her the phone number. Maybe because it was a business, she told me the name of the company to which it belonged! It was a real estate company, but not a big franchise name. This was my first victory.

Instinct told me, based on the kind of car he drove and his clothing, that he had a lot of money. I guessed that he was an owner of the company. I looked up and called the main number for the real estate business and spoke with a secretary. I told her I was a secretary at (made up a company name) and that my boss left a letter for me to send to the owners of her company, but I couldn’t read his handwriting. I asked her the name of the owners. She asked if I knew if the letter was being addressed to the father or son. Knowing his age, I figured he was the son. She gave me his name.

The name she gave to me was not the name of the person I knew. The name she provided was a biblical name. A Hebrew name.

In order to confirm my suspicions, I asked a male friend call the business, ask for him and talk real estate. I listened on a phone extension. It was definitely him. He had a very distinctive, gritty-type voice.

I now knew he was this person, “A.P.,” and judging by his name, I knew he was a religious Jewish man. Having already seen him, I knew he was not Hasidic, but I knew he was definitely Orthodox. I knew his business was in Queens, NY. He told me he lived in Queens as well.

I now worked for a different company and no longer worked in Manhattan. I was comfortable in that while he continued to leave messages, he never left my new work address or even mentioned that I changed jobs.

There was a an Orthodox Jewish man I worked with who lived in Queens. I told him all that had happened and asked him if he ever heard of the Real Estate business that “A.P.” owned. He told me yes but he didn’t know the owners. He said he would ask his friends if they knew him.

I knew that the religious Jewish communities in New York were very close knit and everyone knew everyone. I knew we would get something more.

We hit the mother load. One of my work colleague’s friend not only knew the guy, but was friendly with him because they went to the same synagogue. We found out he was married and had three children. We found out the name of his temple. We looked him up in the phone book and he was listed, so we now also had his multiple home phone numbers and address.

My boyfriend, friends and I started our counter-attack slowly. We called his home and one of the phone numbers was to his wife’s cosmetic business. We left a message on her answering machine to call Paul B. at the phone number he had given to me. We left this message two or three times, so she would definitely be familiar with the name Paul B.

Our next step was to call his home number. When someone answered, we asked for him by name. If they asked who was calling, we would say Paul B. We did this a number of times and would hang up when came on the phone and said hello. He never answered the phone himself.

We left messages for him at his office, home, temple and with his Rabbi.

My boyfriend eventually started talking to him when he would get on the phone. At first, all my boyfriend would say was “shame, shame, shame.” This lead to “thou shalt not commit adultery,” which then lead to him reciting passages from the Old Testament.

The non-speaking messages at my home continued, but the voice messages stopped.

Many months now passed since I began keeping a log of the calls made to my home. I finally called the phone company again and talked to someone in authority. They told me I never should have had to go through all of this and even with the strike, they could have helped me. It was a frustrating call, but a productive call. They completed some kind of report that was in conjunction with police. I never had to face or talk to an officer.

After only a couple of phone calls with the phone company, one day I received a call from them saying they would be tracing all incoming calls beginning on such and such date, which was a few days away . I believe I still have this tape recording of their message.

The day before the trace was going to be in affect I received a message from the disguised voice that said, “I will never call you again.” I do not know if it was coincidence or if he somehow knew the trace was going on the next day. He never called again.

Based on his knowledge of my attire and when my boyfriend was around, this person had clearly been watching me. I was very lucky in that he never approached me in person, and very lucky he never attacked me. I was additionally lucky that the few resources available to me worked in my favor.

I realize now how stupid I was. I should have contacted the police as soon as he started revealing personal things about me. I was young. I was stupid. I was lucky! Nonetheless, we definitely fucked him up!

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I dedicate this piece to a new friend. She knows who she is.

I look at my life sometimes and cannot believe the things I’ve experienced. I told a friend tonight that some day when I am a very old lady and I die in my sleep or during sex (lol), I will die knowing I’ve lead a very exciting and satisfying life.

Creating from both light and dark places, I create the stuff of dreams and the heat of nightmares. Most of my art and writing comes from a life of crazy, frightening and wonderful experiences. I’m also somewhat touched in the head, or so I’m told.

I am a wife, mother, artist, author (novelist, poet, story teller, part time comedic writer) college administrator and former rock goddess.

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Comments

  • artwin1
    artwin1almost 4 years ago

    YOUR ONE CRAZY BROAD
    I can’t imagine getting into a strangers car (even with the door open)
    if you felt something in your gut, why didn’t you keep walking AWAY from that phyco!!!!!!
    I love you and your stories but I have to say with the upmost respect your one risk taking bitch on an out of control roller coaster
    (or atleast you where) past tence I hope.
    XOXO as always.

  • Ha ha ha ha! I used to never listen to my gut. It took years to trust it.

    I was a total moron and yes, very out of control. ALL past tense. This actually happened in late 1988 and ended late 1989. Truth be told my husband literally saved me from myself – but it took a freakin’ army infantry officer to tame me. LMFAO. Thanks Susan. You’re the best. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

  • Norma-jean Morrison
    Norma-jean Mor...almost 4 years ago

    LIFE IS LIKE THAT, I KNOW AS THAT SONG GOODBYE N.J. WAS PLAYED ALL THE TIME BY A RECORDING AND MURDER DID HAPPEN, I WAS NOT THE VICTIM, I WAS THE GOOD PERSON HELPING LONG STORY AND SCARY IF THEY WANT TO ONE CAN BE KILLED..MY GOSH, NO SAFETY FOR YOUR CAR, BRAKES AND ALL THINGS HAPPEN TO YOUR CARS AND ONE HAS TO BE TUNED IN..HORRIBLE TO HEAR THIS AS IT IS A BAD PAIN FROM THOSE IDIOT MEN …EXCUSE ME…GOOD WRITE MY GOOD FRIEND RIKKKI, ANF ALL MY LOVE N.J.

  • I was stupid in many ways. Someone once called me a thrill seeker and I didn’t agree. I thought of thrill seekers as those who jumped out of airplanes, bungee jumped, scaled mountains. I realize now that the reason I did so many stupid things was….I was a thrill seeker.

    Thank you NJ. Your story is frightening as can be. Crazy stories in our lives. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

  • artwin1
    artwin1almost 4 years ago

    AH!!! ya bagged yourself an infantry officer,
    bet he brought you to ATTENTION, BUT QUICK!!!!!!
    glad you made it out alive.
    Shit, the things we used to do makes me shake my head. but
    I have to laugh at the same time.
    just stay safe sweetheart
    and by the way next story from the 15 weeks series,
    I really don’t want to cry again,
    I can handle lots but the last one made my tear ducts well up
    with all that’s going on in the world I’m already in disaster overload
    so make it a bit cheerey,
    PLEEEEEASEEEEEEE

  • Aw, I’m sorry to make you cry but that makes me a good writer, yes? lol. I can’t make promises about the next part because I haven’t prewritten it. I’m trying to not go over 2500 words, and preferably keeping each part under 2,000 words. We’ll see how far I get before there’s another part that isn’t so intense. There’s some stuff coming up that will make you cheer though…promise.

    – Rikki Woods

  • Kevin McGeeney
    Kevin McGeeneyalmost 4 years ago

    Rikki, you are an amazing writer…..this story is compelling, flows beautifully and one can feel the tension building as the read progresses. One of the greatest books I’ve read is “emotional intelligence” by Dan Goleman. He addresses the intelligence of the “gut instinct” as a separate type of intelligence from the “rational” brain…..
    I really enjoy everything you write. you should write a mystery novel or have you already???? Keep writing!!!! Peace!
    Kevin

  • Thank you Kevin for this wonderful comment! I will check out “Emotional Intelligence.” I don’t plan to write any mystery novels, but you never know what the future might bring. Thank you again. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

  • lisameryl
    lisamerylalmost 4 years ago

    Rikki, you’re my hero, for you and your then boyfriend kicked arse with serious payback. Stalkers are a low life breed. I love all the tactics you used. Yes, you fucked up the stalker alright. You know I’m Jewish too, which is why I found it creepy and disturbing that this so called holier than though Orthodox Jew could lead a double life and assume he’d get away with it. Clearly, he has serious issues on all levels. He went to extremes by phoning and stalking you everywhere which is really fuckin creepy. Another fucked up thing was that he was digging up personal information about your loved ones. God knows what the psycho could have done to them. A man like that needs a fuckin beating over the head and sent to the hospital, preferrably the psych-ward. On a lighter note, you certainly do lead a very exciting and satisfying life. No fret, in the past I’ve been guilty of getting into car with a newcomer from a dance club back in the days…LOL…lord help me…I must have been out of my mind…going into limos (with my friends) and hanging with newbies while sipping champagne and God knows what else. Oh, the good old days…still miss them…LOL… EXCELLENT write!!! =)XO

  • As usual, I love your comment. Yes, the man definitely had issues and yes it was disturbing that such a “man of God” would behave in such a manner.

    Getting into a car with him, with the door opened, in the middle of midtown Manhattan was a hell of a lot LESS risky than getting into a car on a first date with anyone, lol. I’m sure you did lots of “stupid” things when younger – as you’ve mentioned. They weren’t stupid though, they were totally normal, lol. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

  • Arco Iris  R
    Arco Iris Ralmost 4 years ago
    Rikki, you sure did a number on this guy!!! I’m sure he was wetting his pants, front and back. I literally started choking when you said “at first, all my boyfriend would say was “shame, shame, shame.” This lead to “thou shalt not commit adultery,” which then lead to him reciting passages from the Old Testament.” You definately will have to give me a tip. lol I really love this story.

    Girl, you were only half tamed. Your glass is only half full. You still Rock!!!
    Thanks for sharing
    love and lots of hugs
    Iris

  • Some would say I’m one French Fry short of a Happy Meal, lol. I’m glad you love this story. Means a lot to me to hear that. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

  • bearwings
    bearwingsalmost 4 years ago

    it’s a fine line we tread isn’t it, shall we call the police of just go around the back door and really fuck them up. I’m glad you didn’t take him on by yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet him at a business function these days and see what gives. I said it before, when those comments of mine become a little obscure, I’m glad I live on this side of the pacific.

  • Oh I would never fuck you up…unless of course you – oh forget it, lol. It was definitely a messed up situation and I got lucky in many ways – from the information we were able to find out, to him not doing anything physically. Life goes on and the stories to tell collect. Thank you for reading. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

  • JRGarland
    JRGarlandalmost 4 years ago

    I’d say with all the risks you’ve taken that you were born in the year of the Tiger. They are the big risk takers and you’ve certainly fit that catagory. If not the year than I’d say either in February and/or between 3am and 5am. Somewhere in your make up is a Tiger personality. LOL

  • Ironically I’m a Hare and the personality traits are so not me. Some fit, but mostly not. I agree thatt most (not all) of my personality falls under the year of the Tiger. Thank you John. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

  • Cosimo Piro
    Cosimo Piroalmost 4 years ago

    this creeped me out Rikki….reminded me of the time we got the heavy breather on the other end….or rather Beth did….he hung up whenever I answered the phone….but I heard him when Beth handed the phone over….he must have pissed himself when he heard me on the other end….friggin creep! Never heard from him since…..horrible situation to be in….sense of helplessness….but you put the wind up this sicko! Good on you! xoxo

  • So sorry you and Beth went through that. Some people really are horrible creeps. As for me, I got very lucky in this situation…in many ways. Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

  • SimplyRed
    SimplyRedalmost 4 years ago

    woohoo Rikki one for the gfood guys !!!! My friend was stalked by her new boyfriends ex they had split 2years prior so the guy wasn’t cheating on her but this girl obviously din’t want anyone else to have him so she stalked my friend and stole things from her garden and used to call her at all hours of the night and even used to ring her work to see if she was rostered on so it’s not just men who do the stalking just want folk to be aware of that too….good write and fingers crossed xxxxx

  • Oh I’ve heard of people being stalked by boy/girlfriend’s ex’s. How frightening! Thank you for the compliments about my writing. xxoo

    – Rikki Woods

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