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Men stalking men for revenge

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Recent studies by the National Center for Victims of Crime show that one in six women and one in 19 men will be stalked in their lifetime.

'Stalking' is the term for unwanted or threatening behavior by one individual toward another. And while the vast majority of stalking victims are women, the National Institute of Justice estimates 400,000 men are also stalked each year.

One of the leading reasons that men stalk other men is revenge. But it's not the only reason.

Rhonda Saunders has prosecuted many stalking cases and is the author of Whisper of Fear, an inside look at the crime of stalking.

"There is no such thing as a typical stalker, because anybody can be a stalker," says Saunders."Anybody can be a victim. We've seen it across the board. The only thing that these stalkers have in common is the rage and the anger and rejection."

Saunders says ignoring a stalker's warning signs can be deadly.

"Stalkers can be completely dangerous criminals," says Saunders. "They're not just pests; they can do anything. From murdering their victim, to raping them, to assaulting not just the victim but the victim's family."

Saunders says the majority of stalking cases involve former romantic partners. But when a man stalks another man, it's typically work related.

Saunder says, "A supervisor may not give the stalker the raise, the promotion or wind up firing them and the stalker wants to take revenge. And the way they are going to take revenge is they're going to try to destroy that person's career."

Saunders recalls one particularly bizarre case of workplace stalking that involved an assistant director on a TV show.

The case was investigated by the LAPD's special threat management unit. Detective Jeff Dunn remembers the very peculiar circumstances.

Dunn says, "The victim received a box and inside was a male doll that had its pants pulled down around its ankles, red paint all over the genital area as well as the chest area near the heart. Plastic swords had been inserted into the doll's groin and also the heart of the doll."

Suspicion began to fall on a production assistant whom the assistant director had befriended. Then another package arrived.

"The next thing he received was a jar," says Dunn. "When he opened it, the jar contained human defecation."

The suspect's threats intensified when he began to target the victim's family. When the police questioned the suspect in his apartment, they discovered another jar containing human waste. The suspect quickly confessed. 

Detective Dunn says if you're being stalked, it's important to contact the police immediately. Be sure to preserve any evidence you may receive such as harassing letters or unwanted gifts. Dunn also recommends keeping a diary of all stalking incidents and to stop using all social media.

Remember: Anyone can be a victim of stalking. But dealing directly with the threat can mean the difference between resolution and tragedy.

And here's one more thing -- a stalker's behavior doesn't have to be as extreme as the example in our story. If you feel uncomfortable about something, you may very well need to talk with police about it.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.

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