Bravo, Karen M. Welch: Watch Stalked: Someone’s Watching on Investigation Discovery Tonight


Karen M. Welch

 Victims shouldn’t have to die to get help.
- Karen M. Welch

3.4 million people are stalked each year.  80% of domestic violence victims have been stalked before they are murdered.

Karen M. Welch and criminal psychologist Dr. Michelle Ward are stalking survivors who are making a difference.  Bravo!

Ms. Welch was stalked for 12 years until her stalker committed suicide to avoid federal prosecution.  Her story is being featured tonight on the “Dangerous Games” episode of Stalked:  Someone’s Watching on Investigation Discovery.  Comcast doesn’t carry Investigation Discovery, but you can click here to find out if you’ll be able to watch tonight at 10:30 PM.  “Dangerous Games” will be rebroadcast on February 22 at 1:30 AM and on February 27 at 7:30 PM:

Single mother Karen Welch gets a mysterious call on Christmas Eve.  At first, she thinks nothing of it, but before long, she’s getting dozens of hang-up calls every day.  Follow Dr. Michelle Ward through this shocking game of cat and mouse.

Ms. Welch gave additional insights into the “Dangerous Games” documentary on her blog and on Facebook:

The segment includes Marlboro Police Sgt. Ross Yenisey who not only wrote the NJ stalking law [with Manalapan Chief Brown] for me based on my case of third party stalking but also worked with the FBI to apprehend the third party stalker.  Also on camera is my NY attorney Brian Sullivan who rode shot gun with me guiding me through the legal system and strategizing the game of cat and mouse.  Last but not least, thank you to my dear friend Lisa Tischendorf whose endless support has kept me sane through the insanity.

 Unfortunately, the law didn’t help me because the Monmouth County prosecutors office refused to use it explaining that I had not been physically harmed – yet.  Thank God for the FBI who intervened and got the stalker.  Stalker committed suicide Jan. 2010 to avoid facing federal prosecution.  Next project:  NJ needs to establish a protocol to investigate stalking and DV. Victims shouldn’t have to die to get help.

January, 2011 Was the First National Stalking Awareness Month

Ms. Welch asked me to promote the first National Stalking Awareness month in January, but it was an exceedingly chaotic month for me, and I forgot.  I feel horrid about this because I know how difficult it is to get someone like President Barack Obama to take action:

Persistent stalking and harassment can lead to serious consequences for victims, whose lives may be upended by fear.  Some victims may be forced to take extreme measures to protect themselves, such as changing jobs, relocating to a new home, or even assuming a new identity.  Stalking can happen to anyone, and most victims are stalked by someone they know.  Young adults are particularly vulnerable, and women are at greater risk for stalking victimization than men.

Stalking can be a difficult crime to recognize.  The majority of survivors do not report stalking victimization to the police, in part because perpetrators use a variety of tactics to intimidate and harass their victims.  Increasingly, stalkers use modern technology to monitor and torment their victims, and one in four victims report some form of cyberstalking — such as threatening emails or instant messaging — as part of their harassment.

Investigation Discovery Created Stalking:  Someone’s Watching

In January, Investigation Discovery announced that it had created six episodes of Stalking:  Someone’s Watching.  Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of Investigation Discovery, said in a press release:

Nearly 80 percent of women who were murdered by an intimate partner were stalked by that partner prior to their murder, so dismissing stalking as a nuisance can be a grave mistake for victims and law enforcement.  In connection with National Stalking Awareness Month and ID’s ongoing commitment to support the Department of Justice’s commemoration of the Violence Against Women Act, we hope that STALKED: SOMEONE’S WATCHING will help to raise awareness of the dangers of stalking, provide effective measures to protect oneself and inform communities about the need for stronger stalking laws.

 

 The series is hosted by Dr. Ward, who is a stalking survivor.  These are her tips for people who are experiencing stalking:

  1. Contact law enforcement immediately.
  2. Keep a detailed log of all interactions between you and your alleged stalker.
  3. Document everything and continue to report new incidents to the police department.
  4. Record and save any phone calls and voicemails from your alleged stalker.
  5. Try to establish a restraining order or personal protective order, if possible.
  6. Do not, under any circumstances, initiate any contact with your alleged stalker.
  7. Inform your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers about your alleged stalker, including sharing photos or descriptions of the person and his or her car.
  8. Use a private post office box rather than your home address.
  9. Attain an unpublished and unlisted phone number, reject blocked phone calls and do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize.
  10. Try not to have a predictable daily and weekly schedule.
  11. Alter driving routes, as well as walking or running routes, and try not to travel alone.
  12. Carry a mobile phone with you whenever possible.
  13. Develop a safety plan.
  14. Keep handy the phone numbers of assisting law enforcement agencies and the personnel assigned to your case.
  15. If your alleged stalker is incarcerated, request notification of his or her release.

I have added Ms. Welch’s blog to my Silent No More blogroll for the convenience of people who need to create a stalking safety plan or survivors who want to follow her lead.

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18 responses to “Bravo, Karen M. Welch: Watch Stalked: Someone’s Watching on Investigation Discovery Tonight

  1. I am a stalking survivor also. I was stalked out of jealously and hatred by a father and son. Neither went to jail, but the son was sentenced to exile from my home county and state. The actual terror lasted for five years, the law enforcement community was unable to do anything because response time was three hours. The perpetraitors had a scanner and would simply disappear into the woods before the officers arrived.

    I live in an isolated area with beatiful panoramas, tall pines and cedars. This story has an interesting twist, but has not ended. I am afraid the stalkers have just moved on to other victims.

    My advice is to work with the local law enforcement, document, document document, even if the police seem to not be interested. Also ALWAYS let someone know where you are, what time to expect you somewhere and keep a network of friends and safe places. These things saved my life.

  2. Juanita,

    Thank you for this insightful comment. If you would like to write a post about the measures you took to be safe in an isolated area, I would be delighted to publish it as a guest column. The classic answer to stalking is to move, but this isn’t always possible ~ especially in more rural areas. And, who wants to leave an idyllic place to live?

    Thank you,
    Anne Caroline

  3. Faith,

    Her story is on my research list. At the moment, I’m in the middle of a major move. But, when the dust settles, I’ll see what I can find. If I come up empty, I’ll ask Karen Welch for assistance. Thanks for your comment.

    Sending hugs,
    Anne Caroline

  4. i have a question about a woman who actually used these things to set up my brother and actually destroy his life. she actually planned and would make police reports while he was at work and say he broke into her house. when what really happened was that she had locked her self in her house because she had dead bolts and doors which locked when the doors shut. she would call an tell my brother she couldn’t find her keys and and he had one to the garage back door. so he would climb up the balcony to unlock the garage door. then when he would go back to work she would call the police. he never knew any of this. anyway, she did this for a year and then accused him of kidnapping and rape. he was an artist and designer and his work is in her portfolio now and he basically got a life sentence but he hasn’t been see in 8 years. he disappeared. he is not a rapist, stalker, or a violent man. he falls for scary women. she is a scary woman and she even told me a story about a man who she killed or her best friend killed at the Scottsdale airport and they got rid of the body or something and i thought she was joking. i can’t find anything about a murder at the Scottsdale airport but i don’t know. no one believed my brother and everyone believed her and she told me and many people that she had been watching my brother for a year before she went to meet him. she also always said she would kill herself if he left her. then she told the courts they weren’t a couple. that he was obsessed with her. i had a key to her house. it was crazy. i just don’t know if it’s too late to do anything about it. she broke my parents hearts, my heart, and his daughter’s heart. she destroyed my career too. she did it to 3 men before as well.

  5. Renee,

    The abuse dynamic is quite complex, and many untrue myths abound. While women experience domestic violence and stalking far more frequently than men, women can be viciously abusive.

    I have trained myself to listen closely and to insist on hearing both sides before I draw conclusions. A clever perpetrator can cause many people to believe that the prey is actually the perpetrator.

    The only thing I know for sure is that the system lets everybody down. Thank you for your comment.

    Sending hugs and best wishes,
    Anne Caroline

  6. This is awesome that someone actually is doin something about stalking. I was stalked an actually sexually harassed by my boss. Nobody did anything about it. An u could write a novel on all the documentation i had. Now this guy is a big wig an makes a lot of money. When i quit an went no where in my life. I just wonder how many other women he has done this to? I think, what did i do to deserve this.

  7. duh – wouldn’t surveillance cameras placed around Karen’s property have helped nab the creep sooner?????

  8. I so very much feel for ALL victims of stalking! I am also a victim of stakling – particularly, “gang stalking” in which there are two or more perpetrators. Unbelievably, I happen to have hundreds of strangers following and harassing me 24/7. Really!! All of this came about because I broke up with a man when I had decided to make positive changes in my life in 1994. This didn’t sit too well with him, so he decided to involve other people and my life has been completely turned upsidedown. I am married now to a wonderful man, but he has a very difficult time believing all aspects of it because HE is not targeted and the perps make sure that they do their dirty work covertly, like the cowards they are. What continues to amaze me is the fact that when this network of stalkers ‘recruit’ others, they seemed to be brainwashed into their new stalking roles and no amount of intelligent reasoning with them will turn them into sympathetic citizens. Also, they are getting paid (usually gas or drug money, depending on their specific ‘roles’), which is an attraction in itself. And, these individuals (the bottom-feeder foot soldiers who do the actual gang stalking/harassment), are usually the unmentionables or deviants of society, having previous criminal records. After all of this, however, I do see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! I initially tried to file a protection order against the ex-boyfriend but because of his money and connections, the judge refused to grant it because I did not know his place of resident (but I had his place of employment). Over the years, I have filed several police reports, including the most recent report with the Bioethics Committee appointed by President Obama and I now ‘feel’ an investigation brewing. Ultimately, I have strong faith in my God that He will eventually bring an end to it and bring ALL of the perpetrators to long-awaited justice. It takes a very sick and sadistic person to completely invade another person’s life all because they couldn’t get over themselves. To all those victims out there: HANG TOUGH AND DO NOT EVER GIVE UP!!! That is what they want you to do – to feel defeated and to resign to a life of unending hell. DO NOT GIVE UP!! Keep filing those police reports. Keep documenting EVERYTHING (dates, times, locations – even what you are doing at the time). Also, use that smart phone (or any cell with a camera) to video unusual activity going on around you at any given time because despite their ostensible demeanor, they do NOT want exposure!! Like cockroaches when you turn the lights on, they scatter. DO NOT GIVE UP – EVER!!! My warmest wishes to you all!!

  9. Well here is one for you. I am a man being stalked by a woman. I have found that it is impossable to get any help. Everything is set up mainly for women, Its like something out of the movies such as “Enemy of the State”. I sure could use some help. My Info is below if by chance someone wants to help. I currently have custodial custody of our three children. Truth is stranger than fiction.

  10. Mr. Dailey,

    Thank you for your comment. I’ve been stalked since 1992, and I can assure you that the resources you think are available for women are an absolute myth. We’re all on our own. That’s why I started this site.

    Best wishes,
    Anne Caroline

  11. I have a problem where I can not get the police to help me, I have tape recordings, pictures
    DNA – and can not get passed one police officer – this person had put an add in the
    Penny Savor asking for some PI work and has young undesirables breaking into my home
    torturing my animals leaving me with high vet bills, killing my birds – and he has gone a step further – that no one would believe what I have picked up on tape recordings and video’s. This person has discovered something deep in the bowels of ebay can be very dangerious.
    But to get any one to believe, unless they heard it – no one would believe it – I have no
    idea how it is done – I tried hiring a P.I. AND PAID $2.000 this person did nothing make
    make things worse for my animals and me.
    I tried to help an old friend who married, turned into an alcoholic and made his son 15 years
    old and daughter 13 share a bedroom because he refused to work.
    My significent other had just passed away – all I did was try and help an old friend who sounded
    so distrut – but was asked to leave 3 weeks later – but never really left.

  12. Hi there, I have been looking for someone who can maybe help out my little sister and give her some insight. She is a stalking victim, and also so are my two young nephews. The stalker has been very clever to make it seem like she is the prey and indeed the victim. Even going as far as a news broadcast describing herself as that. All the while my sister lives in fear and feels that she has lost control over her life. The police refuse to help because of “juristiction” issues since the stalker moved to Seattle, (where I might add my sister had led her to beleive that she was going to move). I would appreciate anyone who could give some advise. I will put her email address in the box below if you wish to contact her, I hope that you can! thank you-tony

  13. Tony,

    Thank you for your concern for your sister. Bless you. The harsh reality is that the “justice” and DV system don’t do much about stalking until there’s a dead body. Karen Welch’s story is rare in that she did get a measure of relief. Yet, she’s still being stalked.

    I’ve been stalked for 20 years by a VERY high-ranking judge who destroyed my career. People who knew about his penchant for stalking and abusing women and the power of his position remained silent when he successfully ran for a position on his state’s highest court on a platform that he had extensive experience in family and child abuse. He did. Nobody told the voters it was hand’s on experience. Now, people wonder why there’s no justice in the “justice” system.

    If your sister is in Seattle, she may find some protection within the King County prosecutor’s office. This being said, a prosecutor needs evidence. Most stalkers are too smart and sophisticated to leave evidence. Today’s technology makes cyberstalking easy and difficult to trace. Comcast does a good job of trying to protect their customers. You’ll need to get the number for their legal department if your sister is a Comcast subscriber.

    My own solution was to go on with my life. One of these days, he’ll make a mistake, and I’ll be able to trap him. Until then, I remind myself that the asshole needs to get himself a healthy hobby. I have surrounded myself with people who protect me as best they can by being vigilant for his games. I’m in Washington’s Address Confidentiality Program. I don’t use credit cards, and I’m very circumspect about the Internet. Comcast has my back.

    That’s all I know, Tony. When I discover stories like Karen’s, I share them. Eventually, survivors will piece together a viable solution.

    Wishing you peace,
    Anne Caroline

  14. I have been stalked twice in my life, first, in 2000, by a jilted boyfriend but my sister beat him down with a bat one night when he broke into our house, and he got arrested. Thankfully he got the hint and moved on.
    The second time, in 2008, I was stalked by a taxi cab driver. This was very terrifying because he had my phone number and address. Thank God that the police in our town took it seriously and went to his home and let him know that he would go to jail. He also got fired from the taxi company. He stalked me for about 6 months. The scary thing is, last week, I saw his ‘business’ card posted at the local laundromat. It was an invite to his church with an offer of a ride by HIM! I told my husband that I hope no single women take that offer, he’s crazy!

  15. For me, my abuser is my husband. He was my husband, my childrens father and my boss. It was a torturous marriage nonetheless one which I learned to deal with because I had to. . . because if not the threat was to take the children away; for me to leave without the children; and the threats were rampant. It was a marriage of control. . . financial control, emotional control, mental control beyond belief. I have three children of which two reside with me. I attempted several times to leave the marriage but my husband would not forbid that. At work, the abuses were worse. . . I was treated like an indentured servant, no access to truths, financials, and basically held down with a ball and chain. If I attempted to quit, I was verbally abused. If I tried to leave the marriage, I was a bad mother and would have to abandon my children. It got to the point that I was numb. . . I felt like everyday I was fighting for my life. My husband was having affairs for fifteen years. Each and every time I discovered something, I was “crazy” and “making things up again”. About 5 years ago, I began to find out things about my husband and his life and his lies and the things he portrayed to me as truths. Once I began to discover, the abuse became even more difficult to bear. Now I have been attempting to get divorced for three years after threats to cut my throat out in front of my children (all which have been covered up) and
    threats to kill me (of which he got away with with high paid attorneys). My husband drained all accounts he had giving me no access to monies. I had little to retain an attorney which was from family. He dragged the case on and on and on and on . . wearing me down, trying to get me falsely arrested, tampering with my electric and my water, staging things in my home to scare and intimidate me, chasing myself and my friends with a video camera, intimidating witnesses, hiding my youngest son in the home of his lover, not returning our son for my parenting time, and the list goes on and on and on and on. He disparaged me in front of our children. He has assistance. . .the assistance of a corrupt, unethical attorney who does anything he tells him to. . . including refusal to sell real estate, disclose assets, allow me to meet with accountants, provide me with tax returns, refuses me parenting time, and manipulates the Court to make himself look like the victim. Most recently, he went so far as withdrawing my son from school two times in ten days and was rewarded by the Judge basically who is now allowing him to stay where my husband placed him. Despite my restraining order, he has come to my community where I live safely with family and has attempted to get me and the children evicted all for self gain. He pays people to lie for him. As far as I am concerned it is all about money and he has so many people on his payroll that I cannot win. I don’t want to win, all I want is peace for myself and my children. I feel like I have been legally abused in this Court system. I feel like I am powerless. My husband’s threats at work and at home have become such a reality to me. I stayed in fear of what he would do; now I am living the precise nightmare he threatened me with. I did stay for a long time until I was physically ill and he began to have his affair right in our own backyard and before the eyes of myself and our children. I can no longer take the emotional, mental, and psychiatric abuse of my husband, my prior employer, his cohorts, his legal team and the Court system. I don’t know where to turn.

  16. I just seen the last 15 minutes of the show. It amazes me what people get up to. Sad story all round. Wonder how the family of the stalker is doing. I hope the show doesn’t attract another one. Happy trails.

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