Sherri Peak's dashboard was bugged
I think that this person believed that if I left him, that
I deserved to die.
I lived like a hostage.
– Sherri Peak
Hi-tech devices are a stalker’s dream, but they are a nightmare for a stalker’s prey. All stalkers are “pit bull
” abusers ~ they can’t let go.
Ms. Peak very was fortunate that Bellevue (WA) Police Det. Elizabeth Faith and Lt. Jim Jolliffe took her concerns seriously. They called in immigration and customs agents
and spent two hours inspecting Ms. Peak’s car until they found a cellphone and GPS in her dashboard. When police searched Mr. Peak’s home, they found his estranged wife’s e-mails ~ including those to her divorce attorney and the police ~ as well his spyware program, missing keys to her home, and her account numbers and passwords.
Shortly after the couple separated, he installed a cell phone
powered by her car’s battery and connected to a GPS monitor in the dashboard of her car. Before it was discovered by the police six months later, he used that phone 99 times to track her every move and listen to conversations inside the car.
He was sentenced
to eight months in jail and four months of work release for felony stalking.
I was the sacrificial lamb at some point, and now I’m the messenger.
Because my story was so crazy, people had a hard time grasping it.
– Sherri Peak
Safety in the Spotlight
Ms. Peak told Dateline:
I completely underestimated him.
During a PBS interview she said:
This guy can barely hook up a computer. That’s why I was so surprised. In the wrong hands, technology can be used against you in horribly threatening, dangerous ways.
This guy had me completely wired in. He knew everything at every moment.
Ms. Peak wisely decided that her safest place was in the spotlight. Nicole Brodeur wrote a column, “Stalking Victim Uncovers Dark Use of Technology,” which was published in the September 3, 2006 issue of the Seattle Times. Her story was part of a WeNews series sponsored by a grant from Mary Kay Inc. on October 1, 2006. In 2007, Ms. Peak was a speaker at the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Stalking Awareness Month event at the Washington, D.C. National Press Club; her story aired on PBS NewsHour and Dateline. In 2009, it aired on News 9 in Oklahoma.
On May 10, 2011, a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee heard testimony from the National Center for Victims of Crime about hi-tech stalking; they run the Stalking Resource Center and claim to be the only resource for a hi-tech stalker’s prey.
Update: You might be shocked to discover how easily somebody can install a tracking device in your car.
She survived. She’s thriving and has found joy.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Please join me in wearing your purple and celebrating survivors.