Monday, December 3, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Parking Lot MO

I am guessing criminal justice student, 24-year old Stanley Cole, hadn’t taken the class yet in the Modus Operandi of criminals or he studied for the exam and promptly forgot the content of the textbook chapter. When his ex-girlfriend, Latasha Norman, a 20-year-old student also attending Jackson State University in Mississippi went missing, all one had to do was connect the MO dots and send an officer over to pick up Cole.

Prior to Norman’s disappearance, Cole had met her in the “parking lot” and punched her in the face. Apparently, this control freak didn’t like the idea of her moving on without him in the picture. Around that same time, someone slashed her tires and stole her license plate from that very same “parking lot.” Then, with Cole out on bond (another violent man gets a pass to go back and finish the job) Latasha Norman leaves class and goes to the “parking lot” to drive to her part-time job. She is never seen again until Cole tells police where to find her body.

Stanley Cole had a 3.5 grade average but didn’t seem to realize that “parking lot,” “parking lot,” “parking lot,” was a rather bad pattern to establish if he didn’t want to become a suspect in a New York minute. Thank god he was a fool so he can be put away for the rest of his life (hopefully) and no other woman will have to suffer the same fate as Latasha Norman.

Speaking of MO, ladies, here is a suggestion about dating: don’t. Dating is a good way to become familiar with other MOs of the fellow you are getting to know, but by the time you realize he has repetitive concerning behaviors, it may well be too late to get away from the creep. Instead, get to know men in groups and in social activities involving many people so you can weed out the ones whose actions raise red flags. If you get to know someone well enough through group activities to feel you would like to get to know them even better, don’t get into a sexual relationship until the man has proven himself to be an honorable gentleman who treats you like gold. I guarantee most control freaks and psychopaths won’t be very interested in a girl who takes that long to get to get into an intimate relationship. The right man is worth waiting for and the right man will wait for you as well.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


preraphazon said...

"I guarantee most control freaks and psychopaths won’t be very interested in a girl who takes that long to get to get into an intimate relationship."

It's true most of them want to get heavy right away, but I have known some who only further became obsessed because the woman was hard to get. Since many of them have that whole madonna/wh*re mentality, holding out only makes them put the woman on more of a pedestal, which can also be trouble if the person is of the stalker mentality. It can go wrong either way.

One of my internet stalkers stalked another woman whom he met only once or twice and whom he knew was otherwise engaged, but that didn't stop him from going the whole nine yards with his obsessive delusions and harassing her for three years, during which time she communicated with him not once. He was already in over his head before he even came face to face with her.

Another guy I know who isn't violent but has had big issues was the type to surveil a woman for sometimes years, nursing the obsession and working up to anything vaguely resembling a real relationship. I had known this fellow for years and tried to steer him to a healthier existence and at one time suggested he do some volunteer work, which he did. As is often the case, monied socialites are at the hub of the wheel in volunteer situations, and in this case, my friend was doing computer work for this charity, which was much appreciated. The socialite "supervising" him sent him a nice card thanking him for his efforts, and this triggered him to tell me he thought he'd found the perfect woman and that he'd talked to his mother about her, and he thought she would find her suitable (I guess so!). Shortly thereafter, he wrote her a leading email and she shattered his illusions.

You see, we have very little control over what another person will make out of their delusions. However, my very best suggestion is to know the warning signs, which, as you say, is wanting to move too fast, among other things, and at the first hint of control or delusion, say "NO, NOT EVER," firmly, and get as lost as you possibly can and never have any further contact. Log any forced contact from that point on. No one is harder to get rid of than a stalker type, and no amount of reasoning will help. They live by their own rules and seem unable to comprehend even the simplest logic.

It's a shame our system usually waits until someone gets killed before they lock these guys up -- even though there are laws on the books just begging to be used to lock them up before they do harm.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said...

You are speaking of erotomania, the kind of obsession of certain stalkers where they make up a fantasy of connection to an individual and then exaggerate it in their minds. While these kinds of stalkers can be dangerous, they mostly go after people in the public eye (I have had two of them myself and it can be unnerving). On the other hand, the majority of stalkers who kill women are men who dated or married them and then the women wanted out of the relationship.

If you are going to become a celebrity or a very public figure, stalkers pretty much come with the territory and there is jack you can do about it. But, for most women, it is the men they "love" that will do them in and, therefore, it is wise to be very selective in choosing who you become intimate with.

preraphazon said...

Yup, celebrities draw the full gamut of stalking types. I have to say that just about every woman I know has had one of these "erotomania" type stalkers though. I have always called them "acquaintance" stalkers. Someone who simply runs their own fantasy and projects it onto you, builds up the relationship in their mind and comes to you, if they ever really do, fully deployed, and nothing you can say will burst their bubble. Any contact, negative or positive, reinforces the relationship, in their mind.

I think the scariest stalkers are the ones who really believe they have a genuine relationship with a person, which you hear about with celebrities, like Dave Letterman's, who thinks she's married to him, but it does happen with other people as well. The ones who harasssed me I think truly believed they were having interaction with me (and this woman who had actually met them) over the course of three years when, in fact, there was no contact or interaction. We had to be very strict with our internet community to keep them from inadvertently providing any sort of link to us, because if they met someone we also talked to, that reaffirmed their relationship to us. They were always trying to form these links, of course. If some mutual acquaintance just, for example, tried to tell them, Hey, you're being irrational, they would think that was a direct message from us. We'd only know it happened because their behavior would escalate, and sometimes we'd find out why, sometimes not. It can be motivated by both "love" and hate. With the other woman, one of them "loved" her. But they both hated me. The thing that made them maddest was ignoring them. They went ballistic over that, but soon glossed over it by pretending we were still communicating.

I used to occasionally be called upon to "beard" for rock musicians. Celebrities have a delicate balance to maintain, especially with the power of the internet. Nowadays if you are rude to a fan and they are obsessed, they will be willing to spend every waking hour on the internet trying to make you look bad -- although it's equally likely they will take this solitary piece of contact with you and twist it to make them feel there's a relationship.

Musicians, of course, go to great lengths to appear "available," because it's a very important marketing ploy, no wives allowed visible at concerts, etc. It was common for friends and industry people to sometimes be asked to step in and create a psychological barrier if things were getting out of hand. Being a woman, I usually assumed the (natural) role of a big proprietary beotch who was basically spoiling his fun by being the only thing coming between him and his eager fans, whisking his reluctant self away from autographs or propositions or whatever.

Nearly every rock musician I ever talked to at length had at least one story about a one-nighter turning up, bags packed, at their home 2000 miles away. They're not always classic stalker types, more often just very naive, but odds are every celebrity will have a very stressful stalker situation at one time or another, and probably ongoing.

At least you have the advantage of being known to be an expert on these things, so if the person has any reality-based thought, it might be enough to minimize their actions, plus I have a feeling you would have no problem saying NO as soon as your antennae went up, which is a skill we need to teach our girls in high school.

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preraphazon said...

I was wondering if you were familiar with the Megan Meier case, where a mother of another teen posed as a cute boy on MySpace to befriend another teen girl her daughter had been bullying and then broke her heart by attacking her and also encouraged other teen friends of her daughter to do it as well, and then Megan, who had a history of depression, committed suicide. I am very mad at the local authorities because they claim they have no law under which to prosecute this mother and the rest. In the beginning the mother admitted to doing it, but she is now recanting, after much harassment by the public. I personally copied the Missouri stalking law and sent it to the sheriff and the city there, in case they really are not aware that electronic stalking and harassment is illegal, but they have never charged anyone. If you haven't seen the story, just google News and and then Megan Meier. We simply MUST start enforcing these laws and send a message to internet bullies that they are not anonymous.

thetoptwoinches said...

In a post on the dangers of dating I cite this post. (Another post on the same theme by an author from lovefraud tomorrow).

Anonymous said...

I think this is good advice to take time getting to know a man and I do agree that most psychopaths wouldn't want to wait a long time, but I also think that many men who could be called 'controlling' would be prepared to wait unfortunately.