Cyber Stalking Story - Tourette Syndrome Support in the UK

Back to Internet Security

Chris Mansley of the TSA sent me the following story by e-mail.  It speaks for itself

Click on this link for the printable/E-Mailable version


>Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2000 13:28:35 EST
> > Please take the time to read ALL of the story!
> >
> > SUBJECT: Internet stalking.
> >
> > Shannon could hear the footsteps behind her as she walked toward home.
> > The thought of being followed made her heart beat faster. "You're being
> > silly," she told herself, "no one is following you." To be safe, she
> > began to walk faster, but the footsteps kept up with her pace. She was
> > afraid to look back and she was glad she was almost home. Shannon said
> > a quick prayer, "God please get me home safe." She saw the porch light
> > burning and ran the rest of the way to her house.

> >

> > Once inside, she leaned against the door for a moment, relieved to be in the safety of
> > her home. She glanced out the window to see if anyone was there. The
> > sidewalk was empty. After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to
> > grab a snack and get on-line.
> >

> > She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213.
> > She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123
> > was on. She sent him an instant message:
> >
> > ByAngel213: Hi I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me
> > home today. It was really weird!
> >
> > GoTo123: LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you?
> > Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?
> >
> > ByAngel213: Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I
> > didn't see anybody when I looked out.
> >
> > GoTo123: Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that
> > have you?
> >
> > ByAngel213: Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.
> >
> > GoTo123: Did you have a softball game after school today?
> >
> > ByAngel213: Yes and we won!!
> >
> > GoTo123: That's great! Who did you play?
> >
> > ByAngel213: We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross!
> > They look like bees. LOL
> >
> > GoTo123: What is your team called?
> >
> > ByAngel213: We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms.
> > They are really kewl.
> >
> > GoTo123: Did you pitch?
> >
> > ByAngel213: No I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be
> > done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!
> >
> > GoTo123: Catch you later. Bye
> >
> > Meanwhile...... GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to
> > search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed
> > it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about
> > Angel so far.
> > Her name: Shannon
> > Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
> > Age:13
> > State where she lived: North Carolina
> > Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall.

> >

> > Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton
> > because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30
> > p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she
> > played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team
> > was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her
> > jersey. He knew she was in the seventh grade at the Canton Junior High
> > School.

> >

> > She had told him all this in the conversations they had on-line. He had

> > enough information to find her now. Shannon didn't tell her parents about

> > the incident on the way home from the ball park that day. She didn't want them

> > to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the softball games.

> > Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish

> > she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents

> > wouldn't be so overprotective.
> >
> > By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps following her.
> > Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at
> > her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her
> > second base position to see a man watching her closely. He was leaning
> > against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at
> > him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the fear she had felt.


> > After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed

> > his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He
> > noticed her name on the back of her shirt He knew he had found her.
> > Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks
> > to Shannon's home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned
> > to the park to get his car.

> >

> > Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go

> > to Shannon's house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until

> > time to make his move.
> >

> > Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the
> > living room. "Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset
> > and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from
> > the ballpark sitting on the sofa.
> >

> > "Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a most interesting story

> > about you."  Shannon moved cautiously to a chair across from the man, How could he
> > tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!
> >

> > "Do you know who I am Shannon?" The man asked. "No," Shannon answered.
> > "I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123." Shannon was
> > stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14 and he lives
> > in Michigan!" The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't
> > true. You see, Shannon, there are people on-line who pretend to be kids;
> > I was one of them. But while others do it to find kids and hurt them, I
> > belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I
> > came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to give out too
> > much information to people on-line.

> >

> > You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you.

> > Your name, the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the

> > position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding

> > you a breeze."
> >
> > Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan? He laughed.

> > "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?"

> > She nodded. "I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky.
> > The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone.

> >

> > Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the
> > time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a
> > little here and there on-line. Before you know it, you have told them
> > enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it.I
> > hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again"
> > "I won't," Shannon promised solemnly. "Will you tell others about this
> > so they will be safe too?" "It's a promise!"
> >
> > That night Shannon and her dad and Mom all knelt down together and
> > prayed. They thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have
> > been a tragic situation.
> > *********************
> > Please send this to as many people as you can to teach them not to give
> > any information about themselves. This world we live in today is too
> > dangerous to even give out your age, let alone anything else.
> >

Click on this link for the printable/E-Mailable version

Back to Internet Security


If you have the misfortune to be troubled by an cyber stalker - go to

They featured in this  Reader's Digest article

Children & the Internet

Get Net Wise Kids Online Safety Guide

Get Net Wise


Back to Top - Tourette Syndrome Support in the UK