Tag Archive for: Stalking

Walked Right Through That Restraining Order…

Have you listened to the lyrics of “Redneck Crazy” by Tyler
Farr? It details the horrid stalking behavior the singer plans—and of course,
he blames the woman for his behavior, because she broke up with him.
I hate that song.
I lived it—right up to and including the truck on the lawn and the beer cans thrown at the window.
The Nation Center for Victims of Crime has
a section on stalking. It defines stalking as a pattern of behavior that makes
you feel afraid, nervous, harassed, or in danger. A stalker repeatedly contacts
you, follows you, sends you things, talks to you when you don’t want them to,
or threatens you.
Stalking behaviors can include:

  • Knowing
    your schedule.
  • Showing
    up at places you go.
  • Sending
    mail, e-mail, and pictures.
  • Calling
    or texting repeatedly.
  • Contacting
    you or posting about you on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter,
  • Writing
  • Damaging
    your property.
  • Creating
    a Web site about you.
  • Sending
  • Any
    other actions to contact, harass, track, or frighten you.

It all sounds so benign, even the hundreds of daily calls
and texts, until you get to that last point—actions to harass, track and
frighten you.
Stalking is obsession. It’s about power and control. It’s a
The problem is states are just now getting on board and
adding laws criminalizing stalking. Like far too many crimes against women,
it’s difficult for law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office to develop a
case they think they can take to court—and win. They prefer something less
nebulous—did the stalker break into your house? Hit you? Hurt you? Those are
tangible—yes or no. Forensic evidence supports it. Showing up everywhere you
go? Coincidence, the stalker claims.
The statistics on women who are killed by an intimate partner
are even more sobering. The victims reported stalking and abuse—to friends and
the police—who were often as helpless as the victim to do anything about it.
So what to do with these depressing statistics?
I decided to put a human face on them. As the layers of So About the Money are revealed, the
reader finds stalking in the backgrounds of both Marcy, the murder victim, and
Holly Price, the amateur sleuth heroine. Surviving the ordeal deepens the bond
between the women and drives Holly to find out not just who killed Marcy, but why
was she murdered?
That, to me, is the beauty of an amateur sleuth or cozy. The
author can build depth into the characters and plot without climbing onto a
soap box.
Now of course I would never recommend you poison your
obsessive, violent partner’s black-eyed peas, but I rather liked “Goodbye Earl”
by the Dixie Chicks (written by Dennis Lynde) as an alternative theme song.

So About the Money
When Holly Price trips over a friend’s dead body, her life
takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. With an infinitely sexy
cop—Holly’s pissed-off, jilted ex-fiancé—threatening to arrest her for the
murder, the intrepid accountant must protect her future, her business…and her
heart…by using her investigative skills to follow the money, before the
killer decides CPA stands for Certified Pain in the Ass…and
the next dead body is Holly’s.