If you read The Rusty Nail, you’ll likely see, beyond occasional gardening posts, the chronicles of a certain psychotic moron from Illinois — the guy who fancies himself to be a horror writer but has no grasp on grammar, logic, or manners. I’m not going to mention his name since he likely has Google alerts set up on various variations of his name. Whenever I read reports of his actions, as well as his friends, I’m reminded of the this Katherine Ramslan article I read recently on how stalker psychology actually progresses:
- After initial contact, the stalker develops feelings like infatuation, and therefore places the love object on a pedestal.
- The stalker then begins to approach the object. It might take a while, but once contact is made, the stalker’s behavior sets him up for rejection.
- Rejection triggers the delusion through which the stalker projects his own feelings onto the object: She loves me, too.
- The stalker also develops intense anger to mask his shame, which fuels the obsessive pursuit of the object. He now wants to control through harassment or injury.
- The stalker must restore his narcissistic fantasy.
- Violence is most likely to occur when the love object is devalued, as through an imagined betrayal
The article then offers an interesting set of classifications, too.
Several stalker typologies have been developed, and according to Dr. Michael Zona and his colleagues from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, stalkers appear to come in three basic varieties, with a perverse twist on stalking that adds a fourth important category:
- Simple obsessional
The most common form is male with a female with whom he was once sexually intimate.
- Love obsessional
A love-obsessed stalker tends to idealize a celebrity or someone he has seen from afar and he develops an unrealistic belief that the target person will agree to a relationship.
Someone suffering from this more extreme obsession believes that the victim loves him or her.
- False victimization
Claiming harassment and stalking when none exists, this behavior is usually carried on by people with histrionic personality disorders.
Another method of categorizing stalkers comes from the team who wrote the FBI’s Crime Classification Manual:
- Non-domestic stalker, who has no personal relationship with the victim
- Organized (based in a calculated, controlled aggression)
- Delusional (based in a fixation like erotomania)
- Domestic stalker, who has had a prior relationship with the victim and feels motivated to continue the relationship; this constitutes around 60 percent of stalkers and the aggression often culminates in violence.
Stalkers tend to be unemployed or underemployed, but are smarter than other criminals. They often have a history of failed intimate relationships. They tend to devalue their victims and to sexualize them. They also idealize certain people, minimize what they are doing to resist, project onto people motives and actions that have no basis in truth, and rationalize that the target person deserves to be harassed and violated.