Monday, July 22, 2024

Exclusive excerpt: Hot new cyber thriller, Stalker Craig

Take a dip into this intriguing new novel, Stalker Craig: No More Secrets by Jameson Farn.

The Beginning

Imagine waking up every day, getting ready to go about your life, and part of your morning routine is to see how you are being harassed and threatened by someone online. This person also happens to be a former longtime friend who has since taken it upon himself to continually cyberstalk you for the past number of years.

You detest that this is part of your day and are even sad that you have to search for whatever hateful comments or posts have been produced about you or those closest to you if it hasn’t already been sent your way to make sure you see it. You do these daily checks simply to try and protect yourself from whatever he might have underway next and warn others close to you he has or might also be going after, while many times wondering – will this ever end?

Unfortunately, you become used to checking for any online activity and reading the worst made-up stories about yourself from someone you haven’t seen for almost a decade who is trying to get into your mind and heart. The cyberstalker frequently states his intention is to break you down or that he is checking in to see if you are still alive because if you are dead, then maybe he will finally stop while morbidly feeling like he has won some sort of prize.

Depending on what has been posted can determine how you feel the rest of your day. Besides your morning search routine, you have to continue to search online at other random times of the day and night. And even more so when you have been notified by a friend, family member, business partner, or even a stranger concerned for your well-being.

Your time and energy are spent taking screenshots, saving, and filing it all. Depending on how bad the posts are you might have to update the police and lawyers with all your accumulated evidence. He might have also pulled other unsuspecting people into his realm, so then you might have to try and explain to others what is going on and warn them for their safety.

He never has just one fake Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profile going, so you try to get the powers that be to take down the defamatory and harmful content. If you are lucky, the social media platforms do remove the content, but typically they don’t, even if it is your images and information that have been used.

You are familiar with his history of internet attacks and others who know of him. To him, this is just joking around since he has never had to take any of it. Although he knows deep down, it isn’t a joke, and if something sets him off more, he then puts yourself and others in immediate danger.

You know what he is capable of, as no matter how old he gets, he never grows up. He thinks he is being clever, but his ongoing presence and signature style are always evident that he almost loves the notoriety. When he does get caught out, at first, there are plenty of denials; then, when he thinks the drama has calmed down, he goes even harder with his internal anger, and the threats come rushing in.

Before he started spewing abuse on the internet, you knew he was upset with you for catching him in a blatant public lie, and it was over what could be considered a minor disagreement between friends. You try to talk to him about it, clear the air, he quiets down, you think it’s over, but what you don’t realize is he has now decided to make you his new target.

You move forward and think he has too then he decides to go after you with a vengeance and in a way that is too overwhelming to ignore as he intends to ruin your life to the point of suicide or by letting you know how he plans for you to die.

The Milan Dinner Party

I was nervous with it being one of those “meet the parents” situations, but Marco reassured me it would be more casual and offered more insight on the two of them.

When we got to his parents’ home, I was glad I dressed up more than I thought I should as casual meant something else for his family to how I grew up. Their home is extraordinary; it felt grand but comfortable, still like a home, and filled with the height of Italian craftsmanship, refinement, and decor. Although an elegant pair, his parents were entirely down to earth, both, with a great sense of humor and welcoming.

My nervousness slipped away, and I took it all in stride while his Mom showed me around and Marco cracked jokes with his Dad. They were adoring people and made me feel at ease.

Marco’s Dad, a well-known businessman, started to offer up a range of crucial advice, almost like a mentor and whom I can turn to with questions in business. Marco’s Mom and I hit it off; she has a zest for life and showcases herself off like a class act (and is) but also likes to spill the tea, so to speak, with her amusing stories and captivating background.

Not long after, we moved from the sitting room to the dining room and had a wonderful meal. At one point, without trying to be rude, before the last course, I politely excused myself to go to the nearest bathroom, knowing this would give them a couple of minutes to talk. While in the bathroom, I quickly checked my phone for messages, and there was an email from the Communications Director of the charity I worked with back in Vancouver

Surprised to hear from her, I read the message, and she added numerous Facebook screenshots of posts made on the charity’s Facebook page from what she said looked like fake profiles.

It would’ve been about mid-morning Vancouver time, and the posts were brought to their attention when they got to the office as photos of my face had been crudely cut out and pasted on to group photos of people that looked like famous British royals. With comments on how I was both a fake and a fraud, also stating I was pretending to be a royal while also currently hanging out with royalty in Europe?!

I was shocked, only to further read accusations made that I was ripping off the charity I was with in Vancouver, saying I was stealing, having sex with the clients I was supposed to be helping, among other horrendous comments and posts.

The communications director knew this was all fake, but she was angry for it appearing on their charity Facebook page. She knew it wasn’t of my making because why would I post items like that about myself, and wondered if I was ok as she knew I was in Europe.

I told her I was fine, just stunned and now livid again while shaking from the news, and responded that I was at my partner’s parents’ place for our first get-together and dinner party.

I apologized profusely, and she told me not to worry as I hadn’t done anything wrong. They had screenshot what was posted and then removed it all; she only asked me to help report the profiles to have them taken down as they have to, which I agreed to as soon as possible.

I managed to pull myself relatively together like nothing had happened and continued with the lovely evening ahead. When it came time for Marco and me to leave, his Mom invited me to go out with her later that week so she could show me around and go for lunch. Marco and his Dad gave each other a knowing look, and I told her I looked forward to it.

Vancouver – Police & Lawyers

Craig would do whatever he wanted with the fake profiles, even reach out to people or companies that might find it interesting so that he could portray me in a way that I was the most despicable of character in the worst ways one could fathom. Fortunately, anyone that took notice of it knew it was fake right away but then would wonder what was going on, so then again, hours were spent explaining it all to them and to be careful online, that this was stress I had to deal with daily, even eating away at me.

Of course, Craig went at me extra hard on my birthday, and he still does. One way I would find out it was by another fake profile as he would use that account to send me a friend request or again do that with people we knew or assumed would know me. It was a way of letting me know that countless more profiles were being made.

I’m the kind that generally likes to keep my birthday low-key and relaxed; the age thing doesn’t bother me or getting older; it’s life and just the way I am. Marco made sure I was having a great birthday with unique gifts, but the best parts are just how he showed his love and care.

With people wishing me a Happy Birthday from both North America and Europe, it can make for a busy but fantastic day. Then throughout the birthday wishes, I always end up seeing a profile or getting a message or business email from Craig that I am a fat, bald, old man, not worthy of anything. Followed usually by, “Why aren’t you dead yet?” That I should just kill myself right now. Along with a ton of other hate.

As an individual who has always had to fight depression since I was a little kid, these kinds of things, especially ongoing, can bring on a snowball effect. And that is what his intentions are, to continue bit by bit to break me down, and it has often come very close to working.

This all made life feel confused, as here I was in love, experiencing the best out of life with Marco with a move to a country I also admire where I was going to be able to live out my dreams by continuing to develop my business and a new way of living.

Being stalked on the internet daily, harassed, slandered, making me feel useless and a fraud, shamed, dirty, and I should just die. Somehow I have become used to this being a part of my life, going to bed to the abuse, waking up to, and living with it all waking hours.

Although I was told to repeatedly, I held off speaking to the police as I wasn’t sure what they could even do with all of this being new to me, and again, I thought, “Oh no, Craig has problems, must not disclose them, best kept a secret – it will all go away.” With the stress I was enduring from him, his actions clouded my thoughts; I was losing aspects of common sense and essentially protecting the abuser for fear of what else he could do.

After months of the daily attacks, it took up my time and energy. I spoke to a friend who was a police officer, who also knew of Craig in passing and wasn’t surprised at what he was hearing and reading when I showed him just a few of the screenshots.

It was suggested I start a file with the local police department to have a running detail of what was going on and that they at the very least could call Craig and warn him to stop. I did that immediately, the police called Craig several times while in front of me, but he never answered his phone. Since he was in a different province, technically back then, it was also out of their jurisdiction. I was then advised to contact the police in Alberta when I did that, the complaint was not taken seriously, “men don’t stalk other men” I was told on the phone, they also figured we were far enough apart that nothing would happen, so at first nothing was done about it.

Dismayed with then more of Craig’s abuse coming my way, that continued to get added to the file, I told the police officer I was in contact with initially in Vancouver, who then contacted an officer in Alberta, who then tried to call Craig numerous times, to no avail.

It was then suggested I see a lawyer, which I did, and where a letter was drafted up for me asking him to stop, this was slanderous and hateful behavior with a first, gentle warning to stop all activity or court action will be started. This had to be sent by email since Craig was always secretive about where he lived and was probably ashamed he had to move back to his parent’s home, wherever that may be.

Craig being the lawyer he thinks he is, responded to my business email account by making a mockery of me while claiming he hasn’t done anything on Facebook or otherwise. Then admitted in the same email he had been coming at me online, that I was (insert every awful name here), stating I deserved it. It was his right to post what he wanted as there were no Canadian laws to stop him from doing so – with an added, severe death threat thrown in for good measure.

After I read that, shaking, crying, and panicking, I called a close friend of mine to let him know the response from Craig. Hearing I was upset, he said he’d be right over, and he told me to call the police, who arrived within a few minutes.

They were given the file number, and while at my apartment, they tried to reassure me things would be fine; thankfully, there was a distance between Craig and me; they read the texts he had sent before and the latest email while seeing more of the social media abuse. They then also called a police department in Alberta since we had no idea exactly where he was located yet, and a file was set up, and the police there again tried to call Craig, but he never answered the phone.

I never thought I would see the day police officers were standing in my apartment advising and helping me with this crazy matter. It didn’t seem real. They were taken back by how long and vile this was going on. To try and figure it out, one of the officers asked if we were ever boyfriends? Which I told him we were not in the least. We were just friends who had a slight disagreement over nothing, and now he was coming at me full-on.

The officer apologized and said he only brought it up as this is the kind of thing they have seen before with couples that have broken up. They thought Craig was showing tell-tale signs of obsession and control. I assured them this was more than that; he had a history of doing this with other gay guys or people he didn’t like, but from what I knew, never for this long or this heavy.

When things got calmer, I was told to keep them updated with anything else, I thanked them, and they left.

The next day Craig went after me online like never before….

Buy Stalker Craig: No More Secrets here.

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