This website hopes to help answer the following questions:
If you're being stalked, harassed, threatened, should you:
Should you call the police? Will they actually provide any meaningful service or relief?
Should you file for anti-harassment or protection orders?
Should you hire an attorney? Will the cost be worth the benefit?
Should you hire a private investigator? What can they / will they do for you?
Should you confront the offender face to face?
Should you move, quit your job, and/or change your name?
Should you contact your local prosecutor directly?
This page answers those questions with our honest opinions.
Question #1: If you're being harassed, threatened, etc., should you call the police? Ten years ago we would have advised a cautious "probably". Today our answer is......probably not.
Ten years ago we considered ourselves pretty jaded. I had worked for the Federal Government in law enforcement 2000 miles from Washington state. But I was unable to interact with the class of people I was assigned to infiltrate and put away.
As a consequence, or perhaps as a bonus, I found myself working government corruption cases. I could more or less interact with those people, at least enough to infiltrate them and figure out what they were up to, and then bust them. In that capacity I lost, or so I thought, my naivete. I worked case after case after case in which stupid politicians, city employees, appointed officials and cops and deputies and sheriffs did the MOST stupid things. They were simply greedy and power hungry and arrogant and unintelligent. The point is that I saw a hundred times more corruption than I ever previously dreamed existed. I came to the conclusion that corruption, dishonesty and incompetence were the NORM in government. Lots of good and decent street cops come to this conclusion too. And when they are finally unable to find a single spec, a lonely molecule, an accidental crumb or a pittance of decency within "the system", they sometimes quietly retire to their bedroom some particularly dreary night and blow their brains out. They come to the conclusion that the world (American society) is a free-for-all, and they conclude that they no longer want to be part of it. So they escape in the only way they know how. I might have reached that same conclusion, except that I'd lived in other countries where this American insanity didn't pervade, and I'd seen and experienced governments which DID work and where chaos was at least kept at bay, instead of being openly embraced as it is in most of the lower forty eight states of America.
When I reached the conclusion that the world (American society) was a piece of shit without the possibility of redemption, I knew I could simply retreat to to a region of the world where that wasn't the case (far preferable to blowing ones brains out). That's what I'm in the process of arranging now--leaving the country.
I only lasted a year and ten months with the Feds. My unit was corrupt. As the proverbial low man on the totem pole I entertained no notions of bringing any degree of change to the situation. We had one guy, for instance, who carried a chrome-plated 1911 .45. That was somewhat rare in those days. He'd gone to considerable trouble to have it custom-made. Of course it was a ridiculous weapon because its shine and glint was like an illuminated target for someone wanting to shoot him. But this guy had never thought of that. He would never, ever sit in on any of the planning before a bust. If there was a large sum of money to be counted and recorded, we did it ourselves---never with this guy's help. If there was recon to do, we dropped this guy at a bar or cafe, and picked him up after it was done. In any kind of meeting, he stood in the back, sulking. He was in law enforcement to kill people. Period. That was his only interest. I never understood how he came to be in our unit. I never understood why he was allowed to stay there. He was always the first one through the door--and that was, as far as I ever saw, his only function. I began to wonder about a department---about a whole system that would allow that kind of thing. Most "rookies" learn to go along with the flow. I never learned that.
In this midwestern state, in the era in question (thirty years ago), before busting in a door to serve a legal warrant, law enforcement was required to announce themselves as law enforcement and to wait a certain number of seconds for permission to enter before busting the door. On every single residential bust I can recall, every single one, bar-none, my unit would position one or more agents at a point alongside the house where they couldn't be seen by those agents at the front door or the door of entry. The agent holding the warrant would bang three times on the door, loudly enough so he could swear in court that he had in good faith tried to rouse the occupants, but not so loud as to, hopefully, rouse the occupants, and he would yell "Police! Search warrant! Open the door now!" Immediately, within literally one second, a voice was invariably heard yelling, "Come in!" Within two seconds the door was busted and within four more seconds all agents were inside with guns drawn. If it ever came up in court, the lead agent could always state under oath that he had loudly announced himself and his intent, and that he had clearly heard permission to enter. A year and ten months of that bullshit was enough -- not that that particular act was so tremendously heinous in and of itself, but that kind of moral slippage lead to much, much more moral slippage, and pretty soon you realize that there is no morality at all, only the question of how much you can get away with. And besides, I saw education, at least for first offenders, as a far better option than prison time, and of course that was a VERY unpopular notion.
I quit in disgust due to consistent behavior I judged to be incompetence, dishonesty, laziness, downright meanness, illogic, dishonor, and a clearly lacking sense of basic right and wrong. I never looked back. I thought at the time that the city in question was the worst, most foul and heinous place on earth. I then spent some years along both sides of the Mexican border, and quickly realized that the city I'd thought was Hell on Earth was, by comparison, a haven of the kind, honorable and enlightened by comparison. There are things going on along the Mexican border which no law enforcement officer or agency which has never lived or interacted there, could ever imagine. If I told people the stories, they'd swear I was lying---so I spare myself the insults by simply not telling the stories.
All of the preceeding is leading up to one inescapable conclusion: American law enforcement was just about a write-off way back when I was involved in it. Now, 25 or 30 years later, it's worse than a write-off. It's a liability. American law enforcement is a negative value. Western Washington, and especially the Puget Sound region, is running a close second to those regions along the Mexican border, in terms of corruption, stupidity, incompetence, illogic and dishonor. The law enforcement agencies in this region are, in my view, little more than vaguely disguised gangs of criminals. They are worthless. They are corrupt. They are petty. They are spiteful. They are about as well run as an elementary school PTA. They are little more than legalized gangs, with only a slightly higher aggregate I.Q. Ditto the judicial branch.
So to answer the question, "should you call the police" if you're being harassed (or for really any other reason), the answer is: "probably not". Perhaps it can best be summed up this way: Law enforcement in western Washington should be considered a data gathering agency. No more. And yet they don't even do well at that---I can't count the number of cases in which I could show proof that a local agency had received and signed a receipt for a document, only to receive a letter from them months or years down the road, stating for the record that they never received said document! When you try to press them, they simply won't reply. So don't count on them even for simple data gathering or information recording. Sure it's tempting to think they can at least get this small task right---but they can't. We suggest calling the police if you need to submit an "official report" to your insurance company for some calculable loss. You may wish to call them if you need to report a murder---but we know of homicide cases these local agencies have botched as well. Our advice is, don't bother the police unless you have an extremely compelling and specific reason to do so. Don't call the police unless you absolutely MUST, and you have absolutely no other choice. If there's any possible way you can continue on with your business or your life without calling the police, do so. They're far too busy to handle your crime effectively. They're far too amoral to care. What are they busy doing? --Mostly infighting and backbiting, looking for criminals who have personally pissed them off, or who have committed crimes against their relatives or friends, or trying to solve crimes that are high profile in the media---or which might BECOME high profile if they aren't solved. That's pretty-much all local law enforcement does, and it doesn't even do that very well. Once in awhile you'll get lucky; they'll have a little spare time, and if the case isn't overly complicated and they can actually understand your complaint, they might work halfheartedly to do something on your behalf. Or not. Again, our advice is to not waste your time--chances are extremely high you'll only end up being pissed off and disillusioned. Save all that energy for other remedies. Are there regions of the United States that have better law enforcement? God yes! Many, or even most states are generally a little better. In some states, law enforcement works almost like it's supposed to. It's the people that make the difference, and the people in this stagnant little cul de sac of the country aren't universally known for their character, intelligence or honor. But many states have even worse law enforcement than Washington state. That may be hard to believe, but it's true.
"The police" will usually act if:
(1) The case has a high-media profile, or is likely to have such in the future
(2) They know the perpetrator and personally have a gripe with him/her
(3) The crime is one of the department's currently hot issues
(4) The crime created an emergency situation which could not under any circumstances be ignored by law enforcement.
(5) There is one more instance in which law enforcement is guaranteed to absolutely shine: That is if you take "the law" into your own hands. Law enforcement will often refuse to do the job it's mandated to do, out of laziness, incompetence, corruption, but it will most assuredly work overtime to do its job if YOU try to do it. There's an old saying; we're not stating our opinion of it: Frontier justice is wrong, but it's wrong less often than the courts.
If, for whatever reason, you feel absolutely compelled to file a report of some type in order to document a situation, you "could" file it with the police---who are about as likely to lose it or purposely bury it, or not, depending on their whim. Or, you could file your report with an attorney's office and simply have them keep it on file. Some title companies can offer a similar service. You simply need a reliable space in which to store your document, and sme third party entity who can attest to the date you first stored it with them. Had we filed a report in the original kidnapping of Rhonda by Carl Johnson way back in 1973, no prosecution would have come of it. The report would have been a waste of time. Who knows if the Aberdeen police would have even accepted the report? I am personally aware of a man, a Seattle City employee who by happenstance stumbled onto some documentation that was astoundingly dangerous to the continued career options for a particular Seattle Mayor. The man was determined to make the documents public; the mayor was just as determined they should remain secret. To this end, this imbecile of a mayor began to put pressue on the whistleblower. One miniscule piece of that pressure amounted to having two lesbian Seattle City employees actually go down to the Seattle police station and file two separate rape complaints against the object of the mayor's ire. SPD, being "in" on the setup, dutifully processed the complaints and went right after the poor would-be rapist. The cops (and the two lesbians AND the mayor) were chagrined to discover, however, that this alleged violent rapist had been in Europe for several months before the alledged rapes, and at the times the rapes were supposed to have occurred, and for several months after that time as well. SPD was mad as Hell when they had to stop the investigation, as was this little dirt-bag of a mayor. Now, any morally inclined police department would have instantly gone after the two lesbians (not to mention the mayor) for lying to police, making false accusations under penalty of perjury, etc. etc. ad nauseam. But SPD couldn't be bothered. Instead, when the real victim, the accused rapist, tried to file complaints against the two women, Seattle PD refused to even issue a case number. They took his statements and threw them away, each and every time he tried to lodge the complaints. To this day this man's complaints do not exist in SPD files, and the two slippery gals were never so much as questioned. This is how western Washington law enforcement works. It operates like this every single day, day in and day out, with utter, absolute and total impunity, and you. have. no. recourse. to. change. it.
So should you even bother to file your complaint with any law enforcement agency, especially one in western Washington? What would be the point? Our repeated complaints to Seattle police about Carl Johnson have gone un-investigated and unresolved, even though it would be a SNAP for law enforecement to solve the case and tie Carl Johnson directly to the threats. Our repeated appeals to Port Townsend and Jefferson county law enforcement have been ignored. SPD itself even refused to respond to Port Townsend PD! Our repeated complaints to Lisa Johnson, in the King County Special Assault unit, have gone, to this date, 7-11-05, some seven months after the fact, utterly and totally unanswered. So....in the end, who needs the aggravation of this kind of stupefying unprofessionalism and malfeasance? No one.
We knew when Rhonda was kidnapped by Carl Johnson way back in 1973 that there was no point in wasting our time with the police. We knew when Carl Johnson began harassing her in 1994 that there was no point in wasting our time with the police. We knew in December of 2004, when Carl Johnson began calling her workplace and making threats that there was NO POINT in wasting our time with the police, but against our better judgement we decided to try it one last time. That was a collosal waste of time, energy and money, as it nearly always is. We've certainly been proven correct and this website documents it.
The American public needs to understand once and for all that it is largely ON ITS OWN. Law enforcement in this country mimics every other government agency -- they're ineffective, dishonest, unintelligent and almost completely valueless as a public service. Stop wasting your time on them, and start exploring other avenues of resolution.
The little film clip below is from the Nancy Grace program (CNN). While we think Nancy Grace is a semi-retarded witch, possibly or probably responsible for the inexcusable prosecution of many innocent people, this victim's story just happened to air on Nancy's show.
The featured woman, Jessica Gonzales, had an abusive ex-husband. She did "the right thing" and obtained a court-ordered no-contact judgement against him. He broke it repeatedly. She called police repeatedly. She was not protected from him, because he had retained a piece-of-shit defense attorney who worked overtime to keep the guy free, and because her local law enforcement was utterly impotent. On a particular evening the man took the woman's three girls. He was seen in a particular area with the girls, and this was immediately passed to police. Police repeatedly, steadfastly refused to simply GO PICK HIM UP. Shortly thereafter he killed all three little girls. The police picked him up THEN.
This woman wanted to sue the police. But the courts wouldn't allow it. Law enforcement goes to extreme lengths to be sure they are never held responsible for their incompetence---indeed, that seems to be the only area they ARE competent in! Jessica Gonzales took her case all the way to the Supreme court, which also rejected her request to do nothing more than file suit against the police department which had directly failed, through arrogance and incompetence, to protect her children. The Supreme Court also denied her this most basic right, and this is the decision being discussed on the Nancy Grace show in the clip below. This woman states, "The police are the last people I would ever call if I were in danger." We feel exactly the same way, and this sentiment is growing all across the country. The citizenry needs to know what to expect (nothing) from their local law enforcement BEFORE they find themselves in the same situation as Jessica Gonzales.
So in the end analysis, should you call the police for really anything at all?
The answer is this: What. Would. Be. The. Point.
Question #2: If being harassed, should you file for anti-harassment or protection orders?
Consider this: If the person harassing you is a whacko, a restraining order will probably just enrage him/her even more. For many people, the harassment takes on a life of its own after obtaining a restraining order. Reasonable people might expect that if the harassment continues after an order is issued, then the police can REALLY do something because it's a far more serious crime to ignore a restraining order than to merely harass someone in the first place. But if you assume that law enforcement is going to help you even in a cursory sense, you haven't bothered to watch the little film clip shown above.
If the person harassing you is a logical, reasonable human being, chances are the restraining order will work. But if the person harassing you is a reasonable, logical human being, chances are they weren't harassing you in the first place---you only imagined it. Usually, a rational, reasonable person is no threat, and would stop whatever they're doing if simply asked. In this case a restraining order isn't needed anyway.
So.....should you file a restraining order if you're being bothered? Again: What. Would. Be. The. Point. You're going to have to solve the problem yourself after the order is filed, because law enforcement won't help you in any meaningful way. So why not save some cash, save yourself the agravation of making a court appearance or two, and solve the problem BEFORE obtaining the order. As noted in the video clip above, restraining orders are a waste of time. They'd be of great use if they were enforced---but they're not. Just say no to restraining orders.
Question #3: If being harassed or threatened by someone, should you hire an attorney? Will the cost be worth the benefit?
To answer this question, let's look at the two Seattle "attorneys" retained by both parties in this case: James Doros, retained by the harasser (Carl Johnson and his lovely wife), and Steve McConnell, hired by the harassee (Rhonda), and see what benefit (if any) either of these sociological prizes imparted to their clients. Are either of the clients better off for having paid out big bucks to either of these men? No. Both sides are in considerably worse shape as the result of having foolishly lavished cash upon these two social parasites.
Consider the "attorney" hired by the complainants, one Steve McConnell of Seattle. This lawyer was suggested to us by another attorney who since turned out to be an individual we did not care to know even on a casual basis. We had talked to McConnell on the phone, and he seemed to be of average intelligence, seemed to understand the case, etc. We then met with him for an hour, 50 minutes of which were utterly wasted on tedious arrogance and pomposity. When we left his office we stopped on the sidewalk, looked at each other, and silently shrugged in disgust. Our relationship with the man deteriorated from there. It was clear we'd hired a cross between Ted Baxter of the old Mary Tyler Moore show, and J. Peterman (John O'Hurley) of Seinfeld fame. To wit: McConnel was, in our view, a f---ing baffoon. In little over a week the man sucked roughly $2000 from us, and never made a single appearance in court. We're hard-pressed to think of one thing he accomplished on our behalf of any significant, legitimate value. We feel this guy is qualified to oversee the completion of your will, to handle a squabble with your credit card company, or maybe to negotiate the ownership of a contested cat in your divorce, nothing more complicated or pivotal than that. We feel $60/hour would be top dollar for this guy, and even then we'd have his work double-checked by a paralegal. The opposition's attorney THANKED McConnell for his COURTESY to HIM! This ain't a guy you want protecting your very lives from the likes of Carl Johnson or James Doros.
Did Carl Johnson's "attorney" accomplish any more for him? No. The venerable James Doros wrote up a lengthy statement for his client, had his client sign it, and submitted it to the court. Unfortunately the document consisted of perjury after perjury, which Carl Johnson may now be charged with. Doros got Carl out of the anti-harassment order, barely, for now, but dug a much deeper hole for his client in allowing him to repeatedly lie to the court. Rumor has it Johnson's expenses were in the $3000 range. What a bargain. James Doros is, in our humble view, barely above a common criminal. He has a right and a duty to defend his client to the best of his ability. That does not include, however, altering the facts, or allowing them to be altered, and using trickery and deceit to help his client lie to avoid prosecution, and that is what we believe this man has done. Doros is simply a piece of shit. There is no more polite or socially acceptable way to describe him. Law school teaches these guys that nothing matters but "the law". That is in error, but weak-minded individuals, eager to be relieved of the rather cumbersome duty of forging one's own moral code, are drawn to the profession, happy to adopt a sliding scale, open-ended morality in which all things may be justified, no matter how counter-productive to society, illogical, or devoid of decency or honor. Enter stage left, James Doros, another hapless, witless Seattle attorney who can't see the forest for the trees, and who frankly doesn't care.
Here you have two nitwit attorneys who glom onto two opposing parties and suck them dry -- while providing no real relief for the victims, and digging a hole of deeper criminality for the perpetrator. But they both got paid! And isn't that really all that matters to most attorneys?
So....Should you hire an attorney in a situation like this? If you could somehow be magically be assured of hiring one that was competent, honest, and affordable, perhaps, yes. But since those qualities are almost non-existent in America's attorneys today, we say forgoe this waste of funds and the resultant assault on your sanity and look for other remedies.
To be continued....
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