After Being Stalked For 15 Years, One Woman Explains How She Handled It | Megyn Kelly TODAY


>>>MY NEXT GUEST SAID SHE FIRST MET THE MAN SHE CALLED HER STALKER WHEN SHE WAS 12 OR 13. DANNY, THE ALIAS SHE USES WHEN REFERENCING HIM WAS A TEENAGER HIMSELF, JUST A FEW YEARS OLDER THAN SHE WAS AT THE TIME. WHAT STARTED OFF INNOCENTLY ENOUGH HAS GONE ON TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON HER LIFE FOR 15 YEARS. WATCH THIS.>>I MET DANNY AT CAMP WHEN I WAS ABOUT 12 OR 13. HE WAS A COUPLE YEARS OLDER, 14 OR 15. HE WAS A BIT OF AN OUTCAST BUT SO WAS I, SO WE MADE FRIENDS. WE JUST DID REGULAR CAMP STUFF TOGETHER. HE WASN’T MY ONLY CAMP FRIEND BUT I GAVE HIM MORE TIME THAN OTHER PEOPLE DID. HE WAS A LITTLE CLINGY. I REMEMBER KIND OF WANTING TO HANG OUT WITH MY OTHER CAMP FRIENDS, AND HE WOULD KIND OF HOLD ME BACK. I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THAT WOULD TURN INTO. AFTER CAMP WAS OVER WE STARTED TALKING ON THE PHONE AFTER SCHOOL. THAT WAS NICE. BUT THEN THE CALLS JUST STARTED BECOMING TOO MUCH. THERE WOULD BE MULTIPLE A NIGHT. AFTER I HUNG UP, HE WOULD CALL BACK. I TOLD MY PARENTS. THEY AT FIRST STARTED SCREENING THEM FOR ME AND WOULD JUST TELL HIM I WASN’T HOME. I WAS BUSY. MISPEOPLE PICK UP ON THOSE SOCIAL CUES. THEY GOT TIRED BUT IT KEPT COMING. IN HIGH SCHOOL FACEBOOK CAME OUT. THAT’S WHEN HE STARTED CONTACTING ME ON THERE. AS EACH SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANY AROSE, HE WOULD FOLLOW ME ON THE NEXT ONE. IT WAS EVERY DAY MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY, FIVE, TEN MESSAGES AN HOUR. IT WAS REALLY EXCESSIVE. I STARTED TO REALLY THINK, NO, HE IS A STALKER. THIS IS WHAT HE IS. HE’S MY STALKER. WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE AND HE SHOWED UP OUTSIDE OF MY SCHOOL LIBRARY THAT HE HAD APPARENTLY STAKED OUT FOR DAYS, I WAS SHOCKED. I KIND OF DID A DOUBLE TAKE BECAUSE I HADN’T SEEN HIM IN YEARS AT THAT POINT. MY STOMACH JUST SANK AND JUST TIED UP IN KNOTS. EVEN WHEN SOMEBODY IS NOT VIOLENT OR PHYSICALLY THREATENING, THERE’S ALWAYS A SENSE OF WHAT WILL THEY DO, WHAT CAN THEY DO. >>RONNIE JAKOBSSON SHARED HER STORY IN “WIRED” ALSO A CONTRIBUTOR TO NBC.COM MODERN MEDICINE. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. >>THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. >>LET ME START WITH WHAT YOU SAID IN THAT PIECE. YOU WERE NOTICING HE WAS FAILING TO PICK UP ON SOCIAL CUES. THAT IS SO TELLING. I DO THINK IT’S A RED FLAG ON WOULD BE STALKERS. THEY DON’T PICK UP ON THE NORMAL, LIKE I DON’T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU SIGNALS.>>RIGHT. RIGHT. I HAD GHOSTED HIM, FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD, BEFORE THAT WAS A WORD, AND BETWEEN 2008 AND 2012 WE HAD ZERO COMMUNICATION, BUT THE MESSAGES KEPT COMING AND KEPT COMING. AT FIRST THERE WAS EVERY FEW MONTHS, CHECKING IN ON BIRTHDAYS. AND THEN AROUND OCTOBER 2012, I BELIEVE, FROM AUGUST TO SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER, THE MESSAGES RAMPED UP CONSIDERABLY, EVEN THOUGH I HAD STILL NOT HAD ANY CONTACT WITH HIM FOR, WHAT WAS THAT, FOUR YEARS OR SO. >>HE KEPT ESCALATING IT. I READ YOUR STORY. IT WAS 2006, HE FOUND YOU ON FACEBOOK. FACEBOOK WAS POPPING UP THEN. HE FRIENDED YOU. YOU ACCEPTED IT. BY THIS POINT YOU ALREADY HAD REASON FOR CONCERN. >>YES AND NO. I HAD CONCERN BECAUSE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL WHEN WE WERE TALKING, WHEN WE WERE CAMP FRIENDS, YOU KNOW, I HAD DECIDED I DIDN’T WANT TO TALK TO HIM ON THE PHONE ANYMORE. IT’S FINE. I BLOCKED HIS NUMBER. BUT YOU KNOW, IT HAD BEEN A WHILE. WE WEREN’T IN TOUCH MOSTLY MUCH THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL. AND SO LATER HIGH SCHOOL BEFORE COLLEGE WHEN FACEBOOK FIRST CAME OUT, I DIDN’T SEE THE HARM. >>YOU DIDN’T SEE THE HARM. >>I READ YOU DIDN’T WANT TO BE RUDE. >>RIGHT. I DIDN’T WANT TO APPEAR MEAN. >>THEN LATER HE SHOWED UP AT YOUR COLLEGE LIBRARY AND WANTED YOU TO EAT WITH HIM. >>YES. >>YOU WENT ALONG WITH IT BECAUSE — >>I DIDN’T WANT TO APPEAR MEAN OR RUDE OR, YOU KNOW — ALSO, YOU KNOW, I FELT FOR HIM. >>HAVEN’T WE ALL BEEN THERE? HAVEN’T YOU BEEN THERE? WHERE SOMEBODY IS MAKING YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE, BECAUSE WOMEN ARE RAISED TO BE NICE, AND WE DON’T WANT TO BE NOT NICE, WE MAKE THESE DECISIONS. YOU ARE SO NOT ALONE IN THAT. YOU ARE SO NOT ALONE IN THAT. I THINK PART OF WHAT WE’RE DOING TODAY IS HELP WOMEN UNDERSTAND WHEN IT’S GOOD TO BE RUDE. YOU KNOW, LIKE SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY TO BE RUDE. WE’RE GOING TO PICK IT UP THERE AND FIND OUT AFTER THE BREAK WHAT RONNIE SAYS DANNY DID THAT>>>SO RONNIE JAKOBSSON SAID SHE FIRST MET HER CYBERSTALKER AT SUMMER CAMP AND HE WENT ON TO STALK HER FOR YEARS. HE ESCALATED THINGS, WRITING LETTERS TO YOUR EMPLOYER. SPOOFING YOU. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?>>SPOOFING, IT’S A PRETTY COMMON THING, A PRETTY COMMON TACTIC AMONG STALKERS. THEY USE A THIRD PARTY APP, THEY CAN STEAL YOUR IDENTITY BASICALLY. THEY CAN GET A REPLICA OF YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS OR SOMETHING VERY CLOSE TO IT AND YOUR PHONE NUMBER. SO HE DID THAT WITH ME AND STARTED MESSAGING MY FRIENDS PRETENDING TO BE ME. AS FAR AS I KNOW, HE DIDN’T IMPERSONATE ME TO ANY OF MY EMPLOYERS.>>SENDING OUT WEIRD MESSAGES AS YOU WHERE THEY WERE SAYING, I DON’T THINK THIS IS RONNIE. WHO KNOWS HOW MANY WERE SENT THAT WEREN’T CAUGHT. HOW MANY DID HE SEND TO YOUR EMPLOYERS?>>TO MY EMPLOYERS HE WOULD BRING UP THINGS ABOUT MY SEXUAL HISTORY THAT HE WOULD HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING, BUT ALSO TALKING ABOUT HOW I AM INCOMPETENT. I SHOULD NOT BE A JOURNALIST.>>AND EMPLOYERS, WAS THERE ENOUGH IN THE LETTER THAT THEY KNEW. >>MOST WERE TIPPED OFF HE’S UNSTABLE. I WAS VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE EDITORS — AS I SAID, I WAS A JOURNALIST AND PEOPLE ARE MORE — >>SKEPTICAL. >>DID YOU GO TO POLICE. >>MANY PEOPLE DON’T HAVE THAT. I JUST READ SOMEONE LOST THEIR JOB IN A VERY SIMILAR SITUATION TO MINE. I’M ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES IN THAT RESPECT. I DID GO TO POLICE. IN 2012 HE WAS SPOOFING ME. THIS WAS THE FINAL STRAW. I COULD EXPLAIN TO MY EMPLOYERS. I SAID I WAS LUCKY AND THEY TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD. >>IMPERSONATION. >>ONCE HE HAD MY IDENTITY, IT’S COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. >>YOU COME OUT WITH THE STORY IN “WIRED.” WAS THAT THE MOMENT IMPORTANT YOU, THE EMPOWERED MOMENT WE TALKED ABOUT WITH KATHLEEN, I’M TAKING CONTROL OF THIS NARRATIVE. >>ABSOLUTELY. WITH EVERYTHING HE’S DONE, HE HAS SENT SO MANY LETTERS, OUT TO STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, FTC, FCC, FBI. AND ALL OF THIS I’VE HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS. IT’S JUST PUTTING OUT FIRES. EVERY TIME, EVEN WHEN I HAVE TO TALK TO MY EDITOR, IT STILL TAKES A CHUNK OUT OF MY DAY, IT TAKES A CHUNK OUT OF THEIR DAY. IT’S WASTING TIME, WASTING EVERYBODY’S MONEY. AND AS A FREELANCING — I’M HITTING MY MICROPHONE, I THINK — AS A FREELANCE JOURNALIST, THAT’S VERY HARD FOR ME BECAUSE THAT TIME IS MONEY. >>NO ONE WANTS TO SPEND THEIR TIME. YOU DIDN’T FEEL PHYSICALLY THREATENED BUT THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH. >>RIGHT. >>THE TRUTH IS THAT EVEN WHERE THERE’S NO EXPLICIT THREAT, THE STATS SHOW THAT IN THE MAJORITY OF CASES WHERE A PHYSICAL ATTACK COMES, THERE WAS NO EXPLICIT THREAT BEFORE HAND. WOMEN NOTICED TO KNOW THAT. VIOLENCE IS NOT ALWAYS PRECEDED BY A THREAT. LISTEN, WE’RE GOING TO PICK IT UP ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE. UP ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE. IF YOU WANT TO READ RONNI’S FULL