As these posts are difficult to write, this is perhaps the most difficult to walk through in my mind. It brings back the horror of the break-ins. It returns the validation of the stalking. That moment. The day I discovered he was back in the house for his play time.
I had been out for a short time in the afternoon. By this time, I had Thor, my beloved white german shepherd. Thor was a large dog. No, Thor was a huge dog. At seven months, he was already weighing in at 101 pounds. He was well-trained and quite playful. He followed me around wherever I went, listened obediently, knew his commands and was a huge baby.
I walked back into my home through the front door. Thor enthusiastically greeted me. As I walked through the rooms on the first level, all seemed well. I always had a habit of checking the locks on the back doors, making sure that they were still locked. They were. Then I would go up the stairs and check those rooms. Thor would happily bound alongside me.
As I started up the stairs, apprehension gripped my stomach and soul. Something was wrong. Every picture I had hanging along my stairwell was hanging just off to the side. As if someone didn’t want them hanging straight. Just pushed off by an inch or two.
I know how I hang my artwork. Straight and neat as a pin. I walked halfway up the stairs. Each hanging frame was the same. Off by an inch or two to the side. I looked to the top of the stair at the painting hanging above a Victorian bar that graced the top of the second-story landing. The painting by an uncle of mine was off , also. It hung just sideways. Staring at me, as if to say, “I’ve been here, you know….now you know…”
Daniel was obsessive-compulsive about certain things. He couldn’t stand when paintings or photos on the wall hung straight. I would watch him tilt them off to the side about an inch all the time. Eventually I became used to his disorder. There was nothing I could do about it. It was the way his brain saw objects and how they made him feel. Seeing something straight and organized made him uncomfortable.
Usually an obsessive-compulsive person wants to have order, and not chaos. In Daniel’s case, it was the opposite. He was uncomfortable with order. To him, order represented uncomfort. It represented rigid rules that brought back horrible memories. Those memories in turn brought on his racing thoughts, his psychological seizures. So without his consciously realizing this, he would walk around the house, and tilt everything on the walls till they were off-balance. Just like he is.
When I saw that top painting off-balance, I knew he had been in the home without question. I ran back downstairs to my dining room. I knew all the locks were on my doors and hadn’t been touched. I knew my windows. He couldn’t have broken into my kitchen or living room windows. They were an oddball shape and not accessible. But then again, Daniel is a chameleon.
My only hope of getting an answer was in turning to Thor, my shepherd. My highly intelligent shepherd. I looked Thor in the eyes directly and demanded of him, “Where did the man come into the house?” I repeated this to him. Thor was very intuitive and responsive to me. For those people who are dog savvey, certain breeds and/or certain owners have a special relationship. I was working with this.
My gut told me to stay in my dining room. Thor pushed me to the dining room window with his muzzle. I pushed aside the drapes and showed him the air-conditioner in the window. I said, “Thor, it’s an air-conditioner. Where did the man come into the house?” Thor pushed me again into the window. He was quite insistent on this window. I stayed there for a moment. Then I looked up at the tall window and noticed it unlocked.
I ran through the house to the backyard with Thor to the outside of the dining room window. And Thor was absolutely correct in what he was telling me. There on the slats of the aluminum, I saw the proof. Bootprints for leverage that had been used for climbing up into the top of the window. Daniel didn’t open the window and come into the bottom of it, he climbed up and through the top of the window. Thor saw it all and reported it to me.
And all Daniel wanted to do that day to prove to me that he was there was tilt the pictures. Because he knew by tilting the pictures I would know he was in my house against the law (by the PFA), but I could do nothing against it. Was I afraid at this point? Did this discovery instill fear in me? I would imagine that was his intention. All I was feeling was anger. Intense anger. Anger with resolve that when he came back I would be ready and waiting for him.
Not to mention the idea that he managed to get past Thor. Although I knew his tricks of getting past dogs in households. Years earlier he had told me of his tricks when he burglarized houses. If there was a pesky dog at a residence, he would give it a steak. If the dog was one that he didn’t like, he would put poison inside the meat. I guess something stopped him from doing that. Something in his sick mind. Nothing out of goodness stopped him from killing Thor. I believe it was more of a cat-and-mouse game in not killing my pet this time. After all, if he did, all hands would point to him, although circumstantial.
So, I called the ever-ready, ever-responsive City Police Department to report Daniel’s break-in to my home. Although it was circumstantial, I had a 50-50 shot that the officer responding would be one that was well-versed in the psychological aspects of a psychopath stalker. An officer familiar with my type of situation. I was lucky. The officer listened to the story. He went around back to look at the boot print on the house from the mud by the patio. He knew I couldn’t have created the print. The foot was too large for me. The officer knew all that had gone on at the Chelsea home. His recommendation? Wait and see if he comes back tonight. And if he does, call immediately.
3:30 a.m. Phone in hand. Sit at my bedroom window. I have a full view of my entire backyard. A view of the backyard gate where it hits the garage and Daniel hops it to gain access to my property. He always comes around at this time of the night. Right as scheduled, I see him hop onto the gate and corner of the garage roof. I hit 911 and report that Daniel has now entered my property against my PFA. The 911 asks questions. Am I alone? Are my doors locked? Can I see him? I answer the questions, they hang up and I wait.
My bedroom window is open a few inches and unbelievably, Daniel is underneath it at the dining room window again, as he was earlier in the day. Only this time, he has brought someone with him. When I saw him hop the gate, I had left the window and made the call. I didn’t stay to watch. I didn’t realize he was letting someone else into my yard. Another woman. For what I will never know.
Earlier in the day, when I had discovered the unlocked dining room window, I had secured it. When I went upstairs for the night, I made sure all doors and windows are locked, as I usually did. As I was listening to him downstairs underneath my bedroom window, I heard a woman’s voice giggling. “Ohhhh…..she locked the window!” she giggled in a winsome voice. I was rolling my eyes to myself, thinking what the hell was he doing bringing someone like that here. “Ouch! What did you hit me for??!!” I heard next. He obviously had hit her for talking out loud and calling attention to them. She wasn’t the shiniest knife in the drawer, that was obvious. This was good, I thought. She was buying the police more time to arrive and catch him.
Next sound I heard was the sirens of the police cars. I went downstairs to answer my front door. I was hoping that one car at least had gone down my back alleyway and would be able to catch Daniel running out the back. With over 250 officers on the force, I had half of the force on my side and believing in stalkers and psychopaths. The other half thought this was some type of fantasy I made up in my mind and would call them for the hell of being bored. Perhaps they thought I was a woman scorned. How ignorant they could be in their thinking of my situation.
The officer at the door told me another car had gone out back first and he was waiting for a report. He asked me to describe what had happened. I did in a calm fashion. Thor was quiet. As I said, he was a disciplined dog and would stay by my side, protecting me. Many times I had to keep Thor indoors because of officers being intimidated by his size, although he had never bitten anyone. It was just his bulk that frightened people.
Suddenly the other officer’s car came racing around Chelsea. The second officer bolted out of the car, asking me how quickly I had placed the call when I had placed Daniel in my vision. I told him immediately. I told him as soon as I had seen him hop the fence by the garage. The two officers looked disconsolately at each other. I knew he hadn’t caught him within the line of the PFA.
“I want to catch the sob already…he was 15 feet out of the line.” the officer said. “What did he say?” the other officer asked. “He said he was driving home from a party.” responded the officer. “This time he has a woman with him in the car,” the officer continued. “I took her name and information.” The first police officer looked at me, and then at his partner. “That’s what she was telling me,” he said. “She said there was a woman’s voice outside the window but she didn’t see her.”
The officers continued to talk rather heatedly together. Thoughts were racing through my mind now. It was roughly 4:00 a.m. He had beat the odds again. Caught by the officers just fifteen feet outside of the PFA line in the alleyway behind my home, explaining quite calmly to police officers that he was on his way home from a party in the middle of a week. There was nothing they could do. They were as frustrated as I was. They were angry at the situation. They wanted him caught. They wanted him put away, locked up and the key thrown away. It couldn’t be done until they caught him within legal limits.
Both officers turned to me again, and asked, “Did you call immediately when you saw him hop the fence?” Of course I did. I wanted him caught. I wanted this to end also. I wanted Daniel in jail. Tired of this life, I wanted him to stop this harassment. No one could understand the hell of being put through this torture by him. By the police. The looks and the coldness I would receive by my neighbors. No one wanted to help me. No one wanted to get involved. This ordeal was going on for far too long and I wanted it to stop.
Told to call back again if he returned, I looked at the officer and reminded him my chances of having a “good” officer respond to my 911 call. He understood. He told me that more officers than I realized wanted Daniel caught and locked up. With as much pleading as possible, he literally begged me to please call if Daniel returned. I promised.
Again, I promised.
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