Victims Share Stories Of Stalking

Conference Trains Experts On Stalking

Dozens of experts from around the country attended a conference in San Diego to figure out how to protect victims from stalkers, 10News reported.

In San Diego alone, 100 stalking cases have been prosecuted over the last two years.

The vast majority of stalkers are men who harass and threaten their victims, usually when a relationship is over. On average, the stalking lasts two years, and in far too many cases, it ends with murder.

During a desperate phone call, 32-year-old Peggy Klinke tried to make a final attempt to save herself from her ex-boyfriend, Patrick Kennedy.

"It took him about six months to find her. When he did find her, he murdered her within a half hour of finding her," said Debbie Riddle, Klinke's sister.

Kennedy killed Klinke two weeks before he was to go to trial for making threatening phone calls to her, vandalizing her mother's garage and for burning down her new boyfriend's home.

"She filed stalking charges, had a protection order in place, but nothing seemed to be working," Riddle said.

Riddle now uses her sister's story to help counselors, police and prosecutors battle stalkers.

"Around 80 percent or more of your murder cases have a stalking aspect to them," said Mark Wynn, a stalking expert.

Next month, James Cain will go to trial for allegedly gunning down his ex-girlfriend Judith Phillips in her Rancho Penasquitos driveway.

"They are just not normal. (Stalkers) are not like you or me. They're predators and won't stop until they get what they want," said Deputy District Attorney Rachel Solov.

Solov said early reporting is crucial. Women should do what Klinke tried to do -- document any creepy or unsettling behavior.

"Take it seriously. Listen to your gut," Solov said.

In Klinke's case, it was the police who didn't take it seriuosly enough, 10News reported. She moved from New Mexico to central California but her stalker used a private investigator to track her down. When her stalker found her, he beat her and shot her, before turning the gun on himself.

Stalking can start in subtle ways.

It includes following or spying, telephone calls, emails, vandalism and behaviors that cause fear. According to 10News, 83 percent of the time, victims do not report it.

But prosecutors urge victims to call the police or a stalking hot line.

To report a stalker, call (619) 515-8900. For more information about stalking, visit www.ncvc.org.

Crime victims can also call (800) FYI-CALL.

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