Where'd Todd Go?...
On Dealing With Psychopaths and Stalking
Chapter 20 - PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS ON JEFF CAPEHART OVER TIME
For a long time, I never knew; but Jeff had a criminal history, and kept it secret from everyone. Along with his wife (then girlfriend), Susan Tipton, he'd hacked into the UF's IFAS computer system before, and no one knew about it for very many years. He had many friends, too, who apparently also knew, and who apparently tried to help keep it quiet for him in order to "protect" him because they thought of him as "rehabilitated" and someone who was "just trying to make his life better".
As the years went on, I often remember wondering if he had had some prior history of some sort of psychiatric history or problems, and/or if his parents knew of them and were hiding them so as to protect their son.
He was also extremely intelligent...much more so than most normal people.
His wife Susan was extremely narcissistic - exaggeratedly proud not only of herself but especially proud of Jeff. (I sometimes felt she saw him as something of a "prize" AND a "puppet", often treating as a possession rather than a human being - something often noted by others, too.) According to Jeff, she repeatedly tried to convince him that he was better than I was, and that I was detracting from attention that was rightfully owed him.. Susan would repeatedly bolster this in him...almost as if "training" him or "brainwashing" him. "Susan thinks you're stupid and thinks that I do all the work and that you take away all my spotlight!" was a comment Jeff once made to me.
After a while, I started to notice how Susan very often tended to use "operant conditioning" methods on Jeff to get him to obey her. Everything was reward and punishment. If he didn't do something her way, she made him work around the house, gave him lots of chores or duties so as to deliberately hinder or prevent him from doing any of the things that he especially wanted to do. Jeff often complained that she'd yell at him, berate him, and even actually withhold sex from him...especially if she found out that he was hanging around with me. (I suspected possible physical abuse, and asked him if that was indeed occurring; but I could never get a confirmation OR a denial out of him. Though, I HAVE personally witnessed Susan to slap her own cat unnecessarily hard simply for jumping upon and sitting on a barstool.) The psychological abuse from Susan was definite and observed by everyone. Most everyone else would look the other way; blow it off. When Jeff and I WERE friends I used to try to convince him to stand up to her and tell her where to go. I was the only one in the entire ham club who was like this with her. I wouldn't let her boss me around, and would spit back with just as much fire as her, and put her in her place whenever she went too far. Jeff would not ever dare do that. As he put it to me, "YOU know how she gets with YOU! Think of what *I* have to go through! It's WORSE! I have to LIVE with her!" She was one mean woman, and tried to be charming with everyone else so as to hide it.
Before the downfall in our friendship, Jeff's wife once bragged during a lunch get-together with other office employees and myself that in her job at the University, she had access to the "CHRIS database", a database which apparently allowed her access to much personal information about all students and faculty at the University of Florida, and, apparently, "more." Jeff and Susan even argued about this as I remember. Jeff corrected, "...Yah, but only for people in the University." Susan corrected him: "...AN-NEE-BOH-DEE!" I was confused as to why someone would feel this point something so important to brag. "Surely", I thought to myself, "there are rules and regulations AGAINST bragging about such things so as to prevent unscrupulous other people from trying to approach you to use you in some way." (The Census Bureau definitely warns it's employees about such things. I'm sure her office did, too.) I did not think this bragging session on Susan's part to be normal, or something that was likely sanctioned. And I was almost SURE that if her employer knew about it, she would be fired immediately. Why was she so obsessed with having access to this "database"? Why was it so important to her? ...To Jeff, too; and what was he doing knowing so much about that database he supposedly didn't have anything to do with? Obviously, they were discussing work at home between the two of them. This is also inappropriate. Marriage or cohabitation status does not equate to automatic "trustworthiness". This is also discussed in the Census Bureau. And again, I'm sure it's discussed in her own job. Again, what was she doing discussing it publicly, and then why was it important for her to BRAG about it at that?
Jeff seemed to have a dependent type personality. He needed to do everything WITH me present, and commonly tried to get me to come along with him to do things which I had no want or experience to do. There was no reason for me to be present, but he would insist often to the point of illogical, unreasonableness. When I would object or refuse he would resort to insulting and demeaning me. He would get upset if I didn't want to go someplace or do something with him. That always bugged the crap out of me - how he always did that to me.
As our relationship slowly worsened, and he began to feel more confident with admitting darker things to me about himself, he admitted to tracking my activities and whereabouts on the web often, using things such as IP address tracking and web counters, and checking logs on the GARC server, and admit that the reason that he did this was so that he could tell when I was at home and thus, could answer the phone. And if I did not answer, then he "knew" that I was "avoiding" him. When I admonished that this was not normal behavior that most anyone else resorted to, he balked that it was not against the law and that I was being ridiculous and getting upset for no reason.
When on vacation, he would gather unsolicited "gifts" (unwanted gifts) for me and give them to me. I didn't like it when he did these things because eventually he would always use them to make me feel guilty later whenever we'd have a disagreement about something. As well, his wife would also try to make me feel like an ingrate if I did not accept them, or if I objected to it.
Often he would insist I take on project ideas which were often not logical or reasonable; and when I would object or balk, or otherwise put on my "management hat" and really "think" about his ideas, again he would resort to insulting and demeaning behavior, and even go as far as to start the project anyway secretly behind my back, and then blame me when it did not work the way that he had thought it would. It often contradicted his extreme intelligence; and witnessing this effect was very confusing for someone of a logical mind like me to understand. (It threw me off for so long until I read some books on psychopathy and sociopathy and other "anti-social personality disorders". To me, it seems to put himself at risk of being caught by proceeding in that manner, and that didn't make sense to me. A LOT never made sense tome about Jeff.) Sometimes this behavior would involve interfering with other projects that I was involved with, and/or interfering with the relationships with other project managers so as to hinder and/or stress my relationships with them and to cause distrust and disillusionment, and ultimately, a failure to be able to reach project fruition or conclusion, such as what happened with the EMWIN Pager Project and the paging service contact with Shands Communications, and with the Gator Amateur Radio Club and the University of Florida and the EMWIN Project.
To defend himself from any fault in the things which would happen to me as a result of his actions, Jeff used "denial", "minimalization", "devaluation", and projection of blame onto the victim (me). It was very common to hear Jeff say things like...
"Susan thinks you're stupid."
"That's not what everybody else is saying."
"That's not what *I* heard!"
"It's your OWN fault that all of this is happening to you!"
"If only you had been a better leader!..."
"If you'd just let them go, things wouldn't be so bad for you! You make these things worse for YOURSELF!"
"Why do you HARP on these things? Why can't you just let them go?"
"I SAID I was sorry! What do you want me to DO?...ADMIT WHAT I DID??? WHY? Then I'd get in trouble! It's already been done! What more do you WANT of me? Why can't you just let things GO? JEEZE!"
(This would be akin to a murderer telling the father of his victim that he's being ridiculous to not want to let what he did to his daughter go or to move on, or like the vandal who destroys someone's car with a bat who then apologizes and admonishes the victim that he's just harping on things, and that things would be so much better for him if he'd just shut up and deal with it - with no promise for recompense, remunerations, or admissions of the crime done. But it is absolutely amazing how many people listen to Jeff talk like this and who actually become entranced in HOW he says it and they actually end up shaking their heads in agreement due to his charm and charisma, and then turn around and end up blaming the victim, too. It was sick and twisted listening to this guy reason himself out of fault at every turn, and in fact turn around and blame everything that he did on ME, as if it was NECESSARY for him to do what he did. Often, he'd even try to tell me that he was doing it all to HELP me, trying to make himself actually appear as if was my hero or SAVIOUR or something!
He was incapable of admitting fault for anything, and always blamed me or others for his own mistakes. (...Usually me, publicly.)
I could never get him to admit to the authorities the things that he did to me, or what he overheard Phil and Melissa say about the GPD cop and how he sabotaged my harassment case, etc. He would feign ignorance of the law, or claim that his information was third party and not valid, or find some other excuse not to take what he knew to the police, or to Emergency Management, or to the NWS.)
In the latter part of the relationship, during the period of time when I was beginning to recognize what Jeff was, and after I had repeated on more than one occasion that I wanted Jeff to cease contact with me and that I wanted him to leave me alone, not to contact me anymore, not to speak ABOUT me anymore to others, and that I was no longer anything that he was to be concerned about, Jeff would reject my demands and deliberately continue to try to contact me. Often he would send insulting, berating emails, try to arrange face-to face meets, suggest WHERE to have these meets, insist he had information that I wanted to hear and would refuse to give me this information UNLESS I met with him face-to-face. After a while, he began to get wise to the fact that I was letting other people know about the things he was doing and saying, and he would refuse to discuss anything incriminating via email or the phone. If I wanted anything important from him, he would only agree to face-to-face meets. If I tried to get him to admit to anything in email or over the phone, he would feign no knowledge and even feign that I was crazy and delusional out of fear that I was making keeping copies of our conversations.
Jeff was NOT ABLE to take rejection or a no. He would be insistent. He would outright refuse to stop bothering me with a definite "no." He was persistent in his harassments to the point of not making sense. Most people would know when to stop. Jeff's persistence would surpass all normal logic and venture into the inexplicable. He would threaten to go to others and try to convince them to make me see what I'm doing wrong. (Threatening behavior.) He would often DO so, carrying OUT his threats. He would go behind my back and try to collect information about my friends, acquaintances, and professional contacts, and would email them, or call them, and try to explain what he saw as my fallacies to them, and then try to convince them that he was only trying to "help" me and to "convince (me) to do the right thing." (Defamation.) Sometimes...no...OFTEN, this tactic would work. Sometimes it would frighten the victim instead...and sometimes it would make the victim afraid of ME, instead, which ALSO served Jeff's purpose.
Jeff would try to convince more low-browed, low-brained types to harass and stalk me, while keeping out of the picture, himself, so that he could feign uninvolvement. (Exhibit manipulative behavior.) These included people like Jay Leiberman, Frederick Scott West, Melissa Royce, Philip Royce, and even his own wife. His wife especially was easily encouraged to get angry over me. Jeff would twist and exaggerate words, try to get her upset with me. Often they would insult and harass me in tag team style. So would Phil and Melissa Royce.
Jeff is also adept himself at using "operant conditioning" to "condition" people into giving him what he wants...something I think he learned from Susan. Jeff craves information, about everything, and especially about people he is stalking and harassing. Jeff would try to get gossip and rumor-type information out of people by using favors. He'd fix somebody's computer and then this would make them feel obligated to answer questions about someone. He'd fix someone's network problems. ("Conditioning" and "reward".) He'd engage in lots of public service activities to obtain the highest possible number of allies and people who think highly of him. He'd take leadership positions in clubs and take charge of activities no one else wanted to put forth the effort to do because it was too tedious. In this way, he'd make people extremely dependent upon him, and obligated. He would make people feel like if they LOST him, the entire operation or club would fail. So people were more willing to ignore any transgressions that they might witness. In fact it was almost as if people had been conditioned to "not see" anything he was doing wrong when he was obviously doing things wrong. No one would then challenge his seeming good intentions, or his seeming good heart, and anyone who dared challenge this usually ended up with a hoard of cultish, angry followers defending him vehemently, even where reason and logic are used. I have personally experienced emergency managers, federal government workers, and police officers go above and beyond to try to sabotage investigations and cases for him.
Up until a year and a half ago, I would have said that Jeff had no criminal history. But he does. He is an ex computer hacking criminal.
I am not aware if there is any mental history or not. If so, I suspect that family members would likely attempt to hide it.
As far as I am aware, neither he nor Susan drink - at least not on a regular basis. Perhaps socially.
I am not aware of any substance abuse or history.
I am not aware of any prior stalking or criminal history other than Jeff's hacking history. (Although this can be publicly expunged on request.)
I am not aware of any sexual dysfunctions, mood disorders, paranoias, or schizophrenia.
I am almost definite that I am seeing evidence of antisocial personality disorders, and very possibly psychopathy. I do not see Jeff as "redeemable", however. He is quite sure of himself and that I am in need of his "help". Complete separation, and publication of his deeds in a public forum have been the ONLY methods by which I have been able to get Jeff and my other stalkers to cease and go away...and even that took quite some time, only very slowly.
I have noted no fascination with assassins or assassinations, nor with death, suicide, obsessive love (although obsessive dependency could be going on here), with a special or common destiny, or with weapons.
Jeff's fascinations lay more with electronics and gadgets, information and information gathering, methods of information gathering (scanners, ham radio, associations with emergency management, fire/rescue, and police personnel), and employment in key central I.T. positions enabling him with access to pretty much any method of information gathering as he could want.
There does not appear to be any religious beliefs or adherence practices, or belief of "cosmic connection" with me.
He holds a pretty well-paying job within the IT Services Department of the University of Florida, making currently approximately $75,000 a year, according to online public resources available off the UF website.
Jeff's stalking behavior appears to be "obsessional based", not an erotomania or love obsession. Seems to exhibit extreme jealousy - half brought on by his wife's complaints, and some insecurity over what people think of me vs. him. We had a previous relationship as friends and this relationship deteriorated and ended. Jeff seemed unable to let the relationship go or to end. Unable to restore that tie, Jeff turned and resorted to more forceful methods to regain control of me. He attempted retribution by various means, and tried to make sure that if he could not have a friendship with me, then I would not be able to have friendships or any KIND of a relationship, personal or professional, with anyone else. He not only attacked me, but sought after my friends and professional contacts, and encouraged other low-browed types to attack me, my friends, and even family members as well as professional contacts. They were all quite successful. Jeff attacked my competence, credibility, and trustworthiness very successfully. He was willing to do whatever was necessary to achieve his goals, and was not able to *stop* once he engaged on a path. He became fixated - as did some of the others he had convinced to also stalk me - on disrupting and destroying my entire life.
Unlike most stalkers who do not go as far as to act on their threats if made, Jeff has actually acted on many of his threats.
Jeff seemed emotionally void. He could understand anger and jealously, and sadistic enjoyment of causing me suffering; but he did not seem to understand concepts such as kindness, fairness, understanding, compassion, or other good-related feelings, emotions, and ideas. I've seen him chuckle at someone else's mistakes and pains, but I've never seen him smile or definitively rejoice when something good happened to someone. His apparent reactions towards such things were always rather..."bland" and nonremarkable. In nearly 20 years of knowing this man, I have never seen him cry. I have never seen him laugh out of control. I've experienced him when he gets angry, when he threatens, when he tries to assert dominance and control. I have seen his dark emotions more than I have seen his brighter ones, which seem to be nonexistent. He laughs and chuckles, but not wholeheartedly or with a whole lot of forcefulness; and usually it's when someone screws up or makes a mistake or says something he thinks is ridiculous. It's usually a sarcastic reaction more often. Or else, it just seems somewhat half-hearted and fake; half-assed.
That being said, he is exceptionally charismatic and charming-sounding. All his words always sound reasonable, but fall apart if scrutinized...and no one ever scrutinizes him because no one ever thinks to. When you listen closely, a lot of what he says is complete bullshit. But if you listen only to the sound of his voice and the confidence in his voice, then you are doomed to never realize that he's just touting BS. I have personally witnessed people do some very stupid and unbelievable things solely from listening to this man.
He has exhibited tendency to attack from afar by encouraging others of lesser intelligence to attack FOR him, often by duping them by overly exaggerating descriptions of my mistakes, what he considers to be my fallacies and downsides, and encouraging these types to formulate their OWN strategies of "taking care of Todd", such as what happened with Scott West, Jay Leiberman, and Phil and Melissa Royce - as well as with his wife, at times. These people were encouraged to either attack me personally, my mother, my friends, or my professional contacts in manners directly and indirectly threatening, and/or in attempt to frighten, or intimidate.
There are, however, no known current or previous possession of weapons, past incidences of violence or hostage taking. However, there does in Jeff seem to be a definite, deliberate disregard of infinitely repeated instructions to stay away, or to stop encouraging others. Through the use of others, he HAS attempted access to me and/or to my family, friends, and associations. As far as I know, he does not have any suicidal or depression tendencies. On the other hand, as a result of this man's harassments, I cannot any longer say the same for myself. As I said before, I am not AWARE of any prior stalking victimizations, mental illness, or drug use. He has not made any attempt to threaten to kill me or others that I am aware. However, he does exhibit a high degree of some form of obsession, a seeming kind of possessiveness over me, and I think a definite kind of jealousy over my work and what I have done with SKYWARN and to some small degree with ham radio in the past, and apparent fear over how others might elevate me. I got this sense from him when someone (Charles Sacco) once asked me for my autograph after a spotter training class, one day, in May 2005. It was in the way that he looked at me and smiled, and his comment that "I think I finally understand you now." ...All I did was sign my name on a stupid piece of paper. It was quite scary the look on his face. It was like a switch had been flipped or something, and the WAY that he said it... Something in me...I got this feeling...it made the hairs on the back of my neck crawl. I remember thinking, like..."This isn't good...something dreadful is about to happen, now." It wasn't long after this at all, in fact, that things really DID start to happen.