Where'd Todd Go?...
On Dealing With Psychopaths and Stalking
Chapter 21 - NO HAPPY ENDING...
"If you're going through hell...keep going."
In the end, there is no happy ending. There is no help. Nobody came to the rescue. Nobody came out of the blue at the last minute and saved the day. The bad guys won. The good guy came close to committing suicide, lost most of his friends, and lost an organization that had done a tremendous amount of good and which had done nothing at all to anyone. And all...for no good reason.
I will tell you this, though... I came. I saw. I kicked some mother fucking ass. While they may have kicked the shit out of me until blood ran down my face, I got in some good licks of my own, too, that no one was able to defend themselves against. I fought back, and hard. I didn't lay down. I didn't take it sitting still. I got back on the horse, I grabbed my bow and arrow, and I continued to gallop onwards, firing away into the breech. I scared the living crap out of a lot of people who thought they had the power of God behind them. In fact I put the FEAR of God into many along the way. On the way repeatedly down, I gave the bullies a bloody nose right back, and there was nothing that they could do about it...except cry a lot and go home tattling to mommy and daddy in the hopes that they would come to their rescue but alas, mumsie and dadsums knew what their kids had done and they weren't going to be making any big noises about it. So the bratty little kids were screwed. I made sure of that. Be damned if it felt good, too. I know I earned a hell of a lot of respect from a lot of people, even if they're not allowed to tell me so. Throughout all of the scariness, and all of the pain, and all of the suffering, I kept moving forward. I pushed ahead, one step after the next step. I didn't stop. I kept doing what I had set out to do even though these people had tried so hard to put a damper on it all. I kept moving towards my public service goals, regardless. And I still succeeded pretty well with one, at least. Unfortunately, I have to cave to the fact that the AC-SKYWARN program was indeed quite severely hindered very successfully by the bullies. There was nothing that I could do about that. ...And that stinks.
The things which have happened to me are shocking and unbelievable. But it's that latter word that allowed Jeff and five other ham radio operators to continue doing what they did to me (and to Alachua County SKYWARN) for years. It happened because no one wanted to believe it, and no one wanted to hear it, and no one wanted to "get involved" in it. My favorite was how people always seemed to blame me. Everyone assumed that it was all my fault because (they'd say) I was "encouraging" these people. (People would say this without any knowledge whatsoever to confirm whether or not that was even happening, and it wasn't.) Then there were the people who believe that when bad things happen to you, it's because it's your fault. You did something to bring this bad karma upon yourself, and thereby, everything that happens to you is your own fault. I always seem to get the people who believe in metaphysical bullshit such as that, and things like, "You must have done something in the past to deserve this." People make up all SORTS of BS reasons why things are happening when they don't understand. Then there are the people who believe that some people are just "destined" to have to suffer, and THIS is why things always happen to you. Then there are those who believe that I should be patient because the Lord will only "get" these people in the end. Oh, GIMME a break! Everybody always has some reason to not get involved, some reason to not accept responsibility for doing the right thing; some reason to blame the innocent victim, or blame someone else. It's just..."easier" to handle things in their minds and consciences, that way.
The even worse thing is this... A lot of the people in government and public organizations who took some form of action against me have over time come to realize that all along I was telling the truth. They discovered things. Some came from complaints from people. Some came by actual witnessing. But I will NEVER see any apology or admission from anyone. Want to know why? Because what these people did, while they tried to do it under the table, while they may have thought they were doing it for a good reason, it was still done nonetheless, and some of it unmistakably visible, and there are by now many witnesses out there who would probably come forward if this got out. As well, if they apologized to me, they would be admitting what they did. If they admitted what they did, they would most probably lose their careers, and their homes, and their assets, and their benefits, and their retirement pensions. ...Everything. No government agency would back them up in what they did because even though they did it in uniform in the NAME of their agencies, their upper echelon was not officially made aware of it and they did not know, and upper echelon would NOT back them up or come to their rescue because everything that they did was done without official authorization or even any official communication to upper echelon. Upper echelon would only DISTANCE themselves from their actions, in fact. As well, these people - be they the stalkers or the duped attackers, would be doomed to excessively HUGE Press attention because this whole thing IS huge. It's 'Big Brother', picking on 'Joe Innocent Little Guy', under false pretenses and false accusations, whose civil rights were stomped on and denied at every turn, taking actions against him, blackballing an innocent man, and an innocent organization, and an entire spotter program across Florida and Georgia, too. It's just WAY too huge. It got out of control for them. The attackers won't know how to defend themselves beyond making their lies even bigger and making the stories even more exaggerated in an effort to protect themselves, and thus getting themselves deeper and deeper into the mess that they themselves created. I DOUBT though, that anyone will be HONEST, and come forward, and do the RIGHT thing. I've lived here too long. I know too much. That's not going to happen.
So no. This will not be admitted to. There are people who know. There are people who weren't directly involved who knew but said nothing. There were people who were told, and who didn't want to get involved, and who let harm come to their brother. There were people who were duped, who participated in the harm. There were people who realized, but still kept their mouths shut, and who tried to slink away. There were innocent people who were not involved at all who were also harmed. There were many civilian spotter groups across northern Florida and southern Georgia whose groups are no longer recognized as a result of the actions of the Alachua County hams, because NWS-JAX sent a memo to all County Warning Area Emergency Management offices advising them to no longer recognize any civilian agencies, and to take on the task of forming their own spotter groups. But the one in Alachua County failed. they didn't want the job. They didn't have the time or the manpower to handle what NWS-JAX had forced upon them. There is no longer any spotter training or organization within Alachua County, and NWS-JAX employees are too afraid to come down here to give one. This is not a good situation for anyone involved. People made mistakes all around. And in the end, masses of innocent people AND organizations were affected and harmed...unfairly.
NWS-JAX seriously believed that I was a problem, based on the rumors from the hams here in Gainesville. Everyone believed the next level below them. No one asked any serious questions. No one verified or bothered to make any attempt to refute any of the rumors. People would have been fine if they hadn't taken any real actions. But they did. I tried to get information out of NWS-JAX about when the next spotter training class could be held. They said that there was a hold on spotter training classes while they figured out what to do. My stalkers were bringing me information - to torture me, really - about conversations within NWS-JAX, and Emergency Mgmt. JAX would talk to Melissa Royce and tell her all their thoughts and plans. Melissa would take this information and pass it to Jeff Capehart, who would pass it to me to torture me. I always knew what NWS JAX was thinking because Melissa couldn't keep her mouth shut, and because Jeff just couldn't resist torturing me. So he'd have to email me, or call me, with the latest that he'd "heard" because it was obsessive compulsively important for him to have to do that. I knew that they thought I was a problem, but I didn't know anything other than that. I didn't know how I was supposed to be a problem, or what specifically I was being accused of. This was being kept a secret. Every time I tried to call them to arrange a spotter training class, they had Caller ID and no one would answer the phone. If I sent an email there would be no reply. They were definitely avoiding contact with me. I wanted to know why they were reacting this way to me. I needed intelligence.
I knew what they were doing, so I developed a plan. What I needed was a pretty-sounding, really attractive voice. I went to my Assistant Coordinator, who was also my best friend, and asked her to call NWS-JAX and try to find out what she could. It's mean. It's devious. It's sneaky. It's underhanded. It was just as underhanded as what they were doing to me, so I really don't care. In war you do whatever you have to do. Period. Sun Tzu teaches that.
She got ahold of Steve Letro. Steve had NO PROBLEM with sharing everything that he wasn't supposed to tell us to this pretty-sounding voice. (stares at ceiling) I'd had a suspicion that if the voice sounded really cute enough, that they would open right up. I told her to avoid Al and to focus on Steve. Al is kinda weird - naturally suspicious and extremely prejudiced in nature. He jumps to conclusions about people based on body language alone, I'd noted. By comparison, I knew that Steve didn't think in the paranoid way that Al did, although he can be influenced by it. Steve was kinder and easier to talk to. He would be the better choice to try. That strategy actually worked.
I know the following from emails from and conversations held immediately afterwards with my Assistant Coordinator.[see] She asked about a spotter training class, and Steve told her that there would be no more classes until after they and Dave Donnelly had a meeting with "City government officials" about "the problems with Todd and Alachua County SKYWARN," and until they could figure out what to do. When she attempted to get the specifics about the "problems", she said his demeanor changed to irritation, and he wouldn't tell her anything else. She asked him specifically if we could participate in this "meeting." Steve flat out said "NO!" That's important. You can't do that - keep the accused out of the process like that. But at least I now have a witness that indeed Jax had a meeting with ACOEM about "problems" with me AND Alachua County SKYWARN, and that he denied me my civil right to participate in the meeting, to know what was being said about me and Alachua County SKYWARN, and who was saying it, and to defend myself. That is a serious no-no. Had they ALLOWED me in that meeting, maybe all of this could have been avoided, and maybe no harm might have come to me. But now the damage has been done, and EVERYTHING has been done, and they can't take it back, or change it, and they're doomed. My witness is a devastating thing for them, because JAX and ACOEM have been trying to hide this, to blame it on other spotter groups that did "unauthorized damage assessment." But my witness proves otherwise, and that it was indeed SPECIFICALLY about me and ACS. After that, actions were taken by NWS, ACOEM, and GPD, and UPD - in cascading chain reaction.
The proper way to handle it would have been to allow me to participate, to allow me the opportunity to answer for myself, and to know who was saying what. But they denied me that.
I asked many people and agencies and organizations and even the police for help. I got blown off and ignored at every step. There IS no one else, no one better I could have gone to. You decide, here. Who did I MISS? I went to the Gainesville Amateur Radio Society's Executive Board and asked them for a hearing and I was ignored. They chose to withhold my complaint and my request from the General Membership in violation of Robert's Rules, and the General Membership was never even made aware. I went to the Gator Amateur Radio Club and was repeatedly ignored, even sabotaged by the Faculty Advisor, who helped keep Jeff Capehart out of trouble with the police by vouching for him. I had a lunch meeting with Dave Donnelly of ACOEM and he recommended that if people were stalking and harassing me that I needed to go to the police. I went to the police, and when the police called him to verify the story that I had given them, he told the police that I was a problem and in so doing, he sabotaged the police department's attitude towards me and DIRECTLY played a role in causing that cop to sabotage my case. My other stalkers, specifically Phil Royce - who according to many hams bragged threats of physical harm to me in "dark alleys" or if "alone" with me, and Melissa Royce, convinced many good people that there were problems with me. Melissa herself forged unauthorized business cards to both ACOEM and to the Alachua County Red Cross, and gave herself titles and positions and experiences that she didn't actually have, convinced ACOEM that I was relinquishing control of Alachua County SKYWRN to them, and that I was placing her in charge, and convinced ACOEM to create a new SOP manual and documents using Alachua County SKYWARN's name; and when they submitted copies of the SOP for my approval, I got mad, and complained to both Dave Donnelly AND Chief William May. Dave Donnelly and I corresponded by email and every time I tried to set up a meeting with him, it ended up being put off or cancelled.22 Chief May, not understanding what was going on, insisted that no one was attempting to "take over" Alachua County SKYWARN, and wanted to work out a "deal" with me and to come to an "agreement" with my stalkers.6 I was livid. When I did not agree to "coming to an agreement" with people who were stalking me, he TOO blew me off. See, he was led to believe that I was doing this with full knowledge, and in full agreement. It didn't occur to me until a LONG time later that he probably thought I was changing my mind, and that I was nuts. Meanwhile, Phil and Melissa and the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management continued to proceed with creating a spotter group which took over the use of the Alachua County SKYWARN name, despite my demands to cease and desist. At the same time, Melissa Royce sent me a harassing email and I went to GPD with it and filed a complaint, and requested them to subpoena IP logs from Bellsouth and Yahoo for confirmation and something to go to court with to try to STOP all of this insane stuff going on. GPD then sabotaged the case. I even complained to Spencer Mann at the State Atty's Office. He was rude to me and condescending and treated me like I was being completely irrational and like i was an irritation and some kind of a lunatic. The tone in his voice was...accusatory. I tried to complain to NWS-JAX. They weren't concerned, either. In fact, they were the ones who had started this whole mess.
So who did I MISS folks? Who did I miss? I went to all of the proper places. I notified all of the proper people. I begged for help and no one would act unless I had proof.
If I was female, wore tight jeans, boo-hoo'd a lot, and complained that people were stalking and harassing me...think they'd ask me for proof? No. They wouldn't. They'd be all over it. ...Immediately. They'd take it seriously, and act right away, without hesitation. ...But I'm a male, and I'm just being a cry-baby. Right?
Meanwhile, the stalking behavior only got worse and worse, until most recently in February of this year, when I called UF PD on Jeff Capehart for breaking into the AC-EMWIN server. He still got off, because Dr. Garlitz vouched for him and also implied that I was a problem. But I think everyone finally began to see that I had had enough, and things have at the moment become peaceful. But I know this is only temporary. It always is. They go into hiding for a while, until they think the coast is clear again; and they always come back again.
You know? Many times, I'll watch a movie, and I can appreciate the research done into the bad characters. Many a book and movie is based upon real research into their darker characters, based upon real, actual happenings, and they're incorporated into the movie. And many a time, I'll be watching these movies, and see parallels in my own harassers, in the ways that I've been treated by these whacko people...
Have you ever watched movies like Basic Instinct, Cape Fear, Copycat, Fatal Attraction, Fear, Misery, Pacific Heights, Play Misty For Me?, Single White Female, Sleeping With The Enemy, Swimfan, The Crush, The Fan, The Vanishing, Unlawful Entry, When A Stranger Calls Back (the original with Carol Kane)? Every one of those movies has some scene or sentence spoken in it which rivets me, which chills me and scares me deeply because of the haunting similarity, obviously or even slightly, in the same apparent mindset, thinking, and/or actions noted in my own stalkers...
Fear dealt with a guy who stalked a girl he liked, who feigned being a nice guy at first, who then turned on her and tried to destroy her life and manipulate her family and friends when she began to realize what he really was. Misery dealt with a psychopathic female fan who pretended to be nice at first and who took her idol hostage, and physically harmed him to make him write a book the way SHE wanted. Pacific Heights was about a man who intruded into an innocent couple's lives and moved into a rental room they owned and wouldn't pay rent, destroyed their property, stalked them, got the owners into a lot of trouble, while the police protected the bad guy. Play Misty For Me was about a woman who had a crush on a radio personality who wormed her way into his life and then became a stalking nightmare who in the end tried to kill him because she couldn't handle that he wasn't able to return feelings and give her the relationship that she wanted. Single White Female was about a woman who had just ended a relationship with a boyfriend and who searched for a new roommate. The roommate feigned being really nice and they developed a good friendship. But when the boyfriend came back, the roommate turned on her friend and began doing things to destroy her relationship with him - including killing her puppy, erasing answering machine messages, imitating her looks, pretending to be her, beating and attempting to kill her best friend in the apartment upstairs, having sex with her boyfriend, killing her boyfriend. When the woman began to realize who her roommate really was and what she was doing, the roommate turned on her and tried to kill her. The roommate turned out to be someone mentally ill who had killed her twin sister when she was young, and assumed her twin's identity. The roommate tried to explain that everything that she did to her landlord friend she was doing for her own good. Sleeping With The Enemy was about a married couple. The husband was a psychologically and physically abusive, controlling, psychopath who happened to also have an obsessive compulsive disorder about orderliness and cleanliness, who made his wife keep the entire house spotless, and who had to have everything done his specific, perfect way - else she'd be abusively punished. In public, he put on the face of being a very nice man to everyone. One day she feigned her death and ran away to another state to get away from him and his control, and to try to change her life and find some peace. When he found out that she wasn't dead, he investigated and found her, and attacked her and her newfound friend.
Each one of these movies reminds me in some way or another of the way that Jeff Capehart and/or his minions has treated me in the past. In each case, these people didn't see the wrong in what they did. They in fact enjoyed what they did. ...And they even convinced themselves that they were justified in doing what they did. Often, they were able to convince OTHERS that what they were doing was justified, and to convince other people to aid them - without even any hard thinking about it. In my case, even cops and emergency managers were convinced to play along! In every case, the main plot is usually narrowed down to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, someone else having complete control over your life and it's outcome, inability to defend one's self, and the victim being mistakenly blamed as the bad guy by the rest of the community. The movies usually have some form of a happy ending. Real life, however...often doesn't.
I tend to like movies which show characters who endure great suffering and hardship and who in the midst of that show great strength of character, great patience and endurance throughout the suffering, and ability to stay true to one's self no matter what; who no matter how hard people and/or life may try to hit them and bring them down, they still remain anyway. They stay strong and gold and come through.23 These kinds of movies inspire me and give me hope, and give me the idea to keep going regardless of how bad people make things for me. It's up there with having really good friends you can trust, respect, admire, and believe in. Good friends are very important. A good ATTITUDE is next, but again that has to be supported by good friends. And I guess that must be why my stalkers try to attack my friends so much, because they know that. They knew that part of my strength came from the unbelievably strong friends I kept, so they tried to destroy that at every opportunity. Attack, attack, attack. Get RID of the friends, you get rid of his strength. In many cases they were successful. A good many caved, being afraid that they too would become a target. But the best ones...they remained. Friends like that bring the most important thing: trust and faith and belief in one's self. ...And if you have that - barring somebody actually shooting you in the head - you can get through anything. ...And the bad guys can't STAND it when the good guys remain standing after all the smoke has cleared away. No. They can't stand that.
I'm done running from these people, these idiots, these...ASS-holes. I'm done being stalked and harassed. I'm done being attacked. I'm coming back out from hiding and the stalking and harassment had better stop because this time I'm going to fight to the max of the law. I will not be ruled and controlled by psychopaths and people with other similar anti-social personality disorders, which the local ham clubs seem to be full of, lately.
Everyone be warned. I'm thinking lawsuits. I'm thinking Press. I'm thinking going after GARS, GARC, suing those clubs, dissolving them for being a danger to society. I'm thinking of suing those in the NWS who attacked me irresponsibly, in Emergency Mgmt who attacked me without question or proof that I was indeed even a real problem, and in the police department. I WILL get my name back. I WILL make people own up to what they did.
I am EXTREMELY hurt and saddened especially by the GPD Detective's decision to act based not on careful and diligent forensic thinking or protocol, but instead upon gut feeling, guesswork, and unproven opinions rather than facts, and in the end causing so much additional and unnecessary pain and suffering to another human being as a result. I CANNOT believe that that happened to me. GOD! That happens only in the movies, on TV...not in real life. ...Or so I thought. But now I know better. I am SO disheartened now in ALL police everywhere as a result and, in fact, I am now afraid of them as a whole. I see favors. I see lies. I see making things disappear. I see hiding things. I see innocent people being put in jail, or accused of things they didn't do, or labeled by improper, non-diligent police work. I no longer trust them to be intelligent, to know what they are doing, to do the job correctly without ineptness and irresponsibility, be it deliberate or careless. I cannot any longer look at anyone in uniform and think to myself..."that uniform means trustworthiness, honesty, honor, and goodness." This is something I have to fight every day, now. It is very difficult to stay on the path of believing in humans as a whole when even our guardians cannot be trusted to protect us the way they are supposed to. I am so disappointed. ...So disappointed. :( In the end, I am sure that the detective will claim that he thought he was only doing the right thing to help what he thought were innocent victims. He had become Judge Dredd. But the innocent victims in this case were actually what he thought to be the "bad guys" and, regardless of the fact that the detective made an error in judgment, his irresponsibility in letting himself get emotionally involved in the case ended up in the end causing great harm to the wrong person. And now, his entire organization is at risk of a lawsuit as a result. An innocent person's life's work is destroyed, his name in ruins, and an entire spotter program is no more...because he, and people like him, went too far, did favors without asking why, didn't follow proper procedures or laws, and took justice into their own hands.
In all of my life I have only wanted to do good by people. I come from a background of pain and suffering and great bad luck, and in all of my life I have always known just exactly how I never wanted to be treated by others and thus I always treated others the exact opposite of the way that I had been, by design. I know right and I know wrong, and I would never bring harm to anyone on purpose. Alachua County SKYWARN did no wrong to anyone. I did no wrong to anyone. All I ever did was try to defend myself from assholes, and I never tried to cause other people pain. But it seems all anyone in public service circles here in Alachua County ever wanted to do was cause me great trouble, and NONE of them can explain why if asked. In 1997, I created Alachua County SKYWARN largely by myself, and I put all of my heart and soul into it, and it became one of the best spotter programs in the entire nation. I've always been proud of this. The program did no harm. It was there for the people. It was there to protect lives. It did that. I did that. Some people didn't like that. But I'm not going to apologize for it. I am in fact extremely proud of it.
...And if anyone doesn't appreciate that then they can go to hell.
I didn't deserve this. I didn't do anything to anyone. I simply tried to run a program in the best way. And I did that. My program helped people. It did so well that some may have thought it overshadowed some of their other programs. And for that, some people hated me, and they took their hatred out on me. They wanted me "out of the way". I'm not ASHAMED that ACS did so well...without incorporating, without begging for any funds from people, and yet still accomplishing it's task most excellently. I'm PROUD of that! I did it RIGHT! I did it PERFECTLY! People hated me for that.
But... I'm still here!
I have been SO strong. I have put up with SO much! But I have a RIGHT to be upset with what these people have done and with all of the irresponsibility shown regarding all of this at the hands of many people, and multiple organizations (GARS, GARC, ARRL) and government agencies (police, emergency management, NWS, University of Florida). The things that have been done to me are incredible and border on disbelief. It is INCREDIBLE that so many were so easily duped to do the things that they did. But they happened nonetheless. I deserve to be heard, and I have been repeatedly denied. I asked for help, and I was repeatedly denied. Authorities which were supposed to help me did not. I was completely ignored at every step. I deserve to be able to take everyone to court and get my name and reputation and credibility back, and to punish those who went too far, and who took advantage, and who broke laws, ignored laws, and bent laws.
I can't believe that all of this happened because a few ham radio operators disagreed over the operation of a spotter group where...if they didn't like it...they could have easily have started their own. But instead, they took this ridiculous route of convincing agencies and organizations to pick up torches, and to label, and to hate. Now everyone has engaged in some way or another in this and now they have to explain, or RUN. And I have to ask: ...WHY? Why couldn't anyone use their heads in the handling of all of this? Who convinced all of these people that using logic and reason was not the way to handle it; but rather, to completely and utterly destroy Todd and Alachua County SKYWARN...and that this was the ONLY way to go? In what WAY was I so BAD? Somebody please EXPLAIN this? What WAS it that I DID? You all took real ACTIONS against me and ACS, both. So...WHAT WAS THE JUSTIFICATION??? ...WHAT? Do you all REALIZE how BAD you look? How AWFUL the things that all of you did were? ...Especially you who hold important political positions in government? Do you realize that you have now placed your entire agencies at risk of lawsuit because of how you handled this? WHY? I want to know WHY? Do you even KNOW what it was that I supposedly did? ANY of you? Jesus CHRIST, people! What the hell have you DONE to yourselves, now?!!! Your CAREERS are at risk! Your lifestyles! Your families! What's going to happen to your wives, husbands, and children after you get sued and your homes and cars and assets and benefits...everything that you own and worked so hard for...are taken away and handed over to me? How could you be so STUPID, so BLIND, so CARRIED AWAY?!!! Was all of this WORTH it? WAS it? What the hell is WRONG with you people?!!! What have you done to the agencies you work for? ...the National Weather Service? ...the Alachua County Office of Emergency Management? ...The University of Florida? ...the UF Police Department? ...the Gainesville Police Department? ...the City of Gainesville? ...the County of Alachua? What are the City and County Commissioners going to say when THEY hear about what happened here? What are your Regional Supervisors going to say when THEY find out you all acted out of place, unofficially, under the table, without knowledge, warning to, or permission from your superiors - who had no clue? How are you going to explain all of this to them? How are THEY going to explain all of this when the Press microphones and cameras are shoved in their faces, and/or when they get served with a summons? Are you even AWARE of what it is that you've DONE? Did you even THINK about the possible CONSEQUENCES of your actions? Well........I'll bet you're thinking about them NOW.
You know what REALLY gets me? Anyone could have had their own spotter training classes within their own groups at any time...with GARS, GARC, ACOEM, CERT, ACFR Reserves, Red Cross, or whatever. Can anyone tell me why Alachua County SKYWARN had to be DESTROYED in order to have any spotter training classes in this town? ...Anyone? Did anyone ever stop to ASK themselves that? What was SO BAD about Todd Sherman and Alachua County SKYWARN? Everyone picked up these torches. Does anyone know WHY they're holding them, by any chance? ...Anyone? ...ANYone? No volunteers, eh? Nobody knows?... Nobody has any answer?... Anyone have ONE story about the horrible things that Todd Sherman actually did to THEM...PERSONALLY? ...No? ...No one?