I commented yesterday on a fellow — I’m confident that it’s a male — who has been sending me short, crude, and insulting anonymous emails for well over six years, sometimes at the rate of several per day:
Apparently, being noticed has inspired him to yet greater efforts because, this afternoon, while I was teaching my course on classical Arabic texts, he emitted his longest and most sustained creation in a very long time (and, perhaps, of all time):
I have to admit that his mention of my granddaughter caught my attention. In my judgment, he’s crossed an important line.
I’m confident that there’s no indictable crime here, but I’m wondering — and I’m seriously asking — whether there’s any kind of recourse available to me. If not, as matters currently stand, to the police or legal authorities but to anybody involved with social media. I doubt it, but maybe somebody has a better idea about such things. Serious responses would be welcomed.
My email address — he already knows it, of course! — is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three times in the past I’ve felt obliged to report threats of violence to the local police. (In those cases, I knew that they were coming from a specific person in California, a fixated critic of the Church who is plainly mentally ill; I’m confident that this current case has no connection whatever with those.) The police looked at the threats, admitted that they were concerning and bizarre, and jotted down some notes, but said that they could really do nothing about them unless and until an actual crime occurred. They could, they explained, contact him and tell him to stop sending such messages, but that might simply inflame him further. I replied that I didn’t expect that they could do anything. I simply wanted the man’s name to be in their records in the event that I were to die soon in a suspicious way.
I have pretty much the same attitude toward this current case.
It does seem to me a form of stalking, and the fact that it’s been going on since at least 4 August 2012 (when he sent me ten such messages, followed by five on the next day) seems to indicate that the author of the notes is both obsessed and unhinged. That concerns me at least a little, because sending me hundreds of insulting emails for the better part of a decade may someday seem insufficient to him as a means of expressing his hatred. And what then? Who knows?
I don’t like the mention of my granddaughter.