The episode of Stalked: Someone’s Watching featuring interviews with me, my friend Dawn, and my family will rebroadcast tonight on Discovery: ID at 7:30 PM Eastern Time. The episode is also available for pay view. A synopsis is HERE.
The producer wrote to let me know the ratings were very high. Very surprised there was so much interest in it.
Naturally, some facts were changed to protect private information, and to condense roughly 25 years of material into a half hour. Here’s what I wrote on my FB page.
It was interesting that the show emphasized his spreading the weird rumors about my wild life sleeping with all the men in the business. Most of whom I’d never met. They did not mention the fact that he then spent years accusing me of being a lesbian. All that was the least of his weird antics. He spent many years trying to file false claims with the EEOC for discrimination, since he repeatedly tried to get me to hire him. Also, he tried to report me to the IRS, as well as the postal inspector, and a host of other government agencies. He claimed I discriminated against him because he was male, old, and Jewish.
Around 1996, he wrote a series of letters in which he came up with the brilliant idea that he and I should tour conventions together. This was after the bizarre encounter with his mother. The people they cast in the show to play him and his mother had nothing on the real thing for weirdness. Seriously. Also, his proxies repeatedly slugged me in the head from behind, yelled “Walter says Hi!” then ran off. One of them broke a blood vessel in my hand, he shook it so violently. Then he ran off, too. There was no mention of the many times he tried to give me money, and had my name added to his investments and bank accounts. That was a real mess.
The men I was accused of wrapping around my little finger included just about every notable in the business such as Chris Claremont, Jim Shooter, Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz, with particular emphasis placed on my imaginary romance with John Romita JR, whom the stalker hates with a passion. I find JR JR handsome, funny, talented and…of course it all makes sense now. Losers hate JR.
Some of you may know this already, but this is the same stalker Harlan Ellison tried to scare off for me.
Also, the worst of his harassment campaign was directed at my small press clients and my self publishing operation. He made a number of attempts to get to me via my major publishers, but most of them gave him the brush off. My small press clients were less savvy about dealing with his sort.
Self publishing A Distant Soil during this campaign was a unique problem. I never said it in public, but it was a major reason I closed up shop and went to Image Comics. The stalker spent years calling distributors and retailers trying to get my books banned. I wrote about it here. It is also the primary reason I shut down my mail order business and hired someone to handle it on consignment. He and his proxies played a series of dirty tricks, including placing large, expensive orders and then issuing charge backs on the credit cards.
He also spent some years trying to bludgeon me into hiring him. I dealt with him through my attorneys. One day I sat down and did a tally: the legal costs ran in excess of $24,000. Legal battering was a fairly common way for stalkers to get control and contact with their victims, which I didn’t know at the time.
I was also unaware there was such a thing as “proxy stalking” when all this started. The show seems to give the impression that I stopped going to conventions entirely: actually, I stopped going to conventions in the region where this guy and his friends lived. However, I had several encounters as far away as San Diego, where one of Walter’s proxies tried to crush my hand while pretending to shake it.
Further bizarreness resulted in his trying to pay me large sums of money to have a relationship. At one point he offered $30,000.
The show states that Walter was involuntarily committed to an institution, but that was years ago, and he is now out.
He attended a convention this summer.
EDIT: Thank you so much to the Producers of “Stalked” for all their hard work, and thank you to all the people who have sent their words of support. For obvious reasons, I can’t answer all your notes, but I sincerely appreciate every single one of them.
I also don’t want to give any more information than I’ve given here about the antics and identity of the man who stalked me. I’ve been revealing enough as it is. My intention is not to direct people toward him or to seek revenge. I only want him to leave me alone, and ensure he never hurts anyone else.
I am grateful the show brings awareness to stalking and the terrible impact it has on victims. Everyone who knows and loves someone who is stalked has to deal with this torture. We’re all victims of this crime.
Thank you for your support.