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Oct 20 , 2014

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The always-on stalker; what HRP shoulda said

by Andrew Douglas
The always-on stalker; what HRP shoulda said

On October 3, Halifax Regional Police Deputy Chief Bill Moore took to the public airwaves to address allegations raised in a recent feature in the local alt-weekly The Coast that cops didn’t treat a local woman’s complaints of cyber-harrassment with the respect they deserved.
But instead of mounting a defence against the marathon, 6,500-word-plus passion play written by local left-wing darling Hilary Beaumont, he rolled over and played dead. Obviously not wanting to portray an uncaring police force in the post-Rehtaeh Parsons era, Bill took the ‘yep, we screwed up’ route.  
But perhaps quite tellingly, there was no mention of crimes gone unpunished, or vows to stop at nothing until justice is done. Instead, the solemn pledge he gave to Information Morning host Don Connolly seemed to have more to do with improving the force’s bedside manner.
“We may not be able to lay a charge, we may not be able to arrest somebody, but we should be able to explain and keep that victim up-to-date on what’s going on in the file,” he said at one point.
It’s difficult to imagine how someone could get all the way through the piece of prose in question, The Always-On Stalker, and not have several serious misgivings about the material, if not the sanity and/or credibility of the two pseudonymous females at the centre of the piece. Not to mention the credulity of Hilary and the rest of the crew over at Best Donair Magazine.
One thing’s for sure, though: if deputy dawg Bill had departed from his rehearsed talking points and told Don Connolly what was really on his mind, we would’ve been in for quite a different official HRP reaction
Would it have gone something like...?
Bill: Put yourself in our shoes, Don.
Don: OK, but I can only put on two at a time!
Bill: The girl in the story, she says that this guy in the States, pretending to be her, convinced a guy here that she had a rape fantasy and she wanted to be raped so could he please come over at such and such time and rape me, the door’s open, the lock’s broken. So the guy goes over to the girl’s place, he lurks on the balcony for awhile, he tries the doorknob and it’s unlocked, but he gets cold feet and leaves. The girl sleeping inside is none the wiser.
Cut to two years later, the guy who almost raped her approached her on a dating site. He’s like, ‘Oh, you’re the girl with the rape fantasy’, and she’s all, ‘What?’. They get to talking, she realizes that he almost tried to rape her two years ago because of this guy online who she’s pretty sure is her ex-boyfriend. What a crazy coincidence that they found each other, right?
Don: Yes, I’ll grant you, that is quite a coincidence.
Bill: And how about this. She dumped this guy in 2009 after he beat her for three years, so he moves back to the States where he’s from. Then a few months later he’s back in Canada, and he’s living in his car outside her building.
She calls the cops, we shoo him away, and then they get back together! Then she dumps him again, he goes back to the States again, and she wants a restraining order. We tell her it’s doable, but she loses interest.
So she’s really petrified of this guy, but not petrified enough to do a little extra paperwork, and also not nearly petrified enough to fix the lock on her door. Do you know many women who spend years in an abusive relationship, dump the guy, he turns stalker, and then she’s comfortable enough to sleep with no lock on her door?
Hell, nobody’s ever beat or stalked my wife, but she can’t go to sleep unless the house is locked up like Fort Knox.
Don: Now that you mention it, I had trouble with the unlocked door bit, too.
Bill: Don, I’m going to level with you here. This girl’s story sounds like an urban legend. The sort of thing that you heard happened to a friend of your friend’s cousin once. Could it have happened? Sure, it could have. Anything’s possible. But do I think it did? Probably not.
And do I want to waste precious hours of police time and resources chasing a jurisdictional nightmare of a case that, if they’re being honest with themselves, nobody really believes actually happened, and certainly not in the far-fetched way it’s been presented to us? Again, the answer to that question is probably not.
You know how the girl in the story went to police in Florida and she got the same reaction as she got from us, basically, ‘Sorry, but there’s not much we can do’? She got that response because that’s the correct answer. ‘Can’t help you with this one, ma’am. How about let’s do a restraining order, would that make you feel better? No? Too much paperwork for you? Well why don’t you just fix the lock on your door, and if nutbar comes back again, give us a call.’.
Don: Well, that sounds reasonable to me. I’m glad we could get this thing sorted out here today. Thank you very much.
Bill: Thanks for having me.
Louise Renault: Bill Moore is deputy chief of the Halifax Regional Police.
Don: Now here’s Peter Coade with the weather...
 

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