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Stalkers and Other Obsessional Types: A Review and Forensic Psychological Typology of Those Who Stalk

NCJ Number
Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine Volume: 4 Issue: 4 Dated: December 1997 Pages: 166-172
Joseph A. Davis; Marcella A. Chipman
J. Jason Payne-James
Date Published
December 1997
7 pages
This article examines stalkers and stalking behavior.
Stalking behavior--i.e., romantic, obsessive advances toward a person--has recently been identified as psychopathological by the forensic mental health, law enforcement and legal communities. Stalkers come from all walks of life and, all levels of intelligence. They might not be repeat offenders, and they include persons with diagnosable mental illnesses as well as socially maladaptive behavior. Many possess dependent or controlling personalities. Empirical studies of behavioral characteristics used to determine motive or to predict violence are in developmental stages. There has not been enough time since recognition of stalking as criminal behavior to answer key questions. However, one researcher has classified stalkers as: Erotomaniacs, who falsely believe the victim is in love with them (10 percent of all stalkers); Love Obsessional stalkers, generally strangers to the victim, who employ harassment to gain their victim's attention (43 percent of all stalkers); and Simple Obsessional stalkers, ex-spouses or ex-lovers (almost 50 percent of all stalkers). The article discusses threat evaluation and assessment, intervention, and anti-stalking legislation. Table, bibliography