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Author Topic: Prank or Threat?
Pixie
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I woke up at 11:30 last night to find the following message on my voice-mail from a restricted number:

"(my name)...
I've been watching you.
And when you come back from (place I'm going)
In (time I'll get back)
I'll still be here,
And then I'll get you."

Needless to say we've called the police.

I'm only 18, so I'm sure to most people it sounds like just a prank, and I'm praying that it is - although god help me when I figure out who did it if that's the case - but there's a lot that suggests otherwise.

I'm usually very careful about giving out my phone number and up until last night the only non-friend or family calls I've recieved have been from doctors or school or military recruiters and even they had caller IDs.

Also, the person's voice... I've never heard it before in my life. The family's general consensus - which we reached at 4 in the morning -is that someone used a voicechanger. It was so nondescript - they sounded simultaneously like and unlike every girl or woman I've ever known. And they sounded truly perverse and like they meant it.

And I've thought over this really hard and for a long time, but I just don't know anyone who would do this as a prank and those I do I've never given my number to. The detail of the message, too, is unnerving, and the worst thing about it is that because the threat is for later on I can't just brush it off if nothing happens within a week or so.

In any event, prayers or at least thoughts would be appreciated and thanks for letting me rant a bit.

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rivka
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Calling the cops was a good idea.

As to whether it's a "prank" . . . well, I'd be seriously concerned about someone who thinks this sort of thing is amusing. So I don't think it matters much if they would claim, "It's just a joke!"

(((((Pixie&family)))))

Stay safe!

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SteveRogers
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(((Pix))) Stay safe! Its good you called the police, even if it is only a prank.
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Dagonee
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Hopefully they'll pull the phone records. You may need to keep on them, though. Sometimes they won't bother with the first threat.

Stay safe!

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mackillian
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It sounds threatening, which means if it's a prank, it's a bad one. Go all-out.
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screechowl
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It sounds threatening, which means if it's a prank, it's a bad one. Go all-out.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Absolutely.

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Pixie
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I'm trying.

I just got the reply call from the police. Basically, I contact my phone company and then if they can't find anything I don't contact law enforcement again unless the threat becomes immediate. Great fun. And just how am I supposed to know if the threat gets immediate when I won't even be home to access my phone???

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docmagik
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Lucky you didn't answer it--at least now you have the voice mail to play.

I'm sorry this happened.

(((pixie)))

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Pixie
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[Wall Bash]

The police can't find the number, the phone company has to.

And the phone company can't find the number without a court order! [Mad]

I get to be scared for a large part of the summer just because someone is afraid of a lawsuit for violating someone's "right to privacy". What about my right to not have to look over my shoulder for someone watching and waiting to "get me"? [Frown]

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Katarain
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Well, how do you get a court order? I think a message like that should be evidence enough to warrant a court order.

The police should have known it would take a court order. I think they're screwing with you because they're lazy. I think I'd call back or show up at the station... or maybe call the District Attorney. *shrugs* I dunno. Someone might have a better idea.

-Katarain

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Dagonee
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Do you have a tape recorded copy of the message. I think if you keep playing that for people, someone will help you get the court order.

If the DA in your town is elected, start there. Don't insist on talking to him/her, just try to get an appointment with an assistant, play the tape, and ask them to get you the court order.

The key is to have a copy of the tape with you, and whenever they get evasive, play it. Remind them that all the facts were accurate.

Failing that, I would find a private lawyer to draft a motion for a court order. But that's not something you should have to pay for. This is the police's job - a crime was committed, they should investigate.

Which jurisdiction are you in?

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Tatiana
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I agree with the above. Keep pushing it until something is done. How many many times have we heard of women who were killed after trying to get protection from the police and being brushed off?

Sounds like a real nutcase. You should not have to live your life in terror.

I believe if it were me I would get a gun and learn to use it, as well. People like that seem to like to prey on the helpless, and they feed on the fear they generate. Be strong, angry, and deadly, and you defeat their purpose. And worst case, if you are attacked, you have a good chance of being the one who survives, thus protecting all the other people this scum might harm or terrify in his/her life, and infinitesimally improving the human gene pool.

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ketchupqueen
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I agree, you need to push for a court order. But don't get a gun unless you are prepared to use it, possibly with deadly force, and I mean prepared emotionally to kill, prepared skill-wise, and prepared for the aftermath that will come if you harm or kill someone, even in self-defense. Otherwise, you're likely to hesitate if you ever need it, and it's more likely to be used against you.
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ElJay
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Pixie, first, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I know how freaked I was when I got an unsigned letter at home that wasn't even threatening, your situation is much, much worse.

Second, I work for the phone company. The person who told you to get a court order either doesn't know what they are talking about or didn't want to deal with you, unless your phone company has a much different set-up than we do. Unless there is a trace put on the line, there is no stored record of who places what calls to where. It's not that we don't want to tell you, there literally is no way to find out. The call gets completed, and unless it's a long distance call that has to be billed the information just disappears.

What you can do is call the phone company again and ask to talk to the nuisance call department. There are two possible things they might be able to do for you. One, that they can just do straight off, is tell you a code to dial after you get a call that will report that number. It's like *69 for last call return, except it creates a log of the call and reports it. It doesn't tell you what the number is, if it's a blocked number, but it makes it so there is a record. If you report the same number 3 times, it gets automatically blocked. And, if you can get the police to take you seriously, they can get that court order and request the records and find out the number.

The other thing that can be done it to put an actual trace on your line, but I don't think they would do that without a court order. I've never had to deal with a situation that serious, they always go through law enforcement straight to our legal department.

I'm sorry I don't have better news for you, particularly since if this was just a warning and nothing else happens until you get back from wherever you're going this won't do you any good. But at least this way you won't waste your time trying to find out where the call came from.

Oh, the number to the nuisance call department also might just be in the front of your phone book. Give them a call and see what they can do for you, and then if whoever it is keeps calling or escalates you'll at least have a way of getting a record.

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Pixie
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The message is saved on my voicemail, although tape recording it might be a good idea, Dag.

Things are moving now, though. My mom called and pushed a few people at the phone company and the police for something more active and it turns out that from here they can take care of it without much help. The phone company is going to contact the police directly, and from there they're going to get a subpeona. After that they said it's almost 100% that they'll be able to get a number and an ID. So... nothing new now but hopefully before I leave. [Smile]

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Pixie
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I don't know if this makes any difference to you ElJay, but it's a wireless phone on one of the major national networks so they really don't think getting the number will be a problem, just doing it legally.

And I'm taking care of myself - a gun I don't even know how to work, but I have a nice little knife that hides easilly should I want it, but for now my "little" brother who is built like a giant is home with me and available for kidnapping should I want to go out [Smile] .

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TL
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Good! Get him a knife also.
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Dagonee
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quote:
it's a wireless phone on one of the major national networks so they really don't think getting the number will be a problem, just doing it legally
Good. If the phone owner didn't make the call, they should be nice and willing to say who did.

Be careful with the knife.

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Katarain
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Pixie,
Have you considered the possibility that person knows who you are here? Have you ever mentioned personal details that they might have read here or elsewhere?
For instance...I use the name Katarina or Katarain all over the internet. If someone knows who I am IRL and that I use the name one place, they could probably figure out who I am at other places, too--especially if they see me drop details about my location, etc.

The details in the phone call seem pretty arbitrary--not knowing what they are, I don't know for sure...but if you mentioned going on a trip here, they might have used what they know to get to you.

-Katarain

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ElJay
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Ah, yes, if it's a wireless phone that makes all the difference in the world. [Smile] Cool, go get 'em.
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Goody Scrivener
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Sounded to me like the caller knew exactly where Pixie was going and when she'd be back. I'm not sure if this was daily errands, a day trip, a vacation, or what. (re-read: oops, she says later that she's going away for a while)

How many people knew your plans to that level of detail? Have you talked to those people about this? I know you said that the voice wasn't identifiable.

I really hope that this turns out to be a stupid and badly thought out prank rather than a stalker. Cause then you get to exact your own punishment on the "friend" who pulled it on you...

{{{{Pixie}}}}

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Pixie
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I don't plan on using the knife, TL, it's just nice to have around. And you brought up a good point, Kat. And in answer, I really don't know.

I have a different username on each of two different email and instant messaging services and neither is the same as this, but I think someone determined and with minimal skills as a hacker could link them all together. We'll see. If it is someone from online, I'll probably be disappearing from the internet altogether for awhile - it's summer so it's actually academically feasible.

Goody, I've only been really careless with my phone number around one person and I just checked that one out with some moderators from my school's website so I'm at a blank. Most kids I had classes with would have heard at least in passing where I was going, but most of my closest friends have had to ask repeatedly when I'm leaving and returning so the date is especially unnerving.

Thank you all for the support and advice, though [Smile] . The police called awhile ago to say that they ought to have an ID tomorrow morning, and then only from there is it up to me to figure out what's going on.

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TMedina
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No knife! If you don't know how to use a weapon, it's as likely to be turned against you as it is to help you.

Not to mention the inherent risks of fighting with a knife not designed for hth combat - you're at risk of causing yourself more injury than the attacker.

If you want a weapon to keep nearby, stop by a local cop-shop, Army-Navy supply store or something similar and pick up a "baton" - typically made of hardwood and not terribly expensive.

It doesn't take skill to start flailing with a club, just motivation. And you're not likely to slice your fingers up as you are with a knife.

And I highly recommend getting a flashlight and keeping it by your bed - in a nightstand, under a pillow - someplace you [u]know[/u] you can find it in a hurry.

This is most likely a prank and a stupid one at that, but better safe than sorry.

And if for some reason you find yourself being attacked, go for the eyes - soft, squishy things and a newly blind man has more pressing issues than continuing to fight.

-Trevor

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Pixie
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Thanks Trevor. I guess from the number of people who mentioned it that I overemphasized the thing - it's simply the easiest thing to grab on the first floor, I'm not carrying it around, etc, especially as the threat is for later and it is possible it's a prank. I'm not really doing anything active at the moment... except maybe consciously staying in the curtained areas of the house whereas normally I just prefer the entertainment of those floors anyway [Blushing] .
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Peter
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wow.......i, uh.......i don't know what to say.
Just, all this advice sounds good, so, if one more person pushing could make a difference: listen to the advice.


((((((Pixie))))))

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quidscribis
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Pixie, I wish you good luck. This sucks. I don't care if it's a prank - if it is, it's a damned lousy one, and the prankster deserves punishment for being so stupid as to do this. Keep safe.

Edited because I should read before I post. [Mad]

[ June 16, 2005, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: quidscribis ]

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Sopwith
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Louisville Slugger.... swing for the bleachers.
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Phanto
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Pixie, if I were you, I would be screaming and hiding under beds and much angst and fear. I send you all the empathy waves that I can muster. This will end with the ****er screwed, and you living happily. I hope.
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Noemon
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Where did my post go?

In any case, what I was *trying* to say that getting a little keychain sized cannister of pepper spray wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.

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Promethius
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What about pepper spray?
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Tatiana
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quid, Pixie and Pixiest are two different people, just in case you didn't catch on to that yet. [Smile]
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TMedina
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If you get pepper spray, make sure you test the "carry bottle" and buy a second for practice.

With practice, you know how it will spray and can get some training time so you can use it effectively when necessary.

-Trevor

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TheDisgruntledPostman
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Well dude, don't let it get the best of you. Cause if it was a prank caller, thats what they wanted you to do in the long run. Get freaked out as they laughed, but their is always the case where it is true. So if you want to feal protected, have some big blunt (of if you have a firearm that too) weapon near bye, and a phone too. Dont get to phyced up that you cant sleep in the night, and be sure that every door is locked. Best wishes, and good luck, and be safe. Us hatrackers are always on the watch for fellow bretheran and bretheriana, ahah
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accio
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Pixie,
Here’s a post on pepper spray. (((hugs)))

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Pixie
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Thank you all for the info. Pepper spray would actually probably be a good investment before I leave for college anyway, but I'll be sure to look into it some if things don't get resolved before I leave.

And this is rather off-topic, AK, but I will never get used to seeing you on here as "Tatiana" [Wink] .

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Mrs.M
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I second what Trevor said. In a hand to hand fight, you want to keep as much distance between yourself and the attacker as possible. A knife is an extremely close-range weapon. Pepper spray and a bat or baton by the door are much better choices. Call your local police department about pepper spray training classes. If they don't offer them, they should be able to refer you to someplace that does.

I also recommend taking a personal safety course. One that I can personally recommend is the NRA Refuse To Be A Victim program. It is not about guns and you won't be pressured to join the NRA, it's a women's safety course. I'm going to become an instructor when we move to Richmond - women's safety is something I'm very passionate about. Please note that this is not a self-defense course, it is a safety course. You won't learn how to survive an attack - you'll learn how to avoid one. http://www.nrahq.org/rtbav/

BTW, I don't think you're overreacting at all. I would definitely view that message as an explicit threat. I'm sorry that you have to live in fear and I hope this gets resolved soon. This is precisely the reason I carry a gun, so that I can be free of that fear.

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Tatiana
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<Curious if the phone company gave you any information yet>
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Raia
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Oh my goodness... (((((Pixie))))) Take care of yourself, ok??
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