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Global artist stalker escalated whilst on a US tour

David O'Sullivan
Written by David O'Sullivan

The Problem

Defuse were approached by the tour security of a globally recognised musical artist on tour in the USA who was troubled by a stalker. As the tour progressed the level of concern increased as the stalker’s behaviour escalated.

A globally recognisable artist was touring the USA. They began to realise that they may have a stalker as the same person was seen outside every venue waving as they left. This person continued to follow them across the US until the tour reached Los Angeles. The tour security enhanced their security presence and took advice from a private detective. Once they arrived in LA, the stalker escalated and began making approaches to the management company, music company and others engaged with the artist. The enhanced security and presence or a private detective were having no impact on the behaviour of the stalker, nor were they providing reassurance to the artists and their family. The approaches by the stalker were further evidence of an escalation and are considered a Red Flag.

The Solution

We conducted a digital investigation and then created a psychological profile of the stalker. This was critical as there at least 5 different types of stalkers, each posing a different threat to differencing people. Any failure to understand and accurately identify the typology of the stalker will create an 80% chance of getting it wrong and mismanaging the risks.

We identified that whilst the stalker was delusional. We identified them as likely to be an Intimacy Seeking stalker. This type of stalking arises out of a context of loneliness and a lack of a close confidante. Victims are usually strangers or acquaintances who become the target of the stalker’s desire for a relationship. Frequently Intimacy Seeking stalkers’ behaviour is fuelled by a severe mental illness involving delusional beliefs about the victim. The initial motivation is to establish an emotional connection and an intimate relationship. The stalking is maintained by the gratification that comes from the belief that they are closely linked to another person.

We established that whilst they were stalking the artist, there was no threat to the artist, as they believed that the artist was in danger and the stalker believed they were helping.

The actual threat was directed at the security and others seeking to keep the stalker’s away from the artist, as the stalker believed that they were part of the conspiracy to harm the artist. Research indicates that people with this pattern of thinking can be very dangerous. They can attack their targets and have been known to fatally assault them.

The Outcome

Due to level of threat that the stalker posed and the level of mental illness that they appeared to be suffering from, immediate action was required. Defuse engaged with contacts at the LAPD’s Threat Management Unit and with a local investigator employed by the music company. We shared our investigation, the profiling of the stalker and our risk assessment and recommendations.

The LAPD Threat team contact and the local investigator used our research and profiling to complete their local enquiries and present the evidence to court to secure a restraining order, until such time that the artist left the US and returned to the UK, reducing the threat and providing evidence for an arrest should the stalker breach the court order.

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