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See Inside April/May 2007

A Personal Obsession

What drives stalkers to pursue their victims?

One day recently Helene K., a 50-year-old occupational therapist, received a call at home from a former patient. It took her several minutes to remember the man, who had been discharged from her clinic more than a year earlier. He said he would like to see her again, but Helene firmly rejected the idea: she wanted no further contact with him.

Then came more phone calls from the man, as well as letters declaring his love for her. One morning Helene opened her front door and saw the man standing there, suitcase in hand; he had resigned from his job and wanted to move in with her. Helene demanded that he leave her alone, but instead he began following her everywhere.

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