Strictly Stalking is a weekly true crime podcast that explores real-life stalker stories from the perspective of survivors, shining a sobering light on untold victim stories and raising awareness about this severely underreported crime. Hosts Jaimie Beebe and Jake Deptula invite their guests to bravely share their experiences, discussing the trauma they suffered at the hands of their stalkers and the steps they took to fight back and survive. The series dives deep into the dark world of stalking, including how stalking begins, what types of methods stalkers use, and what type of stalkers are out there—from the rejected stalker and the predatory stalker to the erotomanic and the morbidly infatuated.
The first-person accounts offer a harrowing glimpse of stalking and its lasting effect. While some of the cases featured on the podcast end with justice served, the lingering impact on the survivors' lives, on their careers and sense of safety and security, is devastating. Even if the stalking stops, the ordeal is far from over.
We asked Strictly Stalking hosts Jaimie Beebe and Jake Deptula to share five stalker stories examined on their podcast. Listen to the individual episodes of this new true crime podcast using the embedded players below.
1. Episode Three: Miss Stalked: Beauty Pageant Stalkers
Beauty Pageant Winner and Miss England contestant, Samantha Bumford, was stalked by a man named Jonathan Deal, an aspiring rapper known as JAYD, who had nineteen prior harassment and stalking offenses. At first, Samantha thought Jonathan was a fan and welcomed his support. Then he began bombarding her with creepy Facebook messages. After trying to kiss her backstage at a pageant event, Jonathan auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent and dedicated a song to her.
2. Episode Two: Stalking Back: Lenora Claire
Lenora Claire first met Justin Scott Massler, a.k.a. Cloud Starchaser, in 2011 when Scott showed up at one of Lenora's art gallery openings dressed in a spacesuit. After telling her she looked like Jessica Rabbit and Leeloo from The Fifth Element, Scott looked at her very intensely and told her he was going to stalk her. He proceeded to send her a series of bizarre, handwritten notes. Scott's behavior then escalated to death threats and rape. Over the next decade, Scott added Ivanka Trump, Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr, and Priscilla Chan to his list of targets. Lenora fought back, becoming an internationally renowned anti-staking advocate who Vice calls, "the Erin Brockovich of Stalking."
3. Episode One: Surviving Her Stalker: Kathleen Gallagher
Kathleen Gallagher was stalked by a former high school classmate who never said a word to her in high school. He spent years tormenting her, even showing up at her door in a Domino’s uniform after she called for a pizza. Armed with a knife, he broke into her house and waited for her to arrive. He then took her hostage. Thankfully, Kathleen figured out a way to tip off the cops who swooped in and apprehended her attacker. She’s now known as The Safety Chick, a nationally recognized personal safety expert whose mission is to inspire, educate, and motivate people to make smart personal safety choices.
4. Episode Seven: Daughter Stalking: One Mother’s Obsession
After receiving a series of unsolicited calls and messages from her birth mother, requesting daily updates and photos, fourteen-year-old Chloe asked her adoptive parents if she could attend a boarding school in Scotland. She returned home four years later, only to find a gift from her birth mother waiting for her at her college dorm. Chloe's mother's behavior escalated, and Chloe struggled to cope with the ongoing psychological battle of her ordeal. Ultimately, however, Chloe prevailed, channeling her energy into fighting to change the stalking laws for others in her situation.
5. Episode Thirteen: Anonymous Stalking: Scarlett
Scarlett has been stalked for years by someone she’s never met. The small business owner and blogger began receiving abusive letters in the mail, messages that viciously attacked her and accused her husband of cheating. The ordeal left a lasting impact on Scarlett; she lost her business, struggled to keep her family together, and spent thousands of dollars trying to track down the culprit. After hitting a dead end with police, authorities accused her of writing the letters herself.
While Strictly Stalking seeks to raise awareness about the crime of stalking it should be noted that the actual definitions of stalking vary from one jurisdiction to another. While a good working definition of stalking is “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear”, another widely accepted definition of stalking is, “a person who harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention.”