Sex chat only typed
With an electronic buffer between him and his victim, the cyberstalker feels more comfortable in engaging than he would physically confronting his victim.
And the lack of direct contact between the cyberstalker and the victim can make it difficult for law enforcement to identify, locate, and arrest the offender.
Many stalkers - online or off - are motivated by a desire to control their victims.
The majority of cyberstalkers are men and the majority of their victims are women, although there have been reported cases of women cyberstalking men and of same-sex cyberstalking.
Anonymity gives the cyberstalker a definite advantage in that, without the target knowing, he could be around the corner, in the next cubicle at work, or in another state.
This makes many perpetrators more willing to continue pursuing the victim not only at work, but at home, with all the information in the world about the target.
A cyberstalker's true identity can be concealed by using different Internet service providers and by adopting different screen names.
More experienced stalkers can use anonymous remailers that make it all-but-impossible to determine the true identity of the source of an e-mail.
In the first successful prosecution under California's new cyberstalking law, prosecutors in the Los Angeles district attorney's office obtained a guilty plea from a 50-year-old former security guard who used the Internet to solicit the rape of a woman who rejected his romantic advances.
The suspect terrorized his 28-year-old victim by impersonating her in various Internet chat rooms and online bulletin boards where he posted, along with her telephone number and address, messages that she fantasized about being raped.This is the type of information that can easily get someone killed, as happened to Amy Boyer, whose shooter purchased her Social Security number from the Docusearch site.