Survivors

After the Obsession: Leandra Ramm

posted: 02/11/14
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Leandra talking to the FBI with Colin behind her from the "Number One Fan" episode.
DCI

How has your life changed since your experience?

Going through my cyber-stalking case was the most difficult experience I have gone through in my life. I grew so much from this and became a stronger person. My motto in life now is "There is a solution to every problem." During the case, there was no law to protect me from the relentless attacks my stalker was throwing at me, numerous times a day. I was shocked and outraged that international, cyber death threats were actually not illegal. I was taken aback when I went to every single government and non-profit organization I could find to only be told over and over again "I am sorry, there is nothing we can do. Just ignore it and it will eventually go away." I understand this advice is good advice for a typical stalker case, but when it reaches this level: thousands of death threats, phone calls at all hours of the night, cryptic love letters arriving at my door...this was not the kind of thing that was going to go away on it's own. So, I fought back. I wasn't going to just sit back and let this guy from the other side of the world destroy my life. I am a much stronger, braver, confident individual now. I fight for justice and for what is right. I found the dignity in myself to not succumb to slander. I appreciate my freedom more than ever. As an American who was living in a virtual prison for six years, I treasure nothing more now than the freedom I have to live my life.

Why did you decide to tell your story?

My story needs to be told. What I went through is so unbelievable and it has to be shared so that individuals and future generations can be saved from going through what I did. I went through the worst cyber-stalking case in history. I have to share it; it is a necessity for me to bring awareness to the world about the dangers of the internet and educate the public about it's current state, and the lack of laws and regulations on the internet. Change won't occur until there is a reason for it; my story is the example of this need for change.

Any big life events you'd like to tell us about?

I am very excited about the revised 2nd edition of my book "Stalking A Diva" that will be released this fall. "Stalking A Diva" is a non-fiction cyber thriller that tells my story in gripping details and walks the reader through the entire case from beginning to end. My six-year international nightmare comes alive through actual excerpts from thousand of emails, chat logs and blogs posted by my predator, creating an extremely disturbing portrait of a serial stalker, who law enforcement is powerless (or simply uninterested) in stopping. The most frightening aspect of this page-turner book, is the very real possibility that, without warning, my story could happen to anyone. "Stalking A Diva" was written by Lisa Della Rocca and myself. The upcoming revision includes updates, pictures, and new edits. For more information please visit my Stalking A Diva website.

Are there any organizations that helped you after/ during your experience? Can you recommend any resources?

Black Diamond Data was the organization that solved my case. AJ Fardella is the Chief Operating Officer. You can visit their website here.

Other organizations that were of great help are the following:

The Network for Surviving Stalking. They are absolutely wonderful as well. You can find more information here.

Jayne Hitchcock runs this great organization: "Working to Halt Online Abuse." The website is here.

A book I recommend reading is "How to Stop a Stalker" by detective Mike Proctor.

I also highly recommend the blog that Lisa Della Rocca writes, which is thorough, educational, helpful, and up-to-date. I can't stress enough how much AJ Fardella and Lisa Della Rocca did for my case. They passionately worked towards justice and I would recommend them to anyone who is being stalked. Please contact them through the Black Diamond Data site.

Any words of advice based on your own experiences?

I recommend going to the press. Telling your story will attract organizations and individuals that will want to help you. Unfortunately we have not caught up to the growing internet. Our laws are not large enough yet to keep up with the demands the internet is creating. So at this point in time, we have to work hard for justice. What really got the ball rolling for me was telling my story. Once the word got out about what I was going through, people wanted to help me. Also, don't get discouraged when you go to government organizations such as the FBI or your local police and they say there is nothing they can do.

You have to take matters into your own hands and find a solution. Also, remember that although the statistics for stalking are pretty high, the average person will not relate to or understand what you are going through. I felt very alone and misunderstood during my case. You have to stay strong and continue fighting for your freedom. Definitely do not respond to the stalker, and find a group of people that are passionate about your case that will be your "team" and help you solve your case. While you are being stalked, you will probably go through different psychological states that you may not even be aware of. This could be denial, shame, embarrassment, Stockholm Syndrome, depression, sadness, loneliness, anger, and more. I think it is important to have a strong spiritual foundation in your life, and someone you can talk to about what you are going through (a therapist, a close friend that will not judge you but give you unconditional support, or a family member that will send you love). It is important to stay positive and find your inner strength. Always hold on to your vision of victory and freedom.

What are your plans and hopes for the future?

My plans for the near future are to finalize a completed document expression of the actions and consequences I wish to be brought into law concerning international cyber stalking, punishment and specifics on this matter and submit my petition to Change.org. I plan to organize a following for this document by using social networks, reaching out to potential civil rights activist groups and women's rights groups to bring awareness and support. I also will be speaking at a college in November 2013 about my case and educating students and faculty about international cyber crime. After I have received many signatures for my petition, I will send it to local lawmakers and political representatives in hopes of new laws and treaties to be established.

Anything else you would like to share?

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I believe I have a very important mission now. I survived this horrendous case and came out of it strong, and determined to make a difference in the world. My heart goes out to any current victims of stalking and please know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. One day we will all look back and say "I can't believe there was no international law for cyber crime back then, how did they function with no unified rules and regulations?"

From the closing paragraphs of my book "Stalking A Diva":

"Although I will never understand you, I have managed to forgive you. I have managed to let go of my anger toward you and heal myself. Holding on to the anger was only hurting me. I am at peace with the case now. I am at peace with you.

One of the ways I was able to win was praying for your happiness. We are all one and all connected. I have released you from my life and let you go. I know you are mentally unwell, and I hope that you are able to be healed from your inner prison. I was able to escape from that prison, and I pray you will one day, too.

Your survivor,

Leandra"

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