Patrick McStay lost his precious family, Joey and Summer McStay, and their two children who were found in an unmarked grave in the desert after missing for years.
Now he has to endure a trial of the man that the authorities believe is responsible for their deaths. But I bet many of you didn’t know that Patrick has to endure something else. The constant slings and arrows of trolls that have continued to attack the family to this day.
From time to time and more than you probably realize, a person will become so involved with a crime case that they will spend countless hours leaving comments, starting a Facebook page and even starting their own blogs about the case.
They pick a side and take a stance and zero in on at least one or two people they feel are directly involved with the case and will verbally come after them. Their goal it seems is to defame, belittle, damn, harass, embarrass and constantly talk about the person they have in their sights. What drives them is a mystery, but I believe has to do with their need to feed their ego by subjugation and denigration.
Like something out of the TV show “Fear Thy Neighbor,” the difference is usually the battle is played out on the internet instead of face to face, and sadly in the beginning, the authorities state there is nothing they can do about it.
For example, several years back, Tony Calabrese (click on the link to read, “When Advocacy Becomes Lunacy”) began a website that focused on the Holly Bobo case, the young woman that went missing from Darden, Tenn. in April 2011. Whether drunk with power or delusions of grandeur, Tony, according to ABC news encouraged others to bypass the TBI and to send any tips about the case directly to him, as he was running a SAR team. Later it was found he was the only member. Tony’s interference with the case became so bad, that the TBI and OBCI executed a search warrant and went to Tony’s home.
These individuals proclaim themselves an expert on the subject and many times proclaim they are privy to inside information, which usually turns out to be no more than made up stories or unsubstantiated tips. Hiding behind “freedom of speech” common decency is out the window as they post statements on their blog that is meant to create a verbal riot and draw attention. In Hollywood, celebrities that do this are called fame *hores. They gain followers of like mind that are more interested in the drama than truth.
If you have ever been a victim of any situation, you know how long it can take to recuperate, but when it is a case of constant unwanted attention then there is no recuperation, as every day is a day of fending off another blast of words that are written just to create controversy. Many family’s do their best to defend their loved ones, and to balance the attacks with facts, but it is usually an un-winnable battle, as it never stops or slows down the obsessed blogger, because they are obsessed.
Patrick states that he has endured four years of “attacking, harassing, bullying and stalking” of his murdered family as well as his living family and friends and supporters and has even had followers of this blog show up at his house and take pictures that were later posted on the blog, so that others would know his address.
The blog stated (I hope you are appalled as I was when I read it):
“I will put up my website and name names, addresses, family members and where these people work. I will post pictures of their houses and cars. I will take out full page ads in their local newspapers telling their community what a pile of crap these people are. I will make signs exposing who they are and stand in front of their place of employment. If that does not work, I will show up at their doorstep with a civil police escort, I promise.”
Remember this is addressed to a man that is suffering the lost of his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, and to those that support him. Who and why would anyone feel the need to torment another person so?
Before you think that it is all an idle threat, what you do not know is that this blog and its followers have found out people’s addresses. Those same people have obeyed the bloggers orders and shown up at their houses and watched the houses and taken photographs and then given the information back to the blogger so he could post the information and photographs on his blog. Even more shocking, one of these individuals is an elementary school teacher.
It may be hard to believe, but blogs can become extremely powerful and misdirected under the wrong hands. The blog can influence usually law abiding citizens into doing unlawful things. I don’t know what turns an every day person, keep in mind it is probably somebody you see every day at your job, into a mind-controlled zombie that controls the will of another individual, but it happens more than you know. A lot of times, the blogger becomes drunk with power as more and more people praise his cause and before you know it, the blogger has the power to incite civil disorder against private citizens as the whole bloody mess of them carry their pitchfork of hate into a pompous field of slander and blatant threats.
Everyone should know that if someone is saying bad things about you, and even trying to entice others to follow them in an online effort to harass, libel, and stalk you, you can do something about it. Sadly, how many times have you heard about pre teen or teen that has committed suicide because they were being bullied online. When it happens to an adult, it is no different, and if it is happening to you, you should seek help. Thank goodness we have the law on our side and there are agencies out there that take these things very seriously.
I did my research, as I always do and found that this is something that happens to woman more than men and 70 percent of online stalking cases were aimed at women. Law enforcement is trying to help with the Violence Against Women Act, which was updated in 2013 by lawmakers and added language outlawing online harassment against a specific person, i.e., women. Thankfully, the FBI is also trying to help. Collectively, it only takes a second to fill out an online form to let the host of the blog, and several other enforcement agency’s to report the harassment.
Another example of social media going awry can be found here.