CyberStalked: Our Story

Introduction

My daughter Katie and I were targeted for harassment via the Internet by a multiply convicted felon in July 1996. Katie was only five years old when this case began, but that didn't stop the stalker from sending obscene email messages addressed to her via her page on my web site. The harassment turned into stalking, moved offline, and never really stopped. Due to threats, we lived in three different homes in the first two years after initial contact with the criminal, and I lost track of the number of times I had our phone numbers changed. I also greatly reduced my presence on the Internet for many months, hoping he would lose interest and leave us alone. He didn't.

Richard Michael Hillyard of Duluth, Georgia was arrested twice in connection with this case. While he was not, unfortunately, convicted, he was under a nolle prosequi order for a time, which is not the same as being found "innocent."

This site exists to tell our story and to present the evidence that, while not necessarily sufficient to obtain a criminal conviction, is still damning when examined in context. Legal advisors have since told me that there was more than enough evidence to obtain a civil judgement, but I did not have the resources to pursue a civil case when the case was fresh.

Just having a the place holder announcing the coming release of the site drew increased harassment and public attacks, and its full release on September 2, 1997 occasioned additional obscene email and 17 more forged posts. Obviously something here—or just knowing that something would on the web at all—is very threatening to someone. The original web host for the site received so many complaints trying to shut the site down that Hillyard became a standing joke in their abuse department because all of those complaints, according to a source there, were traced back to him.

Much of the evidence here is fairly technical, due to the fact that most of the harassment has been carried out via the Internet. Please read the information I've provided about the evidence first. If you don't already know how to read and understand the headers of Internet messages, it would probably be best to read the section on that topic, as well.

This information remains online because it is helpful to others. I continue to get a significant volume of email from people who appreciate the information on it. While I may at some point reduce the level of detail in the interests of conserving server space, I'm leaving it online.

Contents


Many people have been referred to this site by posts made through anonymous remailers. I have never used any anonymous remailer to make any posts anywhere, and I've never posted any advertisement for any of my web pages anywhere—the URL for the site is at the bottom of posts I make to various mailing lists and newsgroups, but that's it. If one of those posts led you to this site—well, you've seen the stalker in action, trying to stir up feeling against me. Please complain to the remailers used to make the posts if you have a problem with them. Thank you.

Please note that due to the nature of the evidence presented here this site is absolutely not suitable for children. It contains obscenities and sexually explicit text (no pictures), as well as links to many sex-related newsgroups. I have no desire to add more obscene content to the web, but without presenting the evidence I can hardly expect those who do not know me personally to believe this story. Reading the actual content of the evidence has made it far more real to many people.

Conventions

I cannot absolutely tie Hillyard to some events, although I strongly believe that he is directly responsible for them. Anyone who looks at them rationally in the context of the other events will, I think, see my point. However, in the interest of accuracy I will not use Hillyard's name in connection with those events, but will refer to the perpetrator as Dick Coward. While I realize that the harassment may be the work of more than one person, I seriously doubt that it is. If you prefer, though, insert "and/or his associates" where appropriate and use non gender-specific pronouns in your mind.

Corrections, Etc.

I'm more than happy to hear from those who've visited this or any other portion of my site, especially if you should find any errors or something that needs to be clarified. If I've mis-stated a fact, I want to know it. If you disagree with my conclusions and have rational arguments for some other conclusion that might not have occurred to me, please let me know. I have done my best to credit the source of any information, and to leave the viewer with a clear sense of what facts are absolutely known, what is suspected, and what is a conclusion drawn from all the information available to me. When I receive new (verifiable) information that contradicts what I've written, I change this site without hesitation—I have no need to lie or even color the truth when writing or speaking about this matter. This site is neither libelous nor defamatory, as I have never knowingly published any false information, and have quickly corrected any inaccuracies or lack of clarity as soon as I've learned of them. A willingness to correct honest mistakes is not a weakness or a sign of (as Hillyard claims) "instability," or at least not in my value system.

This site does not exist to harass Richard Hillyard or anyone else. It exists to tell our story; to help others who may face similar problems (or hopefully, to help others avoid such problems); to encourage responsible political action to deal with harassment on and off the Internet; and to offer explanation as to why rather disgusting lies about me come up in any search engine when anyone does any sort of net search using my name.

Thank you,
Cyn Armistead