The Cell Phone Stalker
In January of 2014, a Denver woman was home alone with several of her children. She put them to bed and soon after went to bed herself. The following morning the woman was casually flipping through her cell phone images when the face of a stranger appeared amidst the pictures on her phone. The woman was horrified at what appeared to be a home invasion, and based on the time stamped on the image, she knew that she and her children were at home at the time of this break in.
The police got involved and the face of the intruder was spread on the news as well as social media. Several people recognized the wanted man – but instead of calling the police, they called the person of interest instead. Ben Seibert was the man behind the image, but how his face got onto a stranger’s phone is a mystery. Seibert was several states over working in California at the time the image appeared on the woman’s phone. The picture itself was actually straight off of his Facebook page and wasn’t taken anywhere near the victim’s house.
The trouble did not end there for Seibert. Even after the police cleared him, his face remained a fixture on various social media pages, as well as on nationally televised shows like Nancy Grace’s. Grace verbally bashed the “selfie stalker” and questioned if he was a serial killer. Grace kept this behavior up for a full six months after Siebert had been cleared. The Denver area Crime Stoppers group also got in hot water with Siebert over their refusal to take his picture down off their crime watch list. They claimed the police had not alerted them that Seibert was in fact innocent. This ended with Siebert suing both Grace and the Crime Stoppers for defamation. As far as I can tell from news searches, the rulings on those lawsuits are still up in the air.
Reading up on that case reminded me of another similar incident that was chronicled on NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries. This one involved Jim and Susie Kelsay and their family who claimed to have been living in a house that showed ghostly activity from the late 70’s and into the early 80’s. The children in that case claim to have had their beds levitated by unseen forces, as well as frequent sightings of a tall ghostly male with a mustache. Another family moved into the house after the Kelsey’s departed. That family reported angry sounding disembodied voices, their child’s bed levitating, and other such things.
One day while still living in the house the Kelsay’s were taking pictures of their toddler, when the pictures were developed an image was captured of what appears to be a male who fit the description of the ghost described by the families. Some modern investigators have suggested the picture is nothing more than an unknown actor appearing on the TV screen which the Kesay’s then photographed to orchestrate a ruse. 30-plus years later and the image remains of unknown origin.
Derek and Maria Broaddus had barely moved into their million-dollar dream home in May of 2014 when a letter turned their life upside down. The letter was a frightening warning that “My Grandfather watched the house in the 1920’s and my father watched in the 1960’s.” “I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for it’s second coming” “I asked the previous owners to bring me young blood.” “Have they found what is in the walls yet? In time they will.” “Who has the bedrooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in…then I can plan better.” The letter was signed “The Watcher”.
More letters followed with similar threats. The Broaddus’ were terrified and after several months they turned to the legal system for help. They sued the previous owners of the home for covering up the serial creeper who apparently felt had to stalk whoever owned the home. The prior owners denied anything in this ilk was ongoing when they lived in the home. The police became involved and they were able to find female DNA on the letters. Suspicions are that either a neighbor pulled the stunt over some unknown frustration with the home being sold. Another theory suggests that the Broaddus’ are making the whole situation up in order to get out from under the heavy mortgage payments.
Lifetime is planning on airing a fictionalized account of this story in the next few weeks. The movie will feature a supernatural angle and change the names of all the principals involved.
We trust our appointed judges to uphold the law and make sure every person is given a fair trial. Occasionally a story comes along that proves that merely putting on a judge’s robe does not remove one’s human fallibility. The following is one of those cases: In 2012 St. Louis police officer Rory Bruce assaulted a teenager who he was placing under arrest. The blow was a quick elbow directed towards the teenager’s face. Bruce ended up being fired over the incident, despite the fact that several of his superiors went to bat for him and stated that his move against the criminal was done within the acceptable confines of his job.
The police then turned Bruce over to the local prosecutors. The case quickly fell apart as the judge in the case refused to watch the police video showing the attack after legal loopholes allowed it’s authenticity to go unproven. Then the teenager who was assaulted went missing, only to be found when he was arrested once again for possessing drugs and guns. The teenager plead the 5th when asked about the assault, followed by Bruce doing the same. At the trial, Bruce walked away with a “not guilty” verdict awarded by the same judge who wouldn’t even watch the videotaped evidence involved.
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