They fell for each other in grade school, in the sweetest of ways. In fifth-grade music class, she played saxophone; he played the snare drum. In high school biology, she held the frog while he wielded the scalpel. It was the sort of love story immortalized endlessly in romance novels and Top 40 long-distance dedications. “I thought when I married him it really would be ’till death do us part,’ ” she says now, still surprised that the marriage ended after 19 years. Ultimately, the romance had sputtered to a close, as so many love stories do. Unlike most love stories, though, this ending involved satellites.
One day, six months after she filed for divorce, the woman’s husband, Robert Sullivan, was searching the Internet when he came across an ad for the TravelEyes Tracking Unit, a GPS device that, when installed in
a vehicle and later removed and connected to a computer, shows a digital map of every stop and turn the car has made, and even its speed. A person employing such a device knows as much about the car’s recent whereabouts as he would if he’d been riding in it himself.
Sullivan immediately placed an order; it seems he felt he could put such a contraption to good use.
This all unfolded five years ago in a small Colorado city near Boulder. He was a maintenance worker at a factory. She worked with handicapped students at the nearby university. They were, by her description, just simple people raising two sons and paying their bills, living the sort of anonymous existence politicians exalt when making pronouncements about “the American people.” But among law-enforcement officials and victims’ advocates, their story, and particularly Robert Sullivan’s role, has become notorious. GPS—the Global Positioning System, which pinpoints a user’s location by triangulating radio signals emitted by an array of satellites—was making its journey from military use to civilian ubiquity. At the time, GPS devices were being marketed to track delivery trucks and rental cars; early adopters were carrying them along on wilderness hikes to serve as high-tech breadcrumbs. In a stroke of inspiration, Sullivan co-opted the technology for his own purposes, and in so doing helped to steer stalking into the 21st century.
It was a remarkably undemanding mission. The Internet had made it possible to purchase novel
gadgets of virtually any sort, regardless of where one lived. Sullivan didn’t even install the device himself—he had his kids do the job. He called his wife over to the house, where they talked about the divorce proceedings. Meanwhile their teenage boys, whom Sullivan had convinced were being abandoned by their mother, went outside to “change the oil” in her car. Instead they installed the TravelEyes unit.
“You have the antenna with a plug on it, and you just plug it right into the unit,” Sullivan’s older son would later recall from the witness stand during his father’s trial on stalking charges. “My mom’s car was an Oldsmobile. It had a glove box that . . . popped open, and there is a panel—like a box you could pull out—and that’s how you gained access to the fuse box. So I . . . put some Velcro on the back of this and on the back of the antenna and . . . attached the unit under there, and set the panel back in.”
The device was now activated. “As you can see,” said Sullivan’s son, who was then 19, “it’s pretty simple.”
Four years after Robert Sullivan became America’s first documented GPS-enabled stalker, we are faced with a classic technology dilemma, as perfectly legal and useful devices are turned to less savory ends. GPS units help to track rental cars, Alzheimer’s patients, wandering children, wandering cattle, wandering fur coats. Miniature video cameras monitor babysitters, and keystroke-recording software monitors children’s Internet use. But just as drug dealers appropriated beepers and terrorists the Internet, these technologies and more are being embraced by a new breed of high-tech stalker.
Four out of five stalkers are men, according to a 1999 study published in the American Journal of
Psychiatry. The study sorted stalkers into five categories. “Rejected” stalkers are usually ex-partners motivated by anger over a breakup—people like Sullivan. Three other kinds of stalker are also sexually or romantically motivated but have not dated their victims: “intimacy seekers” fancy themselves in love and want a relationship; “incompetents” are awkwardly seeking a first date; and “predatory” stalkers—perhaps the most dangerous—are planning an assault. Then there are “resentful” stalkers, who aren’t seeking sex or love and want only to make their victims miserable.
Until not long ago, stalkers had to resort to mundane tactics such as driving by their target’s house, stealing phone bills from the trash, or even working for a utility company to access sensitive information. But now, for the cost of a decent dinner, you can buy anyone’s complete address history over the Internet. Aerial photos can be downloaded for the price of cake and a cup of coffee. Technology has given stalkers unparalleled access to what they covet most: information. Type track and spouse into Google, and you get dozens of sites whose links say track and catch your cheating spouse.
Stalking today is not only easier, it’s virtual—which dramatically lessens the chance of getting caught in the act. No longer does the stalker have to sneak out in the middle of the night to check the car’s odometer; the GPS (viewed live on a PDA or cellphone) tells him exactly where the car has been. He doesn’t have to beat people up for e-mail passwords; he can simply install a software program that records every word his victim types, including passwords, log-ins, credit-card numbers and e-mail messages. The camera in the bedroom? It’s hidden in a cheap alarm clock.
Because law-enforcement agencies track stalking crimes without regard to the methods employed, no one knows the precise number of such cases. But reports of high-tech stalking are beginning to stack up. In 2002 a Wisconsin man named Paul Seidler one-upped Sullivan by installing a live GPS system under the hood of his ex-girlfriend’s car. Rather than report her travels after the fact, this unit sent text messages to Seidler’s cellphone revealing her current location. Thus informed, he made a habit of pulling up alongside her car unexpectedly. A rejected California suitor began impersonating in online chat rooms the woman who had spurned him. He described an elaborate rape fantasy, providing the woman’s address and instructions on how to short-
circuit her alarm. It didn’t take long for men to start hounding her. And in New Hampshire, Amy Boyer was the victim of a man who got a fleeting glimpse of her in the eighth grade, became obsessed, and later set up a Web site about her. There he described purchasing personal data (her Social Security number, addresses and so on), noting: “It’s obscene what you can find out about people on the Internet.” The only thing Liam Youens’s Web log didn’t describe was how he shot Boyer and himself to death one afternoon in 1999 after she left work.
The general public has remained largely unaware of the problem. “We don’t have a sense of moral outrage yet,” says Tracy Bahm, director of
the Stalking Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime. “Many people haven’t heard about this. But when they do, their jaws drop. They cannot believe it exists. And people really don’t know how far gone it is—the hidden cameras in sprinkler heads and smoke detectors. Most people have absolutely no idea what’s possible.”
Until, that is, they get a peculiar feeling—a sense, like the one that crept up on Robert Sullivan’s wife, that someone knows too much about their whereabouts. In early 2000, several weeks after she moved out, her husband started asking questions that were disturbing in their specificity. “Why were you at this place for 30 minutes?” she says he would ask. If she didn’t go to work, he would ask her about it. She found herself constantly looking over her shoulder, but there was never a sign of him.
Eventually, she moved into a new home. “I had just been there half an hour, starting to take the few things I had with me into the duplex, and he came to the door and made some threats,” she recalled during his trial. “I didn’t know that he knew where I was moving to. I had been real cautious, trying to make sure nobody was following me—watching in my rearview mirror, taking alternate routes to get places, going to a different grocery store.”
Petrified, she checked her purse, shoes and jacket pockets to see if he had planted a bug. “Oh my god, what is happening to me?” she thought. “To know somebody knows where you are every second of the day and how many seconds you are at each stoplight and to yet not know how they were able to figure it out—it’s a frightening feeling,” she told the court. “You are always constantly being watched and under surveillance. It gave me stomachaches, it made me not sleep really well. It’s not a comfortable feeling.”
The entrepreneurs who sell spy devices on the Internet are not exactly covert about their intentions. “So many people in this country do not understand that men are not devils. Women do cheat.
People cannot accept that in this country,” says Brad Holmes. So he developed a product called CheckMate, which, for $49.95, makes it possible to test a pair of underwear for drops of semen. The test is a by-product of Holmes’s faith in an almighty commandment: a partner’s right to know. “I’ve always believed that,” he told me. “I do. I really, really do. And now there’s a product for that.”
This Nov. 2004 GPS article is full of inaccurate information, and is fiction at most. Perhaps Popular Science Magazine would like to redact the article, or do a follow up article?
The Attorney General of the State of Colorado has admitted that the State (Larimer County District Attorney) used illegally obtained and perjured evidence to obtain the Sullivan Stalking conviction. This admission came in the States' answer in U.S. District Court, District of Colorado. (1:2006-cv-01477-MSK-MJW )
Further,The Larimer County Justice System has most recently been in the headlines for the illegally obtained conviction for the 1st Degree Murder of Peggy Hettrick by Timothy Masters. Tim Masters was released from his illegal incarceration on 12/22/2008 by a special prosecutor after it was learned that Lt. Jim Broderick had given perjured testimony at Masters trial, and D.A. Blair and Gilmore had withheld exculpatory evidence which would have cleared Masters.
"There is a credibility problem with the Larimer County Colorado Justice System" Jolene Carmen Blair was also involved in the prosecution of the Sullivan case?
Popular Science was quick to write a defamatory article which was slanderous in the Sullivan case, prior to the case being deemed final by the Courts of the Colorado jurisdiction. New evidence shows the complainant (states witness) to have committed felony perjury under oath and on the public record.
I think robert b sullivan is a coward .
any man that would use his own child
like he lacked the guts to do it so had
his son put the GPS in his wife's car.
robert b sullivan is also a huge liar.
I say my sympathy is with his wife 100%.
From the FYI department:
Pop Sci invited controversy when it allowed the original article. Therefore, let me articulate a bit on the one and only comment to my earlier post of 1/28/08.
In my travels through the legal system I have encountered many individuals who are as unique as the situation that got them there in the first instance. Since then, I have spoken openly about those experiences in the spirit of knowledge and fact. That said, On a internet forum un-named, I had let some folks with no ill intent ask about an individual who I had made acquaintance with. Real time-present facts? Thus, I was approached, or baited shall I say by a person, by the name of the writer of the second aforementioned comment? Soon thereafter, I was flooded with messages by numerous parties whom I had yet to acknowledge. These messages were informational in nature as to who this woman is, and that was now herself attempting to regain her "status" as some sort of person to fear? The fact is...I don't know her...she makes death threats to anyone who disagrees with her....I personally have a criminal case file initiated with the Larimer County Sheriff's dept. in regards to her interstate harassment of myself after her criminal record was forwarded to me by a very credible source. Read her post.....need I say more? She has an agenda, and better words fit "Modis Operendi" !
I currently just block her numerous electronic communication attempts.
She is upset because I made known her criminal record to people she had intimidated and made threats to.
As I have never been one to deny my own due process, I now have the best legal team in the country, complimented by the absolute and undeniably best investigator to confront The Colorado Attorney General, whom is the Defendant in my
Federal action, are failing to make any effective or rational defensive arguments? Gee, you know I pay my taxes to help pay for these people to find justice for myself and my fellow citizens. Is it going to be this failure to defend their conviction that is the lynchpin?
When innocent.....I take no plea offer! I am innocent!
There will be news media on site to report the factual findings of what and why to equal and possibly surpass the current "Masters" ordeal. Another fiasco,...same judicial officers?
The aforementioned person named above in comment #2 had more than her 15 minutes of fame....? By personal request only, I will then forward an article from a Houston Texas newspaper, titled:
"Woman sentenced in Plot to Kill Percy Foreman claims innocence"
In my experience, Guilty parties take plea deals to soften the consequences of their obvious conduct. I am not a judge, and I wish this person the best in life. Again, and last, "A clear conscience and innocence has been the driving force behind my rock solid stand that our Great system has in place procedural checks and balances to eventually find Justice for those strong willed individuals
who are true to themselves and at all cost, let the system run its course!" No one said it was going to be easy?
The framers of our CONSTITUTION gave Citizens protections
to the abuse of power by the government! Accept NO Deals when innocent! And as the pendulum only swings so far each way, it is now turning back in its natural action. Will the judicial officers of Colorado gamble that they have a valid conviction in my case and perjure themselves in a Federal Courtroom? It is easy to play on your home field so to speak,......Colorado judicial officers have an away game,(USDC/CO) and it is just about Game time, and are now realizing that they have been using the wrong playbook for the big game! Good Luck to all involved.
I have done my homework, and I am not in the least bit amused at losing time with my family over this abuse of power under the so called color of law. As for the personal attacks by this lady, I will give you the clue to a test that you will probably need to seek legal counsel for. There IS A VALID COPYRIGHT ATTACHED TO MY BIRTH NAME, or any derivative of that name. Within this publicly filed document, it defines binding criteria when and how it has been violated, and also includes the self executing monetary liability to the offending party. Last time I checked, I believe the Island was our 50th State and is under Federal Jurisdiction. My Lady Counsel will gladly go on vacation when finished here at home, and I
have been assured that copyright when drafted and filed properly, as this has, is enforceable under Federal Law.
With warm regards,
IT IS VERY INTERESTING WITH ALL THESE GREAT LAWYERS
ROBERT B SULLIVAN SAYS HE HAS QUOTING HIM ;
COULD YOU TELL ME WHY TODAY JUNE 20, 2009
HE IS LIKED UP IN A FEDERAL PRISON AGAIN ??
ROBERT B SULLIVAN PRISON NUMBER #31854-013
HE IS A 48 YR OLD WHITE MALE
HE IS IN DENVER CCM
AND HIS RELEASE DATE IS UNKNOWN.
I SUPPOSE OUR STALKER AND ARSONIST
GOT HOMESICK FOR PRISON AS HE KEEPS RETURNING.
CHECK IT OUT FREE -
AT FEDERAL BUREAU PRISON INMATE LOCATOR.
THE MAN IS A LIAR AND
THE MAN IS A NUT.
HIS FORMER WIFE HAS MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY.
SHE IS HAPPY NOW !
ROBERT B SULLIVAN # 31854-013
WHO WISHES TO BE CALLED SULLY IS A MENANCE TO SOCIETY.
I THINK THE SULLY WE ALL ADMIRE AND KNOW IS THE SULLY ,
THE PILOT WHO SAVED PEOPLE IT IS NOT
A FEDERAL INMATE LOCATED IN COLORADO.
SUZY P. GORDON
Still using all caps Suzy? Looks like somebody owns a little piece of real estate in your head.
The Nov. 2004 GPS article is full of inaccurate information, and is fiction at most. Perhaps Popular Science Magazine would like to redact the article?
FEDERAL INMATE NUMBER IS 31854-013
48 YRS OLD WHITE LOST HIS APPEAL JULY 2003 IT
WAS UPHELD SULLIVAN'S CONVICTION IN
PLANTING A G P S DEVICE IN HIS EX WIFE'S
CAR. THE COWARD USED HIS OWN SON TO PLANT THE G P S
IN HIS EX WIFE'S CAR.
PRESENTLY , ROBERT SULLIVAN IS IN A FEDERAL PRISON
LOCATION IS DENVER CCM.
YOU CAN PULL HIM UP
USING THE FEDERAL INMATE LOCATOR
THIS MAN WHO USES ALSO A K A SULLY
IS A MENANCE TO SOCIETY.
wow, this is an interesting story.
THIS ROBERT SULLIVAN IS BAD NEWS.
HIS EX WIFE HAD TO HIDE OUT AT A PLACE FOR ABUSED WOMEN.
ALSO, WHEN THEY SEPARATED ROBERT SULLIVAN GOT ALL HER CLOTHES AND SET FIRE TO THEM.
THE FIRE GOT OUT OF CONTROL AND HE HAS ALSO BESIDES
FELONY STALKING CONVICTION BUT HE HAS A FELONY ARSON CONVICTION.
HE LOST THAT APPEAL ALSO.
THE SAGA CONTINUES --HE IS A MENACE TO SOCIETY !
Colorado's sensational stalking case is a prime example of how government entities cover up their dirt. This case went up through U.S. District Court for two and a half years, to then have the "Honorable" Marcia S. Krieger deny the evidentiary hearing that would have overturned this alleged stalking B.S. There is more to this story than what the public was told. The alleged victim (wife at the time) was under investigation for her part in receiving stolen pharmaceuticals from her sibling out of state through the U.S. Mail. This is a pretty heavy accusation if it were not true. Alleged victim and co-workers were actively conspiring to hide marital assets in bank accounts that were not included in the court filed interrogatories. There is more. It gets better, even I could not have dreamed this crap up. But leave it to Larimer Counties failed Justice system... they cover for the crimes of Colorado State Employee's who just happened to be working under the Chief Judges wife. It was all spelled out in a discovery request in the U.S. District Court motion. Interestingly, Judge Krieger denied the motion but validated the facts by exclaiming in the court's order that, "you already know the facts" and questioning the ineffective defense counsel is not needed.
I am more than willing to disclose all that was stifled in this fiasco. And invite alleged victims to charge me with malice or slander for only letting the public know what is going on out here in Colorado and any accusations they can dispel! There is a police report that I draw from and will be evidence of what I feel was the motive for the false allegations. But when you (alleged victim) are a part time interpreter for the district court, they tend to believe you and not be neutral.
I was simultaneously going through a dissolution of marriage proceeding when this case was fabricated. And please note: The alleged victim was found by a the divorce judge to be an unfit parent...and gave me sole custodial parenting rights plus child support. I hired through my counsel an investigator to bring facts to U.S. District Court. Pretty well known, due to the fact that he was the investigator for the U.S. Gov. in the Oklahoma bombing proceeding. Anthony Divirgilio did his work and my habeas atty. was prepped for a hearing, however, Judge Krieger in my opinion covered for Larimer County and denied the hearing.
Mr. Divirgilio had interviewed the Insurance Agent who sold the auto policy that gave the alleged victim a Ins. rate/premium discount for having the "GPS" on the marital vehicle. Amazingly the alleged victim testified in the Colorado stalking trial that she had "No knowledge of this" ? The oath to testify truthfully meant little when you have them pressing you to stifle info that is damaging to a local University where the trial judges wife work with an alleged victim in a certain predicament?
I have volumes of court paper to draw from,...transcripts, statements of witnesses that my ineffective trial counsel refused to interview to not anger the Judge who had a obvious conflict of interest here.
Yes folks, I'm not going to go away. I went to the most dangerous prison in the U.S. only to find that this is how our justice system operates. I took paralegal courses online through CSU with straight A's,...when I got to the exercise on ethics I also got an A in this area. It is unbelievable that the course instructor tries to get a student to honor the ethics code....simply because the real world legal system "does not operate with honesty or integrity!" I decided to not waste anymore time with what I already knew. 1)Don't trust attorneys; 2)don't throw your rights away by accepting plea agreements that the courts do not honor; 3)and for certain,...don't try to off your spouse like Suzy did.
I heard through yahoo groups that the FBI might have visited her for making some sort of alleged statement against a innocent person she got into it with? Who cares?
She can sling all the B.S. she wants. It is on the federal record that she was harassing me. Thanks to Andrea, my favorite probation officer who put it all on the record and the Larimer Sheriff Dept. where suzy has a open case file?
And "happygirl" stay happy....because this is going to get real exposure in the press. Not this science fiction rag that interviewed one party. Yup,....full disclosure with full legal names and all the fanfare you have tried to avoid.
And by the way...somehow or another some personal files of students with assumed disabilities, who trusted in CSU to keep them secure... were left in my file cabinet. A Denver Law firm reviewed them, held them for a several months before returning them to me....and just smiled and exclaimed..."Be Ethical with these Robert" Where do I draw the line with this slop?
From the top-o-the mountains in Colorado, or as Hunter T. would call it: The Kingdom of Fear!
(more to come, you can count on that)
The Nov. 2004 GPS article is full of inaccurate information, and is fiction at most. Perhaps Popular Science Magazine would like to redact the article or interview myself and update the story. Everything is questionable in this case!
My ex actually agreed to discard the articles that were burned in our backyard trash incinerator, then used the incident to have just one bad alleged act to report to her divorce atty. Then,...Only to gain entrance back into our house to obtain the Ins. policy that would have been presented to the D.A. to dismiss the bogus stalking charge and leave a hand written note that exclaimed "Ha Ha Ha !" Unbelievable to anyone who does not live in the twilight zone of Larimer County Colorado?
Cars have GPS from the factory or people rush to get one ? All phones have GPS as of 2005 mandate? caller ID can let a spouse surveil activities, bank statements could be used to prove repeated activities or locations if a Colorado prosecuter so chooses to use them. The Colorado stalking law is over broad and needs review!
Where will society say "enough" ?
The "shoot the messenger" mentality / good ole boy system is alive and well north of the Mason Dixon line. Neighboring Court Judges just can't keep handing out 10 million bucks for the injustice that these local court spooks inflict on it's citizens. Two Judges were just given the boot for the Masters case. How many cases weren't really solved here? And to top it all off.....Suzy sent plane tickets to D.I.A. so I could visit her in Hawaii , then threatened to slit a book writers throat I was told? Suzy went off like a roman candle when I revealed her Texas Prison information to a discussion group. This is her basis to say the things she says! There must be a bingo parlor or something for her to do in beautiful Hawaii, but internet pinball trips her trigger ? If it feels good....I can handle all she can dish up. God will be my only judge ! Not some phony in a black robe. Yes, I'm a high tech guru who has had hands on in my field of work. As a natural wizard in my "play of work" I paid for my spouse to go back to college and put my dreams to do the same aside to better her I thought. Romance sputtering to a close is 180 off point. My now ex was sleeping at the marital home and active as a spring rabbit until she was instructed by her atty. to move. Most women file for the big "D" and get their freak on with their new boy toys. Not here folks.....no, no, no....! Why move out when hubby has the funds to let you bank your salary and hide it in your locker or bosses bank acct., out of courts view?
I have one question, how do you stop a cyber stalker who has used you as a victim? If you can't see them and can't where the media is coming from then how do you stop them? I am a victim of this form of modern day stalking, the type that only wants to hurt, not only that but voyuerism, listening in on my calls and even going so far as to use a voice moderator to change their voice when I am on the phone as if i was saying something, All i can tell about them is the things they do, unknown who they are. So how do i stop something like this with technology of today?