Many products, in fact. Holmes, who recently went through a divorce of his own, has turned his company into a sort of 7-Eleven for jealous mates. Besides the semen kit, he sells listening devices, GPS trackers and spy cameras. Customers—some 15 percent of whom are women—often buy all the products at once. In an apparent effort to capitalize on a need he has helped create, Holmes also offers a full slate of countermeasures—devices that can detect spy cameras and bugs, should someone become suspicious that covert products are being used on them.
Holmes’s is one of dozens of such Internet businesses. Greg Shields owns a company in Cincinnati called Track & Spy. Business is brisk, he says; he claims to log $2,000 in sales per day, working just an hour or so. “I go to the gym a lot, play racquetball, go shopping. When I’m not in the office, my calls forward to my cellphone. I’ve sold GPS devices while sitting on the beach. This is kind of like being retired. Sometimes you get bored, but it’s better than working.” When I reached him on the phone, he seemed to be in a grocery store.
Shields sells clock radios that were purchased from Wal-Mart, then reengineered by his distributor to surreptitiously enclose a video camera. On his Web site he describes the product, which sells for $379, as a “nanny cam” but adds that “suspicions of infidelity or extramarital affairs can be verified” and that “this unit does extremely well in normal low bedroom lighting environments.” The tinted plastic on the front of the clock is dark enough to conceal the hidden camera, the promotional text promises, yet transparent enough for the camera to capture clear images. Nor is it possible to detect any of the tinkering that turned a cheap clock into a Trojan horse: “There are no extraneous cables . . . [just] the exact same AC power cable that the manufacturer of this AM/FM alarm clock radio supplied.”
Shields also sells a $495 GPS tracking device similar to the one Sullivan used, and, for $1,199, the higher-tech, wireless version—the kind Paul Seidler
employed, which allows its owner to follow the whereabouts of a car in real time without having to physically retrieve the device and download its data.
I asked Shields whether he thought his customers could get in trouble for using GPS to harass someone. He said he tells people that if they own the vehicle on which they install it, they’re in the clear. “It’s the rule of thumb,” he said. I asked him whether he thought selling these products was a good idea, given that people are now using them for stalking. “I’m not liable for the way someone else uses my products,” he said. “People can sell beer, and, depending what the customer does with it, that could be harmful too, right?”
Among the potentially harmful products on the
market are digital voice changers, which disguise the caller’s voice; Maxwell Smart
watches; advocates are concerned that they’ll soon be embedded in any number of products. Also worrisome: In September a company called Star38 announced a Caller ID
Less obtrusively, a person can install Spector Pro 5.0, software that records on the computer’s hard drive every keystroke typed. If the spy doesn’t have frequent access to the computer he wants to monitor, he can get eBlaster 5.0, which sends reports over e-mail. Both programs offer stealth mode, in which they reveal no trace of their existence. Some spy software programs even have remote-installation capabilities: They can be sent as an e-mail attachment to the person the user wants to monitor, and will install themselves if clicked on. A spokesperson for SpectorSoft, which makes Spector Pro and eBlaster, says the programs are useful for parents who want to keep an eye on kids’ computer use, but the company’s Web site is full of testimonials like this one, from “Bill”: “I found out EXACTLY what my EX-fianc was doing. Notice I said EX?”
Gadgets don’t turn people into stalkers, but they do enable them to get information more
quickly, potentially accelerating dangerous behavior. “On the night of February 15th, when I left the house, he followed me out,” Sullivan’s wife told the court. “He told me if I don’t dismiss the divorce case that he is going to burn all my clothes, that they were all piled in the backyard and he had gas back there. And he was yelling at me when I left. I drove away, and he called me on my cellphone about five minutes later. There were sirens on the phone when I was talking to him, and he said the fire department was on the way, that all my clothes were burning.”
Sullivan was soon calling his wife obsessively—13 or 14 times a day—asking her to drop the divorce proceedings. Come back home. Come home. Once, she says, when Sullivan had her on the line, he walked over to a paper shredder and inserted her diploma. The message, say victims’ advocates, is simple: If I can shred your diploma, I can shred you.
Sullivan’s wife went to the police. While she was there, he called her cellphone. A police officer picked up and asked Sullivan to stop by. He did, and at some point he told the officer that he had installed the GPS device. Echoing Greg Shields’s “rule of thumb,” Sullivan insisted that it was legal because he owned the car. The reality is that installing the device was technically legal, but the way he used it to harass his wife was not. The police charged him with stalking.
His trial began one Friday in October 2000, before Judge James H. Hiatt. It was a surreal affair that demonstrated the divide between a
tradition-bound legal system and the world of affordable high-tech gadgetry that is available to aid criminal behavior. During opening arguments, the prosecutor struggled to explain the facts of the case: “The defendant purchased a tracking device, a global—it’s called
a GPS—global positions satellite tracking device is that—what that stands for,” he faltered.
The legal system has had to scramble to keep up with the technology being adopted by stalkers. Almost every state has passed a cyberstalking law, but most deal mainly with electronic communications and not surveillance technologies such as miniature cameras and GPS devices. And most of the laws still rely on the traditional definition of stalking, in which the pattern of behavior is only a crime if the victim is aware of it and feels threatened. But technology adds previously unimagined new twists to the ways in which a person’s privacy and peace of mind can be violated.
Judge Hiatt found Sullivan guilty. “Of all the people in the world,” he wrote of Sullivan in his decision, “this was the last person that Ms. Sullivan wanted to have this kind of knowledge, and I would think it would be a frightening experience to know that he knows all this stuff and to not know how or why he knows it. That would be serious emotional distress to any reasonable person.”
Sullivan appealed. He argued that his wife wasn’t under active surveillance because he didn’t know her whereabouts until after he had downloaded information from the GPS unit. The appeals court responded, essentially: Bunk. The court interpreted “under
surveillance” to include “electronic surveillance that records a person’s whereabouts as that person moves from one location to another and allows the
stalker to access that information either simultaneously or shortly thereafter.”
Victims’ advocates such as Tracy Bahm are lobbying for more states to adopt that definition and to follow the example of Wisconsin, where anti-stalking legislation that went into effect in April expands the banned activities to include “photographing, videotaping, audiotaping, or, through any other electronic means, monitoring or recording the activities of the victim.” Also, instead of having to make the case that the victim had a reasonable fear of injury or death, the new Wisconsin statute, like Colorado’s, requires only that prosecutors prove that the stalking caused someone “to suffer serious emotional distress.”Bahm is helping draft a prototype anti-stalking law to serve as a model for legislators around the country. The goal is to find language that’s flexible enough to anticipate the misuse of technologies that don’t yet exist. “It should cover all forms of stalking we can contemplate—direct and indirect,” she says, “and be written in a way that anticipates that there will be technology in the future that we can’t contemplate now, and we should not have to amend our laws every year to address the new technology.”
Sullivan received a three-year suspended sentence—he served 57 days in jail and then was put on probation for four years. It was a wrist slap typical of domestic violence cases. “You can go to jail for doing drugs but not for stalking your wife,” says Cindy Southworth of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, an organization representing state domestic-violence groups. But Sullivan violated his probation by using drugs and possessing a gun and is now in prison little more than an hour’s drive from the home of his ex-wife and her new husband. He’ll be out as early as this summer. For now, he communicates indirectly with his ex-wife in any way possible, including by filing lawsuits against her so that she’ll be served with papers bearing his name.
“I get messages from him through my sons, through their girlfriends,” she says. “He claims he’s made me what I am, that I owe him. He tells my sons everything would be fine if I just came back home. The last thing he said to me was that he’d ruin me. Now he’ll forgive me for everything I’ve done. He says I need to keep the family together. He’s never going to let this go.”
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?