Local stalker announces retirement

Larry O’Neil admits the stalker game is changing.

“It’s not as easy as it was ten, fifteen years ago,” says O’Neil, 53, of Clarion.  “I used to be able to follow a person for weeks, but it’s getting harder for me to obsess over someone for that long.”

Larry belongs to a generation of stalkers and creeps that is beginning to fade.  In an age where technology is constantly changing the way people interact, traditional “bush and binocular” stalking has fallen to the wayside.  Stalkers now use social media like Twitter and Facebook to keep an eye on their victims all while never leaving the home.

Many older stalkers, however, believe the internet has taken the heart out of the profession.

“I used to get up early and plan out my day,” says O’Neil.  “Following, say, a cute young couple took time.  I had to dress for the weather, pack snacks – you know, be prepared for whatever could happen out in the field.”

Now, stalkers can keep an observant eye on their obsessions all from the comfort of their computer chairs.  Internet savvy stalkers can uncover a gold mine of information from personal emails, Facebook accounts and online billing sites – easily getting a firsthand look into the minds of the very people they are stalking.

“When I wanted to know what someone was thinking, I had to go in depth – you know, dig through trash cans, lurk outside window sills.  It was a long, painstaking process.  Now I spend five minutes on Facebook and can learn everything I ever wanted to know,” said O’Neil.

O'Neil demonstrates his craft.

Despite the changes, O’Neil still looks back at his years of old fashioned stalking with pride.

“The Grove City Outlets were a great place to follow someone,” he said.  “Lots of shrubbery, almost no security, lots of good places to camp out.  I watched a young lady buy Christmas gifts there one year – Santa Claus ain’t the only one who knows if you’ve been bad or good!”

Though O’Neil uses the internet, he maintains he will not take up cyber stalking.

“My best years of stalking have passed,” he said.  “I’ve been arrested so many times the police chief knows me by name.  You don’t make those kinds of friends stalking on the internet.”

O’Neil is currently looking for new ways to fill his time.  He is studying to become an elementary math teacher – his teaching certificate is pending.


4 Responses to “Local stalker announces retirement”

  1. March 20, 2012 at 10:13 am

    It’s nice to see that some members of the community are still stalking analog-style. While I appreciate the efficiency and convenience of digital creepin’, there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned stakeout to learn more about the new neighbors down the street. Something as delicate as the art of sneakily attaching a spy camera to their cat’s collar, a craft that requires skill and practice, just can’t be understood or appreciated by the point-and-click generation, who clumsily blanket-stalk friends, enemies, friends and enemies of friends and enemies, even total strangers automatically on an inelegant digital news feed. There was a time when getting to know someone without them realizing it, just like writing music, or taking and developing photographs, was the specialized trade of a talented few. Now that the ability has been automated, I feel that society has all-too-quickly forgotten and lost the respect it once held for the true sneak-up artists of our time. Such a shame.

    • March 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      It is a shame. Our modern society has lost appreciation for old-timey creepin.’ iPad’s and Facebook have taken all the fun and skill out of invading someone’s privacy. Tip of the hat to all those long, lost stalkers out there!

  2. March 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Still laughing, great post!

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