Angelo Persico, a 55-years-old bank clerk from Novara, has been arrested for stalking Alessia Orro. Persico has already been charged in 2019 for the same reason, which makes think (knowing the Italian justice) that the calvary for the brave Alessia is not over. It’s clear that the stalker is so much obsessed with the volleyball player that he considers the judiciary troubles only a setback derived from his obsession.
My Italian investigative agency Octopus has been dealing with counter-surveillance and defense in cases of stalking since 1988, since this hateful crime was indexed as ‘harassment’ and there was much less attention in prosecuting it. In fact, there has been little progress in the field of stalking in general and violence against women in particular. And don’t point out to me that sometimes men suffer violence too, because the numbers of victims between the two genders are not comparable.
First of all, the first arrest of Angelo Persico, from what I read in the media, was not due to the full application of the anti-stalking legislation, but to real death threats (‘you will be mine, otherwise I will disintegrate you’). However, although Persico had already reoffended against other women, he was considered repentant and placed under house arrest. He was eventually released.
Secondly, the media, public opinion and the so-called authorities are far from the right attitude to stamp out these monsters. It makes me ask to journalists and pundits, and even many opportunistic politicians, why in September 2021 they jumped on Barbara Palombelli’s head when, being a woman, she made blameless remarks on feminicide (from the textbook of victimology). Whereas, on the other hand, no one was shocked enough at how Persico had declared himself ‘in love’ with his victim in 2019. Moreover, on the occasion of this recent arrest of Persico, no journalist was able to put his face on the front page: I see the media studded with Alessia’s photos (good for her if it will benefit her career), but no one who thought of causing a little discomfort to Angelo Persico by shaming him on all the front pages of the newspapers.
I would like to take this opportunity, as a private investigator who is more used to finding practical solutions to crimes than analyzing them from a criminological point of view, to re-propose the protocol of behavior that I suggest to the stalked clients of my Italian detective agency Octopus:
- Try, if possible, to build a rubber wall between you and the stalker. Practically:
- Don’t settle in habits (easier said than done);
- Make it hard to verify if you’re at home, at work or at any other place that you regularly go to (car in the garage, blinders on, etc.);
- Change your phone number but leave the old on active so to keep an eye on the stalker and provide evidence of the persecution.
- Weaken the stalker’s interest in you. I sorted out the situation of some of my clients by fabricating false clinical test testifying horrible health disease to show to the ex-boyfriend stalker or staging anything else may have cracked the ‘sensitivity’ of the disturbed stalker.
- Be armed. Being the stalker a mentally ill person, you can’t foresee his reactions that may escalate in brutal violence. In the most dangerous situations, you should have a gun permit, even if it’s not an easy thing. The anti-assault spray is the most practical solution for a prompt and complications-free defense. It’s also quite useful to spread in the house, the car and the office with blunt objects (a client of mine of my first investigative agency Octopus in Bergamo end up unharmed after the rageful aggression from the husband thanks to the advice of covering the house with small fire extinguishers.
- Denounce and wait for the furious response. Know that reporting stops the type of stalker who have a lot to lose and are still partially healthy, but it unleashes the wrath of the most disturbed and violent. Therefore, after reporting them, organize appropriate counter-surveillance and defense (I recommend to the clients of my detective agency Octopus to satellize the stalker’s car and take special precautions).
- When the stalker is in prison as a result of your complaint, try to know in advance when he will be released, because that is when he will unleash his fury. Many stalkers are not smart enough to understand that when they are reported on the loose, arrested and then released or put under house arrest, it does not mean that they have acquired a kind of immunity and can repeat the persecution (I always tell the clients of my detective agency Octopus that empty threats against these offenders reinforce their sense of impunity).