Thursday, February 25, 2016

27 Years of Fear: New Zealand's Most Dangerous Stalker

After just six days of freedom, the man known as New Zealand's most prolific, and dangerous, stalker is back behind bars.  For 27 years Glenn Green has harassed and intimidated dozens of women by photographing them, lurking outside their homes or workplaces, sending them letters and, as technology progressed, emails and messages on social media; turning their lives into a "living nightmare" as one victim so eloquently put it.

Glenn Green in 2012

Green started his 'career' as a stalker in the 1980s, after making brief contact with a 16-year-old girl on a bus.  He learned the girl's name from her bus pass and used that to track down her address and phone number.  Green began sending her letters, and calling her house, believing that she wanted and welcomed his attentions.  He started following her, lurking outside her school and the places she liked to hang out, camera in hand, taking photographs of her.  Green made the girl's life a misery, and even after he was arrested, refused to believe that she didn't want him.  He told his probation officer that he might believe it if she said it to his face, but anyone familiar with stalking behaviour will recognise this tactic for what it is,  just another attempt to manipulate the victim into having contact with their stalker.

Green's modus operandi is frighteningly simple; he targets attractive women in their late teens or 20s, seeks out their contact details and uses some kind of ruse, and an alias if necessary, to initiate contact.  He told one victim that he was a mutual friend of a friend who'd recently passed away, using her grief to connect with her and get her mobile number.  When she rejected his attempts to pursue a relationship, he became abusive, threatened her and claimed to have connections to a violent gang to frighten her. 

Another victim suffered months of harassment after Green got hold of her mobile number and began texting her, pretending to be an old school friend.  The victim recieved more than 200 text messages from Green in less than a week.  He once again resorted to threats, telling the victim that he was the NZ president of the Aryan Brotherhood, a violent white supremacist group.  He threatened to have her assaulted by members of the gang, and told her that she should commit suicide by hanging herself.

One of Glenn Green's victims has been living with his stalking since 1994.  That's the year I finished high school, I'm 39 now, and I have a 15-year-old daughter.  Green has been stalking this woman for longer than my daughter has been alive.  That's terrifying.

Green has chalked up a long list of criminal charges in 27 years, more than 200 in total, including at least five convictions for criminal harassment, threatening to kill, impersonating police, intimidation, theft, burglary, and over 35 charges of breaching a protection order, all related to his stalking.  He also has a long list of aliases - Glenn Corleone, Gino Versace, Glenn Holden, Glenn Colcord - all of which he uses to try and circumvent the restrictions placed on him by the courts.  Police and probation officers are well aware of his tricks, but nothing seems to deter Green once he has a victim in his sights.

 When I first read that Glenn Green had been sent back to prison, I was relieved, for the women he's victimised, and for any future victims he might have targeted.  Then, after researching and reading articles about him for this post, I realised that prison hasn't stopped Glenn Green at all.  He continues to stalk women from behind bars and has even bragged to prison staff that being in prison makes it easier for him to 'meet' women, and form relationships without interference from the authorities.

Those of you who have listened to season one of the phenomenally popular podcast, Serial, will remember the robot sounding recorded message that plays when someone receives a phone call from a prisoner.  But for those of you who have never heard it...

Prison phone message

...The recording used in New Zealand prisons is somewhat different of course,  the robot voice has a kiwi accent for one, but still, you get the general idea.  Now imagine hearing that when you pick up the phone, and knowing that the person calling is the same person who's made you live in fear for months or even years.  Imagine hearing that and knowing that not even a prison sentence is going to stop that person from harassing you.  Imagine how terrifying it must be to live like that.

In 2015, Green's last court appearance prior to today, his lawyer argued that Green shouldn't be found guilty on two charges of breaching parole conditions because the women he'd been texting and sending letters to hadn't responded, therefore no relationship existed.  And if twisted legal arguments don't work, Green will try to use the justice system to facilitate meetings with his victims, by claiming he wants "restorative justice."  Fortunately, the judges who have dealt with Green thus far have figured out that he's trying to manipulate them, and his requests for restorative justice and mediation have been denied.

So, if protective orders, and prison time haven't worked, what can we do about Glenn Green?  When every possible deterrent the justice system has to offer has been ineffective, what's left?  How can we protect current, and future victims from offenders like Glenn Green?  Do we take away all of his internet, phone and mail privileges? Would the Corrections department even be able to do that, or would that be a breach of his human rights? Green must have family or friends that he is well within his rights to communicate with.  Wouldn't taking away all forms of communication would be unfair to them?  What do we do with somebody like Glenn Green?

I wish I had an answer to that question, but the fact is, I don't, and I'm not sure anyone else does either.

NZ's Worst Stalker - June 2012
Women At Risk From Stalker - June 2014
Court Orders Stalker's Phone, Address Book Destroyed - Mar 2015
NZ's Most Prolific Stalker Back Behind Bars - Feb 2016

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