Fans of true crime and thrillers alike may have noticed the debut of Ryan Murphy’s “The Watcher” on Netflix in the fall of this year. The show is a limited-time series that is not a true story, however it is not without reason that many of the terrifying information is based on the actual life of a family that was subject to harassment prior to making the move to their new house.
The real ‘Watcher’ story
The actual “Watcher” tale gained the attention of the nation in 2018, after an New York Magazine piece by Reeves Wideman chronicled a New Jersey family’s experiences with mysterious mail at their home. Derek Broaddus and Maria Broaddus bought their dream home in 2014 , and they were getting ready to relocate with their three children when they started receiving strange messages inside their mailbox.
“Dearest new neighbor on 657 Boulevard,” the first message began “Allow me to warmly welcome you to our neighborhood.” Then it began to take a numbing turn.
657 Boulevard is the topic of our family’s interest for years until today … It was my father used to watch the house during the 1920s, and my father watched it in the 60s. Now it is my turn.
The writer signed his letters with the title “The Monitor” and then continued to leave the Broaddus family members with notes that were chilling. The Broaddus family appeared to be in the home, observing and commenting about the activities of contractors as well as the amount of children they had.
Police from the neighborhood interviewed one person however, unfortunately, it was impossible to accomplish without tangible evidence and an acknowledgement. The Broaddus’s employed an private detective and installed security cameras as well as contacted the former FBI agent to assistance.
In the wake of six years of alarming letters, the Broaddus’s made the decision to sell their house. The word circulated regarding the letter, and the bids received were far lower than the asking price. The house was a popular legend, and some speculated that the letters could be fake. In the end, the Broaddus’s discovered the family who wanted to rent the property.
The second one came in 2 weeks later. The Watcher claimed they would get their revenge either way:
Maybe a car accident. Perhaps an accident that caused a fire. Perhaps it’s as easy as a minor illness that doesn’t seem to go and makes you be sick day, the same day. Perhaps it is the mysterious disappearance of your pet. People you love suddenly pass away. Cars, planes and even bicycles collide. Bones break.
Despite an ongoing investigation conducted through the Westfield police The Watcher was never recognized.
Real-life Legal Options
The Watcher case is a very extreme instance and at its core is a legal question that any person could be confronted with: What could you do to stop an individual who stalks you?
Stalking was not a separate crime in all states prior to a few years ago. It’s generally described as “unwanted pursue of another” which includes being pursued by phone calls that are harassing as well as vandalism. you’ve guessed it, note-taking.
In the majority of states, the prosecutor must demonstrate an egregious pattern of behavior that places a victim at risk of their own security in order to prevail on the charge of stalking. However, criminal charges aren’t always an option only for people who is facing stalkers.
The judge is also able to issue an order to protect (sometimes known as a restraining or restraining order) against anyone suspected of being stalking. Protective orders prohibit individuals from communicating with the victim and generally will require that they remain some distance from the victim. But, they typically last for a short period of time.
The nature of the stalker’s identity is easier to determine that it was on “The The Watcher.” Actually, they’re typically a former partner or someone who is who is close to you. If you’re harassed or spied upon, an attorney for domestic violence is a great resource.
There is no need to resolve the problem on your own. Hire a lawyer
A consultation with a lawyer could aid you in understanding your options and the best way to defend your rights. Check out our directory of attorneys to locate a lawyer close to your area who could assist.