Private Investigations and Personal Security/Bizarre Behavior


Scenario: A delusional neighbor is trying to stalk and harass his neighbor for no reason. He may have major mental illnesses like schizophrenia, manic-depression etc. The typical profile of a delusional stalker is that of an unmarried and socially immature loner, who is unable to establish or sustain a close relationship with others.  They rarely date and have had few, if any, sexual relationships. This is precisely the kind of neighbor I'm referring to.

The neighbor is using some type of listening device on a drywall to hear 1: If his neighbor is present and 2: when his neighbor goes to bed. The mentally ill neighbor has a habit of making it known that he can hear the slightest sounds through the wall. The drywall is thin but not thin enough to hear the faintest sounds. The sick neighbor will make noise (TV, stereo) when he hears quiet movement on the bed like simply turning around. He does this only when his neighbor has gone to bed and indicating that he can hear sounds that would not otherwise be heard without a device.

Obviously, this neighbor has become obsessed with his "new toy" and feels an overwhelming false sense of power, like some god or superman. In this case, the perpetrator is not using the device to listen to conversations or record them but rather to annoy innocent folk. So how can evidence be gathered in this scenario? Can anything be done legally about this? It does not fall directly under stalking. The state is Texas.


First of all, let me apologize for taking so long to answer your question.  

Stalking laws differ from state to state. Whether his behavior actually meets the requirements of your state's stalking law, I could not say, but you could look into the
issue - most states have information about their laws online, or you
can check a web site such as:

If he is doing what your state defines as stalking, you can contact the police and help them take care of it. If not, here are some suggestions.  Contact your building's owner, manager, or super to explain what is happening and enlist their help.   Do something to your wall to help soundproof it, such as adding a layer of acoustic tiles or panels that Home Depot says will help keep your sounds from reaching him.  If those things don't work try putting a sound source such as a radio against that wall so that all he will hear is that.

If none of those things work, and if his behavior gets worse or you become even more bothered by him, you might have to move.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the only way to manage some "stalker neighbor" situations.  I hope it doesn't come to that for you.  Good luck, and stay safe,  - Lyn  

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Lyn Bates


Are you being stalked? I can help evaluate the amount of danger you are in, and can provide very specific suggestions for increasing your safety, and for managing your situation. As a founding member and the current Vice President of AWARE (a volunteer, nonprofit organization), I have helped thousands of women learn to protect themselves from crimes ranging from minor harassment to serious assault. I am currently writing a book on safety for stalking victims. I have lectured at annual training meetings of the American Society of Law Enforcement Training, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, the International Women Police Association, the American Society of Criminology, and the American Women`s Self-Defense Association. In 1997, the American Tactical Shooting Association gave me their annual Tactical Advocate Award for teaching and writing.

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