CyberStalked: Our Story
My daughter Katie and I were targeted for harassment via the internet by a multiply convicted felon in July 1996. Katie was only five years old when this case began, but that didn't stop the stalker from sending obscene email messages addressed to her via her page on my web site. The harassment turned into stalking, moved offline, and never really stopped. Due to threats, we lived in three different homes in the first two years after initial contact with the criminal, and I lost track of the number of times I had our phone numbers changed. I also greatly reduced my presence on the internet for many months, hoping he would lose interest and leave us alone. He didn't.
Richard Hillyard of Duluth, Georgia was arrested twice in connection with this case. While he was not, unfortunately, convicted, he was under a nolle prosequi order for a time, which is not the same as being found "innocent."
This site exists to tell our story and to present the evidence that, while not necessarily sufficient to obtain a criminal conviction, is still damning when examined in context. Legal advisors have since told me that there was more than enough evidence to obtain a civil judgement, but I did not have the resources to pursue a civil case it when the case was "fresh."
Just having a the place holder announcing the coming release of the site drew increased harassment and public attacks, and its full release on September 2, 1997 occasioned additional obscene email and 17 more forged posts. Obviously something here—even knowing something would on the web at all—is very threatening to someone. The original web host for the site received so many complaints trying to shut the site down that Hillyard became a standing joke in their abuse department—because all of them, according to a source there, were traced back to him.
Much of the evidence here is fairly technical, due to the fact that most of the harassment has been carried out via the internet. Please read the information I've provided about the evidence first. If you don't already know how to read and understand the headers of internet messages, it would probably be best to read the section on that topic, as well.
The site was somewhat stale when I last updated it significantly in April 2000. Now, in April 2006, I'm moving it to a new domain, but again, I'm not really updating this information. The harassment of our family has continued. I received anonymous messages regarding my daughter and her school attendance in fall of 2005. I refuse to give Hillyard any more time or energy, though, so I'm not going to keep updating this section unless there is a major new development. I've blocked most of the ways any unwanted messages can reach our family. I've taken steps to be sure we're much safer in our offline lives than we were when this started in 1996. He hasn't managed to find us offline in many years, and I know where the security breach occurred last fall.
This information remains online because it is helpful to others. I continue to get a significant volume of email from people who appreciate the information on it. While I may reduce the level of detail in the interests of conserving server space, I'm leaving it online.
In reply to the many emails I get from people on the following:
- Hillyard's hate site—yes, I do know that it exists. No, I don't go look at it any more—it just isn't important to me. And yes, I also know about the remarkably similar hate site he has or had on one of his other domains about another woman.
- I also know that he is or was involved in prostitution. I could hardly help knowing that, considering that I and my family members have repeatedly been harassed by having ads posted about us on prostitution-related web sites. I have consulted with one metro-area law enforcement agency and would be happy to assist others if contacted by officers seeking information or assistance. I doubt that they need that, at this point, though, as personnel in three different departments have stated that Hillyard is well-known to their vice officers.
- The pictures on that site—yes, I know that he has photos on that site pulled from some of the television shows I've done. I don't care—if I had a problem with my picture being avaiable I wouldn't have agreed to go on television. I imagine the copyright holders for those shows might care, but I don't know why anyone else would get upset.
- His supposed lawsuit—yes, I realize that Hillyard has implied on that site (and according to others has stated outright in various prostitution-related forums) that he won a lawsuit against me but hasn't been able to collect the money. There has never been any legal action against me or anyone that I know of or who is involved with me in any way shape or form in relation to this case—none. There is no record of Hillyard winning any civil judgment in the state of Georgia in that time. Although Hillyard has been making threats of legal action since 1996, I have yet to see even one piece of paper to back up his claims. Of course, if there were any action against me, I'd have to be served with a notice. He might have sued someone else, but I find that unlikely—if there were a real lawsuit and a real judgement, surely he could cite the date, the court, the case number, etc. or even scan in a copy of the judgement? If, as I believe, the lawsuit story is just another of his lies, though, he can't give anyone any of that information—so he'll probably just continue to imply such things on his site and lie about them in forums he knows I (like most people who aren't prostitutes or their clients) don't and won't follow.
The important things to remember about Hillyard are that he is, as I have repeatedly shown, a proven criminal and liar. He has no credibility. I don't let his words get to me any more. I've made my immediate family safe so that he cannot get to us physically. We have a good life, which we will go on enjoying. Thank you for your messages of support, concern, and encouragement.
- What's happened—Summary
- Why I'm sure Richard Hillyard is the culprit
- Have We Actually Been Stalked?
- About the evidence
- Detailed timeline
- Archived posts and email
- My Actions in Response to These Events
- Why did he target us?
- Hillyard's history and his attempts to conceal it
- Replies to Hillyard's accusations, claims, etc.
- Arrests, trial and other legal matters
- What I want
- Frequently asked questions
- In the press
- Information for Members of the Press
- Help wanted and thanks for help received
- Definitions of technical and legal terms
- Resources for learning more or getting help
- Avoiding Internet Harassment
- For the press
Many people have been referred to this site by anonymous posts made through anonymous remailers. I have never used any anonymous remailer to make any posts anywhere, and I've never posted any advertisement for any of my web pages anywhere—the URL for the site is at the bottom of posts I make to various mailing lists and newsgroups, but that's it. If one of those posts led you to this site—well, you've seen the stalker in action, trying to stir up feeling against me. Please complain to the remailers used to make the posts if you have a problem with them. Thank you.
Please note that due to the nature of the evidence presented here this portion of my web site absolutely is not suitable for children. It contains obscenity and sexually explicit text (no pictures), as well as links to many sex-related newsgroups. I have no desire to add more obscene content to the web, but without presenting the evidence I can hardly expect those who do not know me personally to believe this story--and reading the actual content of the evidence has made it far more real to many people. I've used SafeSurf ratings to aid in filtering the objectionable content from those who do not wish to see it.
I cannot absolutely tie Hillyard to some events, although I strongly believe that he is directly responsible for them. Anyone who looks at them rationally in the context of the other events will, I think, see my point. However, in the interest of accuracy I will not use Hillyard's name in connection with those events, but will refer to the perpetrator as Dick Coward. While I realize that the harassment may be the work of more than one person, I seriously doubt that it is. If you prefer, though, insert "and/or his associates" where appropriate and use non gender-specific pronouns in your mind.
I'm more than happy to hear from those who've visited this or any other portion of my site, especially if you should find any errors or something that needs to be clarified. If I've mis-stated a fact, I want to know it. If you disagree with my conclusions and have rational arguments for some other conclusion that might not have occurred to me, please let me know. I have done my best to credit the source of any information, and to leave the viewer with a clear sense of what facts are absolutely known, what is suspected, and what is a conclusion drawn from all the information available to me. When I receive new (verifiable) information that contradicts what I've written, I change this site without hesitation—I have no need to lie or even color the truth when writing or speaking about this matter. This site is neither libelous nor defamatory, as I have never knowingly published any false information, and have quickly corrected any inaccuracies or lack of clarity as soon as I've learned of them. A willingness to correct honest mistakes is not a weakness or a sign of (as Hillyard claims) "instability," or at least not in my value system.
This site does not exist to harass Richard Hillyard or anyone else. It exists to tell our story; to help others who may face similar problems (or hopefully, to help others avoid such problems); to encourage responsible political action to deal with harassment on and off the internet; and to offer explanation as to why rather disgusting lies about me come up in any search engine when anyone does any sort of net search using my name.
Cynthia L. Armistead
Copyright © 1996-2009, Cynthia L. Armistead, All Rights Reserved.
This file last modified 02/17/11