The Stalker’s Web
by Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
For true crime enthusiasts, cyberpsychology students and those fascinated by cybercriminal minds, I strongly recommend listening to the podcast series titled “The Stalker’s Web” In addition to this excellent podcast, interested parties can watch the televised documentary on Discovery+, which premiers August 10, 2021. To listen to the podcasts, links have been provided or simply click on the episode image.
Hosted by Billy Jensen and Alexis Linkletter, “Unraveled: The Stalker’s Web” profiles one of the most notorious Information Age cyberstalkers, Jason Christopher Hughes. The podcast and documentary do an exceptional job profiling Mr. Hughes and his many victims. Given that the cyberstalker is one of the eight types of iPredator, provided here is my cyberstalking and iPredator definitions.
iPredator: A person, group, or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, coercion, stalking, theft, or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power, control, and retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance, or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age or gender and are not bound by economic status, race, religion, or national heritage. Their sole requirement to get started in this dark dimension is an internet connection.
Central to the concept is the premise that information age criminals, deviants, and the violently disturbed are psychopathological classifications new to humanity. Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cybercriminal, online sexual predator, cyberterrorist, internet troll, online child pornography consumer/distributor, or a person engaged in internet defamation or nefarious online deception, they fall within the scope of iPredator. The three criteria used to define an iPredator include:
- A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT.
- The usage of ICT to obtain, tamper with, exchange and deliver harmful information.
- A general understanding of cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, locate, stalk, and engage a target.
Unlike human predators prior to the information age, iPredators rely on the multitude of benefits offered by ICT. The primary differentiators of this very modern kind of predation are also threefold: the unlimited distance over which data can be conveyed, the immediacy with which the data can be conveyed, and the unlimited scope of data that can be conveyed.
Cyberstalking: Cyberstalking is the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to stalk, control, manipulate or habitually threaten a child, adult, business or group. Cyberstalking is both a tactic used by an online assailant and typology of pathological ICT user. Cyberstalking tactics include false accusations, threats of harm, habitual monitoring, surveillance, implied threats, identity theft, damage to property and gathering information to manipulate and control their target.
To meet the criteria of cyberstalking, the information and tactics used must involve a credible or implied physical and psychological threat to the target. An example of physical threat involves bodily harm to the target or their loved ones using ICT. Examples of psychological threats involve using disparagement, humiliation, disinformation and environmental damage to the target’s reputation, credibility or financial status if the target does not acquiesce to the cyber stalker’s demands. Cyberstalking is one category of iPredator that will continue to grow with the expansion of Information and Communications Technology.
Unraveled Podcast Links
(Links Provided or Click on Images for Podcast Episode)
Episode 1: “Antisense” Podcast Link: https://play.acast.com/s/unraveled/s2ep.1-antisense
Episode 2: “Rachel” Podcast Link: https://play.acast.com/s/unraveled/s2ep.2-rachel
Episode 3: “The Extinct Marsupial” Podcast Link: https://play.acast.com/s/unraveled/s2ep.3-theextinctmarsupial
Episode 4: “Mother” Podcast Link: https://play.acast.com/s/unraveled/s2ep.4-mother
Episode 5: “The Devil’s Web” Podcast Link: https://play.acast.com/s/unraveled/s2ep.5-thedevilsweb
Episode 6: “Hiding Out” Podcast Link: https://play.acast.com/s/unraveled/s2ep.6-hidingout
Educational Cyberstalking Assessment Links
Cyberstalking Prevention Checklist [CSPC]
iPredator Probability Inventory – Cyberstalking [IPI-CS]
Cyberstalker Identification Interview [CSII]
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. is a NYS licensed psychologist, cyberpsychology researcher and online safety educator. In 2009, Dr. Nuccitelli finalized his dark side of cyberspace concept called iPredator. Since 2010, he has advised those seeking information about cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cybercriminal minds, internet addiction and his Dark Psychology concept. By day Dr. Nuccitelli is a practicing psychologist, clinical supervisor and owner of MN Psychological Services, PLLC. After work and on the weekends, he volunteers helping online users who have been cyber-attacked. Dr. Nuccitelli’s is always available to interested parties and the media at no cost. This website and everything created by Dr. Nuccitelli is educational, free and public domain.