Bitter Betrayal

BITTER BETRAYALMy story, You will WANT to read this!  Pass it on!!!!

Someone you know could be next!!!

HOW I WAS SCAMMED AND STALKED—Please beware!

Normally I don’t tell my story, especially when they are painful like this one; but at this point in my life the truth really needs to be told to protect not only myself but others out there who will eventually become potential victims. They always say that you know who your stalkers are and that is not the way I thought things would ever be for me.  My story is a Bitter betrayal, You WILL want to read this!!!!

Two year’s ago, I was networking on several social sites because I was a published author several times over with books archived in the Spencer Library and Museum in Lawrence KS; but I wanted to continue networking my artwork, jewelry designs, and my writing. I was proud of my accomplishments and so was my family, but I was craving some excitement in my life, too. I work a full-time job; 12 hour shifts and at times it gets quite stressful. My hobbies are what keep me focused with a positive outlook on life. I know everyone needs “their own escape” at times.

I was friends with some of the most influential people in the art, music, and entertainment industry and luckily I still am to this day; however I met the nightmare of my dreams when I met a photographer guy from the Bonner Springs area of Kansas. I had been ripped off many times by art galleries who displayed and sold my jewelry designs, and book stores who had tossed away books whenever their shelves got “too full”. I am very active in the Kansas Author’s Club and continue to hold both a District and State office. Rather than get totally burned out on writing and doing artwork, I needed something more to do with my life.

So I went back to doing what I love with photography. I had been taking pictures since I was about six year’s old growing up with all types of cameras and video equipment. I started doing local concert photography about five year’s ago when local venues had events here at home. I wanted to expand my horizons and learn more about professional photography for the national bands. That’s when my nightmare really came into my life.

I had been talking to a magazine editor who is one of my dear friends yet today and she told me I should meet a photographer friend of hers from Kansas City. I was very reluctant to make the call, but a couple months later I decided “what the heck, what have I got to lose”. He had posted that he was a ‘crime scene photographer’ on many social sites and I really was interested in that line of work. He also made claim to work with law enforcement in KCKS and KCMO as an undercover agent and that he even had his own patrol car. He even said he taught the crime scene photography classes in the area! He was quite good as a story-teller because none of this was remotely true but I had no idea at the time.

My husband and I were going through rough times, thus he decided to take me to the big adventurous Kansas City area so I could meet this wonderful man who could show me a few pointers with a new Nikon camera. I thought with a background as he claimed he had, I should be able to trust him with my life! {After all, why wouldn’t you trust a man who made claims of a background as a football player, an ex-stripper dancer, a singer following his father’s footsteps, a daddy raising three beautiful small children, and someone who was in law enforcement, too!}  We became very close friends in a few short months, and I really loved the guy! I thought he could be a friend forever and we shared a common interest in other things besides photography. We sort of became each other’s life line when things got tough. It was nice to vent without having to worry about who each other knew because we cared about each other’s needs; or so I thought. Boy, was I ever wrong!!!!

The photographer guy and I went to concert shows together every few months and I would drive to Kansas City to pick him up and then I stayed at his home. His family was remarkable, great, honest, warm and sincere people who really care about their family and friends. It showed greatly when I attended his family reunion. I love all of the family members I met and became close friends to many of them, yet he was another story!

With a hobby in photography, I was able to write reviews and take pictures of bands that had been my idols! It was such a great rush for me, but then I started noticing things that just seemed really strange. It occurred to me after watching him alter photo passes at local venues in Kansas and Missouri so he could shoot all the bands at a show, and later finding Jagermeister lanyards, passes, and event flyers in my car that we didn’t pay for that he didn’t have a conscience when it came to stealing right from the venues. But he was in fact, stealing from the bands without their knowledge! He had no professional ethics and he always told me “all people lie in show business”. I strongly disagreed with that issue and noticed we had become more argumentative whenever we saw each other or talked on the phone.  Something seemed to be missing from all these stories and I was determined to know the truth!

I would drive over three hours to visit him but he would tell me “hurry up, we’ve got to go”.  I’d barely get there and he would convince me to “buy this and buy that” because I would need it for a career in professional photography!  He told me that I could use the equipment whenever I stayed at his home and it would be ours…a joint adventure to help our careers; but he claimed he would also pay me back every penny once he got his other life issues straightened out.  He found places to rent studios by the hour and professional camera equipment so I could perfect a career in professional photography in the Kansas City area. {I wrote his biography and he appeared to be one of Kansas City’s finest photographers in the area as well as the most outstanding citizen!}  So I continued to believe him and wrote every penny down in a book, saving every receipt, and noted everything daily; except for gas and meal expenses for the both of us even though I had only budgeted for my own expenses with each trip I made. It appeared that the gas and meal expenses were just my payment for a place to stay with him. In the long run I would have been money ahead staying in a motel room!

A few months later, I received a certified letter from a Business place in New York that sold camera equipment.   He fraudulently tried to open up a charge account in my name and luckily it didn’t go through due to not having enough information on me and my business.  When I questioned him about it, he said, “I only did it for us…I was trying to help your career.”  I called the business back and they wanted me to press charges.  I don’t know why I didn’t but I think back and it had to be fear of the unknown.

At restaurants, he would step in front of me to order his food before me. I’d be conveniently stuck with the bill as well as the embarrassment while he flirted with the female staff.  Sometimes he would leave his wallet in the car so I would have to pay for everything no matter where we went.  He eventually had me paying for his own children’s food before his family visits because I loved those precious babies and didn’t want them to go without; if I could help.  Eventually the children went to live with another family member in another state.  I was happy the children stayed together and were in a good home with loving people who could give them what they needed.  In the meantime, he got more angry and meaner when things didn’t go his way.  It was totally crazy. I noticed a very negative pattern with him.  I was his new “cash cow” and all he cared about was taking money from me and using my vehicle to impress people.

I always wondered why he had so many women friends in his phone and why he lived with a blue-tooth attached to his ear.  I then realized he was leading women on so they would send him things or feel sorry for him because he needed their attention; especially women with relationship problems or single mom’s with small children at home.  I noticed envelopes at his home from other women while I would clean his room that I wondered about. I found out later on that he convinced other women to wire him money on several occasions, purchase his business cards for him, and even buy him ink cartridges for the printer I purchased because he told them terrible stories about child abuse and wrong doings. He always claimed “his friends just gifted him”.

When I didn’t answer his phone calls right away, the voicemails would be bordering hostility towards me and very harassing! I really got scared!!!!  Who could I tell???  How embarrassed would I feel??? He yelled and screamed at me. At times I would tell him to stop calling me because I couldn’t take his bad attitude, or how horrible he made me feel.  Sometimes he would leave me on hold while he had other conversations with people.  He would “go off” on them about the most bizarre things.  I found out later many women stayed on his “friend’s lists” just because they were really quite afraid of him and that he did the same things to them when they didn’t answer the phone right away too.  I thought about changing my number, but then I didn’t want to lose good contacts, either.  Things seemed to go downhill with the guy as time went on, and I was being used over and over again.  I felt trapped.

Oh he was a nice looking guy. Most of the time he wore cargo jeans and his baseball cap on backwards with his hair tied back into a ponytail.  He carried his camera bag with multiple photo passes attached like he was some ‘super star photographer’.  It was like his signature thing for him.

He loved wearing t-shirts from the bands and he covered himself with that “cool water” cologne too.  He would nag at me while looking at merchandise tables to buy him this and that until I eventually couldn’t stand it. Then again I paid for something else for him so he would get off my back!  It took all the fun out of shooting photos and attending the show with him. It also made for a tearful long drive home.  Many times, I left his home without saying good-bye to him at all. I left his home confused and emotional telling myself “I wouldn’t ever go back”, yet he had such control over me I would eventually make another trip feeling sorry for him all over again.

This went on until he got me for ‘thousands of dollars’ continuing to tell me “I’ll pay you back every penny I owe you, I promise.” He then got me involved with another editor who had an on-line magazine and I was eventually conned into putting money on the guy’s cell phone when we had the same server and should have been able to talk for free. But he needed my money too, just so he could act like he was something he wasn’t. I was being scammed! Without realizing the impact he had on my life now, he was taking away from my own son, my family, and my friends. I was being controlled in a vicious circle with what seemed to be “no way out”.

My female editor friend wanted him ‘fired as a volunteer’ for her magazine after me admitting to her what he was really like! I just had to open up to someone and I felt she would be the best person to listen since she introduced me to him. I told her maybe he’s going to come around cause he’s going through some heavy stuff with his kids; but it wasn’t really the children that caused his actions. He was a con artist! He knew exactly what he was doing and he warned me that no shrink would ever know what was really inside his head.  My fear of him became greater, yet it was like a magnet pulling me in harder.  I had too many emotions and feelings to understand what to do, how to get out, where to turn.

He would work even less hours if he could go to a concert, and I noticed how they (he and the other editor) conned their way into things after only a few months. I thought about how record labels were really getting ripped off by people like them so I wanted to do something to help. They were making things harder for people who were real media and who acted professional at all times. Where were their ethics, morals, values???? What good were they really going to do for someone??? I asked myself logical questions over and over. I felt sick inside, somewhat withdrawn, and totally ashamed of being a victim.  I couldn’t admit that I was so blind to everything around me.  I wanted him to realize what he was doing to people each time he lied to someone.  I couldn’t change him, and it only made him angrier with me.  Sometimes I wouldn’t say a word and I would cover up my feelings by turning up the radio and listening to his favorite songs.  I felt like I had to calm the Tasmanian devil.

I knew if I tried to report any of them it would just make my nightmare worse, and I was searching for a way out of their lives without causing me or my family more problems. It occurred to me one night that I had been putting things in print for years, so why wasn’t I doing my own magazine. Then I could give something back to the industry and those dedicated and devoted to making people smile. Of course my photographer guy wanted in when he heard about it…he was looking for other alternatives because other magazines “didn’t want his drama” anymore.

It seemed like he poked his nose in everyone’s business. He read social blogs on musicians and then continued in spreading the gossip to anyone who would listen. He would call people repeatedly, post negative comments on social sites, blog in caps, etc. He then began using other magazine names to get into concerts by telling a lie to the record labels or the venues. He used his influence with “security” as a “way in”, and even “name dropped” to make himself look better.

He spent hours on the computers to research his next play. He sent me email after email wanting to talk to me even after I wanted to be free from him. He went so far as to ask me to join him in other chat rooms. What the hell was he thinking??? I realized I could be dealing with someone with deep emotional issues who needed mental help by a professional doctor. Then I was even more afraid of him. There was no telling what he was capable of, or what other bad people he knew from the streets. I had read a diary left behind by one of his female companions. I was shocked at some of the things I read. Most people don’t tell lies in their diary. It’s where they go to vent. It made me realize this man could have multiple personalities which frightened me even more.

After a few months, I noticed he would take photos of local and national bands and then bad mouth them later on public internet posts, and on the phone saying they owed him money for the photos he took of them even if they never received a copy of them. He actually signed a written contract the day before Rockfest and he was also held liable under verbal implied contracts which he continued to breach for two magazines as a volunteer staff photographer. He just didn’t seem to care what he did because he always thought he would still come out on top!

People had no idea what he was really like or how mean and hateful he got when things didn’t go his way. I saw temper tantrums that scared me so bad I would cry for hours at his home while he didn’t pay attention cause he was too busy scoping out his next prey on the internet. He lied to promotional people about me while I was in the same room with him over the telephone and even changed forwarded email messages until they hated me but they didn’t even know me at all and what was most important to me; they wouldn’t give me a chance! He was trying to find a way to destroy me because I cut off his money supply and I refused to pay for anything else for him. He told people I slept my way to the top, and other hateful things about me, my family, and my good friends. Some of his own family tried to warn me that he had done this many times before so I wasn’t the first girl he conned. He became a stalker. This man, someone I knew and had trusted was now out to get me when I never did anything but tried to bring good to his life.

Suddenly he was obsessed with my every post on social sites, and called me more and more to try to see what I was doing. He would yell at me when I didn’t try to get him into shows! When he did get into shows, he refused to give the photos to the magazines; thus trying to burn bridges with big names in the music industry. He would demand money to send the photos among other things. He would say his camera cards were corrupt, etc. He would make all types of excuses up meanwhile still using the magazines for his own personal gain. I vowed then that I just had to stop him!!!!

He eventually blocked me on social sites after teaming up with some girl he met in CA. She was like him in many ways but “cease and desist” meant nothing to either of them. I begged them both to leave me alone!  Then he posed as a reputable photographer working for a prominent business to become friends with people I knew, including me just to spy on me. They went to my son’s social pages and posted nasty comments and conversations with their buddies to taunt us.

They continued to harass me, so my son went to speak to a lawyer in our behalf. Now I am working on a criminal case to protect myself and the people I love. I have numerous forms of documentation, receipts, and signed statements from witnesses who have seen and heard this man continue to harm me by libel, defamation of character, and other malicious things! I have text messages saved on my cell phone and I have also met other victims of his…but when does it end…..when does the truth surface.

So now this is just a taste of the next novel I am writing. It’s based on a true story but the names are changed to protect the guilty in this case. Authors say “be careful what you say ‘cause it could be in my next novel.” Well in two years of seeing what I have seen, and hearing the things I have heard; I feel my story needs to be told so other people will be more aware! There are more victims just waiting to be taken for a ride, in the nightmare of their lives!

In the meantime, I pray for the truth to surface so people understand the real me, to love me for me with support and positive growth. Then I can feel like I received the greatest gift of all and I can love again with my whole heart!  I hope that somehow God does show him what he lost in friendship because of being cruel, heartless, deceitful, and more.

When I think of the song “Second Chance” I’m so glad I had the chance to get out of the nightmare before it ruined me.  I want to forgive him because God would want me to, so I pray every day that people like him can’t hurt anyone else; but I will NEVER forget…and my story will be told all around the world!

I also pray that this story will help others who become victims of scammers, con-artists, and stalkers. I want people to know this does happen to people very day, innocent people who have their lives overturned by others. I want people to “wake up and see the signs” before the involvement causes them simple heartache or much worse. I want people to truly know me for me….not what some “work of art” says behind my back.

I realize now more than ever, I must always believe in myself. So my advice is to ….stay true to yourself! Remain positive. Be free and never let someone dictate to anything to you. Don’t get pulled in!  Be yourself! Always search the internet for clues and answers because they are out there. Don’t be the judge of someone you really don’t know and become part of the lies to hurt them.  Find out more, and don’t throw your pearls before swine.

Just be careful who you trust! Be safe. Do your research, and if you are just “networking on social sites” be careful who you really get into serious conversations with cause you might become the next victim….scammed and stalked!

If you yourself have ever been a ‘victim of a scam, con-game or have been stalked by someone’ please come forward to share your stories with us. We would like to build a better relationship with our readers.

Did you know there are numerous cases like these which go unreported everyday? Did you know people say, “It can’t happen to me, but it does.” Do you know someone close to you who has been through this same type of situation? Ask yourself, what if it is the “same person” doing this to them? Can your story help another person’s case? Did you know social sites do not have enough staff members to catch or stop everyone who does this? Are you afraid to get out and let the truth be heard? Have you been threatened directly or indirectly? Are you a potential victim? Now, will you be the next one????

Email us with your comments! Share your feelings with us, and help us bring a safer and more positive focus to daily lives everywhere. Your voice can be heard! Be safe, and enjoy a happier life style. Protect yourself and those you love. Happy net-working!

Be blessed!  Be proud!  Be you!!!!

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Music brings people all ages together, and sometimes people call it the center to the soul for “WHEN WORDS SPEAK IN A WHISPER, MUSIC SPEAKS LOUD AND PROUD!!!”