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I'm not sure I've ever received so many threats of death or bodily harm as I did in the comments of my last post- just because I strung you along without revealing who Gooseberry is. I also got a phone call from Sars, who had a dozen questions over why I hadn't included all sorts of things, like:
1. The dead animals- these were left in the locked back yard, and in my closet.
2. I actually moved three times- There was one other apartment where I lived, but it also got broken into with more stuff being stolen.
3. IHOP- Sars and I would sleep in the same room and push furniture against the door. One night we were so frightened we decided to drive to IHOP at 1AM. We ended up driving over 30 miles, past 5 IHOPS just to go to one in a part of the city where all the cops hang out.
There's a ton of other stuff I can't even get into. Especially because you guys want me to just have out with it. The truth. The answer to the question-Who is Gooseberry?
You're going to kill me. Because I actually don't know.
When I titled the last post "How I Got Rid of My Stalker," I meant it. From the moment I bought that shotgun, everything stopped. Whoever he was, he knew me well enough to know that I'd be willing to use it. You're probably all going to kill me now, but just remember-I have to live with this mystery every damn day. But... I do have theories.
Theory #1: The Shanty Man
If you'll recall from one of my first posts, The Shanty Man was a middle aged dude who lived in a tiny little pre-fab shed just a few feet from my efficiency apartment. He kept to himself, didn't seem to have a job or friends, and occasionally ventured out via bicycle. the initial break-in, I asked my landlord about him and was told he didn't know anything about the guy-his name was "John Johnson" and he paid his rent in cash every 6 months. A reclusive man with a fake sounding man seemed like an ideal candidate for horror-movie level psychosis, but we couldn't actually confirm whether he was creepy. and I attempted to reverse-stalk him by spending hours outside The Shanty, hiding in a parked car, staring at his silent house. But we learned nothing. He was definitely odd, but it was hard to imagine he could know so much about me- and seem ever-present - if he were always shut inside his shanty.
Theory #2: Random Obsessed Stranger
This is the most Hollywood explanation-a random person I briefly encountered chose to aim their crazy at me for no particular reason. If this person were on disability for a mental illness that might explain their abundance of time to be able to obsessively creep around. It also seems likely to be a stranger, since at this point in my life I'd never been on a single date or had a boyfriend. There were no jilted lovers or suitors with unrequited love.
Theory #3: My Father/Someone He Hired
In a weird way, this is the theory that makes most sense to me. My father was highly regarded in our community when I confronted him about his little secret. It was only 5 months later when Gooseberry arrived in my life, targeting things I might have used whilst investigating my father, like my computer, journal, and video tapes. He certainly had the means to hire someone to do this sort of work, especially as he's successfully maintained multiple identities over the years. The only thing that doesn't make sense is why it would have continued on for so many years-even after I'd already told everyone the truth. And I know it wasn't my father because there's no way in hell that guy would ever climb a fence or carry something heavy.
Theory #4: A Demon/Ghost
Even though my office is legit haunted, I don't really believe in ghosts. I wish I did though, because more than anything, Gooseberry's antics seem like the work of a ghost-mischievous, relentless, and conceivably impossible for a human to get away with without being caught. Others thought the same as all of this was going on and prayed for the demons to leave, going so far as to move from room to room in the house, anointing the door posts. Gooseberry was clearly immune to anointing.
Theory #5: A Serial Rapist Who Got Caught
This absurd theory surfaced years later, after one of my Sister-in-Laws began working for our State Bureau of Investigation. She was sharing how they'd just caught a man who'd been stalking, drugging, and raping women on college campuses across multiple states. As she shared additional details that were never released to the press, I couldn't help wondering if I might have been on his list. Apparently he'd spend months stalking his victims beforehand, as he traveled to our city on business. This would also explain how the episodes had varying gaps between them. But the taunting didn't exactly fit his MO, so who knows. Not me, that's for sure.
This is the best I've come up with in all these years. Nothing has ever happened since. Shleisel and I even moved into the least safe house in the history of dwellings, and never had an issue. Either Gooseberry didn't want to get shot, he got over me (what an arsehole), or he was engaged in other creeping that eventually led to him getting jailed or hospitalized. For all I know, he lives where I work.