Dr Phil: Dangerous Mom Stalks Strangers
How far would you be willing to go to get something that you really wanted? Dr Phil met with a criminal named Kathy Rowe, whose actions probably surpassed whatever your answer to that question might have been. When another couple outbid her on her dream home, she began a campaign of stalking and harassment that went on for almost one year. Though she has since pleaded guilty to stalking, Kathy doesn’t seem to think what she did was that big a deal.
What happened? It all started in 2011, when Kathy found her dream home in the Carmel Valley area of San Diego, California. The house had a pool, plenty of space, and was a single story, which was important to Kathy because her daughter and husband have special medical needs. However, another couple also thought it was the perfect home, and they outbid Kathy. They had no way of knowing that Kathy would ensure their dream house became a living nightmare.
Dr Phil: Losing Your Dream House
If your first question for Kathy is, “Why didn’t you just find another house?” then you are not alone. Dr Phil wondered why she did not just move on. There were other one-story houses in the same neighborhood. Kathy said they had looked at 100 homes, and this was the only available house with the floor plan they desired. “Everything was perfect. …It was exactly what we wanted,” she said. “I wasn’t thinking very clearly. …I was very stressed out.”
After losing the house, the family moved into an apartment. This added to the stress on her family, and it was a particular challenge for Kathy’s daughter, who has the neurodevelopmental disorder Williams Syndrome. I can sympathize with not wanting to go back to apartment living after having your own home. Kathy said her husband was especially frustrated when they lost the bid on the house.
Dr Phil: Disgruntled Woman Pranks Strangers
Being upset that you didn’t get what you wanted is something that happens to all of us in life. But most people (unless maybe they hope to be Dr Phil’s guests) do not decide to do what Kathy did next. She chose to use her computer not to continue the search for a new house for her family, but to annoy, harass, and stalk the young couple who did purchase the home.
“This has been misunderstood. This has been a really difficult thing to explain. Because at the time, what I would say to myself was, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny to do this?’” Kathy said. She added that she grew up doing pranks with her friends, and she felt like her behavior was similar to her childhood antics. “I viewed them as funny, not harmful,” she said. It seems like she has some perspective now, at least.
Dr Phil: Online Ad Endangers Mom Home Alone
Kathy’s bad behavior was really out of control. Dr Phil brought up one of her Craigslist posts, titled Carmel Valley Freak Show. In the advertisement, Kathy posed as the woman from the couple who purchased her dream home. The notice invited strangers to her home for intimate relations during the day, when her husband would not be home.
Whether she believed it or not, and whether she admits it or not, Kathy was setting this woman up to be attacked against her will. The ad included instructions for men interested in the offer to ignore her if she resisted or said “no,” as part of a role-play scenario. That is terrifying! Kathy tried to wriggle out of this by saying that wasn’t her intent. She still seemed shocked that people interpreted this as a dangerous threat.
Dr Phil: Mother of the Year Turned Stalker
“With the Internet and computers, what you may think you’re doing can be viewed very differently by other people,” Kathy said. I’m not sure that this woman is fit to be out in public. She claimed her motivation for posting that ad was to make the couple look back to the other neighbors in the community, but the consequences could have been much more devastating.
Believe it or not, this lady once won an award for Mother of the Year. Now she has been sentenced to one year of in-home electronic surveillance, five years’ probation, and a 10-year protection order requiring her to stay away from the couple who purchased her dream home. It seems like this woman has been through a lot. Are you sympathetic to the #StalkerMom? I’m more interested in knowing that the family she terrorized is doing well with her out of their lives.
Dr Phil: You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Kathy’s psychologist claimed that the massive emotional and physical toll she has been through in recent years, including her family’s mounting health problems and other personal traumas, put her in a mental state where she was not able to make rational judgments. Here’s hoping she is getting the help she needs now.
Since you can’t always get what you want, it’s important to remember that you do have the power to change your own life. Though we cannot always control what happens to us, we are in the driver’s seat when it comes to how we respond and react. Identifying your challenges and goals will help you take steps toward achieving them.
If you’re interested in getting more of Dr Phil’s take on how to channel your energy into positive life changes, look at his book Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters.