A Philadelphia man allegedly obsessed with a woman he claims bullied him as classmates in high school in the ’80s is now charged with stalking and harassing her for the past decade.
Ronald Murphy, 47, of the 2000 block of Wheatsheaf Lane, is currently detained in Burlington County Jail without bail on charges of fourth degree stalking.
Over the past decade, Murphy allegedly avenged himself on the woman he perceived as a bully by sending her inappropriate gifts, including sex toys, cards and letters a few times a year, according to the Evesham Township, NJ police department.
On May 18, the woman contacted Evesham Police to report that she had been stalked and harassed since 2009. She went to police complaining that the activity had recently increased, with false Craigslist “personal ads” being posted in the “women seeking women” section that included her cellphone number. Gifts of a sexual nature had also begun to be left in her home mailbox at home and sent to her work address. Police said she had no idea who might be targeting her.
“The victim was unable to identify a possible suspect or why someone would be targeting her,” Evesham Township police said in a statement.
With no other clues, detectives began serving internet sites and service providers with subpoenas to get records on some of the actions taken against the woman. After tracing one ad to an IP address at an apartment Murphy had rented, police identified a “possible suspect, a male who graduated high school with the victim in 1988,” they said.
“It’s something she’s been dealing with for a long time, and finally brought to the authorities’ attention,” said Evesham Township Police Lt. Joseph Friel. “We were able to put it together pretty quickly and it was someone she did not think of in any way as a suspect.”
On June 11, police interviewed Murphy, and charged him. The Courier Post reported that Murphy admitted to being responsible for all of the above behavior, and said he had a “hatred” for his female victim because he claimed she had bullied him in high school some 30 years ago.
“Someone definitely has some issues if they’re carrying something that long,” Friel said.
Murphy, who was then placed under arrest and charged, “was holding a grudge all this time,” police told the South Jersey Courier Post.
He allegedly also admitted to driving past the woman’s home about four times a month for years in attempts to see her. He also admitted to standing outside an “open house” where she was expected to be in another attempt to see her, according to the Courier Post.
Murphy could face up to 18 months in prison.