Anyone You Want Me to Be: A True Story of Sex and Death on the Internetby John Douglas, Stephen Singular
Legendary FBI profiler and #1 New York Times bestselling author John Douglas explores the shocking case of John Robinson, a harmless, unassuming family man whose criminal history began with embezzlement and fraud and ended with his arrest for the savage murders of six women and his suspected involvement in at least five disappearances. Most/i>
Legendary FBI profiler and #1 New York Times bestselling author John Douglas explores the shocking case of John Robinson, a harmless, unassuming family man whose criminal history began with embezzlement and fraud and ended with his arrest for the savage murders of six women and his suspected involvement in at least five disappearances. Most disturbing was the hunting ground in which Robinson seduced his prey: the world of cyberspace. Haunting chat rooms, targeting vulnerable women, and exploiting the anonymity of the Internet, his bloody spree was finally halted by a relentless parole officer who spent ten years trying to nail Robinson as a cold-blooded killer.
A cautionary tale set in a virtual world where relationships are established without the benefit of physical contact, and where mainstream Americans can be drawn down a dark path of temptation and death, Anyone You Want Me To Be is a contemporary real-life drama of high-tech crime and punishment.
- Pocket Star
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- 4.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Read an Excerpt
In March 2000, the phone rang in Steve Haymes's office and the voice on the line was urgent. Somebody needed to talk to him right now. Haymes was a parole officer in Liberty, Missouri, a suburb northeast of Kansas City, and in a sense he'd been expecting this call for fifteen years. He'd also been dreading it. The caller was part of a newly created task force put together by the police department in Lenexa, a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas-Missouri border runs through the heart of Kansas City and Haymes worked only a handful of miles from the Lenexa station. As soon as he answered the phone, the parole officer knew the matter was serious.
"The task force said they wanted to speak to me about someone," he recalls. "They didn't tell me who but said they needed to meet with me immediately. They came out here to Liberty that same day and asked me if the name John Robinson meant anything to me. I said, 'Absolutely, and I've got a file here on him about yea thick.'"
"Yea" translated into roughly twelve to fourteen inches high. The file contained, among other things, the names of several local women who'd been missing for about a decade and a half.
Haymes welcomed the men into his office at the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole in a one-story beige building set behind a gas station and mini-mart. They began asking him questions and he began dredging up disturbing memories. The officer's hair was a little grayer than it had been back in 1985, when he'd first looked into Robinson's background, but he was still trim and his blue eyes conveyed intelligence and sensitivity. It was those eyes that had put him in this job throughout the past quarter century. In college, Haymes had studied criminal justice and had wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement, but faulty eyesight had kept him from becoming a policeman. He'd found work overseeing those on parole. Behind his small mustache, soft voice, and polite manner was an intensity and tenacity that in the mid-1980s had led him into the most frustrating investigation of his life.
"I'd maintained Robinson's file for all those years between 1985 and 2000," he says. "Normally, after a couple of years, some of that information would be in archives or destroyed, but fifteen years later his entire file was sitting in my desk. It had never gotten far from me."
When he brought the file out for the detectives on the task force, they were amazed at its size and complexity. Haymes himself was surprised to hear about the new allegations against Robinson, especially those involving the Internet. Yet, when he thought about it, he realized that the con man had always used the latest technology for his new schemes. That was part of his pattern, his evolution through the criminal justice system during the past thirty-five years. Until now, Haymes had been the only person who'd closely examined that pattern or paid close attention to Robinson. No one else had woven together the whole tapestry of his past or penetrated the surface of his personality. No one else had seen the full range of his activities, some of which almost defied belief, or where they might be leading. No one else had looked deeply at Robinson's roots or tried to uncover the source of his behavior or extremely unusual psychology. Nobody but Haymes had imagined what law enforcement was actually confronting.
Early in 1985, the slightly built parole officer had undertaken this mission alone -- and in March 2000 he was still haunted by it. He was about to become a lot more haunted.