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Spiro - The Diary of a Stalking Troll

Trolls can be terrifying, particularly when they become stalkers. But Internet stalkers, like most trolls, are sad people, living their lonely lives vicariously through those they see as strong and successful.

In one sense, having an internet stalker more of a compliment than something to fear.

Spiro - an artist's impression

To illustrate this, I am publishing a log of my first Internet stalker, Spiro. Even a quick read shows that Spiro is nothing to fear; indeed, it is easier to laugh than remember that this is a real person.

All this is based on public posting by Spiro.

Like a stray mongrel, attached itself to me in 1997, and followed me around Usenet, wagging it's tale, for about 18 months. Sometimes it wandered off, but always returned - usually after a few weeks. Spiro never initiated an exchange, always responding to my public postings on newsgroups with very personal, always inaccurate, attacks.

Spiro was not it's real name (it never, not once, had the guts to face me). It answered to all sorts of names, so occasionally I was not sure at first if it really was Spiro - but those endearing little habits were a dead giveaway:

Spiro liked to pretend to be American - but didn't do it very well
Spiro used UK ISPs, but set his clock back 5 hours.
Spro inconsistently used US slang - dropped it all once angry.

Spiro had a really weird fixation about the Queeen Mother, and about British dentistry (don't ask, I don't have a clue!!).

Spiro lives in the 1980's - all its personal digs were related to the Royal Free Hospital - I worked there from 1985-8. Sadly, Spiro was so self-centred that all the digs mean absolutely nothing to me; a name; a ward; a pub, linked to some vague accusation ... somehow these references are supposed to upset me. But the Royal Free was a great place, and those were the happiest days of my clinical nursing career. Spiro's hints simply brought back the great times we had in and around Hampstead in the late eighties. Perhaps Spiro's mission was to raise a nostalgic smile!!

Occasionally, when it didn't get whatever it is that it wanted (??) Spiro got abusive, both in the news groups and by email - always with false headers.

But, above all, like all pets, gave unconditional love!

Some of Spiro's Names:

Accuracy not guaranteed - and I forgot to log some before they timed out. [July 1998]

Anti-Andrews Inc. (;  Forged but flattering! [Oct99]

Seven of Nine (  Post surgery ?? [Nov 99]

Uncle Spam (  Spiro has a fixation about dentistry. No surprise, really; (See Picture, above)

Just a nurse ( A modest moment; is it a nurse? Perhaps it got struck off. (Would you have a troll nurse YOUR mother?)

Garrett Anderson (  A ward at the Royal Free Hospital - (I worked there 15 years ago - serious grudge or wot??!).

H. Flunder (    - A Ward Sister at the Royal free in the 1980's... possibly still - but this is a forged header [Feb 2000]

M. Bronson (; "Lovers of the Flask") - GA ward again, and the second forged header in two days. I suspect Spiro is not taking all the tablets.

Dealing With Spiro:

I have an advantage over many people who have been stalked; I actually enjoy baiting the poor thing. My motto is "Never pick a fight - but if someone else does ... win." You may have seen my website "Guide to Flaming".

None the less, I did follow my own troll advice, even though Spiro was persistent and personal, until it was quite clear that he wasn't the brightest in the litter, and was unwilling to learn.

It was at this point that it became clear that Spiro was what I'd now call an Internet stalker. having already tried the basics, I went on the attack.

I found all the email tracers, spam stoppers and abuse advice sites I could, and attacked from the front - picking the obvious holes in his drivel, reminding him how sad he was, and generally humiliating him. I was nasty. Every time he posted, I responded, hard.

Simultaneously, I attacked from behind; writing to the relevant moderators, abuse addresses, and - where possible - to its internet service providers. I know I got it removed from two, and I'm fairly confident it was actually three or even four, over eighteen months of its most active time.

I knew I was winning when nothing I posted on newsgroups attracted abuse for about four months; the last attack was just one mail - feeble even compared to its first half dozen, when it was new to the game.

Yes, I was nasty - but bullies, trolls, stalkers anyone who attacks anonymously are cowards, who can cause serious harm; if they won't learn the easy way, then they have chosen - quite consciously - to learn the hard way.

It is now two years since I heard from Spiro; I almost miss it.*

*But not quite.

NB - Spiro should not be confused with SPY (Spyridon AKA Bill Lewis, AKA Vindicator) another troll, but one with a sore bottom, rather than a sick mind.  

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06 January 2018   Copyright Andrew Heenan