Woman, Stalked and Kidnapped, Discovered Safe

21-year-old Stephanie Musick of Columbia, Md.,was found handcuffed to the seatbelt of a car at 4:25 Saturday morning, 19 hours after her alleged kidnapping by John Robert Righer, who was sleeping in the car when the police found him.

Righter had apparently been obsessed with Musick, leading her to complain to police on Sept. 5 that he was harassing her with unwanted gifts, notes and e-mails. She also said he was folowing her, because she saw him at Western Maryland College where she attends classes, and found gifts on her car. Because Maryland’s anti-stalking law requires that the stalker be warned once before they can be arrested, an officer told Righter he would be charged if he continued his behavior. On the morning of Sept. 19, Righter allegedly took her from her house at gunpoint, in front of several neighbors who immediately called the police.

Musick’s mother said the anti-stalking law was ineffective. “They contacted him, and he said he would stop, but he didn’t. I knew they wouldn’t do anything to him. The law is not strict enough.”


Washington Post - September 21, 1997

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