Note: This article contains graphic content that may upset some readers.
With such fast-paced and constantly evolving lives, remembering yesterday’s lunch — let alone things that happened years ago — can be nearly impossible sometimes.
But for one woman, a few seemingly harmless exchanges from a fourth-grade class have haunted her for an entire lifetime.
It was the 1970s when the then-young girl was given a pen pal: Jason Christopher Hughes.
The two wrote numerous letters to each other, but when Hughes began sending threatening and troubling notes detailing his frightening home life, the girl stopped responding.
According to the New York Daily News, that’s when the stalking began.
Even after the girl left for college, Hughes continued to stalk her — showing up unannounced to her dorm room.
And when she married, he was there, too.
According to reports, Hughes began sending disturbing and threatening letters to her in-laws.
— John Annese (@JohnAnnese) April 11, 2017
Although the woman repeatedly attempted to file restraining orders against Hughes, they were never granted.
The stalking and threatening letters became so vicious that she was forced to move out of the country with her husband and children.
However, according to the Daily News, Hughes was able to find her again through an email address she was required to have at her overseas teaching job.
He used the pen name “Raymond Johnson” and again sent her a never-ending chain of threatening, violent, and horrifying notes.
The Daily News reported that a March 2015 email he sent her quoted the character Satan from Milton’s “Paradise Lost”:
“Since YOU were the original person who inspired me to choose Evil? EVIL BE THOU MY GOOD!”
He also reportedly sent the woman — who has multiple children — a link to a story of five kids dying in a fire, followed by personal details of her own kids.
The Daily News reported another email Hughes sent to the woman:
“Consider yourself very very lucky indeed that I don’t dare bring Darkness right to your classroom or front door. See I don’t like children. I actually hate them. I laugh when one of them is abducted or falls under a train or is eaten by wild dogs. This is who I am, and You Helped Create Me.”
In addition to the pen name “Raymond Johnson,” Hughes legally changed his name to Luis Manuel Arsupial at some point and continued to use other pen names, such as “Michael Rudra Nath,” according to the Daily News.
And with those aliases, Hughes had multiple other victims.
Some victims knew their cyberstalker as Luis, Michael or Jason. It was all the same man who the FBI tracked to NYC. https://t.co/hww7O1BCVg
— Nicole Hensley (@nkhensley) April 11, 2017
In September 2015, Hughes sent a second victim a disturbingly graphic account of how to dismember a human in a message titled “How to Make a Your Own Pet Owl,” according to the Daily News.
The message read, in part:
“Take one human. Smash the arms, legs knees [sic] with a sledge hammer. Bend the twisted limbs around a perch in a large iron cage. Bind the limbs so they grow into place.”
In fact, Hughes’ stalking was so appalling that multiple sites began recording and tracking his activity.
David Schlesinger told the Daily News that he fell victim to Hughes’s stalking after trying to defend another victim, musician Rachel “Haywire” Marone.
Hughes reportedly publicly categorized Schlesinger as a pedophile, spoofed his identity on Facebook, and attempted to prevent his wife from becoming a pastor. He told the Daily News:
“People have dropped off the Internet, changed their names to get away from this guy.
You kind of tell people about this and you find it hard to believe, because who would do this? But there’s this guy. He’s seeking revenge or something. I don’t get it.
This guy is everything that’s wrong with the Internet.”
But like Hughes’s pen pal former, Schlesinger could not effectively take legal action against Hughes.
However, after years and years of stalking, the FBI was able to finally pinpoint Hughes’s physical location.
Officials were able to connect all of his pen names and email addresses to a home in Staten Island, New York — where he lives with his wife and in-laws, according to the Daily News.
And last month, Hughes was arrested and indicted for stalking two women — one of whom was the pen pal from fourth grade.
Danielle Citron, a University of Maryland law professor and “cyberstalking expert,” told the Daily News that cyberstalkers frequently target females and attempt to “hijack the victim’s sense of safety.”
Although his arrest came as a relief to his multiple victims, the now-46-year-old posted his $150,000 bail.
He is still currently permitted to use the internet for work purposes.