Watch CBS News

Bay Area Woman Gets Justice After International Cyberstalker Terrorized Her For Years

(KPIX 5) -- Leandra Ramm still gets chills down her spine when she thinks about the decade-long assault she endured at the hands of Singapore cyberstalker Colin Mak.

The 30-year-old wife and mother saved more than a dozen phone messages from Mak. Messages filled with such chilling declarations as, "If you betray me, I am sorry but I will have to kill you." Messages that Ramm asserts were just the tip of the iceberg.

"He would send pictures of guns," said Ramm. "Opera producers, conductors, directors, all my co-workers and cast mates would all get these crazy emails saying that if I am not fired from the production, then he was going to show up with a gun and kill me that night."

Ramm, as well as some of her family and friends, also received nearly 5,000 emails from Mak with many of those missives containing terrifying threats like, "I will cut up your face with a box cutter," and "I am prepared to use a night stick on you."

Words straight out of a nightmare, made all the more shocking because Ramm has never met Mak face to face. Mak stalked Ramm using his cell phone and a computer. Every contact was made in the cyber world.

"He did everything except physically enter my life," said Ramm. "People kept saying to me, you need to take care of this, you need to take care of this. But I tried everything I could and there was really nothing I could do to get rid of it."

But it didn't start out this way. Ramm said Mak contacted her online after seeing the aspiring opera singer on TV. He posed as an opera director with employment opportunities. And in the process he gained Ramm's trust and access to her contact information, plus tidbits like where she worked, what theatrical productions she was involved with, even her relatives' business information.

Ramm lived back East at the time. Local law enforcement, the FBI and even the United Nations said they couldn't help her.

Enter forensic data expert A.J. Fardella.

He stumbled onto Ramm's case through a mutual friend and was shocked by what he found, a ten year long assault on Ramm and everyone close to her, saved on her computer.

"I started looking at the evidence, the emails, the phone calls, the faxes," said Fardella. "(And) it's definitely terrorism. It has a physical effect. You know Leandra, many times when we were talking about the case, is shaking."

Spurred on by Ramm's diligent record keeping of her ordeal, Fardella used his law enforcement connections to help Singapore authorities bring Mak to justice, in the process sending Mak to prison for three years.

Fardella has declared Mak's incarceration as a first of its kind sentence for international cyberstalking.

As for Ramm, she is now living a new chapter in her life. She is married with a newborn son and, along with Fardella and his wife, has written a book titled "Stalking a Diva" about her experiences. The trio see their efforts as a message for other women who are living the nightmare of cyberstalking.

"The most important thing is to keep fighting", declared Ramm. "We really haven't caught up to the internet at all."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.