Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keep Him in Prison

by Kathryn Casey

I don't go to my P.O. Box as often as I should. I finally made it over there this past weekend, and to my dismay I discovered a letter from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice dated March 9. The subject: James Edward Bergstrom, the rapist in my book Evil Beside Her. The bad news: Bergstrom is up for parole.

Although the jury handed down four 99-year sentences, it shouldn't have been a shocker. Bergstrom was eligible a couple of years ago. At that time, I went on Montel and did a bunch of radio interviews, asking people to write letters protesting his release. I don't usually do this with the folks I write about. Once they've served their time, if the parole board decides to let them out, I don't try to keep them in. Bergstrom is an exception.

Why? Well, let me tell you something about him. He started out as a teenager, molesting a little girl. As an adult, he was a peeping Tom, skulking around windows, looking in on women, hoping to see them undress. From there, Bergstrom began breaking and entering, figuring out how to get into the houses. When he attacked his first intended victim and she fought back, he ran away.

Still, Bergstrom was determined. Stung by his failure, he began planning, thinking, watching, deciding the best way to subdue a victim, how to keep from getting caught. When he couldn't accomplish his goal by sheer physical force and intimidation, James Bergstrom began carrying a knife, and then a gun.

Once he had a weapon, he was in control. He tied his victims up, sometimes for hours, while he stayed in their homes, raping them. He psychologically tormented them, talking like they were friends, like they were willingly with him. It was demented, and he was obsessed.

Day and night, all waking hours, James Bergstrom fantasized about stalking and raping women. Over a period of two years in Houston, he has admitted attacking 35 women and raping five. He told me that they wanted him as much as he wanted them, insisting some of them enjoyed it. He threatened them with guns and knives, and told his last victim he'd kill her if she fought back.

The bottom line is that James Bergstrom is a very, very sick man, and he belongs in prison, forever. I have no doubt that he will attack more women, claim more victims, if he's ever released.

So I'm asking all of you, no matter where you live, to help me keep James Bergstrom in prison, where he belongs. It's easy. It doesn't matter where in the world you live. It's as easy as sending an e-mail.

Include this information:

His name: James Edward Bergstrom
His state ID: 04408281
TDCJ ID: 00659297

E-mail, fax or mail your protest letters to:

TDCJ – Victim Services Division
8712 Shoal Creek Blvd, Ste 265
Austin, Texas 78757
FAX: 512-452-0825

You don't need to list your address, only your name. TDCJ assures me that the inmates don't see the protest letters and all names are kept confidential. Simply detail in the e-mail why you want James Bergstrom kept behind bars: because he's a psychopath obsessed with victimizing women. Spell it out: If he's released, more women will suffer. He threatened to kill his final victim, a 16-year-old high school student. There's absolutely no reason to believe he won't carry out his threats if he's ever allowed out on parole.

Take a few minutes, send TDCJ an e-mail. You may be saving another woman's life.


luvmypeanut said...

I am just now reading your book on this man and I cannot believe he could possibly be released! Yikes! Off to email! Thanks for alerting us Katherine!

andy kahan said...

When filing your protest to the above's potential release, please ask the Parole Board upon denying his parole to set him off for the maximum time of five years.
The Board has the latitude when denying an inmate's parole to review cases anywhere from 1-5 years.

Kathryn Casey said...

Thanks, Andy. This is good information. I wish I'd touted that the last time. Perhaps Bergstrom wouldn't be up again so soon.

Delilah said...

Emailed! No way would I want to see someone like this back out to continue, and escalating his crimes until some unfortunate woman loses her life.

Kathryn Casey said...

Thank you, Delilah! Much appreciated.

Leah said...

I sent an email as well. Please let us know if he is denied or not!

Kathryn Casey said...

Thanks, Leah. I will let you know, but it'll take five or six months before this shakes out. Thanks to everyone who protested. Spread the word.