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Stalking A Diva: The Leandra Ramm Story as told to D Rocca Paperback – November 16, 2012
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
About the Author
About Leandra Ramm Leandra Ramm is a versatile singer and actress with an “extraordinary voice” (Anderson Cooper). Leandra has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, La MaMa, and 59E59 Theaters among other venues. In addition to being a lead vocalist on Celebrity Cruises, Leandra has performed with numerous theater and opera companies throughout the world. Her favorite roles performed include The Full Monty (Estelle) at The Media Theatre, Iolanthe (Leila) at The Buxton Opera House (UK), Mario and The Magician (Silvestra) with Center for Contemporary Opera, Man of la Mancha (Antonia) with Diablo Theater Company, and The Endless Road by Kurt Weill (soloist) with The American Symphony Orchestra. In addition to many previous television appearances, Leandra will star in an exciting new series on Lifetime Television, "My Life Is A Lifetime Movie" on November 28th, 2012 at 10pm EST. The series will feature cinematic re-creations and first-person interviews with women in peril who recount their experiences that are said to be so unbelievable that they must be true. Leandra is very excited to share her life story and unbelievable cyber-stalking experience on this show. Leandra has also released many albums all available on iTunes, Amazon, and CDbaby.com. This is Leandra’s first book, and she is thrilled to work with D. Rocca. For more information, please visit http://www.leandraramm.com About D. Rocca D. Rocca was born in East Meadow, Long Island, New York. An author and privacy attorney, she practices under her maiden name and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. Stalking a Diva is her first nonfiction work.
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The book displays the different ways that Ramm tried to overcome and subdue this guy. At first he drew her in with false career offers and gifts and then tried to destroy every aspect of her life and then wouldn't let her go. He stalked her friends and lovers and family and employers. Really sad descriptions of how people reacted to the stalking which generally caused a double whammy rejection for Ramm. Very few people were willing to help her but fortunately she had some good connections within the government and the media.
The book is written by a lawyer which is great because there is always a clear description of the legalities involved always playing in the background. most people blame the victim or suggest that she just ignore the harassment. Much of the book uses actual emails of back and forth communications between the stalker, leandra, her friends, and her employers and Mak's others friends and victims. One gets a clear picture of what was going on and why people were reacting the way they were. The emails make the story very believable, although the second boyfriend seems a little too good to be true.
It's good to see how Leandra engaged the services of as many professionals as she could, lawyer, private investigator. Her other connections, such as journalists at the economist magazine aren't available to most.
AJ Fardella is the guy who eventually managed to sort through all the evidence and get the Secret Service and Singapore authorities to jail Mak. That takes a special set of talents that I don't quite understand. Story sort of plays out like a Clint Eastwood movie, cybercrime, international government relations, beautiful opera singer, facebook friends, bureaucracy, cyber wizard, and one freaky dude.
I had never met Leandra or Colin before I read this book however, after reading I felt as if I knew each one of them intimately. This book was well written, making me feel as if I were there on the journey with Leandra...on the ship, in the coffee shop when she made the decision to stop complying to Colin's demands during the "at bay period," at rehearsals and even sitting in front of her computer reading the emails and feeling her stomach churn as mine was.
In a good book, you can feel what the characters are feeling, see what they see and in Stalking a Diva I felt Leandra's frustrations in dealing with the FBI, local police departments and all the red tape bureaucracy. Mr. Bear touched my heart when he came to Leandra's aid. His wittiness was sexy. Too bad they did not work out. Reading this made me think about the people in my life, who could I turn to if this happened to me? What approach would they take and what would become of our relationship?
This could have happened to anyone really, so the book serves a purpose...Leandra gets to tell her story, in its entirety, without worry and the threat of retaliation.
One of the best aspects of the book for me were the emails which really enhanced the read making it more exciting, and a page turner. For me, the emails add dimension to the book and set it apart. In our always advancing technological world, we must realize that not only the technology is changing but the way in which crimes are committed and individuals are victimized has changed. National and international legislators beware; you have a lot of work to do!
This book really made me contemplate how I would handle a stalking situation...similarly or totally different? We never know until we are ACTUALLY in that situation ourselves how we are going to react. Leandra's approach was incomprehensible to me at first, however I can now empathize after reading.
What helped me is to relate Leandra's training as an opera singer to the training of an officer: an officer of the law is trained to stand, act and portray himself in a particular way and it is my belief that training emanates in to everything he/she does. Leandra's opera and stage training (to be grateful for EVERY opportunity put forth) helped and hindered her in the same way it would an officer. Police training would help in emergency situations but may hurt other everyday casual social interactions and reactions.
A lot comes into perspective in the chapter titled, "A Tattered Career," when Leandra begins talking about the repercussions of "her stalker". Colin's harassment seems excessive even for laymen like me who do not see stalking cases every day. Her story brings to light what a person can really do, even if they are thousands of miles away in another country. Unfortunately, our technologically advanced world is a blessing and a curse this way.
In retrospect, common sense and curiosity are a couple of our best assets as human beings. When you meet someone new (especially if it is a business venture)... what's wrong with goggling them? You may be able to save yourself a lot of grief in the future. Think about it. Employers do it, and employees should as well to make sure the relationship is beneficial and a good match.
I thought long and hard about the Ramm case and I believe my first instinct would have been to curse Colin out and chop him down to size like the scoundrel he is. With that said, I admire Ms. Ramm for her perseverance as well as her poise and class in the matter.
Aw the agony I feel for you to have had to endure this traumatizing event and for so long. Thank you for telling your story Leandra and hopefully somewhere, someone will learn from this situation God forbid the same thing happen to them.
Logistics: very easy to read, a page turner, relatable, interactive dialog, well written, inspiring, complex situations and story lines explained well, however lost a little on the time frames.
PS. After reading I searched for more information and an update on Leandra's case and found a movie about the book featured on a series called My Life is a Lifetime Movie. Just FYI.