Stalkers can be divided into five basic types:

The rejected stalker has been rejected by another person, who can be a partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, date, friend, neighbour, acquainted, etc. This type of stalker can be very persistent, and the stalking process usually lasts several years. The rejected stalkers often see themselves as victims, and they see the ongoing harassment and stalking as justified and provoked by the real victims. This group of stalkers is considered the biggest and the potentially most violent group.

The repertoire of stalking methods with this type of stalker is often wide and varied, and the stalker is completely blind to the fact that his or her continuous effort to re-establish contact with the victim is unrealistic. The stalker cannot lose the fantasy of a reunion with the victim and has trouble accepting rejection.

The intimacy-seeking stalker wishes to establish an intimate relation with a chosen person and is typically very persistent and unaffected by the victim’s negative response. This type of stalker is often entirely devoid of friends and intimate relations. The stalking is an effect of the total isolation, which the stalker seeks compensated through an imaginative relation and stalking. This type of stalker can be found among those who stalk celebrities. Intimacy-seeking stalkers are very persistent and may keep up the stalking for years. The primary stalking method with this group is declarations of love through letters, gifts and flowers. If this type of stalker resort to violence, it is most likely against a third party who tries to come between the stalker and the victim.

Normally, legal sanctions do not have any effect, and the stalker will probably consider such a test of their devotion. Serious personality disorders and mental diagnoses are not uncommon with these stalkers.

The incompetent stalker searches for a partner through methods of oppositely directed effect. This type of stalker often display impaired social skills to different degrees, especially regarding courtship. The incompetent stalker sees his or her attempts of contact as normal and legitimate, and feels entitled to having a relationship with the chosen person. The stalking method is often more direct and confronting. The stalking usually only lasts for a short period of time, but there is a tendency for the stalker to find a new victim quickly.

The incompetent stalker is a normally functioning person for the most part, except for the poor social skills, self-centering and an intense need for other people’s attention. The stalker belonging to this category only has a mental disorder in few cases.

The resentful stalker follows the victim as a response to an emotion of resentment or insult. Thus, the stalking behaviour seeks to revenge and justify this. This type of stalker thrives on the need for causing fear and ruining the victim’s life. The victim of the resentful stalker can be everything from a stranger to an entire social system selected based on associations to former experiences of resentment or humiliation. Generally, this stalker blames all of his or her misery on everyone else’ antagonism towards him or her.

This group of stalkers are often the ones who make the most threats, but they are also the ones least likely to resort to violence or assault. Legal sanctions can make this type of stalker withdraw and stop the stalking. This is why early intervention can prove crucial for the outcome of the situation.

The predatory stalker is relatively rare. The group consists entirely of men, who can be described as being very psychopathic, aggressive, dramatic and coldblooded. This type of stalker seeks to gain sexual pleasure and control through phone calls, following and monitoring. While the pleasure is a part of the stalking, the behaviour will typically consist in preparation for an imagined sexual assault. In contrast to the resentful stalker, this stalker do not intend to frighten or warn before the imagined and prepared assault’s execution.

These stalkers are often sexual deviants, typically known by the authorities as sexual offenders and, together with the rejected stalkers, seen as the potentially most dangerous stalkers and as most likely to assault their victims.


Source: Mullen, P.E., Pathé, M. & Purcell, R. (2000): Stalkers and Their Victims. Cambridge University Press