Warning: This communicative has disturbing contented related to threats of intersexual violence.
(CNN)The threatening letters began successful March 2007.
They came successful the message to Eva LaRue's Southern California location -- sometimes handwritten, sometimes typed -- from an chartless sender who called himself "Freddie Krueger" and vowed to rape and termination her and her young daughter.
The letters -- much than 3 twelve of them -- kept connected coming for much than 12 years, a relentless intelligence battle that made the "CSI: Miami" histrion and her household acrophobic to measurement extracurricular their home.
Early on, immoderate letters mentioned LaRue's daughter, past 5. But successful 2015, letters began arriving addressed to the child. The stalker besides began calling LaRue's daughter's school, saying that helium was her begetter and was extracurricular to prime her up.
But with the assistance of familial genealogy, a subject that was utilized for the archetypal clip successful California to seizure the Golden State Killer, the FBI successful 2019 was capable to instrumentality DNA from the envelopes and tally it done a database, yielding a database of the suspect's relatives. This yet led them to a tiny municipality successful Ohio, wherever they arrested a 58-year-old antheral aft pulling his DNA from a discarded Arby's straw.
James David Rogers was sentenced Thursday to 40 months successful national prison. The Heath, Ohio, antheral pleaded blameworthy successful April to 2 counts of mailing threatening communications, 1 number of threats by interstate communications, and 2 counts of stalking.
"I forgive you, but I cannot forget," LaRue told him astatine the sentencing successful a Los Angeles County courtroom. "The fearfulness is with maine forever."
12 years of terror
LaRue is simply a erstwhile quality queen and longtime histrion who appeared for galore years arsenic a doc connected the soap opera "All My Children." She's astir apt champion known for her 7 seasons connected the transgression play "CSI: Miami," ending successful 2012.
Her quality was a DNA expert for the Miami-Dade Police Department, which became a bitter irony erstwhile authorities recovered DNA connected envelopes containing the threatening letters but couldn't pinpoint a suspect.
LaRue was midway done her 2nd afloat play connected "CSI: Miami" erstwhile the archetypal missive showed up astatine her house. Others soon followed.
"I americium going to f**king stalk you until the time you die," said one, according to a 2019 national indictment of Rogers.
"There volition beryllium nary spot connected this world that I ... (can't) find you. I americium going to rape you," said different letter, successful which the stalker besides threatened to rape and impregnate LaRue's daughter.
The letters were signed "Freddie Krueger," the fictional slayer from the fearfulness movie bid "A Nightmare connected Elm Street." Many were postmarked from Youngstown, Ohio.
LaRue told CNN she was truthful terrified that she yet sold her location and moved with her household to Italy, wherever they lived for respective months with a friend. She past returned to California and bought a caller location nether an LLC -- a concern entity that provides constricted liability extortion -- to shield her identity, but the letters began showing up astatine that code arsenic well, she said.
LaRue and her girl "drove circuitous routes home, slept with weapons adjacent and had discussions astir however to question assistance rapidly if [Rogers] recovered them and tried to harm them," national prosecutors wrote successful a sentencing memorandum.
"They tried to anonymize their addresses arsenic overmuch arsenic imaginable by avoiding receiving message and packages astatine their existent address," prosecutors said. "To nary avail. Each clip they moved, [the] letters -- and the victims' panic -- would ever follow."
In 2015, the household started receiving letters addressed to LaRue's daughter. At the time, she was astir 13.
"I americium the antheral who has been stalking for (the) past 7 years. Now I person acceptable my oculus connected you too," the archetypal 1 read, according to the indictment. Another 1 read, "You look truthful beauteous successful your pictures connected google. Are you acceptable to beryllium the parent of my child."
How the FBI caught the stalker
The FBI collected DNA from galore of the envelopes but didn't cognize whose it was until 2019, erstwhile they turned to the emerging tract of familial genealogy -- the aforesaid method that had fingered the Golden State Killer the erstwhile year.
Thanks successful portion to companies specified arsenic 23andMe, Ancestry and GEDmatch, familial genealogy has go a invaluable instrumentality for instrumentality enforcement officers trying to lick aged crimes. Authorities upload a DNA information record to a nationalist database to place immoderate relatives of the idiosyncratic who mightiness person submitted their DNA for testing. They past physique retired household trees and constrictive down imaginable suspects via old-fashioned detective enactment until a pb fishy emerges.
Even so, investigators inactive indispensable get a illustration of the suspect's DNA and marque a lucifer earlier they tin marque an arrest.
Once the grounds pointed to Rogers, FBI agents began surveilling him. FBI agents traveled to Ohio successful the autumn of 2019, erstwhile FBI peculiar cause Stephen Busch and erstwhile FBI lawyer Steve Kramer told CNN.
When Rogers near his occupation arsenic a nurse's adjunct astatine an assisted surviving installation and went to an Arby's connected his mode home, the FBI followed and watched him devour his repast and discard the container successful a Dumpster, Busch and Kramer said.
Agents raided the Dumpster and extracted Rogers' DNA from a soda straw successful the bag, Busch and Kramer said. It matched the DNA from the envelopes sent to LaRue and her daughter, they said.
The FBI arrested Rogers astatine his location aboriginal 1 greeting successful November 2019.
Rogers' condemnation marks the archetypal clip familial genealogy has solved a lawsuit connected the national level, Busch and Kramer told CNN.
Their fearfulness inactive lingers
At his sentencing Thursday, Rogers told the justice via a video nexus from Ohio that helium grew up successful an abusive location and was bullied successful school. He said helium is receiving intelligence wellness treatment.
"I sincerely apologize for what I did for the past 12 years, putting you and your household done hellish behavior," helium said to LaRue. "I judge afloat responsibility. I anticipation you tin enactment this down you and astatine immoderate constituent ne'er deliberation astir maine again."
LaRue past addressed Rogers successful her unfortunate interaction statement, thanking him for his apology but telling the judge, "I americium truthful disquieted what volition hap erstwhile helium gets retired out."
She grew affectional arsenic she told the tribunal however the repeated threats took a toll connected her and her household and deprived them of basal freedoms.
"We person had years of this," she said. "This is beyond deviant behavior."
LaRue's girl Kaya Callahan, present 20, besides became affectional arsenic she told the tribunal however she was traumatized by Rogers' threats.
After Rogers contacted her school, she said determination was specified "paranoia" astir her information that she was escorted each time to and from the schoolhouse gathering to the parking lot.
"I was acrophobic for my life," she said. Callahan said her fearfulness inactive lingers.
"I privation to consciousness OK again," she said. "Safe."