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1,200 phone calls, 45 criminal charges, 21-year sentence: Michael J. Bonert’s obsessive stalking of his former girlfriend, Vicki Kuper

Michael J. Bonert mug shot

Michael J. Bonert mug shot

By Donna Andersen

Michael J. Bonert, 33, is from Delaware County, Iowa, but at the moment he is a resident of the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City, Iowa. He was sentenced to 21 years behind bars for relentlessly stalking his former girlfriend, Vicki Kuper, also of Delaware County, Iowa.

Bonert was charged with 45 offenses, including 24 violations of Vicki’s no-contact order. And those were just the incidents that resulted in criminal charges there were many more.

Since being incarcerated on August 30, 2010, Bonert has played the part of the model prisoner. One prison psychologist said his behavior was exemplary. Another described him as courteous and pleasant.

The Iowa parole board will interview Bonert on March 19, 2014 to consider his parole, even though he has served less than four years of his sentence.

If Bonert is released, Vicki Kuper believes that he will kill her.

At first, wonderful

Vicki Kuper and Mike Bonert

Vicki Kuper and Mike Bonert while dating.

When she started dating Bonert in 2006, Vicki Kuper, then called Vicki Lahr, was warned that he was trouble, and that she shouldn’t believe what he said. Vicki preferred to make her own decisions about people. She was actually offended when people said negative things about her boyfriend, because she witnessed none of the behavior they described.

“He could read everything I needed in a relationship, and he provided all of it,” Vicki said. “He was wonderful and easy to get along with.”

But after about a year, Bonert began to change. Even though they didn’t live together, he would not leave her house. He told Vicki how to parent her children, which she considered to be a red flag.

Bonert slowly isolated Vicki from her friends. When Vicki objected, telling Bonert that she could be friends with whomever she wanted, he became even more jealous and insecure. Bonert accused Vicki of sleeping with everyone, including her cousin.

Bonert always wanted to know exactly what Vicki was doing, although he was nonchalant about how he got the information. He casually asked, “What’s on your plan for today?”

“I had to give him my itinerary for every day,” Vicki said. “If I stopped at the grocery store, there would be a big fight over me not following the exact itinerary.”

Loans and repayment

During their time together, Vicki covered some of Bonert’s expenses, which he promised to repay. Included in the money she loaned him:

  • $3,413 to repair his jet ski, because Bonert said he forgot his checkbook.
  • $760 to pay for repairs and storage of his camper. Bonert repaid $400.
  • $743 so Bonert could make two payments on his camper loan.
  • $427 to cover Bonert’s cell phone for eight months, of which he reimbursed her $184.

Bonert also owed Vicki approximately $950 because he drove her Ford Expedition into a frozen snowdrift and damaged the bumper.

In 2008, Vicki bought a parcel of land from Bonert’s grandfather so she could build her own home. Vicki told Bonert that she would forgive the money he owed her totaling $6,000 in exchange for work on the house. Although they did not execute a contract, Vicki and Bonert agreed that he would strip the topsoil, do the “dirt work,” and haul rock for the driveway. Vicki rented equipment and bought materials, and Bonert started the work.

Signs of abuse

Mike Bonert in Nashville

Mike Bonert during a trip to Nashville, TN.

But as construction began on Vicki’s home, her relationship with Bonert deteriorated.

Vicki knew the signs of an abusive relationship, having experienced one earlier in her life, and recognized that her involvement with Bonert was heading in that direction. She did not want her kids to witness or experience violence, and began thinking about ending the relationship.

Vicki’s son played on a grade school baseball team. Bonert went to a game and picked a fight with Vicki’s ex-husband, in front of the children. Vicki was furious, and told Bonert he could not attend any more baseball games.

Bonert stayed away from baseball for a couple of weeks. But on June 21, 2008, as Vicki got in her vehicle to go to her son’s baseball tournament, Bonert got in with her, and refused to get out. Not wanting Bonert at the game, Vicki never went.

Her son’s team won, which meant he played another game that night. Vicki told Bonert that she was going, and he was not.

When Vicki left, Bonert followed her. So instead of going to the game, Vicki drove to the sheriff’s office. She wanted the deputies to tell Bonert to leave her alone.

Bonert walked into the sheriff’s office and told the deputies that Vicki was suicidal.

“They took him outside and told him to leave peacefully,” Vicki said. “I left the sheriff and got a block away from there and he was behind me again. So I did a big circle around the block, and he kept going when I pulled in in front of the sheriff’s office.”

Bonert left Vicki alone temporarily.

Broke open the door

At 8 a.m. the next morning, Bonert showed up at Vicki’s house. He pounded on the front door, demanding that she let him in. She refused.

Then Bonert went around to the back door and pounded again. Vicki still refused to let him in.

Bonert went back to the front door, shoved it, and it popped open.

Vicki had her phone in her hand, ready to call 911.

Bonert came in, yelling and screaming. He hung up her phone and threw Vicki on her bed.

The sheriff showed up, saw the hand marks and scratches on Vicki, and arrested Bonert. He was charged with stalking, trespassing, domestic abuse assault, burglary and obstruction of emergency communications.

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25 Comments on "1,200 phone calls, 45 criminal charges, 21-year sentence: Michael J. Bonert’s obsessive stalking of his former girlfriend, Vicki Kuper"

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People simply do not understand the issue of stalking. Some people are truly dangerous. It is frightening. I wish Vicki and her family strength and safety.

Thank you 🙂

I think the first thing I would do today is put my house up for sale, move away, and change my name to something ending in “Smith”.

I realize that doing all this would cause economic and emotional hardship, and I realize that she shouldn’t have to do all this to be safe. But the reality is that he’s going to get out of jail sometime, and he still blames her for all that happened. He’s going to try to kill her. It’s just a matter of when.

Like “Aerosmith,” maybe?

(Sorr-ee, it just popped into my head and I couldn’t resist! 😉 )

I don’t get it.

I’m sorry if that was obscure. My point was that in changing your name to “something ending in Smith,” I don’t doubt your intention was to pick something as inconspicuous as possible, to help you “disappear” into anonymity. Something very commonplace, like Jill Smith, Linda Smith, Debbie Smith… Except that when I idly asked myself “what names end in Smith?” for some reason the first name that came to mind was “Aerosmith”! A familiar name to be sure, but hardly inconspicuous!

It reminds me rather of Douglas Adams’s “Ford Prefect” from Hitchhiker’s—another name that was intended to be inconspicuous, but wasn’t!

Ha! Ok, I’ve got it now. I read the comment and “Janie’s Got a Gun” started playing in my head. 😉 ‘Nuff said about that.

This is Vicki Kuper, the victim in this crazy situation.

We are just back from the parole hearing and, thankfully, parole was denied.

When asked by a board member if there are any criminal cases that are yet to be decided, Mike admitted that he has filed for post-conviction relief on the 5th stalking charge. He also admitted that 2 months ago he filed to have me arrested on a perjury charge, and apparently there is an investigation into that matter.

The perjury charge attempt is a huge sign that he is not done pursuing me, and parole was immediately denied.

I have come to the realization that he is never going to move on.

Of concern to me once again is the fact that his counselor recommended his release, knowing that he continues to pursue me by making the perjury claim.

Congratulations on standing up, being heard and passing another milestone. Many counselors are completely snowed by these people.

I’m very sorry that you have to go through this, and I’m really disturbed to read that you might have to meet with a parole board every year.

I’m grateful that you had local police who paid attention early on, and a police chief who “gets it”. I think we’ve gotten to the point that informed police officers know what will happen, and they don’t want it occurring on their watch. I find it especially telling that the police chief is also fearful for his own well-being if this cretin is released.

I think you deserve all credit for doing things the right way. So often women are trapped in the malignant hope that the offender didn’t really mean it, or that he can change, that they don’t follow through with prosecution like they should. I’m glad you didn’t follow this path and could see that this “relationship” wasn’t worth saving.

I was also the victim of some relatively mild stalking when I left the sociopath. He did creepy things like leaving one article of my clothing on my front porch at a time while I was sleeping, and putting the jewelry I left behind in my mother’s mailbox. I knew it was a calling card to let me know he was still thinking about me. I feel lucky that he left me alone after he moved in a new woman, though I pity her.

I agree that it will probably never be over. This guy just doesn’t have the healthy fear of jail that most people have to keep them walking the straight and narrow, and now he probably has revenge on his mind most hours of the day while he’s incarcerated. He’s had years so far to plan. It’s frightening to think about it.

I love it when I hear from someone who truly understands my situation.

I truly believe the Chief of Police saved my life. If I hadn’t had his help I would have had no one in law enforcement on my side.

Your last paragraph is exactly how I feel too. I couldn’t have said it better.

Oh, I most definitely understand the situation. I’m not just talking about the criminal stalking. There were things Donna wrote about your time with him that totally clicked with me.

The sociopath I was with tried to devalue my children almost from the start. He used to tell me that I raised them wrong and that they wouldn’t amount to anything in life, and then he gave me “advice” to correct them. It was very upsetting! I have two sons who are in college – one working on his master’s in education, and one in undergraduate pre-med studies. The younger two are honors students. They’re good kids, and they don’t get in trouble. There’s nothing wrong with them.

The ‘spath also bragged that he was some kind of master of the construction trades. 4 times in two years that I know of, he took money to do work and either didn’t finish it or botched the job, requiring that someone else be hired to complete the work. To add insult to injury, it was also discovered he overcharged people who didn’t know any better for the work. It was this, I think, that led me to the understanding that this person had a certain charm and animal cunning, but in the end he was just a very stupid man. There’s no ability to think long-term, that the destruction of his reputation would far outweigh a few thousand dollars he stole from other people.

I think the only difference between me and you is that the sociopath I was with didn’t ultimately decide that *I* was the one who had to pay for his failures.

I’m also so happy to hear his parole was denied again. What I don’t get is how someone who rarely deals with these monsters has so much pull about whether they’re released or not. I had my ex’s psychiatrist testify at my trial and she basically got my ex unsupervised access to my 3 yr old. She wouldn’t listen when I told her my concerns. I guess it wasn’t HER child so she really didn’t care. He has bragged many times about how it’s a game to him to manipulate psychiatrists. They don’t get to see what WE see…neither do the lawyers or judges who continually give these freaks so much freedom to break the law.

I have court tomorrow with the ex monster. 4 cases against him. 3 payment hearings and one default hearing. I just found out yesterday that I’m not the only one going after him for child support in my province. so this makes at least the 3rd ‘other’ child that I didn’t know about…lol I immediately told his oldest daughter. she wasn’t surprised either. Tomorrow should be fun! Listening to the lies spew forth is always entertaining.

So true! Good luck tomorrow.

It’s hard to understand how easily manipulated these people are who work with prisoners. Are they not required to receive any training about sociopaths? What an outrageous nightmare. This should NEVER happen to anyone! I’m having a hard time understanding all the ignorance.

lAFraud, I know you and your family are living as normal a life as you can under the circumstances. But I must say, I’d probably be ocnsidering a move to some place like Australia or Iceland or anywhere far away, with a change of identity, especially if your life is on the line. I know I’m projecting my love of travel and faraway places. That’s not for everyone.

Stargazer,

I would move away if I could. My husband and I both have ex spouses who need to be able to see the kids. We can’t just take them away or move away from them.

Then there’s the job and money situation. We don’t have lots of money to move far away, especially without jobs.

He just needs to move on.

Thanks,

Vicki

My son and I will be moving into a subsidized apartment complex and because my ex and his father wil be stalking us, I wonder if it anyone has ever had to designate an entire complex be an area where the alledged stalker may not enter, like a building.
The reason I am certain he will stalk us is because he has this sick fantasy of reuniting with me and picking up where we left off. Not only that, he has no place to live, so he thinks I can allow him to live with us and defraud the government. I will not place me or my son who is going to live with me in jeopardy of living on the streets or in a car when he is the one who planned our demised so that, as it was told to me, I would not have any other choice but to leave with him, so he got us evicted on purpose. And here we are contemplating our next move yet again.

Sophia,

I would talk to the manager of the complex and give them his name and a photo. I’d be worried that he may try to rent a unit close to you. Explain the situation and ask them not to rent to him if that’s possible.

In my case, the stalker was court ordered not to drive on the street I lived on, even though his grandfather lived next door. He filed to amend the order and was allowed to visit his grandfather one night a week for a 3 hour period. That was eventually taken away too when he didn’t follow the order.

If you have a case history with this man established with law enforcement you can request that he not be allowed near where you live. If you don’t have a case history start one. Keep track of his contact attempts with you and report them to law enforcement. This is the only way to get help from them if you really want to keep this man away.

Good luck and stay safe.

Vicki Kuper

Well the thing is, the complex now has been labled “subsidized” and this means that your income must be within the poverty guidelines. You must also be on one of the government assistance progams such as food benefits, medicaid, welfare or totally disabled. My ex has a job which pays him $16.00 an hour so even with deductions such as 4 garnishments and my alimony, he probably nets about $600 a month and the last time he applied to this same complex, he was given a letter explaining that;

1. his credit was and will always be deplurable

2. they were making an over-haul and changing to subsidized housing for those with low income.

That made him form a hatred of women. Because in his warped mind, only women can get help from the government. He did throw in the disabled because we are all faking an illness to get help from the government also. Yes, I like being on 20 pills and an injection that that has risen $1000 dollars a year and now is $6500 a month. I would rather have my health and a life without him.

Sophia.

Good for you for staying away from him. I hope your health improves and you are able to live happily without him. Take it one day at a time and choose happiness. I know that’s hard, as it is for me too, but you will have much more success when you choose to be happy in spite of your troubles.

It doesn’t sound like you have to worry about him moving in the complex near you. Now you just have to be strong and not let him insert himself into your life. Just remember if you let him in, you will have to start the process of getting rid of him all over again when it doesn’t work.

Vicki

Thank you for the incouragement. He has been gone for 24 hours and though I’m waiting patiently on my Social Security card, which is a big thing for me and my son to get a safe place to live, we have a lot of correction ahead of us.

I’ve finally convinced my son to go with me for counseling and I will be asking about some special kind of help for my son. I know I call it “deprogramming”, but that’s so close to what his father has been doing to him for 20 years.
He taught him how to disrespect me and my side of our families. He was taught not to listen to anything I would tell him even though my son admitted to me that listening to his father had never been the best thing for him.
I was tricked into going back to work when my son was two when I had set my mind to retuning to work when he was five and in school. And besides kicking myself for not seeing through him back then, but if I could turn back the hands of time, I would, I would. When my son was two and he had all his toys everywhere, I would say to him, “O.k. let put your toys away.” or “Let go put your clothes away.” though at two he was only playing with the laundry basket. I wanted him to get the idea of keeping a house tidy. His father would just put him in front of the television, which taught him to HAVE TO DEPEND ON OTHERS. During his pre-teen and teen years, he was never given chores, so now he had no structure. He’d get into trouble, only I addressed it and handed out the punishment which his father would promptly take him off of it. Next thing I knew, hevwould be wayching t.v. and playing video games. I had become so frustrated, I wanted to run out and I knew what was going to happen in the future (now). My ex told me how he would grow up to walk all over me. Well, this turned out to be wrong. My son is mannersble and respectful to everyone but me, but even more disrespectful towards his father. This because his father has sabotaged this child’s life from the start and then yñturned around and wanted to get physical with him when our son saw who his father really is. This is the day he made me have ny first netvous break down and went into a drunken tyrade because I was so exhausted from moving and running up and down 3 flights of stairs all day, I collapsed. He was the most evil incarnate human being at this very moment. I didn’t even have the energy to find the phone to call the police! All I could do wss listen to him start in on my son and sob. I was a wreck. It exhausts me just remember this.
However, my point being my son knows that he needs this and has the potential to still be a good person. I know this because last week, he took a long walk in the middle of the night to buy me a soda when I started to have an ulcer attack. Then he got so angry with his father that he went and snatched him up to drive me to the hospital after he told him he intended to leave when he was done with the beer he had just popped open. He screamed how I was in pain and I needed to go that minute. It could have went another way. He could have sat down with him but he was genuinely concerned for me where his father couldn’t be bothered. I feel I really need to help my son.

This just makes me so incredibly sad. The danger to you and your family is so abundantly clear. Yet you are forced to continually defend yourself financially, legally, emotionally. It is though the abuse continues its just a different source. The source being the system designed to help you. You shouldn’t have to fight this hard😢 I’m so sorry that you do. Your tattoo is beautiful, it seems to mirror your spirit beautifully. Thank you for speaking out and trying to make a change!

Justlikeyou,

You are right about the abuse continuing through a different source. I am now painfully aware of the term ‘legal abuse’. It’s filing fraudulent lawsuits against someone for whatever reason. In my case it was revenge for me breaking up with him. My attorney warned him through his attorney that if he didn’t drop it I was prepared to follow through with it to the end, and I did. I never lost a minute of sleep worrying about losing the case. I am very organized and keep thorough records of my transactions. I’m sure his attorney was hoping that I would be a mess at keeping track of things. Have you ever heard any of the ‘Dumb Criminals’ stories? He was a very dumb criminal in many ways.

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