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By | March 17, 2014 25 Comments

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

Michael Bonert begins his stalking campaign

The court issued an order of protection: Bonert was to stay away from Vicki and her children.

“From day one he ignored the order of protection,” Vicki later testified in a victim impact statement. “He feels he is above the law. He showed up at my home and called me incessantly, leaving messages threatening to physically harm me.”

Vicki saved the messages Bonert left on her answering machine. He wanted her to drop the charges. He wanted to get back together with her. He said he loved her. He threatened her:

“I don’t know why you’re calling 911 ”¦ I don’t know what the hell your problem is; it’s time to f*cking grow up ”¦ You got to get that next guy right away ”¦ If you ever have a guy in my bed I will beat the f*ck out of him. And I’ll probably beat the f*ck out of you too if you have another guy in my bed, so you better think twice about doing something stupid like that, cause it is my bed ”¦ If you don’t call me back, you better sleep with one eye open.”

“Vicki — why won’t you answer your phone? With your new boyfriend already? ”¦ You better talk to my lawyer by Monday or I will fill out the paper work and you will be doing seven days in jail ”¦ If you work with me, if you drop the charges, I won’t do it to you. If you don’t drop the charges you’ll be doing your time.”

“I still love you — I don’t know why — after what you did to me yesterday calling the cops on me. I miss you and I love you and I don’t know why ”¦ It just pisses me off that you and I wasted two years of my life and two years of your life and we could be happy together — moving on you know — having kids some day — having a nice house.”

“If you drop charges on me, I’ll drop the charges I’m going to put on you. You want to play that game, I can play it right back.”

“Vicki what is your problem? Every Tuesday, and every other weekend, when we can be together, you always do something stupid like this. You won’t answer your phone, you leave the house, won’t tell me where you’re at. What is your problem? Who are you with? If you’ve got some other guy in that bed I f*cking will beat the f*ck out of him. You know. That is my bed. That is our bed ”¦ If you ever take somebody in that house, or that bed, my entertainment center. That’s my entertainment center, my bed, my pickup. You know it ”¦ What the hell is your problem? Why can’t we be together?”

In August 2008, Bonert called Vicki more 1,200 times. Police subpoenaed her phone records and counted the calls.

Finally, Bonert was arrested again. After more than 1,200 calls, he was charged with only one violation of the no-contact order.

Five more arrests for Bonert

The arrest didn’t stop Bonert. Vicki wanted nothing to do with him, but Bonert continued to call her, drive by her house and follow her in his vehicle.

Vicki moved into her new home in Delhi, Iowa, where Dave Weatherwax was chief of police. She told Weatherwax of the trouble she was having with Bonert, and the chief personally staked out Vicki’s home to catch Bonert in the act.

Bonert was arrested five times between September and December of 2008. On December 20, 2008, in the midst of a blizzard, Bonert’s parents were driving him to turn himself in, and they drove by Vicki’s house.

Bonert jumped out of their moving vehicle and ran.

“I got a message to protect myself,” Vicki said. “He had escaped and was in my neighborhood.”

In the raging snowstorm, deputies chased Bonert for hours through the woods. “We tracked him for four miles across country to a trucking company,” Weatherwax said. “He was surrounded in a tractor trailer sleeper, holed up in one of those. He was brought out of the sleeper and arrested.”

First plea deal for Bonert

A few weeks later, on January 12, 2009, Bonert reached an agreement with county prosecutor. All of the 25 charges against him stalking, assault, trespassing, violating no contact orders, interference with official acts were bundled into one plea deal.

Vicki, the victim, was not consulted.  She did not have the opportunity to submit a victim impact statement.

More than half of the charges were dismissed. Bonert was sentenced to 11 years in prison almost all suspended. Most of the fines were suspended. He was placed on probation.

“I believe he served a total of 30 days in jail with work release,” Vicki said. “Of course, Mike didn’t have a job with set hours, so he basically went to jail to sleep. Jail with work release equals no punishment for him.”

Warning from the police chief

When he wasn’t sleeping in jail, Bonert continued to stalk and harass Vicki. Two months after his plea bargain, on March 12, 2009, Police Chief Dave Weatherwax stopped Bonert in his car near Vicki’s house. The conversation was recorded. Here is part of it:

Weatherwax: I want what’s best for all parties here and I think what’s best is to try to keep your distance when it’s reasonable, okay?

Bonert: Okay.

Weatherwax: Okay. So anyway, please just use your head, that’s all I’m saying.

Bonert: I’m just telling you, she don’t own the road and I was going down this road before she even came to this town. This was kind of my town, and she can get the f*ck out of here as far as I’m concerned. If she has a problem with it, I’ll get her to lose that house.

Weatherwax: How’s that?

Bonert: I got connections.

Weatherwax: I don’t know. I guess if I was in your shoes, I would just clear out of it and stay neutral. You come and see Grandpa, I wouldn’t even look in that direction.

Bonert: I’m not changing my route. This is my route, this has always been my route and I’m sticking with it. Some days I might go down this road 50 times, the next day I might not go down for a couple days.

Weatherwax: That’s not for me to say yes or no ”¦ I’m just saying, if I can remind you or help you, steer you in a direction that maybe sometimes your emotions, you get angry or something like that and you feel like coming out and trying to intimidate or something. I’m not saying you are or you aren’t, I’m just saying think twice before you do anything like that because I don’t want you to get in any more trouble, okay?

The police chief’s warning did no good at all. Bonert was arrested for violating the no-contact order three more times. Weatherwax described his attitude:

“He was defiant, arrogant,” the chief said. “He was basically innocent. He was the person that had been picked on. In his mind, she made up these stories; he was the one that had wrong done to him. It proved to be much different than that.”

In August 2009, Bonert was sentenced to 100 days of incarceration. The judge told Chief Weatherwax to take him to jail. Bonert assaulted the police chief and a deputy right outside the courtroom door, in front of the judge and the county attorney.

“He resisted and actually got into an altercation,” Weatherwax said. “We ended up on the floor I battled to handcuff him.”

They finally subdued Bonert and took him to jail. Both the chief and the deputy had to be treated in the emergency room.

Bonert files civil lawsuits

While he was stalking her, Bonert also began harassing Vicki through the courts. He filed in small claims court, demanding the “return” of photos and videos of trips and events the two shared when they were a couple. Bonert said he owned the photos, although, according to Vicki, Bonert never owned a digital camera while they were dating.

Then, on October 13, 2009, three days after Bonert was sentenced again for stalking her, he filed a mechanic’s lien against Vicki’s home. Bonert claimed Vicki owed $48,912 for the work he did on her new home.

The claim was fantastical. “He claimed he brought in 742 loads of dirt,” Vicki said. “My house would have been on a hill it was such an outrageous amount.”

Vicki said Bonert never finished the work he agreed to do. And what he did do had to be repaired by someone else.

Bonert engages in two years of stalking

For two years, Bonert continued to stalk his former girlfriend.

“They would arrest him and let him out. It empowered him to keep going,” Vicki said. “Then he also had a habit of contacting me every time he got released. He’d contact me that day drive by my house honking.”

Vicki took steps to protect herself. She changed the locks on her house, installed a security system and a motion-detector video camera, and obtained a new cell phone number. She warned her children about Bonert. She signed up for a victim’s notification system that warned her whenever Bonert was released from jail. She got a permit and bought a gun.

Yet Bonert continued, and was charged with violating the no-contact order eight times in July and August 2010.

He was arrested on August 6, 2010. After spending the weekend in jail, he was released on bail the following Monday afternoon. Vicki received a text message warning.

Less than two hours later, Bonert parked his truck in a driveway facing Vicki’s home. Vicki called the chief of police.

Then Bonert drove off.

Vicki and her new husband, Mike Kuper, who works at a prison, believed that Bonert left to get a weapon and would return. They had six children in the house at the time their kids and friends of their kids.

Vicki was Bonert’s target, but she feared he would hurt everyone in the house. So she made her husband leave and take all the kids. Then she got out her gun.

“One of us will be dead, or both of us will be dead,” Vicki said. “It’s just a matter of who is more accurate.”

Bonert did not return. He was again arrested and charged with stalking.

Driveway photo sized

View of the driveway outside Vicki Kuper’s home where Mike Bonert parked his vehicle.

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AnotherOne

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.

Vicki Kuper

Thank you 🙂

onmyown

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.

Redwald

Like “Aerosmith,” maybe?

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

onmyown

I don’t get it.

Redwald

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!

onmyown

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.

Vicki Kuper

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.

onmyown

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.

Vicki Kuper

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.

onmyown

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.

SociopathsSuck

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.

Vicki Kuper

So true! Good luck tomorrow.

Stargazer

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.

Vicki Kuper

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

Sophia

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.

Vicki Kuper

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

Sophia

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.

Vicki Kuper

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

Sophia

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.

justlikeyou

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!

Vicki Kuper

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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