Julie's Reviews > You Have A Very Soft Voice, Susan: A Shocking True Story of Internet Stalking

You Have A Very Soft Voice, Susan by Susan Fensten
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really liked it
bookshelves: true-crime, non-fiction, kindle-lending-library, e-book, 2020

This book is a mind-bending trip!

Stalkers are the worst sort of criminal. The harassment can go on for years, completely upending a person's life. Living in constant fear makes life paralyzingly unbearable. In this case, the situation was made even worse due to the lack of protection given by law enforcement- which was especially true when this story took place. But now, with the internet and social media, stalking has become easier, more common, creepier, and even more terrifying and harder to trace.

This book is a non-fiction accounting of one of the most bizarre incidences of internet stalking I’ve ever heard of. In 2003, after the death of her father, publicist, Susan Fensten, went online hoping to locate any paternal relatives she might have. She hit pay dirt- or so she thinks- but she soon comes to regret her decision when it becomes clear her new ‘cousins’ have a few sociopathic tendencies.

For the next few years, her life became a living nightmare. Susan’s small support system could be less than consistent with their support, often leaving her feeling even more lonely and isolated.

However, when the FBI finally got involved in the case, they uncovered an unbelievable web of mind-boggling cruelty and depravity they described as a case “in a category by itself.”

There have been many online advancements since 2003, both good and bad, and I couldn’t help but think of how different things are now. High speed internet was just taking a fast hold in 2003, making dial up mostly a thing of the past for most users. Facebook launched in 2004, followed by Twitter in 2006, which provided predators, scammers, and stalkers entirely new avenues to explore and exploit.

However, I think we have also become more careful and cautious, and less trusting now. We’ve all heard horror stories about online crimes and creepy stalkers, and countless other ways people have devised to harass, bully, shame and embarrass people- not to mention all the daily ‘hacks’ where personal and sensitive information is stolen.

Still, despite knowing how dangerous the internet is- how dangerous it has ALWAYS been, this story was absolutely shocking! I can’t even begin to imagine going through something that bizarre. This is one of those books you will have to read to believe!

This may be one of the strangest true crime books I’ve read, and it is beyond creepy. It will make you stop and think about a lot of things- especially trust. Although we take as many precautions as possible, protect our privacy the best we can, and stay hyper aware about phishing and scams, sometimes despite all our preparedness, we are still vulnerable, often betrayed and blindsided in ways we never would have seen coming or thought possible.

Overall, this was a troubling, edgy story that will leave you thinking twice about your interactions online and wondering if it’s worth the risk...

4 stars
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Reading Progress

April 3, 2019 – Shelved
April 3, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
September 1, 2019 – Shelved as: true-crime
September 1, 2019 – Shelved as: non-fiction
September 1, 2019 – Shelved as: kindle-lending-library
September 1, 2019 – Shelved as: e-book
November 16, 2019 – Started Reading
January 23, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020
January 23, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-37 of 37 (37 new)

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Dita This one...DAMN!


Julie Dita wrote: "This one...DAMN!"

I've heard it was crazy!! Can't wait to get into it! 💖


Dita I can’t wait to read your review!! 😊


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Wow, Julie, this sounds like one so many of us could benefit from reading. I know I could. Powerful review.


Julie Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "Wow, Julie, this sounds like one so many of us could benefit from reading. I know I could. Powerful review."

Thank you so much, Jennifer!! It's scary to think of all the ways people can use the internet to stalk someone. 😲


message 6: by Tina (new)

Tina This sounds like it was a bizarre and scary story (and true to boot!). Wow. Great review too! 👏


Julie Tina wrote: "This sounds like it was a bizarre and scary story (and true to boot!). Wow. Great review too! 👏"

Thanks so much, Tina!! It was a very strange story!! 😲


message 8: by Ceecee (new)

Ceecee Wow. Fantastic review and it sounds very frightening especially as it’s true. You find some really fascinating reads Julie 🤗❤️


Books Just 4 Me Great review! It’s even scarier when you know it happened.


message 10: by Angela M (new)

Angela M So scary ! Great review, Julie.


message 11: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Fabulous review, Julie! Sounds fascinating, but too creepy for me!


message 12: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Excellent review Julie, sounds very scary! 💕


Julie Ceecee wrote: "Wow. Fantastic review and it sounds very frightening especially as it’s true. You find some really fascinating reads Julie 🤗❤️"
Thanks so much, Ceecee!! I'd love to take credit- but my GRs friends are usually the ones responsible for helping me discover books I probably wouldn't have otherwise. 💖


message 14: by JanB (new)

JanB Oh wow, this sounds fascinating and truly frightening! Excellent review Julie. I love true crime and this is one I’m adding!


Julie Books Just 4 Me wrote: "Great review! It’s even scarier when you know it happened."

Thank you, BJ4M! It was hard to believe this really happened! A crazy story for sure! 💖


Julie Angela M wrote: "So scary ! Great review, Julie."

Thank you very much, Angela! 💖


Julie Meredith wrote: "Fabulous review, Julie! Sounds fascinating, but too creepy for me!"

Thank you, Meredith! It was pretty unnerving! 💖


Julie Maureen wrote: "Excellent review Julie, sounds very scary! 💕"

Thank you very much, Maureen!! It was very unsettling! 💖


Julie JanB wrote: "Oh wow, this sounds fascinating and truly frightening! Excellent review Julie. I love true crime and this is one I’m adding!"

Thank you, Jan!! This is a pretty sick story- hard to believe. Looking forward to your thoughts! 💖


message 20: by Paige (new)

Paige Sounds like an interesting read, Julie! Great review!


Julie Paige wrote: "Sounds like an interesting read, Julie! Great review!"

Thank you very much, Paige! It was definitely different! 💖


message 22: by Libby (new)

Libby Excellent review, Julie! It's hard to believe how quickly the world has changed due to the internet.


message 23: by Paula (new)

Paula Fantastic review, Julie!


message 24: by Dita (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dita Isn't this crazy to the beyond???


Julie Libby wrote: "Excellent review, Julie! It's hard to believe how quickly the world has changed due to the internet."

Thank you, Libby!! It's a much smaller, scarier world now, I think. 💖


Julie Dita wrote: "Isn't this crazy to the beyond???"

Yes! Totally nuts!! 😲


message 27: by Dita (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dita I was so absorbed and I just can't believe EVERYONE isn't reading this!


message 28: by Richard (new)

Richard Scary stuff! Sounds like a worthwhile read ........ loved your review Julie.


Julie Paula wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie!"

Thanks so much, Paula! 💖


Julie Dita wrote: "I was so absorbed and I just can't believe EVERYONE isn't reading this!"

I agree! All the true crime fans should love this one! 💖


Julie Richard wrote: "Scary stuff! Sounds like a worthwhile read ........ loved your review Julie."

Thank you very much, Richard!! This book will really make you feel wary... 😲


message 32: by sue (new)

sue Great review


Julie sue wrote: "Great review"

Thanks so much, Sue! 💖


message 34: by Kat (new)

Kat Valentine Another fabulous review Julie!!💋😉👍💞


Julie Kat wrote: "Another fabulous review Julie!!💋😉👍💞"

Thank you so much, Kat!! 💖


message 36: by Victoria (last edited Jan 31, 2020 03:17PM) (new)

Victoria Yikes! Did she open up a Pandora's box or what...scary! A few years ago I was asked to 'buddy' up with someone from my nonprofit. While trying to figure out where to meet for coffee, she said she lived only a few blocks from me and could just come to my house. She had been Googling me. That creeped me out, I can't imagine this!


Julie Victoria wrote: "Yikes! Did she open up a Pandora's box or what...scary! A few years ago I was asked to 'buddy' up with someone from my nonprofit. While trying to figure out where to meet for coffee, she said she l..."

Wow! That IS creepy! You can never be too careful! I can't imagine being stalked either. It can literally ruin your life!


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