Readings — From the December 2009 issue
SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
Need to create a login? Want to change your email address or password? Forgot your password?
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
From an exchange of letters and emails between Steven Klig, a Long Island attorney, and an FBI agent posing as his ex-girlfriend. In October, Klig began blackmailing the woman, whose name has been withheld, demanding she send him nude photos of herself. She contacted the FBI, and an agent began responding to Klig’s emails, assuming her identity. The emails are included in a complaint filed against Klig on January 5, when he was arrested on federal extortion and harassment charges. In September, Klig pleaded not guilty.
october 20, 2008 [Letter to the victim]
I remember our past experiences together so fondly. In fact (and you may be a bit upset with me for this), I managed to record one of our sessions on DVD, and it has provided me with extreme pleasure over the years. I hate asking you for this favor, but I was wondering if you would consider getting together with me for a one-time reunion. It would also be an opportunity for me to return the DVD to you. I suppose if you decided not to do this, I could send copies to your husband and your brothers. I just want to capture one last memory to get me through these trying times. If you are interested, I need a few things from you: an email address, a cell phone number, and a couple of recent nude photos of you. The terms are not negotiable.
november 10 [Email to the victim’s husband]
I’m an old friend of your wife’s, and I’m trying to get in touch with her to see how her work is going. It’s been a while, and I don’t have a current email address for her. Could you please pass it along? Many thanks.
december 11 [Email to the victim]
Well, I must say I was incredibly disappointed that I never received a response from you. So just to give you a heads-up: I’ve been doing a little editing on our video. Mostly some blurring of myself so I won’t be recognized. You, on the other hand, can be seen very clearly having the time of your life being fucked by me. I’ll be sending out Christmas presents to your family. Strangely enough, I think everyone will be excited by the content, even your brothers. You just look so great. Thanks for the memories, and very sorry to do this, but you really seem not to care.
december 12 [Email to Klig]
What do you want from me? I want to keep my family out of this.
december 15 [Email to the victim]
So I’ve thought long and hard, and here are the two options you have: I can send the video to your family, or you can help me out a little bit. I don’t need money. What I really want is something new to look at. Each month, you can send me a few pictures in poses I have requested. At the end of one year I will go away and you will never hear from me again. I want the pictures for the first installment by the end of this week. Here are the poses I would like: 1) fully clothed; 2) without your shirt; 3) in just a bra and panties; 4) without the bra; and 5) fully nude. If I do not get the pictures, the video goes out on Monday with a little note. It happened so long ago that maybe no one will care, but if you want the video kept private, you will do what I ask.
december 16 [Email to Klig]
Please do not send out the video, as it will ruin my life. I am willing to meet with you one last time to address your needs if you agree to give me the video.
december 18 [Email to the victim]
My offer is for you to send me pictures. If you do this, I promise you will never have to worry about my sending out the video. If you do not agree, I really have no choice. As you can see, I have done my homework and am very serious. I really do not wish to hurt you, but I will. Please send the pictures by tomorrow.
december 18 [Email to Klig]
I will not email you digital photos, as I don’t know where they will end up on the Internet. I can’t chance giving you additional material to use against me. I will meet you at a location you choose.
december 22 [Email to the victim]
Today is the deadline. All you have is my word that the pictures will not appear on the Internet. If I wanted to embarrass you, I could post the video. Take my word for it—that would be much more interesting than the pictures.
december 22 [Email to Klig]
Can you give me till next week given that it’s Christmas week?
december 23 [Email to the victim]
Okay. You’re actually pretty lucky. I wasn’t able to get to the post office tonight, so I was going to mail it tomorrow morning. I will give you until Monday, but because I’m being so gracious about this, I will be very angry if you do not have the photos to me by then. You’ve had plenty of time. At this point, I will send copies to your neighbors and anyone else I can find whom you have associated with, and I will post the video to the Internet. Do not disappoint me. You may find this hard to believe, but all you have to do is what I’ve asked and you will never have to worry about this.
december 29 [Email to Klig]
I have the photos. I tried to transfer them from the camera to the computer, but it is not working. I am not good with computers, but I think the problem is with the camera wire. I’m going to go to Best Buy as soon as they open, hopefully at 9:00 a.m.
january 1, 2009 [Email to the victim]
Have no fear, I did not send anything out. I’ve been traveling, and it’s been difficult to get Internet service. I understand your computer frustrations. I would recommend taking some innocent pictures (perhaps of the kids) and having your husband show you how to transfer them. Then you can go ahead and transfer the requested photos. This can work out for us. Hopefully, you were not too upset after not hearing from me. Happy New Year.
january 3 [Email to the victim]
Well, I’m not sure why you haven’t responded, but the only reason I can see is that you told your husband about the video. So I am guessing you will not be sending the pictures. Oh well, I will wait until the end of the weekend before I send out everything, on the off chance you were traveling. This will do nothing for me and will cause you a lot of embarrassment, but I’ve been more than fair.