Far Out Friday: Woman gets outbid on dream house, plagues buyers

by MPA13 Feb 2015
Has the California housing market become so tight that it’s making buyers go crazy? Probably not, but a San Diego woman was sentenced for stalking a married couple who she had lost to in a bidding war for her “dream house.”

“I had put so much hope into this house,” Kathy Rowe told ABC News in an interview that airs tonight on ABC News' "20/20." “When I walked in, it felt like my house... it’s almost like, you know, you hear bluebirds sing and music play. I walked in, it was my house.”

A "devastated, heartbroken" Rowe, 53, decided to start playing what she calls pranks on the couple, Janice Ruhter and Jerry Rice, who had a young child and another baby on the way when they moved in.

Her pranks included: billing the couple for $1,000 worth of adult diapers and magazine subscriptions they didn't order, advertising a fake New Year's Eve party at their home, and sending Valentine's Day cards to neighbors' wives with the Rice’s name signed to them.

Rowe even had their mail stopped, listed the house for sale online and posted online ads for sex with Ruhter that instructed anyone interested to come to the house during the day.

She pleaded guilty to stalking in November and was sentenced in January to a year of home electronic surveillance, five years of probation, and ordered to stay away from the couple for 10 years.


  • by Megadyne | 2/14/2015 1:56:43 AM

    Seattle Real Estate is also a multiple offer and competitive marketplace. At SouthSoundREOnline we find this behavior of extreme concern. There is absolutely no justifiable excuse for this type of highly dangerous revenge tactic; especially on an unsuspecting family.

    Besides the probation and house arrest, this woman should be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation and counseling. Sending strangers from free online classified pages to someone's house is extremely, and obviously, dangerous.

    I was concerned when I read this woman is caring for a handicapped daughter of unknown age and disability. It seems like other family members should be involved in helping decide if a transfer of care would be the safest course for the vulnerable person in her charge.


Is TILA-RESPA a good or bad thing long term?