Investigation Discovery’s ‘Obsession: Dark Desires: Campaign Trail of Fears’ follows how Tom Humphrey stalked and harassed a Congressman and his wife for nearly a decade in New Braunfels, Texas, during the mid-1980s and 90s. Due to the absence of definite anti-stalking laws, the authorities could not bring any charge against him initially. So if you’re looking to find out more about Tom and what he did, we’ve you covered. Let’s begin then, shall we?
Who is Tom Humphrey?
When American Congressman Robert “Bob” Charles Krueger decided to run for the Senate seat from Texas in 1983, he required a plane to attend all the meetings and road shows across the state. Bob and his wife, Kathleen (Tobin) Krueger, zeroed in on Thomas “Tom” Humphrey, who piloted the small plane the couple used for their election campaign. Kathleen recounted on the show how Tom looked “nice” and like “a teddy bear,” always polite and eager to help in whatever way he could.
Tom worked as their pilot and helped the couple and their campaign staff. While his colleagues liked the shy and courteous person he was, some of them were surprised and found it odd to have him helping out with mundane tasks. However, none of them gave it much thought, chalking him out to be a team player, very supportive of his employer, Bob Krueger. However, the New Braunfels Democrat faced a narrow loss in the Senate race, similar to his earlier campaign in 1978.
While Bob’s campaign staff were heartbroken by the loss, Tom took it especially hard. Kathleen recounted, “For months, he came to our house daily in apparent grief and depression.” Even after Bob and Kathleen had bidden their loyal team goodbye, Tom kept drooping in at their home and expressing immense disappointment that his former employer could not win the election. He also tried to win sympathy by narrating sob stories about how he could not secure a new job or find a place to stay.
Tom made the Kruegers feel sorry for him, and they decided not to leave their former employee out in the cold after his constant display of immense loyalty to them. So the couple decided to help him out by allowing him to rent the home directly in front of their residence. Little did they know it was going to change their lives forever. Soon after he moved in, Tom began visiting the Kruegers thrice to four times a week without calling or informing them beforehand. He even dropped in when Kathleen was alone at home, with Bob not in town.
Perturbed by the constant interference in their lives, Bob ordered Tom to stop. Kathleen said, “After Bob told him directly but politely several times that all of us must get on with our lives and respect each other’s privacy, Tom Humphrey snapped. First came calls in the middle of the night, with a crazed Tom shouting obscenities, assuming other personalities, and rambling pointlessly.” On one visit, he scared Kathleen so badly that Bob went to Tom’s home and threw him out.
Where is Tom Humphrey Now?
Even after he lost his home, Tom Humphrey began stalking the couple, dropping profanity-laced voicemails and numerous phone calls sometime in the middle of the night. During the 1980s, there were no anti-stalking laws, and the couple could do nothing against him. When they tried to file charges against Tom, the authorities told them their hands were tied unless he physically attempted to hurt the couple. He used to ring the doorbell constantly for around half an hour, and Kathleen cowered inside her home.
According to the show, Tom allegedly flew a small plane close to the Krueger residence once, revving the engine and swooping so low that the window panes rattled. The harassment continued for nine years, and he was arrested at least three times but remained undeterred. After he left a particularly threatening message about killing Bob, the FBI arrested Tom, using a narrow law that forbids verbal harassment, in 1992. He was sentenced to a year in prison.
While serving his third stint in a federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma, Tom gave an interview in May 1993 where he alleged his eccentric behavior was based on a broken friendship and the perception of fighting the rich. He even claimed he felt he and Kathleen were “pals” since they had gone out dancing – a claim that the latter vehemently denied. He contended his “friendship was always platonic,” though he was somewhat attracted to Kathleen’s beauty. Texas passed anti-stalking laws after Kathleen introduced a bill, citing her story.
Tom said, “We were like family. I felt like I needed to talk to her a little bit so we would have an understanding.” He also promised not to disturb the couple further after being released from prison on July 29, 1993, and even ironically supported Kathleen’s anti-stalking bill. He stated, “I am proud she is standing up for what she believes. I support the stalking bill because I think it is an important thing. Nobody should have to live in fear, especially not a woman.” He said he would return to Austin, Texas, after his discharge. Now in his late 60s, Tom is presumed to be living in Texas, away from the public eye.