He Was Everyone's Best Friend, Until They Found the Photos

'Toronto Life' explores the life of an outed voyeur
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2018 4:29 PM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2018 3:04 PM CDT
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(Newser) – He was, by all accounts, a great guy. Successful in the IT world of virtual reality, Pete Forde was always happy to lend a friend in need a sympathetic ear, money, even a place to stay—particularly his younger female friends. But then, as Katherine Laidlaw writes for Toronto Life, a colleague stumbled across a computer file of photos, and Forde's life came crumbling down as he was exposed as a voyeur who'd been secretly taking photos and videos of the women in his life for years. The victims included his two roommates, and in one video Forde can be heard laughing as his hidden camera records one of them stepping out of the shower. And this: "One friend, who’d told him just months earlier that she had been raped, learned he’d been taking pictures of her crotch over coffee for the better part of a decade."

Forde ended up being charged with multiple counts of voyeurism, and Laidlaw interviews the 40-year-old in an attempt to figure out why he did it. “It’s far less sexual than everyone has the right to assume,” he tells her, suggesting it was more about adrenaline. “Jumping out of a plane would have been easier." Laidlaw considered Forde a friend before his arrest—no, he assures her, she was not one of his targets—and she notes that while Forde often talked about women and his unrequited loves, he never seemed to actually date. One of his former roommates puts it this way: Forde may have been able to have online relationships, but "the one thing he can’t have is the part of the relationship where you see someone in the shower or without their makeup on­—where they’re just walking around the house, being regular people." Read the full story. (Author Gay Talese ran into controversy over his book about a famous voyeur.)

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