He pretended to be a student for a year. Last week, he came back

April 11, 2023, 2:29 a.m.

William Curry, the man who posed for almost a whole year as a student, living in various residences under false pretenses, returned to campus last week. He spent a night in Murray House, where he was reportedly talking to residents about his ex-girlfriend, a Stanford student whom he has allegedly harassed and sent death threats since they broke up last year. The University had pledged to modify its policies last fall to prevent future intrusions.

The Daily has confirmed Curry’s presence on campus through the accounts of several corroborating witnesses, who possessed significant non-public information, GPS data from a social media app showing that Curry was in the area at the time and through Curry himself, who admitted to being on campus when messaged by a Daily reporter and independently provided an account that lined up with those of several witnesses.

Luisa Rapport, a Stanford spokesperson, wrote that “our preliminary findings strongly indicate recent sightings of Curry were unsubstantiated.” When presented with significant evidence to the contrary, Rapport wrote that “VPSA [the Vice Provost for Student Affairs] and DPS [Department of Public Safety] have yet to receive reports from anyone who has recently seen William Curry on campus. We strongly encourage anyone with information about suspicious activity to let their resident fellow or resident director know immediately or call 911.”

But The Daily has obtained correspondence showing that witnesses informed Murray residential staff and then resident directors of Curry’s presence the same morning they encountered him. Those witnesses say they have not been reached out to for further details.

The University has historically been reticent to address Curry’s visits to campus. After The Daily revealed Curry’s repeated intrusions last fall, the University did not respond to multiple requests for comment for nearly a week. As subsequent reporting revealed, the University had been aware of Curry’s presence for almost a year and repeatedly failed to notify students.

The woman whom Curry harassed says she was told the school “didn’t want to alarm people too much” after she asked a deputy why a campus alert was not issued. The Stanford Department of Public Safety (SUPDS) has declined to comment on this allegation.

Tom Ramsay ’25 and Emanuel Adamiak ’25 told The Daily they were going to play a game of pool shortly after midnight on Thursday morning when they found the door to the Murray lounge locked. “That never happens,” said Ramsay. The door can be locked, but only from the inside and the two said they were confused about who would be occupying the typically vacant lounge so late at night. The man they said opened the door was Curry, who had been watching poker videos on the dorm television.

The two said Curry gave his name as David. Curry explained, in subsequent messages with a Daily reporter, that his middle name is David and he used it rather than his full name, which had become well known on campus due to previous Daily reporting.

According to the two students, Curry struck up a conversation with them while they were discussing the TV show “Suits,” in which one character pretends to have been a Harvard student. The two said that Curry told them his personal philosophy was to “deny deny deny,” and later admitted he wasn’t from the dorm but was “just doing [his] due diligence.” It was this comment that made the two suspicious — and, after looking up photos of Curry online, Ramsay notified his residential assistant that he believed Curry had been in the dorm.

Curry had been wearing a Stanford in Government hat and sporting a beard, making it harder for the two to identify him. “He seemed like a normal college kid,” said Adamiak.

Two students playing pool
Tom Ramsay ’25 and Emanuel Adamiak ’25 encountered Curry in the common space when they went to play a game of pool in Murray House. (Photo: THEO BAKER/The Stanford Daily)

Curry is a 20-year-old from Birmingham, Ala. who has been lying to friends, coaches and his parents that he was recruited to run for Stanford track and field for the last three years, according to several people who knew Curry in high school as well as his own account. He was first identified on campus in December, 2021, when a deputy removed him from a Roble dorm room whose occupant was on winter break.

Curry returned to campus almost immediately, taking up residence in Murray in January 2022. (According to extensive correspondence obtained by The Daily, Curry has spent time in Crothers, Yost, EAST, Murray and Roble).

He also began a relationship with a woman on campus, whose name The Daily is withholding to prevent further harassment. The Daily has confirmed their relationship through extensive photo and text message records.

The two dated for several months, with the woman under the impression that Curry was a transfer student. Then, after they broke up, Curry began to harass her, she said. He remained logged into her iCloud account and used this to surveil her and discover her new romantic interests, whom he contacted repeatedly to call the woman a “slut” and various other derogatory terms.

The woman provided several text messages where Curry identified himself by name, including a chain where he seemed to admit to remaining logged into her devices. She also told The Daily that Curry had continued to physically stalk her on campus, even after he had been removed multiple times.

One night, she was with a man, and a stream of No Caller ID calls began to flood her phone, followed by messages where the sender told her to “put whatever guy your [sic] with on the phone or… I’ll Kill You.” The woman says she is confident these messages came from Curry. She also shared messages from other instances in which Curry seemed to be following her around on campus. She filed a harassment claim with SUDPS in the summer of 2022.

The woman told The Daily that she saw Curry again in the fall of 2022 while outside Arrillaga Family Dining Commons and watched him proceed to enter Crothers Hall. Curry, who denies any harassment, also recalled seeing his ex while walking into Crothers in an interview with The Daily. The woman said she called a deputy to report seeing Curry, but no action appears to have been taken. Curry was removed from Crothers several weeks later, after it was discovered that he had taken a dorm television and residents realized he was not actually a student.

SUDPS has confirmed that a harassment claim was filed but has declined to comment on why Curry was not removed from campus when the woman allegedly encountered him on campus.

This is not the first time SUDPS has been accused of failing to protect victims of harassment. Sierra Davis, who was sexually harassed in Main Quad this fall and says deputies ignored her cries for help, wrote in an email that she “really hate[d] to hear they don’t want to ‘alarm’ anyone. What’s alarming is getting harassed. Period.” She wrote that she doesn’t “have a ton of faith in SUPDS to protect students from sexual harassment on their own, but I think they seem to respond if enough attention and criticism is brought to their attention.”

According to Ramsay and Adamiak, Curry is still talking about his ex. They said he quickly turned their conversation to a woman. At first, he said he was describing a hypothetical situation. Then, he said he was talking about his friend. Finally, he admitted he was describing his own trysts.

What Ramsay and Adamiak didn’t know was that Curry was describing, in close detail, aspects of his relationship with the woman whom he dated last year. He gave several revealing details, that The Daily is withholding to protect the privacy of Curry’s ex-girlfriend, which Ramsay and Adamiak could not have known without speaking to Curry. Curry even started talking about where his ex-girlfriend lives, giving the name of her actual student residence.

Despite the fact that Ramsay and Adamiak reported the incident that morning to residential staff, Curry’s ex learned about his return from The Daily on Saturday, more than two days after his presence was first reported.

The woman said in an interview, “it doesn’t make me feel safe to know he’s on campus and talking about me. I’ve had very little contact except for him trying to harass me for basically a year now.” The woman described Curry as “unhinged” and “a little obsessed.” She also said that he had continued to call her friend, using an anonymized phone number, to denigrate her, showing phone records that included a call from as recently as last week.

Michele Dauber, a prominent survivor advocate and Stanford professor, wrote in an email to The Daily that “it has long been my view that Stanford’s own campus bans are often useless and unenforceable for survivors.”

Ramsay and Adamiak expressed some fear at the idea that Curry had been in a student residence once more, noting that many of their peers left doors unlocked overnight. They also said they understood better how he had been able to stay for so long on campus after their interaction, describing him as gregarious, friendly and unassuming. Adamiak noted that Curry was cunning with his timing, in that after coming back from a break there were many new faces and he was less likely to raise suspicion. They both advocated for the University to take more steps to prevent intrusions, though they noted some of the obstacles the school faced.

“People wouldn’t think twice about letting someone else in. And it’s almost like the culture,” said Ramsay. Adamiak said, “one thing that seems quite clear to me is that there needs to be a better way to prevent people from just coming into the dorms without actually being a Stanford student.”

The University seems to agree to some extent. After Curry’s repeated intrusions were revealed last fall — and it came to light that the University had known about his presence on campus and failed to warn students — Stanford issued a statement declaring that it had “undertaken a review to develop [its] procedures and prevent this type of incident from happening again.” Since then, though, there have been no public updates about the review or changes announced beyond those mentioned in the same November statement.

When Curry was found in Murray on Thursday morning, Ramsay and Adamiak notified Ramsay’s residential assistant, Joey Clough ’23 who told The Daily he “immediately went to my RF [residential fellow], Matt Snipp” to report the incident. Snipp, in turn, notified others.

Matt Snipp
Hayley* 11:27 AM W
No. I sent her an email about it. I
thought that I copied you but let me
know if you didn't receive it. 2:07 PM
Hey Matt, I am sorry for such a late
message but there is something that
have to tell you. One of the residents
informed me that someone they
believed to be William Curry was in the
dorm last night. He said they looked
up pictures and were convinced it
was him, only that he had grown a
beard. He was hanging in the lounge
and talking to the residents but later
he walked into the men's restroom on
the first floor and was questioned by
a resident. The guy responded that he
didn't live here but was "doing his due
diligence" 11:34 PM J
Hi Joey. I just saw this. Would you
please pass this information along
to Rachael? Also it would be a good
idea to remind our residents that they
should not open the door for anyone
who they do not recognize as a fellow
resident or a personal friend. 1:22 PM
Murray RA Joey Clough ’23 informed his RF, Matt Snipp, that a resident had reported seeing Curry in the dorm.

But it was only after The Daily sent several inquiries to the University on Saturday that an email went out to residential staff across campus that Curry had been “discovered in our residences again last night.”

The email continued, “to be clear, William Curry is not a Stanford student and he was previously served a stay-away order, which means he is prohibited from being on campus, including in or around any residence. Please call 911 immediately if you observe this individual inside or attempting to enter any campus building.  Do not engage with this person. As a reminder, please do not allow people whom you do not recognize to enter our residences.”

A separate email was also sent to Curry’s ex-girlfriend, notifying her of Curry’s presence.

Another email was sent to residential staff on Monday, concluding that the “recent sightings of Curry were unsubstantiated.” But Ramsay and Adamiak say nobody has reached out to them to evaluate their report or its substance. Had the University needed substantiation, it could’ve turned to Curry himself, who lamented to a Daily reporter, “I’m just too recognizable to be making my visits.”

What happens next is unclear. According to a letter from the Office of the District Attorney of Santa Clara County obtained by The Daily, “The District Attorney has issued a criminal complaint against [Curry],” in regards to his intrusions last year. It is unknown what progress has been made since the letter, dated Nov. 8, 2022, was sent.

Curry, in messages to a Daily reporter, downplayed what he saw as the significance of his intrusions. “It was a fun first day on campus… I came back one day to see someone there’s no questions to be asked.”

In a previous version of this article, Tom Ramsay’s name was misspelled. The Daily regrets this error.

Theo Baker is the Vol. 263 Spotlight Investigations Editor. A frosh from Washington, D.C., he is the youngest ever recipient of a George Polk Award. Contact [email protected] for encrypted email. Find him on Twitter @tab_delete.

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