Boston-based crime writer Patricia Cornwell appeared in a Richmond, Va., federal court this morning in support of her libel suit against a man she says has been "cyberstalking" her for years. Cornwell, creator of numerous bestselling crime novels featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, alleges that Leslie R. Sachs has falsely accused her of being a "Jew-hater," a "neo-Nazi," and of writing falsely on websites that she is under investigation by U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Cornwell is asking U.S. district judge Norman K. Moon to permanently enjoin Sachs -- who did not appear and was not represented by counsel -- from posting defamatory material about her on-line.
In 2000, a judged enjoined Sachs from claiming that Cornwell's 2000 novel, "The Last Precinct," had ripped off plot elements of his 1998 novel, "The Virginia Ghost Murders." Since then, Cornwell alleges, Sachs has been making false statements about her online. Cornwell told the judge that she has had to hire bodyguards and has been unable to make appearances to promote her recent books.