SURRY COUNTY, N.C. -- “You’re probably not going to believe this story,” the caller said.
And most people hadn’t.
It took three years of Neil Shelton calling and telling the latest chapter -- along with some investigation -- to see the pattern.
"Yeah, it's fantastic but, when you look at the facts, it's what he says it is," says Michael Volpe. Volpe is an investigative journalist who has written a book about this pattern -- prolific enough to have its own title: The Silver Bullet Technique.
"I haven't seen my children in four years or been allowed to speak to them on the phone as a result of this," says Shelton.
It started, says Shelton, when someone began embezzling money from his successful car business. That was part of what lead to a divorce … and the restraining order.
“That's where the, 'litigating the divorce in criminal court,' comes in,” says Volpe about using restraining orders as negotiation tactics. “He's arrested for 10 months, he's not allowed to work on his divorce, his divorce is finalized while he's spending time in jail for a crime that everyone admits that there's no evidence that he committed.”
"I stay numb,” says Shelton. “After everything that's happened to me through the years, there's nothing really that anybody can throw at me that's going to make me go one way or the other."
He may be numb … but he’s not silent.
"My voice was my only thing I had and that's why I chose to speak up," he says.
He’s filed lawsuits of his own, over how he is being treated, but his goal remains simple.
"I couldn’t care less about money,” says Shelton. “I want justice but, ultimately, I want to see my kids."
See the full story in this edition of the Buckley Report.