Many of us have had a celebrity obsession at one point in our lives. Heck, many of us have probably sent that celebrity a love letter or two and had a moment of realization that what we’re doing is borderline creepy and it should stop.
On the other hand, some people dedicate their entire lives to the adoration of their idols, and sometimes that obsession turns into tragedy. When an obsession turns into cruel intentions from mentally unstable individuals, it turns from cute to terrifying very quickly. This article shares the haunting stories from some of the craziest celebrity stalkers who took things way too far.
Icelandic singer, Bjork, had a stalker that will send chills down your spine. Ricardo Lopez idolized the singer, and dedicated most of his 803-page diary to her. His attitude towards her turned deadly when he found out that she was dating performer Goldie. His goal was now to kill her.
He constructed an acid-spraying bomb, which he then mailed to Bjork’s London address. He then videotaped himself committing suicide hoping that through their mutual deaths that they could be together in heaven. Police were able to intercept the bomb before it reached its target.
Yolanda Saldivar has stapled her name in the history books as one of the deadliest fan stalkers of all time. She was a huge fan of the pop star Selena, so much so that she wanted to create a fan club for her in San Antonio. She got permission from Selena’s father to go ahead with the official club but would later be outed for embezzling money from the organization.
They fired her, and Selena agreed to meet with Saldivar at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi. Saldivar would keep procrastinating the financials by saying that she was just raped, to which Selena had to drive her to the hospital.The doctors found no evidence of rape. During the discussion, Saldivar fatally shot Selena in the motel room.
John Hinkley Jr
After watching the movie Taxi Driver, Hinckley Jr became obsessed with Jodie Foster. He enrolled at Yale University when she was a student there so that he could stalk her. He had this insane idea that the only way to get Foster to notice him would be to assassinate the President of the United States.
He attempted to kill Ronald Reagon in March 1981, but was unsuccessful as the bullet that penetrated Reagon didn’t kill him. Hinkley was tried in 1982 for 13 offenses but was found not guilty for reasons of insanity. He was confined to St. Elizabeths Hospital in D.C for over three decades and is now living with his mom in Virginia.
Mark David Chapman
Perhaps one of the most famous celebrity stalkers of all time is Mark David Chapman. In December of 1980, he shot and killed John Lennon because Lennon jokingly said that The Beatles were “more famous than Jesus” which didn’t go over well with Chapman and his religious views.
He fired five shots at Lennon and then remained at the scene reading the book Catcher In The Rye and told police that the novel was his “statement.” His lawyers wanted him to plead insanity at the trial, but Chapman decided instead to plead guilty which got him a sentence of 20 years to life.
For over a decade, Margaret Mary Ray believed that she was romantically involved with comedian David Letterman. She was first arrested in 1988 when she stole Letterman’s Porsche and presented herself as Mrs. Letterman. Over the years she had repeatedly broken into David’s house and even camped out on his tennis court.
Letterman included Ray in his “Things I Have To Do Before I leave NBC,” list joking that he had to send “change-of-address forms to that woman who breaks into my house.” Ray would spend two years in jail and in different psychiatric institutions. She would later commit suicide by kneeling in front of a train.
Mostly known in the west for his role in the 2002 film Infernal Affairs, Hong Kong actor and singer Andy Lau had his share of unwanted experiences with stalker fans. Yang Lijuan quit school and turned into a full-time Lau fan for the next 12 years. In order to fund his daughter’s trips to meet Lau, Lijuan’s dad had to sell their house and even considered selling his kidney for funds.
When Lijuan finally met Lau in 2007 at a birthday party, her dad didn’t think it was enough. He threatened to kill himself if Lau didn’t meet one-on-one with his daughter and “save her”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an empty threat because he killed himself by jumping into the sea. The incident led to many other Lau fans giving suicidal threats if he wouldn’t meet with them. Lau had to seek therapy because of it.
Famous singer/actress Olivia Newton-John had more than one stalker in the 80s, but the most dedicated was Ralph Nau. He experienced a vision while walking in an Arizona desert that told him Newton-John loved him and needed him. He traveled to Austrailia twice to track her down. He was unsuccessful but that just fueled his fire.
He believed that someone named Maria had bewitched Newton-John to prevent her from responding to Nau’s attempts to contact her. He failed to get in touch with the celebrity and ended up suffering from a delusion that his step-brother had turned into an animal so he killed him with an ax.
When Paula Goodspeed auditioned for American Idol in 2006, she was rejected by all the judges. Her namesake, Paula Abdul, was one of those judges. Goodspeed had been a massive fan of Abdul, citing her as her biggest influence musically. She also had many drawings of the pop star and said that Abdul was the first drawing she ever made when she was a kid.
Goodspeed didn’t take the audition criticism well and would try to reach out to Abdul, but to no avail after the audition. She slipped into a deep depression and would end up killing herself in front of Abdul’s house. She was found with a photo of the celebrity in her car at the time of the death.
In 2001, British comedian Ken Dodd was being stalked by a woman half his age. That woman, Ruth Tagg, followed Dodd across the country going to every single one of his shows, sitting in the front row. She would send him love letters and nude pictures of herself. In one letter she asked, “What does one have to do to become one of your extended family?”
Her behavior got very abusive though. She began sending Dodd’s girlfriend bizarre gifts like a perfumed rat. Her obsession peaked when she pushed burning rags through the letterbox of Dodd’s home causing thousands in damage. She admitted to the charges of stalking, arson, and harassment.
Thomas Brodnicki had an unhealthy obsession with pop-star Selena Gomez. He mentioned that he had conversations with God and entertained the idea of killing her. He traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles three times to try to meet the then 19-year-old at her workplace.
Gomez got a restraining order against him because she received word about his desire to kill her. She also said that she feared for the lives of her family and friends who the restraining order wouldn’t cover. Brodnicki had a deep history of stalking women and had many run-ins with the law.
Ruth Ann Steinhagen
It’s not that uncommon to have sports fans get upset when their team trades away one of their favorite players. It is, however, uncommon for sports fans to attempt to kill that player because of a trade. 19-year-old Ruth Ann Steinhagen had a deep love for Chicago Cubs player Eddie Waitkus.
She was so obsessed with him that she would set a place at her dinner table for him every night. She found out he was of Lithuanian decent so she started learning the language herself. When he got traded she decided to act. She followed the team to their hotel, rented a room and lured Waitkus in. She then shot him point blank. He would survive but he did miss the next season.
Robert John Bardo
Actress Rebecca Shaeffer, best known for her role in the film My Sister Sam in 1986, had a stalker story that turned tragic. Robert Bardo was a big fan of the actress but was very angry over her “losing her innocence” when she appeared in Scenes From The Class Struggle In Beverly Hills.
He hired a detective agency to locate her address (which he obtained through California Department of Motor Vehicles). He showed up at her door and she gave him an autograph. She then tried to get him to leave but he wouldn’t, and instead fatally shot her after telling her that he was there to save her.
Reverend David Ajemian
If you’re a fan of Conan O’Brien than you probably know about David Ajemian. In 2007, Ajemian sent threatening letters to the talk show host on a regular basis. His letters often closed with phrases like “your priest stalker,” and “remember, Frank Costello once dodged a bullet in your building and so can you.”
Ajemian pleaded guilty at a trial, paid a court charge and agreed to obey a two-year restraining order. He got arrested in 2014 for not abiding by a restraining order put against him by a Boston TV journalist who he had continually harassed. He’s no longer allowed to be a priest.
Once Dawnette Knight became obsessed with Michael Douglas, it became her goal to ensure that she was the only girl in his life. Douglas’ wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones quickly became public enemy number one. Knight spent much of 2003 and 2004 sending alarming letters to Douglas and Jones where she stated her intentions to cut up Zeta-Jones and feed her to dogs.
Additionally, she maintained that she had been having an affair with Douglas so Jones should just leave him immediately. Knight would end up pleading no contest to charges of stalking and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Dante Michael Soiu
In 2000, Dante Michael Soiu was sending Gwyneth Paltrow five letters a day, boxes full of pornography, and showing up unannounced at her parents’ house. He reportedly had the intention of taking “God’s scalpel” and “cutting the sin” out of Paltrow and even sent her a vibrator that said, “because I love you.”
He claimed that his message to Paltrow was to show that he had unconditional love and friendship for her and that the 500 messages to her were not weird or abnormal. He was declared legally insane at the trial and was hospitalized in California.
In October of 2010, Grim LeRogue as arrested after he ran onto the field at a New York Yankees game. This isn’t that unusual for fans to do this, but in this case, things started getting really weird. He was carrying five pictures in his pockets: one was a picture of Alex Rodriguez with an X over his face and had “You have to go bud, you’ve ruined too many white queens” written on it.
He had another photo with Cameron Diaz (who was A-Rod’s girlfriend at the time) which made things even more creepy. When he got onto the field he ran straight for A-Rod but was tackled shortly after by an on-field security guard. He claims the pictures were a joke and that he just had a big crush on Cameron.
The Joni Mitchell Camper
Joni Mitchell had a dedicated stalker menacing her life. She had a stalker who set up a tent outside of her home and stayed for several YEARS. She was forced to live with armed guards because of it. The stalker saw her as his gateway to God, the voice of his dead sister and his wife-to-be.
Mitchell claims that this man had many violent and necrophilic fantasies about her which he wrote about in great detail. Mitchell pleaded with this man’s family to intervene and get him to leave. He would eventually leave in December 1980 but the emotional damage was already done to Mitchell, who would eventually just move to a remote location in Canada.
In 2001, Nicole Kidman filed charges against Matthew Hooker, who had been stalking her by constantly calling her house and sending her love poems. Kidman stated that Hooker made her fear for her security and safety. He would be ordered to stay 250 yards away from her at all times.
Hooker says that the restraining order was an attempt to deny the fact that Kidman was really into him. Hooker says that she was really flirty when they first met and this restraining order was trying to smear him for an upcoming political run.
Jack Jordan, otherwise known as the creepy Uma Thurman stalker, was convicted in 2008 for his behavior towards to the actress. He tried to win over her love and affection by sending her sexually suggestive cards and drawings (one of which was of an open grave that had a man standing over it with a razor blade in his hand).
He was jailed again in 2010 for violating his probation, and then again in 2011 when he refused to take his anti-psychotic medication. During the original trial in 2008, Jordan slept outside of the courthouse only using a knapsack as a pillow and smoked hand-rolled cigarettes.
Jason R Peyton
Jennifer Aniston was granted a permanent restraining order against a crazed stalker named Jason Peyton. Peyton’s father alerted police after finding a note from his son saying he was going to California to look for Aniston. He carved “I LOVE JENNIFER ANISTON” on the side of his car.
When he was taken into custody he was carrying a sharp object, duct tape, and love notes addressed to Aniston. He said he drove across the country to find, and eventually marry the Friends star. Aniston said that she feared for her personal safety because of how delusional and dedicated he was to finding her.