Celebrities lead a very privileged life, as their career brings in enormous amounts of money and status. Along with this fame, comes hoards of fans, which are welcome because without fans, fame is short-lived. However, some fans become so obsessed that they begin to stalk. Some people believe that you’re not actually famous until you have a stalker, but what happens when this obsession turns sinister and they want to kill?
Fortunately in most cases, an attempt on their obsessions life has been unsuccessful due to being apprehended. However, on a few unfortunate occasions, the stalker has actually killed.
7 John Hinckley Jr. stalker of Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster was a childhood star, acting in commercials from the age of 3. Her first major role came at 14, where she played a child prostitute in Taxi Driver. From this point in time, she had herself a stalker. John Hinckley became obsessed with her and even attended Yale, where she studied, so that he could continue to stalk her. He repeatedly sent her love letters and made contact over the phone.
His insane obsession led him to actually attempt to assassinate President Reagan in 1981, believing that this would get Jodie to fall in love with him. Hinckley was tried for his offences in 1982, however, he was found not guilty due to insanity. He was sent to a hospital in DC and has been there ever since.
Foster was hounded on campus by the media after the attempted murder and will now not speak about, or allow Hinckley’s name to be mentioned during any interviews.
6 Dawnette Knight stalker of Catherine Zeta Jones
Catherine Zeta Jones started her career on the small screen in the United Kingdom and after starring in a number of both British and American films, she made it to Hollywood.
In 1999, she started dating Michael Douglas, even though he was 25 years her senior. In 2000, they married in New York City. It was because of this marriage that Catherine Zeta Jones became the target of a lady stalker, Dawnette Knight. Knight saw Catherine as some sort of rival to her and started sending disturbing and very graphic letters of her intentions to cut up Catherine and feed her body parts to dogs.
Catherine also received death threats over the phone whilst staying in an Amsterdam hotel. Knight made allegations of being in an affair with Michael, which were denied. Eventually, Michael faced Dawnette in court when he gave evidence against her for her threats to his wife.
5 Grim LeRogue stalker of Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez can be found covering 3rd base for the New York Yankee’s. Better know as A-Rod, he is considered one of the greatest baseball players of his time. However, behind the scenes and unknowing to Alex, someone viewed him differently.
Nicknamed ‘Grim’ the name was very apt, as he led a very grim vendetta against Alex. Grim scrawled anti-Alex messages on the walls of his old apartment, beside giant posters of the player. His obsession came to a head when Grim ran onto the field during a Yankee’s game. When he was apprehended, security guards found pictures of Alex with a huge ‘x’ through his face and a threatening message saying that Alex needed to go!
He also had another picture of Cameron Diaz, who Alex was dating at the time. He informed police later that he hoped to win Diaz’s heart by getting rid of Alex.
4 Junior Bradshaw and Kevin Liverpool stalked Joss Stone
Joss Stone rose to fame in 2003 with her soulful music. A young and beautiful singer, Stone not only had one stalker but two, who worked together plotting to kill her. Their plan was to rob and kill her by decapitating her and dumping her body in a river. They could then make off with some cash and other possessions.
Chillingly in 2011, Liverpool and Bradshaw were actually found close to Stone’s residence, along with a samurai sword, hammers, knives and a bag for her body, making this threat extremely real. In the car they had notes reading ‘Jocelyn RIP’ and ‘Once Jocelyn’s dead…find a river to dump her”. The pair also seemed upset that she had been invited to the Royal wedding of Kate and William.
Fortunately for Stone, her neighbours had reported these suspicious men to the police and the men were not particularly clever at keeping a low profile either. On the way to kill Stone, they were involved in a car crash and stopped to ask for directions to her house.
3 Robert Hoskins stalker of Madonna
Madonna is a pop icon who has kept her singing and acting career at the forefront by reinventing herself over the years, and has gone from strength to strength since she made it big in the 1980’s. Her career did not go unnoticed by one particular fan, Robert Hoskins, who was persistent in stalking and threatening Madonna in 1996. He invaded her property on several occasions and delivered a note threatening to slit her throat from ear to ear. The last time he entered her property by climbing the walls, he threatened to kill Madonna unless she married him. This time he was shot by one of Madonna’s bodyguards, although he wasn't killed.
Having served his 10 years for this crime, Hoskins was arrested again and whilst being transferred to a psychiatric hospital, he escaped, meaning once again Madonna lived in fear of this dangerous man. Soon after he was arrested again and was committed back into the hospital.
2 Robert Bardo stalker and killer of Rebecca Schaeffer
Rebecca Schaeffer was a teen model turned actress. She made her name as “Patty” in the sitcom, My Sister Sam. Once this was cancelled she appeared in several films including Scenes from The Class Struggle in Beverly Hills, which turned out to be her last role.
Robert Bardo’s obsession with Rebecca had been brewing; he continued to stalk her for over 3 years before his obsession turned to murder. He had previously been obsessed with Samantha Smith, however, she had lost her life in a plane crash so he moved on to Rebecca Schaeffer. Bardo wrote numerous letters to Rebecca and turned up to meet her at Warner Bros but was turned away. This made Bardo angry, so when he turned back up a month later he was armed with a knife, however, security guards prevented him from getting to Rebecca for a second time. Bardo hired a detective agency that obtained and supplied her address to him. He visited her as he was upset and angry over what he called “losing her innocence” by appearing in bed with a male actor in her latest film.
To try and appease Bardo, Rebecca signed an autograph in the hopes he would leave but instead he shot her dead, telling her he was there to save her. Bardo was sentenced to life in jail and Rebecca’s death brought about a change in the stalking laws in California.
1 Mark Chapman stalker of John Lennon
John Lennon was and remains a household name, as a founding member of The Beatles. Mark Chapman was a huge fan of the worldwide band and actually played the guitar himself. Chapman became a born again Christian during his fascination with Lennon, so when Lennon commented that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus” he enraged the Born-Again Christians, including Chapman, who could not understand the comment and it left him extremely angry.
From this point, he became obsessed with everything Lennon had written in his songs and book, putting every lyric and word under the microscope, looking for new ways to enhance his hate. When Lennon said that he didn't believe in God, this tipped Chapman over the edge. In December, 1980 Chapman waited outside Lennon’s apartment building in New York, with a copy of The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger. In the front of the book it read, “This is my statement” signed “Holden Caulfield”. In the early evening, Chapman managed to shake hands with Lennon and asked him to sign a copy of his album. Lennon left and Chapman waited over 5 hours for his return.
On his return, Lennon walked past Chapman and as he walked toward the arch of the building, 5 shots were fired. Four had hit John Lennon, ensuring his fate. Chapman remained at the scene and read The Catcher in the Rye, in which he had written earlier, “This is my statement”.