Stalking is an insidious and dangerous crime that can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or occupation. This article highlights ten real-life cases of stalkers, from infamous serial killers like Richard Ramirez to ordinary people who become obsessed with their victims. These cases show the devastating impact of stalking, from causing fear and trauma to leading to tragic outcomes such as kidnapping and murder. It is essential to understand the signs of stalking and take swift action to protect oneself and seek help. The importance of reporting stalking to authorities and seeking support from professionals cannot be overstated.
10 Terrifying True Life Cases of Stalkers
1. Richard Ramirez
Richard Ramirez, also known as the Night Stalker, was an infamous serial killer and stalker. He preyed on women in the Los Angeles area in the mid-1980s. He would break into their homes late at night and brutally attack them. He stalked his victims for months before finally attacking them, leaving them in a state of terror.
2. Margo Seltzer
Margo Seltzer is a Harvard computer science professor who had been stalked for more than two years by a former graduate student. The stalker made threatening phone calls, sent emails, and even had a GPS tracker on her car. Seltzer described the experience as a “living nightmare.”
3. Stalking a Celebrity: Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster is an Academy Award-winning actress who was stalked by a man named John Hinckley Jr. Hinckley was obsessed with Foster and tried to impress her by assassinating President Ronald Reagan. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was institutionalized.
4. The Death of Rebecca Schaeffer
Rebecca Schaeffer was an up-and-coming actress in the 1980s when she was shot and killed by a stalker named Robert John Bardo. Bardo had been stalking Schaeffer for months and became enraged when she appeared in a romantic scene in a movie. Bardo was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
5. A Stalker by Plane: Richard Bowman
Richard Bowman was an investment banker who became obsessed with a woman he met at a party. He used his private plane to stalk her and even landed on the highway in front of her car while she was driving. Bowman was eventually caught and sentenced to seven years in prison.
6. Stalking a Teenage Girl: Stephanie Slater
Stephanie Slater was a real estate agent in the UK when she was kidnapped by a stalker named Michael Sams. Sams had been stalking Slater for months before eventually breaking into her home and holding her captive for eight days. Slater managed to escape, and Sams was later caught and sentenced to life in prison.
7. Rejection and Revenge: Elliot Rodger
Elliot Rodger was a young man who was rejected by women throughout his life. He became obsessed with the idea of revenge and began stalking women, eventually going on a killing spree in Isla Vista, California. Six people were killed, and fourteen were injured.
8. Stalking a Politician: Gabrielle Giffords
Gabrielle Giffords is a former US Congresswoman who was shot in the head by a stalker named Jared Lee Loughner. Loughner had been stalking Giffords for years before eventually attacking her at a public event in 2011. Giffords survived the attack but suffered a traumatic brain injury.
9. Online Stalking: Michelle Hadley
Michelle Hadley was a victim of online stalking when an ex-boyfriend created a fake Craigslist ad soliciting rape fantasies. Hadley was bombarded with men showing up at her home, and she was ultimately arrested and charged with solicitation. The charges were dropped when it was revealed that her ex-boyfriend was the true culprit.
10. Stalking a Co-worker: Laura Black
Laura Black was a high school teacher who was stalked by a fellow teacher named Kevin Hart. Hart sent Black hundreds of text messages and even set up cameras in her classroom. Black was eventually granted a restraining order, and Hart was suspended from his job.
Stalking is a terrifying and often deadly crime that affects victims of all backgrounds. These real-life cases serve as a reminder of the dangers of stalking and the importance of taking these threats seriously. It is crucial to report any signs of stalking to authorities and seek help from support groups and professionals.