Stalkers are more common than you might think. Though these obsessive individuals tend to gravitate toward the famous, anyone can be stalked at any time with no real reasoning behind it. It is helpful that in an effort to understand why someone might be stalked, you look at the different reasons why someone might experience the obsessive behavior that leads to stalking and Celebrity Stalkers.
What is Stalking?
In order to understand stalking you should first take the time to briefly understand what it means to stalk someone. Stalking is defined as the pursuit or approach to another person in a stealthy manner. This means sneaking up on someone, following them without their knowledge, or following someone with the knowledge and effort required to keep them from knowing that you are doing it. This can also mean to stride in a stiff, angry manner, which can also relate directly to stalking another person. In instances where a person is stalked, the person is generally pursued by another without their consent, knowledge or any real agreement that it is OK for them to be followed.
Generally stalkers are loners of a sort and they tend to keep to themselves. In most cases, a stalker is going to go out of the way to keep their stalking under wraps until a time when they want to gain ultimate control and power over the person that they are following. In many cases, stalking is not about love or lust but rather about controlling another person. Ultimately, the stalker gains the upper hand and becomes the more powerful of the two. Because the person being stalked may not know where their stalker is at any given time, they often revert to a feeling of fear, panic and helplessness, all of which make them even more vulnerable to the stalker.
Though it may seem as though the intent of the stalker is to harm the other person, it is often just a game of cat and mouse that gives the stalker the feeling of intense power or superiority. In some cases, the stalker may take the time and effort to make sure the person they are following is aware of their being followed so that they can again, gain the upper hand. In many cases, the person doing the stalking knows the other person and feels as if they have been spurned by them at some point. In cases where the individual doing the stalking and the person being stalked do not know one another, the person being stalked is almost always a celebrity or famous figure.
In cases of celebrity stalking, the stalker may take the time to create a relationship with the celebrity in their mind. Though they may have never met, the stalker will imagine that they are friends or even romantically involved with the celebrity. This in their mind makes it OK to follow the other person in an effort to get closer and become part of their life. There are far more cases of celebrity stalking than you might imagine. Though there are a few that are highly publicized each year, there are far more that go undocumented but that are still threatening.
Prosecution for Stalking
At this point in time there is really not much that a judge can do to protect a person that is being stalked from their stalker. Unless there is a physical threat presented it is difficult even to get a restraining order against someone else. That being said, it is also very difficult to get a restraining order that is going to be held up in court. In many cases, stalkers knowingly violate orders of protection claiming that they had no idea the person they were stalking would be there. This is yet another ploy to get power as it shows the person being stalked that even a court order cannot protect them.
Other means of protection are things like protection programs and police details but these are only used in very extreme circumstances. For most people that suffer from stalking, there is little that the law can do to really and truly protect them. In the case of the celebrity stalker however, they can often quickly and efficiently deal with the problem then hire security guards to protect them.
Famous Stalker Cases
Celebrity stalkers go way back but today more than ever with the internet and other methods of quick location and communication, stalkers are more prevalent than ever. Selena Gomez recently won a suit against her stalker and obtained a restraining order and more security. Her stalker claimed that he had been talking with God about Selena and her place in the universe. Mark Zuckerburg, though he is not your typical glamorous celebrity also had to fight it out with a stalker from his past that followed him and his wife. Jennifer Lopez has been fighting with the same stalker for years and has had to continually keep her restraining orders renewed to keep the stalker at bay.
Sportscaster Erin Andrews had an especially scary run in with her stalker. The man allegedly planted cameras in her hotel room and caught pictures of her showering, changing, and relaxing. Andrews fought to get the pictures suppressed and to get the man prosecuted on criminal charges for taking the pictures. Gwyneth Paltrow was stalked by Dante Michael Soiu who wrote her various letters every day and then even located the actresses parents home and visited them. He has since been declared legally insane and is currently hospitalized for his illness.
Conan Obrien also suffered at the hands of a stalker who was also an ordained catholic priest. The stalker tried to gain access to the studio where Conan taped his show. Uma Thurman was stalked by a man that mailed her sexually explicit drawings and letters. Michael Douglas was stalked by a woman that claimed she wanted to chop Douglas’s wife Catherine Zeta Jones into small pieces then feed her to her hungry dogs. David Letterman’s stalker broke into his home on multiple occasions and was later diagnosed as a schizophrenic. She later committed suicide in 1998.
There are countless other instances where celebrities fall prey to stalkers that feel they are entitled to the love and affections of these celebrities. Though it may seem as though these people are insane beyond the point of helping, in most cases, they do not realize that they are doing anything wrong. Most celebrities will experience a stalker every now and again, in most cases, these stalkers are somewhat harmless and pose no real threat. In other cases however, they end in murder.
Celebrity Stalker Cases that Have Led To Death
One stalker case that shook the world was the murder of Latino pop star, Selena. Yolanda Saldivar stalked and then murdered Selena in cold blood. Saldivar was president of Selena’s fan club, was given an executive position managing a line of boutiques that Selena owned, and was even in personal confidence with the singer. She was later found to be embezzling money from the singer and was then let go. After that, she stalked and followed the signer before eventually shooting her in a Texas motel.
Another case where a stalker turned murderer is Robert John Bardo. He stalked and eventually murdered Rebecca Schaeffer. Bardo stalked Schaeffer for three years before the fatal attack. The actress was just rising to fame from her show My Sister Sam when she opened the door to her stalked. Bardo had been following and obsessing over Schaeffer for some time before he decided to confront her. Bardo came to her apartment with a gun in tow and knocked on the door. She opened it and he shot her point blank. Over a period of months, Bardo had watched and documented her movements so he knew when she was home and when he could find her. He said that the attack was due to the fact that Schaeffer never answered the numerous fan letters that he sent her.
Another celebrity stalker case that led to injury was John Hinckley Jr. who shot President Ronald Reagan to impress actress Jodi Foster. Though Reagan survived, he was injured. Hinckley enrolled in Yale to impress Foster and to be close to her, he watched her and followed her, and he even developed the notion that to get her attention he would have to kill someone of great importance. Hinckley shot Reagan and two other men of importance but all survived the attack. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Mark David Chapman is perhaps one of the most famous celebrity stalkers and murderers as he stalked and eventually killed John Lennon. Chapman followed Lennon for some time and eventually found where he lived, Chapman waited outside the apartment for Lennon to come out and when he did he shot him point blank. Chapman stated that he had killed Lennon because he believed he was a hypocrite and that he did not align with his values anymore. Chapman waited patiently for police and emergency vehicles to arrive while he read Catcher in the Rye on a park bench.
What Can You Do If You Are Being Stalked
There are a few different things that you can do if you are being stalked. Though legal action is a true means to an end, it may not be the best first step. Often legal action can only be taken when there is proof of stalking and in some cases that time is already too late. The first step that anyone that believe they are being stalked should do is find someone to stay with. There is safety in numbers and if you feel as though you are in danger, it is best to find someone you trust that can stay with you until legal action can be taken.
In cases where you are being followed, make sure you are never alone, make sure you stay in well lit and well populated places, and make sure that you have a cell phone or other means of contacting help on you at all times. Another thing you can do is to find a friend or family member that can stay with you to give you some added protection and security. In most cases if you are being followed, the only way legal action can be taken is if you have substantial proof that you are in danger.
In cases where physical things are being mailed or given to you it may be much easier to get a restraining or protective order. Physical evidence always makes for a much more compelling case. If you have letters or voice mails that a stalker is leaving you that make you feel threatened, make sure you save your evidence to give to a judge or jury.
In cases where you feel threatened and have received threats it is always best to contact law enforcement immediately. If you feel as though your life is in danger you should get help as soon as possible. Though it may seem like you should take the time to collect evidence, it is always more important to be safe and feel safe.
If you or someone you know or love is being stalked it is always best to get help. The police can help collect evidence and can help get you the protection that you need to stay safe even in cases of stalking. Though it may seem like you are helpless, you can always find someone to help you and to get rid of stalkers. It is always best to take the time to really figure out who a stalker is and to get legal help so that you can feel safe again. Stalkers are a very serious business and though it may seem like you can handle things on your own, police and law enforcement are trained professionals that can help keep you safe no matter what. Legal action is always the safest and most fool proof way to stay safe.