Stalkers go back as long as famous people have been around. There’s always someone who takes admiration a step too far. Being intrigued by someone is one thing, but having an obsession for someone can cause pain in more ways than one. The 8 craziest celebrity stalkers I could find are listed below. Feel free to share any others you’ve heard of that might top this list!
8. Margaret Mary Ray
This woman was a schizophrenic patient who stalked David Letterman for quite a few years. She wanted to be his lover. Ray even stole Letterman’s Porsche, while she had her 3 year old son with her. When the police pulled her over and questioned her about the Porsche, Ray claimed to be the wife of Letterman and that the child in the car was their son. She also broke into Letterman’s home on multiple occasions. Once, Ray left an empty bottle of whiskey and cookies in Letterman’s foyer. She eventually took her own life in 1998.
7. Dawnette Knight
In 2004, this woman threatened Catherine Zeta-Jones via letters in which she stated she would cut Zeta-Jones up into pieces and feed her to the dogs. Knight also told Zeta-Jones that she knew the layout of her home and who her nanny was. She was in love with Michael Douglas and figure if she got his wife out of the way, she’d have a chance with Douglas. 3 years of jail time was served by Knight after Zeta-Jones nearly had a nervous breakdown.
6. Robert O’Ryan
Shawn Johnson was stalked by O’Ryan for a short period of time. O’Ryan had it in his head that he and Johnson were an item and even had a child together. When he was arrested, O’Ryan’s car had a roll of duct tape and 2 guns that were loaded. There was never a trial by jury, since O’Ryan pleaded guilty by reason of insanity.
5. Greg Broussard
This Louisiana native sent many letters to Halle Berry, as well as an engagement ring and a few other gifts that were deemed inappropriate. Supposedly Broussard got word from a higher source that he was supposed to marry Berry. A restraining order was issued. Broussard was supposed to be taking medication for a chemical imbalance. His own mother even called the police on him when he refused to take his meds in 2001.
4. William Lepeska
Formerly a stalker of Mel B from the Spice Girls, Lepeska stated that he was moving on to ‘greener pastures’ and began stalking tennis player Anna Kournikova. In 2005 he swam naked towards her Miami Beach home and was arrested when he arrived on the wrong pool deck. As he was being arrested, he shouted for Anna to save him. Lepeska also had a tattoo placed on his right bicep of the name ‘Anna’. He seriously thought that he and Kournikova were an item and was eventually declared unfit to stand trial.
3. Diana Napolis
Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Love Hewitt were both stalked by this woman. She would show up at various events that Hewitt was attending and would call her a murderer. Napolis threatened Spielberg about confronting him and his wife about their satanic cult activities. What? Supposedly Spielberg and his wife were able to control people’s minds by inserting soul catchers into unsuspecting individuals. Oh, and Hewitt was using mind control and trying to kill Napolis. Needless to say, Napolis was ordered to start taking her psychiatric meds and stay away from Hewitt and Spielberg.
2. Gary Benson
Jerry Lewis was stalked by Benson for many years. He was finally sent to prison after threatening Lewis and his family. Benson sent a note to the Lewis family that simply said, ‘Dear Jerry, Your Dead. Your friend, Gary Benson’. Diagnosed as having schizophrenia, Benson was known for being unpredictable. He served 4 of his 6 years of jail time, and then ended up back in jail after he violated his probation. He died in his sleep in his prison cell in 2001, due to heart disease.
1. John Hinckley
Hinckley stalked Jodie foster after seeing her in the movie Taxi Driver when she was 14 years old. He continued to stalk her until the early 80s. Hinckley moved nearby to Yale University when Foster began attending there. In order to impress Foster, Hinckley made plans to assassinate President Jimmy Carter but was arrested. He later fired shots at President Ronald Reagan and one of the shots bounced off the limo and hit Hinckley. An arrest followed this shooting as well and ended Hinckley in Washington D.C. at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. He is still at this hospital.
The 8 craziest celebrity stalkers I mentioned above all resulted in the celebrity avoiding major harm. However, there are always cases where this isn’t so, such as when Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon in 1980 and Robert John Bardo shot and killed Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989. There are stalking laws set in place, but do you think there is anything else that can be done to protect people from stalkers?
Top photo Credit: annschwaner