5 Absolutely Bananas Celebrity Stalker Tales You've Never Heard
Whenever you hear a celebrity complain about how hard being famous is, you probably want to punch them square in the dick. (A high volume of fan mail isn't a real problem!) But they're not always talking about the pains of having to turn off notifications on their tweets. Sometimes, they're talking about having to turn off the lights and hide under the bed, because a crazed fan has broken into their home with an axe and is whistling "Three Blind Mice" as they come near.
A Dinosaur Fan, Armed With Blades, Was Convinced Steven Spielberg "Wanted" Him To Rape Him
We at Cracked have long observed the booming field of dinosaur erotica with great appreciation. Every time you hear about a new fetish, you have to balance your reaction between "Ah! That's hilarious!" and "Ew. That's creepy," but not so with dinophilia. The dino fetishist, you see, has no chance of acting on their fantasy because dinosaurs don't exist, and anyway, the T. rex's arms are so short. In that sense, dinosaur fans are the least sexually threatening people of all. Or so we thought, until we learned of Jonathan Norman.
Norman indeed liked dinosaurs, judging by the all the cutout pictures of dinosaurs police found in his car when they arrested him in 1997, and from the car's Jurassic Park decal. He also really liked Steven Spielberg. In fact, he believed Spielberg wanted Norman to rape him. To which you might say, "Norman, that's not what 'rape' means," but Norman understood the basics of what rape means just fine, which was why he repeatedly tried breaking into Spielberg's home armed with a knife, razor blades, handcuffs, and masking tape. Prosecutors called his arsenal a rape kit. To which you might say, "Prosecutor, that's not what 'rape kit' means," but you get what they meant, and to make the proposed crime even grimmer, the perp carried a list of Spielberg's family and friends.
Norman's plan, said police, was to tie up the whole family and then have his way with Spielberg while his wife watched. After his second failed break-in attempt, however, police caught sight of him and gave chase. We're still talking about this case 20 years later because the target was the famous Steven Spielberg, but at the time, don't think this case got extra publicity because of the victim's fame. Just the opposite happened: Spielberg's people tried their best to keep it quiet, and the Los Angeles Times had to launch a special investigation over the course of months to figure out what was going on.
Spielberg, in Ireland to shoot Saving Private Ryan, later became paranoid that his stalker might have followed him overseas. What if he had disguised himself as one of the film's many extras? What if he used a costume to conceal a gun and approached the director armed? But those fears came to end when Norman was sentenced to 25 years and wound up in a mental health facility. Which means he's due to be released in, oh, a couple more years now, by which time Jurassic World: Dominion will be the big dino movie.
A Crazy Canadian Failed To Prove Keanu Reeves Fathered Her Children (Then Accused Him Of Hypnosis)
Keanu Reeves grew up in Toronto. That much is fact. But if you believe the account of fellow Ontarian Karen Sala -- and, let's just say this upfront, you absolutely should not believe the account of Ontarian Karen Sala -- he did not go by "Keanu Reeves" back then. He called himself Marty Spencer and various other names, under which he forged a long sexual relationship with Karen Sala. Sometimes, he came to her in disguise, sometimes as her husband. He fathered one or more of her four children and was present (in disguise) at one or more of their births.
In 2009, Sala sued Reeves for child support. Retroactive child support for her now-twentysomething children, pushing the sum she was demanding into the millions. Clearly, this was just a crazy person who deserved no benefit of the doubt, but Reeves didn't merely ask everyone to ignore the accusations. He took a paternity test, which proved his innocence definitively. Sala, in a total Karen move, remained unsatisfied. She claimed Reeves had manipulated the test remotely using hypnosis and demanded he give her a second DNA sample so she could run a test of her own. His lawyer shut down that request, shivering thinking about her true plans for the DNA, and a judge dismissed the lawsuit.
In recent years, Keanu Reeves has gained a reputation for maintaining a respectful distance from fans, though never appearing unfriendly. For starters, it appears that he avoids actually touching anyone who takes photos with him:
And we got a very revealing look into him at last year's E3 conference. He came onstage unexpectedly and said the game he was hyping would be breathtaking. An audience member called out, "You're breathtaking." Keanu countered, "YOU'RE breathtaking" -- and then quickly corrected himself to collectively address the whole crowd with, "You're ALL breathtaking." That's the instinctive action of someone who's trained himself not to direct affection at individual fans. Which could just be a response to today's climate ... or it could be the response of someone who knows what happens when a fan thinks you love them.
David Letterman's Stalker Was Later Jailed For Stalking An Astronaut Too
Margaret Mary Ray is the most well-known of the stalkers we're looking at today, but few people know how her story ended. Ray stalked David Letterman, an obsession that went on for years and was more of a running joke than a serious threat. The public first learned of it when, one day in 1988, she stole David Letterman's Porsche. She got caught because she had no change to pay the Lincoln Tunnel toll, and when police questioned her, she said she was Mrs. Letterman, and her three-year-old son in the car with her was David's son.
She broke onto Letterman's property again and again as the years went by. One time, she convinced men painting the place that she was the housekeeper. Another time, police found her asleep next to the tennis court. One night, Letterman was in bed with someone and looked up to see Ray was in the hallway watching them. He never pressed charges against the clearly mentally ill woman (we mean Ray, not his bed mate), but police still repeatedly arrested her, sending her sometimes to prison, sometimes to a hospital.
By the early '90s, Letterman switched networks to CBS, and Ray switched targets, now fixating on Story Musgrave, an astronaut who'd traveled on every Space Shuttle. She kept sending him letters and packages (she'd sent Letterman packages too -- cookies and an empty whiskey bottle), and then she came to his house and turned the faucets on. Her stint as a wet bandit wasn't the closest she got to him: She also went to the Johnson Space Center pretending to be a reporter, so she could interview him. Musgrave gave her the interview all right, though he was a little confused over her not taking any notes.
Ray announced that she and Musgrave were collaborating on a book, which wasn't even slightly true. In the end, Musgrave did press charges, which might have been for the best since it led to an especially long stint in psychiatric care, and she seemed to have her schizophrenia under control for a bit. It didn't last. In 1998, she kneeled on the tracks in front of an oncoming coal train and died. Various people wondered what they could have done differently to prevent that. Letterman could have married her, we suppose, but that would have been a lot to ask of him.
A Priest Stalked Conan O'Brien And May Have Planned To Kill Him
You might notice that the celebrities in this article share a distinctly male vibe. Rest assured that this is not because stalkers exclusively target men. If anything, it's because creepy fan obsession with female celebrities is so expected, to the point that when an incident does come off as notable, it's probably going to be less "this celeb had a chilling near miss" and more a depressing case of "the murder was horrific, and the funeral was on Tuesday." So, let's set aside for a moment stories that ended too awfully for the victim and instead think about gangly Conan O'Brien being chased by a deluded priest.
The priest was David Ajemian, who said he'd followed Conan's career ever since their college days -- both graduated Harvard, Ajemian two years ahead of Conan. But by 2007, he'd grown bitter because he was unable to get on the man's talk show. It wasn't clear whether he was unable to figure out how to get in line to be an audience member or if he wanted to be a guest despite having no reason to be invited as one. "I'm told by some of those officious little usher people that you're overbooked," he said in one of his many letters to both Conan and his wider family. "Is this the way you treat your most dangerous fans?"
"I want a public confession before I even consider giving you absolution," he also wrote, which could totally be a priest just dropping some priestly humor but also sounds like the ravings of a priest-themed serial killer. Perhaps realizing he sounded threatening, he later clarified, "I am not Seung Cho," namedropping the Virginia Tech shooter in a completely failed attempt to dispel fear. Also utterly failing to argue that he wasn't plotting a murder: "Even if I did once look out on that dark and dreaded doorway on West 72 Street, remember Frank Costello once dodged a bullet in your building, and so can you."
The real last straw came when Ajemian apparently followed Conan to Italy -- he sent Conan's home address a postcard from the small Italian town they both were in. Police arrested him (he'd conveniently referred to himself as "your priest stalker" in letters), and he pleaded guilty. A couple years later, he became determined to tell his side of the Conan story, so he pursued a news anchor named Anthony Everett, finally telling police that he planned on visiting the man's home. Police informed him that he wasn't succeeding at defending himself from the old stalking allegations and was instead engaging in what is known as stalking, so they arrested him again.
A Self-Described Witch Conned Eric Clapton Into Mystic Treatments And To Come Have Sex With Her
In 1987, Eric Capton's wife Pattie Boyd left him. If the history of rock is any indication, this was a devastating loss. Boyd was the inspiration behind Clapton's "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight," as well as The Beatles' "Something" and The Rolling Stones' "Mystifies Me" and "Breathe On Me." Clapton fell into a deep funk, the kind that involves Olympic volumes of alcohol. But then he received a call from a stranger. It was a nightclub singer named Alina Morini, and she said she had the secret for how he could win his wife back.
How? wondered Clapton. Maybe he could try not raping her this time and also not cheating on her with other women? No, said Morini -- the secret was magic, for Morini was a mistress of the mystic arts. Every time midnight came, she'd give him an incantation to recite. He'd also have to take baths using the herbs she prescribed. Then to really get the spells working, he would carve his and Pattie's names onto a crucifix and then cut himself and smear it with his own blood.
Eric listened, and Eric obeyed. Still, Pattie Boyd did not return to him. So Morini brought out deeper magic from before the dawn of time: Clapton would have to sleep with a virgin. Conveniently, Morini herself happened to be a virgin. So Eric Clapton traveled from London to New York, slept with her -- according to Clapton, "she was an extremely strange-looking woman, quite fat with bright red hair" -- then returned home. And from this point, Morini's role as magical advisor slipped away, and she turned into a more conventional stalker. She followed him back to England and tailed him to concerts, in restaurants, and out on the street.
Then Morini went to the tabloids with an announcement: She was carrying Eric Clapton's baby. She ordered a photoshoot to show off her visible baby bump, and the news couldn't have done much to heal the man's marriage (among their many issues, he and Boyd had been unable to have children). This wasn't a Keanu baby mamma/Mrs. Letterman situation -- Morini and Clapton really had slept together, so maybe he really would have to step up and be a dad. But then one day in public, her baby bump shifted out of place. She wasn't pregnant; she'd just stuffed a pillow under her dress. Because here's the twist absolutely none of you saw coming: Alina Morini, it turns out, was a fraud.
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