Frank Edward Hoover
Taylor Swift has had more than a few run-ins with creepy fans and stalkers, but none have been quite as terrifying as her stalker Frank Edward Hoover. However, he wasn't just a problem for the singing superstar. He also terrified her family a fair bit, too. In 2016, he was arrested for sending death threats to Swift and her family, including her father.
The letters were truly terrifying. They included lines like, "Decided that we are going to end all the Swifts on one day because I can't stand that virus sh*t your daughter spread," and "The evil family of devils: Scott, Austin, Taylor, Andrew. Sincerely, the end real son of god." Hoover was sentenced to ten years probation and GPS tracking for his crimes.
Mark Revill was a stalker who took his obsession with Keira Knightley and cats way too far. He terrorized Knightley and her family in their own home, despite the fact that she had an indefinite restraining order against him. Revill's most terrifying act was when he slipped a USB stick into her letterbox while meowing like a cat.
However, once he was apprehended, it came to light that stalking Keira Knightley was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to his crimes. Once in custody, police found more than 300 indecent photos of children on his iPad, and he was eventually charged and convicted for both producing and distributing them.
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Dana Martin, Mark Staake, and Tanner Ruane
Love him or hate him, most people agree that Justin Bieber doesn't deserve to be brutally murdered. But if his three stalkers had gotten their way, that's exactly what would have happened to the Canadian pop star. The plot of this crime was truly terrifying, but it was also pretty bizarre, as it involved three people, one of whom was planning the whole thing from prison.
Dana Martin was serving two life sentences in prison when he came up with a plan for acquaintance Mark Staake and his nephew Tanner Ruane to murder people on his behalf. Justin Bieber and his bodyguard were both intended targets on the list, and Martin had specified that the two were to be both murdered and castrated. Thankfully, the three were caught before they were able to harm anyone on the list.
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Many celebrity stalkers have clear mental problems, as evidenced by their bizarre reasons for stalking their targets, and this just makes things that much scarier and confusing for their victims. And that was exactly the case with British Beyonce stalker Bassey Essien, who claimed that the superstar was an impostor who had killed the real Beyonce.
While Essien claimed that he was merely trying to help the singer after having a dream about her, he sent her many threatening letters and made multiple attempts to get around security at her concerts. In 2009 in a UK court, Beyonce won an anti-harassment order against Essien, who was banned from contacting her or her employees.
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Joshua Corbett was a troubled man who was convicted of stalking Sandra Bullock in 2014. Corbett broke into the actress' home, all while she was hiding from the stalker and contacting the police. After his arrest, police found a notebook at his home, where he laid out plans for sexually assaulting the actress during the home invasion.
Corbett was eventually convicted and sentenced to probation and time in a mental health facility. However, this seemed to have no positive effect on the stalker. In 2014, Corbett eventually ended his own life by using a knife during a stand-off with a SWAT team.
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Michael Shawn Hunt
There's a reason why musicians have tons of security at their concerts. You never know who is going to show up. Thankfully, Lana Del Rey's stalker, Michael Shawn Hunt, wasn't able to get access to the singer when he attempted to contact her during a Florida performance. Hunt was apprehended by police just a block from the venue with a concert ticket and a knife.
Police began searching for Hunt after they were notified of troubling Facebook posts he had made about Del Rey and her upcoming performance in Florida. They included lines like, "Lana and I will be together, I will likely be going on the rest of her tour with her." He was eventually sentenced to one year in prison.
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Olympic athlete Shawn Johnson was fresh off a gold medal win when she appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2009. Little did she know that she had a stalker driving cross country in an attempt to contact her. Robert O'Ryan drove from Florida to Los Angeles and even made it on to the DWTS studio lot after claiming to hear voices instructing him to protect Johnson.
When he was apprehended, police found numerous guns in O'Ryan's car and a cryptic note that read, "No matter what happens, I will always love you." During his trial, at which Johnson testified, O'Ryan was found to be legally insane, and he was sentenced to a mental institution for five years.
John Lennon had the most tragic stalking incident, but he wasn't the only member of the Fab 4 that had to deal with obsessive, dangerous people. In 1999, long after the Beatles had broken up, a crazed fan named Cristin Keleher managed to sneak her way into George Harrison's sprawling, Hawaii mansion. And that's where things got weird.
She was discovered about an hour later by security, who found her doing laundry and cooking a pizza. Thankfully, Harrison wasn't in the home at the time. Keleher eventually spent four months in jail for stalking, but her specific motives for stalking Harrison were never adequately explained by the stalker herself. Sadly, Harrison was almost stabbed to death in the UK only a few days after this break-in.
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Love her or hate her, Kim Kardashian is one celebrity who has more than enough personal experience with the dark side of being famous. While her most traumatic incident was definitely being robbed at gunpoint in a Paris apartment in 2016, her earlier run-ins with stalker Shaun Bowman were no walk in the park either.
Bowman began tweeting his love for Kardashian in late 2009, and he even went as far as to move across the country from Georgia to L.A. in order to be closer to the reality star. Then, he began showing up to Kardashian's public appearances dressed as the Joker from Batman. Kardashian was eventually able to get a restraining order against her stalker in 2010.
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Sometimes, the creepiest celebrity stalkers aren't the ones that are the most explicitly violent. Instead, it's the ones who do bizarre things without any clear, understandable motive. And that's what happened with Brad Pitt and his stalker Athena Rolando in 1999. When she was only 19, Rolando broke into Pitt's house and made herself right at home.
Rolando managed to stay in Pitt's house for almost ten hours without being detected. She even changed into his clothes and slept in his bed. She was eventually spotted by household staff and sentenced to three years probation. Thankfully, Pitt wasn't at home at the time of the break-in.
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Margaret Mary Ray
Believing that the two were romantically involved, Margaret Mary Ray continuously harassed David Letterman. Ray was arrested multiple times after such antics as stealing the talk show host’s car and camping out on his tennis court. When he was leaving NBC, Letterman joked that he needed to “send change-of-address forms to that woman who breaks into my house.”
However, Letterman wasn't the only star who had problems with Ray stalking them. After she was released from a psychiatric hospital (due to her stalking Letterman), Ray became obsessed with former astronaut Story Musgrave. She even went as far as to pretend to be a reporter in order to get closer to him. She eventually served jail time for trespassing in Musgrave's Florida home.
After Matthew Hooker repeatedly called Nicole Kidman’s house and sent her love poems, Kidman pressed charges saying that it was a safety issue. When Kidman filed a restraining order, Hooker said that it was simply to hide her feelings for him and to ruin his (nonexistent) political career.
Hooker would go on to face more legal troubles, but his crimes were unrelated to stalking Kidman. Instead, Hooker was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon after smashing a glass into a woman's face at a bar. It's abundantly clear that Hooker has some serious issues and is a danger to other people.
Reverend David Ajemian
In 2007, Conan O’Brien was berated with threatening letters from Reverend David Ajemian. Ajemian would end his notes with phrases such as “your priest stalker” and “remember, Frank Costello once dodged a bullet in your building and so can you.” After going to court, Ajemian agreed to a restraining order.
Ajemian was formerly a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston, but he was eventually removed from public ministry after his arrest for stalking. The former reverend claimed that his strange and dangerous behavior was due to alleged stimulants provided to him by a doctor, but this has never been proven to be the case.
In an extremely misguided attempt to win the heart of Uma Thurman, Jack Jordan sent the actress violent drawings and sexually explicit messages. In 2008, Jordan was arrested for stalking Thurman. He went to jail in 2010 for violating his parole and again the following year for refusing to take antipsychotic medication.
Jordan stated that his infatuation with Thurman began when she appeared in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and only got stronger after her iconic role in the Kill Bill series. The stalker went as far as contacting friends, family, and employees of Thurman in order to get closer to the actress.
After having a vision that told him Olivia Newton-John was in love with him, Ralph Nau journeyed to her native country (Australia) to track her down. He was then convinced that the singer had been replaced by an imposter. Upon returning to the United States, Nau murdered his step-brother with an axe, believing that he had been turned into an animal.
However, this wasn't the only terrifying stalker that Olivia Newton-John has had to deal with in her life. In fact, before Nau began stalking her, she was being terrorized by Michael Owen Perry. When Perry was eventually arrested, he confessed that he had murdered several family members for trying to prevent him from stalking the actress.
Obsessed with Michael Douglas, Dawnette Knight made it clear that she wanted to get his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, out of the picture. Knight harassed the couple, even going so far as to say that she was going to chop Zeta-Jones up and feed her to her dogs. Knight was sentenced to three years in prison for stalking.
After serving her time, Knight began living in Los Angeles and only twenty-five miles from Douglas' and Zeta-Jones home. Despite this suspicious move, it does not appear that Knight has engaged in stalking the Hollywood couple or anyone else. Regardless, Douglas issued a public statement saying they would take appropriate precautions to keep their family safe.
Dante Michael Soiu
In addition to sending her five letters a day, Dante Michael Soiu mailed Gwyneth Paltrow boxes of pornography, a vibrator, and showed up at her parents’ home. Soiu even said that he planned to use “God’s scalpel” to “cut the sin” out of Paltrow. He was declared insane and hospitalized.
However, that did not stop Soiu, who continued to send unwanted correspondence to Paltrow. He was eventually charged with stalking the actress (again). Despite his previous interactions with the actress, he was acquitted of felony stalking during his trial. Soiu claimed that his new letters to Paltrow were about seeking her forgiveness.
John Hinckley, Jr.
John Hinckley, Jr. became obsessed with Jodie Foster after seeing her portrayal of a young prostitute in Taxi Driver. While Foster was at Yale, Hinckley enrolled at the university so that he could stalk her. He then tried to gain her favor by attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Hinckley was sentenced to be treated at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.
In 2016, a judge declared that Hinckley could be released from the hospital, but there were a number of stipulations involved in his release--including that he live with his mother and abstain from traveling more than 30 miles without a chaperone. However, in 2021 another judge ruled that Hinckley could be released without any of these conditions.
Mark David Chapman
“Because he was very famous,” Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon outside of his New York City apartment in 1980. Chapman shot Lennon five times and then remained at the scene reading The Catcher in the Rye. After abstaining from an insanity plea, Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
Since his imprisonment, Chapman has been up for parole eleven times, but he has been denied it every time. During his early years in prison, Chapman said he felt regret for the murder and refused media interviews because he did not want people to think that he killed Lennon for fame and notoriety.
As Selena gained popularity, Yolanda Saldivar was given permission to start a fan club for her. In 1995, it was discovered that Saldivar was using the club to embezzle money. She was subsequently fired. When Selena met with Saldivar at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Saldivar ended the singer’s life.
When Saldivar went on trial for the murder, it only took the jury three hours to return with a guilty verdict. She was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 30 years. This means that Saldivar will be eligible for release in early 2025, but it's unknown at this time if her request will be denied or approved.