Stalkers of the Rich & Famous


Recently, Charles Nagle of Philadelphia had charges filed against him regarding stalking Law and Order: Criminal Intent actress Kathryn Erbe. The indictment states that Nagel “intended to harass and cause substantial emotional distress” to Erbe by sending her lengthy emails and a seven page handwritten letter, just to name a few. In November 2009, Chidi Benjamin Uzomah, Jr. was arraigned on felony charges of stalking and attempted disobeying of a court order involving American Idol host Ryan Seecrest.  If those incidents aren’t bad enough, there are now iPhone apps that allow someone to find out when a favorite celebrity is in town and at a restaurant or nightclub. The apps are CelebAround and Papture. CelebAround delays its feed, but Papture provides news of celebrity visits in real time.

These things can makes a person want to forsake technology and become a hermit, so as not to learn about the latest celebrity stalking incident. Still, what sets a devoted fan apart from a celebrity stalker? Does writing at length about the stars of Twilight on a blog make a person a stalker?

Thankfully no. According to experts, stalkers have the following traits:

  • They are loners who consider the celebrity their “friend”.
  • They do many things to get the attention of the celebrity, such as mailing sex toys in the case of one stalker to swimming across Biscayne Bay and attempting to climb up to the deck of a celebrity’s house in another case.
  • They not only attempt to live out their fantasies, but expect the celebrity to play their role and fall in love with them after the stalker has “proven” his or her love.
  • In some instances it escalates into violence, as in the case of Mark David Chapman. He stalked ex-Beatle John Lennon and killed him in 1980.

As horrible, and in some cases comical, the actions of these stalkers are, it is also sad. For most people, they either ignore the celebrity chatter or get their fix and move on with their lives. These stalkers have no real life. They arrange their lives around the comings and goings of a celebrity and they somehow believe that the particular celebrity loves them, as much as they do. Of course, that is not the case and for whatever reason the stalker doesn’t understand that.

Yes, what the stalker is doing is wrong and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Still, I can’t help but feel badly for the stalker. They cannot function in the real world. So, they live in a world of fantasy where they and the celebrity are the stars. When they try to make it real, trouble follows and, unfortunately,  sometimes there’s tragedy, as well.

Note: Any iPhone apps are mentioned in this blog entry are for informational purposes. It is not to be taken as an endorsement. Nor am I endorsing the use of these apps or anything else for the purposes of stalking, harassment or other illegal behavior.

Sources:

http://www.readmetro.com/show/en/Philadelphia/20100623/2/2/

http://www.readmetro.com/show/en/Philadelphia/20100622/2/2/

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/11/05/celebrity.stalkers/index.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/apr/08/privacy-paparazzi-papture-iphone

http://www.utc.edu/Outreach/TransformationProject/stalkingbehaviors.php

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/24425310

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