(that’s Prince Albert with the young Victoria, not the stalker)
The first celebrity stalker in recorded history was a 14-year-old who snuck into Buckingham Palace and stole Queen Victoria’s underwear. “The Boy Jones”, as they called him, actually broke into the palace several times before he was shipped off to Australia. His visits were fairly benign – unlike modern celebrity stalkers, he didn’t think he and the Queen were destined to be together, nor did he want to kill her, but he did want to sit on the throne, read her books, and go through her things. And steal her panties. According to Jan Bondeson, who is writing a book on the subject, “He was so famous in his time that he was hounded through the whole of his life. People would follow him shouting: ‘There’s the boy who went to visit the Queen.'”Jones broke in three times between 1838 and 1841, and was caught and booted out each time. Apparently he told them that he’d ‘always wished to see the palace’.
Celeb: Anna Kournikova
Stalker: William Lepeska, “The Naked Water Ninja”
According to William Lepeska, he wasn’t always in love with Anna Kournikova. He was also in love with Scary Spice for five years. Oh, that makes it better. But it seems like Kournikova was a bigger prize than Mel B. In 2005, Lepeska, a 40-year old homeless man, swam totally naked across Biscayne Bay trying to get to Anna Kournikova’s Florida home. He didn’t quite find her house, poor guy, but he did make it close, within three houses of hers, and proceeded to hang out by the pool in the nude, waiting for his love. When the police arrested him, he apparently yelled out, “Anna, save me!” Good luck with that, buddy.
Celeb: John Lennon
Stalker: Mark David Chapman, “Evil Holden Caulfield”
Sigh. This one is the worst, as we all know. In December of 1980, Mark Chapman reports going to New York City to kill John Lennon, claiming that while he was there he re-enacted scenes from Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. On December 8th, he bought a copy of the book and wrote “this is my statement” inside, signing it “Holden Caulfield”. Then he wait to go loiter outside of The Dakota, waiting for Lennon to come out. He saw Lennon and members of his family more than once, even shaking Lennon’s hand and having him sign his new record Double Fantasy for him before driving off. Chapman said, “At that point my big part won and I wanted to go back to my hotel, but I couldn’t. I waited until he came back. He knew where the ducks went in winter, and I needed to know this”, a Catcher reference. When Lennon returned, Chapman shot him four times, then sat down and read The Catcher in the Rye as Lennon was dying on the ground, and didn’t stop until the police arrived. Chapman became eligible for parole in 2000 and has been denied six times since then, the last being in September 2010. Good.
Celeb: George Harrison
Stalker: Cristin Keleher, “Hungry Hungry Psycho”
In 1999, Cristin Keleher snuck into George Harrison’s Hawaii home, cooked herself one of his frozen pizzas and sat around eating it, drinking one of his root beers (side note: George Harrison was 56, still eating like a teenage pop star). She then did her laundry and called her mom before being caught by Harrison’s security staff. Has a more bizarrely mundane stalking ever taken place?
Celeb: Tom Jones
Stalker: “Dirty Dan”
Tom Jones’s stalker harassed him throughout one of his Welsh tours, coming to multiple shows and throwing dirty underwear and a condom full of semen at him while he was on stage. Before his last engagement, he found that his beloved codpiece had been stolen. Jones said, “It was just about the final straw, I mean, my act is nothing without that thing down my trousers – its what the audience come for. It was hand-crafted from black leather for me by Austrian artisans,” he says. “In the end I had to go on stage with half a dozen rolled up rugby socks down my trousers. It just wasn’t the same – my groin looked too lumpy and my thrusting just wasn’t energetic enough! Several members of the audience left early!” Luckily, after analyzing the aforementioned semen, police found the codpiece – the thief, a sex-offender and Tom Jones impersonator, had built a shrine to it in his extra bedroom. Yuck.
We know there are a million more stories out there — what have we missed? Let us know your favorites in the comments!