Hollywood Murder: Rebecca Schaeffer

I haven’t done a post on any true crime lately, so I thought I would revisit my roots. It’s no secret that I love my friend Scott’s website Find A Death, since it’s chalk full of information on celebrities’ deaths, drama, and stalkers. I have been on his tour several times and one story that always touches my heart and stays with me is that of actress Rebecca Schaeffer.

If you aren’t familiar with her, Rebecca was a young actress getting her start in Hollywood in the late 80’s. She was on a successful sitcom, “My Sister Sam,” with Pam Dauber. You might remember it. “Schaeffer quickly climbed the Hollywood ladder of success before a crazed fan, 19-year-old Robert Bardo, viciously accosted her. Bardo had been writing Schaeffer love letters for months. The actress was so thoughtful, she personally responded to each one of her fans, including Bardo (Investigation Discovery).”

“Bardo, took to wandering around her neighborhood in an attempt to locate her home. He flashed his personally autographed photograph of Rebecca to anyone who would look at him, asking if people knew where she lived. Finally he hired a private detective to get her address. The dick goes to the DMV, fills out a form, spends a buck, gets her address and provides it to her stalker. Completely legal.

On Tuesday morning, July 18, 1989. The 21 year old Schaeffer lived in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, in a Tudor style building on Sweetzer (Find A Death).”

Bardo rang the bell, Schaeffer came down to the door, since the intercom wasn’t working, and Bardo gets upset because she basically tells him to leave her alone. He leaves, then returns, rings the bell again, and this time when she opens the door, he shoots her and runs away, leaving her to die in her entryway.

“It was learned later that Bardo obtained Schaeffer’s address from a Tucson, Ariz., detective agency, which paid $250 to retrieve the address from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

After he murdered Schaeffer, Bardo hopped on a Greyhound Bus and headed back home to Tucson. Instead of returning to his house, he literally played on a freeway. Bardo, who seemed intent on killing himself, was arrested and ticketed for jaywalking.
While Bardo sat in a Tucson jail cell, a relative of his contacted the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) when she heard news of Rebecca Schaeffer’s murder. The relative informed police that the day before the murder, Bardo told her he was going to Los Angeles to visit the actress. She then told LAPD that Bardo lived in Tucson.

The young executioner was soon extradited to Los Angeles and tried for the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer. District Attorney Marcia Clark successfully prosecuted Bardo for first degree murder and he was given a sentence of life without parole. Afterward, California Gov. George Deukmejian signed a law that would give individuals the ability to prevent the DMV from releasing their personal home address (Investigation Discovery).”

How Sad? At least some good has come of her death. There are now several anti-stalking laws that are in place because of this situation.

Thoughts?

On a lighter note, don’t forget to vote for tomorrow’s post on Fine Man Friday! Polls close tonight!

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Join the Discussion!

  1. Robin

    I too remember this tragedy and loss of a beautiful talented girl! I recently heard of a short poem Ms. Schaeffer wrote about taking your hand and flying about and feeling the wonder of someone close to you. I wish I could remember this because I wanted to tell my daughter the poem. My son was killed in Afghanistan on 4/11/12 and he and my daughter were very close. This writing of Ms. Schaeffer’s touched me and I wanted to share it with my daughter. Is there someone who knows of this writing?

  2. I remember this happening. I watched her show (Really dating myself here – I had been a big Mork and Mindy fan and liked Pam Dawber) and was so sad when she was killed. Thanks for honoring her memory.

  3. I remember when this happened. It was sad then and makes me sad now to think about it. I used to watch the show she was on when this happened as well.

  4. I remember this sad event. I used to watch the show and remember seeing the news of her murder back then.
    At least something good has come out of this tragic event.
    Hope you are having a super week doll!

  5. This is weird. I was just thinking about this actress a couple of days ago. I hadn’t thought about her for years! *chills* I was remembering how she was on the cover of Seventeen and how much I loved that show she did with Pam Dawber. I think the Giffords shooting made me think of it. So sad.

  6. It’s good to post about these things, I think. People don’t really realize how serious of a problem stalking is. I try to keep my private life pretty private, but I also love sharing things with friends and family on social networking sites and the blog. Finding a happy medium is difficult and it’s got to be a million times harder when in the limelight.

    xoxo,
    Kimberly

  7. This is incredibly sad and I am happy that one good thing came out of it. There are so many stalkers out there, celebrity and otherwise…it truly is scary.

    XO,
    Jane

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