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