Fixated Fans: Those That Went Too Far

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Most people see being a fan as a hobby – a way to celebrate and enjoy someone they like. But for some fans, it turns to obsession. This in some rare cases leads to murder.

 Christina Grimmie

Grimmie, 22, was shot and killed in 2016 while signing autographs after a performance in Orlando. She was an up-and-coming star after finishing third on The Voice. The gunman, Kevin James Loibl, developed a fixation with Grimmie and monitored her social media activity. Loibl’s infatuation saw him lose weight and alter his appearance all for Grimmie. After Grimmie’s performance, Loibl queued backstage to meet her – two guns and a knife in his pocket. Loibl shot Grimmie as she went to hug him, before turning the gun on himself. Loibl was pronounced dead at the scene and Grimmie died in hospital.

Rebecca Schaeffer

Schaeffer was a young actress in the 80s, starring in sitcom ‘My Sister Sam’ before a fan murdered her. Robert John Bardo became fixated with Schaeffer and wrote her multiple letters; Schaeffer would often respond with, ‘With love from Rebecca.’ Bardo unsuccessfully attempted to meet her twice. His fixation grew after Schaeffer appeared in a sex scene in her latest film; he hired a private detective and obtained her address. Bardo shot Schaeffer in her doorway after she told him he was wasting her time.

Gianni Versace

Fashion icon, Versace, was killed by a fan at the gates to his villa. Versace was on his way to grab a coffee and a newspaper when he was shot. Police hunted the killer for several days; when policed were about to arrest the suspect, he killed himself.

Dimebag Darrell

Darrell was on stage performing with his band when a fan shot and killed him in 2004. The killer – Nathan Gale – blamed Darrell for the break-up of his former band; he accused Darrell of stealing songs Gale thought he had written himself. Gale ran on stage shouting, ‘You broke up Pantera’ before shooting Darrell and three others.

Selena

Selena’s number one fan, Yolanda Saldívar, set up a Selena fan club, then became Selena’s boutique manager. Most importantly, she was Selena’s friend. Saldívar fixated on Selena and lured her to a hotel room with a story that she had been raped. Selena took Saldívar to the hospital and the friends later returned to the hotel room. An argument erupted and Saldívar shot Selena in the back, she died shortly after. Saldívar refused to surrender for nine hours, leading to a standoff with police.

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