The rich and famous are not the only targets — stalkers can be found in any neighborhood and town. What happens when the quest for someone's affection becomes creepy and even fatal?
"I've been receiving fan mail since I was a kid. Nothing ever really odd, just, â€˜I'm your biggest fan,' and â€˜Send me your picture,'" says Danielle Harris, who has appeared in Halloween 4, Halloween 5 and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. "Then, one fan took it too far. He began stalking me." The fan sent her 300-400 letters. "He became obsessed. He started getting mad at me for changing the way that I looked. When I was on Roseanne, I cut my hair for a role, and he didn't like that. The letters started getting really violent and sexually graphic. If I didn't do what he wanted me to do, that he was going to kill me. He would talk about where he wanted to stick a knife inside of me and how he wanted cut me up into little pieces. You feel raped. You feel totally vulnerable."
One morning, her home phone rang, and her mother answered it. "She mouthed to me, â€˜Someone's trying to kill you,'" Danielle recalls. "It was Houston police saying that there's this man who's coming to get me and bring me back with him. I was scared for my life." The police arrested him in front of her house. "He came to my house with a teddy bear in the back of his car and a shotgun and a 9mm. He was brought in and questioned and escorted back to Texas."
Danielle placed a restraining order against the man. "The day after the restraining order had expired, before the other one had gone into effect, he sent flowers to my new address, saying, â€˜I love you. Happy Birthday,' and I went, 'OK, here we go.' I just didn't think that it would happen again," she says. "I got a few letters over the years. The last letter I received from him was saying that he wanted my forgiveness because he never meant to scare me."
Danielle has changed the way she conducts her life, in an effort to deter any future stalkers. "I don't have a bill in my name. I look over my shoulder all the time. If I pull up to my house and there's a random car, I won't get out of my car. When I do travel, I travel under a different name. I know how to fight. I know how to use weapons, and I'm very aware of my surroundings," she says. "I've learned to trust my instincts. I know when something isn't right. If you feel like something's wrong, something's most likely wrong."