David Parker Ray: Evil in the Desert
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Crime

Most Evil: Stalkers

Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them. The word stalking is used, with some differing meanings, in psychology and psychiatry and also in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense.

According to a 2002 report by the National Center for Victims of Crime, "Virtually any unwanted contact between two people [that intends] to directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear can be considered stalking" although in practice the legal standard is usually somewhat stricter.

Richard Wade Farley (born July 25, 1948) is an American convicted mass murderer. A former employee of ESL Incorporated in Sunnyvale, California, he stalked co-worker Laura Black for four years beginning in 1984. Black obtained a temporary restraining order against him on February 2, 1988, with a court date set for February 17, 1988 to make the order permanent.

On February 16, 1988, Farley shot and killed seven people at ESL and wounded four others, including Black. He was convicted of seven counts of first degree murder, and is currently on death row at San Quentin.

Robert John Bardo (born January 2, 1970) is an American man serving life imprisonment without parole after being convicted in October 1991 for the murder of American actress Rebecca Schaeffer on July 18, 1989, whom he had stalked for three years beforehand.

Mark David Chapman (born May 10, 1955) is an American prison inmate who was convicted for murdering John Lennon on December 8, 1980. Chapman shot Lennon outside The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Chapman fired at Lennon five times, hitting him four times in his back. Chapman later remained at the scene reading J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye until the police arrived and arrested him. Chapman repeatedly claimed that the novel was his statement.

Chapman’s legal team put forward an insanity defense based on expert testimony that he was in a delusional and possibly psychotic state at the time, but nearing the trial, Chapman told his lawyer that he wanted to plead guilty based on what he had decided was the will of God. Judge Edwards allowed the plea change without further psychiatric assessment, and sentenced Chapman to a prison term of 20 years to life with a stipulation that mental health treatment be provided. Chapman was imprisoned in 1981 and has been denied parole seven times amidst campaigns against his release.

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