April 20, 2014

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Actress’ Stalker-Murderer Stabbed in Prison

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Tim Reiterman
Los Angeles Times
 
   SAN FRANCISCO — An inmate serving a life sentence for the stalking murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989 was stabbed repeatedly by another inmate on Friday, state prison officials said.
   The slaying of Schaeffer, who was stalked for years prior to being shot at her Los Angeles apartment, helped prompt anti-stalking laws.
   Her convicted killer, Robert John Bardo, 37, received 11 stab and puncture wounds Friday at Mule Creek State Prison in Amador County. He was then airlifted in stable condition to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment before being returned to the prison, officials said.
   Citing privacy rules, hospital officials said they could not confirm or deny that Bardo was a patient or discuss his condition.
   Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials said the stabbing occurred on the yard, while inmates were on their way to breakfast at about 6:20 a.m.
   Two inmate-made weapons were recovered at the stabbing scene. The suspect in the attack was identified as a 49-year-old prisoner serving an 82-year-to-life sentence for second-degree murder in Los Angeles County.
   Prior to that 2003 conviction, officials said the suspect received a two-year sentence in 1991 for weapons possession by a prisoner and a 15-year sentence in 1990 for voluntary manslaughter, both Los Angeles County cases.
   Bardo was housed on a maximum-security unit for inmates with sensitive needs, including former gang members, notorious prisoners and those convicted of sex crimes.
   “We have a number of high-notoriety cases, so we cannot jump to the conclusion as to whether his notoriety was a factor in the attack,” said Chris Weathersbee, the prison’s public information officer. The attack is under investigation.
   Schaeffer was a former teen model who co-starred in “My Sister Sam,” a situation comedy that ran in the late 1980s.
   According to trial testimony, Bardo, then 19 and living in Tucson, Ariz., was obsessed with Schaeffer, sent her letters and tried to visit her. He obtained her address through a private detective, who got it from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
   Bardo shot the actress when she answered her door on July 18, 1989. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 1991.
   Schaeffer’s death led to tighter restrictions on public access to DMV records.
   Reached at their home in Portland, Ore., Schaeffer’s parents noted that the anniversary of Rebecca’s death had just passed and they were trying to focus on fond memories of their daughter.
   When told about the stabbing, her father, Benson Schaeffer said, “My thought is that Bardo remains as disturbed as he was when he murdered Rebecca.
   ”I suspect that the disturbance is somehow related to what happened,“ said Schaeffer, who is a psychologist. ”But I do not know how.“