Transcript for Tucson man develops dangerous obsession with Rebecca Schaeffer: Part 3
Seresto, Seresto, Seresto. 11 minutes before the hour right now, there is a brand new face on television this year, of an awfully successful new face. The sitcom "My sister Sam" has worked out very well indeed for Rebecca Schaeffer, it's the highest rated new series of CBS and the network has now renewed it for next year. You've got to be happy you're on television with "My sister Sam." Yes. It's like a skyrocket for your young career, isn't it? It's gone great so far, I really like working on the show. Her life is experiencing one breakthrough after another while her career is growing and growing. Meanwhile in Tucson there's a 19-year-old man who seems to be going nowhere. He's a custodian in a fast food restaurant. He's a loner. He has no friends. Robert Bardo was a troubled young man. There's a history of a troubled childhood. He had threatened neighbors and schoolmates. There is some indication that he had been picked on and abused. Robert Bardo became enamored with Rebecca Schaeffer because of "My sister Sam." Back in the summer of 1986, when I was watching TV shows like "Magnum P.I.," the commercial for "My sister Sam" came up and that's when I first saw her. I kind of get a kick out of having my kid sister living with me. I mean of course it has its disadvantages. That's what got me curious about her then I'd watch the show and she's very outgoing and bubbly and everything. What we find is the ones that are perceived as more approachable, likable, down to Earth, innocent even, those tend to be the people that some stalkers get focused in upon. I had videotaped the show on vhs. I had videotaped parts of when she was on the CBS parades. Good morning, and welcome to Detroit. This little cutie pie next to me is Rebecca Schaeffer, she is Patti russel on "My sister Sam" on CBS. Hi. This handsome guy next to me is Joe penny. She's with an actor Joe penny and they were hosting the Thanksgiving parade for CBS. Robert John Bardo wrote an number of fans letters to Rebecca Schaeffer and she responded to one of them by saying, "Yours was one of the nicest that I got." In Bardo's mind, this letter and this picture confirms for him what he had been believing or hoping, that she reciprocates these feelings for him. So ultimately, his sort of, you know, fandom of Rebecca Schaeffer becomes worship of Rebecca Schaeffer. And then it becomes an obsession. And eventually he decides he has to meet her. The summer of 1987, I took a plane there to the Burbank airport and then it took me, I took a taxi. I had -- I rented a weekly hotel, and I tried to see her at the Warner brothers studios. He's carrying flowers and a teddy bear, and he wants to meet Rebecca Schaeffer. He goes to a security guard. He tells them to call her. They do. It was a regular shooting day. I was in the trailer, and we got a phone call from the guard that there was a guy at the gate who had some flowers and presents and he said that he was a friend of hers and that he was supposed to come. She didn't know anything about it. I said, "No, send him away. We don't know who he is." I didn't think anything about it, she didn't think anything about it. And he was met at the gate by the head of security and said, "No, you cannot go onto the set. You cannot meet with her." Go home. And I was just frustrated, and it hit me hard ��cause I wasn't expecting that. I didn't understand it. It made me feel bad. But Bardo would not be deterred. He would come back again. Then I was there the second time he did it, and I was told that he was very agitated and very, very angry. It's hard to believe now, but no one alerted the police. No alarm bells went off. Meanwhile Rebecca continued to film "My sister Sam" but in its second season, the ratings plummeted. "My sister Sam" was cancelled mainly because it was moved from a great time slot and put it on Saturday night against "Facts of life it had no chance. Everybody was sad. But life's an adventure. And she was off on her adventure. That adventure included movies like "The end of innocence." Written and directed by Dyan in it, she plays a young Dyan cannon. So does this mean that I'm not a virgin? Yeah. I hate you. Dyan cannon is an actress, both comedienne and dramatic actress, who made several big movies. She was also famous for the fact that she was married to Cary grant late in his life, one of his last wives. And is the mother of his only child. I was looking for someone to play me at 18. This bright, little light walks in the room, "Hi, I'm Rebecca." It was just an immediate connection. You don't have that with everybody. That's a rare thing. But she was rare. John just sat and read the paper all day. Martha just ate. I'm still hungry. I had many scenes with my battle with food. She just handled it so exquisitely and was so honest, and so real. And sometimes it would make me cry, and sometimes it would make me laugh. I think she was very optimistic and upbeat and very excited about what her future held. Becca had a very serious boyfriend, Brad silberling, and he was just crazy about her. They were both very young and in love. When I met her, she lived up in laurel canyon. She was all the way up at the very top of lookout mountain, which is a really sweet and quiet spot. Eventually she moved to the apartment on sweetzer. It was a white, two-story apartment complex that looked like a Tudor house. It was a really cute apartment, and it was just filled with eclectic things. Just you know, super comfortable. And you know she loved to read and she loved to write in her journals and do yoga. The concern she had was it would be like, you know, the country mouse moving to the city. And the first couple nights she was there, there were lots of noises and sounds, and she'd grab a kitchen knife and call me in the middle of the night saying ahh. It was adjusting to, "Oh, I've moved into the heart of west Hollywood." We did talk a lot about her fears. She talked about her love for her parents and what it would be to lose them because you talk about things that matter when you're scared. She did a made for TV movie called "Voyage of terror: The Achille Lauro affair." She played a young woman on this cruise ship that gets hijacked by terrorists. It's a drama ripped from the headlines. Rebecca had no way of knowing that just months later, she herself would be the subject of
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