The Craziest Stalkers In Sports

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IJanuary 27, 2011

The Craziest Stalkers In Sports

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    Love knows no boundaries—just ask these next 15 stalkers.

    Life in the public eye leaves athletes as prime targets to become the object of obsession in the blurred realities of a stalker. At that point, the conventional rules of courtship go out the window. A good stalker does not feel the need to go on a date before planning a life together.

    Consider the next slides, The Sports Stalkers Hall of Fame.

    *Note: While I try to not keep my list too serious, this does not reflect my opinion on the threat of stalkers. If you walk away with anything from this, please let it be that stalkers are a real and unexpected threat. Concerns over a possible stalker should be dealt with immediately.

No. 15: William Lepeska

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    You can't say that Lepeska isn't a romantic. What woman wouldn't want a man to swim across Biscayne Bay to visit her at their Miami Beach home?

    Sometimes dreams are better than reality, however, and this reality ended with Lepeska stumbling naked in the vicinity of Anna Kournikova's (whom he never met) house. Let's just say, Anna was not swept off her feet.

No. 14: Henry Lee

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    David Cannon/Getty Images

    Henry Lee does not fit the typical stalker profile. He was a successful surgeon and a married man.

    Lee was nothing if not persistent. For over a decade, Lee sent letters, marriage proposals and even hand-delivered Laura Davies his divorce papers (in case she didn't think he was serious).

    He was eventually arrested.

No. 13: Michael David Barrett

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    On three different occasions, Michael David Barrett rented a hotel room right next to Erin Andrews and successfully videotaped her through a peephole while she was devoid of clothing.

    Barrett received a 27-month sentence for his stalking. Andrews certainly did not feel the punishment was harsh enough. 

    "You are a sexual predator, a sexual deviant and they should lock you up," Andrews said, before adding, "Thirty months isn't enough."

No. 12: Morganna

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    Morganna gets the most harmless and most decorated stalker award. In fact, the objects of her stalking seldom seemed to mind her bum-rushing, kiss-stealing style.

    For two decades, Morganna "terrorized" her favorite baseball players with her aggressive stalking tactics.

No. 11: Mason Crist

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    Simon Bruty/Getty Images

    Mason Crist loved him some Summer Sanders. Going along with the theme of this list, Sanders did not know him.

    That didn't stop Crist from visiting Sanders' home. He was eventually detected and then arrested while he stalked her front porch.

No. 10: Chris Rainey

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey had a hard time getting over his ex-girlfriend. He ended up sending her a threatening text message that included the phrase "time to die."

    He was charged with aggravated stalking and then struck a plea deal for a misdemeanor.

No. 9: Patrick Hallett

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    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Most golfers do not have the luxury of carrying the same caddy with them from tournament to tournament.

    This created a unique problem for Michelle McGann, when her caddy developed a crush/obsession with her and he came to believe they were destined to be wed.

    While he never threatened her, he had referenced weapons and he ended up with a 500-feet restraining order.

No. 8: Kyra Elzy's Stalker

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    "Your future husband is in the stands. I'm in the third row." This was the note Kyra Elzy received before one of her Tennessee Lady Vols basketball games.

    The stalker's affections did not stop there. After the game, he slipped Tennessee's trainer $100 to give it to Elzy.

    In another incident, he actually ran up to Elzy—while she was on campus—and asked her why she was no longer eating lunch with her teammates.

No. 7: Joseph Vogt

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    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    Vogt developed his unrequited love for Shannon Miller when the two attended the University of Oklahoma.

    He would call and send letters to Miller as he followed her Olympic career and at one point he crashed his car into the back of her boyfriend's truck.

    After he was arrested, police checked his house and found found 115 newspaper and magazine clippings, and 16 videotapes of Miller in action.

No. 6: Cecil Collins

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    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    Cecil Collins' stalking earned him a 15-year stint in prison—although, it was for burglary.

    It all stemmed from an incident when he broke into the home of a married woman he knew from the gym.

    Collins admitted that he broke in not to rob the couple, but to watch the woman sleep.

No. 5: Albrecht Stromeyer

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    Albrcht Stromeyer does not let a few arrests get in the way of his passion: stalking Serena Williams.

    Stromeyer e-mails and calls Williams. He has also followed her to numerous tournaments and shouts "I love you."

    These actions caught the attention of the authorities. He has been arrested and even deported due to his insistent stalking of Serena.

No. 4: Harry Veltman III

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    Tony Duffy/Getty Images

    Veltman had a lengthy obsession with Katarina Witt. His obsession is understandable given the fact he thought he was married to her. Veltman wrote her hundreds of love letters and sent her nude photos.

    "If I ever find my wife having sex, or sexual foreplay with another man," Veltman wrote in a letter to Witt. "I will kill him first, my wife second and myself third."

No. 3: James Conyers

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    Robert Laberge/Getty Images

    James Conyers used his skill as a con-man to meet his obsession, Sheila Taormina. Taormina is a gold-medal swimmer and a triathlete.

    Conyers told her that he too was a triathlete and the two went on a training bike ride. Conyers went out of control from there and ended up sending Taormina a postcard describing his imaginary raping of her.

    Conyers served five years for his stalking. After his release, he was arrested for stalking an Indiana State basketball player.

No. 2: Guenter Parche

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    Things were not going well for Guenter Parche. He was a 39-year-old unemployed lathe operator and his beloved Steffi Graff had lost her No. 1 ranking.

    Guenter had had enough. He decided to take matters into his own hands and he stabbed Steffi's rival, Monica Seles, right between the shoulder blades during a match.

    Parche received a two-year suspended sentence and mandatory psychological treatment. Not surprisingly, Seles and her family felt this was far too lenient.

No. 1: Ruth Anne Steinhagen

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    Ruth Anne Steinhagen stalked Eddie Waitkus. It is a story you probably know, even if you don't know. It was where they came up with the premise for the shooting of Roy Hobbs in The Natural.

    A bell boy gave Eddie a note from a woman he had never met. The note said it was "extremely important" that they talk.

    He went to her room and she greeted him with a revolver and the words, "For two years, you've bothered me. Now you're going to die."

    "I had to kill him," she told the police.  "I thought it would get rid of the tension." Waitkus did not die, but he was never the same.