The title song of Olivia Newton-John's album Physical was the #1 hit on the billboard charts in 1981.  But that brought her little comfort. Two deadly stalkers were after her.

One killed a dog and sent its teeth to another celebrity.

In 1978 she had starred with John Travolta in the blockbuster hit movie, Grease. Two songs from the film became huge hits: Hopelessly Devoted To You, and You're The One That I Want.

Ralph Nau decided Olivia was the one that he wanted ... to kill.


You're the One That I Want!

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Is it her "innocent" girl-next-door quality, or does she just look like evryone's idea of a sweet suburban mom?  (Two sides of the same coin). And do those qualities make her the "most stalkable?"  Does something about ONJ suggest to psychopaths that she is "accessible?"  Speaking directly to THEM?   Even though she is in reality inaccessible, as are all celebrities, and that has to be part of the weird attraction. Of course if you are a psychopath, everyone is basically inaccessible to you. 

Hi Caroline, thanks for the comment. I agree she presented the innocent girl next door quality at first, but her video/CD Physical was, well, rather steamy. But I don't think this was what grabbed these two stalkers. Both of them were seriously disturbed. The first one, Nau, was almost certainly schizophrenic. The other one, Michael Perry, was, if not crazy then certainly suffering from delusions, perhaps fostered by his childhood experiences. 

The case law on his non-execution was rather interesting. Death row prisoners cannot be force-medicated in order to allow them to be executed. Ironic that Sandra Day O'Connor supported the ruling, even though she was one of his (many) targets.

if not crazy then certainly suffering from delusions, perhaps fostered by his childhood experiences. 

I guess the term "crazy" can be stretched to include a host of mental aberrations. Delusions....where do they come from, if not schizophrenia or paranoia?   But aren't those names that are given to various mental illnesses just a "convenient" way to categorize "syndromes" that are not easily categorized?  Not all paranoiac/ schizophrenics become stalkers, surely. I haven't kept up with modern psychology, I have to admit, although occasionally I will look up a term online---"narcissism" for instance, or "borderline" personality. (Recently an acquaintance described his ex-wife as "narcissistic,"  and I wondered what exactly that was supposed to mean, in this case).  I know where the term comes from, Narcissus, and what the "basic" sense is, but where is the line between a normal degree of self-love and one that's pathological?   It can get pretty confusing!  There are so  many aspects of every "syndrome." When does a "crush" turn to stalking? When does someone's resemblance to Mom become a reason to want to kill them---especially since it would be a "proxy" killing!  

Having had a relative diagnosed w/schizophrenia, I know the symptoms can be frightening. Physical attacks on others, etc. A simple syndrome? Not really. I can tell you that the people he was beating up on and trying to rape were very happy when he was put away. This was years ago. Now, they just medicate them into zombies.  

Of course not all mentally ill people become stalkers. "Narcissistic" is something different, and in my opinion, rather widespread in society today.  Being so totally self-centered that one cannot empathize with others. And I have known people like this. Very toxic.

Difference between a "crush" and stalking? Try this. When someone says they aren't interested in you and tells you to go away, what do you do?

Most people go away. Stalkers persist and persist and persist. They NEVER go away, unless someone forces them to. Read The Gift of Fear, by Gavin De Becker. Excellent examples of all of the above. Gift of Fear

I read the DSM when I wish to begin to learn about various mental illnesses. (I once wrote a novel starring a paranoid schizophrenic.) For narcissistic personality disorder, for example, try:

Thanks Eric. I hadn't read that particular definition, but I've seen others that are similar, several by FBI profilers.

Is the entire DSM available online?

I believe the entire DSM V is online, sort of being vetted before it's finalized. The DSM IV might not be.

Good to know. We mystery-thriller authors are always looking for new weirdness to inflict upon our villains ... or even our heroes sometimes.


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