Real Killer Fans: Celebrities Who’ve Been Targeted In Murder Plots
Hollywood’s brightest stars may seemingly live the glamorous life that millions may dream of but everything that glitters isn’t gold. These celebs were the target of a real-life murder plot simply because they’re famous.
Since the age of 12, Miley Cyrus has been winning fans over as the star of Disney’s “Hannah Montana.” As her popularity grew, so did one crazed fan’s love for the teen star. In 2008, FBI foiled a plot a teenager had to allegedly hijack a plane and crash it into a Miley Cyrus concert. The 16-year-old was apprehended trying to board a flight from L.A. to Nashville carrying duct tape, handcuffs and rope with him. The target was a Lafayette, Louisiana stadium where Cyrus was scheduled to perform. Although the plot was downplayed, authorities acknowledged how serious the crazed teen was.
Justin Bieber emerged on the pop scene before he hit puberty with the smash hit song “Baby” and has gone on to achieve worldwide success. Although his fan base has grown tremendously, one admirer wasn’t too happy with the direction Bieber’s career was headed. Incarcerated felon Dale Martin allegedly hatched a plan to kidnap the Canadian native and even put a bounty on Bieber’s family jewels. The alleged plan was to take place during Bieber’s two-run sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden last November. Authorities were put on notice after Martin blabbed to prison guards. Undeterred, Martin, who is serving time for killing a 15-year-old female, says, “This isn’t going away. Do you really think that I would stop? Honestly? I tell people I’m not going to stop. And I’m not gonna stop.”
Victoria Beckham became an international sensation as part of British girl group Spice Girls. Her star shined even brighter after marrying soccer star David Beckham, but unfortunately that made her an even bigger target. Back in 2000, Victoria and her oldest son Brooklyn were forced to go in hiding after a plot to kidnap and hold them for a £5 million ransom came to light. Nine people were arrested in connection with the crime. “I’m stunned by what has happened,” Beckham said after the arrests. “It’s clear these people were serious and that, of course, has scared the life out of me. It’s terrifying to think that someone would want to do that to you and your children.”
Steven Spielberg has directed some of the biggest blockbuster films of our time but one obsessed fan took things a little too far. In 1997, Jonathan Norman was busted trespassing on Spielberg’s Malibu estate by a security guard. Hellbent on kidnapping and raping the famed director, Newman was carrying photos of Spielberg’s family, handcuffs, curtain rods and a knife at the time of his apprehension. “This guy was deadly serious,” a police source said of Norman’s plans. “We were fortunate we picked him up before anything really serious happened.”
Actress and singer Hilary Duff grew up in the limelight but unlike other celebs her age, Duff managed to stay out of trouble. Unfortunately for the former star, trouble still followed her when a Russian teen moved to Los Angeles to be closer to Duff. In 2006, 18-year-old Maksim Myaskovskiy secretly plotted to kill Duff because of her then-relationship to Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden. Investigators hired by the star were able to uncover the plot and Myaskovskiy ended up serving six months for his doomed plan.
Soul singer Joss Stone’s close ties to the Royal Family almost got her killed. Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw were convicted of plotting to behead Stone with a samurai sword and dump her body in the river. Authorities pulled Liverpool and Bradshow over as they were driving over to the singer’s house to carry out their plan. In addition to the sword, three knives, two hammers, gloves and a balaclava were found in the vehicle. “I am relieved the trial is now over and that these men are no longer in a position to cause harm to anyone,” Stone told reporters once the entire ordeal was over. “I’d like to thank everyone for all their support and kind wishes.”
There are few Hollywood power couples as famous as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The very rich duo was a target of a foiled kidnapping for ransom plot a few years ago. Los Angeles gang leaders were the masterminds behind a failed plan to snatch newly adopted son Pax shortly after he arrived in the U.S. from Vietnam. The asking price for his safe return? $100 million. Luckily authorities uncovered the plan before it was carried out.
Russell Crowe won an Academy Award in the movie Gladiator for playing a fearless widow, but back in 2001, the Aussie star was the intended target of an Al-Qaeda plot to kidnap him. In an interview with GQ magazine, Crowe revealed the terrorists wanted to use Crowe as a means to “culturally destabilize” the United States. As a result, the FBI provided security detail for Crowe while he was filming both A Beautiful Mind and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World as well as his appearance at the 2001 Golden Globes Awards.
She may not be a Hollywood actress but gymnast Shawn Johnson still has a strong fan base, which included one deranged man. In 2011, Robert O’Ryan was busted scaling a fence outside of the studio where ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” was being taped. 34-year-old O’Ryan believed Johnson, who was a contestant on the dancing competition show, was communicating with him telepathically and believed they were destined to be together forever. Authorities found a shotgun, handgun, knife, zip ties and love letters addressed to Johnson in O’Ryan’s car. He was charged with felony stalking and two counts of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Mick Jagger is one of rock’s biggest stars today, but the Rolling Stones frontman didn’t know how close he was to death back in the day. In 1969, Hell’s Angels were hired to provide security for a free Stones concert. Someone from the gang fatally stabbed an 18-year-old female concert-goer and Jagger vowed not to use the motorcycle gang as security ever again, which ruffled the feathers of a fringe group of Angels. They hatched a plot to assassinate Jagger but they were stopped by Mother Nature. While trying to carry out the assassination attempt, the boat they tried to used to reach Jagger was swamped.
Madonna has been at the center of controversy throughout her career and is used to irking those who don’t share her same viewpoint. Such was the case in 2004, when a Palestinian group started sending her death threats over comments the singer made. Used to being a target, Madge paid the threats no mind until they become more sinister in detail and included her children. Spooked by the threats, the “Like A Virgin” singer pulled out of a series of scheduled concerts in Israel.
His father may have been the leader of the Rat Pack but, Frank Sinatra, Jr. was the one who ended up as the intended target of a kidnapping plot. In 1963, 19-year-old Frank, Jr. was snatched from his Harrah’s hotel room in Lake Tahoe, CA. Two gunmen dressed up as hotel staff muscled their way into the room and demanded money. When Frank, Jr. came up empty-handed, the two thugs dragged him out of the room, threw him in the trunk of their car and demanded his father fork over $1 million for the safe return of his son. Fifty-four hours and $240,000 later, he was free to go.
Sometimes a messy divorce can make a spouse to do crazy things. Convinced that his soon-to-be ex-wife had it in for him, actor Jon Cryer told authorities Sarah Trigger hired a hitman to kill him. Security on the set of the hit “Two and a Half Men” show was beefed up while authorities investigated the alleged threats. Through her lawyer, Trigger denied the allegations and the FBI determined there were no such threats.
David Letterman may be a well-liked late night television host but his high profile can make him and his loved ones a target, which was the case in 2005. Authorities uncovered a plot to kidnap Letterman’s 1-and-a-half year-old son and nanny. Hired to paint his Montana ranch, 43-year-old Kelly A. Frank was arrested after someone alerted police about the sinister plot. “An individual was approached by Mr. Frank, an acquaintance of some kind, about his thought on the kidnapping, and (Frank) shared his idea with this individual,” according to Mike Ferriter of the state Department of Corrections. “I’m not sure if he asked him to assist or be a part of it.” This isn’t the first time Letterman had to deal with someone out to get him. Stalker Margaret Ray broke into the funny man’s Connecticut home at least seven times.
In 2010, FBI received a tip about a potential murder plot involving Sandra Bullock. The Oscar winning actress was in the middle of divorcing her cheating husband Jesse James at the time. According to the tip, his mistress, Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, was accused of hiring a hitman to take out the Hollywood star. It turns out the “tip” came from McGee’s spurned ex-husband Shane Modica. Upset that McGee was seeing James, Modica contacted his local FBI office to set up his former spouse.