Latina songstress Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, simply known as “Selena” was a rising star when her fan club founder, Yolanda Saldivar, gunned her down, at age 23, on March 31, 1995.
According to Time, Selena befriended Saldivar soon after the fan club was founded in 1991 and eventually hired her as an assistant and later as manager of the Selena Etc. clothing boutique. That’s when the trouble began. Saldivar was fired after reportedly embezzling funds from the Grammy winner. Some time later, Selena agreed to meet with Saldivar at a Day’s Inn in order to retrieve some financial records. It was there that Saldivar shot Selena.
According to The New York Times, a nine-hour standoff with police followed before Saldivar surrendered. She was sentenced to life in prison.
The 21-year-old star of ”My Sister Sam” and American model, Rebecca Schaeffer was shot in the doorway of her Hollywood home by obsessed an fan Robert John Bardo on July 18, 1989. According the Los Angeles Times, Bardo stalked Schaeffer for three years prior to the killing and had even sent her letters and tried to meet with her on the set of her sitcom. When his gestures went unanswered, he spent $250 to hire private investigators to track down Schaeffer’s address, which they acquired from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Bardo then paid his crush a fatal visit, reportedly ambushing her when she answered the door. After Schaeffer’s death, legislation was passed to prohibit DMV employees from disclosing addresses.
Young Russian artist Mikhail Lermontov was forever immortalized after his friend and admirer, Nikolai Martynov, killed him a duel in 1841. 26 year old Lermontov was as a poet, author, painter, and soldier, but he was also earning a reputation as a partier and prankster. The latter may have led to his demise.
According to Russia Behind the Headlines, Martynov was reportedly teased relentlessly by Lermontov and eventually grew so tired of it that he challenged his friend to a duel. Lermontov accepted, but during the face off, he fired into the air, while Martynov aimed for the heart. That story is the stuff of legend, and it’s unclear if Martynov suffered any consequences for the killing, but Lermontov’s fate was sealed. His funeral was attended by thousands, and to this day, he is considered one of history’s greatest poets.
Cameroonian soccer star Albert Ebossé reportedly died at the hands of fans after a match on August 23, 2014 in Algeria. According to The Guardian, the 24-year-old striker and his JS Kabylie teammates were leaving the field after losing to USM Alger. The players were reportedly being showered by projectiles hurled by angry fans when something struck Ebossé in the head. The object supposedly dented his skull, killing him, but that story has since come under question. As reported in The Guardian, “A new autopsy has claimed that [Ebossé] was stabbed and brutally beaten to death in the changing rooms…” Pathologists said the player suffered from more than just head trauma, including a cervical vertebrae rupture and other wounds indicating a struggle.
Outside of the death itself, perhaps the worst thing about John Lennon’s death at the hands of Mark David Chapman on December 9, 1980, is that it happened for virtually no reason at all.
Chapman wasn’t a Beatles superfan, he wasn’t obsessed with Lennon or his wife, Yoko Ono, and he wasn’t driven by some subliminal message he supposedly heard in one of John’s songs. Chapman targeted Lennon simply because he was famous, and Chapman wanted to be famous too. In his mind, he figured offing a major celebrity would earn him instant fame. To that end, he approached Lennon, asked for an autograph, got it, and then came back later to shoot him dead. All because he wanted fame. He got infamy instead.
We know this to be his motive, because he’s admitted as much. When up for parole — for the ninth time — in September 2016, he told the board (as quoted by the Telegraph) that he had “a true sociopathic mind,” and that he wanted to “shoot [Lennon] so that [Chapman] could be somebody.”
Christina Grimmie was an up-and-coming 22-year-old superstar. She had just wowed viewers on The Voice, placing third in her season, and was branching out on her own. That is, until a crazed fan named Kevin James Loibl murdered her in front of stunned fans on June 10, 2016.
As reported by Click Orlando, Loibl was described by his friend, Cory Dennington, as a severe loner who, over the previous year or so, had grown psychotically attached to Grimmie. He would watch her videos on YouTube non-stop, altered his appearance (through Lasik, teeth whitening, and hair implants) so he might look good for her, and got angry whenever Dennington pointed out that the chances of Loibl winning Grimmie’s heart were less than slim to none. Finally, Loibl decided to meet Grimmie, and apparently decided that if he couldn’t have her, nobody could.
On June 10, Grimmie was signing autographs after a show when Loibl approached. Rather than getting something signed and leaving like everyone else, Loibl grabbed the guns he had somehow smuggled into the building and shot the singer. Her brother quickly grabbed Loibl, who managed to escape, only to shoot himself dead right after. Grimmie died the next day.