Rebecca Schaeffer was on her way to becoming a major actress when evil ruined it all. The young Schaeffer had only been pursuing acting for a few years but was already winning major roles. She was in a CBS sitcom called My Sister Sam, had several films under her belt, was featured on the cover of Seventeen magazine, and was being considered for the title role in Pretty Woman, the one that eventually went to Julia Roberts. She was, in short, poised to be a superstar.
Tragically, along the way, she grabbed the attention of Robert Bardo, an obsessed fan who paid a private investigator to secure Schaeffer’s home address. He arrived at her home, and the encounter ended with him shooting her in the heart. According to Bardo, she repeatedly asked “Why?” as she died, just 21 years old. Bardo was arrested the next day and convicted of first-degree murder two years later. He will remain in prison for the rest of his life, and his actions prompted many states to adopt strong anti-stalking laws. (Every state now has them.) It wasn’t the fate Schaeffer wanted, but at least she can rest knowing that others are just a little bit safer.