The Danger of Fame: Celebrity Survivors of Murder Attempts
Have you ever hated a celebrity so much that you wish you could drive to Hollywood and kill him or her? Or maybe you watch TV and wish you could just murder the actor or singer on the screen? Of course not! Unfortunately, however, some haters — and even some overzealous "fans" — aren’t quite so rational.
Social media is always buzzing with posts spewing hatred for popular celebrities, and the hate occasionally results in unbelievable fits of real-life violence. Some people take things way too far and actually plot the murders of the celebrities they hate — a few even attempt to carry out their evil plans.
"If Madonna won't marry me, then no one can." That was the mantra of stalker-turned-attempted murderer Robert Dewey Hoskins, the man who broke into the singer's home and threatened to stab her if she refused to marry him. At the time, Madonna wasn’t at home, but one of her bodyguards spotted Hoskins jumping the fence and shot him in 1996. (He survived.)
Not His Only Obsession
Hoskins was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1996 and ordered to stay in a mental health facility until 2012. Unfortunately, he escaped, and authorities had to warn the public to be on the lookout for the escapee who was "highly psychotic when not taking his medication and has very violent tendencies."
Shark fin soup is considered a status symbol in some Asian countries. With a price tag starting at $100 per bowl, the dish has become a staple at elite weddings and banquets, particularly in China. With such a lucrative market offering windfalls of cash, illegal shark fishing thugs certainly had no plans to give up their criminal pursuit — not even for famous celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
When You’re in Way Too Deep
Looking to unravel the mysteries behind the multi-billion-dollar industry, Ramsay went to Costa Rica to gather more material for his series. The moment he and his crew arrived, they were met by thugs who not only had ties to the illegal shark fishing industry but also to major drug lords in the area.
Shaquille O’Neal may have dubbed Paul Pierce "The Truth" following his spectacular 42-point performance in a Boston Celtics versus Los Angeles Lakers game, but his basketball toughness is nothing compared to his real-life tenacity. In fact, no other NBA player could come close to what Pierce had to endure in 2000.
A Friendly Life-Saver
On that fateful night when Pierce was stabbed and had a bottle smashed over his head, fans of the NBA star got close to losing the superstar for good. Fortunately, teammate Tony Battie rushed his friend to the hospital, and doctors performed multiple surgeries to save Pierce’s life.
Jackie Chan has always been known for doing his own fight scenes and stunts, but his kung fu moves aren’t restricted to his onscreen appearances. Pretty much like his characters in Rush Hour and Police Story, Chan became the target of drug lords in Hong Kong, China.
Stranger Than Fiction
Because he refused to give in to the triad members’ demands, Chan had to be constantly on the lookout for possible assassins. In fact, the martial arts expert’s first visit to the United States was marked by a near-death experience!
While many celebrities attract enemies after they’ve made it to the top, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson already had his fair share of detractors, even before his rise to fame. In 2000, the rapper was shot nine times right outside his grandmother’s house.
Street King, Still Immortal
50 Cent recovered from the shooting, except for the damage caused by the bullet that hit his left cheek. This caused issues with his speaking, but he eventually managed to adapt and became one of the most popular rappers worldwide.
Do you know what it feels like to be hunted down by trained military personnel? Well, Ryan Seacrest does. Back in 2009, the American Idol host feared for his life as an ex-soldier roamed the halls of the E! Studio looking for him. The stalker even had a knife with him.
When a Restraining Order Isn't Enough
Uzomah also attacked one of the host’s bodyguards after being turned down for a meeting with the celebrity. This resulted in a restraining order. For most would-be attackers, that is usually the end — not so for Uzomah.
If you think that working on a crime show centered on vicious attacks could help you deal with real-life incidents, then you better think again! After a terrifying experience that left her traumatized, NCIS star Pauley Perrette shared how she was violently assaulted in her own neighborhood.
A Real-Life NCIS Case
According to court documents, Perrette was attacked in her L.A. neighborhood by a mentally ill homeless man named David Merck. The attacker grabbed the actress and dragged her toward an empty garage. He then punched her repeatedly while talking about his plan to murder her.
Beatles Mania has long stood as an unprecedented era in history. However, none of the band’s members could have ever predicted they would ever be subjected to the danger of deranged fans and violent attackers. This was a lesson George Harrison learned in the most painful way possible.
Saved by a Lamp?
Harrison attempted to disarm the frenzied knifeman and ended up getting repeatedly stabbed in the chest. In a heroic attempt to save her husband, Olivia smashed a lamp over the head of Abram, who then turned to attack her. He started to strangle her with the cord of the very same lamp, but she managed to escape. The attack left Harrison with a punctured lung.
Some people can handle rejection better than others. Meanwhile, there are people who simply cannot handle rejection at all. This was the case for Valerie Solanas, the attempted murderer of Andy Warhol and the sole member of a group she founded called "Cutting Up Men."
The attack was reportedly rooted in Warhol’s rejection of Solanas’ work. Prior to the shooting, she sought the artist’s help in producing her play titled Up Your Ass. When she found out he turned down her request, she stormed the Factory and demanded her script back.
It’s not new in the world of pop artists that fans get overly attached. However, it’s one thing to send your idol gifts and letters, but it’s a completely different scenario when you decide to send them a sulfuric acid letter bomb.
An Explosion of Anger
Lopez snapped when he learned Björk was in a relationship with another musician named Goldie. In his 800-page diary, the crazed fan discussed his desire to have "an effect in her life." When he heard about Björk’s romance, Lopez said, "I’m just going to have to kill her. I’m going to send a package. I’m going to be sending her to hell."
Hoping to quell the violence in politically turbulent Jamaica, Bob Marley announced his decision to hold a concert in the country. Unfortunately, not everyone was happy with the news. Some were against the reggae star’s presence so much that they decided to shoot him.
Refusing to Give In
Despite the gun attack only two nights before the event, Marley went on to perform at The Smile Jamaica concert. During his show, he reiterated his desire to help unite all the opposing political factions in the country and promote peace.
Before he was Earl from Two Broke Girls, Garret Morris was one of the original members of the Saturday Night Live cast. Although he was widely known as one of the best comics of his generation, few knew he was also a certified black belt.
Black Belt vs. Bullet
According to Morris, the robbers attacked him from behind. As a knee-jerk reaction, he kicked them from the side. Turning to defend himself better, the actor came face to face with a gun. Presumably enraged by the retaliation, the robbers then shot him repeatedly in the chest, stomach and arm.
The rap world is filled with interesting — but sometimes violent — people. One of the most controversial cases plaguing the industry is the murder of Tupac Shakur in 1996. However, the fatal shooting wasn’t actually the first time an unknown gunman attacked the rapper.
At Least One Tupac Mystery Solved
Following his recovery, Tupac accused fellow rappers Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G. of being the brains behind his attack. Although his 1996 murder remains unsolved, a Brooklyn inmate named Dexter Isaac admitted he was hired to gun down Tupac in 1994.
What happens when you fire an employee? Generally, nothing. At most, you receive angry messages and a lot of subtle attacks on social media. But what happens when your employees are actually Hells Angels riders, and you decide to fire them? They might plot to kill you, of course.
Another Sunken Scheme
After watching footage of the Hells Angels attacking a black 18-year-old fan named Meredith Hunter, Sir Mick reportedly banished the bikers from ever working for his team again. In retaliation, the group decided to kill him in his holiday house in the Hamptons.
One of the most terrifying plans against a celebrity was crafted with Joss Stone in mind. The soul singer became the target of a murder plot designed by two disturbed men. Basically, the would-be attackers wanted to kill and rob Stone because of her wealth and relationship with the Royal Family.
A Soulless Attempt
Bradshaw and Liverpool were armed with hammers, knives, samurai swords, gloves, masks and ropes. Their first order of business at the time was to steal the approximately $1.2 million they assumed to be stashed in Stone’s house. Then, they planned to kidnap her, decapitate her and dump her body in a river.