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How celebrity stalking cases have changed since 1989 murder of Rebecca Schaeffer




Actress Sandra Bullock attends the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
Actress Sandra Bullock attends the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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It was 25 years ago that obsessed fan Robert Bardo used DMV records to track down 21-year old actress Rebecca Schaeffer at her home.

Bardo shot and killed the "My Sister Sam" star and he remains in prison to this day. After the attack, California prohibited the DMV from releasing home addresses and the LAPD created the country's first threat management team.

Anti-stalking laws were passed the next year and quickly used against a man threatening director Steven Spielberg.

Last month, Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock had an extremely close run-in with a fanatical devotee. The man broke into her house at 6:30 in the morning while she slept. Bullock reacted quickly and the man was arrested.

In the Internet era, stalkers can use tabloid blogs, press releases, and social media to keep tabs on stars' whereabouts. They can also use the web to harass celebrities' friends and family.

For investigators and security staff, stalkers leave behind digital footprints as evidence against them. How do stars and their security teams contend with obsessed fans? How does the court system handle such suspects, many of whom have mental illnesses?

Guest:

Rhonda Saunders, Los Angeles Prosecutor; Created the Stalking and Threat Assessment Team for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office; In 1994, Saunders revised California's stalking law; Author “Whisper of Fear”