Sunday, April 19, 2009

With Schnitzer In Prison, Our Mission Is Accomplished

With last Tuesday's [April 14, 2009] conviction and sentencing of David Caruso's stalker, it's high time for
The Stalker Chronicles to announce "mission accomplished." With that, this blog will no longer provide updates on this story. At the time of this writing, we understand Heidemarie Schnitzer's attorney is considering filing an appeal. We anticipate Andreas Grabenweger and his client will not in all likelihood prevail at the appellate level. Unless it can be shown there was some egregious error on the part of Innsbruck's trial court, Schnitzer will go to prison for seven months followed by incarceration in a psychiatric facility for an undisclosed period of time. Our Austrian sources have indicated it's conceivable Schnitzer might not be released until 2011. See related story.

The catalyst for The Stalker Chronicles was the January/February 2007 issue of Cigar Aficionado featuring David Caruso. After reading the cover story, we decided to do some Internet research on the actor. What we found shocked us to say the least. After mistakenly landing on one of Schnitzer's four hate-David Caruso blogs, we discovered that Schnitzer had plagiarized the Cigar Aficionado article adding her own slanderous spins and fabrications. When she posted her version, she committed textbook libel. We immediately notified the editors of Cigar Aficionado who in turn informed Schnitzer of their intent to take legal action if she did not remove her rendition of their copyrighted story. Shortly thereafter, Schnitzer was forced to delete it from the offending site only later to re-post it on another one of her blogs.

For the next year, we followed Schnitzer's on-line tirades against Caruso.
When The Stalker Chronicles first went on-line early 2008, we never imagined how difficult the road to last Tuesday's guilty verdict would be. The highs were few and far between with the lows dominating as the wheels of foreign judicial systems wound very slowly.

After learning in April 2008 Schnitzer had fled Austria for a second time, nearly six months went by before there were any news updates from Austria. After witnessing Schnitzer's Internet stalking rampage of David Caruso day in and day out, we were determined to see this mentally unbalanced woman brought to justice. At one point, the Kansas City Star's Aaron Barnhart coined us "the stalker's stalker," a badge of honor we proudly wore.

Our first major success came in July 2008 when we became the first blog to publish photos of Heidemarie Schnitzer and the children she had abandoned to stalk David Caruso. Once we published her photo, Schnitzer vehemently denied the photo was her for weeks on end. A month later, we began an e-mail campaign to Austrian law enforcement officials alerting them Schnitzer had fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution on stalking charges. We had evidence of her location and we provided the proof.

We expanded our efforts to Mexico's attache to Austria, Alejandro Diaz Perez Duarte and Austria's attache to Mexico, Werner Druml. We also contacted Austrian Court officials along with Austria's Minister of Justice, Dr. Maria Berger. We cannot thank these individuals enough for their help which ultimately resulted in February's arrest of Schnitzer.

After making numerous phone calls to the Tijuana and Rosarito police, we began an e-mail blitz to Mexican officials including the Governor of Baja California, Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan and Mexico's top cop, Genaro Garcia Luna. Time and again, we e-mailed Mexican Immigration officials including their administrative assistants and low-level bureaucrats. We banked on someone getting this story to the proper officials and it worked.

We posted biographical pieces about each Baja mayor publishing their photos and e-mail addresses. When time went by without any results, we e-mailed them again and again and yet again. Along the way, we made many friends both in Mexico and Austria who provided us with invaluable information and tips.

In October 2008 our long and at times exhaustive attempts to bring Schnitzer to justice, saw a small victory when Austrian Judge Guenther Boehler modified his original warrant for the stalker's arrest and issued an International warrant. The new warrant which was valid outside the E.U. made headlines around the world and a global manhunt ensued. Officials close to the story however knew for a fact that Schnitzer was hiding out on Mexico's Baja peninsula.

Clearly in denial that law enforcement was closing in, Schnitzer stepped up her Internet hate campaign against David Caruso. She repeatedly updated her four anti-Caruso blogs in her ongoing efforts to disparage the actor, his family and associates. From her Mexican spider hole, Schnitzer trolled and spammed forums, boards and fan sites reportedly for 16 to 20 hours a day to foment comment wars and attack Caruso at every opportunity. She used hundreds of pseudonyms to slander David Caruso attempting to give the illusion of support when there wasn't any. After receiving a tip of her activity, Digg banned her from their site. At one point, Schnitzer posted pornographic comments about Caruso's toddler son on the Who's Dated Who forum. Said comment has since been deleted by the site.

Finally Friday, February 20, 2009, on what had been an otherwise uneventful day, turned out to be the moment The Stalker Chronicles and so many others had worked for many long and hard hours. The Stalker Chronicles decided to check Mexico's on-line papers for possible updates never expecting to find anything substantive. We were stunned to say the least when we read the RSS Feeds for OEM En Linea and learned, thanks in part to our many hours of college level Spanish, that Schnitzer had been arrested the night before by the Tijuana police. We were humbled when we read that Tijuana law enforcement had credited The Stalker Chronicles for aiding them in the capture of Heidemarie Schnitzer.

Within moments, we contacted our source at Mexico City's Associated Press bureau and learned they too were planning to run with the story. And when the wires updated, The Stalker Chronicles again was recognized by the venerable Associated Press. Our long and oftentimes arduous trek as an Internet detective was seeing recognition we never in our wildest dreams imagined could be possible.

A month after Schnitzer was captured by the Tijuana police, she was extradited to Austria by Interpol. And finally on April 14, 2009, Schnitzer was tried and convicted for sending death threats to David Caruso in part when the prosecutor introduced evidence of a prior conviction. In 1994, Schnitzer was found guilty of making threats to an ex-boyfriend and at one point told her lawyer she was capable of going on a "killing spree." We now understand why Schnitzer fled not once, but twice after being indicted for stalking David Caruso. Schnitzer's prior conviction weighed heavily in Judge Guenther Boehler's decision to sentence her to seven months in prison followed by an extended confinement in a psychiatric facility.
We applaud Judge Boehler for taking a tough stance and condemning stalking.

And now it's time dear readers for The Stalker Chronicles to sign off. But before we do, we would like to thank some very special people we met along the way who helped and supported our investigative endeavors: Ace of SpadesHQ, Aaron Barnhart, The Associated Press, The Austrian Times, Lindy, CorupusChriste, Tanyadell, Krystal, George C., I Like To Watch TV, Across The Border, Thomas Hochwarter, Marcus J. Oswald, Thomas Lechner, William Kole, Niko Price, Mike G and our many friends in Tijuana and Rosarito including Nancy. A heartfelt thanks goes to Lacyleanne who first published the stalker's given name. And many thanks to Rachel who paved the way with her in-depth research.

To borrow from Dylan Thomas, we will "not go gentle into that good night." In fact, we plan to continue in the blogosphere blogging about a life-long hobby. So long dear friends. It was a wild ride indeed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

David Caruso Stalker Threatened Killing Spree 15 Years Ago

David Caruso is probably breathing a heavy sigh of relief following Tuesday's guilty verdict and sentencing of Heidemarie Schnitzer, the mentally unbalanced Austrian woman who threatened to murder him, his daughter and Liza Marquez. Details from the trial transcript have been emerging ever since with the most shocking being Schnitzer's a repeat offender. In the 1990s, Caruso's intrepid stalker threatened an ex-boyfriend following the break-up of their relationship. Charges were filed and Schnitzer was tried and convicted. We do not know the disposition of that case but it seems certain whatever punishment was handed down failed to rehabilitate the recalcitrant Schnitzer.

Today, The Austrian Times is confirming these reports adding chilling details after speaking with prosecutors involved with Tuesday's trial. Not only does Schnitzer sport a record with a prior conviction for making threats, she told her attorney at the time that she was capable of a "killing spree". During Schnitzer's prior legal entanglements she underwent a psychiatric evaluation and was diagnosed with "multiple personality disorder", the same conclusion Dr. Karin Treichl reached after evaluating Schnitzer in 2007. Dr. Treichl's assessment further stated that Schnitzer had the potential for turning deadly at a moment's notice.

This recent news is quite unsettling in many respects. Schnitzer obviously didn't respond to any psychiatric care in the past if there was any and if she had, perhaps the David Caruso stalking debacle might have been averted altogether. As The Stalker Chronicles has stated before, Schnitzer does not appear to be an individual who will respond to rehabilitation efforts. Whether she's released in a year or three years, we fear she will resume where she left off. Sadly, Schnitzer is looking more and more like a copy-cat Margaret Mary Ray, the woman who stalked CBS' David Letterman for ten years and ultimately committed suicide.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stalker's 1994 Conviction For Threatening Ex-Boyfriend

The Stalker Chronicles regrets that we erroneously reported that David Caruso's stalker was a first-time offender. We have now received credible information confirming that Heidemarie Schnitzer was convicted in 1994 for threatening an ex-boyfriend. Not only has Schnitzer had a previous conviction, she told her attorney she was capable of a "killing spree". In fact, Judge Guenther Boehler took her prior conviction into consideration when he pronounced sentencing following Tuesday's trial. Schnitzer's attorney objected citing evidence the fifteen year-old conviction was time barred.

Most media outlets are only reporting that Schnitzer will serve a seven month sentence in prison. This is highly inaccurate. What news services have failed to report is the fact that once Schnitzer completes that portion of her sentence, she will be incarcerated in a mental institution where she will undergo psychiatric observation for an undisclosed period of time. Schnitzer may not be released until as early as January 2011.

We applaud Judge Boehler for taking a tough stance with Heidemarie Schnitzer. This recent disclosure suggests an established pattern for making threats whenever Schnitzer suffers rejection. Psychiatric care is desperately needed for Caruso's stalker and the longer she remains under the care of a medical professional, the safer society will be.

Caruso Stalker Threatened Attorney And An Ex-Boyfriend

During Tuesday's David Caruso stalker trial, startling testimony revealed that Heidemarie Schnitzer has a past history of making threats. Before she set her sights on David Caruso, Schnitzer threatened two other individuals.

Several Austrian news services are reporting that Schnitzer threatened not only an ex-boyfriend back in the 1990's but also made threats to an attorney. The details surrounding these revelations are sketchy at best and The Stalker Chronicles is attempting to get more information from our Austrian sources.

If these recent disclosures are true, Schnitzer's hopes for prevailing on appeal are in all likelihood unrealistic. On Tuesday, Judge Guenther Boehler sentenced Schnitzer to seven months in prison followed by commitment in a mental institution. Schnitzer will be closely observed by psychiatrists who will report her progess or lack thereof to the Court. If she responds positively to treatment, she could be released by January 2011.
The Austrian Times

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

David Caruso Stalker Won't Be Released Until January 2011

Yesterday David Caruso's stalker Heidemarie Schnitzer appeared in court and was convicted of threatening to murder David Caruso, Greta Caruso and Liza Marquez. Preliminary accounts reported Schnitzer would go to prison for seven months followed by another incarceration in a mental institution. There were also reports Schnitzer would appeal the verdict but The Stalker Chronicles does not have knowledge of any trial court errors subject to reversal on appeal. This was a pretty cut and dry case against Caruso's stalker with Schnitzer confessing at one point to authoring her now infamous death threat letter.

Crime blogger Marcus J. Oswald elaborated on yesterday's sentence on his blog. Barring a successful appeal, Schnitzer will first be housed in a regular prison followed by a one year observation period in a mental facility.
There is also the possibility at some point Schnitzer could be fitted with an ankle monitoring device.
Once she has completed the observation period, there will be another hearing. It is expected that Schnitzer will be released on or about January 2011.

Following yesterday's conviction, Schnitzer and her attorney had several options to consider: (a) accept the verdict and sentence, (b) appeal the verdict and sentence (c) appeal the sentence only or (d) request three days to consider their options. Schnitzer and her attorney asked for three days to mull over their choices. In the meantime, Schnitzer and her attorney will "consider" the ramifications of yesterday's sentence and decide whether or not to appeal. If Schnitzer files an appeal, the prosecutor will also appeal as well. In the event Schnitzer loses her appeal, she could find herself subject to an even stiffer penalty.

Given the fact that Schnitzer could have faced three years incarceration, the prosecution's offer on the table is looking pretty good at this point and should be given serious consideration. Being released in January 2011 sure looks better than April 2012. If Schnitzer appeals and loses, she could find herself serving out the maximum sentence of three years.

Schnitzer's Death Threat

Schnitzer's Death Threat
Actual Letter Sent to Caruso