UPDATE: On April 14, 2009, Heidemarie Schnitzer was tried and convicted of stalking and threatening to murder David Caruso. Innsbruck Judge Guenther Boehler sentenced Schnitzer to a short prison term followed by incarceration in a mental facility for an undisclosed period of time.
The fate of the mentally unbalanced Austrian woman, Heidemarie Schnitzer, who stalked and threatened to murder David Caruso, Greta Caruso and Liza Marquez will finally be decided next Tuesday in an Innsbruck court room. For those readers who may not be aware, David Caruso has been stalked by a deranged Austrian woman for nearly two years. Late 2006, Heidemarie Schnitzer took a transatlantic flight to Miami where she stalked Caruso to a local establishment and offered him sex. He summarily rejected the woman.
Caruso's rejection sent Schnitzer into a tailspin and her love obsession turned to hate. She created four different blogs designed to denigrate and slander Caruso, Liza Marquez and his associates. She began sending him hundreds of letters demanding an autograph. When none was forthcoming, Schnitzer penned her famous death threat letter (see below for copy) and mailed it to Caruso. CBS Studios contacted the FBI for help and they in turn sought the assistance of the Austrian government in locating and bringing Schnitzer to justice.
A psychiatric evaluation of Heidemarie Schnitzer was performed by Dr. Karin Treichl early 2007 and the results were forwarded to the Court. Dr. Treichl determined that Schnitzer suffered from a severe personality disorder and was capable of turning deadly at a moment's notice. In July 2007, a hearing in Austria was scheduled but HeidemarieSchnitzer failed to appear. Schnitzer fled to Mexico where the FBI and Mexican officials located her and froze her credit cards. Schnitzer returned to Austria in September 2007, but the original hearing had already been rescheduled for April 2008. At the time, Schnitzer was allowed to remain a free woman and her passport was never surrendered.
Fast forward to April 2008 and again Schnitzer failed to appear in court to answer charges she stalked and threatened to murder David Caruso and two others. Again, Schnitzer fled to Mexico's Baja peninsula where for ten months she used a laptop to cyber-stalk Caruso tormenting him with her Internet hate campaign. She reportedly spent between sixteen and twenty hours a day trolling and spamming Internet sites that mentioned Caruso's name. Schnitzer's all-consuming hatred of Liza Marquez was evident for months.
In October 2008, Austrian Judge Guenther Boehler modified the original arrest warrant for Schnitzer and issued an international warrant. A worldwide manhunt ensued although inside sources knew Schnitzer was hiding out in Tijuana, Mexico. Finally in February 2009, Schnitzer was captured and arrested by Tijuana police. In March, Schnitzer was formally extradited to Austria where she has remained incarcerated after officials determined she was a flight risk.
On Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Schnitzer will be tried for stalking, sending death threats and flight charges to avoid prosecution thereof. The stalking charges carry a maximum three years imprisonment.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Pre-trial information for next week's highly anticipated David Caruso stalker trial has been sporadic at best with media accounts varying widely. Forty-eight hours after Schnitzer was extradited to Austria, she was formally arraigned and charged with stalking and sending death threats. At that time, an Innsbruck Court determined that Schnitzer would remain incarcerated until time of trial as she posed a flight risk after twice failing to appear and ultimately fleeing the jurisdiction for Mexico.
Most media outlets also reported that Schnitzer would undergo another extensive psychiatric evaluation prior to her trial. Not true according to Dr. Karin Treichl. In a recent telephone interview with Austrian crime blogger Marcus J. Oswald, Dr. Treichl explained that the Court will rely on her initial evaluation.
In 2007 Dr. Karin Treichl, court-appointed psychiatrist for David Caruso's stalker, conducted an extensive evaluation of Heidemarie Schnitzer meeting with her personally on several occasions. Dr. Treichl concluded that Schnitzer was suffering from a "profound personality disorder" and further noted that Schnitzer had the potential for turning deadly at a moment's notice.
On April 14, 2009 Schnitzer will have her long awaited day in Court. Following testimony, Judge Guenther Boehler will sentence Schnitzer according to court spokesman Dr. Wilfried Siegle. The charges of stalking and threatening to murder carry a maximum penalty of three years. Sentencing will be made public and we fully expect a media frenzy surrounding the rendering of the Court's verdict.
Dr. Wilfried Siegle, spokesman for Innsbruck's public prosecutor's office, has confirmed that Heidemarie Schnitzer will appear in Court on April 14, 2009 beginning promptly at 8:30 a.m at Innsbruck's Hall 111 for anyone wishing to attend next week's highly anticipated David Caruso stalker trial. The proceedings will be open to the public and will last approximately two hours. Prosecutors will present evidence to Judge Guenther Boehler showing Schnitzer stalked and threatened to murder David Caruso, Greta Caruso and Liza Marquez. Each charge carries a maximum three-year sentence.
In a phone interview with Dr. Karin Treichl, Schnitzer's court-appointed psychiatrist, Treichl indicated she will not be conducting any additional evaluations of Schnitzer prior to trial and contrary to previously published reports. Dr. Treichl's 2007 psychological evaluation which diagnosed Schnitzer with "profound personality disorder with the potential for turning dangerous" will be presented to Judge Boehler and used as a foundation for the final judgment.
After reviewing the evidence, Judge Boehler will announce his findings. According to Dr. Siegle, Judge Boehler will pronounce sentence the same day. This will be the final disposition of the case against Schnitzer barring any appeals. A week from tomorrow those of us who have followed this deranged woman for nearly two years will finally know her fate.
The Stalker Chronicles wishes to express a deep debt of gratitude to Austrian crime blogger Marcus J. Oswald for providing us information about Schnitzer's upcoming date with justice. Mr. Oswald has also updated his blog on this story and furnished us with the above pages detailing Austrian trial procedure. Thank you Marcus.