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.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
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.
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
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.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Heidemarie Schnitzer, the mentally unbalanced Austrian woman who stalked and threatened to murder David Caruso, Greta Caruso and Liza Marquez was found guilty earlier today by an Austrian court. Schnitzer was sentenced to seven months in prison followed by additional time to be served in a mental facility. After serving out her jail sentence, Schnitzer will be relocated to a mental institution for abnormal criminals. Judge Boehler added the psychotheraphy time to Schnitzer's sentence out of fear Schnitzer would commit further crimes. Schnitzer's attorney, Andreas Grabenweger, plans to appeal the verdict. Above photos courtesy of Tirol's online service and TT.com.
During the trial, Dr. Karin Treichl testified that Schnitzer suffered from "strong narcissistic and anti-social characteristics" as evidenced by Schnitzer's trivializing her acts and incidents of the past. Treichl stated that Schnitzer used her surroundings to manipulate people and maintain a parasitic lifestyle after she fled to Mexico. Treichl went on to testify that fears remain high Schnitzer could commit serious offenses if released.
Prosecutor Karin Schiffmann successfully argued that Schnitzer felt "entitled" to attention after sending 120 letters to David Caruso and fleeing to Mexico to be near the actor without being within direct reach of American authorities. Judge Boehler stated during the proceedings that David Caruso had felt "fear" upon learning he was being stalked. Presenting evidence of fear on the part of the victim is a necessary element of proof of stalking.
For the time being, Schnitzer is in prison where she belongs. For an English translation of today's proceedings, please see The Austrian Times. For those desiring more information on Austrian legal procedure see this excellent link.
Monday, April 13, 2009
In the last couple of hours we have had a flurry of hits from Innsbruck so we decided to take a closer look at who our visitors were. Mostly media possibly looking for last minute details for their coverage of tomorrow's David Caruso stalker trial. Barring any unexpected delays or another escape attempt by Heidemarie Schnitzer, her trial for stalking and threatening to murder David Caruso is set to commence Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. local Innsbruck time. That's 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. for those in the U.S. Eastern and Central time zones.
If Schnitzer is found guilty and we do not foresee any reason why she won't be, she will lose the protection of Austria's privacy laws. The prohibition against publishing her name and photo will be lifted allowing Austrian news services to reveal Schnitzer's true identity; one already well-known to those outside the European Union.
The Stalker Chronicles will be following this trial closely and will update accordingly. A very special thanks to Thomas Hochwarter of The Austrian Times and Marcus J. Oswald for their many informative e-mails during the pre-trial period.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The David Caruso media frenzy continues this upcoming week as a court room in the small Austrian city of Innsbruck stands poised to be the next major headline producer. On Tuesday David Caruso's mentally unbalanced stalker, Heidemarie Schnitzer, will finally have her day in court. Schnitzer will be tried on multiple charges including stalking, threatening to murder David Caruso, Greta Caruso and Liza Marquez and fleeing Austria to avoid prosecution. The trial is expected to last a couple of hours with the verdict and sentence to be announced shortly after closing arguments.
For a copy of the death threat letter Schnitzer mailed to Caruso, please see below. Stay tuned to The Stalker Chronicles for frequent updates as they become available.