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Psychiatrist: Bardo interested in other stalkers

By ALICE CRANE

LOS ANGELES -- Obsessed fan Robert Bardo chatted with a psychiatrist about the activities of several notorious celebrity stalkers after his arrest in the slaying of actress Rebecca Schaeffer, the doctor testified Wednesday.

Dr. Park Dietz said Bardo told him he had read 'Catcher in the Rye,' by J.D. Salinger, trying to determine how the book had reportedly motivated Mark David Chapman, the assassin of John Lennon.

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'He said he had read it twice and still couldn't figure it out,' testified Dietz, a witness for Bardo's defense.

'I told him I had read it and I couldn't figure it out either,' said the psychiatrist, who has researched extensively on the behavoir of dangerously obsessed fans.

Bardo, 21, is charged with carrying out his obsession for Schaeffer by shooting her to death in the doorway of her Fairfax district apartment on July 18, 1989, after stalking her for two years.

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In an interview in the Los Angeles County Jail shortly after his arrest, Bardo also expressed knowledge about and interest in Dietz's work with John Hinckley, who tried to assassinate President Reagan in 1981.

Dietz, a forensics expert, was part of the team that prosecuted Hinckley, who was acquitted by reason of insanity.

At another point in the two-day interview, Bardo told Dietz how he had loitered outside a Burbank studio trying to catch a glimpse of Schaeffer, only to miss her when he walked across the street to buy something to drink.

Dietz recounted that Bardo said, 'If she was near to me, I'd have done to her what Arthur Jackson did to Theresa Saldana.' Jackson, a Scottish drifter, is serving time in prison for the nearly fatal stabbing of Saldana, an actress.

Dietz said that statement reflected Bardo's conflicting emotions toward the fresh-faced Schaeffer.

'He wanted to be with her, on the other hand he was terrified to approach her because something bad might happen.'

Bardo's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Stephen Galindo, called Dietz as part of his focus on Bardo's state of mind at the time of the killing.

Deputy District Attorney Marcia Clark, meanwhile, has alleged that Bardo was in control of his actions and shot Schaeffer while lying in wait.

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Dietz said he examined Bardo over a period of two days following his arrest, when he provided rambling, sometimes chilling details of two trips he made to Los Angeles in pursuit of Schaeffer.

Bardo told the psychiatrist he wandered the secluded, winding streets of the Hollywood Hills, looking for residences that matched a description Schaeffer had given in an interview in 'Seventeen' magazine.

'He talked about (heavy metal rock group) Guns 'n' Roses, saying he liked them because their name reflected his shifting emotions toward Schaeffer,' Dietz said.

The psychiatrist's testimony was to continue Oct. 21 with the showing of a videotape of Bardo's jailhouse examination.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bardo faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty in exchange for Bardo waiving his right to a jury trial. His guilt or innocence will be decided by Superior Court Judge Dino Fulgoni.

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