Inmate stabs killer of actress

Times Staff Writer

An inmate serving a life sentence for the stalking murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989 was stabbed repeatedly by another inmate Friday, state prison officials said.

The slaying of Schaeffer, who was stalked for years before being shot at her Fairfax district apartment in Los Angeles, helped prompt anti-stalking laws.

Her convicted killer, Robert John Bardo, 37, suffered 11 stab and puncture wounds Friday at Mule Creek State Prison in Amador County.

He was airlifted in stable condition to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment before being returned to the prison, officials said.


Citing privacy rules, hospital officials said they could not confirm or deny that Bardo was a patient or discuss his condition.

State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials said the stabbing occurred in the yard while inmates were on their way to breakfast about 6:20 a.m.

Two inmate-made weapons were recovered at the scene.

The suspect in the attack was identified as a 49-year-old prisoner serving an 82-years-to-life sentence for second-degree murder in Los Angeles County.

Before that 2003 conviction, officials said, the suspect got a two-year sentence in 1991 for weapons possession by a prisoner and a 15-year sentence in 1990 for voluntary manslaughter, both Los Angeles County cases.

Bardo was housed in a maximum-security unit for inmates with sensitive needs, including former gang members, notorious prisoners and those convicted of sex crimes.

“We have a number of high-notoriety cases, so we cannot jump to the conclusion as to whether his notoriety was a factor in the attack,” said prison Sgt. Chris Weathersbee.

The attack was under investigation.

Schaeffer was a former teenage model who co-starred in “My Sister Sam,” a television sitcom that aired in the late 1980s.

According to trial testimony, Bardo, then 19 and living in Tucson, was obsessed with Schaeffer, sent her letters and tried to visit her.

He obtained her address through a private detective, who got it from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Bardo shot the actress when she answered her door July 18, 1989. He was sentenced in 1991 to life without the possibility of parole.

Schaeffer’s death led to tighter restrictions on public access to DMV records.

Reached at their home in Portland, Ore., Schaeffer’s parents noted that the anniversary of Rebecca’s death had just passed and they were trying to focus on fond memories of her.

When told about the stabbing, her father, Benson Schaeffer, said, “My thought is that Bardo remains as disturbed as he was when he murdered Rebecca.

“I suspect that the disturbance is somehow related to what happened,” said Schaeffer, who is a psychologist. “But I do not know how.”