Letterman's Stalker - Who was the woman who kept breaking into the New
Canaan, Connecticut home of late night talk show host David Letterman? It was
none other than Margaret R. Ray who resided at the time in the town of Danbury.
Ray first drew national attention in the late 1980s when she stole David
Letterman's Porsche sports car and then claimed she was his wife when stopped at a
New York tollbooth.
After she trespassed at Dave's home in 1993 (camping out on
Letterman's tennis courts), she was sentenced to a few months in prison.. That
same year, the state of Connecticut passed an anti-stalking law in response to
According to a January 1994 Playboy interview, David Letterman
said he "tried to get her some psychiatric help, because the state has let her
case "fall through the cracks."
Ray was later arrested in Westfield, Indiana (15
miles north of Indianapolis) after allegedly trying to steal vitamins and a back
pack from a Wal-Mart store. Coincidentally, the arrest site was located near the
Carmel, Indiana, home of David Letterman's mom, Dorothy Mengering.
On October 6,
1998, newspapers reported that stalker Margaret R. Ray, 46, ended her life
near the small town of Hotchiss, Colorado when she knelt in front of a freight
train and was struck by a 100-car train loaded with coal.
A year before her
death, Ray was arrested in Osceola County, Florida in September 1997 after she
showed up uninvited at the home of retired astronaut Story Musgrave (near
Kissimmee) and turned on all the outdoor faucets. Musgrave told authorities that
Ray had hounded him for years with calls, gifts and letters.
called her death "a sad end to a confused life."
Soon after Ray's death Nellie
Ruth Shirley, 39, of South Carolina was charged with trespassing in David
Letterman's driveway. .
Anecdotes about Ray's stalking
appeared in the book "The Letterman Wit: His Life and Humor" by Bill Adler
(Carroll & Graf, 1995).
If you decide to trespass at the
home of David Letterman...BEWARE. He's got a sign posted at the end of his
driveway nailed to a big tree that reads: "These premises protected by Security
On December 14, 2005, Dave had another crazy fan (Colleen Nestler) come out of
the woodwork when a New Mexico judge issued a temporary restraining order
claiming that Mr. Letterman is somehow expressing his desire for her through
code words ("Marry me, Oprah"), signals and eye gestures. Dave's alleged
influence over the women forced her to go bankrupt and caused her "mental
cruelty" and "sleep deprivation" as far back as May 1994.
Subsequently, the judge ordered Letterman to stay nine feet away from woman who
demanded that Letterman no longer "think of me, and release me from his mental
harassment and hammering." Of course, Letterman's lawyer quickly sought to have
the "absurd and frivolous" law suit rescinded.
TRIVIA NOTE: On July, 18, 1989, twenty-one-year-old actress Rebecca Schaeffer,
the star of the CBS sitcom MY SISTER SAM was shot and killed by an obsessed fan
outside her West Hollywood apartment.
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