Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Alleged `Stalker' May Be Just a Fan

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Alleged `Stalker' May Be Just a Fan

Article excerpt

Waiting in a public place to see Miss America while claiming to be a CIA agent isn't enough to get someone charged with stalking, St. Louis County prosecutors said Wednesday.

While police try to gather more evidence, the man they arrested on suspicion of stalking Miss America, Heather Whitestone, will spend a few days in a state psychiatric hospital in St. Louis.

"We want to make sure this is really a stalking case and not just a fan," said county Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch.

The suspect is a 35-year-old former Anheuser-Busch Inc. brewery worker. He lives in a modest 11-unit apartment complex in Chesterfield.

Authorities describe him as having a bit of a Walter Mitty complex.

Lately, he's carried around a picture of Miss America, along with a form letter from her. He claims to be a family friend, authorities say.

Creve Coeur police arrested him Tuesday evening as he tried to enter an auditorium at St. John's Mercy Hospital, where Miss America was about to speak.

The man, who claimed to be with the CIA, never got close to Miss America and she apparently was unaware of him.

It wasn't the first time he tried to see Miss America - or her family.

On Dec. 12, he was placed on involuntary leave from his warehouse job at the brewery, a company spokesman said.

Four days later, he showed up at the Day's Inn motel in Fultondale, Ala., a Birmingham suburb. That is near the home of Whitestone and her mother, Daphne Gray.

The man left a voice mail message at the office of the Board of Education in Hoover, Ala., where Gray works. He said he was an old friend and wanted to get together.

Police were called and went to his motel. He had a picture of Whitestone and a form letter sent to anyone who writes Miss America. He also described himself as a former CIA operative.

Police didn't consider him dangerous and decided he hadn't committed any crime. …

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