Deadly Obsession: The Ricardo Lopez Story

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Quite a lot of us who consider ourselves true crime buffs have read a lot about stalking cases over the years. Some of us have been victims of stalking and some of us have read about our favourite musicians or actors who have fallen victim to an obsessed fan.

It's a frightening situation to be in and can turn your life upside down. I've covered a few cases of stalking here on my blog:

One of my readers suggested I write about the murder of Selena Quintanilla but I think that a lot of people are already familiar with the case and there's been a number of documentaries as well as the movie made about the case which you can find online. I was watching some true crime documentaries the other day when I stumbled across this case from 1996 which involved Bjork's stalker.

I had read years ago that Bjork, who is a legendary female singer and artist from Iceland, had a frightening experience with a stalker in the 90s but I didn't know the full details. Thanks to the internet I was able to find out a lot more about this stalker and what actually happened back in 1996 which I will share with you in this post.

As with all my true crime posts, you may find some details a bit distressing so you have been warned.

As I mentioned earlier, Bjork (Bjork Guomundsdottir) is an Icelandic singer who's featured in the music charts since the late 1980s. She was born on the 21st of November 1965 in Reykjavic, Iceland and started singing at the age of 11. She had her first taste of success whilst in the band The Sugarcubes. The Sugarcubes scored a hit with Birthday in 1987 which charted in the UK and the USA. Her unique sense of style, quirkiness, innocence, fun and vocal abilities, set her apart from other female artists. She is best known for her hits It's Oh So Quiet, Big Time Sensuality and I've Seen It All (which was nominated for an Academy Award).

It was in 1993 that Bjork's solo career really took off when she released her debut album which was a huge hit. It was also around this time that a young man, a shy eighteen year old by the name of Ricardo Lopez was flicking through the channels of his TV and stumbled across a music video of Bjork. He became transfixed as he watched the video for Human Behaviour. He thought that Bjork was the most beautiful girl that he had ever seen and he wanted to know everything about her, where was she from?, what was she like as a person?

Up until this point, Ricardo had a huge crush on the actress Geena Davis and would watch her movies over and over again. He lost interest in Geena when he found out in a magazine that she was getting married and turned his attentions to Bjork.

Ricardo Lopez was born on the 14th of January 1975 in Uruguay. His family moved to the US when he was a young child and settled in Georgia. Ricardo was close to his parents and was known for being a well mannered, polite and shy young man. He wasn't very comfortable in social situations and had a small number of male friends. Ricardo struggled to talk to girls and didn't have any experience with dating. At 17 he became more and more drawn into his own world and used art to cope with his loneliness. He became fixated on celebrities and their lives and became obsessed with Geena Davis for a short while before he discovered she was getting married.

He had dreams of becoming a famous artist and dropped out of school. As much as he dreamt of becoming an artist he didn't apply to art school for fear of being rejected. He moved to a small apartment in Hollywood, Florida where he took a job as a pest control worker. He hated the job and felt that his hard work was never appreciated. His apartment was very small and hot most of the time because there was no air conditioning so he would walk around naked. His bed was a dirty, flat mattress that he kept up against the wall during the day and there were papers and empty food containers strewn about the floor. Ricardo could hardly move in his apartment due to his size and clutter everywhere. He had pieces of art that he had done, hung up on the walls along with pictures of Bjork.

Ricardo considered Bjork a muse for his art and he said that she inspired him with her beauty and innocence. He felt euphoric whenever he thought about her and likened it to feeling like he was in love and to him he was in love with her. He said he was obsessed with Bjork but didn't see her in a sexual way, he couldn't imagine himself sleeping with her because of how he felt about his body but he said he loved her like a daughter. As time went by, Ricardo wrote endless letters to Bjork as well as painting pictures of her and keeping a 803 page diary which was mostly filled with thoughts about her.

He sent her one of his paintings and would count the days in which he was waiting for her to respond. When she didn't respond he became more and more depressed and wrote about it in his diary.

Leading up to his 21st birthday, Ricardo was becoming more and more isolated in his small apartment and more depressed with his life. His family were concerned and offered to help him many times, they even offered for him to move in with them but he never took them up on their offer, he would visit and pretend that things were ok. His family and small number of friends knew that he was a big fan of Bjork but didn't think that he would be capable of doing anyone any harm, they did worry about him doing harm to himself though and his mother made him promise to never buy a gun or hurt himself.

He attended a psychiatrist appointment but withheld how he was really feeling with the suicidal thoughts and obsession with Bjork. As he continued to spiral down in his depression, things came to a head when he saw an article in a magazine which announced that Bjork was in a relationship with English musician and DJ Goldie

Rather than lose interest and move onto another celebrity as he did in the case of Geena Davis, he became enraged and decided that he would get Bjork's attention one way or another by making sure that he did something that would ensure that she remembered him for the rest of her life.

Ricardo was a racist and had an issue with black men dating white women. This was something that he already had negative views about but to see Bjork, who he considered an innocent angel, dating a black man who was a DJ and quite streetwise, enraged him.

As much as he was racist about Goldie, he had no plans to physically harm him as some obsessed people may have done. His sole focus was on Bjork and he realised that Bjork wasn't the innocent angel that he had built her up to be, she was human, she made mistakes and she drank and had relationships just like a lot of other people do.

Bjork wasn't fitting into what he envisioned her to be and there was still no response from the letters and painting that he had sent her. He decided that he wanted to end his life and leave a devastating mark on hers. He bought a camera and decided on his 21st birthday that he would begin to document and plan the end of his life and his plans for Bjork.

His original idea was to create an explosive device that would give Bjork HIV. The bomb would be full of hypodermic needles which contained infected blood.

He decided against this idea because he had no way of acquiring the items that he needed and planned to create an ''Acid bomb'' which would be hidden in a hollow hardback book which would explode in Bjork's face as she opened it. He hoped that the sulphuric acid from the bomb would ruin Bjork's looks so that every time she looked in the mirror she would think of him.

Having no criminal history and using his job as a pest control worker, he found it easy to obtain sulphuric acid as well as other chemicals.

Ricardo was excited about this idea and started recording his video diary on his birthday (14th of January 1996). He would record 22 hours in total and the videos featured his decline further and further into madness. He quit his job so that he could focus on making the acid bomb and he planned to send Bjork the package on the same day that he committed suicide.

From the 14th of January 1996 to the 12th of September 1996, Ricardo filmed himself in his apartment, often naked, talking about Bjork and how angry he was about her relationship with Goldie and that he wanted to punish her. He bought true crime books and had music on in the background throughout his videos. He explained how he would make the bomb and demonstrated what the acid would do when it hit Bjork's face by pouring some acid on a piece of meat.

He bought a gun and on the morning of his suicide, he took the completed bomb which was wrapped up in a package that he designed to make it look like it was from a record company, to the post office. Before leaving he held the gun up to the camera and said that he was taking it with him just in case somebody found out what he was doing. When he was back from the post office, he switched the camera back on and set about his plans for his suicide.

Ricardo, who was naked, shaved off his hair and covered his face and head in green and red paint. Sometime later, he was sat down with the gun and an image of Bjork paused on his TV screen. Bjork's music was also playing in the background.

At some point he had written on the wall in black paint ''The 8mm videos are documentation of a crime, terrorist matter. They are for the FBI.''

On the wall behind him he had written the words ''The Best Of Me'' on a white board which was placed there so that when he shot himself his remains would splatter across it.

In the last few moments before he pulled the trigger he admitted that he was nervous and tried to psyche himself up to do it. He said to the camera ''This death is for you Bjork. No, excuse me...uh...for you to see it. In some compensation for the pain that I have caused you and or maybe will cause...uh...Everything else in my life that I've fantasised about, I have accomplished. This is...uh...this is the last song, after this, I am dead.''

He then takes some deep breaths and says ''This is for you'' and puts the gun in his mouth and fires. His body then slumps to the floor.

Ricardo's body laid on the floor of his cramped apartment till the manager of his apartment block had spotted a discoloured liquid coming through the ceiling on the 16th of September 1996. The police were called and they were shocked at what they had found. It was quite a gruesome scene with Ricardo's body heavily decomposed due to the heat, the writing on the wall, the paused image of Bjork still on the TV screen and pictures of Bjork and Goldie on his refrigerator door with the words ''N**ger lover'' underneath.

Luckily the police quickly checked the tapes and discovered that Ricardo had sent the package to Bjork's address in London a few days earlier. They knew the package would take a few days to get there and they only had a number of hours left.

Scotland Yard in London had a system for checking suspicious packages and they were alerted just in time. They found the package before it reached Bjork and conducted an isolated explosion. They found that the device not only worked but it sprayed sulphuric acid in all directions meaning that if Bjork had opened it, she would have not only been horrifically disfigured but possibly killed and anyone else who happened to be with her at the time would have been harmed.

Bjork was understandably shaken up by the whole situation and appeared to the public as quite strong, she spoke about her son who she said she was more concerned about. Goldie and Bjork had been broken up for quite some time but it wasn't reported in the press. Investigators believe that it wouldn't have made a difference if Ricardo had been aware of this information, he would have waited for her to do something else that would have upset him.

Ricardo was that type of fanatic who would idolise someone and then snap if that person did the slightest thing they didn't approve of. Experts say that it wouldn't have made a difference if Bjork had written him back, if she did, this would have just reinforced the obsession even more and he would still have turned against her eventually.

As you can imagine, Bjork's life was turned upside down by what had happened but she still went out of her way to send a card and flowers to Ricardo Lopez's family. She quickly left London and went to Spain for a while and recorded a new album. She also hired security for her son. She said in an interview some time later ''I was very upset that somebody had died. I couldn't sleep for a week and I'd be lying if I didn't say that it scared the f!ck out of me. That I could get hurt and that most of all my son could get hurt.''

After this incident, Bjork continued to release music and went on to have a glittering career. She is still touring and releasing music to this day and is regarded as one of the most influential female artists in the music industry.

Further reading & sources:

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Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?

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  1. WOW that is scary! These people are out there and sadly, many times, we never know before it is too late.

    1. I know, it's scary! Thank you for reading and commenting : ) x

  2. I think that stalkers are sadly a sad reality of most women. I definately remember about Selena Quintanilla story though.

    What is crazy is how close that Ricardo got to making his vision a reality, and this was back in the early '90s when there was a much bigger stigma on mental illness, at least in the US. I have to wonder a lot about his family and childhood, because these tendencies don't just come out of no where.

    1. My thoughts exactly! Not much is known about his childhood and I do wonder what his family were like. I was also shocked at how he managed to get hold of Bjork's address in London so easily. Thanks for commenting : ) x

  3. I absolutely love crime stories. I can be a bit of an addict at times. This was an excellent read! I’m surprised I was unaware of this! Now I want to do some digging of my own!

    1. Thank you so much lovely! There's quite a few youtube videos about him and articles online. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment : ) x

  4. This was a crazy read. The fact that he wrote 'The Best of Me' on a white board with the intention of splattering his brains over it gave me chills. But it also inspired me to write something sick and twisted!? Is that strange?

    Stalkers are a terrifying reality for a lot of women, but for most they don't get a close to actually fulfilling their wants. That's just mind blowing and makes me a little panicky to think about.

    - Nyxie

    1. It's crazy! I can't wait to read your post and I'm glad that this post has inspired you to write something in this vein. Thanks for reading and commenting : ) x