"I am the angel of death for her"
September 6, 2008 11:28 PM   Subscribe

The Video Diary of Ricardo Lopez On January 14th, 1996, A 21-year old Floridian man named Ricardo Lopez began a video diary to record his own growing obsession with Bjork.

Over the following nine months, Lopez amassed 18 hours of footage, documenting his own descent into madness, his decision to kill the singer, all amid the design, construction, and mailing of a sulfuric acid bomb. The diary ends as he rants, shaves his head, covers himself with paint, puts on a favourite Bjork song and commits suicide on camera. The footage allowed local police to alert Scotland Yard, and on September 17th, 1996 the gift-wrapped bomb was intercepted before it could be delivered.
posted by grippycat (23 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Bjork is cool.
posted by jayder at 11:43 PM on September 6, 2008

Mental Illness: The Blog Post.
posted by basicchannel at 11:59 PM on September 6, 2008

So ummm...who actually converted the tape to digital format and uploaded it onto youtube?
posted by hal_c_on at 12:31 AM on September 7, 2008

I tried to watch it but stopped at the first mention of Björk. That was the moment it became too much for me. I've met her briefly a couple of times and it's incredibly disconcerting to contemplate this kind of behavior when it's directed at someone I've met. Also, this all happened around the same time my aunt worked for Björk making Homogenic (she's was a violinist in the string octet). Such an awful, horrible thing in every way.
posted by Kattullus at 12:39 AM on September 7, 2008 [3 favorites]

Is it wrong that I want desperately to develop a TV comedy series called "Bjork and Bindi," in which young Bindi Irwin travels the world to help save endangered animals and promote conservation, but must deal with the comical interference of Bjork who, for reasons never fully explained, won't leave Bindi alone but keeps hanging around, saying incomprehensible things, doing little performance art bits, and occasionally managing to help Bindi out of a tight spot?

Is that bad of me?
posted by Naberius at 12:40 AM on September 7, 2008 [18 favorites]

Best author I've read on the topic, The Psychology of Stalking By J. Reid Meloy and, imo, the best book on the subject by the same author, Violent Attachments.

The bizarre combination of lascivious obsession mixed with the expression of homicidal intention, "violent attachment", is utterly bewildering. Meloy's book makes sense of this by saying that the stalker apparently feels victimized by their own obsession and seeks to possess the stalkee by destroying them, a trophy ownership of sorts, which the stalker imagines will set things right again.
posted by nickyskye at 1:16 AM on September 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

There seem to be tons of videos on YouTube of people shooting themselves in the head. I don't want to watch any of them, let alone 18 hours of preamble.

It makes me sad. Whatever ever happened to the nice concise suicide note? The sorry state of modern writing skills saddens me so much.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:21 AM on September 7, 2008 [4 favorites]

I told Bjork it was a bad idea to put her boyfriend in charge of making viral videos for the new album...
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:57 AM on September 7, 2008

There's nothing to be learned here. Some poor loon talking to himself about his problems. America is full of guys like that. It's too bad he was able, despite his insanity, to get dangerous materials to mail to his target and get a gun to kill himself (luckily) before he killed others (as he had threatened to do), but that's also old news.
posted by pracowity at 5:43 AM on September 7, 2008

Wasn't this covered extensively already, over ten years ago? Is there some new development in this situation? If not, then why are we revisiting the short, sad life of this disturbed individual?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:03 AM on September 7, 2008

When I was in college I had over 1,000 remixes of Bjork's music. So, no, this isn't mental illness. Bjork is one of the greatest music performers of the last 100 years. And I say the same thing for Tricky too, though his food allergies have held him back of late.
posted by parmanparman at 6:08 AM on September 7, 2008

Why, hello everyone! This is Bjork! You needn't worry about me for I am hiding inside of a walnut shell! My invisible pony plays the drums, can you hear him? He laughs when I say his name but we have a secret language. It is like the chirping of the birds!
posted by mattholomew at 6:35 AM on September 7, 2008 [8 favorites]


Off topic, but i saw Tricky in Toronto a few months ago. I wanted to ask him if he was working on anything new, but I didn't :(
posted by geekigirl at 7:39 AM on September 7, 2008

Tricky was in Toronto a few months ago? God damn it.
posted by chunking express at 7:54 AM on September 7, 2008

Chunking express,
I know. I had to do a serious double take. It was at the Drake Hotel on the patio. There is no mistaking the guy though.
posted by geekigirl at 8:07 AM on September 7, 2008


I didn't know that Björk had a relationship with Tricky. Does he really have food allergies?
posted by lukemeister at 9:22 AM on September 7, 2008

Tricky was in DC last night. And I saw him. His new album is even better than Blowback!
posted by parmanparman at 9:33 AM on September 7, 2008

Maxinquaye is utterly brilliant. I haven't heard the new one, but I've been following his work for years. The new single sounds okay but lacks that effortless magic of his best stuff, imo.

I know of some of the Thom Yorke/Radiohead stalkers, and they are not happy people. It's a tragic waste of energy and a life...
posted by jokeefe at 12:14 PM on September 7, 2008

There's nothing to be learned here.

No, I disagree with that.

It's not common to have such an intimate view of a stalker's thought process and especially their devolving into psychosis. He filmed his homicide attempt/suicide before YouTube existed. I hadn't seen the video or even heard of this guy before this week.

Did this guy, Ricardo Lopez, remind anyone else of AJ Soprano, pathetic but potentially lethal?

Stalking was made a criminal offense in many countries only after 1990, when a number of high profile stalking-and-attempted-murder cases made it into the press. Then it was only until after 1993 that anti-stalking legislation was passed in all 50 states due to "intense pressure from women's groups and voters".

Useful resources about stalking.

"Until recently, stay-away or restraining orders were the only means of protection for stalking victims. These traditional measures were rarely effective because they penalized perpetrators only after the orders had been violated".

Now with identity theft and cyberstalking commonplace, it's even more important to know about the stalker mindset. I've been stalked both offline and online, got death threats, got blackmail. From 1997 to 1999 I had funeral wreaths put outside my apartment door. Then this type of malicious harassment wasn't well understood. It is now and taken seriously.

In Japan, for example, anti-stalking legislation only came into being quite recently, in 2000.

Now things are different. People know much more about stalkers, especially thanks to high profile situations, to ones that have been filmed, documented. Not many stalkers document their plans like this guy. Thanks to YouTube a whole new generation will not take the stalking concept so lightly. It's not just some silly obsessing. It's dangerous and needs to be perceived as such with legal protections set in place.
posted by nickyskye at 12:47 PM on September 7, 2008 [4 favorites]

Thanks, nickyskye. You said it better. Portrayals of mental illness in the media tend to have a glamour on them, but this was a genuine glimpse of an ordinary, chunky schlub, just like anyone on YouTube, putting together a bomb, painting his face and preparing to die. He was years younger than he looked, the poor bastard. Why am I more inclined to sympathize with him than with Mark David Chapman, John Hinckley, or any other such creatures? I can't say.

The ending haunted me. All those cop cars, those gloved hands piling up the tapes he had made, in the sunshine -- the first sunshine they had ever been in. Madness is isolation. Someone was apparently trying to reach out to him, what with the psychiatrist appointments he agreed to have, but they couldn't reach far enough. He was too closed in.
posted by Countess Elena at 1:39 PM on September 7, 2008

Sometimes people are just fucking crazy and you can only wish they offed themselves sooner.
posted by autodidact at 5:56 AM on September 8, 2008

So, who opens mail for celebrities these days? Interns? Robots? Mail room clerks?
Anyone working on a robot mail room clerk? I'm thinking Asimo Scissorhands would be a good choice.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:36 PM on September 8, 2008

@Naberius -- 'twould make a fine Fox Tuesday Night with my new show "Hicks 'n Nixon."
posted by britain at 9:07 PM on September 24, 2008

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