REPORTS: Stalked: What do Christina Grimmie, Ivanka Trump and Sandra Bullock Have in Common?
Rising star Christina Grimmie was killed by a stalker — Ivanka Trump has been stalked, too — “48 Hours” investigates the horrors of stalking and how CBS’ “NCIS” star Pauley Perrette is fighting to change the laws to protect victims.
Last year, singer Christina Grimmie was shot dead by a fan she didn’t know was stalking her online. He showed up at an Orlando, Fla., concert armed with two handguns. Grimmie’s death “should be a huge wake-up call,” says Perrette, who has been stalked for more than a decade. “Anyone watching this at any time could suddenly become a victim of a stalker.”
“’48 Hours” exposes the extreme, often debilitating emotional toll that being stalked has had on Perrette and others, including a lawyer, a single mother and an internet celebrity. They explain vividly, through intimate interviews, what it feels like to be targeted and how being stalked made their lives feel smaller.
On June 10, 2016, Christina Grimmie reached out to her fans on the last leg of her multi-city concert tour with the band, Before You Exit.
Christina Grimmie video: Hey guys. What’s up. We’re in Orlando today. Please come to the show tonight if you live near Orlando, Florida.
“It’s very eerie to look at that now,” Bria Kelly said of the video. “I would give anything to go back to when I last saw her two days before it happened and warn her. I’d give anything to be able to do that.”
Christina’s close friend, singer Bria Kelly, will never get that chance.
Operator: Emergency 911
Caller: Somebody just, uh, opened fire at the Plaza Live… He shot at one of the singers… He shot three times.
“There were several panicked 911 calls,” said Lead Detective Michael Moreschi of the Orlando Police Department.
He says there was mass chaos with blood everywhere when first responders got to the scene.
“When they first walked in there was private citizens performing CPR upon a young lady,” the detective said.
That young lady was 22-year-old Christina Grimmie. She had just finished the concert.
“As she always did, she interacted with her fans after the show by signing autographs, taking pictures … while her brother, Marcus, sat just a few feet away from her … selling merchandise,” said Det. Moreschi.
In line to meet the singer was 27-year-old Kevin Loibl, who can be seen in a photograph, standing at the back of the theater. Eyewitnesses would later tell the detective he didn’t utter a word.
“He just waited in line. When it was his turn he just started shooting Christina,” said Det. Moreschi.
“The very first shot — struck Christina in the head, the gunpowder burnt the side of her head. So he was very close range when he fatally shot her,” Moreschi explained. “He just continued to fire at her as … she went down … She was shot once in the head and twice in the torso.”
“Marcus Grimmie … reacted by going after him … when the shooting started. And this guy backed up against a wall and shot himself in the head” Moreschi continued. “He was dead on the scene.”
“She had no clue that this man was stalking her over the internet who was coming here tonight or that she was in any danger at all,” the detective explained.
Christina Grimmie never thought of the internet as dangerous, but a place for a young girl with a big dream to sing her way onto the world stage; Just her, alone, from the safety of her bedroom in south Jersey.
“No electronics. Just a video camera and her. And you just saw the raw talent. And I was like, ‘this girl is really good,'” Tyler Ward said. “She’s not trying to perform or prove herself. It was just like she was her in her room. And people connected.”
Singer-songwriter Tyler Ward immediately recognized a kindred spirit.
“We had this bond growing in social media together, figuring it out together, being some of the very first people on a platform like YouTube, like Twitter, and figuring out, ‘OK.what are we– what are we doing.”
They became fast friends and made a video together, “How to Love.”
“And she was just blowin’ up,” said Ward.
“And when you say blowin’ up, what do you mean by that,” Moriarty asked.
“When I mean blowin up — she’s gainin’ fans quickly,” Ward explained.
“How many people are we talking about?”
“Millions and millions and millions of people,” said Ward.
“What was it about Christina Grimmie that drew people?” Moriarty asked.
“Wow. There was something about Christina that connected with people because it told people watching, ‘I might be able to do what she’s doing. She’s just a normal girl in a small town doin’ life, and people are noticing.’ And it gave ’em hope,” Ward explained.
In 2011, the YouTube sensation started making a big splash in the real world. There was an appearance with Tyler on “Ellen” and a tour with Selena Gomez.
And then her big break: a coveted spot on the reality singing show, “The Voice.” Bria Kelly, also a contestant, remembers their first meeting.
“Everyone had been freaking out that Christina was on … the show. Because they thought that she was already famous,” Kelly explained. ” I was, like, the one person who didn’t know who she was [laughs] so she just says, ‘Dude, shut up. … I’m just like you. You wanna hang out?’ And we hung out that night. And were inseparable for the rest of the show.”
Christina made it to the final three of “The Voice,” bringing the house down with a powerful rendition of the song, “Wrecking Ball.”
“I was freaking out backstage, I was like, ‘Woo, bring it home, Christina, that’s my girl,'” said Kelly.
Grimmie didn’t win, but that didn’t stop her meteoric rise. But as Christina was taking off, a young man in Florida, Kevin Loibl, was becoming obsessed.
“He felt… that Christina was his soul mate,” said Det. Moreschi.
Loibl followed her every move online, says the detective. He even altered his appearance to make himself more attractive to her.
“That included getting hair plugs, having Lasik eye surgery — losing weight. He lost about 50 pounds,” said Det. Moreschi.
While Loibl’s fantasies intensified, the Grimmie family—completely unaware—relocated from New Jersey to Los Angeles for Christina’s career.
There was a co-starring role in a movie, “The Matchbreaker,” high-profile tours, and an album in the works. Her world was in bloom.
“She had so much more left to give. And she was the last person in the world that I would ever suspect would be shot,” said Kelly.
“This case was unique in the fact that there really … there was no warning,” said Det. Moreschi.
In search of answers, the detective made a trip to St. Petersburg, Florida where Kevin Loibl lived with his father.
“We went into his bedroom. It was very nondescript,” Det. Moreschi said. “There was one window, and it was covered in aluminum foil. That was from what his father described of him having an aversion to light.”
Kevin Loibl rarely left his room except to go to his part-time job as a member of the Geek Squad at Best Buy, where, according to a casual work friend, everyone knew about Loibl’s infatuation with Christina Grimmie.
“The friend realized at some point that this was not a normal obsession, or even an internet crush,” said Det. Moreschi.
Loibl’s friend became so worried, he spoke to a manager about it. But the manager didn’t act on it because he didn’t think it was a workplace issue.
That’s understandable. But Det. Moreschi says, in hindsight, the warning signs were there.
“He had said some goodbyes,” he explained. “The last day that he worked, he told a coworker that he was — he was tired and he was ready to ascend.”
Kevin Loibl printed out a flyer for his own burial service, destroyed all his hard drives , and then on a warm June day, hired a taxi to make the hour-and-a-half trip from St. Petersburg to Orlando.
“He came armed with two handguns. He was wearing an untucked shirt to conceal those two guns. And He also had a knife — strapped to his ankle with a — with a nylon strap,” said Moreschi.
Loibl waited quietly in the back of the theater to finally meet the woman he called his soul mate.
The article continues with the following breaks:
● WHEN AN OBSESSION TURNS DEADLY
● FROM YOUTUBE STARS TO MOVIE STARS, IT’S HARD TO ESCAPE
● STALKING VICTIMS BREAK THEIR SILENCE
● STALKING VICTIM KATHERINE
●A SISTERHOOD WAS BORN
● UNDER THREAT
● LIVING A NIGHTMARE
● JUSTIN MASSLER -A guy who thinks he is – alternately – Jesus Christ and Batman
● TARGET: CELEBRITY
● ON THE TRAIL OF A STALKER
● UNDERSTANDING MASSLER’S MIND
● A MISSION FOR JUSTICE
● CHRISTINA GRIMMIE
Christina Grimmie’s single, “Invisible,” was released by her family, ZXL Music and Republic Records. Proceeds endow a memorial fund in her name.
By Erin Moriarty | Produced by Liza Finley, Ruth Chenetz and Sarah Prior
[This story first aired on Feb. 25. It was updated on Sept. 9.]