On This Day: The Strange Story of Axl Rose and His Stalker Ends

Axl Rose is known for many things. He’s known as the frontman of the legendary rock band Guns ‘N Roses. He’s also known for inciting a riot back in 1991. And we can’t forget about that one time when he almost beat the crap out of David Bowie. But few know Axl Rose as a man who had a notoriously strange stalker with a record of following around celebrity singers.

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Karen McNeil had famously stalked singer Justin Timberlake for a number of years in the early aughts. It was such a big problem that the “Sexy Back” artist had to get a restraining order. McNeil had once allegedly showed up to his house with all of her possessions, ready to move in.

Few know that this famous stalker had already done something similar to Guns ‘N Roses singer Axl Rose years earlier.

The Beginning of the Insanity

Karen McNeil allegedly believed that she was Axl Rose’s wife. She also believed that she was capable of telepathically communicating with the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” singer through a process called “thoughttransfer.” 

It all began with her showing up at Rose’s house. Typical fan behavior, and probably something Rose was used to. Eventually, though, things got more serious.

In 1997, Rose had to get a court order to keep McNeil at least 300 yards away from him at all times. Unfortunately, that didn’t work. She attempted to break into his house just a year later, and she spent some time in jail for it.

It didn’t end there. In 2000, she sent a slew of letters to Rose’s home and attempted to break into his home again and was successful in doing so. When the cops arrived, McNeil was allegedly in Rose’s bed.

Finally, on June 21, 2000, McNeil was arrested and sent to prison for a year after years of stalking the Guns ‘N Roses frontman. You’d think that would be the end, but she went on to stalk Justin Timberlake not long after serving time.

The Truth Behind the Stalking Incident

So was there any truth behind McNeil’s claims? We’d have to give that a hard “no”.

Many fans and armchair psychologists alike have compared McNeil’s behavior to “erotomania”, a mental condition in which a person believes that they are loved by an unattainable person, usually a celebrity they have never met. 

Celebrity worship is one hell of a drug.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives

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