Tony Stewart stalker made hundreds of calls, played ‘Psycho Killer’

Kathi Russell allegedly made hundreds of calls to Stewart, his family and friends and played Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer,’ angered over no autograph.

Prosecutors in Indiana filed four charges against Kathi Russell on Friday and she was taken into custody in Lee County (Fla.) on Tuesday, according to online court and jail records. Indianapolis’ Fox59 reported Wednesday that Russell made 300 phone calls to six numbers associated with Stewart, his family, businesses and sponsors of his NASCAR team. 

Court records listed calls to report anonymous “tips” about him and contained an admission by Russell of “repeated harassment” of Stewart and his family. She made one of those “tips” to the DEA in a call that alleged his plane contained illegal drugs, according to Fox59.

Stewart and two others were granted restraining orders sought against Russell earlier this week. 

Kathi Russell said she was upset with former NASCAR driver Tony Stewart because he would not give her an autograph. (Photo: Courtesy Lee County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department)

Russell told authorities “she repeatedly tried to get Mr. Stewart’s attention and get him to sign an item of racing memorabilia, but Mr. Stewart ignored Ms. Russell’s attempts,” according to court documents obtained by the television station. 

Stewart retired from NASCAR after last season with three Cup Series championships. 

Russell faces stalking, terroristic mischief and two counts of intimidation where threat is to commit a forcible felony, according to Marion County (Ind.) Superior Court records. 

Russell was in custody in Florida on Wednesday and was slated to be extradited to Indiana.  

The station’s report said that Russell admitted that she “felt like she was ignored” when Stewart failed to sign memorabilia at a race.  

Information from court records said Russell’s harassment included multiple phone calls to Stewart, his mother, and his sister, that sometimes included the playing of Psycho Killer a Talking Heads song.  

The harassment continued from March 2016 through October of this year, court documents said. 

FOX59 reported investigators said Russell made more than 300 phone calls from six different numbers directed at Stewart, his family, business or sponsors. She took “significant steps” to conceal the fact that she was behind the calls, investigators said, using computer programs to mask her phone number.

Follow Perez on Twitter @byajperez and Braun @MichaelBraunNP

Braun writes for the Fort Myers News-Press, part of the USA TODAY Network.

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