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Alleged Stalker Kills Woman, Self

September 11, 2001

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) _ Kenneth A. Sheldon would leave amorous notes for co-worker Kathleen Seely. He’d tell her they should be married. He got personalized license plates with her name.

On Sunday, Sheldon, who no longer worked with Seely, slipped into her workplace at Kootenai Medical Center and shot her to death, then fatally shot himself, authorities say. She appeared to have been shot four times, Sgt. Bob Pharris said.

Sheldon, 50, and Seely met in 1997 when both worked at a retirement home. He had been pursuing the married woman since then, even though she had filed numerous complaints with authorities. The latest complaint was dismissed by a judge in December.

Sheldon became obsessed with Seely, 56, imagining that she wanted to divorce her husband and marry him.

In a 1997 complaint, Seely said Sheldon left her rambling notes declaring his love and got the personalized plates. Seely and her husband, Steve, had a confrontation with Sheldon in a parking lot, with Sheldon saying, ``Tell him you want to be with me.″

Sheldon was tried on a stalking charge, but was acquitted in 1999.

``It makes me angry,″ said Muriel Badgley, a friend of the victim. ``He started stalking her there and they’ve been fighting him trying to keep him away from her ever since.″

According to court documents, Seely filed another complaint last year, saying Sheldon had pulled his car in front of hers, blocking her way, and then stared at her.

Sheldon was arrested and charged with stalking and inattentive driving, but the case was dismissed after Sheldon agreed to seek a psychiatric evaluation and counseling, said Coeur d’Alene City Attorney Wendy Hague. Sheldon also agreed to a longer probation period for an unrelated battery conviction against a different victim in January 2000, Hague said.

On Sunday, Seely arrived for work as a nurse at the juvenile psychiatric unit in a building near the medical center. Staff members saw Seely arguing with Sheldon in the parking lot, then buzzed her into the secure facility. Sheldon followed her inside.

The situation turned tense. Police were outside when they heard gunshots. Officers stormed the building, removing some three dozen children and 11 staff members.

Several hours later, officers found Sheldon and Seely dead.

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