Investigation Discovery’s ‘Killer Cheer: A Very Dangerous Game’ chronicles how Kathleen Baty survived nearly a decade of stalking and harassment by a former high school batchmate who became obsessed with her. Even after multiple prison terms, the latter continued to torment Kathleen as well as her husband, but thankfully they made it out okay. So now, if you wish to learn more about Kathleen’s ordeal, her experiences, her road to recovery, and her current standing, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Kathleen Baty?
Kathleen “Kathy” Gallagher Baty went to Sequoia High School in Redwood, California, with a man named Lawrence “Larry” Robert Stagner in 1982. Even though the two did not know each other well, he became obsessed with her. According to the show, they ran track together, but she never interacted with him on a personal level. In fact, she once said, “We said hi to each other, but we never even had a conversation.” Nevertheless, when she became a cheerleader in 1984, he began stalking her.
According to reports, Larry was arrested for the first time after he was spotted parked in front of Kathleen’s parents’ house with a semiautomatic rifle, 180 rounds of ammunition, a hunting knife, and handcuffs. The unemployed mechanic at the time had threatened to abduct her and “blow away” her then-boyfriend. It was the first of his several prison terms, especially as he continued his obsession with her. Even his second arrest was outside her parents’ residence, carrying a rifle and handcuffs in the car.
As per reports, another time, Larry was arrested at the front door of her Marina del Rey apartment while carrying a .357 magnum pistol. Scared for her life and hoping for some peace, she obtained a restraining order against him. She then married Miami Dolphins football player Greg Baty, and the couple moved into a Menlo Park residence. But again, he managed to find her, resulting in his arrest for violating the court protective order she had to ensure he stays away. Therefore, he was arrested for the fourth time in 1990 itself.
Court documents actually suggest Larry was sentenced to short stints in prison after each apprehension and handed probation on misdemeanor charges. Yet, after carefully submitting to his court-mandated outpatient mental health treatment probation plans, he continued harassing and stalking Kathleen. However, the most severe assault happened within three days of his completing a three-month sentence in 1990. Kathleen was working as a real estate agent back then, but when returned to her Menlo Park residence, Larry was inside.
Holding a hunting knife, he tied her hands and told her he was taking her to Mendocino County. As he dragged her outside to his car, a SWAT team and local police arrived. According to reports, Larry’s parole officer tipped off the authorities after he failed to show up for a scheduled meeting. Even though Kathleen managed to escape, he held law enforcement officials at bay for 11 hours before being taken into custody. The 32-year-old plea-bargained from kidnapping to attempted kidnapping and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Kathleen pleaded with the judge to not reduce the charge, expressing her apprehensions about how he would be back. Her fears turned out to be true after Larry got out of prison in December 1994. Within a month of his release, he disabled his electronic-monitoring anklet and disappeared from the halfway house in Sacramento where he was serving his parole. He allegedly boarded a bus for San Jose and witnesses placed him near Kathleen’s South Bay home.
Following Larry violating his parole, Violence Suppression Unit agents began an intense investigation and he was arrested after six days, on January 26, 1995, from Truckee. According to reports, a bank teller had recognized him and notified the authorities when Larry came in for a withdrawal. He was held without bond in Nevada County jail and sentenced to another year in prison for skipping parole. After being released in January 1996, the 33-year-old stated he did not intend to contact his victim again.
Where is Kathleen Baty Now?
Kathleen has since made it clear she is funneling her years of fear, anger, and frustration into changing the system. When Larry began stalking and harassing her, California had no legislature in place that made stalking a felony. She worked with Representative Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, then a California state senator, to help get federal and state stalking laws enacted. Shocked by the case, California lawmakers passed a stringent anti-stalking law in 1992. She even testified before legislative committees for this law.
Been an incredible @ColumbiaLionsFB Experience for @LandonBaty Couldn't have wished for anything better for my son. And to think in all started with a PepTalk from @marcelluswiley and @Stephania_ESPN 😆👍#RoarLionRoar @IvyCarter24 pic.twitter.com/ippAYKIPQ0
— Kathleen Gallagher | The Safety Chick (@thesafetychick) November 19, 2018
However, Kathleen did not stop there and kept advocating for victims’ rights. As per reports, she gave speeches all over the country, assisted in police training, and even learned self-defense techniques from a French mercenary. She also published a book in early 2003, ‘A Girl’s Gotta Do What a Girl’s Gotta Do: The Ultimate Guide to Living Safe & Smart,’ in which she offered advice on avoiding violent crimes and abusive relationships. While the book was aimed primarily at women, she claims most of the topics are gender inclusive and cater to everyone.
As for her current standing, now in her early 60s, Kathleen is the CEO and Founder of Safety Chick Enterprises and a resident of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. She refuses to discuss the current location of her stalker and wants to focus on her mission of making the country safe for women. According to her website, she has since decided to use her hard-won knowledge and trial-by-fire skills to help empower people to make smart personal safety choices.