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Olympic gold-medalist Sheila Taormina’s stalker hell on Obsession: Dark Desires

James Conyers, who served five years for stalking Taormina
James Conyers, who served five years for stalking Taormina. Pic: Michigan Dept. of Corrections

This week’s episode of Obsession: Dark Desires on Investigation Discovery tells the story of Olympic gold-medalist Sheila Taormina and her ordeal at the hands of stalker James Conyers.

Conyers spent five years in prison for stalking the athlete, who competed at four Olympics from 1996 to 2008 and was the first woman to qualify for the games in three different sports — swimming, triathlon and modern pentathlon.

In 2002 she was contacted by apparant wannabe triathlete Conyers who said he wanted lessons so he could improve at the sport.

But things quickly descended into a horrific ordeal for Taormina as he began inundating her with late-night phone calls, packages and terrifying messages.

A warrant was issued for Conyers’ arrest six months later and the case culminated in him being handed the maximum jail sentence possible.

In 2009, following his release, he was arrested and removed from Indiana State University over claims he had been stalking women’s basketball player Kelsie Cooley.

Obsession: Dark Desires on Investigation Discovery adds dramatization to real-life cases of stalking.

Obsession: Dark Desires airs Mondays at 10/9c.

Julian is the editor of Monsters & Critics. He has worked as a journalist for more than ten years, previously as an editor at the... read more
Julian Cheatle


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