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Woman accused of stalking Cubs’ Theo Epstein held on $75,000 bail

Kathleen Kearney

Kathleen Kearney

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Updated: August 19, 2012 6:16AM



Kathleen Kearney’s a Harvard graduate. Class of 1989.

A culinary college librarian, too.

She’s also something else: Cubs president Theo Epstein’s stalker, prosecutors said.

On Monday, the 44-year-old woman from Canton, Mass., was arrested near Southport and Addison and charged with two counts of felony stalking. On Tuesday, a Cook County judge ordered her held on $75,000 bail.

Kearney recently flew to Chicago and rented a red Ford Mustang. She Googled Epstein’s Lake View mansion and plugged the address into the muscle car’s GPS. And at about 10 a.m. Monday, Kearney greeted Epstein’s wife, who was in the front yard, prosecutors said.

“I’m Kathy. You must be Marie,” Kearney allegedly said.

At first, Marie Epstein thought Kearney was a neighbor and invited the woman past the front gate. But when Kearney offered up birthday presents — a backpack and banner — for her toddler son, Marie Epstein got worried. She asked Kearney to leave and then called Cubs security and police.

Kearney left, but not for long.

She drove around the block and passed Wrigley Field. Later, she allegedly returned to the block where she spotted Theo Epstein walking home, called out to get his attention and followed him past the front gate. He ignored her, went inside and called police, prosecutors said.

Kearney allegedly got back in the Mustang and drove away.

At about 6 p.m., officers found Kearney in the rental car double-parked on Addison about two blocks from Epstein’s home, police said.

Kearney was arrested and gave a written statement to police. She told detectives that she was trying to invite Theo Epstein to attend church with her, a source said.

Monday wasn’t the first time that Kearney was accused of trying to make uninvited contact with Epstein. Back in Boston, she allegedly attempted to hand-deliver the then-Red Sox general manager a “Burger King” meal at Fenway Park, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said in court that investigators had trouble determining whether Kearney had a criminal history because her fingers are scarred and she is missing some fingertips.

Kearney told police that she had been warned to stay away from Epstein, prosecutors said. It wasn’t clear who gave her that warning. `

Kearney had neither been arrested for stalking Epstein nor the subject of a court order of protection barring her from making contact with him, according authorities in Chicago and Brookline, Mass., Epstein’s former hometown.

After receiving questions about Kearney, Brookline police Lt. Philip Harrington said officers “were privately hired as detail officers to watch the Brookline residence of Theo Epstein” on 18 different occasions in April and May of 2010. It wasn’t clear if the security detail was related to any alleged stalking by Kearney.

“The officers stayed outside in personal vehicles to keep an eye on the residence,” Harrington said in a statement. “Actual reasons beyond watching the house are not a public matter. Most of these details took place during Red Sox games.”

Epstein and his wife did not return calls seeking comment.

In court Tuesday, Kearney’s public defender, Amand Sundaram, noted Kearney had worked at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary College in Boston. At one point during the hearing, Kearney — dressed in a blouse with blue and red flowers, white shorts and tennis shoes — blurted out, “I was a librarian.”

In fact, Kearney got a master’s degree in library science from Simmons College in 2002, and graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1989.

Prosecutors argued for Kearney to be held without bond because she has “demonstrated through her actions that she is a danger to Mr. Epstein and his family.”

Sundaram called Kearney’s actions similar to other celebrity-obsessed people. In court, he even offered a conflicting account of Kearney’s interaction with Marie Epstein, saying at one point she was invited inside the home.

“She rang the doorbell, Mrs. Epstein opened the door and let her in. [Kearney] had a friendly conversation, gave her a gift and then left the home,” Sundaram said.“There are probably five million people you can arrest for following celebrities.”

In addition to the $75,000 bond, Kearney also was ordered to stay away from Epstein’s home, family and workplace.

Late Tuesday, Kearney remained in custody. Her next hearing is scheduled for July 23 at 9 a.m.

Contributing: Mark Konkol



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