“The Stranger Beside Me” is a true story movie based on rapist’s wife, Linda Bergstrom, and her husband James Bergstrom. “The Stranger Beside Me” debuted in 1995 on ABC starring Tiffani Amber-Thiessen as Linda Bergstrom. The real rapist’s name was changed to Chris Gallagher in the movie.
The true story that inspired “The Stranger Beside Me” is about a woman’s whose husband was suspected as the Houston serial rapist. The movie was told from the wife’s point of view.
Court documents show that in 1992, James Edward Bergstrom was arrested for 23 sexual assaults on women.
According to detectives, James Bergstrom terrorized his own neighborhood by raping several women between the 1980s and 1990s.
The police investigation showed that James Bergstrom, dressed in construction gear, told neighborhood women that he needed to “test” the water. When he gained entry into their homes, he would rape them. Sometimes he wore a ski mask.
Linda Bergstrom, his faithful wife, began to suspect that her own husband was the rapist. She tried several times to warn police but her pleas were ignored.
“I knew who I was living with. It was like living in a nightmare,” according to Linda Bergstrom’s comment to the Houston Chronicle.
Police believe that the number of women he actually assaulted is much higher than what is believed.
Linda Bergstrom, also known as Linda Martinez, attracted national attention when she went public with her story. She has been featured on several talk shows and magazines.
Her story became the subject of the book “Evil Beside Her” by Kathryn Casey.
The movie still airs on cable channels, most notably the Lifetime Movie Network.
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