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Tuesday, October 6, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Former Stalker Of Letterman And Astronaut Commits Suicide

AP

HOTCHKISS, Colo. - The woman who went to prison for repeatedly stalking David Letterman committed suicide by kneeling in front of an oncoming train.

Margaret Mary Ray, 46, left only a phone number to call a friend who could notify relatives before she died yesterday afternoon, Delta County Sheriff Bill Blair said today.

"This lady just walked out, knelt and leaned over the track, and the train couldn't stop," Blair said. "She was killed instantly."

Ms. Ray spent various terms in prison, jail and mental institutions over the years for harassing Letterman and, more recently, former astronaut Story Musgrave.

Ms. Ray was first arrested in 1988 while driving Letterman's Porsche near the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City. She identified herself as Letterman's wife and her son as David Jr. when she was unable to pay the $3 toll.

She was arrested repeatedly in subsequent years on trespassing and other counts, once after police found her sleeping near tennis courts on Letterman's property in New Canaan, Conn.

Ray spent about 10 months in prison and 14 months in a state mental institution on the trespassing convictions.

More recently, she turned her attentions to Musgrave.

He told investigators last year that Ms. Ray had harassed him for four years by calling, writing and sending him packages. She once showed up at Musgrave's Osceola County, Fla., home and turned on all the outdoor faucets.

She eventually pleaded guilty to stalking and misdemeanor assault on a corrections officer. She was freed in August after being credited for time already served.

Blair said Ms. Ray was living in Crawford, Colo., but caused no trouble there.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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