The movie "The Stranger Beside Me" is based on the case of wife Linda Bergstrom of Texas. Linda was married to James Bergstrom. Bergstrom attacked and violated women. His case was mentioned in Ann Rule's book by the same name. Ann Rule's book, however, is based on the case of Ted Bundy. There is a book about Linda's case called The Evil Beside Her by Kathryn Casey.You can also find this same book by Kathryn Casey under the name The Rapist's Wife. In the movie his name was changed to Chris Gallagher. James is eligible for parole in March 2007.
Facts in the case of James Bergstrom
From Youth to Adulthood
James Bergstrom has a morbid curiosity about women. He starts out as a peeping tom and then this progresses to breaking and entering women's homes. He then starts planning how to attack women by surprise. He is successful....many times. He marries Linda Martinez. Linda Bergstrom notices something strange about her husband. Strange things start to occur. She begins finding questionable items in her husband's possession, such as duct tape, rope, and handcuffs. She then starts to notice grass stains on his pants and tears in his clothing. She is convinced that her husband is a rapist. James Bergstrom finally confesses that he is a rapist. He tells her to "go ahead and tell...no one will believe you." Linda tries to convince Pearland police that her husband is a rapist. Know one believes her.
Linda Martinez Bergstrom found evidence in his car that he was the attacker. She immediately drove to police, but the police did not have enough information to get him. Linda said that it was like "living in hell" waiting for police to gather info. Police got the break they needed when a 17 year old girl was able to id him. She had actually seen his face. Bergstrom was arrested in his complex the same day. Later that day, he called his wife Linda. He told her "They've got me. I'm tired of this I'm going to get help." He then began to tell police everything that he did. One policeman would later state that James Bergstrom told him something that he would never forget: that he thought about looking for women day and night. and he is finally arrested for 23 sexual assaults. He is jailed without bail. Linda is relieved. Linda finally got rid of every single thing in the house that reminded her of James.
June 11, 2010
The Department of Parole received many letters objecting to release. Bergstrom is denied Parole. He is eligible for parole again in 2013.
The media dubbed James Edward Bergstrom as the Parkwood Rapist.