Benjamin Campbell -- a computer data specialist who began stalking Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn -- turned himself in to New York City police last Thursday. Campbell, 35, violated two orders of protection; he was charged with criminal contempt.
Finn, who was raised in Edina and fronted celebrated Minneapolis band Lifter Puller, endured months of harassment from Campbell, the NY Post reports. Fans of Brooklyn rockers the Hold Steady are famously devoted, but Campbell's fandom seemingly morphed into obsession.
“He said the Hold Steady were a religion, Craig Finn was Jesus and a lot of bands that followed them around were all apostles,” an anonymous friend of Finn's told the NY Post. "And if he started a band that band would be next apostles; that’s Mark David Chapman-esque."
Campbell experienced a mental breakdown about five years ago, according to his lawyer, and sufferers from bipolar disorder, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Here's a disturbing bullet-point rundown of the allegations against Campbell, per the Post:
- In 2017, Campbell pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment and disorderly conduct. He was accused of stalking and threatening to kill Finn and Francis Bevan, the latter of whom co-owns Brooklyn's Minneapolis-themed Lake Street Bar.
- Sent Finn text messages threatening to slit his throat and turn the Hold Steady's next concert into a "funeral feast."
- Sent Finn hundreds of Instagram messages, sometimes as many as 30 per day.
- Sent Bevan images of tombstones featuring Bevan and Finn's names.
- Vandalized the exterior of Finn's apartment with graffiti; left packages containing books and lyrics outside of his home.
- Vandalized the bathrooms at Lake Street Bar with glitter bombs; was later banned from the bar.
- Convinced the Church of Scientology was manipulating him via Finn's solo song "Galveston," Campbell set fire to hotel curtains last May in Lake Jackson, Texas; he was masturbating when police arrived to arrest him.
- Purchased $125 handwritten lyrics from Finn, complete with a personalized message; has Hold Steady chest tattoo.
Finn moved twice out of fear, according his friends. The 47-year-old musician asked Campbell to stop contacting him, but Campbell refused, citing "the right of freedom of speech." According to the Post, the Hold Steady would warn venues and promoters about Campbell, who was born in Canada and lives in Brooklyn.
Finn did not supply comments to press outlets following Campbell's arrest.
In July, the Hold Steady announced a huge Minneapolis show set for October 13 at Surly's Festival Field. Last month, they unveiled plans for two hyper-intimiate shows on October 14 at 7th St. Entry, both of which sold out instantly.