Lisa Nowak is a former naval flight officer and NASA astronaut turned criminal, who attempted to kidnap and possibly kill her ex’s lover after learning of their romance.
In 1988, Nowak, 55, married classmate Richard T. Nowak, whom she had three kids with. Towards the end of their marriage, however, she began an affair with fellow astronaut William “Billy” Oefelein, 53.
While their hot romance went on for about two years, Oefelein eventually dumped Nowak for pretty engineer Colleen Shipman in 2006. It is then when Novak began stalking the pair and plotting her revenge.
Eleven years after the incident, REELZ’s new docuseries Scandal Made Me Famous: Diaper Astronaut is giving viewers an inside look into Nowak’s wild fixation and attempted crime.
“Probably feeling slighted and ignored, Lisa took her obsession to the next level, and she used a key to sneak into Billy O’s apartment,” says Scandal Me Famous‘ Steve Helling in the show teaser.
StarMagazine.com readers know Nowak broke into Oefelein’s apartment and read his emails with Shipman. She then realized the engineer had been in the picture for far longer than she’d imagined.
Full of rage, Nowak got a hold of Shipman’s travel itinerary and realized she’d be traveling to her hometown of Orlando, Florida in the coming days. The astronaut then planned a journey to follow Shipman.
On February 4-5 of 2007, Nowak drove from Houston to Orlando with a BB pistol, a knife, rubber gloves, plastic trash bags, pepper spray, a drilling hammer, her computer and about $600 in cash.
She also wore astronaut diapers so she wouldn’t have to stop for bathroom breaks, a fact which got her the label: “Diaper Astronaut.”
When she arrived in Orlando, she drove to the airport to intersect Shipman. As the engineer got in her car, Nowak—who was wearing a black wig at the time—ran towards her, crying. Unable to reach Shipman before she shut the car door, Nowak began screaming and banging on her car window. As soon as Shipman rolled it down, Nowak sprayed the pepper spray but was unable to get a grasp on her, as she drove off and alerted the on-site police.
Nowak threw her weapons and bags in a trash can nearby, but it was too late. She was arrested and charged with attempted murder and attempted kidnapping.
Scandal Made Me Famous: Diaper Astronaut airs Saturday, August 11 at 9:00 ET / PT on REELZ.