Sweet college student Eve Stapleton arrived in Springfield in 1976 to visit her older sister, Rita. She soon became smitten with the attractive Dr. Tim Ryan who was apparently smitten with her as well. However, what Eve didn't know was that at the same time he was dating her, Tim was also interested in Rita. When Eve found out that Tim was interested in Rita, she blamed her sister for leading Tim on until Rita was able to trick Tim into showing what a leach, of a man, he could be in front of Eve. At this point, a disgusted Eve left town and vowed never to return. However, when Rita and Eve's mother, Viola began suffering from dizzy spells again that fall, Eve had no other alternative than to relocate to Springfield so that her mother could receive medical treatment. Fortunately by that time, Tim Ryan was happily engaged to Pam Chandler. Meanwhile, wanting to be financially independent, Eve quit school and supported herself by working at a thrift shop. Along the way, she started dating and fell in love with solid dependable Ben McFarren. Then one day, Eve saw Ben embracing his former fiancée, Hope Bauer. Not realizing it was just an innocent embrace; she ran off and fell, hitting her head. Immediately after Ben explained the situation to Eve and the pair became engaged. Sadly, as a result of her head injury, Eve lost her eyesight and starting to push Ben away. Not long after, Eve will live her greatest nightmare. One day, Eve went to Rita's apartment and while waiting for Rita to return, she heard the door open and immediately assumed that it was Rita. Unfortunately, it wasn't--it was the demented Georgene Granger, the woman who had accused Rita of murdering her husband and father-in-law. Since Eve couldn't see, Georgene remained silent, and Eve continued to demand that whoever was in the apartment to announce themselves. Georgene simply went to the oven and turned it up and the apartment caught on fire. Fortunately for Eve, Rita and Ben soon arrived and Eve was saved. When Eve told Rita the she caught the scent of perfume in the apartment, Rita realized that her stalker was a woman, but whom?! The Stapletons were about to find out.
One day, in mid-May 1978, after Eve had recovered from the smoke inhalation she received during the fire, she was visiting Rita in her building's laundry room. While in the laundry room, Rita and Eve were visited by a seething Georgene Granger who had a gun! Eve recognized her perfume as the same one that the woman who had set the fire wore. Georgene then threatened Eve with the gun, saying she'd take Eve's life as Rita had taken Cyrus and Malcolm's. When Rita tried to tell Georgene that she had been exonerated in killing both Cyrus and Malcolm, an insane Georgene wouldn't listen. Finally, Rita wrestled Georgene for the gun, which went off! Luckily for Rita and Eve, the bullet went in and lodged into the laundry room wall! Thankfully, Ben, Ed and Mike Bauer and Lt. Larry Wyatt had figured out that Georgene was Rita’s stalker and arrived at that moment. Before being led away to a mental hospital, Georgene confessed to killing Cyrus and Malcolm herself. Afterwards, Eve and Ben renewed their relationship and soon married in a beautiful ceremony. Following their wedding, Eve was underwent an operation to restore her eyesight.
Soon after, the newlyweds rented a cottage owned by Lucille Wexler, a cold woman who lived with her sheltered daughter, Amanda. When Lucille discovered that Amanda had a crush on Ben, she decided to make the McFarrens’ lives miserable. When Ben’s art showing had to be cancelled because of a fire at the art gallery, Lucille offered Eve and Ben jobs. Since no one knew that Lucille was responsible for the fire, they took her up on her generous offer. Unfortunately, Lucille overworked both Ben and Eve, which put a strain on their marriage. Working long hours and worrying about money, the couple stopped communicating and soon Ben had a one-night stand with Diane Ballard. Though he quickly confessed to Eve, she couldn’t handle it and hastily divorced Ben and quit her job at Wexler Properties. However before the divorce, Ben would have two attempts on his life--attempts that Eve correctly believed Lucille was behind.
Shortly affair her divorce came, Eve got a job at Cedars as secretary to Dr. Greg Fairbanks. Charmed by Greg, who took an interest in her, Eve started dating him. However unknown to Eve, Greg had an ulterior motive for dating her--he wanted to resume his affair with Rita. Though he did end up having an affair with Rita, when Rita told him she wanted to remain with her husband, he decided to stay with Eve. Unfortunately for Greg, Eve was becoming close to Ben again and so Greg and Diane decided to keep the couple apart by making Ben believe that Greg and Eve were sleeping together. Though the plan initially worked, when Eve learned about Rita's affair and her being in Greg's apartment, she realized that she was set up and broke things off with Greg who was later fired from the hospital by Ed Bauer, Rita's husband. Though she now regretted her divorce to Ben, by this point he was already married to Amanda Wexler.
Single, Eve tried to go on with her life by dating Ross Marler. Though Ross cared for her deeply, it was clear that she didn’t feel the same. Later, in the middle of February 1981, someone began stalking Eve. Eve continued to be stalked into April 1981; she was sometimes chased, started to receive death threats and then sent a dead rat in the mail. Finally, one day, Amanda had occasion to visit her newfound Uncle Chet in his hotel room at the Springfield Arms. There, Amanda found all of the items that had been stolen from her house, including a fur hat and muff she'd worn as a little girl! It was now clear that Chet was a deeply disturbed man who had obviously built a shrine to his niece. Amanda also discovered a letter from Chet confessing to terrorizing Eve because she was a threat to Amanda's love for Ben. He ended the letter by saying that he planned to get rid of Eve once and for all! Knowing something bad was about to happen, Amanda ran to the cottage at the Wexler Estate in search of Chet or Eve. Just as she arrived, Chet appeared and pulled out a gun. Amanda started struggling with him to keep him from shooting Eve and Eve was saved from imminent death. Chet fled and was shot and wounded by the cops. Shortly after, Ben and Amanda’s divorce went through and he and Eve reconciled. Eve spend part of 1983 helping Justin Marler take care of his daughter before leaving town with Ben.
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