I married a monster...or: I'm the lucky one

in life •  2 months ago  (edited)

To be very honest, I don't even know where to start. This 'event', if you can call it that, is just so beyond me and anything I can get into my head that it's hard to express anything really. The story would be much longer if I start from the beginning, but I won't do this today. I will... someday.

Short back-story: When I lived in Vegas, I married a man from Pennsylvania. One with a past. But who doesn't have one? We dated for a short time, moved in together, got married two years later and six months after that I was pregnant. I flew back to the Netherlands when I was 3 months pregnant. I fought hard for that relationship and I fought during it. I took risks and risked a lot. But I refused to risk the life of our child...
It was always going to end badly for him or someone in his life. I just never imagined this.

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He has seen his daughter once when she was almost 2 after we visited him at his grandmothers' house in PA in December 2003. Remember that date.

The message

Last week I received a message from his son from a former relationship. I've been in touch with him since he was 14 and we have a great relationship even though we've never met. Jordan is very special to me, not just because he's my daughter's brother, but because he beat quite some odds in his 26 years on earth.
The message read: "Did you hear anything about my dad?"
At first, I didn't quite understand what he was saying, so I replied: "No, you?"
Then it hit me that the way he asked implied that something was up. My ex's name is quite uncommon, so googling it will get results if there are results to find. There were. What I read shocked me to the core but before I could read beyond headlines I received another message from Jordan asking me if he could call me.
His first words were: "It's not good. Not good at all." Yeah, I figured that. But even those headlines and the content of the news article didn't prepare me for what was to come...

I'll break it down. Warning: Not for the faint-hearted.

A cold case of a missing woman who went missing in December 2003 was re-opened and closed all at once.
She was killed by her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was my ex, who I was still married to at the time.
So how did this case get re-opened, you ask?
Well, they found the body. In a storage locker in Philadelphia. But this is not even the sickest part of it all.
She hadn't been in that storage locker all that time. He killed her at his house (the house where he was living with his grandparents at the time and the house we visited just one month before the woman was killed there).
An argument got out of hand and he killed her. Then he kept her in the coal bin for nearly 16 years...
In the barn of the house where his grandparents also lived...and while he was in prison too for some time.
But that's not all. Not quite there yet.

Around April this year, he got in touch and told me and our daughter that he was moving to Philadelphia.
That was about the same time that he decided it would be a good idea to dig up the woman and bring her to the city to stuff her in a storage locker. He must have been short of money (although he sold his house), because it seemed that he couldn't rent a larger locker to fit her in. So he had to 'lose' something.
Yup, it gets sicker and more twisted. Don't tell me I didn't warn you.
Apparently, in May this year, someone found two legs in the Susquehanna River... Her legs. The story above made me sick to the stomach, but that last bit... I can't get over it. I was stunned and numb and sick all at once. I married that monster!

And the sad part was that when I told my daughter, she wasn't even surprised. It breaks my heart. She acts tough and like it doesn't hurt her, but I know it does. She used to say that she had no intentions nor the urge to ever see him. And that might be true, but then she had a choice. That choice has now been taken from her. Unless she's going to visit him in prison. But I don't see that ever happen.

I feel for that woman and the family she leaves behind. Her two kids. But hopefully, they will get some sort of closure now. For his family, the nightmare has only just begun... There are so many questions...
I told Jordan that when I was still living with his dad, he was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I met the Jekyll, and when he wasn't drinking, he was kind and even shy towards strangers. Hardworking and always willing to help anyone. But he turned into Mr. Hyde when he drank. He could go weeks or even months without a drop, but I'd always see the change coming. He'd turn into himself, think about all his past errors and what he left behind (his son) and he'd go for the drink. It always ended in drama.
But I wanted for his son and our daughter to know that, back then, there was also good in him, not just bad. But how do you justify what he did? You couldn't. Jordan told me that he had changed over the years since I left. He had moved back home and made drinking and drugs his mission. He told me that every time he saw him, he would be worse. Even when he was sober.
According to him, he seemed insane at times. The video of his transfer to another facility attest to that and the media, of course, captures that really well. There's nothing left of the man I used to know. The doctor is gone and the monster is what's left.

The worst part is that all of this could have been prevented, probably.
He was in and out of prison before I met him, and he was in and out of prison even more after I left.
His grandmother's savings always paid for his ticket to Easy Street. The best lawyers money could buy made sure that what should have been felony charges, were turned into misdemeanors. Instead of doing hard time, which in his case might have actually taught him a lesson, because to be honest: he was nothing more than a spoiled grown-up child, he ended up getting time in low-security jail. Maybe with probation or sometimes even only probation. If he would have been a man with color, he probably wouldn't have gotten off that easily. Money talks, white privilege too. Hell, if he would have been a state or two up, in New York, he would have been done for life a long, long time ago.
So even though I am not trying to justify his behavior and actions, I blame the justice system.
The judges and the system who dealt with him should have recognized mental illness when they saw it. I sure as hell did.
Years ago, when he was in prison for the longest time since we met, more than three years, he wrote us letters in which he told us that he found Jesus... That really alarmed me and I knew something was seriously wrong, because he would never, ever say anything like that unless he snapped. I figured he was doing it to have a chance to early release, it couldn't have been anything else. No chance he would actually say such a thing. Jesus? No fucking way!
The justice system and the judge who couldn't see past his nose are indirectly responsible for this woman's death.
As are his ex-girlfriends who decided to drop any charges against him. I'm not 100% innocent either. Instead of doing anything about the way he treated me, treated people in general, I left. But I guess that neither one of us could have ever foreseen this.

I met her.
One month before she was killed. I didn't know he had a girlfriend at the time when we boarded the plane. I went because I wanted him to meet his daughter and to see if our marriage was truly over. Stupid things women do sometimes. Yeah, I did.
Well, it was over, and our visit was full of drama. The girlfriend, naturally, wasn't happy we'd arrived and she wasn't just going to let things slide. She was a bit unstable, a heavy drinker and her kids were living with her ex. But she sure as hell didn't deserve to go that way. No one does. When I saw her photo and her name...my heart just sunk into my shoes.
The more I thought of it, the more I realized that our visit to PA could have triggered her horrible end.
I have seen that rage in him too. The kind that could kill. Accidentally or not. I've seen it more than once and that's the reason I left. I even warned her, but whoever listens to the ex (wife)?

From bad to positive

If anything good could ever come out of something like this, it's probably that my daughter talked to her brother over the phone for the first time ever. That they get to build a relationship. We talked to him for more than an hour and even started to make some plans to visit next summer... It's about time. I think we all need to have that, for this to have a positive turn.
Jordan said: "I'm just glad it wasn't you." Bittersweet it is. I was the lucky one who got away. Yes. But someone else lost her life. There are no winners here. All parties lose.

R.I.P. Brenda
And I hope that her family will find some closure.

Thank you for reading!



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You must be still reeling with the shock of it all.
It is brave of you to share this with all of us.
I'm just glad that you and your daughter managed to avoid the worst of his crazy wrath.

Yes, I'm still in shock. It feels very surreal. And sooo many questions. They never end. The more I read on updates, the more questions I have and the more shocked I am.
My first thoughts were: that could have been me! So yes, a lucky escape.
And the poor woman and her kids thinking she just left them all that time.
He ruined so much with his actions. I can't even imagine the worry and horror her family have gone through. May she rest in peace now that she was finally found.

Tragedy, drama, pain, death - they happen as much as love and life. I'm sorry you were part of this sorry mess. Most of all, just be good to YOU and let your girl know, over and over and over again, that it's the choices and nurture which shape us, not our biology or our parentage.

She chose you and you got this. It happened. It's ugly. Time to shine and create space where she is free of these shadows.

Hugs and much love to you. x


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Yes, you are so right. I'm glad that both his kids are such amazing human beings and I hope they can meet soon and build the relationship I've always wanted for them to have. Thank you for your kind words @artemislives!

This is for sure one of the most disturbing things i have heard/read in a long time. I can not imagine how this must wonder around in your head, because it surely does. But one thing to never forget, do not blame yourself. If talking about triggers, the trigger is that his brain is messed up, and nothing else.
glad you got away girl..wow

Yeah, I don't blame myself. There was no way I could have foreseen any of this, although he was always a bit of a loose cannon. But still. I count my blessings, that's for sure.

Wow this is crazy, like reading a novel something you never expect to actually happen to someone you know, I can only imagine how shook up you are about this. Sending you much love my friend xxx

Thank you @trucklife-family! Yes, it's still a bit hard to register for me.

Even though you already shared that last week, I'm still lost in words.. Don't blame yourself for leaving please, it could have been you.. And you got out.. thankfully.. But that poor woman and her children :( so sad. I hope they never ever release that monster again. Also, I can't really justify how (grand)parents keep bailing out their (grand)children if they actually need a lesson to be taught, even if it's your blood, you don't want them to end up being monsters like this right?

But it's good that something good came out this as well, that your daughter is now getting to know her brother..

Take care <3

Thank you @anouk.nox
I'm still trying to get over the fact that he had her hidden all this time while his grandparents were there too. I just found out that he had her hidden in a closet for months before he moved her to the barn. Which makes me wonder even more. His grandmother was still quite agile and always cleaning the house! So unless he had her upstairs in the apartment where no one ever went, she surely must have smelled something. I don't know. I don't want to suspect anything I'm not sure of, since both his grandparents passed away a few years ago, so I won't even speculate. His grandfather died only a year after this, so that does make me wonder if he knew something and the guilt eventually killed him. He wasn't sick, he just passed away overnight.

And I agree, something good will come for my daughter and her brother. It has to be. For them and their future.

this is crazy

yes it is @kingscrown :(

Wow what a story @misslasvegas.
Good luck, I feel sorry for the family of that lady, and also for his son and you. Sad story, really sad.

Thank you @kymaticus! Yes, I feel sorry for them too. I can't even begin to imagine how they must have felt for all those years. Living in worry, not knowing what had happened to her. I heard from others that her kids always thought that she abandoned them. And they've grown up now and were living their lives thinking that. I don't know how a child would not be extremely affected by that.

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Holy. Fucking. Shit. I don’t even know what else to say. What a whirlwind of emotions you must be feeling. When did this all resurface?

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Told you it wasn't something that could be smoothed over...
He was arrested last week Tuesday. I spoke to his son the day after.
Yeah, I still have trouble grasping it all. It's something you'd see in a movie, not in real life...

Yes exactly! Sounds like a movie a really well written one that grabs hold of your emotions at every turn of events.
Hope you feel better for sharing 😘👍🏻

@paullifefit, yeah not sure how I feel. I just had to get it out of my head I guess. But it doesn't exactly work that way...

Well hopefully it’s going to dissolve a little faster and be something you can put behind you easier.

Plus you have real people here that support you as we have heard so much from you and would love to see you evolve from it 👍🏻

That is very true. I would have never shared this elsewhere, but here it just feels like I am telling some good friends, family even. <3

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omg.. speechless.. letting that sink in!! wOw!!!

same here @eco-alex. I guess that's why I had to write it all down, to get some kind of peace in my head. I have been thinking about it and that poor woman and her kids non-stop.

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Oh gosh. Phone is gonna run out of charge in like 2 secs so wanted to say quickly
... oh gosh.

The kids matter the most. Xxx A positive outcome to horrific situation. Much love.

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Thank you @riverflows. Yes, the kids matter the most. I so hope that her kids find some sort of closure and peace now that they know their mother didn't abandon them.