It was all so easy. I was all so easy. I didn’t know exactly what a psychopath did to women that they met. I mean, I knew what they did, but I read about what they did. I was one of those people who read the horrible stories and thought that was far away and didn’t happen in the general populace. These people aren’t hanging around waiting and choosing their next victim. I was a sitting duck waiting to be picked up by a psychopath.
I was soon to learn. He chose me from a flea market where I sold left-over goods from my store. I was in the same spot every week-end. I would see him round the bend, clutching this women’s hand ever so tightly, looking very angry every Saturday and Sunday. He would be wearing his Fire Responder jacket and cap with its station number on it. I figured he either wasn’t a morning person or they just didn’t get along. Either way, this couple wasn’t the happiest couple in the market, that was for sure.
Add to this picture that he was wearing a jacket that most people recognize as something of importance and stature, and he passed any degree of uncertainty. With this jacket he appeared to be an admirable volunteer, helping people.
He would saunter into my booth after letting go of her hand, while she would wander over to another woman’s booth to look at jewelry. While in my booth, he wouldn’t say a word, just look over what I had. Never say a word. Just look at my merchandise. Later on, he did admit to me, that he was looking me over to decipher me, to figure me out, to try to find a way in. At least he admitted that to me.
Months went by and I didn’t see him. I forgot about him. This was a huge market and thousands of people walked it each week-end. It was miles long and always very busy. As the summer went on, I decided to move my booth to another site. This might have been why I didn’t see him. He couldn’t find me. As I said earlier, this marker was huge. He would have had to walk miles up and down rows to attempt to find my booth. He did remark that he also had lost me and had been looking for me. At the time, I simply thought it was more of a friendly type of comment.
So a few months later, I see this man again,walking with this woman. This time he is walking a puppy on a leash. As my luck would have it, I am in the market for a new dog. I’d lost my shepherd earlier and was now ready to get another dog. This dog I could tell was of the shepherd variety, I didn’t know what, and it’s a common practice at times to sell pets at a flea market. So I call out, “Selling that dog?”
He veers right into my booth. She follows. The woman, who I am soon about to learn is his wife. She stands about ten feet away. He kneels down at my feet with the dog. I kneel on the ground to talk to the dog and him.
I say to him, “So you are selling this dog? Tell me about her/him?” And he does. He cuts me a deal. I ask about the woman. He says that’s his wife, but don’t worry about her. That’s why I’m down here on the ground with you, so she can’t hear anything that I’m saying to you”. I glance at her, but she seems oblivious to us. She’s looking around the market, not really paying any attention. I guess she wants the dog sold.
So we make a deal on the dog, he gives me his phone number, tells me to call him and off he goes. Before he leaves, he tells me to call tomorrow to tell him how the dog is doing and if he can visit the dog at my store. I tell him I might call, but the dog will be at my store and anyone can visit the premises. He tells me he knows where it is already. I ignore that comment because my interest is more on my new puppy. Some of my customers knew the location of my store from my flyers that I had printed and placed in my booth. Usually, they would ask for directions tho.
I bring my puppy home, she seems fine. The only problem is that she seems skittish. Skittish around women. As a matter of fact, one time I am brushing my hair, and I raise my arm with the brush to run it through my hair above my head. Sabbath flinched. She cowers away from me. I knew instinctively that this dog, this puppy had been abused.
The following Wednesday a man saunters into my shop, wearing sunglasses after dark. There are others in my store when he walks in. I take a double look at the man. It’s him. Who I now refer to as the psychopath. He gets half-way into my store and I tell him to stop. “Take off those shades”, I tell him. I want to see his eyes. No reason for him to be wearing them at this time of night. He does. “How’s the pup?” he asks.
I ask him about how he raised this animal. He tells me that she was the runt of the litter. How her sac hadn’t been broken. How he had to rip it open himself to give her life. (Playing into my sympathies here, I would imagine.) I tell him this puppy was abused. He reacts with astonishment. Then he narrows his eyes, and without batting an eyelash says, “You’ve just verified what I’ve suspected all along. I always had an idea that my wife abused the puppies. I would find this old rubber hose lying around. She must have used that.” I believed him. I had no other reason not to believe him. I didn’t know her. And I didn’t know him, either.
But he was hooking me in with the story of the birth of my new puppy, how he gave her life. It sounded plausible. How was I to know that in just a few years that this man who I thought was a life-giver to animals was also a life-extinguisher to the same defenseless creatures when he would decapitate one of my cats? The day he broke in and decapitated her, he also took a video of her running from him on my camera. He took some shots of her before and after the decapitation. I would find these pictures seven months later on the digital camera when he replaced it in a box from where he had removed it. I cannot explain the revulsion I felt of seeing my cat hiding from him on the highest place she could find, while I could hear his voice calling to her. Then seeing her bloody body in two captured for all posterity, for me to see. Imagining your cat being decapitated is one thing, but actually seeing the picture in front of you is a horrific sight that you never forget.
When I went to court with evidence of Daniel and his decapitation of my cat, the judge asked me if I had “seen him do it”. I had to answer no. The judge asked if I had any other evidence of his doing this. I told him that Daniel had left one of his tee shirts (it was a wife-beater variety) on top of the cat, he had left an expired picture i.d., and he had cut out an article from the newspaper that I had written about the ineffectiveness of the 911 system when you might be using your cell phone to report a problem. He had left those three pieces in my bedroom, along with the decapitated cat. The judge ruled it all circumstantial.
I understand the limits of the court. I had first called the Police Department to report this crime. If they had done their job properly, they would have been able to lock this case down with forensic evidence immediately. All the responding officer did when he came to my home was ask me, “What do you want me to do?” I had to try, yes try to plead my case with that officer. When that didn’t work, I went directly to the County PFA Office and told them my story. They agreed to allow a judge to hear what had happened.
When I heard the judge’s response, I was disappointed. Naturally, I was upset,but I knew the odds were not in my favor. Daniel was not going to kill the cat in my presence. That was not his style. The court clerk that was transposing the case was angry at the judge also. I could see her face as I and the judge were conversing. She seemed disturbed. She had probably heard far too many similar cases.
When I saw the judge would not waver in his stance, I took one more shot. I knew he could cite me for contempt of court at any time, but I didn’t care at this point. I took a deep breath and began. “Your Honor, I have one more thing to say to you, if you would allow.” And he did allow. “When you go home this evening to your wife (I saw a wedding ring on his left hand and took a guess) I want you to tell her this story. I want you to tell her how this woman came into your court this afternoon. Tell her the story of how this diagnosed psychopath keeps breaking into this woman’s home, and how he’s broken into it over 200 times already. Only now, he did the unthinkable. He decapitated her cat. But he didn’t do it in front of her, so you, Your Honor, could call it “circumstantial evidence”. He only left his shirt, one of his expired picture i.d.s, and an article from the newspaper that she wrote that referred to the effectiveness of 911 in an emergency using a cellphone. But those three items were not good enough to bring this diagnosed psychopath, whom Police have on record of breaking into her home over 200 times, in for questioning. So you are for all purposes letting him go to continue on his path of destruction. Who or what will he kill next? More animals? Or me?”
The court transcriptionist at this point was giving me a thumbs up and smiling broadly. I was shaking inside but standing tall. I continued with these last words. “Your Honor, I say this to you because I have been stalked and no one seems to be paying any attention. I have had a butcher knife held to my neck, and Daniel still walks free. Now he is killing my pets. Go home and tell your wife so she can look you in the eye and maybe, just maybe, she will recommend you to think before you allow the next psychopath to go free.”
I waited. I was waiting for the gavel to come down with a “Contempt Of Court”. It never did. He looked at me with eyes that said he could do nothing. He simply said it was over. Next case. On to the next person that he would decide their fate for the day.
So that was one of the hooks that Daniel reeled me in with, so to speak. He had stalked me for a while, unbeknownst to me. His love of animals that he claimed to have. Through him, I lost many of my pets. I still cry about them. Thinking of their untimely deaths at his hands.
To my animals that Daniel murdered and disposed of, May You All Rest In Peace. I know you are free in Summerland.
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