• Scott

Introduction to Demise

Updated: 6 days ago

When I first met Vanessa she had just ridden up on the back of a motorcycle with a guy she had met and married over a drunken drug weekend. She had come to meet her probation officer and I had accompanied a guy I knew was there for the same reason. The sight of her was comical and even she knew it. She was so morbidly obese, and the bike and driver so skinny that it looked like one of those twins you used to see in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Later she dated a guy I knew marginally and so I came to witness and hear more about her. It was hard to determine whether to be sympathetic towards her or to just be indifferent to her plight. She at first seemed to be the victim in an abusive relationship, but you would actually see her antagonize and instigate until the resulting (expectant?) abuse happened, then she was all smiles and eager to please.

Without knowing too much about her history then, and being removed enough from their day-today to not ponder the psychology behind that behavior I only came to wonder, if she did things to assure attention. It is not a good way to perceive some people, and not at all typical in every instance, but she was so obese, and unattractive, that your first thought was that she would do any and everything not to be alone, even if it meant putting up with the abuse. So was some of what she did an act she otherwise would avoid, or is that what it takes for her to achieve?

I still didn’t get too deep into it, but I saw a turning point when the abuse became other than rewarding, so I asked her to stay with me and my girlfriend. She did and seemed genuinely relieved and happy o be out of that downward spiral.

She now had a different scene and new people. My friend didn’t know it, but I purposely inserted her into an already compromised relationship he was having with my girlfriend’s twin. This with the intent of easing his pain from her inevitable loss. She (the twin) was both openly and secretly cheating on him with multiple people and had spoken with me multiple times on the matter of leaving him for good.

– So … to finally address that particular situation, no I did not influence the break-up, only facilitated a back-up to ease that pain. I meant it when I told you your happiness was the intent.

No good deed goes unpunished, isn’t that the saying?

The kid that resulted from Vanessa and my one friend aside, I don’t know, if I should apologize for that relationship or not. They seemed to enjoy each other enough, and he was able to experience things he wouldn’t have otherwise, so maybe for that instance in time I did a good thing introducing them?

They were into some unusual things, and I don’t know who left what for them to get caught, but that mess came down on me like a battering ram.

A missing person report led the authorities to her former residence were those people are stockpiling stolen goods. So who do they accuse? The person who helped her escape from there, the only one they knew who wouldn’t tell on them, me.

Between Vanessa dropping her identification inside the church she had desecrated + her ex-boyfriend and his gay lover being caught from a church, somehow I am the one implicated with the actual crime.

While looking for me the police catch a total weasel/rat with mor goods and again my name is thrown in. So the main guy actually committing those crimes is never implicated, the people caught with the goods the weasel/rat sold them, the weasel/rat, yet I was the one put on trial as the ring leader while never getting caught telling on anyone.

No that the actual culprit is dead I can say with a good conscience that yes the cops got it wrong from the start. What I did was facilitate some of the sales for the then unknown weasel/rat, and yes it was Jamie Fender who told.

During this fiasco Vanessa get a pang of guilt and decides to tell the jury that she lied about me to get herself out of trouble. She confessed at the stand that a deputy (BARRY BUNTING) and the prosecutor (GARLAND YATES) coerced those false statements about me.

You, the reader, can imagine the uproar that caused in that courtroom, and the relief I felt even when the judge threatened me then and there that I would be back in that courtroom one day.

Yes, I am relieved and grateful for her admitting that the police coerced those lies about me. I realize the people get scared when the police threaten, so I forgave her and counted her as a friend. My mistake.

Our lives go on, we both marry and have kids of our own, but we stay in touch even though I continue to suffer from the fallout from that mess.

Then she comes, my friend. She has lost all of that weight, has left her husband, my once friend, and has a serious drug problem. “you are the only one who cares”, “please help me”, “I need a friend” …

And so this is where the real story diverges from the many variations she spewed to those fool enough to believe them.

Now, anyone who knows me know that, if I think you are a friend, the I will go out of my way to prove it. For her, the friend I saw killing herself with drugs, I escaped my confinement to help her. In retrospect that was a bad decision, but then all I faced upon my return was an extra six months of time.

I had left my wife, filed for divorce, and arranged for my daughter to be raised with my parents in a much more stable and healthy environment.

Contrary to what she (Vanessa) has since said we were still friends. It was only later when we had been gone that she revealed her feelings and true intent. By then it was too late to tun back, so I listened to her pleas, her offerings as it were.

She did have a serious intravenous drug problem, she assured me that she was through with her husband (admitting to several affairs), she had all the money I could spend, and because she knew I was not attracted to her she would invite other girls to join us, if only I would include her and present her as a girlfriend while doing any and everything I desired.

Well, who is this self-destructive twenty-five year old guy fleeing the law who would pass that up?

As time went by we travelled and spent over 100.000 $ in a ten months period. She remained true to her offer, but sometime in the middle of all that she suddenly wanted some time with her kid. I cautioned her that the situation we were in was no place for a child, even for a visit, but she was dead set on it. So in turn I insisted that if she did go get him for a visit that she had to bring the father too.

I thought this unlikely enough to deter her, or that this would be derailed on the other end by the father, my former friend. It wasn’t.

Her behavior had become somewhat erratic, so my suspicion was that she wanted a needle while knowing I wouldn’t tolerate that. Not surprisingly she did use when she left, but the real surprise was that the kid and the father returned with her. Imagine how awkward hat was.

My insistence on the kid’s father coming was as much for his peace of mind as that her behavior made me think she would just abscond with the child and not tell anyone. Apparently my suspicions were correct, because it was only a short time later that she first hinted at a threat, and what that was has neve been revealed until now.

The father should be able to look back on this now and at least attest to her behavior, and that of mine, to associate that with what I’m saying here.

She wanted at first to just take of with the kid. We were in Washington State and my plan was for Alaska, so I had been outfitting and even gotten a Jeep, but never with the thought of leaving with my former friend’s kid. I still cred for that guy and it was never even a consideration on my part. So this was when Vanessa threatens me to leave me stranded and go on without me and without the father. I say “whatever” , so she tries a different tact.

She says that she told the father about Alaska and “our” plans, so when she takes off with the kid he’ll blame me and turn me in. I guess she thought to sow mistrust between the father and me, but she forgot ho much I cared for him, even with his seemingly choosing otherwise where I was concerned. When her ploy doesn’t work, she goes on to tell me all kind of things he supposedly said about me, it went on and on. By now, I am just thinking of ways to let him know, so he and his kid can leave safely. Her final thing was she would kill him and lame me, if I didn’t go with her.

At this point my options are I tell him what is going on or I defuse the situation with a temporary compromise. I considered telling him at first, so he and I drive around to smoke some herb by the river, but then I hesitate when he acts odd for just a moment. What has she been saying to him behind my back as she was to me behind his? And will he even believe me, since he doesn’t want to be close to me anymore … or really just because of the outrageousness of it all? So I say nothing to him. What I do is start planning my escape from this and from her, while trying to remain free, and maybe, looking back on it now, alive myself.

When we get to Seattle, instead of going north into sparsely populated land with no witnesses I turn south, while at the same time putting the idea of Mexico into her head. We end up in San Diego, and I talk her, ostensibly, into taking the father back, then whatever she did with that kid was on her. While she is gone, I pack up and leave. When she can’t find me, she goes to San Diego, sees I a not there, and starts smoking meth. Fool that I am I still care for her, but I am in extraction mode. Next stop Colorado.

During this stage things are really strained. I meet a lovely girl, and more importantly she is grounded, and she asks me to move in. I need to settle things, so I go back to N. C. to see my daughter and to finally attempt to end everything with this obviously disturbed person that is Vanessa. Even the people here that do not know us see that things just don’t seem quite right between us.

The final night at the lake was even more odd than people know. It struck Chris’ friend Robert that Chris didn’t like Vanessa at all, yet they had spent most of a day in Albermarle together, which is maybe where and when she got the pin number to the ATM card she and others withdrew from later.

Later in that last night, a day or so after Chris and Vanessa had spent time together, Chris had an argument on the phone with someone. Immediately after this call I receive one telling me that Jamie Fender was on his way to “get me” and that he was armed with at least one gun wearing camouflage. The lake people said he never came there, so where did this armed, camouflaged self-proclaimed tough guy go? How did he know where Chris and I were, or more importantly, would supposedly be?

After the heated exchange over the phone Chris wouldn’t say who it had been with, but then I get the warning that Jamie is on the way – and this warning is from Jamie’s then wife who had had an affair with Chris.

Chris was insistent that we go to the trail in the forest for the things I had left, but not what he had told his friend of earlier. Something is off and Vanessa seems nervous. I keep her by Danny’s truck with the notion of keeping an eye out for a tail while Chris takes of anyway up the trail like he is late for something.

Vanessa and I wait a few minutes and then leave. I have her drop me off somewhere and instruct her to take Danny’s truck back quickly and call for a ride. Which is why, contrary to her multiple statements, the people at the lake saw her, talked with her, know she drove back alone in Danny’s truck, stayed there during those hours she swore she was with me, and was the only one who could have stolen Danny’s truck and the wallet that Robert said was there.

When she came to me around daylight, I had already been at Tina’s house to keep from being outside all night, and because Vanessa didn’t come back as soon as I thought she would. She told me she couldn’t get a ride that time of night, but I thought it more than odd that Chris hadn’t returned and that she was now driving his truck. She was never supposed to be out of my sight like that, but it was good, because the those at the lake house saw her and know she lied.

So Vanessa drives us back to where we had parked the night before. We walk the trail and eventually find Chris lying there dead. I only get a glimpse before before pushing her back, but it’s enough for me to see nothing can be done for him. Vanessa has extremely poor vision, so I can’t say exactly what she saw out there, but it couldn’t have been much. It looked like he had been shot in the chest to me, and that is hat I mentioned to her, which must be the reason her version to Lilly E. had that in it. The first medical examiner’s report said the same thing, but a second report by a different examine stated otherwise – and so did Vanessa later, in a different statement.

The F.B.I crime scene expert Gregg O. McCrary said with the way the scene was laid out, and with the multiple angles Chris was shot from, that it was a running gung fight. Which is why Chris had his gun out and had fired it. This does not resemble the execution-like scene Vanessa testified to at all.

At this time I am still a fugitive, so of course I leave the scene quickly and Vanessa drives us to her friends in Shalotte. There she immediately starts getting high with her friends, and when she tells a version to her friend who bought Chris’ truck, I see her spiraling and leave on a bus for Colorado.

At some point she and several as of yet unidentified people are withdrawing Chris’ money from different locations. This while the police knows I am halfway across the country. For some reason they never even attempted to identify those people nor do they get Vanessa to say, even though she was identified as one of them.

I saw Vanessa once more, she had stolen a friend’s car and came out to Colorado to find me. She still wanted me to flee with her, but when I refused she threatened Kelly and left. The next thing was the SWAT team surrounding the house and I am being accused of murder.

So there it is. The real version. The one that has never been told until now.

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Artwork by Lucinda Devlin.

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