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This podcast may contain content that is graphic and disturbing in nature, listener discretion is advised. During the 1980s in Canada, Cindy James was purportedly the victim of over 100 acts of violence, which included many forms of psychological and physical abuse by an unknown offender. However, even with a heavy police presence and help from a private investigator, her assailant could never be identified. Was Cindy perpetrating these acts against herself or was she the victim of a disturbed individual whose diabolical plan was to torture?
Cindy first and then murder her?
This is Episode 32, the Cindy James story. Hi, Amy. Hey, Meghan, are you ready for today's episode? I am. I know nothing about what you're about to talk about. Before I get to it, though, I want to talk about the inspiration for this case. It's a little bit different. And I had help on this episode. Did you know that? No. Yes. Because it wasn't from you. Surprise. So the inspiration for today's episode, which was not my original idea, came from a former student of ours.
You may not know her because she was before. I think you came on board. Essentially, she contacted me with an interest in working on an episode. I've had a couple of people contact me. Is anyone reached out to you about working on episodes yet? Yes, but I have not taken anyone up on their offer. Right, because we like to do our own research. So control freak. I know I am too, but this student was an excellent researcher and writer and I trusted her to work on it.
And I was kind of excited because she had all these ideas of cases that she wanted to cover. And she suggested Cindy James because she had read a book on this case. And she said it's one of the most fascinating cases. And I have to say, after delving into this with her, totally, I'm in agreement. It is a very interesting. Did you know of the case before she brought it up? I did.
You want to know how I knew of it? James and I sometimes watch unsolved mysteries like old ones late at night, like when we're trying to fall asleep. And we saw this maybe two months ago on an unsolved mysteries. So and we were both kind of like, wow, this was bizarre for today's show. Most of the research and writing came from Kelly. Look, Lucas. So, Kelly, thank you so much for your work. We hope you like the episode.
Now onto the show. Cindy James was born in Ontario, Canada in 1944. To Otto Intelli Haak. She was one of six children. They moved around a lot because Otto was in the military. Cindy was known as a gentle, quiet and loving person, but she wasn't known as someone who could make real personal connections and relationships in her young age. It might have been because she was somewhat quiet, but it was also because, as I just said, they were moving around a lot.
So she wasn't able to make, you know, friends everywhere she went. There are long term relationships. Cindy was referred to as a very physically attractive woman with long blond hair, a slim physique and a big smile. Her father, Otto, was known to be a strict disciplinarian. But further, a diary found later to be Cindy's described Otto as becoming very tough as she got older and even physically abusive at times. To what extent? We don't know.
We can't verify, verify the accuracy of this. So we did something that we should keep in mind actually, for now. After high school, Cindy went on to become a nurse at age 19, and she also began working in a home for children with emotional problems.
She was very good at this job. She found a passion working with children. As I understood it, she moved through the ranks pretty quickly. So she was a professional who was serious, you know, by age twenty, established in careers at the same time her career was taking off. She also got married. So she married Dr. Roy, make peace. And that was also when she was about nineteen years old. He was a doctor who she met in the course of her work.
He was eighteen years older than Cindy, as I understand it. He was married at the time that they met, but quickly got divorced and married. Cindy, while her job and career were going well in her diary or diary, they found later she describes, Make Peace as becoming very much like her father, both emotionally and physically abusive. At times, though, again, no way to substantiate the claims of physical abuse. So keep that in mind.
They were married for about sixteen years, so quite a long time they didn't have any children together. And Cindy James didn't have any children at all. They divorced in 1982. And just four months later, in October of 1982, Cindy would make the first of what would be close to 100 calls to the police for help.
Well, let's talk about the initial complaints. The first complaint Cindy made was a phone call, and she just reported that she was receiving prank calls, you know, someone breathing heavy into the phone, but it escalated into other calls. So at first they were the breathing, there was the silence. There was kind of like a noise, like a hiss in the background. But then Cindy said that it escalated into phone calls where someone was calling and threatening to harm her, like, I'm going to kill you.
So the calls began to frighten her. The calls then progressed. Brace yourself. This is a bizarre case, OK? There are interesting things that happen here that we should talk about. The calls progressed to basically having her phone wires cut. She would find that she couldn't call for help. At times, people were tampering with the lights outside of her home.
So like the porch lights, this was truly happening or this was truly happening? Yes, there was evidence that the lights were tampered with.
There were acts of arson, two major arsons like fires set to her home. There were letters that were sent to her. The letters that got sent to her were the they were like the quintessential, you know, the ones with the cutouts of magazines, but they were all threatening. So they were all, you're going to die. I'm going to kill you. You're dead, bitch. Like all that. You have known enemies.
She didn't have any known enemies at the time. But you can talk about one or two of the theories. I mean, the theories are going to get really interesting. She found strangled cats in her backyard. So cats with like some type of, you know, rope or cord around their neck. Three three strangled cats were found in her backyard at separate times. And she didn't move. She did. Oh, I would have been like by so sorry, leaving right now.
She also came home, I think it was it was either her dog or their neighbor's dog. The dog also had a cord around its neck and was like reportedly found by her sitting like scared, like almost shaking. And it's like when you said, no, the dog was alive. I mean, that was a good part. We're talking about like real serious acts here. At first, the police thought this was all being done by her ex husband, Roy, make peace.
And Cindy thought the opposite of making peace. I thought you were going to come out with something like I was waiting for the name to trigger your you're Funny Cide. Cindy thought so, too. But then she would later deny that it was Roy. Then she would come back and say maybe it was him. So there was a lot of flip flopping on this. I mean, he's going to be an initial suspect. If you think about it. They're married for six years.
She's never harassed or never files a complaint for months after all of these things start happening when she's moved out. So he's going to be a logical first suspect. OK, we understand that Cindy moves residences several times, just so you know, because you would ask she changed her phone number several times. She even changed her name.
But her assailant seemingly discovered all of these changes and could locate her with every move and every change she made. Then there was the odd voicemail that was left on her ex-husband.
You know, Roy, make one piece or make peace the the voicemail that was left on her husband's answering machine saying that Cindy is dead meat. I'm going to encourage everyone to listen to this voicemail because it had a tremendous impact on the later conclusions about what happened in her case. And I'm going to say it sounds like a woman trying to sound like a man and the police and many others, they believe that it was Cindy calling and leaving this message.
They didn't have the technology then to trace it. It's a good question, but they weren't tracing anything on doctor make peace because he wasn't at the time it was his phone. So he wasn't a suspect. There was no reason to trace calls. They were tracing calls on Cindy's end because she had reported all these. But what happened was the calls were too short to register.
Oh, and the technology I mean, this was the eighties, so the technology wasn't what it was now. So you have to go and listen to the audio. It's definitely in my opinion, I read a lot of stuff online that some people like. Now it's a man I think it's a woman. And I think it may even be Cindy. And we could talk about maybe later why it was. But the the whole thing was Cindy is dead meat.
It sounds like this. Cindy is dead meat. I'm not even trying to be funny. That's just what it sounds like.
It's similar to another case you covered. Remember when what's her name called? Nine one one. Oh, Sheila Davola.
Didn't she try to sound different? You got about that. You're right. She was trying to sound like a man as well. Right. What is it with you in these cases? I can't say for sure.
I just encourage everyone to listen. I'd like to know what you think. Now, the phone call was some time into the stalking of Cindy James. So there's also the possibility that Cindy was becoming desperate and even psychotic. There is a definite deterioration you're going to see in her mental state. You can physically see it. If you look at photos of her, all these events and I haven't covered them all yet, happened over the course of about six to seven years.
And it's pretty constant. And she working at this time or what was. She was working. Yes, she was working. She wasn't having problems at her job, but her mental state and her physical state deteriorate.
You could feel the weight that she starts to lose, her face gets drawn in, and then we're going to see later. This escalates from threats to physical assaults on her. But let me just say this. During this time, Cindy also formed a personal relationship with a detective who was working on her case. His name would come up over and over again as well. His name was Pat McBride. He actually wound up living or staying with her for some time because I think he was super concerned about her and was thinking if he stayed there, maybe he could catch the perpetrators, catch something in the air.
They were sleeping together. They were. Yes, they had they had a personal relationship. But what happened is he reported that there were never any incidents or crimes that happened while he was staying there. But after he moved out, the attacks continued and they escalated into seriously violent acts. So we're going to come back to that because it's curious, why would nothing happen when he was there while the police would say it's because Cindy was doing this to herself and obviously she's not going to do anything while he's there because, you know, how would that look?
She can't get away with that. The other theory might be that a smart perpetrator is going to know there's a police officer sitting there. So I'm not. Going to terrorize this woman when she's got a cop living in the house with her, so those are the two theories. Now let's get into the acts of violence. In one incident, Cindy's friend Agnes came over and I guess Agnes had knocked on the door, but Cindy didn't answer. And she at first thought, oh, she's taking one of her bath or whatnot, but for some reason went around into the yard.
Maybe she was concerned about her and she found Cindy hiding in her backyard like Cindy was crouching down. And she looked scared. She had a stocking tied around her neck. And what she told Agnes was that someone had attacked her in her garage, tried to strangle her with a pair of stockings, but ran away before Cindy could see who it was. She said all she saw was like white sneakers. And Cindy and Agnes both thought at the time that someone had attacked her.
But when they heard Agnes at the front door calling Cindy's name, that's why he ran away. Well, another time, Cindy was found wandering around on a winter night near a local university with no shoes and no coat on and no recollection of how she got there. I'm starting to think that she might have some mental illness. I mean, this is definitely one of the suggestions. Unless whoever is victimizing her is pushing her to this point or whoever is victimizing her is injecting her with something or poisoning her substances.
It's something that's going to come up in the case. So in another incident, Cindy was found in a ditch with panty hose, again, tied around tightly around her neck. She was suffering from hypothermia. She had a black and blue eye. She had bruises, cuts and abrasions all over her body. She was wearing one large man's work boot and had a rubber glove on her hands. Yes, it's the most.
I told you she was unconscious when she was found. She was. She was. She has no idea what happened to her. No idea. She was admitted into the hospital after this attack and she was interviewed by a female detective who believed that Cindy was, as she described her, overly dramatic and narcissistic. She's the only one that I've seen that really called Cindy narcissistic. That wasn't a description that I found over and over again. But we can easily explain why someone might have, you know, a stalking, the strangulation or attempted strangulation.
But what's the significance? She had a work boot on and a rubber glove. I have no idea what to mess with police. I don't know.
I don't I have no idea what she sexually assaulted. She wasn't OK.
No, she reported this this police officer who talked to Cindy reported that Cindy pointed out a needle mark on her arm, and Cindy insisted that that was not anything that was done at the hospital, implying that someone had injected her with something, but she couldn't recall any of the details. And they confirm that was, in fact, the needle mark on her arm. She did have needle marks arm. Yeah. And that would happen more than once, that she would have a needle mark on her arm and actually it'll play a role in her death later on.
The detective thought it was odd that Megan. Well, I said it in the beginning, the murders. OK, it's a spoiler, but it's also a mystery. Anyway, the detective thought it was odd that Cindy would notice this because she couldn't remember anything else. So she was like, how would she know if this needle mark was there before? So are the police suspecting that she's has something to do with this? Yeah, no. Yeah.
I mean, at this point, because it's been years of her claiming all it had been several years in, what would happen is the police would put surveillance on her house. In the beginning. They took this very seriously. I mean, they thought this you know, this is a respectable woman, no criminal history, no history of mental illness. She's reporting this. And the police were really concerned. So they would actually put long surveillance and they wouldn't find anything.
They never found anything while the surveillance was going. But again, you could argue, of course. I mean, you could argue that, well, there's two arguments that you can make. One is that anyone could spot surveillance. You know, if they're surveilling the home, a smart perpetrator is going to be like, obviously they surveilled. Or second argument, maybe a police officer named.
After this hospital, I mean, she's becoming despondent, she's deteriorating, she's so frustrated, she's depressed because no one believes her. So she hired Ozzy Koban, a private investigator, essentially to help her prove that she was telling the truth and to help find her victimizer. At this point, she's like, the cops aren't helping me. Nobody believes me.
I'm depressed. Ozzy. I watched an interview with him. He was very concerned about Cindy. He provided her with a two way worky radio so that she could contact him quickly if anything happened. And the reason why is because Cindy claimed that every time something happened and she went to call the police, her phone lines were cut. So is like, well, we have to do something about this. So Ozzy describes I watched an interview with him. He describes an incident.
He was at home one night and he heard strange noises over the radio. And so he went to Cindy's home. He went really quickly and he said he thought that she was dead. He found her laying face down in the kitchen. You're not going to believe this with a knife driven straight through her hand into the floor. Oh, I'm not kidding you. OK, and a note attached to the knife through her hand that said you are dead, bitch.
She was alive. She was alive. She was hospitalized. Unconscious. Yeah. I mean, he she thought she was dead. There was a lot of blood. If she's doing this to herself, a knife straight through her hand.
I mean, this is really, really serious. Do they know is that her dominant hand? I didn't see anything about that, to be honest. But, you know, this is probably the most serious act of violence so far. Cindy is terrified at this point. She can't remember anything. Still, she was so frightened that she eventually asked, remember that friend Agnes and her husband Tom to stay with her for a bit because she was terrified to be alone?
Of course, at this point, what happened when they stayed there?
Well, one night they awoke to flames in the basement and realizing it was a fire, Tom Agnes's husband picks up the phone and tries to call 911. But, of course, the phone lines were cut. So Tom goes, I mean, this is a pattern that goes along with Cindy's text. Tom ran out of the house to go ask for help from a neighbor, and he reported seeing a man outside the house. And he was like, can you call 911?
He needed help. And he said the man turned and ran the other way. Oh, I mean, this is the first time anyone's reported seeing anyone else outside, you know, and you can't make them. I mean, why would you make that up? There's no point for him to make that up. But I read that one of the explanations was like, this doesn't mean this guy was involved. You might have just been someone who saw a house on fire, got scared and ran off.
I don't know, though. I mean, I'm using this because it's the first time someone seen another person and because instead of helping, he ran away. So let's keep that in mind. OK, police at this point, though, thought all these acts were committed by Sandy. They said this was an act of arson that was started from outside of the home. They basically said that Cindy started this. Do they have any proof and no proof whatsoever?
Was Cindy at this time? She was sleeping in another bedroom, supposedly. OK, so you wouldn't know. You know, Tom and Agnes didn't see anything. They were awoken by and they didn't check for accelerant on her or any not on her. I mean, it was this point we're talking it's the 80s, 90s. If it would have happened today, there's a way that they could have maybe ruled her out or. I agree. I definitely agree with that.
OK, I don't think Tom and Agnes stayed very much longer after that, which you can't blame them at this point. Again, Cindy's, like, really deteriorated and she's really she's mentally drained. So she checks into she was checked into a mental hospital. I think she voluntarily checked in at this point. I mean, to be honest, at this point, I'd be like, great. I at least I'd be somewhere where someone actually can't, you know, stalk me and torture me.
She was probably exhausted and needed some sleep. She had lost a lot of weight from stress. She'd become suicidal. The victimization obviously took the toll because of the fear, but she was supposedly more upset because no one would believe her. She had also been in a psychiatric facility for a few days prior to this incident for a result of stress. But this one was longer. I believe she I read she stayed for about ten weeks this time.
Did her friends and family believe her or at this point, is everyone starting to doubt her, know her friends and family mostly believe her.
To be honest, Agnes and Tom believed her and her parents. I watched an older interview with them. Her parents are deceased now, but they firmly believe her as a koban also believed her. He gave an interview. Her parents, they believe that Cindy knew more than she was saying. They think she knew her victimizer was, but she was terrified to say who it was really.
But who who was in her life besides her ex-husband, the only people that were really in her life that they could narrow it down to would be Roy make peace or Pat McBride, the police officer. Yeah, that's really the only two people they could identify. But this is also the 80s. They don't have cell phone records, don't you know?
We didn't know what else was going on.
And they all felt that she was withholding information. And I'm not sure if that's true or not, but her parents and Ozzy both felt that and it's possible that it was another perpetrator that she was afraid of. Yeah. Who could have been, again, I'm saying could be someone in power who she was scared of. Remember, people are victimized and they don't say things because of fear. I mean, this is what domestic abusers prey on. So that's something we should keep in mind.
Also, the doctors when she was in the psychiatric facility diagnosed. Cindy with hysteria, paranoia, schizophrenia and psychopathy, what it was so interesting, it's so interesting because it's like the amalgamation of everything, psychopathy, I don't see this fitting with her. I see histeria, possibly paranoia, schizo. I could see all of these. I really didn't see evidence of psychopathy, to be perfectly frank. But then again, I'm not you know, I wasn't her treating physician.
I would imagine that she was heavily medicated at this time. I, I'd imagine so. But I don't know what her treatment was. She was there for 10 weeks. She had she received these diagnoses and there was no victimizations while she was no victimizations whatsoever while she was in the hospital. But shortly after her release, she was found in her car, hogtied naked from the waist down, choked with a stocking again. But she could not remember anything.
And supposedly and not experts said that she could not have tied herself like this because it was an hogtie. You know what the hogtie is, right? It's not just hands behind your back. It's there tied to each other, the hands and the feet. So not exper came in and said, but no sexual assaults. There's no evidence of sexual assault. Very strange, right? I would have thought for this one when I thought, especially when I read this, I went naked from the waist down.
This is a clear sexual assault, but no and no fingerprints, no eyewitnesses, no nothing, no fingerprints, no eyewitnesses, no evidence to indicate someone else involved in this.
After several years of this abuse, Cindy told Ozzy and her family that she had been holding back some information about her attacker and she was feeling like she was getting ready to discuss this information with them. In fact, the police had administered two polygraphs to Cindy and they found that she was being deceptive about having information about these attacks, not that she had necessarily perpetrated it against herself, although that's what they came to believe, but that she wasn't telling the truth about knowing or having more information.
I also want to point out polygraphs were, you know, kind of early then. So it's possible those are not correct, but they're still not accurate. There's a general consensus that Cindy knew something more than she was saying. Sadly, her family would never get to hear what Cindy wanted to share because shortly after Cindy would disappear, this might be one of the best cases I've heard. And I don't even know the ending. This is certainly the most bizarre case.
Cindy had undergone years and years of these attacks. And finally, on May 25th, 1989, Cindy went to do some shopping. She was going to pick up her paycheck from work.
Remember when you actually picked up paychecks from work? Of course I remember that, too. I love it.
But she didn't make it home and she was never seen again.
The police found her car in the parking lot of a local mall with blood on the driver's side. I don't know if it was an excessive amount of blood. I believe it wasn't. I think it was just some blood. And Cindy's groceries were still in the car. They found her wallet contents strewn about. So obviously, this doesn't look good. They're thinking that foul play has happened here. Cindy would be missing for two more weeks before her body was discovered in the yard and an abandoned house.
But even then, the house was abandoned. It looked like I looked online. There was a busy area almost next to the house, like almost a lot of foot traffic. Like it's, you know, those houses where someone's kind of cut through. It was a cut through past. So there was a lot of foot traffic and the police immediate were immediately thought it was odd that no one had discovered her sooner. Two weeks had gone by. Were they able to tell, had she been deceased for two weeks or was she they pretty much thought that, yeah, they were able to tell Cindy's hands were tied behind her back and her feet were tied.
She was not hog tied, but they had both tied. She had an injection, an injection mark on her body, on her arm.
And the toxicology reports confirmed that she had a massive dose of morphine in her body, but the needle couldn't be found anywhere near her body. And she was not a known drug user. No, there was a black nylon stocking tied around her neck. So she had also been strangled. What to make of this? I mean, this is so it's unbelievable. She had been strangled. She's tied. She's got massive morphine. They have the injection. There's no needle.
What do you think the police said?
Don't even tell me they think she did it to herself. Absolutely. They said it was suicide. Absolutely no. Police posited that Cindy might have injected herself somewhere else and wandered to this place where she eventually died, which was as though she strangled herself, strangled herself, injected herself, all self-inflicted. And the only reason, the only thing the needle is the only problem. But since the needle was she took it somewhere else, it's not there. Are there no eyewitnesses for any of this?
This happened in like a rural area. What area are we talking about here? Oh, no. I mean, it was a suburb, but it's a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. I don't think it's like that. Rural, to be honest. Obviously, though, we have no surveillance. The cell phones and surveillance are kind of what, you know, help us now. After three months, there was an inquest. Everyone I mean, everyone was up in arms about this case.
What happened to this woman?
It was a public opinion was more so that she killed herself or I think just curiosity to be on. I think no one knew what to make of this, and this became a coroner's inquest, which is something that they do, but this one was a three month inquest, had 80 witnesses at the time, reportedly the longest and most expensive inquest that had ever been held. And obviously, it's like a jury is deciding, you know, there's a coroner's inquest.
But what happened in the end? The coroner's inquest concluded that Cindy's death was the result of an unknown event. Essentially, after all that time, no one could determine what happened. They could not decide if it was murder or suicide. Wow. Cindy's ex-husband, Roy Makepeace, testified, and although police investigated him and Cindy did accuse him of being her attacker, Raymie, she did accuse him. She did. She accused him twice, said it was him twice.
But that was very early on, wasn't it? It was early on, but she came back to him twice, come back to him later on. And I don't know if it was confusion or wanting it to be or just why did they check him out? They did. They said that he could never be linked to any of the crimes against her. He's always adamantly denied it. But of course, what else are you going to do?
They had her call him one time to confront him. So she called him one time and confronted him on the phone and she recorded it asking him, just, are you doing this to me, please? Why why are you doing this? And he was like, Absolutely not. I've never done a thing to you. I don't know what you're talking about.
I mean, he sounds genuine, but I have to say, like, OK, you got me. Of course, he's going to deny it. We've definitely heard some people make a startling confession, I guess. Yeah. He was very intelligent, though, and I believe he was also a psychiatrist. So there was an insinuation that maybe he knew how to play head games with her and that this was some form of psychological torture on her. So let's come to our opinions.
I'm going to give you a little more information. I'm going to start with Kelly's opinion. Kelly, who did the research, she wanted to give her final conclusion. Kelly believes that these acts were committed by Cindy, who suffered from factitious disorder in which one harms him or herself for attention. This is usually referred to or it was formerly known as Munchausen. So Cindy, she believes that Cindy was intentionally harming herself. She was again, dramatic, wanted the attention, narcissistic.
Kelly believes the phone call supports this finding the phone call that was left on Doctor Make Peace, as well as Cindy having failed two polygraph tests. She believes that the fact that none of these incidents happened when the police or P.I. were around is supportive of this finding the fact that there are absolutely no eyewitnesses. I also read another theory other than Munchausen, and I'm not sure if Kelly would agree with this, that might explain this. And it was suggested that Cindy might have died, which is known as dissociative identity disorder, one of the most rare disorders one could have otherwise known as multiple personality disorder.
Exactly. And this would explain why Cindy would black out with no memories of events that happened and that one of her personalities was harming her.
So crazy. I so it sounds like a movie. It does sound like a movie. You know, this is a rare diagnosis. I've looked into some of the main cases. You know what? The leading causes of split personality, right?
Childhood trauma. Yeah. It's not confirmed that Cindy had childhood trauma, is that correct? That's not saying that everyone that has it had childhood trauma. But I think it's, what, 90 percent of cases it would be like 90 percent and upwards. So most of the people who have it definitely suffered the childhood trauma that you're referring to. I've only read of one or two cases where they didn't have that, but it could be they linked it to adult trauma.
So we don't know if Cindy had this. But I guess a couple of things about this. We know that this is rare. Do you know the case that actually made multiple personality as a defense under insanity, the one from Ohio? Right.
Right, right. Billy Milligan. Yes. In the 70s, Billy Milligan had kidnapped and raped several women from Ohio University. And when he went to court, his defense presented that he had died and they were going to, you know, present this to the court. And I think the prosecution at first thought it was a joke. You still have people that believe that diagnosis is a joke. Oh, yeah, for sure. I think at the time, though, it was it was the 70s.
It was like, oh, yeah. But the prosecution came to believe it. Everyone came to believe it in the end. And actually, the the jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity. And they found it very convincing that he had multiple personalities. They presented evidence his victims would describe him in one incident. He had a German accent and one he they literally described like three different people committing these attacks. So, so much so that he became the first to use it.
And there were books and other things written about him. But I haven't heard of cases in which where one of the personalities harms the host.
So normally I thought that these personalities were there develop because of trauma as a mechanism. I thought they usually protected or like a defense mechanism. Yeah. Or like they might commit violent acts, but not against the person, the actual host. I don't know.
I've never heard of that before, it seems.
I mean, I could be wrong, but that one seems a little off to me that they would harm was there or not a movie about this and the host, it was just that where they did harm themselves? No. Are you thinking of Sibylle, maybe this will not harm herself. It's possible, but I'm just not aware of of cases where this happens. Yeah, that doesn't mean it's not possible, but it's not OK. So so far we have the possibility of Munchhausen and we have a suggestion of did a dissociative identity disorder.
Now I'm going to give you my opinion and then I'd like to go to yours. OK, I disagree with Kelly and I believe someone else was victimizing Cindy James. I think it was a highly intelligent and organized offender who stalked Cindy for a long time, who knew her patterns and knew every intricate detail of her life. I think it was someone she knew it could have been someone she knew well or someone who she had met and who had become obsessed with her.
So it doesn't mean that it's you know, I'm not saying I know. Sexual assault, though. Well, not all stalking is sexual in nature. You know, this was about scaring her, about tormenting her. This is about control, logical control, abuse, you know, so it doesn't always have to be sexual in nature. But I think that, you know, there's different categories of stalkers who pick victims for a variety of reasons. But there are those who stalk strangers and there are those who stalk someone they know.
I think it was someone who she knew. I think it was someone she met in her routine, in her line of work, and someone who became fixated on her and escalated and, you know, always planned to torture her and then kill her. And it's possible that some of those early acts were meant to kill her but just didn't come to completion.
So that is my opinion. I obviously don't have the proof per say to support it, but that's what I think happened to Cindy James. And I do think that she had maybe at one time had some clue or thought she knew. I think that she was threatened as well. She did report at one time, he's going to kill my family if I tell you no, she she kind of gave indications that she was scared of someone. That's my final opinion.
Amy, was this the most bizarre case you've ever heard? The most bizarre case I have ever heard. I mean, I know you, Davo Megan for you or Kelly Kelly provoke. I know. I just I'm almost mad that I haven't think of this one myself for my case. Let me just say, there's a book. The book that Kelly read was written by a reporter who believe that Cindy did this to herself. So it comes from that perspective, whereas, you know, there's the Aussie koban and others who think that absolutely Cindy was being terrorized.
So where do you start? So I do think, like you said, it's I do think that it was someone victimizing her. And I think they planned on killing her like the time they stabbed her hand. They didn't know that she would be calling the FBI for help. So maybe they, you know, they tried to kill her. I do find that it's such an interesting case because I find it hard to believe that there were no eyewitnesses and any of these incidences at all.
You could say that her friends, Tom and Agnes, were somewhat of an eyewitness, you know, to a man and a fine man. But that's the only. But Agnes didn't say it's just her husband, her husband. She was maybe in the house getting Sandy or somewhere else. Yeah. And I do believe that that person could have been not in the area for the right reasons and acted suspicious because they were guilty of something else. I think that's possible.
OK, I am a little skeptical about the diagnosis of did. I'm sorry to say that because for people that suffer from it, I'm sure it's very, very much real. And we know that, you know, it has been a diagnosis that has been used and I believe it. But it's it's it's very like you said, it's hard for me to believe that somebody with that would harm themselves, even though it's not technically themselves. Right. Like you said, the host.
I think you said it was on unsolved mysteries. Yes, I mean, it's such a mysterious case. I think if I had Celine anywhere I'm leaning toward, she was victimized. But what a tragic case.
Regardless, it's it's a tragedy all around her life was, I mean, so hard and so difficult.
I think it's possible she did suffer some psychosis and some mental illness after the victimization started. But I don't think that's necessarily indicative of the ID. I think she delved into psychosis for sure. But who wouldn't? Yeah, I think the reason why I didn't think it was Munchhausen or one of the reasons I don't think was Munchausen or factitious disorder, as it's called. Now, you might argue that, you know, she was a nurse and she had access to morphine.
And that's not atypical of some of the people who suffer from Munchausen.
However, I've never seen anyone inflict this type of physical harm with Munchausen usually that that they make themselves sick and they've gone far. I know that there are victims, patients who have gone very far, you know, almost to death. But I've never seen a case or I don't recall any cases where this type of physical brutality was inflicted. It's usually a matter of making oneself sick to get that attention that they need. I definitely believe if she did it to herself, she had a severe case of David who can stab themselves or hogtie themselves.
Like, I don't even know that that's possible. I don't think it's possible that she can hogtie herself. Now, I don't the not experts. So in the book cite our sources, obviously. But I guess in the book he got a not expert who said the the last not could have been done by her when she was like the one behind her back when she was found dead. But I'm still thinking there's just so much evidence to suggest that she wouldn't have done this to herself.
All right. So in the end, Amy's conclusion, if you have to lean, you'd say you think she was being victimized if you had to make a decision or she had an extreme case of the. I have to say, Megan, when people now ask me the question, what case out of all the cases you've heard, which case would you want solved? I think I need to know the answer to this.
I have to tell you, ever since I've been looking into it, I am hoping that the publicity and that publicity from other podcasts, just in general, I hope that there will be some bit of information that will come out. I hope that it will be solved sometime in our lifetime. Thank you for sharing the case, Mike. Thank you. Thanks, everyone, for listening. We'll see you next time.
On Women in Crime, Women and Crime is written and hosted by Megan Sacks and Amy Schlosberg. Our producer and editor is James Varga. Our music is composed by dessert media.
If you enjoy the show, you can get access to add free episodes, exclusive Ammons and other bonus content for a small monthly contribution through Patriarch. To find out more, visit Patreon Dotcom Women in Crime. Sources for today's episode, Who Killed Cindy James by Ian Mulgrew, an episode of Unsolved Mysteries YouTube video, who killed Richmond nurse Cindy James?