Transcribe your podcast

I'm Jon Meacham, author and historian, I'm proud to present a brand new limited podcast, documentary series called It Was Set, where I guide you through ten of the most historic, impactful and timeless speeches in American history.


Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike.


We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now. The future will always be ours. The America John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. My I have seen the glory of the. Directed and produced by Peabody nominated Sea 13 original studios in association with history, it was said, is now available for free on Apple podcasts, Spotify, radio, dotcom, and wherever you listen to podcasts. 13 originals. OK, go to the hotel that they dumped us in right now if you want.


When families are put on the witness protection program, they get relocated and given a new place to live. We are coming. Hotel, in our case, it was a room right up here at a place called the Square Motor, and now they have redone this hotel. A little bit, but it's still a shithole. This is a hotel they put us in. It's actually a lot nicer shape than it was when we were here, but I mean, it looks a lot better.


We stayed right up here. It's not like the movies. This is where they put you. This is reality. This is where the US Marshals put you when you enter the witness protection program. Right back there. And there were bugs in that room and it was disgusting. This is a total tweaker motel. They're all speaking out. I thought, who do we work for, who do you work for? Yeah, I'm just curious. They had a god for me.


You don't get to see. I'm not scared of you. Uh huh. Have a good day, you guys. Sorry we scared you. OK, so this is where the marshals put us here. I guess now you can understand why I might be a little bit upset at where they put us. Because, yeah, you know, the crowd, the people haven't changed. I guess I could have handled that differently. That's just my personality. I try.


I really do. I try to my mother always told me you attract more is with honey than vinegar. But unfortunately, I'm pretty full of vinegar. After me, my mom and my younger brother and sister were taken in the middle of the night to a safe house in Tampa, Florida. We were reunited with my father and placed into WITSEC or witness security. We were given new identities, they let us keep our first names, but we were no longer the Crouch family, we were the tailors, and so we needed a new home where we could begin our new lives.


So my parents were both asked to list three places anywhere in the country where they'd want to be relocated. My mom chose Florida, California and Hawaii, and my dad chose his old stomping grounds, Louisiana and Texas and also Florida. Mm hmm. But what they didn't know was that when the US Marshals ask you these questions, it's because they're trying to figure out where those who would want to harm, you might think, to look for you. That's how they decide where not to move you.


And that's how we ended up at the Esquire Motor in out here in the middle of nowhere, the perfect place to hide a witness, Billings, Montana, without the.


Oh, the darkness comes. Oh, through the night. Had a. Fend of the enemy saying the jubilee with all the fire we can bring.


I'm Jackie Taylor, and this is relative unknown. So for my brother in law works, my sister's husband. So this is downtown buildings. Billings is surrounded by seven different mountain ranges. Much of the city is bordered by huge sandstone cliffs called the Rehm's that look like sheer vertical walls hundreds of feet high. The closest big city, Denver, is more than five hundred miles away. People don't end up in Billings just by accident. That's why the marshals chose to put us here in January of 1980 to.


So one of the most disturbing things to me is the idea the media of what witness protection is all about. It's glamorized in Hollywood, in a sense, take the scene from Goodfellas, you know, Ray Liotta on average, nobody get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.


You know, he's got this great life in the suburbs and a house and a car and yada, yada. That's not how it is. They make you promises and they dump you. My family and I were dumped in one of the worst hotels that I have ever come across in my life.


We were up on the second floor in a corner, and there are bars on the windows.


And I remember looking out the window and we could see the rail yard.


We could hear trains all night long. There were big snow piles from the plows. There was a lot of snow in billings. We had no car, we walked everywhere in the middle of winter, it was a shell shock to us. Coming from Florida to this cold climate and not knowing where we were and it was just completely different. I didn't like it. I wanted to go back to Florida. Nobody really wanted to be in Montana at all.


I remember starting the new school and we had just started a new school again for the second time in a year, and I had to make friends again and I missed my grandparents.


I miss my cousins. I wanted to call papa. I wanted to call grandma.


I wanted my old family back. I didn't want to live in this dirty fucking hotel that the marshal stuck us in. After two months living at the motel, my mom got a nursing job working nights like usual, and we were finally able to move into a house. Jacqui, you got to do a little dance or something, you can't just stand around. It's not just ordinary camera. This is a movie. Go downstairs.


Oh, this is Cecil B.. Cecil B. The Mills movie, The Actress. I'll be the director and producer of this movie over there. And the actors. This is my dad and I at our house in Billings, Jackie. Hey, Jackie, I think you got like this.


He's got his video camera mounted on a tripod in the living room, and it's pointed at his favorite armchair where he's sitting and smoking a cigarette while I'm sitting on his lap for my birthday party.


That night, he told my younger brother and sister and I that he was leaving in the morning and he didn't know when he'd be coming back.


This is the last night we were ever all together. The night before he left, we made hours and hours of videotapes. He told us children that he was going on a boat to work, that we wouldn't be able to call him. And he would call us every two to three months when he could when he got back to land. But we could write him as many letters as we wanted to. He just said he was working on a boat, so we didn't ask questions, we were just happy that daddy was going to go and work and we are going to miss him, but we're proud of him for going and working.


You're getting married soon, you'll be nine, 10, 11, 12. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday. Oh, yes, thank you. Children might be worth. I don't love you. I'm sure you're going to miss you, too. I'm eight years old here, the very next day, my dad left to begin serving time in different prisons and testifying in different trials. I didn't see him again for twenty four years when we first arrived in Billings, we were given a monthly stipend through the WITSEC program, but it was hardly enough to get by.


And once my mom started working, we never saw another dime from the government. We were on our own now. When my mother was approached by the US Marshals, she was faced with a very difficult decision to make. Did she want to stay in Florida with us children and continue this life by herself and chance of being murdered by the Hells Angels, or did she want to rejoin my father? There was now a federally protected witness and enter into the witness protection program.


She's being told that she's going to be killed unless she rejoins him and cuts off all ties with every single person she knows and moves away to a place that she doesn't even know where they're going to move her with no support whatsoever, no support from family members, no support from friends. She's got to start a new life with this monster in her children. There is no counseling, there was no health care established, nothing. There were no services in place for us.


My mother had nobody to talk to.


She was stuck out here with nobody, especially after my father went to prison and nobody checked on her mental well-being. She wasn't supposed to tell. Not even a counselor that she was on the witness protection program.


None of us kids knew what was actually happening. Of course, we knew we were on the witness protection program.


We didn't know what it was, but we knew we weren't supposed to tell anybody.


We knew it had something to do with why our names were changed. Because we were hiding from the Hells Angels. It was ingrained within me to be afraid of motorcycles now. I was really afraid of the sound of a motorcycle. I was no longer looking to see if the motorcycle had my father on the back seat, but if it had a Hells Angel patch on the back of their coat. I literally would wet my pants on occasion because I was so afraid of motorcycles.


The louder the motorcycle, the more fear, the closer it got, the more afraid I got. I remember being really little and just crumbling with fear if I heard that roar anywhere. I would run in the house or in the school or wherever I was and hide because I knew now that I had to hide for motorcycles.


I thought that they were going to get us. So, yeah, I was hiding from the bad guys. Jacqui and I have known each other since she moved to Billings. We went to elementary school, junior high and some of high school together. We did Girl Scouts together, so we would do a lot of meetings at her mom's house. This is Liane, one of my oldest friends here in Billings. Her mom was very protective of the children, a little bit more than we felt of our parents because our parents would let us go out and ride our bikes and stuff.


And she really had to touch base with mom a lot. That type of stuff. But we never knew what was going on. I guess we didn't really question it. We just thought it was strange. Back in the days in the 80s, it was always strange to have a single parent. That was one thing like my family would bring up was, oh, she's a single mom, you shouldn't go over there, that type of stuff. They always worried about not having enough parents in the home.


Da ba, ba, ba ba. That's all he can do, that for a all game he wants to hold you. Yeah, that's all I know. Jacqui was in elementary school, she was kind of timid, tiny little thing, she would get bullied quite a bit. The kids would just kind of pick on her and push on or that type of stuff, pull on her hair, make fun of how she looks. I think she was a target because just coming into the school at that point in time, in second grade, because you know how it works with elementary schools, sometimes a new kid comes in and they're the cool kid and sometimes they're not.


I was so reserved and I was kind of afraid of the world and I didn't like to talk to a lot of people about things because I wasn't supposed to talk to a lot of people about things. So I think that I was viewed as kind of an easy target for bullies. There was a girl that would follow me home. And throw rocks at the back of my head and I would just cover my head up and try to get home as quick as I could.


There was another little girl who would stand on her front stoop when I walked by her house and make fun of my hair, my clothes, my shoes, everything, and I just took it. I started taking my mother's cigarettes and cigarette butts right around 11 or 12. I remember finding cigarettes in a gutter or in a school and I smoked. I mean, they weren't in a pack.


They were just cigarettes laying on the ground. And I smoked them. That's how desperate I was to put anything in my body that I could to make me feel better. He used to take packets of equal and line them up and snort equal when I was like 10 and 11 years old, just because I wanted to start something, because that's what my dad did. I just missed him and I started asking my mom about him a lot. Well, it drove my mother crazy that we thought that my father was working so hard on a boat and that we looked forward to getting his letters from the boat and that we wanted to call him on the boat and that he was going to call us from land when he got done working on the boat.


Well, she became sick of hearing that and she decided that we needed to hear the truth. So one day when I was about 10 years old, I was taken out of class to see a man named Tom Farrell, Farrell was my school psychologist and the only sort of counseling I had access to at that age. I love talking with him every week. But this time when I got to his office, my younger brother and sister were there along with my mother.


She told us all that my father was not working on a boat. That my father was in prison for murdering somebody. I'll never forget the look on Tom Farrow's face, he knew that we're being hurt and he couldn't really stop my mother from saying it that way. It just came out. And I don't think that she told him her intentions of how she was going to tell us. And he did look shocked, sad for us, because I remember looking at his face and looking at her and my whole world just got ripped apart.


My dad's a fuckin murder. I thought he was working on a boat. Oh, my God. What the hell? My dad doesn't murder people. I love my dad. But no, now I find out he's a murderer. Now what? Her mother was quite blunt about everything. She just really spilled the beans in front of the kids. And you can see the devastation on Jackie's face.


This is Tom Farrow. She had an image of her father and it was an image of a man that was a good man that loved her, that cared about her, and she was expecting him to be back any time. And that image is shattered. And then you've got to pick up the pieces. I felt horrible for Jackie, knowing that she had to find out that kind of information about her father without any ability to process it very well. What do you do with that information?


You have no ability to talk to your father. You have no ability to know if he loves you. If he doesn't love you. What's the truth? What's not the truth? You know, you keep hoping and wishing. Then it's not going to be this way or that you're going to have a father that loves you. How do you get through the trauma of a father who did the things he did it? Can you really rock your world for a long time?


And when she found out that he was a murderer and that he was never coming back, that would be devastating to her. And it can be a lifelong devastation. Change is always a constant, but these days it feels like there's something new to grapple with every day, we may be adjusting to this new normal, but it's still stressful and it's important to talk about it and to seek support. Talk space. Online therapy is here to give you that support because we all need it right now, matched with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your device and reach out 24/7.


Whenever something's on your mind, you'll hear back five days a week. Talk space therapists have experience treating depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, relationship issues, food and eating and much more. The bottom line is that we all need someone to talk to you and talk space wants to give the license support we deserve at a price we can afford.


As a listener of this podcast, you can get 100 dollars off your first month on talk space to match with your perfect therapist, go to talk space dotcom or download the app. Make sure to use code unknown to get one hundred dollars off your first month and show your support for the show. That's unknown. And talk space dotcom. How could a member of an organized crime group come forward and testify? And live, I mean, they would murder him before if they knew he was going to testify or murder him after he testified and indeed might even murder other members of his family.


This is the voice of Gerald. Sure. Sure. Is known as the godfather of the witness security program and is credited with being its founder. WITSEC has been operating since the mid 1960s but was formally established in 1971. Since then, according to the U.S. Marshals website, the program has given new identities to eight thousand six hundred protected witnesses, including almost ten thousand of their family members, and relocated them around the country here. Gerald Surahs talking about how and why they decide where to relocate a witness.


The first thing you would look at is your workload. You have witness security inspectors throughout the country, but they can only handle so many witnesses at one time and the land needs. So you would look at the workload and and so that would eliminate certain cities. Then you would try to find one in which they would be comfortable. That's an interesting perspective from Gerald. Sure, but I have found that nothing is further from the truth. This is author, professor and journalist Bill Mucci in nineteen ninety six.


She wrote a groundbreaking series about the witness protection program for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. The notion that these people are put in a situation that is inviting and good for all involved is absurd. From the research I've done in talking to many, many people in that program, none of them feel like they were dealt fairly with. In fact, most of them tell me that was the beginning of when they realized this program was no good. Mucci series called Protected Witness provided an unvarnished look inside the notoriously secretive witness protection program.


But really, his investigation began in the early 1980s. Well, it all started when I was covering an organized crime case in Pittsburgh and I spent a great deal of time writing about the kingpin of the organization. He was a particularly vicious guy. One time some guy owed him money for drugs with poor shirt off, tied him to a table, put molasses on his chest and put a tarantula on his chest. And then we got paid his bill.


During the course of that, I was doing a live shot for a television station and some old man came running up and this old man screams, You're dead. And I said something like, F you and the producer in my ear, John, f me, we're on the air.


Then the families of this guy just threaten me repeatedly, tried to feed me drugs, tried to set me up with hookers.


After one trial date, I was a little bar around the corner from my apartment all of a sudden needs to drop dead. Beautiful women in the bar. The one comes up to me and says, I saw you on television today. You're a celebrity. And next thing I know, we're drinking shots of whiskey and they're rubbing my head. And, you know, I'm not the most beautiful. I'm not a Robert Redford and all the president's men. So we're getting pretty low to drinking shots and beers and whispered in my ear all these things they're going to do to me.


And I was a young single guy at the time. And I'm like thinking, this is awesome.


And then at some dawned on me, I'm going, what in the hell would these women want with me?


You know? And I finally came to my realization it was this gangster who set it all up. So I sneaked into the bathroom that went out the back door and said, I'm getting the hell out of here. Some guy downlinking followed me home, didn't do anything. But the next day and of course, the two chicks were in there. I was horrified during the whole process for this guy finally gets convicted and sentenced to three life prison terms. Lo and behold, several years later, I get a phone call from this guy who had been locked up for eight years, and he says to me, Bill, they're going to let me go.


And I'm thinking, oh, my God. And he says, I'm going to testify against the mob. So he testifies and he fed me that story all along. So I had several front page stories based out of the guy whose family wanted to kill me. And finally, I get to the point where the trials are all over with and I'm waiting for this guy to get released and wondering what he was going to do to me when he got released, when he calls me again and said, hey, the government welshed on a deal and now they're going to stick me in the federal witness protection program for the rest of my life, I said, didn't you get it in writing?


And he said, well, it was the FBI. Why do I need to get anything in writing? They wouldn't lie to me.


And I said, well, now, you know, and that started a track where he started telling me how screwed up the federal witness protection program was and how they worked on deals with almost everyone in the program, and not only them, but their family members who went along with them into this program. In other words, they basically said that once the government used you, they would abuse you. And then he started feeding me other people and I decided to go full bore after it.


And that's what I did. Eventually, Moussaoui was in contact with enough people who are willing to speak to him about their experience in WITSEC, that he was able to write his protected witness series. His reporting revealed a deeply flawed organization with almost no oversight or accountability that seemed to harm more people than it claimed to protect. Here's a CBS News report from 1982, the same year my family and I were relocated to Billings, the Justice Department's witness protection program has been plagued with troubles.


Witnesses who have committed crimes under their government identities relocated, witnesses abandoned, broken, jobless children separated from their parents. The Reagan administration says that it plans to greatly reduce the number of witnesses to be relocated, but it remains to be determined whether the convictions obtained under the program are worth the problems it creates.


That's the theme that I saw in my research, was that once people got used by the government, I heard over and over and over again that they were just cast aside. Now, this is a real nice house. It's one of the nicest we've ever moved anyone like you into. Hey, Linda, what do you think? I always promised you a nice house somewhere in America. Let's not get carried away, OK? It's going to be a lot easier for you to start calling each other Terry and Tod.


It's a nice house, Terry. OK. No, you're Terry and he's tall man.


We'll call the Hollywood version of the WITSEC program is amusing, but it has no basis in reality.


The idea is that people would go into business with the government and then after they testified, they would be given a new Social Security number and relocated with their family and they'd be started on a new life, an anonymous existence, which is altruistic and would be great if that's the way it works. But in fact, the opposite occurs.


If I've heard once I've heard 40 times about how people were put in rat infested hovels all over the United States and left there for months on end when the promises made to them was they were going to resettle them in a decent community and ensure their security and make sure they're able to afford a vehicle and a place to live and get a job, when, in fact, they would sit in these hotels for months on end, when most of the time they were sitting there because they had no identities.


And that's where the things go bad, especially for families, because they have no Social Security numbers, which means they have no way of getting a job unless they use their own Social Security number, which would put them in danger if danger existed. I heard so many complaints about having trouble getting their IDs, trouble getting a Social Security card, trouble having anybody make a reference for them in order to get a job. In other words, making it very, very difficult to exist.


I found a letter in my father's trunk, it's dated August 13th, 1983, when we thought he was working on a fishing boat. It sent from the Men's Correctional Center in New York City. And it's addressed to Gerald Scherr, associate director, Office of Enforcement Operations, Criminal Division, US Department of Justice. It reads, Mr. Shaw, from the beginning, I put the trust and fate of my family in your hands, which I was led to believe were very capable and knowledgeable hands.


This, sir, is something that I don't believe anymore. I have incurred many enemies who will never stop coming after me, and they are willing to pay any price to get me, so I feel if I don't act with a pen and paper, I will surely be harmed before something is done.


But first and foremost is my family. We were relocated in a town that would have been one of the last on my list and replaced in a small motel room. The children couldn't go outside because of the snow and cold as it was below zero degrees. Most of the time we were all sick and one child had to go to the hospital. We had no kind of ID, so we couldn't go anywhere for fear of being discovered. There was a limit of six months funding, worrying where we were going to do in a strange town with three children and no friends or relatives.


We were disillusioned and suffered a great amount of stress, also because of lack of documents. The school officials were my child was enrolled, had to be told of our situation by the marshal. This caused me to seek out a doctor because of anxiety. When I went to this doctor, he and his nurse seen my Hells Angels tattoos. I expressed to him my concern and keeping my tattoos confidential. His answer to this was, don't worry, I take care of several of you witnesses.


Needless to say, that is something that no one should hear, it made us feel very uneasy because we didn't know who else knew of our situation. Then instead of birth certificates, we got passports, which, as you know, have to be renewed every five years. That would have been acceptable if it were only for me, but what of the children? Let me say to you now, you can't move my family again, nothing but harm will come from such an attempt.


My children have almost got over the shock of such a move and the loss of their friends and relatives. They learn to accept their new friends and new names. My wife has stated that she will leave the program if any such attempt was made. So just leave them alone. There has been enough damage done. The idea that the families get jerked into this situation is just a travesty. From my experiences of talking to them from the minute they get into those situations, they are a second class citizen and they know it and they feel hopeless and helpless.


And it's a horrible shame because they didn't do anything. Once they get them into the right away places, they want to wash their hands of them. I could care less about most of these guys who are witnesses because they're all pieces of shit, but their kids didn't buy that, the kids didn't bargain for that. And the kids are being the victims of it. Kids get dragged into this program, which has got to be the most traumatic thing they have ever experienced in their lives.


And if they don't get counseling early and often is absurd. The wives and the kids are the most vulnerable people on this earth. I think that in a lot of respects, the people in the WITSEC program use the families as leverage against these guys. They use them to get whatever they want to get done, whatever convictions they want, and then they shuffle them off to these out of the way places and try to forget about them. True features the often weird but always true stories of strange events and unforgettable moments.


Each episode explores unusual, obscure, sometimes funny, sometimes creepy stories, stories that are so bizarre that you won't believe that they're real, but they are because, yeah, they're true.


Listen and subscribe to True right now on Apple podcast or wherever you get your favorite shows. This is my mother's church, my mother's way into the church now, she dove into Jesus, which is good for her. She's now a retired parish nurse. And she is the lady that delivers communion to sick people in the hospital on Sundays. And she doesn't want to have anything to do with this documentary. She doesn't like to talk about this. She just wants to forget it.


So it's her way of dealing with it, forget it. That's not my way of dealing with stuff. We're very, very opposite. Jamie, I don't want to Jamie, you cannot run. Not really. Oh, Jamie, go downstairs right now. Go downstairs, Jack, who if you don't stop the while, you go to your room and you can't eat while now. My mother was very quiet, a very soft spoken woman back in Ohio and Florida when we got here, she started to do this thing that my sister and I coined as the bloody murder scream.


It was a sound that I didn't know that my mother could make. And the first time I heard it was right after my father left. I remember exactly where she was in the kitchen on Milice Avenue of the very first house that we had gotten into after the motel. And I don't even remember what she was mad about, but she did this blood curdling scream and we call it the bloody murder scream, that screaming, that blood curdling bloody murder scream went on and on and on and on and on of my childhood.


And my mother was now a different woman. She had nobody to talk to.


She just really internalized everything, not being able to talk to anybody, and it just manifested itself and she became very, very, very abusive to primarily me. She screamed, she pulled my hair, she hit me. She hated me, she started hating me.


And to this day, she still hates me, I hear it in her voice, I don't know if I remind her of Butch, which I think I do.


I know I look a lot like him. I started talking back, I started not putting up with the abuse, and I started fighting back and I started punching her and kicking her.


I threw a pot at her once, a flower pot. I just threw it at her and she turned her head in it and it broke on her head and it knocked to the ground and gave her a concussion. I was fighting back, I was protecting myself, I got pretty abusive to her, probably a little bit worse than she was to me, but I couldn't control myself at that age. One day in seventh grade, I snapped when a girl pushed me up against my locker.


One day I just couldn't handle it anymore, and something came over me and I remember hitting her and just getting really violently mad.


Something came out of me that I didn't know existed. And the little girl that threw rocks at the back of my head, I started following her home and throwing rocks at the back of her head. That little girl got a 10 speed bicycle and a Walkman and rode her bike home with her headphones on as fast as she could every day.


She never bullied me again. The little girl that stood on her stoop that made fun of me every day.


When I walked by, I tormented her for the next four or five years, and her first day of high school was probably the worst day of her life. And I made sure that that was going to happen.


I turned the tables on everybody that ever bullied me. I just had that fucking rage. I had no where to put that rage except on people that pissed me off. We were just driving and Jackie notices a car of a girl that she didn't like. And she was like, oh, we should kick the windows in and, you know, slash the tires and I'm like, no, don't do that. Like, be cool, be cool.


This is Laney, one of my closest friends, and she picked up this giant rock and she just tossed it on the windshield.


And I was like, oh, my gosh, are you kidding me? Like, she just threw the rock in the windshield and walked on like nothing had happened. I was a little bit scared of her because I didn't know what else she was capable of. I started drinking and then it went to marijuana and then it went to cocaine, and then it went to meth, and once I started doing drugs, I didn't stop. I was reckless at that point and I didn't care, and I was just being very promiscuous and just doing horrible things to myself.


I just didn't care anymore. I didn't I didn't care if I killed tomorrow care. It just did it didn't mean anything to me because I didn't care enough about myself anymore. I wish somebody would have grabbed me and and showed me the right way because nobody ever did. I think she used drugs and alcohol to deal with how she felt about what was going on in her life at the time, you know, not being able to see her dad, not knowing what was going on with with him not being able to see her family in Cleveland.


This is Lucy, another very close friend of mine. There was no control for her in everything that was going on around her.


You know, it's that way for a lot of teens, but for Jackie, it was tenfold.


She ended up going to Rivendell, which was a hospital for teens, it was a drug and rehab place. And that was during the summer we were supposed to go to a Def Leppard concert together and we already had our tickets and I had to go without her.


And I remember her telling me that she was sitting at the window with the bars on it, and then she could hear the music playing from the Metra where the concert was at.


At Rivendell, I was in therapy for the first time in my life, and so I thought maybe this was a place where I could finally talk about everything, about my dad and the Hells Angels and growing up on WITSEC.


But I was wrong. Ninety nine percent of the time, my therapist didn't believe me. And then I was forced to take other tests, tests on personality disorders or schizophrenia, they thought that I was imagining myself to be somebody that I wasn't, delusions of grandeur. And at that time, I had no proof. In group therapy.


When I'm sitting with all the kids and I say, well, I was put on the witness protection program when I was seven. They're kind of looking around the room at each other like, yeah, OK.


But I needed to talk about it when you're a kid, you need to talk to you need to talk to your friends and I talked a little bit too much and told way too many people.


I did believe that her dad was in jail, but I wasn't sure about the whole witness protection part of the story, you know, that she was here because of that.


I felt like she was full of shit. I didn't believe the story, it was just a far fetched story, like, you know, it's only something you heard in the movies and to actually hear it come from someone, maybe they picked it up from the movies, you know, made things up to make us like her better or make us fear her. I don't know. I just never believed it. It was like, really, you're making this up.


Did you watch her show and take this off of a movie? Because it just sounded like something so made up, like really this could never be you would never think that something like that, that she would have had to live through that all of her life.


There's really only one person who completely understood what it was like growing up like this, my little sister, Jamie, she's 18 months younger than me.


We all went through our issues like I think when we became teenagers and just struggling. You know, as a teenager, you just normally struggle with identity. And I think with us, it was 100 times worse just because we kind of felt like we didn't have an identity when we were told about this. We didn't know. We just didn't know any different. It was our life. You know, we have nothing to compare it to because that's all we've known.


And so once we became teenagers and you just start kind of questioning, you know, everything you were raised to believe. And for us, it was just then we started questioning in our life and our reality and different things who our father was. I struggled a lot with the whole kind of, I guess, nature versus nurture thing. Like it's just who I am and my predisposed to be a bad person. My mother used to say that my father had bad blood.


Well, I knew that half of his blood was running through my veins and I used to cut myself to see if I bled black because I thought bad blood was black blood.


My mother signed me over to the state when I was 15 years old, I had been in and out of different facilities and I think she just didn't want to pay for them. She didn't know what to do. I think she was kind of at her wits end. And I was signed over to the state, I ended up in a group home for girls, which is basically an orphanage, my sweet 16th birthday was in the group home and I spent close to a year there.


That's probably the height of my depression. And I've been on my own ever since, which is kind of how I feel like I've kind of been on my own since I came to Montana. This is when I became obsessed with trying to find out anything I could about my dad, I think it was a coping mechanism. I felt like if I could know more about him, I'd understand more about myself. So I started doing research. This was before Google, before the Internet, really.


So I spent a lot of time at the library. And during one of those visits, I made a breakthrough. I found some articles through the News Herald in Cleveland when I was actually able to do an interlibrary loan for microfiche, and I found a bunch of articles on my father when I read them over and over and over and over and over.


There was a small little paragraph. That I found in one of the articles, and I see this little sentence that says that his wife and children are under federal custody. That was huge to me because that's what I needed, because it was proof that I was on the witness protection program. At that age. I had no proof, nothing. There was no documented evidence corroborating my story. And I was so happy I had that little paragraph. Now now I know I'm not crazy and I can prove to everybody else that I'm not crazy, even though it's one little paragraph.


It was something in writing. It was something that I could show people now and say, see, I wasn't lying. And I felt like I won some big, huge battle of trying to find out who the fuck I was.


But then there's all the other shit, there's all the other shit that he did. I never knew anything about him. I mean, you know, I didn't know his lifestyle, I didn't know what he did. I didn't know all of the murders, all everything, the things I had no idea. I found that all out through the paper. And I just turned my stomach. I was really embarrassed, but that was my father and the heat started coming and that opened the door for another monster within me to come out.


And that monster was hatred for my father. I could feel it rising up within me. And I started having horrible, horrible fantasies about what I wanted to do to my father. And I just wanted to find out where he was and. I wanted to kill him. What good is a man who's a lost soul on the next episode of relative unknown and average, would you be swoon at this time for yelling at you, given their sharing?


Should be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? Yes.


Butch testifies in front of the United States Senate.


We pulled up and stopped and machine gun opened up and I started shooting in explosive fashion.


You know, when the Hells Angels that have turned against a rock star, it's one incident that I'm aware of that happened, overkilling at a concert. And it's Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones. It's from the Altamont thing one night. Tell us more about the attempts on his life. I see the change on the. I feel the change on the. A relative unknown as a creation and presentation of S. 13 originals, a division of kadence 13 and Roomer Inc executive produced by Chris Corcoran, Zac Lovett, David Beilinson, Michael Golinski and Sooky Holly, written, produced, directed and edited by Zac Levit, produced and edited by Perry Croal.


Our theme song is Change on the Rise by Avi Kaplan Original Music composed by Joel Goodman, Mixed and Mastered by Bill Schulz. Production Support by Ian Armont and Lloyd Lakeridge Field Recording by Rich Berner, Michael Golinski, Perry Croal and Connor waddingham production, engineering and Coordination by Sean Cherry and Terrence Malick on Artwork, Marketing and PR by Kurt Courtney Josephine of Frances and Hilary Duff. I'm Jackie Taylor and thanks for listening to Relative Unknown.


I feel the change of.