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[00:00:01]

Everything from your toes shrinks up into your belly and everything from your head shrinks down and meets it, and right in the center of your body there's this lead heavy ball. And inside of it is an immediate understanding of evil.

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[00:01:43]

Find your perfect shade at Madison, Dasch read Dotcom. This is actually happening. Listeners get 10 percent off plus free shipping on their first color kit. With code happening. That's code happening. I think I had what most people would call a normal childhood, I was a pretty insecure kid. I was probably an annoying kid. I think in my adulthood it's become quirkiness. But as a kid, I think I was just annoying. Otherwise, I mean, I was just a normal kid, we went to church, I grew up in a pretty conservative Christian house.

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I didn't have a great relationship with my dad. I wouldn't call him abusive. I would call him a jerk. He was not my biological father, but he adopted me when I was very young.

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He was very, very, very conservative and had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible. And he really liked to kind of use that as a weapon. I grew up in Phoenix and I lived there for the better part of 30 years and in my late teens and in my 20s, I was sort of saturated with Christianity and a certain set of expectations. And and part of that included getting married and having children and going to college and getting a degree and having a house.

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And I was desperately searching for that. But I don't think that that's what I wanted or what was good for me. And I didn't think that I had any other choices. I was kind of trying to find my way and moved out when I was 18 and stopped going to church and I was just trying to think like we all are in our 20s, just trying to figure it out, figure out who you're going to be and what you want to do.

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But I felt kind of stuck in a stuck in.

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You're not sure what you're doing wrong. I would have told you, I'm happy if somebody said, are you a happy person, I would have said, sure, I'm happy. And then I would have complained about everything that was miserable about. And when I would talk to people about the problems in my relationships, all I would hear is like, well, that's normal. Everybody goes through that. And so it's like that's what it's like to be happy.

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But I just felt like even though I wasn't necessarily happy, that I was happy. Like what what other kind of life is there for me? I don't even know what that looks like. I felt completely unfulfilled and I felt like if this is all there is, then I'm going to have to go somewhere else and make sure that it's not different somewhere else.

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Before I resigned myself to life is just this. And it was at that point that I was like, I've got got to get out of Arizona, I just cannot be here anymore. And I had a friend from Arizona that had moved to Oregon. So she was like, come on up. So I packed up my car and took what would fit in it. And a month later, I left and drove up to Oregon. And it was the single best decision I think I ever made for myself in my whole life.

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The weather here is beautiful, and I was meeting new people and I was going on lots of adventures and I was pretty active and I was working a lot of hours and I was doing kind of manual labor in a restaurant and I lost a ton of weight. Gosh, 80 pounds, which was life changing. And I mean, it was just exhilarating. And I, I started walking all the time and I fell in love with the outdoors and I was kind of figuring out what I wanted from life and how I felt about things that I had had always believed spirituality and how I felt about relationships.

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And I just felt alive. And I was in a place where I felt like anything was possible. There was I had freedom that I didn't I didn't even know how much I needed it. And it's it's a freedom that I had I had never felt in my life. Like I felt like I could literally do anything I wanted.

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I could do anything. My friend that already lived here introduced me to one of her other friends who worked for a company that was more corporate, sort of more in line with with stuff that I had done in the past. So I was able to get kind of get them where nine to five position working at that place is how I met Marcus, which has been probably the most significant association of my entire life. He had also recently just moved to Oregon from Texas, and we were both kind of in yes adventure mode and it kind of kind of slowly progressed from there.

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And it was a really magical time for both of us, I think, because everything was new and exciting, you know. Life settles and not everything feels like a vacation once, once you settle into to normal. But but I was very happy and I, I really felt like I was on a journey of kind of opening my mind and exploring things that I hadn't explored before. And I was really trying to figure out who I wanted to be.

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I had actually just started a new job and markets and I had a little apartment about four miles from my work and I keep odd hours kind of anyway, I don't know why, but as I've gotten older, I just tend to fall asleep pretty early and I wake up pretty early, like middle of the night, early one or two in the morning sometimes. But also at this job started at 5:00 a.m. and I walked to work. I really enjoyed that time of day, it was very quiet.

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It's nice and cool. There was no traffic and so I kind of felt like I had the world to myself a little bit. I encountered a couple of people that made me nervous, and I remember telling Marcus like that three thirty to four thirty that hour is like the witch. That's the witching hour for crazy people to come out and just be crazy. I didn't have to be to work till five, it took me about an hour and a half to walk and I left thinking that I was going to go grab a scooter.

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They have those rental scooters downtown and I had just bought pepper spray and a stun gun. I was not carrying the pepper spray. I was carrying the stun gun instead. And I was using an app on my phone called Moonlite that you just hold your finger on a sensor and if you take your finger off, you have to enter a code within ten seconds. And if you don't enter a code, then they call you and then they dispatch police to you.

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So I was like, oh, that'll be fine. So I just thought I would leave a little bit early and I would grab that scooter, and so I left, I left for work, it was 60 degrees probably. It was beautiful.

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And I had my earbuds in. I was listening to a true crime podcast. I was about a mile into my walk and I I was walking on the main road that leads from my house into downtown, there's an Under Armour building on one side of that road just before downtown. And attached to that is like a big running truck. So there's lights on the track. But it was again, it was three thirty in the morning, so it was dark.

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So the only part that was lit up was a track. As I'm walking past Under Armour, there was an ambulance parked there. I remember seeing that ambulance and as I passed the ambulance and saw onto the track, there was a guy like a jogger on the track, but otherwise there was nobody around. I kept walking, I passed Under Armour, there's a bar just past Under Armour, and then on the other side of that bar starts the beginning of downtown.

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There's an overpass right there that marks kind of the the beginning of the downtown area. Behind the overpass fence, there's like a super dark, just black as night back there, so I never walk on the sidewalk right there and I moved into the street. So I'm walking in the street and I get to the middle of the overpass. And I had glance just like a casual glance over my shoulder. And I didn't expect to see anybody, but I saw the jogger from the Under Armour truck.

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And I kind of I kind of did a double take because I wasn't expecting to see him. But before I could even do that second second glance, he was on my left coming up to me saying something I was taking my ear about out. Saying what? And he said, show me your tits and I won't hurt you. Time stopped. I kind of it took me a second, I remember saying what? But I already knew what he had said and he repeated himself, Show me your tits or I'll kill you.

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He had his hand up weird, and when I said what and he said it again, I realized he had a knife. Just the length of the knife was all it was between he and I, and he had that right in front of my chest, I remember just kind of going and.

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And he said, just take just take them out. I kind of stuttered and said and he said, just take them out, take them out and I won't hurt you. And I had a backpack on. So I, I remember it being so awkward, but I had to reach through the top of my shirt and pulled my right breast out of the color of my shirt, like pulled my shirt down and pulled it out. And he immediately licked his lips and kind of oh no, I don't even know how to describe the sound he made.

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It just made me it made me shudder. And he said, let me touch them and I won't hurt you or I won't kill you. And I said, please don't. And he said, just let me I'm just going to touch them. Just let me touch them. I mean, you do what somebody tells you when when they come a knife find you and my brain was exploding. I mean, I, I was thinking so many things like can I get away and.

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Oh, gosh.

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He touches me, he puts his hands on on my breasts, and he starts playing, playing with it and saying, that's really nice, those are really nice. And I just said, thank you. And I wanted to throw up, but I didn't know what else to say. I knew as soon as he made contact with me that that was it, that as far that's as far as I could let it go, because otherwise he was just going to keep escalating and what's what's going to come next.

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Right. Just take off your backpack and take your pants off. Just walk with me over here to this shadowy area, and then he's going to stab me to death and throw me off of the overpass.

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So this guy was eight inches from my face, letting me memorize his face and holding a knife to my chest, telling me he would kill me if I didn't do what he wanted and then I did what he wanted.

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And then he asked me for more. He didn't ask me for money. He didn't ask me for help. He wanted my body. And that's a really specific request and it's a specific kind of terror. I could not get my feet under me, I knew I had to go, but I, I mean, I just couldn't I was so scared. There's the moment when your body and your brain connect to what's happening in front of you and everything.

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Time really does feel like it stops like you can you can't hear background noise. You don't hear traffic, you don't hear the wind. All you hear is, is your heartbeat. And this person, it's just you in this person. And that's that's the only thing that exists.

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Everything from your toes shrinks up into your belly and everything from your head shrinks down and meets it, and right in the center of your body there's this lead heavy ball. And inside of it is an immediate understanding of evil. Of what the world is really like, of what people are really capable of and that somebody right now, immediately right now wants you dead. That's the grossest feeling I can't I don't ever want to feel like that again. I remember looking towards home so vivid in my head, looking towards home and hearing, hearing Marcus's name in my head, just hearing Marcus, I haven't really been able to articulate this yet.

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I feel like it sounds weird when I say it, but I felt so sorry and I still feel so sorry when I think I just was so devastated for him that this was happening that I couldn't I couldn't get to him because I knew he would help me if he could.

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And I and he was just sleeping and thought I was safe and and I could I was so close, you know, I was just a mile away and and I could just picture him and I just wanted to reach reach through his bedroom wall, like make my arm long and reach his bedroom wall and wake him up. And I was so sorry that he wasn't going to know what happened and oh, I don't know how to explain that. It still makes me sick.

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I had both my hands up, so he saw my phone in my left hand and my stun gun in my right hand, and I briefly considered using the stun gun. But that knife was just I mean, it was just right in my chest. So I really felt like my odds of stunning him before he could stab me. I don't know. It just didn't it just didn't feel like the right thing to do. I felt like compliance and flight was going to be my preferred means of escape.

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I just didn't want to have to fight with that guy if I didn't have to. And so in my head, I'm thinking, you got to run, you've got to run, you've got to run. And also thinking you don't know how to fight. So I'm preparing myself to fight this man to the death, certain that I'm going to lose. But I had taken my my my finger off of off of that Moonlite sensor, and so there I had already started like I felt my phone buzzing for that code.

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And I was thinking any minute now, like any minute now, there's somebody going to come. Somebody's going to come. He is touching me. He tells me how great that is for him and I say, may I please go now? And he says no. And I just took off, I just bolted. I'm sure everybody who's ever been in a situation like that says this, but like you don't know how fast you can run until you're running for your life.

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Your body really takes over for you. I really felt like it was a passenger for a lot of that's like your brain starts rapid firing, everything else slows down. It's almost like an engine starting. You can feel your body gearing up to do what it's got to do and your brain takes you where you need to go. I mean, I really felt like I didn't have any control over my thoughts. I was not thinking they were happening for me.

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And I briefly glanced back and he was just standing there in that same position with his just staring at me.

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And I didn't I mean, I just kept running and my phone was ringing because noone had been calling me that app that I was using, I had taken my finger off as soon as it started and they'd been calling that whole time. I was able to answer the phone. They were so lovely and she, you know, I think she just said this is new. Is everything OK? And I'm screaming, no, there's a man with a knife trying to kill me.

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Please help me. She started asking me what he looked like and and where I was, and she she she could see where I was, but she said, you know, where the Chevron is. And she directed me to this empty gas station. It was closed, but everything was closed. It was three, 30 in the morning. So I'm in downtown now. I had run several blocks into downtown. I'm talking to New Light. I'm screaming intermittently, where the fuck are the cops?

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And then apologizing to her. She was so kind to me. She was so kind. She was my friend. And she told me how brave I was and they were going to get me home and get me safe and that I didn't do anything wrong. And she's just exactly what what people need in a situation like that, really. And honestly, without without moonlight, I don't think I. I don't think I would have been as willing to run and risk that if I didn't think somebody was coming already, you know what I mean?

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Because I was alone. I've never felt more alone in my heart in my whole life. So knowing that at some point somebody was going to come, it might not be right now or the next minute, but somebody is going to be alerted somewhere that something's happening. And so somebody will be able to at least find your body.

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I just waited on the phone with her, and at one point I ran from the Chevron into the shadows of another building because there was a guy walking towards me and I didn't know who he was and he was just some kid, I think, looking back on it now. And I was whimpering and saying, no, no, no. And I think he thought I was crazy. But I waited. I waited kind of crouched down in the shadows of this building until the cops got there.

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[00:21:05]

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When I saw them, I ran full screen across the street and they were fine, I guess. Really, only only one of them talk to me, the other one just got the description and then took off and went and looked for the guy. But the officer that talked to me asked me a lot of the same questions. He asked me three different times how I know this guy. And I kept saying, I don't know him.

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I don't know him. We did a report and I asked him if he would take me home and he asked me again where I lived and it was we were about a mile and a half from my house at that point. And he said, well, I don't really patrol that that far south. And then he just stood there and looked at me like I was supposed to be like, OK, cool, I'll just walk then back the direction where that that guy ran.

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And I just said, why? I mean, I don't I can call it left, I guess. And he was like, no, that's fine, just get in. So he softened up a little bit.

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A little bit. When we were in the patrol car, I was crying, weeping in the back, and I just felt so lonely and I just wanted to go home.

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He kind of said, well, I'm I'm sorry this happened, but if you're going to be walking around in in downtown, then at three thirty in the morning, then you need to be carrying a gun. It's not safe. And I was like, OK, well, I mean, we'll deal with that tomorrow.

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Thank you for your for your concern. He shook my hand and he put his floodlight up on my door, watched me get in safely, and I appreciated that at that moment I just wanted to kind of feel safe.

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And and so I came in and it was dark. Marcus was asleep. Close the door and locked it, and I just kind of sat down on the floor, maybe I was I was crying, but I, I just didn't know what to do. After a few minutes, I went in and he woke up and he just hugged me and and cried with me, and then we just sat there and and cried. And I remember him going outside at one point and calling his boss.

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He was like, I'm going to I'm going to call in. And I've just never seen him look so angry. Doesn't doesn't cover distraught maybe.

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And I think that was the first moment that I realized how horrible it was. Like, I it's just. Oh, this just happened.

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I couldn't tell you all the days for the first couple of weeks kind of blend together, there was a lot of crying, there was just a lot of sitting kind of being in shock and not knowing what to do. I tried to go back to work, happened on a Friday, tried to go back that Monday, was there maybe five minutes, and I was like, no, no, no, this is this is not good. So I went back the next day and I stayed for a couple of hours and I was just a wreck.

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I think maybe the fourth or fifth day after the attack, I think Marcus and I both were chatting and saying this is not just going to go away like this is. This is a big deal. It takes a while to sink in. How scary it is, you know, and how real it is.

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How how real that was. Everything changes, that is for sure, everything rapidly became about safety and fear, just he's out there. We don't know who he is. Statistically, it's unlikely this is the first time he's done this and it's unlikely to be the last time. So I was absolutely.

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And it happened a mile from home. The day of I talked to the police advocate, but she did tell me that they were very backed up so an investigator probably wouldn't be contacting me for a few days. And so we went, Marcus and I got up and went to the bar that was right there by where this happened and asked them if they had video. The manager called us within a couple of hours and said, yeah, I've got video that shows you walking and him walking behind you and then him running back the opposite direction a few minutes later.

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So we went we hopped in the car and went down there and got that on a flash drive. They were they were so gracious to give it to us. So we did a little investigating, we drove around a lot in the beginning and looked for to see if we could find him. I guess I don't know. And then as the weeks go on, you sort of settle into realizing that this is they're not going to solve this. There's no DNA, this happened on a freeway overpass.

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The video that we have isn't good. It's good to for general description rightly, you can see that he's got a long gray ponytail. You can see that he's wearing a black hoodie and shorts and these black and white shoes and that he's thin and kind of then that he's white. But you can't you can't make out his face. So what's going to happen, like this guy is going to attack me, they're never going to catch him, they're already overworked and understaffed and the police department and they've got nothing to work with.

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I felt pretty hopeless about that, and I was trying to adjust my expectations and remember thinking that I was like, OK with them not finding him, really? What can you do? And then my investigator reached out and he was so optimistic and he said, you know, well, we're going to have to go down and do a sketch and we'll give it to the patrol officers and and we'll put a package together for them and give them the video and and they'll start talking to people on the street and we'll find him.

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And I really was just like, OK. Kind of go on about life and get a leave of absence from work, get into some trauma counseling, through crime victims compensation, through the Department of Justice, which is fantastic.

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And then on the twenty seventh, so this happened on the fifth of July. On the twenty seventh of July, I got a call from my investigator and he said that that they had made an arrest. I was really surprised and I said, ah, how confident are you? He said, I'm very confident. And that's when he told me that on the 26th, which was the day before, a man had come up to two women that were sleeping in an alcove, which was about a block away from where I was working.

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He went up to two sleeping women. He held a knife to one of their throats and raped her.

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And her friend woke up and realized what was happening and grabbed her knife and was able to push him, kick him off of her friend. And they tussled. He slammed her head on the concrete and she grabbed his knife by the blade and got it got it away from him. And he took off. They gave the same exact description down to the clothing for several reasons, they were convinced that this was the same guy. I didn't know how they got his name, but they did arrest somebody from the news.

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Another victim came forward and said that was the same guy that had come up to her on the 25th, held a knife to her throat and raped her.

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So we go to the grand jury. They indict him. He's held on two million dollars bond for like preparing for the wait, you know, for a trial.

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And oddly, I did not feel any better when they arrested him. I thought I would and I felt I really felt stressed. I thought, man, we're just going to be now we're just going to be living this for the next two years. You know, however long it takes to prosecute him, it felt exhausting to think about. They indicted him in August, in the beginning of August and at the end of September or beginning of October, I got a call from the DA's office and he said, we have a big problem.

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We came upon some video from the guy that they arrested from his apartment complex showing that he entered his apartment prior to the attack on the 25th and not leaving until after the attack on the 26. So they rushed the DNA from the last two attacks and it didn't match him, so they let him go and they should have.

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Retroactively, I think the confidence of the investigators made me sure I saw his picture and I remember thinking that guy looks a little old, but also you don't really trust yourself when something like that happens.

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And I I think that eyewitness testimony is it's scary.

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It's a scary thing. I don't trust myself. I met that guy for three minutes and I was panicked the whole time. So I remember his face. But like, do do I remember it well enough to know it from a picture?

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I don't know. I felt so confident about my investigator and he didn't seem like he had an agenda, he really just seemed like he just wanted to find the right guy and get us get justice for us and and keep some people safe.

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Then my investigator retired, I have a new investigator.

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He's also set an expectation for me that it's unlikely that my case will be solved, but they do believe that it's connected to these other attacks and they do have DNA from those.

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So you never know. The attack itself was only just under three minutes, and it's just shocking how much can happen. You know, it's going to be a long journey in the very beginning, so I knew that it was going to probably be the hardest thing that I've ever had to figure out. I was scared of everything, I didn't go places alone, I didn't really go places in the beginning. I was scared to be inside my house. I remember I would sit and stare at the deadbolt on the door and think I'm not safe anywhere.

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If somebody wants to get in here, they're going to get in here. And then where am I going to go? I'm I'm I'm on the second floor. I would have to jump out. And what if somebody put a ladder up to the onto our patio and came in the sliding glass door? So I got to I'm obsessively checking locks.

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I knew it was weird. OCB like I got to check everything 15 times and I knew it was ridiculous and I just wanted to be able to do it and reassure myself without alarming anybody that I was crazy.

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The overarching theme is fear, and it's the the one thing that I find it really difficult to move past. I mean, you go through a wide range of things. And in the beginning, I felt a lot of despair and its its grief, which sounds weird to say, because, you know, it's not a it's not a physical loss. And and physically, I wasn't hurt. He didn't I didn't have scars. I didn't have physical pain to heal from.

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There's a lot of confusion also as it relates to that, because you hear other people who go through these types of things who do get hurt because other victims, you know, and you start to think. Am I just being dramatic? Like, at least at least he didn't stab me. And then you start to shame yourself. And then there's a lot of a lot of sadness and despair. It was just dripping off of me. I felt like my body was just made of it.

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Just made of despair.

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Now, I feel like I can identify it as a loss of freedom, I have come into this life where I was so happy and and I felt so free and kind of carefree and I really enjoyed walking. I can't stress that enough that that sort of dark middle of the night walking. I really loved it. And it's it seems so stupid now because, of course, it's not safe to walk around in the middle of the night by yourself. That's ridiculous.

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But I loved it and I felt so free. I just felt like I can do whatever I want. All of the emotions probably stem from the evidence you feel that despair, I think, is just over feeling like everything is different.

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You have no control in this world.

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You feel helplessness. The only way to be safe is to never leave your house. And then I just thought, well, that's stupid, because somebody could break in here. You really drive yourself yourself nuts. You can do everything you want to do to keep yourself safe. And it doesn't really matter, you know, like it's just blind luck. I don't have a better word for evil, and I know that that's to me, that's a probably more of a religious term and I don't believe in God and but I do believe that people possess darkness.

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Call it what you want. I've listened to true crime. I love mysteries. And so I have heard lots of stories about predators and evil people.

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And I'm just not sure we're capable of really, really grasping what that means until something like that happens. I also know that when people say that it makes the people that are trying to relate to them feel like, OK, so I just can't understand what's the point of even trying. And I don't say it dismissively.

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I would have told people, sure, I could imagine how scary that would be.

[00:34:18]

And you just can't. When I think about how real that is, it really doesn't make me want to vomit, I get my stomach just recoils.

[00:34:28]

I can't make. That's a person who who woke up, he's a person just like you and I, I mean, there's nothing special about this guy. He's just he's just a regular guy. He woke up and and at some point something happened. His desire to hurt somebody got so bad that he was willing to do it in the middle of a road under a streetlight, letting me see his face where anybody could drive by if it wasn't so early in the morning, I don't know, understanding that people will actually put themselves at that kind of risk because they so badly want to terrorize you.

[00:35:09]

It's dark. It's dark. So I wish I didn't know that.

[00:35:14]

I wish I didn't know about it. Me and Marcus talk a lot about the illusion of safety. It's so powerful, like it really you it's really like the veil. The veil is lifted. That illusion of safety just gets shattered. It falls. And now you see what the world is really like. Like you can see the shadow people now. I've recently fully come into my rage about this, so I'm a little irritable. I'm really sensitive, you know, I feel raw.

[00:35:49]

Being fearful of everything, that's a big change, I mean, being terrified to to go out for a walk, that's a big change. I don't think I'll fully know all the ways it's changed me until. Until when? I don't know. How people react to your trauma and so interesting. When something like this happens in an effort to relate to you, people will tell you how this is like this thing that happened to them, if I can send a message to other people, would be to not do that when somebody is in the throes of sort of a really scary trauma.

[00:36:33]

I think it's important to know when to try to relate and when not to. Really, people are doing the best they can and nobody knows what to say, and so I think everybody's just trying to be helpful.

[00:36:46]

Even within groups of other survivors, there's a lot of comparing. Well, at least this didn't happen, or at least I actually had somebody say, well, at least they caught your guy. They'll never catch mine. This was when they thought they had caught him. But I think the most comfort I felt was when people said, man, I don't I don't know what to say, you know, I love you and I'm glad that you're safe.

[00:37:09]

And I'm so sorry this happened. You know, you don't have to do anything, but I think if you have a desire to help and you're not sure how, then just acknowledging how much it sucks and telling somebody how you feel about them is the very best thing you can do. I am only recently in a functional spot about it, I, I mean, I went back to work two and a half, two and half weeks ago. That was a huge, huge stepping stone to really internally acknowledging and and believing.

[00:37:44]

OK, so I really there is a possibility that I will be OK again up to that point.

[00:37:51]

I don't know a more honest way to say this, but like, I really just wasn't sure if I wanted to be alive, even though I wasn't suicidal. There was a real sense of being in limbo. This thing that happened just made me feel so broken. I mean, I just felt so violated and so just deflated.

[00:38:13]

I would remind myself of the progress that I had made and Marcus would remind me of the progress I had made, and it always it felt really patronising, you know what I mean? It feels like you're telling yourself while you're doing so good, it's even though it's like you're not doing good, you're you're not doing good at all. You're just falling apart.

[00:38:32]

Every decision I make is colored is colored by this. Still, I mean, it's everything. I still check the door a million times. I'll check and make sure I've got my pepper spray on. I'll check that 20 times.

[00:38:43]

I'll look at my phone to make sure my fingers still in the noon sensor, even though I know I it would buzz, you know, what's the best time of day to go places so that you're going to encounter the least amount of people.

[00:38:57]

What's the best way to get to your car if you parked along way from from the entrance to something so that if you have to run, you're most likely to get help? I started taking jujitsu and that was a big step to. I'm not under any illusion that this thing will not be with me forever, but it doesn't have to. It doesn't have to be the only thing.

[00:39:21]

It's really only been a few weeks that that I've been able to say, OK, yes, I can survive this, I will get better, it's just going to take some time.

[00:39:30]

But I have to walk, you know, and I have to walk alone.

[00:39:34]

And the very beginning of my day is is kind of a walk in the dark. So my very first day of work, somebody, a homeless guy, screamed at me at a bus stop and he wanted to share his ice cream and I didn't want it. And he got mad. So he screamed in my face. First of all, my reaction was not what I had hoped. I didn't get mad and pepper spray him at that point. I just shook and cried and begged him to please stop.

[00:40:00]

I don't think he could stop if he wanted to, and eventually he he moved on. I don't have a strong sense of vengeance, really. In fact, I I feel a lot of ways about that guy.

[00:40:13]

I feel furious in my dark moments.

[00:40:17]

I can picture myself standing face to face with him and squeezing the life out of him because I'm so fucking mad.

[00:40:27]

And also I feel a tremendous amount of sympathy for him. I don't know if this is true or not, but I feel like living a life where you are a predator, it's not what anybody would choose if they could choose any life that they wanted. And I would imagine that if you if we ever find this guy and we look at his life, we'll find a number of areas where he probably could have gotten help or somebody could have recognized that there was a problem and maybe there is no help for his particular kind of concerns or ailment.

[00:40:58]

But he's also other things. Maybe he's got kids, you know, certainly he's got a mother, maybe he's got a whole family, so it's hard to it's hard to say. Well, I think he's a piece of shit and he is discussing and he doesn't deserve to be alive. Like, I need a piece of shit for what he did to me. And if I had the opportunity to kill him, I'm not sure that I wouldn't if I was having a raging day over what he'd done to me.

[00:41:24]

But do I think he deserves a lifetime of misery? Not really. I mean, I think that it's very sad for him. I think that's very sad for him. And what a terrible life. There's sometimes a fear that the further away we get from this event, the more it's just sort of a whisper out into the universe than it. There's some sense of like even though I know it happened and I've got video that proves it happens, the only other person that shares that moment with you does not give a shit about you.

[00:41:59]

That guy doesn't you know, I mean, he and I are the only ones that are there.

[00:42:03]

I'm just telling some story. And he's just a ghost. I have a strong desire to to be able to see him without a knife in front of me know that he exists just having a moment where he's not a big, scary monster. What I don't want to do is let this event turn me into somebody that thinks that the entire rest of my life is going to be a series of unfortunate events. You have to give it its just dues, right?

[00:42:41]

There's something oddly sacred about it, nobody else shares it with you. You're the only one that understands how you feel. And it's a big deal. I mean, it's coloring every aspect of your life. So there's some kind of need to to pay attention to it and let it let it exist and just roll around in how fucking horrifying it is for a while. It's it's terrifying and it's disgusting and it turns your world upside down. And I don't I think it's absolutely necessary not to immediately say, well, this kind of stuff happens, got to get on with life.

[00:43:19]

I don't think it's true. I think if you want to heal, you have to take time to just be disgusting in your trauma until that first niggled that you have that says, all right, are you sick of this yet?

[00:43:33]

Marcus has been he's just the best teammate, he's been in the trenches with me from the beginning, and he's helped me set a really solid foundation for how I want to kind of put my life back together. And I'm hoping it'll just keep making steps and that at some point I'm going to feel safe enough to to go camping, to go on walks in my neighborhood by myself instead of commuting to a safer area.

[00:43:58]

And it doesn't go away after that. But you start to look forward. OK, I'm going to take one step and I'm going to go see a counselor or I'm going to take a jujitsu class or I'm going to take a walk around the block. Whatever the thing is, you really do just have to get to a point where it's like, OK, well, I'm still alive.

[00:44:15]

I'm not really living. But yeah, it does feel like it owns you. It just feels like all there is. It feels like all that exists. And I really I really don't want to be a victim. I know a lot of people say that. I feel like everybody says I didn't want to stay a victim forever. But you don't you don't want to be a victim. I liked my life and I want to still like my life.

[00:44:35]

Trauma is a pause, right, kind of slows things down and you have to totally rearrange and currently I really feel like I'm in a good spot and I just want to hang out here for a while, like I've picked up so many things to carry and I'm glad I've got it. I'm all set. But I kind of picked him up awkwardly. And so if I put anything down, I'm going to drop everything. So I just want to kind of hang out here and think about what to do next.

[00:45:02]

If I'm going to be alive, then I need to be living in order for me to feel like I'm doing what I need to do for myself, am I living the best life I can then I trying to to be happy? Am I seeking adventure and things that excite me and and love and laughter and all that? And if I'm if I'm not, then what do I need to do to get there.

[00:45:29]

Today's episode featured Cura Night, You can reach Kira at Violent Crime Survivors at Gmail dot com. This is actually happening, is brought to you by any witness or if you love what we do. You can join the community on our official Instagram page at actually happening. You can also write and review the show on iTunes, which helps tremendously to boost visibility to a larger community of listeners. And if you want to help sustain the show for the coming years, you can contribute a small monthly donation through our picture on page at Patriota Dotcom slash happening.

[00:46:06]

Thank you for listening. Until next time. Stay tuned. Now.