What this day means to me…
It was this time twelve years ago, I had received a call telling me that a man who was quite dangerous was getting out of prison serving only half the time he was sentenced to. I’m certain it was not for good behavior. I called the prosecutor’s office and demanded to speak with the prosecutor. His receptionist felt I was safe. Then I told her, “Ma’am. Not true. I am not safe. Try putting my name in your search bar on the little desktop computer you have in front of you. Can you do that now?” She replied, “Yes. Okay.” There was a gasp. I asked, “So, now you know who I am. You know where I live. Or it would be easy to find me. Or my place of work. Am I correct, Ma’am?” She remarked, “Oh.” I added, “So, you see what I’m aiming at then?” She replied, “Oh yeah.” I responded, “Good, have him call me. Here are the numbers he can reach me at.”
The prosecutor called me at home about a day later. I locked myself in our bathroom, told my husband to keep the kids away from the area because what I had to say I didn’t want our children to hear. Then I let ‘her rip. Filter completely off and told the prosecutor the mistake he had made. At the time I also didn’t know that the parole board had violated my rights as a victim of a violent crime.
When you are put in such a position and you’re me, you then plan for the worst. Because I do understand certain criminal nature. I also understood at the time that I was advised I had no rights. Like a restraining order. Only later to find out I could’ve paid to have a restraining order, which I could not afford to do. So, I planned.
I told the prosecutor that the disruption that he was allowing for the potential of, now not only in my life. Yet, as well my having a new life, could now disrupt our new little family. “It’s on your head.” I commented to the prosecutor, then hung up the phone and planned.
As time passed, and the criminal was brought down from a Tier One offender, making it worse for society. As well, he was released from a half-way house, and had moved within six miles of my home. Detectives, doctors, relatives and psychologists wrote to the parole board, I wondered how this could have happened. Aside from all my planning and taking one on one self-defense lessons every week, and doing some group lessons only with men, I was gaining an excellent skill set. I found I was correct in thinking deep down for years how I could defend myself. It was not pleasant. And as my self-defense coach told me back then, ‘especially for a woman…my willingness to do certain things was unusual…even for a man.’ I explained to him, that I understood what I was up against. I would not relent nor cower.
I told my self-defense instructor I knew what this guy would do before he would stalk and then attack me once again. Then I gave my instructor dates. I told him between March 21st and April 1st 2009 is when it would all go down. I gave the instructor these dates in November 2008, repeated them in December 2008 and again in January 2009. Then on Wednesday, March 18th 2009, during a private session with the instructor as I walked onto his basement gym mats. “Spring is in the air. He’s coming. Saturday, March 21st. I just feel it. I’m smelling it. You know?” The instructor responded, “I think you’re correct.” We nodded, then began the lesson.
March 21st came and went. Tuesday, March 24th 2009, soon arrived. I was going into my office later after picking up our youngest from Pre-K. I looked over my shoulder as I went to and from the car and in and out of our home. It was day just like today. Similar temps, similar sun rays, the wind, etc… It was noon as I was scrubbing our kitchen floor and our little one done with her lunch was playing one room nearby with her talking dollhouse. I realized I hadn’t checked my work messages like I normally do on a Tuesday morning before going into work for the afternoon then working into the evening.
I got up from my hands and knees scrubbing the floor and picked up our home phone and dialed into work. There was only one message. Which was odd. Even weirder was the one message from a retired detective. It urged me to call her. It was such the message she left her home phone, not just her cell phone. I hung up our house phone and quickly dialed her. She picked up the phone. She said, “Jody, he’s dead…” She repeated it, only this time said his full name.---Jody-Lynn Reicher