There is a relatively well-known story of a woman, Barbara Bentley, who was married to the guy who went by the name Admiral John Perry. Barbara has written a book about her experience, called “A Dance With the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath”.
When things weren’t adding up about who her husband was claiming to be, and Barbara asked questions and poked around to find answers, he became very nasty towards her and ultimately tried to kill her. After he was detained, tried and convicted, she still lived in fear because she didn’t know if he had accomplices or insurance on her life. When he was released, he told people she knew that he was determined to cause her lots of trouble. There were other women who already feared him, one having been assaulted by him. During his attempted murder trial, he painted himself to be someone of failing health who was “taken advantage of by his younger wife”. In her book, she says, “He was determined to drain me emotionally so he could profit financially”. He abused the legal system and used it to deliberately stall out things for as long as possible, much to the anger of Judges who encountered him. He just seemingly wasn’t happy unless things went HIS way. You can find some good info about her story, and a link to the NBC story done on him, by clicking HERE. Barbara found, through her investigating and persistence:
Bank signature cards that were supposed to require two signers not turned in by him
Stolen, blank letterhead from a university that he used to make it appear that he worked there
Forged, original w-2s where he was supposedly working
Her forged signature on refinance documents
He hired a person who looked like her to complete settlement
He pressed to be added to deed to her house; mad when she wouldn’t
His alleged Congressional Medal of Honor: he buried it so FBI wouldn’t find it (wasn’t his) (stolen valor)
He created a fake identity; investigation by FBI
Brace on neck: fake injury
She had to endure legal system Hell to try to get to the truth about who she was really married to, and what he was capable of, before finally divorcing him after financial devastation. Another story of a woman I’ve been in contact with is equally compelling, and has similar threads running through it.
Hera McLeod was in the court system in Montgomery County MD, and encountered the legal antics of her ex who was determined to undermine everything that she stood for. The number of docket entries in her case is almost as long as mine. Long story short, her ex was given unsupervised visitation with their son, despite his colorful and harmful past that he fought valiantly and paid to cover up, and on the (I think) 4th visit, he drowned the 15 month old boy after having taken out over $500,000 in life insurance policies on him shortly before. Hera is understandably grieving, and is furious at a system that allowed this to happen. You can see the overview of what happened, as she describes it, by clicking HERE. I love what she is doing, and she has quite a few readers who email her with their stories. Both of them learned afterwards how to fight in the same way that the ex was, and they share the same sentiment on the legal system and how it allows abuse by the unscrupulous. Hera’s thoughts on that can be found by clicking HERE. I have spoken to other people about the phenomenon of Legal Abuse Syndrome. More on that on another future post. I am appalled that Judges can be so desensitized to the cases before them, that they would do such things as she wrote as “you rolled your eyes, appeared to fall asleep on the bench, and opened up your computer as if to read your email”. You can read the letter she sent to that Judge by clicking HERE. She is suing the psychologist who gave her ex the clean bill of mental health to the courts, for $20 million. If she wins, and I hope that she does, I hope it will send a message to legal and court systems to pay closer attention to the important things and take your job more seriously. In the cases of both women, their ex ended up being dangerous threats to their personal safety. This often times happens when a person tried everything in their power to get you to do what they wanted, but didn’t succeed how they hoped. Sometimes, what they wanted is not written in any court document. Courts and the humans that operate them are often ill-equipped to recognize con men or women pulling a con. Both women, and many more, are shining a bright light on these problems and their stories. Barbara’s ex died while trying to con another woman, Hera’s is facing the music for his actions, and Seemona Sumasar’s ex got 32 years for his scheme. Change happens when people stand up and do something, even when evil is staring them in the face.