Friday, May 29, 2009

My brush with death

Driving to work late one morning from my lovely beach community at the end of summer. I was in my shiny black Mercedes sitting at a stop sign. I had rented a small shack on the water in a lovely seaside town called Birchbay. I was going into my second year there. I loved living in the border town. It was an hour away from my other house in Vancouver, Canada and from the set. I was filming the last season of a series called “Mysterious Ways”. Having the beach retreat allowed me to keep my days in the USA up (over 180 days) while I worked in Canada. Yes it was a tax thing but with a benefit. I got to live in a cool resort retirement community.

As I sat at the stop sign I noticed a big car coming down the road, medium speed.
I could have gone in front of it but something said wait. So I did. It passed me but as it did I made eye contact with the driver. He was an African American male, handsome and yet when our eyes met it was as if I was what? He looked at me like a hunter looks at prey. It sent a shiver down my spine.

As his car passed mine he snapped his neck to get a good look at me, he slowed his vehicle to a crawl. I waited a good moment or two before I pulled out after his car. I thought something was off, I felt weird. My community was pretty small and predominantly white (very tolerant and welcoming) still it was noticeable if someone of color was around. I noticed things like that being of color and I had not noticed him before. The driver was handsome with a medium size Afro (out of style). Having never seen the car or the driver before, he was acting weird, I was on alert. I could see that he was alone or so it seemed and he was was wearing a flak jacket. Being a border community that wasn’t unusual you would often see border agents wearing them. Normally there would be large white writing of some sort written across the chest, BORDER PATROL or DEA. It was not out of the norm to see a man wearing a flak vest. So immediately I think, he must be a new agent who has moved into the neighborhood.
I drive down the road. I can see that he had gotten out of his car. Okay I think "he’s creepy". I notice that he is lean, tall, he is wearing out of date polyester pants, his Afro and his clothes a throw back to the 70’s. He has on a collared shirt underneath the flak vest that is unusual and it's a blank vest no writing on it.
My intuition is on alert. alarms are now going off in my head.
No one from my area wear flak vests without writing, not even hunters. The local fish and game guys were obvious they wore camouflage,and they were out earlier. This guy was off, something wasn't right with him plus he had a lot of ordinance hanging off his body, too many bullets.
Standing outside his now parked car he watches my car coming and as if on cue I see that him begin to kick his tires as if he has a flat, only he doesn’t. He is pretending something is wrong. I can feel that he wants me to stop. Every part of my intuition is screaming "be careful" keep moving!
I pass him slowly…to double check his situation, just in case I am being paranoid.

I don’t see a problem except that he definitely wants me to slow or stop for him. He looks at me as I am passing and the feeling? Pure hate, evil, I felt chilled. So I put my foot to the gas and I speed away as fast as my car will go which being a Mercedes is fast. I look in the rear view mirror. He runs to get into his car. His car I notice is an American make maybe a Crown Victoria cop like, its a murky color it was retro like his style.
Speeding away I leave him in the dust. I make sure to turn on to different streets so I am hard to follow.

Two weeks later watching the news I see that car again. There were reports of a sniper on the East Coast killing people I didn’t pay too close attention I was working. Then the story broke wide when after murdering ten people all over the country the killers were apprehended caught by the authorities while sleeping at a truck stop. Then I saw a photo of the ‘Shooter” or one “the DC snipers” that’s the name they acquired. It was the same man in the flak jacket, the same guy from Birchbay. Apparently he and his accomplice spent the morning in a field (in Birchbay) target shooting nearby where I was living at the time. A morning spent shooting at stumps and apparently looking for victims. His target of choice, woman of color. Just like me. Just like the wife he was getting back at by killing innocent people.
Behind my street stood a very open large tract of land in fact the surrounding area was nothing but large tracts of land a perfect place to target shoot. He was living in a shelter in Seattle an hour and a half south of Birchbay. A disgruntled mentally deranged ex-military man who was living in a shelter, who spent his time training an underage child, a kid he had “adopted”in the art of combat, murder. That day they were looking for prey. His accomplice would lie prone in a special cubby they built inside the car that extended to the trunk. The kids name was Malvoy, a teenage boy from the Caribbean. The kid, stupid and impressed was being trained by Mohammad in his Mohammad's personal war on society. The kid with his eye in the scope of the high powered rifle lying in wait for anyone, for me. They had rigged the car so the gun aimed out of a small undetectable hole in the trunk. When I passed them slowly the car was parked with the trunk facing the road. Had I been a proper neighbor and stopped to check on the handsome man with “The problem” I would have been lined up exactly so the kid could get a clean shot at close range. Helping him would have been my last moment on Earth. Sends chills down my spine.
I would have never seen it coming. That’s how they got their victims…needing help. Once they had your attention they killed. Cowards, deranged men.
By that morning they had already shot killed and robbed three people. One victim a woman in Louisiana I bet she thought he was handsome too, like I did.

Apparently he was on a rampage to get revenge because his wife was successful in escaping from him and she was awarded full custody of their children. He was looking to kill her ultimately but he wanted to punish the world. So he made his way east looking for her, them. We trained this man. Our tax dollars paid for his military skills.

It is so horrible to think that I made eye contact with this killer. Something scary was in his eyes and I saw it, I felt it. I am alive because I followed my inner guidance to be on alert, to distrust him. I urge everyone to trust the senses, to trust your quiet self, that inner knowing. There are deeply confused individuals out there.
I read an article about the accomplice, Malvoy. It said that of the two he was not sentenced to death. He was sentenced to life with no parole. He lives in a cell where he is alone for 23 hours of the day. Apparently he cries most of the time. He caries for himself and apparently for the victims. I know this may sound terrible but he came across in the article as a simpleton, mentally challenged. I hope so. Mentally challenged he may not have had the ability to know things. To know that Mohammad was a crack pot, a psychotic killer. I feel sad for him , the same as I do for their victims. So it seems extra tragic that this idiot who killed along with this guy is rotting away in a cell. I believe he has gotten what he deserves he is a murderer. Still if he is mentally challenged it’s sad.
The boy sentenced as an adult crying all day in a cell for the rest of his life. Everything he did he did for love, harm for love, for the approval of his mentor.

We lack efficient means of diagnosing and treating people with mental health issues in the world and in this country particularly. Both of these men need and needed help before they went on the rampage. Killing innocent people is a heinous act and one that should be punished. Still I am sorry for everyone and I hope for their sake that these men are getting help. Don’t get me wrong they deserve their punishment. But I can’help think that our system our society failed everyone. Them and the people who were killed and their survivors. We all suffer.

We have a lot of mentally ill people walking around undiagnosed and unsupported. What’s really at issue here is that we need to address mental health and the science and in some cases the spiritual science that it is.
It’s imperative we give it attention, because it is an issue, as a society we need to give more time and money. We need a stronger network of helpers, doctors, nurses. We need more well funded clinics for people to go to and heal or not heal but still remain safe for themselves and society as a whole.

Had these men been diagnosed had many men and woman been diagnosed properly and lovingly cared for we might not be sitting here reeling in sorrow. I don’t wish anyone a brush with a serial killer. These “killers” are just like you and me only different. “They “demand our attention in the most destructive ways possible.

No more Virginia Techs, Columbines, Amish school house massacres…let’s create a society that cares for the lost, the broken and confused, let’s.


frenchwoman said...

When I was young (20 years) I worked in a restaurant and a man came to eat the every day almost and incontestably it made me charm. One day it offers a splendid to me bunch of flowers, top of my naivety I was touched and it turns over to sit down with its table. My owner had the very red head while coming to see me and asking me what occurred with this young man, I tell him the history and he tells me that this young man left 15 or 18 years of prison because he had assassinated a woman in the street following an act of madness!
I was terrified and I went to see it to say to him that it was very nice but that I could not accept these flowers, it has to insist then set out again with its bunch of flowers seeming not to include/understand my gesture.
Today I think that I would have can be acted differently (this says today it does not have there a man which comes to offer flowers to me!!!) lol!!!

mario said...

wooow what an amazing story had me on the edge of my seat its like something out of a movie only real...i remember now when the story broke here about em...was big news...the older i get the more i trust my gut instincts its not 100% but its pretty close...come to think of it, if i'd used my gut more i probably would a made better choices....australia hasnt had many serial killings ..its sad here alot of the mentally ill end up homeless on the street..near where i live they're all characters 1 guy has all the mountaineering equipment and is preparing for the day he climbs mt everest and i dont say that to be funny towards him they r trully sweet souls...theres another homeless women who is a regular there as well and 1 day i was short on change for an internet in the shopping centre i feel some1 tapping me on the shoulder and it's her offering me money.. i did a soup kitchen a cple of times and i would recommend it to every1 its a huge and beautiful experience .woow im gonna be thinking about ure story for a long time....

glt said...

I second cuzzin' Mario...chilling tale! I'm wondering what I would have done. I'm wondering if you regret not speeding back to you community and alerting the authorities. Of course that's easy for me to say now.

Perhaps the criminally insane like these two, Bush and Cheney, Hannibal the Cannibal and all the rest, should be locked up in a lab and tested, sliced and diced, to determine EXCACTLY what the trigger is that makes us snap to the dark side. I like to see them all in group therapy---talk about an interesting idea for a play! Har!

Dwacon® said...

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Rae Dawn Chong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cee said...

I am so glad that you followed you first mind. I see people like that all the time and as I drive or speed by them I feel guilty.
Once in NC coming from Greensboro going back to my town which bordered VA, not once but twice I picked up hitchers and I had my 3 toddlers in the car. This white guy was alone, young, had alot of gear on his back walking up I95 I gave him a lift, he sat on the back with my kids and my kids got out of their seats and clamored together in one seat, afraid. Another time I picked up a man and his wife and two month old on 85, they had missed their bus and they were walking trying to get to NYC. It was hot and they had a baby. I picked them up and again my kids climbed the seats to the front of the car. The man said, "your kids have not been around people alot, huh?" I said no they haven't. I took them 40 miles out of my way to the next bus station. I thought about it alot, now, I would never do that again. You now made me think of the danger I put my family in. My family had no clue where I was, no cell phone those days 18 years ago, and I was not communication with my family. Had anything happened to us....nobody would have known.

glt said...

It's not about the individual on the lonesome street only because people don't care about us...if we don't make the nightly news, we're nothing in American eyes.

Tony Bunn said...

"Malvo" was the guy's name, John Lee Malvo (if memory serves me correctly). As I live in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C., I can attest to the upheaval that those 2 unfortunate individuals brought to life around here. Bus drivers, kids at school, women coming from the store, it seemed that anyone and everyone was a potential target.

It's fascinating to hear that their range had extended so far as for them to cross you path --- not surprising, but fascinating.

I'm glad that you didn't stop; I like your smile!

Tony Bunn said...

John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.

Unfortuante souls.

glt said...

You are right TB. They were called the D.C. Sniper by the media---I remember feeling weird in Oklahoma once or twice while standing unprotected and pumping my own gas...I danced around so as not to be an easy target! Such a simple demonic plan to terrorize a country!
Everyone was looking for a white van.
It was a relief when they were caught.

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