Day 23 – twilight visitation


What would you think if you saw a woman sitting high on a barstool in front of her laptop in a coffee shop, staring out the window up at the sky wearing her headphones and tears streaming down her face, shoulders shaking, sobbing?

I’d probably write a story in my head about that scene.  I wonder if any writers are around me right now.


I completed my 30th chapter here in the Walnut St. Coffee Shop here in Edmonds.  I’d been wanting to get here for the entire 3 plus weeks I’ve been here but was just sequestered in my cozy nest.  I can kind of see why I waited because it’s way more stim here.


I decided to write the biggest miracle story I have about my dear brother as it’s committed to memory and I don’t need to dig too hard for it.  Plus it’s a happy story to write in public.

I counted chapters and realized it was a milestone–30!  Yay!


(thanks Lorna for letting me borrow your cake)

After I finished I decided to change my Pandora station in celebration.  I’ve been listening exclusively to my Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays station for all of my writing and when I say all I mean every last word.  I should owe them some royalties or something because they’ve provided my inspiration, my comfort, my muse.

Music was a big part of my relationship with Cindy so I intentionally have avoided any songs that would take me in to that deep raw space music is so famous for.  I just didn’t want to overload myself with triggers.  She used to tease me saying “KT loves that jazz jazz jazz” whenever she’d come over and I’d have my smooth jazz tunes on.  She’d walk in the door and say in this funny accent “jazz jazz jazz” every time.  She was more of a rock n roll, contemporary top 40 gal.  Well, we were when we were together.  We had lots of soundtracks.


I closed out my chapter then turned on Todd and landed right in to this song.

I immediately burst in to uncontrollable tears right here in the coffee shop.  I listened to the entire song and just bawled.  I looked up at the sky and said to myself “drink in this moment right now…the whole moment…because Cindy is here right now”.  This song figures prominently in my book and was the one I played at her Memorial service transcribing the lyrics in to the program.

And of course Cindy was 30 when she was killed, a fact I didn’t even consider with my 30 chapter celebration.

Happy tears.  What a celebration.  I’ve wondered why I’ve felt so not alone these three weeks of writing. She’s been with me the whole time.


Here is a snippet of my chapter and I’m done writing for today.

This time he was missing for about a week when he was found holed up in a cheap motel in Indianapolis.  He spent his 50th birthday in that motel.  He was sick enough to be on his wild ride but thankfully well enough, somewhere inside that fractured brain of his, to reach out to our father.
Dad drove over to pick him up that day and said he was “variable” on the ride back–at times coherent and at times belligerent.  He dropped John off at his apartment then went back to the friend’s home where he was staying.
Bad idea I thought as I was at home, stuck in bed recovering from food poisoning that week.
Within hours John’s neighbor, in possession of my Dad’s phone number, called him to say John was out in the parking lot of the complex yelling and being generally unruly.  Someone, maybe the neighbor, called the cops who arrived before my father and later conveyed that John was taunting them to shoot him.  The fact that they talked my 6 foot 1, 350 pound brother down and took him to the hospital vs doing just that is just one of many miracles that have followed him throughout his life.

My man comes tomorrow so need to get some things done.  What a life I tell you, what an amazing Grace filled life I’m living.

I have no words and for me, that’s saying something.


Day 23 – very early am


I’m sorry I missed two full days of blogging.  I fell in to a rabbit hole for about 24 hours.  I guess that should have been predicted.  To think I’d be here all these weeks, cave dwelling by myself and diving in to murder, my difficult childhood moments, loss, sadness, etc.  and not have it meltdown on me is unrealistic.


I did have a wonderful day out with one of the readers out there who lives in the area on Sunday.  We went to a little bakery in her area and I had the best HUGE latte I’ve had since I got here and soup and we talked and talked for hours.  Maybe talking to another person about all of this kind of stirred me up, I don’t know.  But by the time I got home, I was upset about some stupid superficial stuff in comparison and ended up in a full blown thing with my fiance.  We have never had a fight in the time we’ve been together so I guess it was time.  My stuff was bouncing off his stuff and we ended up in a weird cold frozen tundra that lasted most of the day yesterday.


We had just lost our path to communication and our normally sunny fun way of of relating.  I woke up and I say that kind of sarcastically as I only got about 30 minutes of sleep (but I did catch up on my HBO in the middle of the night!) and we were still stuck.   He was much nicer than I was I will say.  Not that I was mean, I was just frozen.


I figured the best remedy was to get myself back to the Korean Spa as I was so bummed out and so disconnected from myself and COLD.  I knew I wouldn’t get any writing done anyway–this was more of a recovery day.


I got there and dove in to all the hot rooms–the sand room, the stone room, the salt room, then the hot baths and the steam room, then to the tea room then to the cafe where I had delicious Korean healthy food that I could barely taste, then back to the meditation room and finally I looked at the charcoal room.  “This will help detoxifying your body and also your mental thoughts” or some such thing.  I couldn’t get in there fast enough.  Then I popped across the way to the Cabin Room which is a cool refreshing room and saw a little desk in the corner set up like a cute old fashioned class room.  On top was a guest book where people were dating and signing little snippets about their stay at the Spa–a cute touch–like Feb. 9, 2015 I spent my birthday here and it was absolutely wonderful.  Thanks for making my day so special!

Then there was me, unsigned:  I just had my first fight with my fiance and I came here to recover.  Just had to say something to somebody.  I told John later and we laughed out loud at my finding a way to express myself, in spite of myself.


All day long I kept reflecting on our thing and how I couldn’t find a way out of it and how scared I was.  He is coming TOMORROW and all I could think was he was going to cancel.  He’s finally seen this scary side of me and he’s gonna bail.  I kept checking my phone for the message I knew was coming  “I’m cancelling the trip.  I just can’t come there now with us like this” but I was getting quick messages about his dream or I love you or what’s the temperature out there?


I still couldn’t respond in kind.  I had lost my smile.  All day at the spa I saw smiling women all around me, knowing I was in one of my favorite places on earth and all I could think is I’ve lost my smile.


It was not a pleasant place to be, trust me.

I got home and John and I finally talked and it was stilted and awkward, nothing we have EVER experienced before and he said he was busy and had to go.  We usually talk for a minimum of an hour.  Talking is our strong suit.


Finally I wrote two words in to the text box “overwhelming sadness” and he asked me why.  After a little more awkwardness and misfiring, we landed on the phone.  And finally the waterworks opened up and the tears began to fall and the deep sobs emerged.  It didn’t matter what I was crying about, it was just coming out.  And I could hear his warm voice on the other end just saying over and over “I love you Kathy, I love you baby, I love you…”


Then he started crying and we admitted we’d both been checking our phones all day thinking the other one was cancelling the trip.  We are so alike and that’s so wonderful but in the conflict realm we need to know the territory as we had absolutely zero road map.  Our tears were our Kryptonite as we started sharing our fears and vulnerabilities and for me it’s just all about trust.  I’d been hiding and acting so cool and detached about some things that had built up–nothing he had done wrong–just things that were bothering me about a theme that had reached a saturation point and I melted down over it.  The theme of course was about “can I trust this person?”


Are we surprised?  I’m writing about so many betrayals–most stemming around men and of course the hugest, Cindy’s murder.  It affected me so deeply and so personally that this trust thing has paralyzed me for years.  What we realized is I can have a hard time getting to trust and it’s nothing he’s doing or not doing, it’s just me struggling.  And then we found our center again.  We learned things we don’t even know yet I’m sure.


But most importantly we got back to each other.


That’s us on Facetime with tear stained cheeks.

His birthday is today, as is my father’s (I know, right?)  He leaves for the town he will be flying out of tonite and spending the night there for his flight tomorrow.  I’m so excited now I can’t stand it!  I’m so glad we went through that as it opened something up in me that clearly needed to come out.  Both of us I think, well I know.


I started smiling again and tasting again last night and slept soundly for 5 hours.  I felt again like waking up on Christmas morning as I have every other day here.


Today I will do some writing and some prep work for his visit (girl’s gotta get her manicure!).  I’m gonna do what I’ve wanted to for 3 weeks which is take my laptop to the cool local coffee shop and write there.  It’s taken me this long to sort of emerge which is interesting cuz usually I’m an out and about girl.

Well not the post anyone was expecting but not surprising either I’m sure.

I feel relieved and in a much clearer space.  And today, I will write about Cindy.


Thanks for the patience guys and for holding me in a loving supportive web out there.  I feel it.

Day 20 – mid day


Wow, I made it to the twenties!  Time has taken on an entirely new meaning with this endeavor–it’s slowed, it’s quickened, it’s stopped.  There is not one thing I’d do differently.  Ok maybe I’d work out more, that is if I was a different person born with that kind of motivation.  😉

I had a really nice evening out last night with my hostess.  We learned we have some uncanny things in common.  Her family history is nearly identical to my love John’s (that he wrote his memoir about) and she’s from the same town where we will be married this Spring…all the way across the country!  Wow.  I love everything about this place and now more to love.

I just finished my first draft of the ending of my book.  I’ve jumped all over the place which has kept me sane. Luckily I have so many stories to jump in and out of for this memoir–childhood, abuse, homicide, mental illness and somehow landing on resiliency and happiness.  Imagine that.  I found myself quoting Webster’s and Rilke and Steel Magnolias in my last words.  I have to say I’m kind of in love with those words and they generated this emotion that I made a meme out of today.  Not using this quote in the book but I found it searching for something else.


I also wrote about John, my brother, for the first time since I got here.  That part of the book is the least arduous for me so I’ve been saving it for dessert.  But I felt like writing about him this morning so I did.  Here is a snippet:

“The kind stranger who picked him up may not have recognized the degree of his psychosis and gave him a ride to a repair shop.  The woman working there, well, there just isn’t enough to say about this person, this angel.  I don’t even know her name but she’s out there I imagine still performing good deeds.
She helped my very ill brother arrange for the tow of his car, that he had crashed in to a field due to the voices telling him to do so, and it’s repair.  She even helped him contact his insurance company.  Then she went a step further and gave him a ride to a motel where he could settle in and wait for his car.
As she left, something in this angel on Earth got a feeling she should turn back around and check on my brother.  Something about their interaction left her with an uneasy feeling about leaving him there alone and unattended.  At this point, my father and I were still in Maine, checking in with the police daily with no idea where John was, if he was ok, if he was alive.”

Now I’m heading back in to the trial.  I’ve realized I’m missing some important pieces I thought I had like Michael Apelt’s testimony.  It’s ok, I can hunt for it in Cathy’s study when I get back.  I have plenty else to read, trust me.  This is the stack I’m getting ready to dive in to in 3…2…1…


Hope you are all out having a great Saturday.  I look out at these big grey clouds whisking by over the big Sound out there and feel nothing but grateful…not one thing other than grateful.


Day 19 – morning


I guess I’m a person who works under pressure.  Since I have three invites for the next three days I decided to get busy this morning.  I’m up to 26 1/2 chapters now having written 2 1/2 more just this morning, before noon!

I started writing about the jail house snitch that Michael was trying to hire for a copycat murder or murderS.  Then moved on to the female witnesses who came forward detailing their own encounters with the brothers with the same MO–marriage, money, etc.

Then the memory of something very profound and deep that happened to me the very last day of Michael’s sentencing – actually the day he was sentenced to death–in the courtroom.  I hadn’t visited that memory in years.


Then I made a really healthy smoothie.  I’m rockin and rollin so I can go out with my hostess tonite for wine and not feel like I’m wasting precious time.  Just six more full days til John comes!  Then I don’t think I’ll be doing much more writing after that. 😉

Some excerpts from this morning so far:

DM:  Okay.  Well after he told me you all didn’t have all the evidence and all this stuff, what was the best thing for him to do and I told him that they probably didn’t have no causes, they just, you know, kick you out of jail.  I think he said his Court was coming up in April, his trial’s coming up in April, just kick you out after your trial, you don’t go no evidence, uh you’ll probably beat it, had asked me which was the best, should he have a Jury trial or should he just go in front of the Judge.  Yeah, I believe you ought to go to a Jury trial, that’s the way I always did mine, you know, I htink you got more people judging your cases instead of just one man and he said, you know what I think, I think the best thing for me to do is get somebody to kill somebody just like I did my wife.  I said you get somebody to do it like you did your wife, I said what, what happened and he said, uh, well her throat was cut, she was stabbed, uh, once in the heart and twice in the back on the heart side and, he said if I knew somebody that could do that for me, I’ll pay them four hundred thousand dollars and then he said, could you do it.  I said, yeah, I could do it, he said, yeah, you look strong enough to do it, he says I need somebody like you to do this and I thought he was playing and he said uh, you know the money won’t be no problem, I said it won’t uh, then he reached up under his bunk and he pulled out, I guess like uh, insurance forms…

Michael Apelt managed through much of his initial jail incarceration, to keep a hold of papers related to Cindy’s insurance policies, sequestered under his mattress like some kind of security blanket.  He flashed those around as needed while attempting to secure copycat murders “on the outside” in an attempt to exonerate himself.

And then this:

I had a perfect view of Michael as they brought him in clad in the jail’s orange jumpsuit, sandles and shackles–both wrist and ankle.  It was the first time I had seen him like that, ever.  In the trial, he was shackled inside his pants with some kind of device that made it impossible for him to run–it caused him to walk with a limp and a straight leg.  Whatever was strapped to his one leg was clearly very heavy.

I watched him, knowing this was very likely the last time I’d ever lay eyes on him ever again.  I watched him awkwardly sit down.  I watched his always present interpreter hand him the headphones he wore daily in court.  I saw him pick them up with his manacled hands tethered together at the wrist.

What happened next is one of those events you will never quite catch the essence of in either telling it much less writing it.  It was a miracle of sorts that occurred in my heart that day.

I watched this man, this monster, this killer who had inflicted the most trauma in to my life that I would ever endure for the rest of it suddenly morph.  As he nervously picked up that singular arch of the headphones, he realized he literally could not get them on his head being handcuffed like that.  A simple act he’d been performing effortlessly for weeks on end suddenly was impossible to perform.  The entirety of his fate became manifest to me in that one self-conscious moment.

Day 16 -evening


I woke up late, for me at 8:15 and immediately felt two things:  rested and leaner.  I’d been exploring my food intake and how bloated I was feeling and with the help of my dear fiance, realized I wasn’t eating enough protein.  So I shifted that yesterday, focusing on a more protein diet and spent the night peeing releasing fluid then fell in to a deep deep sleep.  Just for fun I decided to measure my waist as I’d done so last week because I’m getting married and having a dress made and was horrified at what I saw. 

I was totally psyched to see a THREE inch loss on my waist.  How crazy is that?  I’m sticking with protein now for the most part.  Wow.

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I went outside in to the beautiful grey drizzly day and decided to do a little photo treasure hunt on my garden patio.  In all that greyness, the bright life really stood out shining and posing for my camera.  I even found a little heart puddle in front of my door which is what started the whole thing.


I then sat down to write.  I did a chapter this morning on the theme of my stepmother Marj and something that happened with her, something really blow-your-mind disastrous, after my Grandma’s funeral.  If I hadn’t lived it, I don’t know I’d believe it, it’s that strange.  Here’s a snippet:

I decided to deal with Marj directly, woman to woman, about the ring before I headed back to Arizona the next day.  I decided to leave my Dad out of it and just approach her as an adult with rationality.
I went in to her bedroom and sat down and said “I need to talk to you about something that isn’t going to be easy for either of us”.  I contemplated just grabbing that ring off her hand or from her dresser and running away with it.  Part of me in hindsight wishes I’d done just that.  I did look for it as I sat in the recliner in the bedroom but couldn’t see it.
“Yes” she said while busying herself with putting things away in drawers. 
“We both know that that ring was supposed to go to Cindy.  And since she’s not alive to inherit it, I think we also both know that that ring should go to me.  It was my mother’s engagement ring.  It holds no sentimental value to you and you don’t even plan on keeping it as a ring.  It holds extreme sentimental value to me as you know and I think I should have it.  Everyone knows you had a lifetime of conflict with my Grandma and she would be rolling over in her grave thinking you ended up with that ring.  We both know this.  I think you should do the right thing and not accept it and tell Dad that that ring should go to me as it should”.  To me, this was the easiest approach but Marj never made anything easy for any of us kids.

True to form, she, the innocent bystander in any kinds of dealings where she’d orchestrated the entire thing passive aggressively behind the scenes replied “Well you’ll have to ask ya fahthah about that.  He really wanted me to have it and yes I will make it in to a necklace so I can wear it.  It’s important to him that I have it”.

Yes you have to read the book to find out what happened with my mother’s engagement ring that she intended to dismantle and make in to a necklace for herself.  Trust me, it’s a story worth reading.


I made my smoothie then fell  hard in to the Jodi Arias trial on twitter.  My favorite witness Dr. Janeen Demarte was on the stand and I needed to see what was going on/participate.  It was very satisfying to watch her kick Jodi Arias ass all over the courtroom while taking her unconscionable defense team with her.  There will be more of her tomorrow and I intend to tune in.  It was time for the tide to turn there and turn it has.

I crashed hard for at least two hours after watching the trial.  Woke up at 4:30, took a shower and knew what I needed to write about next.  I jumped back on my bed and another chapter flew out, also about Marj but more about me and the anxiety problems I recovered from.  Here is a snippet from that chapter:

I drove myself home finally arriving at 3am, beaten and destroyed by this demon called Anxiety that had plagued me for so long.  I left a message with someone at the Florida party house for my father saying I’d had a bad reaction to some kind of medication on the plane and had to fly back home.  It was such a flimsy false explanation but I just couldn’t say the words:  that the panic had won once again.  It was more than I could face.
I fell asleep for a few hours and phoned my therapist early the next morning.  I could barely speak I was so consumed with sobs.  She insisted I come to her home office that afternoon.  I was truly in a moment of this is the last straw and she could hear it.
I spent that hour curled and unintelligible through my deep tears and she literally put me to bed in her guest room for a few hours.  She said she was afraid for me to drive home.  You see when a truly strong person like me crumbles like that, it will get anyone’s attention.  I had no more defenses.  I just knew I couldn’t live like that anymore.
I made one decision that weekend alone steeped in my grief and disappointment as my family partied in Florida.  That was to stop trying to get on planes.  I grounded myself indefinitely.  I decided to stop putting myself through that torture and to stay put or drive if I wanted to go somewhere.

It wasn’t easy to relive that but it’s an important part of my personal story.  And in case you hadn’t noticed, I get on planes whenever I want now.  🙂

I went and reviewed and realized I have 20 chapters now.  Maybe not complete but I have 20 chapters.  In just 15 days of writing.  20 chapters.  And I’ve also been doing tons of reading and research wading through very difficult material.  I’m feeling proud of myself tonite.


On that note….sweet dreams all….thanks for following along, as always 🙂

Day 15 – evening

Well, I bit the bullet today.  I began writing on a subject that on it’s surface should seem easy to do but for me is really the hardest.


My memories of my relationship with Cindy.  This chapter traversed so many topics and timelines as it wound in and around itself which is ok with me.  Our relationship was so precious, so bonded, so unique that it would never fall in to some kind of definition.

I’m glad I started on it today and at least opened the door.  It ended up being a very long chapter all in all.

Here are some excerpts:

“My sister is good at everything” she told people throughout our lives.  “If she tries something, she’s going to be good at it”.
This was her explanation of why I struggled so much picking a major in college.  Not that I was failing but that I was just too good at everything so it was hard to land on one thing.  I wish that were true but to have someone perceive you like that is just something irreplacable.  She was incapable of seeing other than the best in me from start to finish.


People often mistook us for twins although Cindy was always long and lean and me shorter and stocky.  She was brunette to my blonde and our faces were really not that similar.  Yet our voices were nearly identical and our mocked expressions were the giveaway.  We created our own little world and relished living in it.  We had our own language, our own symbols, our own private jokes and our own intimacy that no one, almost no one ever penetrated.


There was one road trip to LA where Cindy produced a tape recorder she’d borrowed from her work at the school system office.  She’d brought it home for a project then got a wild hair to bring it on our road trip to visit Buddha in Santa Monica. 
“I have a great idea for our trip” she said with a twinkle in her eye.  “We’re going to interview each other”.
She named this interview show, via cassette tape, “The Dan Rather Show”.
For some reason, she spoke this name in in a semi British pretentious accent so it came out “The Dahn Rahthah Show”.
“Welcome to the Dahn Rahthah Show.  Today’s guest will be….Oprah Winfrey!” and then she would interview me, using that five inch microphone tethered to the bulky cassette player while insisting I stay in character as Oprah Winfrey the whole time. Until she decided she was bored with Oprah and needed a new guest.

And finally:

We made it down to Rocky Point with our bathing suits, sleeping bags, weird snacks and a plan to find people to camp with on the beach but it was just approaching sunset.  And it was packed, everywhere.  We saw a “Se Renta” sign and pulled in to an office begging them for a place to rent with our meager stash of cash.  “Todo esta ocupada” they told us indicating basically No Room at the Inn anywhere.
Cindy begged and begged and finally we were handed the keys to an empty house. When I say empty I mean a completely barren house save two unmade beds, no living room furniture,no electricity but it had running (cold) water.  “We’ll take it!” Cindy said.  It was just one night and if we decided to stay another surely we’ll make friends on the beach and crash at their campsite.  We always stumbled in to good luck like that.

I spent some time on twitter today following the debacle known as the Jodi Arias trial.  It’s almost too disgusting, from a victim standpoint, to watch but I feel obligated to speak out about victim abuse so I keep doing it.  There is a large audience there and I feel outrage is an appropriate response.  My heart is with the Alexander siblings although I can’t be there in person.  I’m always with them in spirit.

I know I picked up quite a few new followers today  who are also following that case.  Welcome aboard.  I generally endeavor to post morning and evening while I’m here in the Northwest on a Sabbatical working on this book.  Thanks for coming along.


Finally my heart goes out to the Esteban and Corrina Flores family tonight.  They buried their 15 year old son over the weekend and there are just no words for that kind of grief.  They have set up a foundation for donations in his name.  I’m making mine as soon as I sign off of here.

Here is the link to the donation site:  click here.


there is an blog post I wrote about my involvement in that trial and the similarities between Cindy and Travis here

As I went looking for a photo of Detective Flores, I found this one of me behind Travis’ sister Tanisha on the day of the verdict.  What an incredible flood of emotion hearing those words “GUILTY” ring through that courtroom.


Day 14 – morning


I’ll just say it.  It is very satisfying to kick someone’s ass, who deserves it, in your book.

Let me put this a more genteel way.  It’s very satisfying to expose the truth about someone who got away with a whole lot of damaging behavior in your past, through your book.

Or in another way, it is very satisfying to be a participant in karma in action.

Or another way yet, it just feels damn good to tell the truth.


Here are some excerpts from this morning’s writing.

She’d never had a close relationship with my Grandma.  In fact, it had been one filled with turbulence for three decades and no real love.  Marj hadn’t prepared her own tribute to read, nor would anyone have expected that of her.  We knew the deal between them very very well.  It was odd that she would volunteer to read this for my brother and that it wasn’t shuttled to me, a sibling; a grandchild.

Then later:

I looked out at the grievers assembled and caught a striking view of Marj in the second row, next to my father, arms crossed tightly, right leg over left and that toe sharply chopping the air in front of her as she fixated on it with narrow dark eyes.  Her anger was always so palpable to me.  And still, I was not about to allow that bitch to mark this ceremony as I delivered John’s redacted speech, written by her and with other nefarious, some might say downright evil intentions. 

But we weren’t finished with this plan of hers.  Not by a longshot.  There was another ceremony coming and she was not about to let this go.   I may have won this battle but the War was far from over.


It’s a gorgeous blustery day here in Edmonds and I woke up rested and ready to rumble.  Much like those football players are feeling I imagine.

And now I’m goin back in.

Day 12 – evening


a cloud literally filled the Sound at dusk today

Well today has been a productive day but probably the most slogging through molasses I’ve felt since I got here.  I’m still utterly inspired being here and grateful for this opportunity and…it’s heavy.  Really heavy.


I wrote a long chapter this morning about the morning Cindy was found.  Revisiting the room we were in, the emotions we (I) were feeling.  It’s not easy.  But I have to do it.

The rest of the day I’ve spent on Cathy Hughes’ truly brilliant closing argument.  When I can step out of myself and just read it from a perspective of a legal argument (which is how I survive and survived in the courtroom back then), it’s astonishingly genius.

I will just share some excerpts I highlighted.  I wish you legal eagles out there reading could have seen her in action, ever.  She is without a doubt the most brilliant prosecutor I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen quite a few now.


Some excerpts:

She wasn’t exactly sure though because you remember her diary where she says, could they be manipulators.  I forget exactly how she put it.  High class manipulators, heavy duty manipulators, something like that.  And of course there was something in the back of her mind, there must have been something in the back of her mind that made her suspicious because she was going to take this insurance police back to Illinois, these two insurance policies back to Illinois for Christmas so she could discuss them with her dad, and isn’t it interesting that she is murdered before she can do that?  And I suggest to you, Ladies and gentleman, that she was murdered so that she couldn’t do that.

And later, in rebuttal after the defense suggested I’d lied on the stand:

Not only that, but Kathy told you — I guess I feel like I have to address this.  Why would Kathy want her sister’s murderer to go free?  And that is exactly what would happen if she were in here lying about an innocent man.  She’s got no reason to lie to you, and she told you that he played that telephone answering machine for her and there was no message from him on that machine. He never made a call because he knew his wife was dead.

And finally:

Surprise person.  Does it send a chill down your spin to think of this defendant telling his wife that he had a surprise for her that night, maybe a surprise person for her that night?  Doesn’t that just chill you to the core?  Because, boy did he.  Boy did he have a surprise for her that night.

And folks I’m done for the day.  I’m going to spend tomorrow doing something fun, like helping my man create his own blog in the morning (exciting, he’s a writer among other things) and I do think I’ll get outside, walk and maybe take myself for a nice meal or in to Seattle.  I think I need a little break/day off from all of this crime and darkness.


G’nite…..and TGIF!  Oh and Go Seahawks!  I figure I have to root for them since I’m here.  I’m kind of thinking of inviting myself upstairs to watch with my hosts or finding a local sports bar just to get in to the action with the local spirit.  I think that would be super fun, don’t you?

Day 12 – morning


I just realized (by counting lol) that I have fourteen chapters or partial chapters already written–drafts anyway.

I said to myself if I get a chapter a day written while I’m here, that’s pretty good.  I came with two chapters already so I’m right on task.  Today though I’ll write more as it’s completely fogged in out there and I’m cozy inside with plenty of provisions.


I got up, well rested, and immediately thought of heading over to this quaint coffee shop I’ve been wanting to get back to ever since I got here but haven’t visited yet.  It’s called Walnut Street Coffee.

I watched that fog roll in off the Sound and realized I’m just distracting myself.  So what I decided to do instead, to ground me, was to make a fire in the fireplace which would not only be cozy on this cold grey day but it would keep me grounded.  I’m still reeling from the film last night and raw with emotion.  A good time to get busy and channel it to the page.


I just finished a very intense chapter about the morning Cindy’s body was discovered.  I’m likely going to stick on that theme for awhile today and get in to some more reports.  So here’s a snippet from this morning.  Thanks for being out there and reading.

We’d all been huddled in the jacuzzi room.  An addition my father had put on the back of the house, like a large green house filled with hanging plants, a fake fireplace and a large jacuzzi.  The Christmas the year before, 1987, we’d spent most of our days in that room soaking, happy houring, opening our gifts.  It was a fun festive happy room filled with twinkle lights and a party.
We sat stone faced in that room most of the day, waiting.  We’d get up and pace, check the answering machine in case we’d missed something, and sit back down and wait.  I would call my house to check my own machine remotely obsessively hoping for a message from her.
I remember just repeating over and over that I was certain she’d run off with Mark.  That he was supposed to be in town.  That she’d had that awkward, heated conversation the night before she went missing.  That he was the only person she’d ever run out for like Michael said.
But it was way scarier than that. She didn’t have her purse. Or her keys.  She’d never have run out to a stressful situation like that without her cigarettes.


Day 6 – morning (turbulence)


I woke up this morning, early again, in to an almost immediate fit of hysterical laughter.  I had a voice note waiting for me from my fiance John who was making a comment about the snack plate I’d sent him a photo of the night before.  Now you have to understand, John is a man who can fly in to an accent at a second’s notice–he has Vinnie the guy from New Jersey, a british snob named Reginald Pate I think who speaks of Gentlemen and Knaves and a new addition Jethro.  He went in to Reginald mode while remarking on my snack plate but ended up tripping over his own faux british tongue and it came out first “nack padladder” and then “snack pattern”.  Preceeded by the words “your volumptuous”, in British of course.



my volumptuous nack padladder

He never fully quite stuck the landing on “snack platter” and I’m sitting here now all by myself  typing this, again with a wheezy laugh hissing out of my lungs.  It was one of those kinds of hysteria that I couldn’t even think about it without gasping again.  Then I went back to listen again to start it all up.  I was leaving inaudible messages on his voice notes wheezing and spurting about his “nack padladder”.  Guess you had to be there and I for one am glad I was/am.  John is one of the most naturally funny people I’ve ever met, at least to me.  We spend loads of time laughing.


Maybe I needed that hysteria to prepare me for what I was about to face this morning.  That kind of crazy laughter hit me hard in an MFR Seminar way back when…I mean for days it wouldn’t leave me. I was literally in the middle of our trials when that happened.  Someone pointed out to me that the word “hysteria” is also associated with fear.  Interesting.


I had prepared myself last night, that today was the day to really dive in to this box of papers.  I got up in the dark once I could breathe again, made myself some apple cider vinegar water and green tea then sat in my designated corner chair to read.


I ran across lots of things from interviews with the two women who’d been involved with these killers to a trip our prosecutor made to Germany to interview their families etc.  Rudi, the older brother, was married at the time he murdered Cindy, to a prostitute named Suzanne.  Imagine that hooker was the one of the four with the highest values and the least evil. Yet she was still incredulous that her husband could do such a thing and refusing to believe it.

I ran in to transcripts from my answering machine and Cindy’s from the time she went missing.  Seeing my message to her in black and white from 12:30am the night we filed the missing person’s report, well, it was just rough.

By far though the very worst, the thing I’d been dreading for all these years but the thing I faced this morning was the folder containing the autopsy report and testimony by the Medical Examiner.  I won’t go in to it much here now but I will say I did it.  I read it all the way through.  And I survived.


They inflicted 54 wounds to her body including a stab wound so severe it severed two of her ribs on the way to her heart.  He broke the handle of the knife with that force and a piece of it was found next to her body.  Likely two knives were involved (both men stabbing together) and she was nearly decapitated.  As a nurse I can visualize all of it.  And that’s really all I can say about it anymore.  I read it and I survived.

My throat got tighter and tighter and as my dear fiance was messaging me throughout the morning he reminded me to ‘touch The Precious” (which is what we’ve nicknamed my engagement ring around my neck–his father’s wedding band–which is how he proposed in the most amazing perfect way to me-read about it here).  I literally moved it up to my throat and felt it start to soften.  I took a photo to show him and saw that my throat had literally become red through the reading of all that trauma.  In my line of work we call that a “vasomotor response” (a response to stress).


My beloved precious man just kept sending me messages saying “I love you Kathy” literally over a dozen times over and over peppered with “I’m with you Kathy”.  I’m so fortunate to have met this man in this timing.  I’ve never felt so supported by a man in my life EVER.

I got up and took a long hot shower and remembered the coconut layer cake slice I bought myself last night but forgot to eat.  I thought “I’ll just have that for breakfast” with my strong delicious french press coffee.

Yet when I went to the kitchen, the words “Be smart Kathy” literally , audibly fell out of my mouth.  Instead of the cake, I made a smoothie of strawberries, ginger, a banana, flax seeds and some green powder.  I left out the greens though as it just isn’t a time for anything bitter.  I came here promising myself “extreme self care” as I write this and I’m glad I’m being smart.  I’m saving the cake for later but for now, it’s nutrition.  “Be smart Kathy”.


I also decided today is a day for softness so busted out the fuzzy socks my friend Mya gave me for my birthday.  I feel so loved and nurtured.


And protected.  And not alone.

I may be by myself but I feel all of you here with me so I don’t feel alone.

I thank you (and friends beyond) for that more than you know.