Day 9 – morning

I woke up very very early this morning, still in the dark where I sit right now.  I got to thinking about something so thought I would go ahead and write it.


How ironic that I’m spending these days diving in to my sister’s murder, which occurred 100% because she snuck off and got married to a sociopath who insisted on it’s secrecy and urgency due to his ultimate plan of murdering her for insurance money.  Ironic that at the same time, the very same time, I sit here planning my own elopement.  Unafraid.  Contrasting these things in their seemingly imperfect timing.  Don’t worry, it’s a few months off though.  It may be a small affair but it will be epic.

I read an article on Elephant Journal that I typically love and brought these thoughts even more in to the forefront.  The author talks about the reasons she’s getting married, from a person who had kind of sworn off marriage (in my case, relationships entirely).

Read the article here.

So the thought that came to me this morning, feeling fearless and relaxed and completely confident and unambivalent in my decision (which my dear sister felt none of as evidenced all over her journal and her words to me), is that Cindy’s “marriage” led her to death.   She Mine is leading me to more life.  And that’s basically it.


John out sledding over the weekend with his darling daughter–and yes he looks young but we are the same age 🙂

I feel more alive with this man and something inside both of us says “get married” and it’s such a clear ringing bell and we feel so liberated to create the unconventional type of marriage that fits us each and together like a glove, we are acting on it.


he proposed to me moments after this was taken

In style and grace and consciousness and I just couldn’t feel more excited and the calmest I’ve ever felt with a man.  How does one describe or justify that kind of rightness?  You don’t, you just move.  I believe this is where the expression “Follow Your Bliss” was born.  Not everyone is comfortable with it (that’s a very short list for me though). But you don’t care.  You just keep following.

Those are my morning thoughts.  I’m sure Cindy is smiling on us right now with her blessing.  I feel it.


And now, today, I’m writing.

Day 8 – bedtime


Today I focused more on the “extreme self care” part of my journey up here than the writing part but I did continue with my dive in to that box of reports and read a really bizarre lengthy one.  It was an interview with a former cellmate of Michael Apelt whom he was attempting to hire to commit a copycat crime so he could be out of jail “in two weeks” thus avoiding a trial and , the most important thing, get “(his) money”.  Disturbing to say the least.


I woke up early to a gorgeous sky and then found my gym.  A bit of a drive but worth it–had a good workout then session on the hydromassage table. It’s directly adjacent to a large bookstore so I see a combo trip in my future.  I cooked tonite and ate healthy and had a long talk with my man about our wedding and honeymoon which I spent quite a bit of time on this morning.  It was good for my mood.  I’m so lucky to have him in my life, especially at this time.

Shhhh though on the wedding…it’s kind of being kept under wraps for the moment.  We’re basically eloping, in style.  😀

wpid-2015-01-26-21.43.22.jpg.jpeg wpid-2015-01-26-21.42.51.jpg.jpeg

I ran in to these old newspaper articles while digging.  Tomorrow, I’ll get in to the binders of trial transcripts and continue my outline.  Tomorrow, I devote to writing.  I need to start getting to paper some of the thoughts on all of this research I’ve been doing.  This is going to be quite the process but it’s a good thing I’m on no one’s time frame but my own.


today’s view from my writing desk

G’nite all.

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.

Day 5 – evening

What a fantastic day–both productive and restorative.

I wrote a long chapter this morning that I feel really good about then settled in with some coffee and a smoothie and read a whole lot of police reports.  So interesting to read the nuances of stories I knew only the end results of so long ago.  I read the report of how one of the brothers (Rudi) was arrested and how the Detective just kept saying “we know you killed Cindy and we can prove it” and he just kept saying the same denial over and over even though it clearly made no sense.  Sociopathy.

I’m noticing it’s less traumatic to read them now.

I saw Michael’s arrest records from Germany with some big surprises there–I’ll save those for the book.  Had the Insurance companies who sold those policies to him done ONE shred of research on him Cindy would be alive today.  It’s still disgusting and shocking to realize that.  But I don’t want to go there right now.


And the reason is because I had a wonderful afternoon at the Olympus Spa in Lynwood which is the next town over to me.  I found it last time I was here and it’s this amazing Korean spa that you can purchase a day pass to which I did today.  That allows you to partake in all of the facilities including various “heating rooms” which are themed for different healing properties–like salt, charcoal, crystal, sand–and all at different degrees of HOT.  A meditation room and two cooling rooms are in that area as well.  Then there are the soaking pools which are flanked by this mugwort tea “trough”.  You douse that tea all over your naked body then get in the various pools to soak.  Their claim to fame are these intense body scrubs (which I did last time) and they require you soak for a half an hour before your scrub.  In addition to the soaks, I went in the steam room, also infused with mugwort (it’s big in Korean healing clearly).


After that I had the most delicious healthy late lunch in their cafe–a seaweed soup and a dish called BiBimBapp (I think) which is basically a ton of amazing veggies, this delicious sesame rice and a little bit of seasoned beef.  They also brought me two of these small three sectioned dishes filled with tastes of everything from these sweetish black beans to Korean coleslaw to KimChi to a bunch of other tasty delights.


I took my time there and all in all stayed at the spa for over three hours.  I felt so rested and restored when I left!  I was thinking of going to see the movie Cake afterward then realized I am really so sensitive and raw in a way right now that one outing a day is more than enough.  I probably will stay in again tomorrow.  I love being in this writing cocoon and am milking it.


I got so many ideas while meditating in those heating rooms about the book, styles of laying things out and a theme around the word Redemption.  That’s the whole point ya know, not to tell a story of tragedy but one of redemption.  And this life I’m living is testament to that.  Just figuring out ways to display that through this writing process.

Came home to a big wind which is still blowing.  I love it.  I went out on the patio and danced in it.  I’m gonna make a fire, light some candles, make some tea and listen to the howls.

Dandelion blowing in the wind