In July 2011, I learned that my ex-friend Richard, a narcissist, had been charged with Child Abuse with High Probability of Great Harm and Second-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety. I did not, however, know any details: which child, what did he do, and was it even the same Richard? It was his name and birthdate, yet the address was different.
On September 12, 2011, I found out the truth. I was waiting anxiously for the police department to release its investigation into the Cruckson case that day. James Cruckson had raped his ex-girlfriend, and while holed up in his house, shot and killed a police officer–then himself.
Because the ex-girlfriend was reportedly physically abusive to him and her child, this case was highly controversial in the community, as people argued over whether or not she was really raped, did she try to set him up, etc.
I followed a conversation in the comments of a local blog, and was especially interested because this was supposedly a woman abusing a man.
I had become an advocate raising awareness, on Facebook and my website, of women abusing men, because of Tracy abusing Richard, and Chris’ wife abusing him as well. So it was a big deal when the reports were released to the public.
While watching the website for the Fond du Lac newspaper, waiting for the reports to be released, I happened to come across a feature I did not previously know about: weekly court cases, presented with mug shots and a short description.
I had been watching the print version’s court cases for years, but lately they’d been missing. So that’s where they put them!
I began poking around, scanning through the archives, looking for information on what Richard did. And there it was, in the March 4, 2011 court cases!
No more doubt that it was the same Richard, because the address was different–That was him in that mug shot! And with such an angry look! I yelled at the picture for what he had done to that girl.
The old court cases were purged from the Net in 2013, but I still have the printouts.
As I had been doing ever since the “friendship” ended, I went to my real friends for support, expressing my shock and anger at what he had done to his own daughter.
(My friends are far away, but we are connected by e-mail and Facebook; I also reconnected with some old friends here in town who had drifted off.)
Their comfort and support helped me realize that my reaction matched the situation, that this was an evil deed.
This was important, because my own Stockholm Syndrome still affected me a year after the end of the friendship, still made it hard to tell myself that Richard was not the kind, gentle, loving soul I always thought he was.
I posted the following on my website two days later:
Now I know what happened, something so terrible that Todd is so disgusted that he has dropped Richard even from Facebook, and regrets ever having let Richard into his life, let him influence him, etc. etc.
[Added 3/17/14: I don’t know if Todd told Richard why he dropped him from Facebook. But I do know that he said that Richard is a “f**king scumbag” and that Richard–who at the time had an icon of a saint for his Facebook profile picture–is a hypocrite.
Todd also said that if Richard kept coming to my church, then Richard and my husband needed to have a little talk about Richard not going there anymore.
Todd has also seen some of the nasty e-mails Richard and Tracy sent to us, and knows about the abuse.]
The details are on the local newspaper’s website, in its weekly listing of court cases and mug shots, from the week of 3/4/11:
On September 21, 2010, the oldest child, who was 9 at the time, was being a typical child, not listening to Richard or cleaning up, when he strangled her until she passed out, and she awoke on a couch.
(He often complained that the kids did not listen to him and clean up.)
She told the police the following day, he admitted to the police that he did this and why, and said that he apologized to her when she woke up.
He was summoned to court and officially charged on March 1, 2011, the same day I posted my letter to CPS, and released on bond. His court date is very soon.
Now I’m told that when this same daughter was very small, he got so angry with her once that he beat her mercilessly. This poor girl has been through so much crap in her young life, and now this? Kudos to her for telling the police instead of pretending everything was okay.
This incident tells me that Richard is not worth my grief, that I should not regret losing his friendship, that his and Tracy’s opinions on anything and everything–including me–are suspect, questionable, and not to be taken seriously or sleep lost over it.
He and Tracy are just big, violent bullies who want to push other people around and intimidate them until they get their own way, and punish them–verbally or sometimes physically–for having their own minds and feelings about things.
I thought for so long that he was so awesome and cool; turns out he’s just a big bully. He had told me a couple of times that he had abused the children in the past, but that he wasn’t doing that anymore.
But this incident was in 2010, not 2006 or 2005 or 2004 or whenever he might have done the previous abuse. This shows that he is not reformed, after all.
Especially because of his size (6’5 and 400 lb.) and strength, this shows that he is not safe for anyone to be around, whether small child, woman, man, anybody.
He deserves to sit in jail for a long time, and he just might. It puts his comments that he wanted to “strangle” me for something once, into a whole new, disturbing light–because it may have been literal.
This LIAR told me that Tracy was the abuser, when he himself was also abusing the kids. This also means that when he told me Tracy was abusing him, while I could see that she was truly abusing both him and the kids, he was probably abusing her as well!
This, at last, is the “ah-ha” moment I needed to put this issue to rest in my mind, all the self-reflection, wondering if something they said may have been correct, wondering if I should’ve done something different.
It shows me that I was correct to think they are abusive and manipulative bullies, vindicates my letter to CPS, vindicates me.
It shows me that they have absolutely no business lecturing anyone about right and proper behavior, or boundaries, because they don’t respect the boundaries of others and behave very poorly, selfishly and boorishly.
It tells me that Richard manipulated me into thinking that Tracy was the problem, and that he had learned to control himself through religion, when he himself still has violent tendencies.
It tells me that Tracy’s opinions of me and my behavior, and her justifications of herself, are just so much dung to be thrown into the sewer.
It tells me that when Richard blamed me for anything, or lectured me for anything, or told me it was stalkerish to save all my letters, or told me I shouldn’t get upset about him not calling when he said he would or responding to my e-mails, or told me that even little kids know that giving a compliment is your cue to start a conversation–that his lectures also needed to be thrown into the sewer.
It tells me that yes, Tracy is indeed a malignant narcissist and/or narcissistic borderline personality disordered person who only seeks her own twisted ends and doesn’t care about the rights or opinions of others, that I was probably right to suspect that she twisted anything I did or said when reporting to Richard about it, so that he believed her and thought badly of me.
(Once he told me she said I had manipulated Jeff into doing something, when that wasn’t true at all!)
[2014 note: I added “narcissistic” to “borderline” after discovering that there are different kinds of BPD. I want to distinguish between those who do and do not wish to cause harm.]
It tells me that yes, Richard is indeed a narcissist who twists his way into your heart (whether you’re male or female), manipulates you into doing what he wants you to do and then lets you take the heat
(such as when he began manipulating me into thinking it was perfectly right and proper for him to give me long hugs or put his head on my shoulder when Jeff and Tracy weren’t around and then let Tracy blame me when she found out, when he knew full well what Tracy’s temper was like while I had never even met her before),
then sucks you dry and tosses you aside when your narcissistic supply becomes old or inconvenient.
It tells me that I’m done grieving over the loss of his friendship, done wishing things were different, because there is no way on this earth that I’m going to be friends with child abusers.
[Addendum written 2014:] On September 12, 2011, at 8:13pm, 6 hours after posting a link to the Cruckson case report, I posted to Facebook in a fury I could no longer contain for social niceties,
The one I thought was my awesome, best friend–I was SO fooled. Whatever he and his wife may have thought, the true reason we “broke up” with them was that they’re both violent bullies–verbally and physically.
I witnessed and was told of domestic & child abuse. The LIAR, he told me SHE was the abuser.
But the local newspaper says that HE *choked* his eldest till she passed out. CHOKED her. Confessed to it. And will probably go to jail for it. I NEVER want to see those creeps again!
What the F**K? They did sh*t so bad it’s in the newspaper? That’s disgusting. And to think I was friends with them once, too. Do you have the link to the article?
He was especially disgusted after seeing the mug shot and court records for himself, since they were freely available online. One friend said to let CPS protect the kids and not dwell on it. I responded,
It’s hard not to when for about 5 years I thought he was so cool…when we had seemed like such close friends…when he told me the awful things his wife was doing and that he had to be around to protect the kids from her….
Now to find out that HE is also capable of awful things.
Then I think back and remember: some details of his violent past, being arrested dozens of times for I know not what, how he almost assaulted his landlady until his wife talked him out of it, how he threatened physical violence against my husband for sticking up for me when my “friend” and I were having problems, how he used to be a thug of some kind (I didn’t get many details) when his friends were doing shady activities back in college [that’s the Mafia thing], that he told me if his wife ever cheated he’d take a baseball bat to the guy (just like the Apostle), that if she ever hit him in the face while punching him he would fight back as if she were a man….
Keep in mind that he’s very big and powerful…..I shudder to think what it was like for the eldest girl, only 9 years old at the time, getting choked by him.
It makes me wonder why my husband and I both witnessed the family all together back in June, three months after the charges were filed. I can only hope CPS is working closely with them and getting them to make changes, for him to be allowed to be so close to them.
Another friend wrote,
Oh Nyssa. That is so very sad. I can’t even imagine why that child is still with parents like that. I agree with you and hope CPS is working closely with them. Also, I’m sure that must be difficult news to find out about your exfriend. Prayers!
The first friend wrote,
Ok, that is too much to forget about. Maybe you should write about your experiences with them to start yourself on the path of recovery? Please know that your true friends would never manipulate you like that and we support you whatever your decisions.
If you saw them in a public place in June, maybe CPS was nearby. But then again, maybe not. This seems like the type of couple that can play a part to manipulate a judge.
Yes, I’ve been writing down my experiences….It seems that the more I remember, the angrier I get….
I saw plenty that the wife was doing–screaming, cussing, smacking around, belittling the children. I heard her yelling at my “friend” and screaming and cussing at others….
She made all sorts of nasty comments to me and deliberately in my hearing and kept getting angry at me. I didn’t get too close to her because of that, but of course, she acted like *I* was the one with the problem, that I was making excuses of shyness etc. for not talking with her much, and tried to force me to befriend her to “prove” that I wasn’t out to “move in on” her husband. (We were just friends!)
And he just kept enabling her. Who needs that kind of drama?
After she became especially nasty one day after an e-mail which she read into all sorts of things that weren’t there, and posted on FB that she’s having a GREAT day because she finally was allowed to scream at me, Jeff and I dropped them like hot potatoes.
But I thought that my “friend,” at least, was a gentle person trying to tamp down his violent past and be pious…. Then I began to write and remember….
My husband told me how, on the day we ended the “friendship,” this guy tried to get into his face and tower over him (he’s very tall) and scream at him, and Jeff yelled at him, “You SIT DOWN! Don’t intimidate me like that!”
And they both went on about how 99% of people would react even more severely than his wife did, etc. etc…..
For so long I’ve been mourning the loss of the friendship and wishing things were different and wondering if maybe, someday, it can be restored. Constantly going over my own part in things and wondering if I should have done some things differently.
But now that I have proof–from our local newspaper and the state’s public court case website–that my “friend” has done something horrible–NO WAY. All the self-reflection can now STOP. All the grief can stop. There’s nothing here that I want back.
My friend wrote,
And there is nothing you did that was wrong. You’ve turned the other cheek to them so often you’ll be spinning for the better part of a year. Keep on writing and maybe go to the batting cages to release the anger.
And yes, I have reported them to CPS–ironically, posting my letter to them the same day he was charged with child abuse. So they know what I know. I’ve done all I can.
At the time, I thought the report would lead to services offered to the family, such as parenting classes and anger management and the like, and CPS would work with them to improve their lives.
When a guy shot a cop and himself after a domestic abuse situation with his ex-girlfriend here in town, I thought, “I hope that my letter to CPS means that my ex-friends won’t turn out like this!”
I had no clue that the same day I sent the letter, one of them was being charged with intentional child abuse causing injury (high probability of great harm) and 2nd-degree recklessly endangering safety, both felonies which could lead to many years in state prison.
At the time, I was very low spiritually, wondering how God could have led these people into my life and then ripped them out again in such horrible circumstances.
Now I see His leading, helping me find the spiritual answers I was seeking 6 years ago, but also putting me in position to witness things that needed to be brought to the attention of authorities.
I was there to try to influence them if possible and save them from themselves, I think, because I did try, but they scoffed at my opinions.
Then God yanked me out of the situation just in time–only two and a half months before this horrible thing happened.
And kudos to that little girl for having the courage to tell the police what happened.
Another friend wrote,
God works mysteriously, and thank God that girl had such courage. I’ve been in situations as a teacher where I knew abuse was occurring, but the child had been so well trained to lie and protect the parent.
Nyssa, you are a beautiful soul. It is so Christ-like to see the good in such a person. I remember the pain you suffered when the friendship ended, but in hindsight: what a blessing!
I’ve made some really sorry choices sometimes in friendships too, so please don’t beat yourself up about it. Lesson learned. Blessings and prayers!
Thanks! It’s painful to think of someone I trusted and thought was a good person, doing something like this….
But I’m told that when this girl was very small, he beat her mercilessly once. What kind of person does such a thing to a little girl??? And now he’s proven that he’s not reformed, after all.
The only good place for him is in jail, sad to say.
And of course, when it became clear that Tracy was still with Richard, some of us wondered WHY? HOW can you stay with the man who nearly killed your daughter? One person said she had seemed too smart for that. We were all quite puzzled by the whole thing.