2 Episode results for "Redlands High School"
Human Trafficking and Protecting our Children with Denise Mears Founder of Project Protect Our Children
"Welcome to naked talk with Jess. I'm so excited about my guest today, Denise mirrors, and she is with project protect our children and raise your right over there in Kingwood. So another Local woman doing amazing things for our community. Welcome to the podcast. How are you doing today? I am doing great. Thank you so much. Just gave me this opportunity to share what we're doing and who we are. Yes well thank you for for being here and doing what you do. So first, tell us a little bit about yourself and then how you came about to do this because I volunteer with the organization called read em and we support organizations that like yourself, they either help prevent or fight sex trafficking or provide holistic healing for survivors and the common theme that is usually in those conversations is One a lot of people still are not aware of this and to usually people get overwhelmed and shy away. So I'm very interested to learn a little bit about you. And how you got involved? Well, thank you. So to tell you the truth, if anybody had told me six years ago, that I would be sitting here with you today. Sharing my story that I felt called to even found project protect our children. I really would be skeptical. So a little bit about me, I have lived in the Houston area. The Greater Houston area Kingwood specifically for about 23 years, we came here when I was pregnant with my very first. I'm a month or three been married, almost twenty-five years. Amazing has been and his business is in in Houston, Palmer Logistics. They're actually one of our largest corporate Partners down there. Helping us do what we do in the community. We have the I have the opportunity in 2016 to Journey outside of our bubble, our little bubble life in khong. Ahead and start working with a non-profit. That was a direct service, provider two teenage trafficking survivors. And at that time, I had learned the magnitude of the problem, you know, prior to that there, there was this misconception that it couldn't happen in our neighborhood. It couldn't happen in our community. It didn't that it was something that that was with, in different areas. Different economic classes, it was something that children were being brought from Mexico over the Border, thought didn't exist to the point it did. And so when my eyes were opened and I had that opportunity to start working with that nonprofit and to see that the the girls a program they very easily could have been my daughter. They could have been the girls in My Girl Scout Troop. They could have been from all of our small bubbles. Not just the inner c e. Houston. We had girls during the time that we're from Cinco Ranch from The Woodlands from Fifth Ward, from fourth ward, all of the girls, in the program were born and raised. Here it is the circumstances that they found themselves in that led to trafficking. I came to the realization after going out in the community on their behalf and doing different public awareness speaking events at schools and churches different Industries. I had this moment where I realized that our children don't have the, they didn't have the capacity to be able to understand or recognize and predators were using that to their advantage. So, when I very first started in this Arena human trafficking, I was the number three largest criminal activity is now moved up. It's the number two off. Activity. The reality is, if you are going to make money in a nefarious way what are you going to do? You're going to sell guns, you're going to sell drugs. When you sell those drugs, you have to go buy more. Well, what happens when you sell a human being and says a girls in the group would tell stories of being sold? You know ten twelve times a night and you know, specifically spring 2018, the majority of the girls in our program had been contacted first through social media. They didn't realize that damn that that that Snapchat, that that one compliment would lead to eventually being trafficked because they didn't have that ability to comprehend the level of manipulation. The these traffickers are predators will use. And I just kept thinking, okay, in our schools we have so many programs going on with, we have a program called everybody counts and starts in elementary school and and it goes through talking about different disabilities. Giving our kids knowledge about that, we have a program called Junior Achievement starts in kindergarten it, it it's giving kids. The basic economic principles starting in kindergarten. Where is a program? Starting in elementary school? That gives them the basic critical thinking skills, that they are going to need to be able to identify as they get older. Those situations 2010 to 2015 off the national Center for missing and exploited children and stated 846% increase in domestically commercially sexually, exploited and children. There was directly correlated to the use of the internet and social media. So the today that our children are living in is so different. From the life that we grew up in right, then our error. I just, I felt called for no other, you know, an easier way to explain. I just knew that this piece was missing and and it wasn't just with the children. It wasn't just the need starting an elementary school I saw. When I would go out and speak to the parents. The the blank stares, they had no idea. That if you give a child, a cellphone with no parameters on place in place, if you don't teach them how to make their stories private, they didn't understand that. That could be used as a tool by anyone anywhere to contact their child and the reality is for every app that's being designed for a specific purpose. You have a predator out there thinking, how can I use this app to manipulate them and find a child? You know, technology is great and amazing and does some wonderful things but it also creates an opportunity for those Individuals out there to speak to our children. If those channels aren't watched if our parents aren't actively taking part in that, in that smartphone Journey with your child, right? If they aren't guiding them, if there aren't rules and parameters set in place. You basically have an it was actually an article that I think bark. It was an article that bark put out that said, you might as well just drop your child off and took the worst part of town because that's a tool going back to the Y, right? I wanted to be able to find prevention education, founded to provide a prevention education for children. Starting in elementary school. I felt that was so important. I wanted to raise Community awareness, I one of my favorite comments quotes actually is by D, H, Lawrence. And it says the eye, doesn't see what the mind doesn't know. You know, statistically, it shows, someone did a study in 2018 that showed 55% of the domestically sexually traffic children within that study 55% were attending school while they were being trafficked. So, do our teachers have that ability. Do they know what a trafficking victim looks like in the classroom? Would they be able to recognize? Would they be able to identify and then, would they be able to respond in a trauma-informed to manner? Right? Because we know from statistics, we know from testimonies that children often don't self-identify, they don't understand that. What is happening to them? Should not be happening with the girls in the wage program in Houston. They would tell the most heartbreaking stories. And at the end of the day because that trafficker was meeting a need, that was present in that young girl's life more often than not, it was the Romeo type of trafficker. They truly believed that even though he convinced them that working selling, their bodies, was their way to contribute to offer their relationship, their way to get that fairytale. They truly believed he loves them and understanding that, that level of manipulation is Thursday. It's happening and wanting to give our children. The ability that knowledge that skill-set, so that when they are approached wage, they have that ability to go wait. Is this, what is this person really? Who they say they are. Additionally, I've always felt that we all have a role to play. The reality is human trafficking goes against our core beliefs and values, right? As a country children because they rely on us for their needs money for their food, their shelter for love, right? For the hierarchy of needs. Maslow's hierarchy of needs they in the in and of itself. A child is our most vulnerable, right? And then if you add in all the other at risks, that a child could be going through in their lives, you know, are they economically disadvantaged? Do they have learning disabilities? Are they gave you plus? There are so many other factors do they have a prior history of sexual, abuse and physical abuse? That even puts them at more risk, right? Because they have those gaps and so predators just they have this ability. The reality is pretty much have this ability to hone in on those children and be able to pick out what is lacking and they promise and it's very sad and so In a Through The Years working in Houston. I could see that it's possible to help them rebuild their lives, right. You can have a young girl that was off traffic on the streets of Houston and and rescued and you can help restore her life. It is a very hard journey. We can help them see that their their future is still as bright, they can still have that same goals we can help them see that their dreams are still attainable but it is a very hard road. So you know, my thought processes If you had a child that in your home, your they're getting ready to go to their friends across the street and this is my analogy. You know that when they leave your front door off, They're going to need to cross that street, right to go to the front house. You know, that there's traffic on that street, you know that there's cars, there's trucks, you don't know if a car is going to be driving by when they go to cross that street, you don't know that if they get hit by that car, if it's going to kill them. If it's going to name them you have no idea what quality of life they're going to have. After they get hit by that car off, wouldn't you stop that? Child and say hey you're getting ready to cross the street name? I want you to stop. I want you to look. And listen, look left. Look right, listen for cars. You'd give them that preventive knowledge. So that they could understood what they were doing. They were about to cross the street. You don't want them to get hit by The Cars. You're going to give them those skills. So that's what preventative education does for our children and that that's my thought process as restorative care. You know, we could stay all afternoon and I can tell you stories and, and, and about how hard and give you examples, restorative care is, but why not start from the beginning and give him all the way in education and skills that they need. And and so does started the Journey of project protect our children, founded it in 2019, with the founding principles are firmly. Believe that we all need to be engaged. Educated and empowered. And so I think every single person regardless of where you live what you do, you need to be engaged in the fight to end. Child sex trafficking and exploitation and abuse. There's no reason not to. And there are so many ways that, that no matter what your area of expertise is no matter how much time you have in the day to give, there are ways that you can make a difference. Educate everybody should understand what the red flags are so that when they do come in contact and I've got news for you, there are a human trafficking, victims walking amongst us, but they're going unseen. Yes, they're in the classrooms. Their traffickers are taking them to the movies. They are taking them out to eat. Do you need as as a community? We need to be able to understand what we're seeing because Each human trafficking, victim deserves the right to be seen and offered assistance. And then Empower, I think overall we, we need to gain power, not just those that are working directly with youth. But every company, every corporation, every aspect of our community needs to be empowered to join the fight off. So was Project protect our children. We have several programs, we have several trainings and we are constantly working to educate them, engage educate and Empower our mission is prevention. We want to stop child sex trafficking exploitation and abuse before it begins. So we have a multitude of programs and and trainings available so I'm going to tell you if you don't mind about one that I'm excited about especially for the woodlands area, we launched our youth action board last year in 2020 and Humble ISD cuz I'm from Kingwood even a mixed covid-19, 6 youth, apply and and say they wanted to be part of of the fight, they want to be part of the solution. So the, the the the you section board was conceptualized because we wanted to give youth the opportunity to join in the fight. I've, I've worked with, like I said, I have three children and I've worked in in so many different Arenas with youth. And, and the one thing I know is that, if you give them the opportunity, if they feel called to something, what they can do is beyond your wildest. Imagination. Right? So we conceptualize the news action board to do. Just that what we said was we will give you all of the resources, all of the tools off. If you feel called to the fight, we want to give you the platform that you need to bring human trafficking awareness to your peers to your school Educators. Enter your community and so and off last January are six youth action board members did just that. So, the the thought process behind the youth action board is we give them the support. It's student-driven. So they collectively and collaboratively come together and they discuss different solutions. Different event ideas. Different activities to bring human trafficking awareness. Not just on their school campus, but primarily but also in the community, And we're just their support team right where their cheerleaders. We're we're saying okay and helping them think. Through that, if we're going to do that, do we need this? Do we need someone who can help us with the suspect off and so I'm happy to say that in January. Are you section board was able to bring human trafficking awareness to over four thousand of their peers, their school staff and community members through different activities and events that they conceptualize implemented and planned in the month of January. And so because of their work, their achievements far surpassed what we had initially hoped for right. And really, it's groundbreaking and when I said to them is look, you are starting the movement off. This is one Ripple of a student-led movement to end human trafficking by bringing awareness because of that, really at the heart of it, prevention birth. Earnest, they go hand-in-hand, right? So bringing awareness to the community, I'm happy to say that all six of our youth action board members received the youth action board champion of them for their efforts. They all received an award for governor Abbott's, office for their efforts. They all received an award from Congressman, Dan Crenshaw, all for their efforts and he attended our Spring Festival, where we celebrated everything that they accomplished and achieved five of our youth wage board members received the presidential volunteer service award as well and so he was there to present it with them. That's one thing that we wanted to do. It's one thing for a used. To say, you've done such a great job. Look because they they see when there are part of it, when they're standing during the the good example during the basketball games and half time, and in it, and giving that that clip of human track, Awareness during that five minute presentation to everyone there they have that feeling. There they are champions, right? But we wanted to be able to give them a little something extra to be able to stand out more. So when they start that college, application process were certifying Agency for the presidential, volunteer service award. So our Spring Festival was wonderful went off without a hitch. We were pleased with the community involvement we had we had Dennis Mark they're off from the human trafficking rescue Alliance. We had Congressman Dan Crenshaw oil to present their Wards. We had representatives from the Houston Police Department. Both off the vision and human trafficking division, we had a full turn out to celebrate their achievements and During that time. We were able to solidify the funding that we would need, so that we could expand this year. And so, I'm so eager to share with you that the woodlands. Williams High School. We have several individuals that are so excited. They'd like to bring the youth action board to Redlands High School so we'll be working with them this summer so that they can do that should bring that on campus so that you can have youth that if they feel called to it. Yes, they have that ability. You know, as I said it's it's student-led student-driven were their support team. We give them, they go through training so they understand and can think through, okay, this is the problem, this is the magnitude of it and they come up with the solutions collaborative, life cooperatively, more expanding or high school has reached out to us. So Our service area because of the prevention education program that we provide actually encompasses the nine counties of the Greater Houston area. So we are hoping that we all have more high schools. The wannabe groundbreaking that want to have a use action board on their choices. We've we have been asked by Dickinson ISD to create a model that can also be used in the middle school. So we'll have a middle school version and a high school version, right, because what we want to do is we want to empower youth you know as as we come together as stakeholders and the anti-human trafficking Movement, we talked about who's on the front lines for our youth. We often say our teachers are Educators, learn the front lines. They're the ones that have the ability to recognize what is going on in the classroom but who's just one step ahead of them. Well, their peers. Right. So why not give the peers that Phil called? Why not give them that opportunity? And so we are hoping that as we grow this movement of empowered and engaged youth ready to step up and answer the call that we will have high schools throughout the Greater Houston area. Interested in the program as we develop off the middle school program. We're also documenting cuz we understand. We're creating this wheel, right? No one's done it before. We couldn't find a model. So dead, we have actively said to all of our Coalition members were members of multiple human trafficking Coalition members across the Greater Houston area including Montgomery, County, anti-counterfeiting Coalition, and the Houston rescuing restored, Coalition, and Brazoria you now did United Coalition. I'm trying to I just drew a blank but it's Brazoria County United Coalition. We love to share the wheel. We would love to get any non-profit. It will share how it's being done all of the documents. The templates had a great conversation with Governor Abbott has a child sex trafficking team and had a great conversation with Todd lady Olas and was sharing with him. Everything are you section board had done and was doing and you know talk about we're going to make this use action board in a box that we want to share and so I am hoping that he could help us share that across the state of Texas. Yes. So you know in the Greater Houston area we can help facilitate all the affection boards, that's what we hope to and then honestly our goal is to eventually have a huge this action board Coalition, could you imagine having use action boards from Fort, Bend County from Montgomery County from Harris County all coming together, annually and talking about all of these different strategies and activities events that they brought to their campus. So not only allowing the youth within one school, district to collaborate cooperatively wage you know working together but then across the Greater Houston and hopefully one day across Texas. Yeah. I mean I love all of that and and some of the things that really stood out to me Denise that I want to share the specially if you're listening. And you say just like Denis mentioned everyone has a role and you might be thinking why I've got little kids, you know, I have three children also and sometimes you get overwhelmed when especially with them. young and you're like, I can I do really good just, you know, getting up in the morning and getting do when I have to get done, You can be educated, you can take make it a priority and find out because like you said the eye doesn't see what the mind doesn't know and no longer Denise. Is it okay to say, I'm just too much. I don't want to look I don't want to see and I've shared this on other podcasts. This is a symptom, right? If you will of Route things that are going on in our world and our nation right now, no longer. Can we be middle-of-the-road whether that's with your faith, whether that's with things in legislative things, Freedom, so many things. It's time to make it important. What do you have? Children are not, you know, this is everyone's problem. And so being educated is the first step and then you decide what am I going to do with, what? I just learned. Am I going to keep it to myself? Am I going to keep to myself? Or am I going to leave it into my life and share? So, I will say one, thank you so much for getting out of your bubble. I used to live in Kingwood. So, I found out today that Denise and I have a lot of mutual friends. But I stayed in my little bubble and I'd say, oh, I ventured out of my bubble today, but I want to incur thank you for getting out of that and seeing something and doing it. Because I remember the days off, I have three little, you know, five and under and I would say, you know, okay at some point when I started discovering, my first thing I discovered was it was a massage parlors in Kingwood access and something Looking Back Now it was you know the Holy Spirit, probably telling me like something ain't right here and there was a place and now that I've helped them, learn mean, obviously, that's what was going on. But they say, you know, you can spot things where you go in, there's a wall there, right? You walk in you can't see in the back, but at the time I was like doing non-profit in getting donors. So I'd pop in. And how would you want to donate to this? Or that? I knew something was wrong? I would seem in there at lunch time and at the time, I thought I didn't even know what to do about it off. I would start sharing things with friends but so often you do start feeling isolated because it's a very dark subject, it is. And a lot of times as mom's, we just would rather off our parents, you know, not deal with it. And like you said think well that's not going to happen to my child. It's very interesting. What you said, you're with their phones. It's like you're giving so many people access that you never would let them be around, right? And so one, educate yourself to everyone has a role find out what you can do. The very least you can tell other people tell your children, I meet more and more survivors to work that we do and you're right, it's so much easier if we do the prevention side. So I want to tell you. Thank you for that because I think especially if you're listening and you're like there's nothing I can do, it's too much. Would be aware and share. We can share your resources. I'm going to leave that links and all the show notes. So that's one thing that stood out to me cuz so many times, you know, I thought, okay, I go to Target dog. To the gym, you know, we're both Housewives, you know? And you got your kids are little, you drop them off, you go to Target, go to the gym, maybe go to lunch with your friends, and it's like, at some point, those things are fine cuz we need that. But at some point, are we called to do a little more and also with the use. I mean, that's amazing because guess what, they're the ones that are are being approached and so why not jump our them. They're the best people to go to, because they can give you that insight. And not only that, I think about if you're a child and that's happened to you, Whether you know it or not, there could be shame or guilt. There are you going to go and just tell your friends or parents? Probably not David. Read the founder of read em. He and I talked about this on our podcast, want to socialize it, you know, we don't want to make it a secret, a dirty hidden thing. We don't talk about because now imagine, if it's something in your school, that's being talked about, you know, other friends are aware of what's Happening. Your lot more likely, I would think to say, you know what, this happened to me, someone messaged me, I thought it was kind of odd, right? You know, whereas if you don't ever talk about it, it's easier. So isolated, and for it to progress, right? So that's so important that you're bringing the youth involved because I always say, don't wait too, you're an adult, you can make a difference right now. I'm in Montgomery County. I'm going to start talking to people because yes, this should be in our schools. And we talked about so many other things and a lot of them are great. But if this is such a big problem, why are we not addressing it? So how long 111 it actually mandates and then Texas admin code that schools K through twelve have human trafficking, prevention, education, a research-based age-appropriate elementary schools that actually States. It doesn't have to mention traffic, but you there has to be a program, a prevention program in place for preventing human trafficking, starting in the elementary school level. And so, you know, one thing that I will say, covid-19. So much right so much negative, so many value Advantage is that we had to cross. But for project protect our children, it actually was a groundbreaking history-making Year and that we launched the youth action board. We had the opportunity to learn about comprehensive human trafficking prevention program actually called protect that the governor's child sex trafficking team had brought to Texas dead. And so through working with them, we were able to become the very first licensed facilitator of the protect human trafficking prevention program, K through twelve Across the Nation and the only in the state of Texas because we want to get that information into the classrooms where it belongs. And I understand our schools are educators are administrators, they have so much going on and especially, I mean, and that was just on an everyday basis, take covet out and then covid-19. So what we wanted to do was provide page him with all of the things that they needed to actually become compliant with House Bill 111. That's when I was going to say. So if it's there, why is it not so, I mean, or they, you know, we, we actually are a part of the Texas Human Trafficking prevention, task force the Office of the Attorney General. They brought on nonprofits home. And other stakeholders that was January February. And so we're on a working group and identifying different gaps that need to be met wage. I can't necessarily answer that question. I know that covid-19. It really, it can make a difference between a positive outcome at the end of the day and a negative, because the way that they respond, they've sustained so much complex trauma. You know, God, that's so important. So, you know, that's, that's step one. And then having the training for the Educators, you know, I will say that the human trafficking tracking for the Educators has been in place and and and we've talked to school districts and and some of them are meeting that criteria. There are certain things that that training should hit. We've also talked to a couple of school district and they said well that mentions human trafficking. Do you think that counts? Well doesn't really and free to reach out to me on our website and I can forward you the the t a checklist of what those trainings should entail. And then they prevention education in the classroom. So with the protect program, It is a one module in elementary school, one module, in middle school, and two in high school. And each module has is two lessons, we provide certified facilitators into the classrooms to teach it. So when we do pre and post quizzes cuz we have to have a metric, we want to make sure that we are meeting the objectives of the training. I will say that the program itself came to us through the collaboration of three strands, Global who's the managing partner and the governor's child sex trafficking team. It's been used to number two hundred school districts in California and Utah, right now. Okay. It's used in a manner in which the onus is on the school districts though. And so there are responsible for facilitating the program and the classroom instruction. And so with project protect our children, understanding the climate, and Texas schools and school districts, here, we wanted to take off. Step and say, we'll bring the onus on Project protect our children. We will provide, we just need to access and we do it at no cost because the last thing we want is a school district to save don't have funding week, that's not in our budget. We don't want money to be a factor in providing education that can that could truly make a difference in a child's future and I think that's why it's important that we as a community individually and as business owners that we support you because you just mentioned, you should get grants you offer this for free. This is one way. I had. Another guess, when we were talking about abortion and he has a program called we dignify, he was saying if you, if you can't or you, if you won't go. Give. And that's a way that you can give and help you make this impact. And the fact that you are coming in, you're providing the curriculum, you're providing the facilitator game. Amazing. I didn't even I know you had mentioned that but I guess I didn't get the magnitude of that until you just said it. So if you're an educator there or if you're a parent or if you're a Community member of this page via, let them know that this is out there and they can even be facilitated. So we can get this to our children because they need to hear it. And like I said, it's time to speak. Not just speak up, but take action. Okay? You're aware of it. Now you need to do something about it. The same thing. If you're a parent, get involved so much. What I'm trying to do too is dead. Help people just really just want to take take part and get involved in their local very hyper, local communities start there and then it can grow from there. But yeah, there's really you've curriculum. You've got the facilitator so now it's just a matter of showing hey we're ready to do this and be part of this project. Absolutely. And I can quantify can tell you, it takes off. $5 for me to provide preventive education to a student. Wow. So $25 a handful of students $100 a classroom, right? So I can tell you the cost, you know, the University of Texas did a study in 2017. They did a study to give an account of what the magnitude of human trafficking off. The problem exists in Texas and so they estimate at any given time. We have over three hundred and thirteen thousand victims of human trafficking both life and sex trafficking in the state of Texas and out of that 313. We have 79,000 minors and use Being commercially trafficked. Yes, and so to put that in perspective and that estimate is that is domestic children. So when we talked domestic, that's that's born in Texas. That's not accounting for any children that are here illegally that we don't know about the study and human trafficking by the numbers that UT presented. It shows the estimate. I mean, so to put it in perspective, 79,000, minors and youth, if you've been to NRG Stadium. Yes. So energy Stadium seats. 72,000 may take a moment and think, okay, seven thousand extra seats, what would you do to keep from one of those seats being filled, right? Cuz again, that restorative care process, you can't help that child. You can help them rebuild their lives, but what they have lived through is of your worst nightmare. So so, you know, our schools are amazing. Education is amazing and we're giving our kids all these years. These skills were, you know, they math and algebra and trigonometry and and Science and History, and that's all good. And well, and some of those are going to use in their Futures. Some of them, they're not. But you know what? They are going to need need these critical thinking skills. Yes, to prevent themselves and their peers from falling into the manipulation and tactics of predators and traffickers. And so, I hope that as our schools return to home our new normal after Age appropriate all aligned with the teks and so, where would they go? If if they're listing and they say, okay, either I'm a decision maker. I'm in education, I'm a parent. And I want to see this month. What is the first step that they can take to get access to that or to get that implemented in their school? If they reach out to us, we will always be a resource, right? And I will tell you, whether you have voices. Yes. And, you know, we I have friends that are Educators, you know, I've been apparent for years. I understand that the current climate with covid-19 hard, being an education administrator today, right? They're facing challenges that have not been faced with the pandemic, but you can't let that take away from what needs to be done. And so reach out to us project, protect our children, you'll see, you know, I will say our church. So, that's kind of going through a little bit of construction, but you can easily go through and see all of our programs that we have in place all the services we offer, because I think I would probably have to keep you here half a day to kind of give you the gist of it because we do we have programs for parents. We are actually certified in multiple human trafficking prevention, programs. We have corporate responsibility programs, where we work with different companies and businesses going back to. There's a volunteer page. We do Hands-On opportunities, home teenage trafficking survivors and at-risk youth. There's information form to fill out where if it doesn't matter, you're off the amount of time that you have on your schedule. It it really if you feel called if you want to be part of making a difference, if you log, You give us your information, you fill out that form. What we will do is is first of all, the fact that you feel called, first and foremost, that's what's most important, we're going to look back and say, okay, well, what, what talents do you have? What do you enjoy doing? How much time can you devote will find a way for you to help us? Because the the reality is, we're Grassroots, right, it's on the ground. We can't do this without more help from the community every time that I have to spend a dollar to do something. Like I said, you know, our website with some website issues. If there's anybody out there who can help with websites, if I have to spend a dollar to get somebody to help me with that website, that's $1 less that I can spend on prevention, education and birth to think about what you do in your everyday life. You know, you might be able to even if it's just you know editing a paper too because you know birth that's what you do for, if we can get a good core group of others in the community that are, that is their Lane and saying, hey, I can do this church, I can do XYZ, I'm a photographer, I I'm a videographer, right? Because with our student action board psa's are one thing they love doing, right? So if you can, if you feel called you want to make a difference, if you can, you know, get it took us. Let us know what you enjoy doing. Well, match you up because there's just about anything you can think of will figure out a way to use you. You know, we have one lady say, well, I really enjoyed knowing she was retired. Well, guess what? I reach out to our residential Children's Center that we've partnered with and said, would any of the girls they're like to learn how to sew wolf figure out a way. Because as a community until we all come together and take a stand and say we are going to be part of the solution, it's going to continue to grow and and I will tell you the day that it becomes the number one criminal industry. I just I just can't imagine again, you know, our children are the most vulnerable. We cannot address all of the factors that make children a higher risk. It's there's a multitude of them, but what we can do is we can give them the knowledge and the skills that they need, so that they can identify. And so as a community, we have to come together. And that's what I've been saying. A lot even more. So lately, get offline more. I mean, this is another guy an into your community. Yes. See, there's so much to offer Even in our own communities, so very excited about that. I actually want to have you on again to really dive into your certification for businesses. So yes, I would love to talk to you more about that because I think that's another piece, right? This this is awareness for parents and from the children's perspective but we also want to reach those businesses so they can take a stand off. For their Community say that they are against trafficking so I will love to have you on again. Let everyone know where they should go, how they can find you. And I'm going to share all this in the show notes as well. Okay, so our web address it is Project. Protect our children, I will say, you know, I shared the statistics 79,000 wage gearing up. If you go to our website under events Step Up For Freedom, we're doing our second annual Step Up For Freedom in July where we ask everyone to take 79,000 steps in the month of June one step for each traffic child and minor in the state of Texas. And so all during the month will be doing different things where people can get involved and that's something that you and your social media. That's something that it doesn't cost you a dollar or a dime just to say, okay, I'm going to commit to taking 79,000 steps. I don't know, I don't know about you but most jobs I might have to take 10000 steps to get my circles on my watch to even around. So 79,000 steps, shouldn't be hard in a month, but it's, it's taking that it's making that cognitive decision off and saying, I am taking the step for a child, right? Yes. And and sharing that with your friends, your community members, right? So, raising awareness within your circle of influence. So, definitely, in before we leave, I have a gift for you. Our youth action board, although most of their activities were on campus at the high school and January the one thing they wanted to do was they wanted a vehicle to bring the community into the fight and so they tried to decide, okay, how are we going to do that? So they decided selling a shirt would be a way of life in a couple of basketball games. We throw them in the audience, but but basically they wanted a shirt that people could wear and when someone stops you because let me tell you, they will stop you on the street. So what does that mean? You would have the opportunity to share about human trafficking awareness? They wanted a vehicle to give community members the opportunity to talk about humor in awareness and so you guys can't see it. But the shirt says not for sale and it has a barcode which we all know. Barcode Universal for being so long and says stop human trafficking. And then has our Ki POC project, protect our children, the hand in red over the bar code that going joke was are not for sale, shirt was for sale. But it it it is something that they very much more excited when I told them that we had this podcast and I will just, I just want to put this in your ear. Yeah, if she would like to have a couple youth action boards, my next thought, yep, they love it. They would love to come and share with you, you? Yes. So we, I would love to hear what they're doing and from their perspective off, Philly, when I started my podcast, I guess. What? Three years ago, I thought, oh, it's going to be, you know, mom's like me. So I'm forty-four now. So I said, you know, mom's like me, you know, early forties and I actually have all ages. Listen to me, I have a lot of teens and men and women in their twenties listened. So I would love to have them on. Yeah I'm in share from their perspective what they're doing. Yeah they would love thank you for this and I'm going to post this on my Instagram so y'all can go check that out. I'll do that and then thank you for being here and I'm actually excited. We're going to get you booked on again and woke get those a youth members on here as well. They would love it. And thank you again for the opportunity and and like I said, hopefully we'll have ID with action board and the woodlands, the high school here in the fall of Rome 21. I'm can't wait and we need to bring you all to Montgomery Conroe. We love to. Let's do it. Let's do it. Absolutely. All right, well thank you so much and I will talk to you all next time. Hi.
Jamie found a stranger in her bedroom WWTL 42
"What was that like contains adult language and content and is not intended for all audiences listener discretion is advised? Welcome to what was that at like. I'm your host Scott Johnson. This is the show where we talked to regular people people just like you just like me. who have found themselves in an extremely unusual situation? We'll hear their stories and get inside their head because we all WanNa know what was that like more information about each episode at what was that like dot com. Here we go today. We're going to hear from Jamie Jamie. Had something happen to her when she was a teenager and it clearly had a huge effect because she he's still thinks about it to this day one night. She came back home from a trip to the grocery store. She parked her car and before she got out owed. She saw a strange man standing on the sidewalk right in front of her car and he stood there looking at her through the windshield less than ten minutes later. That man was in her bedroom. Yeah this is a creepy one. And if you like the way Jamie tells the story Lori Hang around till the end because we'll talk about the true crime podcast that she hosts and as always I invite you to join the other listeners. Nurses support this show. You can do that at. What was that like dot com slash support? Now here's Jamie. You were a teenager when this happened right I was. I was a senior in high school at the time. Eighteen years old. Okay and where were you living so I was living in redlands California at the time which is in southern California. It's what's known as the inland empire Near San Bernardino Riverside and I was living with my mom in an apartment in Actually a nice part of town and I understand that your your appearance had recently divorced so it was kind of a new situation with you and your mom being just by yourselves right it was it was the first place that she and I moved to when my mom and dad split up and so we hadn't been in the apartment for very along. I don't know exactly how long but you're right. It was a fairly new situation. I was going to high school at redlands. High School and Yeah my mom was working full-time all time. She's a very busy career woman and she was also in law school at the time. But yeah that that this was a fairly new situation for us and did you have in the area where you were. Obviously I'm in Florida. I have never been to to that area. Did you have any safety concerns at all about that area. That neighborhood not at all I mean I. I never even thought about not being safe at all. Redlands in general is a pretty safe town. There are bad parts But we're the apartment was it was sort of On the South side of redlands tour to sort of near Loma Linda and It's a good area. It's a very nice apartment complex. Very clean I think a lot of like single professionals. We're living there at the time. This happened at nighttime. It was around eight o'clock so it was after dark. Can you take us through what happened that night. Yeah so it was like you said it was around eight o'clock in the evening I wanna say it was a week night I want. My mom reminded me later that it was my dad's birthdays which would have been June. Oh Gosh now. For a June twelfth of Nineteen Ninety six X so whatever day of the week that was and it was dark and my mom was in her room studying. I think she was studying for the bar exam at the time and I just remember it was a warm summer night and I remember going into her room and just kind of said. Hey Mom I'm gonNA run across the street I took my car to grocery store. There was estate brothers literally just right across the street said I'm going to grab a few things she says. Okay see later so I got in my car. I went to the store I was there for. Maybe maybe fifteen minutes My mom remind to be later of what I bought and she kind of made fun of me about these stupid at the time there were these sort of wedge like flip flops ops that were made of this foam material. I know that sounds awful but this is the nineties and stater brothers. Sold them so I went across the street to go get those and who who knows what else but anyway I was only there for a few minutes. I drove back to my apartment. I entered the apartment complex. I didn't think about it until later but there was a car right behind me. At the time I could see the headlights but that could have just been anybody entering the apartment complex behind me. Was this gated community so you had to put a coat in or just I want to say that there was one of those sticks the security kind of like you know arms that raise up after you. You put your coat in so I had done that and I don't remember if this person behind me you know as we often do you just roll in you know in front of the absorb if you're in back of somebody who just rolling without putting in a code have done that so I came in and you know. The parking lot is very standard looking for an apartment. It's a bunch of parking spaces faces. Some of it's covered some of. It's not you know when you rent an apartment at these apartments you know you have maybe one or two assigned spots that are covered that under sort of near your apartment and Before I pulled into our assigned parking spot I went over to the community mailbox. And it's a mailbox that we all share. You know you put your key and and there's a bunch of mailboxes and so I checked my mail at the time I was checking my mail. I just remember there were headlights behind me. It was dark outside outside and you know headlights on a car very bright so it's sort of caught my attention. It was sort of distracting so I turned around and I noticed that it was a white and gold or white and beige of four door. Lexuses a very nice car and I just noticed it. I just sort of looked not for any reason other than the lights. Were really bright right and I noticed there was a man sitting in it No big deal. I just thought this is somebody who probably lived at the apartment. I continued getting my mail. Got Back into my car. You're pulled around to. The left is a little bit and parked in my assigned parking spot and so I'm sitting in the driver's C.. You know parked my car. Turn the engine off off and I am gathering the mail which I had put in the passenger seat. I grabbed all the mail and I looked out my window My windshield and and I saw a man walking right in front of my car with both hands in his pockets and he was glaring into my windshield looking at me and he. You gave me a very weird feeling. I mean it wasn't one of those things. Where oh he's just glancing over and looking at you and then he goes about his business? He was glaring into the car and it was weird. It may be feel weird but you know. I don't know if it was because I was a naive teenager. Nothing bad had really ever happened to me. Nothing super traumatic in my life so I just gathered my mail and this is before cell phones were popular may be cell phones existed. But I certainly didn't have one. Maybe if I did did it would've called somebody but maybe not so I get out of my car. I lock it and where he was walking in front of my car so my car is parked in in the assigned parking so directly in front of my car. If I'm looking out my windshield I can see a sidewalk. That is running a horizontal to my car. So Oh he's walking on that sidewalk in front of my car so when I get out of my car he you know is still walking so when I by the time I get out of my car and I get onto the sidewalk and start walking. He's now directly in front of me and he's about I don't know fifteen feet in front of me not too far. And he's continuing to walk with both hands in his pockets and I'm behind him and I just kind of brushed off the glare and thought. Okay let me just walk to my apartment. No big deal so he continues walking thing now as you continue walking on the sidewalk it comes to a bit of a fork or why it looks like a why so you can either continue walking straight which is one part of the Whi- which is where he was going or you can veer off to the left to the other part of the the. Why and that's where my apartment it was so he and I were so he was walking straight? When I got to the section where I needed to turn left? He still in front of me. I start walking left toward but my apartment and I noticed that you know he had nowhere to go. If you continue walking straight on that sidewalk that he was walking on in front of me. You eventually are going to get to somebody's door. Who Lives in the apartment? Somebody's apartment door and so that's what he did. He went and he walked as far as he could and he stopped basically on their doormat. Ormat right in front of their door almost as if maybe that's where he was going the whole time maybe he knew these people or maybe lives there or maybe he lived there exactly but And I knew I didn't know the people who lived there but I had seen them coming in and out and my first thought was don't think he knows those people it just. I know that sounds so weird but in my mind I was like. I don't think he'd knows those people but okay. He's standing at their door. Maybe he's GonNa Knock and maybe he does know them. I continue veering to the left now. From where he standing facing their front door to his left is about a five or six foot hedge Like bushes so in other words as I continue walking to the left he standing at those people's front door as I continue walking toward my apartment. Eventually we're not going to be able to see each other anymore because at this hedge was a pretty tall hedge so I got to that point. I kept walking on the sidewalk toward my apartment apartment. He's standing in front of those people's door and I could no longer see him but something in my mind told me that I needed to turn around and see if if he had backed up to still where he could watch where I was going because if he would have stayed standing in front of these people's front door he would have not seen scene where I was going. 'cause the hedge was blocking if he wanted to see where I was going he would have had to back up and come you know To wear a hedge was no longer in his way so something in my mind. I felt very strongly that he was following me and or that he wanted to see where I lived. Just something thing in my whatever red flag or gut instinct. So I did it. I turned around and sure enough. He had walked away from the front front door and he was standing there watching rows going. He wasn't walking he wasn't moving he was just peering just staring at me to see where I was going. An it was at that moment when I thought shit something is going on. He doesn't know those people. He was only standing at their door to wait. We know for me to walk past. He now he's come around the hedge and now he can see where I'm going and I just got a chill through my body and so at that point I didn't I wanNA. I wanted to run to my apartment and go inside and lock the door. But I didn't want to alarm him and make him aware that I'm aware that he's watching me so walked really fast but tried to walk not so fast to where it looked funny you know to not raise any red flags to him so I walked really fast I I was scared as hell and of course you know. It's almost like a scary movie when I got to my apartment door. There's two locks there's a deadbolt and then there's a lock on the door KNOB and my mom. Tom And I'm the same way to this day. My Mom's a lock freak. She locks every door always. I mean she does not leave a door unlocked ever no matter what time of day it is so I pull let my key I start to unlock the dead bowl. And of course it's like a scary movie it's like Oh gosh it feels like it's taking hours and so I got that one unlocked. doorknob lock lock unlocked. I went in my apartment. Shut the door really fast. Close the dead or locked. The dead bowl locked the other lock and I just stood there in my living room and unlike okay I'm safe. Even if he is watching me or following me he can no longer get me anymore and again. I'm a naive teenager. Nothing traumatic has ever happened happened so I didn't think I was in danger anymore. I thought I'm in my apartment. So even if he is a Weirdo. I'm good so this is a part of the story where I look back and I just think like Jamie would dip shit. You know you should have done something you should have said something. But I didn't. I basically went straight down a hallway into my mom's bedroom. She was still studying at her desk in her bedroom. And I just started to tell her what I had gotten at the store. We started having small talk and so it was a summer night. It was warm out. This is a rare occasion but on this particular night. My mom had her bedroom window open. So so the breeze would come through. But my mom is also a privacy freak. She doesn't like people looking in on her. And especially we lived in bottom floor apartment so you know people walk by a the sidewalk you know right outside her bedroom window so she had her blinds closed but the windows open and I didn't think about this at the time I thought about this later. The man from where he was standing to watch me walk into my apartment he would have been right outside my mom's bedroom window so since it was open he could hear everything that she and I were saying. I mean I didn't know this at the time but you think about it later. He could hear everything we were saying about. More importantly he he knew at that moment that I was not in my bedroom. He knew exactly where I was in my apartment. He knew that I was in my mom's bedroom so as she and I we are just kind of making small talk. You know three minutes or so. Five minutes goes by and then my bedroom is right next to hers is just a two bedroom two bathroom apartment. Not Very big. Plus you could see. He could see that the light was on your mom's room and it was not on your room right correct correct exactly and I think that's another important thing where he could confirm kerm okay. She's not in her bedroom. Not only do I hear her in her mom's room but her mom's light on her her mom's light is on but her bedroom. Light is not on and end as is the case with a lot of bottom floor apartments my bedroom the only window I had in my bedroom was a sliding glass door with vertical blind. So I didn't even have like a regular windows just sliding glass door that if you opened it and walked out you would walk onto a little rectangular patio with. Let's let's say it three to four foot tall wouldn't fence with a little head surrounds the fence. So it'd be very easy for somebody to sort of hop over that hedge and beyond our porch and so since it was summertime. When I left to go to the store I maybe I consciously or unconsciously I had left left my sliding glass door open just a little bit? Maybe like a foot but the screen was closed and also the vertical blinds were totally closed. So nobody could see in. I couldn't couldn't see how but the sliding glass door was cracked open about a foot or so your mom being a being a lock freak if she would have known that sliding glass door was open. Would you closed in Las Jewish ousted. Absolutely my mom just because she knows I you know she was in her room so she left her window open. That was fine but it was an in my room and also it's vertical. I'm sorry it's a sliding glass door so somebody could easily walk in. My mom would have totally closed that sucker and locked it hatched known. I left it open. But she didn't know preoccupied so when and talking to my mom in her bedroom. I have one or two bags of groceries in my my hands and I go to walk in my bedroom but literally right when I get to the door Jamb from where years when you enter my bedroom straight ahead you see the vertical blinds sliding glass door. So when I went to walk into my bedroom the first thing I noticed were the vertical blinds were sort of swinging being back and forth a little bit in the area where the door was open where you would walk in and it caught my attention but everything happened so fast. I didn't really. We have time to react before you know it. All the sudden I see the top of somebody's head coming through the sliding glass door and an within within seconds. There is a man standing in front of me in my bedroom and I don't know if I drop the groceries or what an I didn't remember what I told him. That were said to him at the time. had to tell me later but when I saw him I mean I kind of took like step back and I said something like who the fuck fucker you I I was just very shocked and I remember being angry Like how dare you are. Why are you in my bedroom? But the strange thing is that I startled him. He obviously was not expecting me to walk into my bedroom. In that moment I think looking back on it now. He was trying to take advantage of that moment. When I was in my mom's bedroom talking to her it was nighttime? I had a walk in closet at the time. I had a day bed where there was a lot of room under the bed where he could have laid and hid and waited for me to go to bed. All kinds of things but I think he was trying to take. He could vantage of the fact that I wasn't in my bedroom so he was going to sneak in and who knows what he was going to do afterward but I caught him. I mean I walked in at the perfect moment and Gosh of course to this day I think about what if I would have walked in even five seconds later. Where would he have been would have been in my closet? Would he have been hiding somewhere and attacked me. Caught me off guard. So that's kind of scary. As part of the whole story is what could have happened if events. It terrifies me and I mean I can. I mean I joke about it with friends now and I think about it often and I talk about obviously I got out of this safely but it is so terrifying to think how my fate would have been different. Had I walked in just a few seconds later a you know. I don't know if he would have waited for me to go to bed and then struck. I don't know if he was just there to get something out of my underwear drawer. You know I just don't I don't know so But it's very scary to think about so when I walked in and I kind of said you know something like who the fucker you. Why are you in my room? He he was very startled and caught off guard and he didn't know what to say and he hadn't planned for that. It was very obvious so he goes he kinda stuttered and he says I on my cat my cat my cat ran into your bedroom and I'm just trying to get my cat This this and that you know so he just is totally made up a story on the spot. It was obvious and I just kinda yelled at him again. You're fucking cat is not in my room. I don't know what you're taught get Outta my house Dutta And he said something. I don't know what he said and my reaction was you. I said You my mom told me I said that later and I think that I said did that. Because I remember feeling in the moment that gross like perver- you know who are you get out of my room and I don't know what was what. Words were exchanged after that. I can't tell you how long he was in there. It was probably thirty to sixty seconds if that and So at that moment he backs out he leaves my room. He goes back out the way he came in and another part of the story. I think that seems seems. Almost unbelievable is my mom was just in the other room. She could hear everything that was going on but she thought I had a boyfriend at the time and and she would come over often and we were always very playful and joking with each other you know she recalls that you know she just number one. She was preoccupied occupied. She was studying so she could kinda hear something going on but she thought I was like just having playful banter with my boyfriend. She did not. I mean you you wouldn't think at the time you wouldn't automatically medically assume I think that it's like some bad guy in your daughter's bedroom so it took her a few seconds to realize my daughter's in trouble but at some point she did realize Oh shit there or is something going on. I can here in James Voice or something I said well my mom always packs again so she had had a loaded gun. My Mom's a little bit of a bad ass. Yeah she She had a loaded gun in her desk as she always did. And so she comes running into my room with her gun in her hand and I said there was a man in here. He went that that way so she runs out my sliding glass door. She jumps over the hedge which you know he probably did the same thing to escape and she's got the gun pointed Lina looking around. It's nighttime she doesn't see him anywhere and I said he probably ran that way toward the parking lot and I actually don't remember it chased him all the way to the parking lot. She must have done some running around to see if she could find but he was nowhere to be found. And so I mean I was just shaking. My mom was shaking. We call the police right away. I remember the police showed up. They took a report. The asked me you know the the standard questions what does does he look like. What did he looked like? What did he say? And I've tried to get my hands on that report and I can't remember exactly what they said. I called the redlands PD. I WanNa say I mean it almost sounds like a movie like it's not real there. They had some sort of flood or something with their system and there was not a way to get that record. You know get a report. Get that report actually. Still WanNa make a few more attempts. I feel like it's probably still somewhere but you know I just off to the right person but I remember them asking the specifically about his description and to this day I remember distinctly. You know very very specific details about what he was wearing what color his hair was. He was Caucasian all these things but when the police officer looked at me and he says okay did he have any facial hair. The the oddest thing is I couldn't say whether he had facial hair and he was standing right in front of me for at least thirty seconds and You know he was standing four or feet away from me five feet away and I just think I was in so much shock. I don't know if it's something that the brain does but it's like maybe I wasn't trying to look at him. Maybe I was. Just listen so much shock. I really didn't clearly look at his face. It's it's kind of hard explain but That would be a weird psychological phenomenon of to explore. Because I mean you you said you could. You could remember what he was wearing. Yes just not what his face looks like. That's interesting absolutely. Yes so he I mean he was Abou- you know call it five ten to six feet Tall Caucasian man. Silver or gray hair short clean. Cut Hair he he had a white Nice Polo style. Collared Shirt I WANNA say. I don't know if it short sleeve or long sleeve. He had Nice Khaki hacky pants. He had dress shoes on. So I worked you know in the corporate field for about eighteen years of my life and I know how men dress when they have a professional rational job. I don't know if he was a an accountant. I don't know if he was an attorney. Media Real estate broker may be you worked at a bank but it almost looked like what a man would wear on a casual Friday at a corporate. Like a business type job. He was very nice night very well. Dressed clean clean cut. He looked like I remember at the time I would tell people you know he looked like the CEO of a bank. He truly looked like he probably had many many people who reported to him at work he truly looked like a professional and my theory is that you know he lives and works nearby that area. It's a small town. I mean I mean it's not that stater brothers is not the type of place where somebody would just be driving through and stop there but they live forty five minutes away. I'm almost positive. He lives in the redlands or Loma. Linda area probably very close to that. Grocery store probably works very close by. I think that he probably was working and he decided to stop at the grocery store on his way home from work. I think that he saw me at the grocery store. This is the police theorized and cited at that moment to follow me home and I think that he he probably was the car behind me as I was pulling into my apartment complex. I think that he was that in that Lexus When I was getting my mail and again as a very nice car Was He the one that was glaring at you into your windshield. S So heat that that was the same guy and and so there were all these startling moments. All these red flags that I should have picked up on I did pick up on them but I ignored them. I I kept telling myself again may be a naive teenager. Or whatever but I just kept telling myself no jamie bad. Things don't happen to you that it just happens to people on the news. You know you're you teenager you don't if you've never been through anything really traumatic in your life. I guess you know you just sort of explain things away. You just think that bad things only happen to somebody on the news. Are you optimist by nature. I am okay I am I said to you know no. You don't expect anything bad's GONNA happen. It's all going to be good until proven otherwise that's right and I think that I've shifted. You know now being that you know I host a true crime podcast and I you know have really been into true crime for many many years. I I have a certain paranoia now and I have a certain distrust like the other day took a quick walk at work and it was in the middle of the day in a nice area and there was a man hymie and I kept sort of turning to my side to just make sure he was running up on me because I just I think of those things now. I do know now that it is possible for you to be attacked and and to be the victim of a crime but yeah back then I trusted almost everybody thought everybody was my friend. Relief didn't think that anything would ever bad. Whatever happened happened to me? It's just interesting that so many red flags were there. I got chills on my gut was telling me that something was wrong. You know I probably should have stayed stayed in my car. When I got that feeling and drove around the street maybe went to a payphone or maybe should have gone back to stater brothers and call my mom said? Hey there's a weird guy looking at me but I guess at the time you don't think worst no you don't and there's something about intuition and for me. I think in particular are female intuition. There's you can sense. I don't know what it is. There's nothing that you can probably quantify medically or psychologically or or anything but I've been in situations like that with a female and that was like okay. This was this isn't feel right. We need to get out of here and so we did but yeah so how did you were you even able to sleep that night now. I sl- I didn't WANNA sleep in my room for some reason didn't want to be near Windows so I slept on the floor in a hallway where there was like two walls on either side of me and I just slept right there because I was so freaked out. Didn't want to be in the apartment definitely didn't want to be near Windows for some reason so after that that my mom and I were so freaked out that this guy knows where we live. He hasn't been caught. And so we went to the The apartment management office the very next day and said hey we want to put up some flyers of description of this man. He came into my daughter's bedroom. You know last night we want to warn everybody will of course. The apartment complex didn't like that because that's bad for sales you know. Just a crime happened here in these apartments. So they wouldn't let us put up the flyers all that pissed my mom off and my mom is very feisty and you know and obviously she's very concerned about her daughter's safety and her safety and she says well just letting you know we're we're moving out like we're I know. We have a few more months on our lease but we're going to break our lease. The apartment complex manager tried to argue with her a little bit about that but my mom was like like yeah. Try Me we're leaving. I want your mom. I don't even know her. I like her I love her she is so she is a I mean. She's a five. I put too little feisty pit bulls the way I would describe earning. She's awesome But yes she wasn't having it and she said No. No No. We're moving out so we did. Of course they never came after us For breaking our lease and we moved. We still stay in Redlands But we moved to a house a kind of a few miles away a and to this day. You know this man that I know that I know of has never been caught the the craziest thing that I always think of. Besides what would have happened if I would have walked my bedroom. Just a few seconds later. I think the primary thing that I think of is that this man struck me as somebody's husband. Somebody's boss possibly somebody's grandfather. A professional probably somebody who's well known in the community see. That's kind of the way that redlands is you know. Professionals there's all these networking groups and everybody knows everybody and my thought was you know. I don't know if this is the first time he's ever we're done this. I doubt it would be the last time because I think that somebody who has those urges. I think we'll continue to do things like that. But it just struck me as so shocking that this man is in our community. He's probably going to go to work the next day. He's GonNa lay down in bed next to his wife and they have no idea that he follows young girls girls home and comes into their bedroom. I mean he did not at all. Look like a creepy guy. I mean I doubt He. He probably doesn't even have a criminal record. Prior at that time you know. And maybe still doesn't it makes me think you know Btcu was a pretty well respected guy to yes and that is what bt k by the way is probably the serial killer that fascinates me and scares me the most and and that's part of the reason Is Gosh these these these guys you know they're very well known in the community bt K.. was very involved in his church. His family had absolutely no idea. And I think gets the same for this guy. The guy that came in my room I really trip out on the fact that I really think that people have no idea of his Extracurricular Activities Jeez. Yeah and I've reached out in my facebook grew Ted. I've posted pictures because I still have family and friends and redlands and it is a small town and I still have his description. I'm I would bet money that he at the time he lived in that area. I know somebody knows him. I know what is card. Looked like say like I have enough information that that you know. Maybe it's as simple as hey. Did you have a friend or know of anybody who had a friend who had a dad who drove Alexis. That looked like this nineteen ninety-six and worked a professional job and I've had people comment homage before there was one girl in my facebook group who said somebody had come into her house and I tried to set up a time to talk to her to see if maybe it was the same in guy and when we For some reason we never able to talk. But I'm very interested in business guy and I wonder is he in jail. Is he out in the community. I don't know if you you looked. Have you looked through mug shots. Do you think you would recognize him if you saw him in a Mug shot. That's the sad part is that I was just talking to my daughter about this the other day I feel like if he were to walk walk by me and bumped shoulders with me. I would have no idea that it was him I would I definitely I know. Obviously said museum build his height Caucasian. He had silver hair at the time. I know all those things but I could never you know. Look at his face right now go. That's definitely only him 'cause he looks like so many white men that I've come across in my life is so I don't know I could tell you who it wasn't. I mean maybe I could say okay. Oh No that's definitely Nottingham. Definitely not him like I probably wouldn't be able to pinpoint and of course is if you saw him. No appearance would have changed some as well. Well anyway since that time have you. Have you ever been in a situation where your gut told you something and you still ignored it Good question. Not that I can recall. I'm pretty hyper aware since then and and especially after becoming a mom I am you know. I think the age that this happened to me I was also very you. Don't WanNa offend anybody and I think as a female you want to please everybody and you don't really want to offend anybody but You know I'm forty one now. I have three kids. I could give two shits about being rude to somebody if I think that they're being inappropriate or if they're walking behind me and making me feel awkward. I would have no problem now how you know just turning around and waiting for him to walk in front of me so I don't have somebody behind me watching where I'm going I but I can't think of a time that I ignored my gut since then I've learned. I learned a big big lesson from that incident. Do you have security cameras in your home. We do dogs and I see lights on when my husband's Outta town keep the back light on the front lights on that lights are a really good deterrent. I think dogs help those. Those patio doors her. I am free I I I not only lock on my put a We put a stick in the sliding glass door to your. Yeah Oh you definitely have a certain paranoia. If something like this happens happens to you and I think it's healthy. It's it's My family makes fun of sometimes because my daughter's like mom start like when my daughter you know she seventeen. When she takes takes Uber's I always make her give me a screen shot right when she gets in? Give me a screen shot of what the person looks like their name. Their license plate number. And that's not to say that will stop them from committing a crime against her but then at least I have that information and I always tell her I drew when you get in the car just casually early in conversation you know say something like Oh yeah my mom and dad you know monitor everywhere. I go and Just make them aware that like like we know. You're in the Uber with him. That you screen shot at a picture of him and sent it to your mom and she's not going to do that. That's weird but I'm like well just put 'em just nicely put them on notice. Notice that we know who they are right. Yeah you can do that without being rude or offensive to you know just so. They are aware if he were listening. Right now what would you say to him. Gosh so many things I would say. What were your intentions? That night I would say. Do you have a family. And what would your a family think of you. Following girl home and coming into her bedroom and I would say. Try that again motherfucker. And I'll kill you. Excuse me I think he would be aware that probably not you'd go for an easier target next x now. I hope so. I hope he doesn't go for any target. Yeah but Yeah I still get angry about it because it is such a violation honestly well this story. The store you just so wonderfully told was a topic of a true crime podcast episode and not just any podcast. It was your your podcast. It's called murderous. Can you tell us about your show. Yeah yeah so it's funny. I did tell the story on my podcast. Haad cast called murderers and it was. It's called a stranger in my bedroom. At the time I recorded it I was very new at podcasting and I had run out of material. I was is running behind on a story that I was researching so I thought Oh. Let me just tell the story on the PODCAST. Nobody's GonNa like it. It's going to be my worst episode. Doesn't end invert. Nobody's he's GonNa be interested and saw recorded it just because I was simply out of material but wanted to put out an episode and to this day. It's my most downloaded episode sewed. I think people are interested in hearing. Maybe like a firsthand account of something like this happens but yeah so murderous I I started podcasting. I started murderers just over probably like. Oh Gosh I guess it's been two and a half years and I've always been somebody who is is very fascinated by true crime. I mean ever since I was a preteen I was reading books about serial killers and following court cases on TV with my mom. 'cause she's he's also always been very into it. And I started listening to podcasts. Because I had a really horrible commute Here in La okay for many years and so one of my coworkers said genie. Why don't you listen to podcasts? In your car I had no clue what a podcast was and he told me go. Listen to this podcast called cereal of course and I did and I loved it and I became obsessed and I started just binging podcast after podcast and I love telling stories stories. I love talking about true crime. But will really launched my podcast Or was sort of the catalyst was I was chosen to be a juror. We're on a first degree murder trial out here in Los Angeles County for murder. That happened out here where I live and so I ended up being the jury foreman. It was a little over two week. Trial it was a fascinating obviously very sad and exhausting experience. But I wanted to tell that story and so that ended up being my first episode. The oil opened up murderers with the visa murder and that was my experience being a juror. In it's just gone from there and so today I kinda tell people people that you know on the podcast. I sort of give listeners. A three D look into fascinating murder cases. I always start with the town. A word happened. I talk about the victim and the perpetrator and their backgrounds. I talk about how the victim and perpetrators worlds collided how they came to know each other Details of the crime. What happened why it happened? What was the motive talk about the investigation and I sort of walk you through the trial and the verdict verdict The sentence in anything that has happened after the trial and episodes or about an hour long each time and I tried to go really deep to give people all the details that I would want to hear if I were listening to a true crime. podcast what would you say an. I'd I know about your show but I've only recently we discovered it and so I haven't really listed too many episodes. What's one of your favorite episode you've covered? Oh Man Well it's sort of weird to say it's my favorite episode. But it's my worst episode because it's the case that haunts made to this day. It's a case that I always swore swore that I would never cover because to be honest whenever it would it would come on the news. I would change the channel selfishly because it was so horrific and so sad that I didn't want to dive into the details. I knew enough that it broke my heart and That's the Gabriel Fernandez case and I decided to cover for it. I think I had a listener. Who reached out and said? Hey you should cover this case and I was like a kind of resistant to it and I finally did and it is the absolute worst murder case. I have ever come across in my life. He was a young boy who was actually murdered by his his own mother and her boyfriend out in Palmdale California which is not far from where I live and It's a horrific very very sad case. Listen I have very loyal listeners. Who listen to every episode in? That's one episode. They say they can't listen to some of them so I would. It's my favorite my favorite episode. Because it's sort of the case that is closest to my heart that I think about the victim most often because it just so so horrific with. There's some pretty intense it is. I have loyal listeners. To and there's one episode of my podcasts that some people have that are that are unable to listen to and that's about a man who ate his own foot oh experimenting with cannibalism. It's not it's not as bad as you might think I mean it's a very intelligent well-spoken man he and a group of friends what you just got to listen to it. Okay so when you first. I said that I thought okay. He did it to save himself. Maybe his foot renew their survival. No Oh my gosh. No one of those stores. It's called shiny aid his own foot but I know I have. I have some listeners. Who listened to all my shows? But it's like they say. Oh it's just I just can't do without one. That's the one episode. Wow I mean it wasn't even that he was like super hungry. He just was experimenting for some odd reason. That's yeah it was odd. That's for sure about ten friends. Oh my God. It wasn't even just one that who was interested in eating themselves. That's that's interesting. How did you come up with the name murderer? Wish I love that name by the way. Because it's you know as soon as you hear it you know what this thing's about but it's not really a word so you really have a monopoly on that word. So but how did you think of a thank you and I love the name of your show as well tells you exactly what you're getting into so I I. I don't know if it's a southern California thing that we you know we speak very casually. There's a Lotta slaying Or if it's just something that I do a lot but I I tend to put an ish on the end of a lot of words when I'm speaking to friends you know I might say oh. y'All be albeit dinner at ten. You know ten S or I will you know yeah. That movie was sort of good fish. You know there's sort of an issue I throw on the end of words just sort of in my Everyday vocabulary and as I was getting ready ready launch the podcast I kept thinking in my head. It's not that I'm a murderer. I'm just somebody who is interested in learning about the psychology psychology of murderers and the details of these murderers. And why they happen. And so I kept sort of circling around my brain will. I'm not a murderer. I'm just and it just is came to me and I just said well. I'm not a murderer. I'm just murdered ish. And so now. That's kind of my slogan. You know that I say at the end of every episode you know. Listen listening to this. PODCAST CAST doesn't make you a murderer. It just means you're murder ish. Meaning you know you're just kind of like your murderous she liked to to to learn about you know murder cases and you like to watch true crime TV. And it's fun. Because I have a facebook group with with a lot of listeners in there and we we chat and just kind of say funny things and share funny posts hosts and We see I call them issues and they use the word often too and they'll say oh. Yeah I'm just don't worry I'm not GonNa hurt anybody I'm just murdering each. Don't be afraid to be and it's a lot of fun but that's Kinda how I came up with the name. It was sort of random. I guess you are so good at branding that is incredible and especially I mean just one aspect that when you when you say the line if you like this it's not it's not because you're a murderer you're just murderous it's like you're giving people permission to enjoy Roy hearing these stories even though they're so horrific and maybe they should feel guilty about enjoying these stories. But you're saying it's okay. You're just murderous smarter awesome. So how can people find your show and contact you if they wanted to. Yeah so I just built out a website finally after two and a half years so they can check out the show and a little bit more about me and they can actually listen to the show at murderous dot com They can find me on all podcast listening APPS. I'm on spotify. I heart radio. Google play apple podcasts. You name it and they can find me on social media. I'm on twitter at murderous bearish pod on instagram at murderous podcast and I have a really fun facebook group of facebook discussion groups. If you just go to facebook and you search murderous Garesh podcast discussion group. You'll find it just hit join you answer a couple of questions and we have a lot of fun in there all right well. I'm sure we'll send a few listeners your way because I know a lot of the listeners to my show even though even though what was that like it's not really a true crime show but some of the episodes that we deal with are true crime By nature so I I know. There's a lot of crossover in that audience so Look forward to hearing that and thanks so much for sharing your creepy story. Thanks so much let let me tell it. I really appreciate Scott. It's been fun. I hope you enjoyed that story as much as I did. If you check out Jamie's podcast murderess tell her you found out about it here on. What was that like and I got a message from a new listener? She heard me recently. Another podcast called called podcast. We listened to it's hosted by Jeremy Collins German. I talked for about an hour about my show and the crazy stories. We have on here her. If you want to listen to it. Just do a search on your podcast player for podcasts. We listened to and my interview is the episode that came out on January. Fifteen eighteen twenty twenty anyway. Irene heard me on that show so she came over and checked out. What was that like and she wrote me this email? Hi Scott what I just listened to the episode about the lighthouse keeper. You mentioned you'd like to get contacted by your listeners. So here I am. I heard you interviewed on podcast. We listen to this morning and downloaded your podcasts. The best thing so far for me is that you have an incredibly soothing voice you need to be podcasting. Oh you are you listen very well and you don't interrupt your guest. I stopped listening to some podcast because they keep interrupting the story and Irene. I have to tell you I agree with that as one reason. I'm pretty conscious of trying not to do that. Back to the email so I'm looking forward to going through your back catalogue and then I might be brave enough to listen to your computer. podcast to see what I can learn. I have a love hate relationship ship with computers. Anyway I really do like your podcast. A new fan. I ring so thank you for that Irene. I love getting messages like that. And if you WANNA be like Irene and send me a message you can email me at Scott at what was that like dot com. You could even record an audio message. Johnson that I might just play it right here on the show and if you haven't joined our facebook group yet seriously what is wrong with you great discussions with other listeners. Over over there so join up at what was that like dot com slash facebook. And that's it. I'll see you in two weeks