Silenced by Fear

How many of you have seen the 1984 television movie "The Burning Bed" starring Farrah Fawcett? Fawcett plays an abused, battered wife that's repeatedly beaten by her husband. She tries to seek help but nobody has taken the initiative to assist. One night after she is raped by her husband, she sets the bed on fire while he was asleep.

A similar fate has happened to a neighbor of mine that lived diagonally from me. She was maybe 35-40 years old. The few times I've seen her from the distance I can tell she was fairly thin, average female height, with long curly black hair. She lived on her own. I would say she lived in this house for about 7 years. †She kept to herself. She had a hidden driveway with a large gate. It was difficult to determine if she was home or not. The windows and the front door were never opened. Blinds and curtains were always closed. The front of the house always looked the same. Also, the home never was never decorated with new additions to emphasize a different look. Occasionally I would see a large pickup truck parked on the side of her house. Several times I would peek out the window and hope I would get a glimpse of the individual with the truck. There was one time when I was outside raking leaves that I witnessed this person. He was quite tall, sporting a baseball cap, sweatshirt, jeans and boots. He quickly glimpsed my way and when we made eye contact he immediately looked down, got into his truck and drove away.

One Saturday morning I was talking to the woman's next door neighbor who I was friendly with. Jim was telling me that some man would come over at night. All you would here from the house was yelling, cursing and a few times screaming. Jim went on by saying he once tried to approach the woman as she was backing her car out of the driveway but she never stopped to acknowledge him and kept driving away. All he wanted to ask her is if she was OK.

A few weeks later I was awoken late at night. Red and Blue flashing lights shined through my window. Two or three cop cars were in front of her house. I saw a man being handcuffed and thrown into one of the police cars. Two days later I was speaking to Jim. He informed me that he was the one who made the phone call to the police. He went on by saying the fight she had with the guy was so violent that a chair was thrown and shattered her window. He heard all this commotion because his bedroom window is situated right near the side of her house.
About three weeks later I was outside doing some more yard work where I saw the woman backing out of her driveway. I immediately sprinted over to her car before she drove away and gently knocked on her window and said, "Hello, Hello, I'm your neighbor. I live right over there, can I just talk to you for a moment?" She rolled down the window and said, "I'm kind of in a rush, what do you want?" Her face looked like there was a lot of makeup covering up something she didn't want anyone to see. Her eyes were also covered with a very large pair of sunglasses. I can tell her face was bruised up or cut. She wasn't to friendly. I asked her if there's anything you need from me, please don't hesitate to ask. I then said, "Are you OK?" She looked at me and said, "That's none of your business!" and drove away. She drove away from me pretty quickly. I went back to my yard work.

Throughout the next several months I would see the truck on the side of the house. One or two other times I saw the police there at night. It was the same old song & dance. I started saying to myself, "If this guys abusive towards her, why does she stay? What is the connection there?"

One unfortunate autumn night in November I awoke around 1:08 a.m. to a red, orange glow reflecting on my blinds. Within seconds I heard sirens whaling from the distance. They came closer and closer to finally they woke up the entire neighborhood. I opened up my window and to my horror the woman's house was ablaze. I quickly got dressed and went outside. I stood on the edge of my property overlooking the flames as they danced and flickered through most of the upstairs in the house. You could hear some of the crackling of the burning wood and vinyl as the house was engulfed inflames. The air was filled with a hickory scent that was in my taste buds for days. The core of this fire was coming through the window that was near Jim's home. I saw him outside, looking in disbelief. With all the commotion between my house and hers, Jim saw me and walked across the street where I stood. Jim shook his head at me and pointed towards the house. He said, "I think I know what has happened." I said, "Really?!" He says, "Yup". He went on by saying that earlier in the evening the guy with the truck was there. I didn't hear much commotion but I noticed the lights in the house were turning on and off numerous times. I also saw their silhouette in one or two of the windows. They looked like they were fighting due to the jerking, erratic movements they were both making. Around 11:30 p.m. the lights were off. I was watching t.v, until I dozed off. I assumed the man with the truck left. When I went to sleep around midnight, I didn't hear or see anything until the flames began lighting up my room around 1:05 a.m. Jim went on by describing how hot those flames were when he opened his window. He immediately called the police. As Jim is describing all of this to me, two police men are walking towards us. Meanwhile the fire is now under control. Most of the flames have subsided. These two cops ask us if we knew the woman in the house. We explained that she was very private and that she kept to herself. They also asked if we saw anyone last night entering or exiting the house. I said no. Jim said, "There was a guy here last night that drives a Black Dodge Ram. He's been at this house countless times. I don't know his name or anything about him. " I then asked the police officer's if everything was OK with the woman. The police said they could not reveal many of the details regarding tonight, but sadly informed us that the woman was dead. We couldn't believe it.

A few weeks later Jim revealed to me that they questioned the man with the truck. The authorities searched his place. They found a lot of incriminating evidence to arrest him for the death & murder of the woman. †

Jim has a cousin that works for the police force. The cousin informed him on all of the details that were revealed by the suspect. †He explained that the night of the fire, the man with the truck came over around 9:30 p.m. They were arguing. A fight broke out, which led for the man to take a knife and stab the woman twice in the torso. She was bleeding terribly. She then tried calling the police. At that moment the man took a pair of handcuffs and cuffed her to the edge of the bed. He then went to his truck where he had a 5 gallon gas container and poured gasoline all over her and the bedroom. He had a pack of matches and lit her and the room on fire. He grabbed his coat, container and keys and left.

The motive the man gave on why he murdered and set her house on fire was because she was threatening to leave him and move out of state. A sad ending for something that could have been prevented.

For anyone that's in a relationship that is extremely abusive, physically or mentally, please seek help. Not alerting someone could be a matter of life or death.
Written by Vision_of_insanity
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
likes 2 reading list entries 0
comments 5 reads 81
Commenting Preference: 
The author encourages honest critique.

Latest Forum Discussions
Today 11:41pm by fianaturie8
Today 11:40pm by Northern_Soul
Today 11:16pm by Northern_Soul
Today 11:16pm by Ahavati
Today 11:05pm by Ahavati
Today 11:01pm by Tallen