Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Happened to My Sister - Part 7

My sister was finally wising up it seemed. Finally. Someone yesterday commented that my sister must have a heart of gold. I don't know if she does or not, but at the time all this was happening I was beginning to wonder if she had a brain of rock. So the day she called and said she had blown up on Brad, becoming suspicious of him and actually, for once, questioning him about some of his crazy stories, I was relieved. Thank God, I thought.

Well it was all for naught because the next day she called me.

"Everything's fine," she said.

"How? How is everything fine? Did the real esate agent find the check? Did the money come to pay for your school? Did they catch someone else stealing your money with your ATM card and the pin number? How is it fine?" I asked.

She said she confronted him about the background check information - that he didn't own the houses he claimed and the one he lived in belonged to his mom. He said sometimes things didn't show up on property tax records. And he did have a common name. Yes, the house was in his mother's name. His parents had given him the house and he hadn't filed the quit claim deed yet to change it into his name. The arrests - well he had a few traffic citations and he had a really common name. This part is true of course. I changed his name to Brad. His real name is so common that it would be nearly impossible to google or anything. I did the background search because I knew his birthday, middle name and his hometown. That narrowed it down a lot. I also knew his mother's name from hearing my sister say it.

The night before, after Sister confronted him with her suspicions, he left and went to his cousin's house. Remember, he had a cousin down here. The first time he came to South Florida when he met my sister he had been down here visiting that cousin. So when he got upset and didn't want to be confronted, he stormed out and went to the cousin's house. Several hours later Sister went over there and he told her how hurt he was and how disgusted he was at her accusations. How could she treat him like that? He then proceeded to show her all kinds of bank statements, credit card statements and a Merril Lynch statement proving how rich he really was.

But wait. Wait a second. Credit card statements?? The first day I met him he said he didn't have any credit cards, right??? Hmmm.

"He has a lot of money," Sister said, "It's all true. He showed me everything."

And then they went home and everything was perfect and he explained to her that he had to keep things he did on the down low. You see, back in college many years ago he had been a big time drug dealer - pot, coke, pills, ecstacy. He was the biggest dealer in the state. Coincidentally he claimed to have gone to the exact same college at the exact same time as my husband. It is a very well known, and very prestigious school. When husband questioned him on specifics - teachers, local hang outs, school geography, etc. He couldn't answer a single question. Husband then made up the name of a teacher and Brad was all like - yeah, yeah I think I had that guy. Mmm Hmm. Brad went on that he had been this huge drug dealer in college and that he had literally made millions of dollars which he had to hide. Since most of the money was hidden, he had to very slowly invest it over the years through his parents' names. Sometimes it took him a long time to get the money out of hiding.

This satisfied my sister. It wouldn't satisfy me. I wouldn't want to be with someone who had made millions selling drugs in college. Some people don't care about that, but it would bother me.

After this blew over Brad kept on with his whole moving down here to start this wood business nonsense and he refocused himself on blaming the real estate agent for losing his check. It was time for my sister to pay her tuition as well. If she didn't, she would have to withdraw from classes. She had no money because her accounts had been cleaned out, so she was living day to day off her tips.

Then she got fired. I can't give an exact reason because I don't know it and it has been a small matter of contention. I don't know if I will ever know the real reason why she got fired. I've heard a few different accounts of what happened. One version is that her on-the-house tab was too high. She was accused of giving away too many free drinks. Someone else told me it was because she was drinking at work but she says this is a flat-out lie. Another possibility is that her boss was ticked at her for bringing negative attention to the business with all the detectives and everyone investigating all the employees. Her case made everyone paranoid and suspicious and was bringing bad energy to the place. So who knows. Maybe Brad did something that got her fired. Who knows. In any case, she was penniless and jobless.

But Brad was going to save her and fix everything.

Brad was such a great guy. You see, for a few years my sister had been taking care of this old man Harold who was a widower of about 80 years. Harold was in poor health and could barely walk and he had been a regular at her bar after his wife died. She ran errands for him, drove him places and fed him a lot of the time. Brad had taken an immediate liking to the old man and to ease my sister's stress, Brad had started taking care of Harold for her. He spent hours with Harold. He doted on him and played cards with him, drank beers with him and watched hours of Matlock with him.

You know where this is going don't you? Yes, Harold was a rich old man. Did I neglect to mention that?

Harold thought he was losing his mind. He kept thinking he had more cash than he actually did. He could have sworn he took four hundred dollars out of the bank, but he only had two in his wallet. He feared he was getting senile.

Sister got suspicious again. Then, all at once, as it so often happens, everything blew up in one gigantic bunker blaster style explosion. My sister's life was carpet-bombed.

On a Thursday evening Shirley the real estate agent called my sister with bad news.

"I need you to know this sweetie," Shirley had said, "But every piece of paper work Brad gave us showing eligibility, ownership of other homes, bank statements and mortgage pre-qualifications - all of that paperwork was forged. You need to know this. He's been lying to all of us honey and you need to know that if you're going to be with this guy."

My sister hung up and confronted Brad.

He said it was all a lie. His brother was the mortgage guy who had pre-qualified him. He had shown her his bank statements himself. How could he forge that? How could she not trust him?

Then, in what was truly bizarre timing and I swear this is not contrived, the detective on her case called too. They had finally gotten the tapes of the thief using her card at Publix and Walgreens and wanted her to come the next day to see if she could identify the person.

"Now you'll see it wasn't me," Brad said, "And it's late so in the morning you'll call my brother and we'll clear this all up and he'll tell you that he pre-qualified me and that I have plenty of money."

First thing Friday morning Sister called Brad's brother up North and the brother threw Brad under the short bus he belonged on.

"I never qualified him for anything," the brother said, "There's no way. He has no credit, never owned anything and has no job. He forged the paperwork."

Brad's brother proceeded to tell her that nothing Brad told her had been true. Some of it had been loosely true. He had gone to that college briefly but had failed out. He never owned property and lived with their parents. He had worked at a lumber yard as some sort of manual laborer but he had been fired.

Sister took all of Brad's things that had collected in her apartment and threw them out the front door and kicked him out. She said he said nothing and was completely blank with a disturbing, flat affect. He walked away on foot.

Then she called me and we spent the day trying to piece everything together.

She called his work. They confirmed that he had been a laborer and had been fired. He never owned anything, no they were not going to open a branch down here for him so he could move and his job had never involved travel at all, much less international travel. In addition, since he didn't have a driver's license, thanks to all his DUIs, someone had to drop him off and pick him up to work every day. So this guy who had no license had been driving Sister's car all along. Great.

Then she called his mother who essentially blamed her and said that Brad had been normal until he met her and all of her rich girl demands had caused him to go off the deep end and lose touch with reality. He had even stolen money from his parents to take her on all those trips she wanted to go on.

"What trips?" Sister said, "We went to Mexico but nowhere else."

Brad had been telling his family that he was going to the Islands, Bermuda, Jamaica and the Caymans every weekend. They had never gone anywhere. And my Sister isn't rich and would never make material demands on a boyfriend.

She asked his mother about everything and everything was a lie. Perhaps the most disturbing lie he told was the story about punching the kid. It had never happened. He had never been a gym teacher. He hadn't finished college so there was no way he could have been a gym teacher. He had never punched a kid at a game and he had never been banned from teaching. This makes the story even more terrifying to me. Is anyone a psychologist? Could someone even attempt to analyze this? Why would someone lie about having done something horrible? It makes no sense. Maybe he was trying to be intimidating. I don't know. It's a degree of fucked-up-ness that I can't wrap my brain around. I just can't.

But now Brad was wandering the streets and we didn't know where he was. Sister had no job, no money and no boyfriend. We spent the day looking for a job for her and a friend had called and said they had a space for a cocktail waittress at the Bubblegum Kittikat if she wanted to make some fast money. Because she was desperate, and I know because I've been in the same position, she slipped on the slutty corset, clipped on the garters, buckled the lucite heels and went to work in tears at the strip club where I too had worked when I was in about the same situation as she was.

But before that we told Harold what had happened because we figured Brad might run to him to steal more money. Sister also called his cousin and told him everything.

Saturday morning Brad called and Sister lured him back over. They needed to talk, she said. Then she called me and told me where she was and Husband I drove to where we could safely watch them talking in the car.

They talked for entirely too long and then my sister called me and said to follow her because she was driving him to the police station. He had confessed to stealing her money. He had guessed all her passwords because they were easy, personal information. Lesson here - don't use your pet's name, your birthday or anything obvious for your password.

We started off behind my sister's car and got stopped in traffic at a red light. All of a sudden Brad jumped out of the car and started running through the cars down A1A...


JoeinVegas said...

Oh, poor sis. To trust someone and have it fall so far.

JTN said...

It sounds like Brad is a textbook case out of this book... The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. I listened to it while driving across the country this summer and it scared the crap out of me... partially because of how common the behaviors are. I really recommend picking it up.

Missicat said...

Wow. This is really heartbreaking to read....it is scary that there are people like that preying on each other.

Anonymous said...

Wait...what happened at the police station on Friday? Wasn't your sister supposed to view the ATM pictures and see if she could identify the person? Was it Brad?

Hilary said...

Ack! I just caught up with all of these posts. I'm sure hoping it ends with him in jail. :/

Diana said...

I'm no psychologist, but his telling terible lies makes sense in a devious and emotionally manipulative way: A lie that makes the teller look bad seems much more like a genuine confession. You're that much less likely to question the story, aren't you, because you're thinking the whole time "Naw, no one would tell a lie that made them look so bad!" So your reaction is your answer, right there. He did it on purpose.

I feel so sorry for your poor sister - I've also been in a position where I was duped through my own goodness, and it feels like being emotionally raped.

On a brighter note, your blog is my very favorite and I check it nearly every day. :)

Wide Lawns said...

Good close reading Anne. My mistake. I left that part out.

She was supposed to go on Friday but all this happened early in the morning. I think she called me at about 8:30 and it had already happened. She was so hysterical at that point and she really already knew it was him anyway, even though he didn't officially confess until the next morning (Sat.), that she didn't go. She was a mess. I can't even explain to you what she was like. So she didn't go to the police on Friday. Eventually she did and I will get to that part.

Anonymous said...

I'm also no psychologist, but it's not too far-fetched to imagine "Brad" as that little kid who was punched by the "gym teacher" (father?) in front of everyone. Being as screwed up as he is takes some work, and I wouldn't doubt it was a parent who helped forge this sad adult.

Unknown said...

I think "Run Away Husband" is out of work again because he is checking my blog 3 times a day or more...lately I noticed he's leaving my blog for yours...I think he's hooked on what happened to your sister too.

Decorina said...

OMD, what a train wreck.

I too was taken in by a pathological abuser, though I didn't lose as much materially as your sister. This guy needs to be behind bars.

Gah, she really has my sympathy, as you do for having to watch this thing implode.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I, also, seriously hope this psycho ends up in jail!

Anonymous said...

I have been following this story from the begining and it never ceases to amaze me that I have known people like your sister who want so desperatly to believe the very best in everybody. I think it's when they finally see people for who they really are, is when it is devestating that they are wrong. After all that she and everybody else went through, I hope Brad is rotting behind bars just like the bad apple he is.

Jess said...

What a whack job! I think someone commented before to make a movie and give her all the proceeds!

to have to go to work in tears. That's bad!

sqd said...

lady, i love ya, but TELL THE DAMN STORY ALREADY!
i want to get to the part where husband kicks his ass.

BohoPoetGirl said...

OMG. poor sister. waiting with bated breath for the next installment

Anonymous said...

I was taken in for a couple of months by a sociopath. Luckily I got away alive. Others were not so lucky. I googled him and found out he set a few fires in Florida and killed a couple of women for drugs and cash. He was caught and killed himself.

Anonymous said...

He did NOT! Please, please tell me he got hit by a bus.

Although I know he couldn't have. People like him never seem to get the horrible stuff that ought to be coming to them.

Miss Kitty said...

Oh, pleeeeeease tell me you & Husband ran his sorry ass over right on A1A! Pleeeease!

Your poor sister. Wow. BTW, the way you're writing this story is great--LOVE how you're telling it bit by bit. School has done marvels for you, my dear--you were a good writer to start with, and now you're Damn Good! :-) Hooray!

Mel said...

I read your sister's story with great interest, as I have a 38 year old son whose behaviour mirrors this character's actions precisely. I found it easier to eliminate him from my life about 10 years ago, as opposed to watching him destroy the people around him. I've forwarded this story to several people that know him and we're all waiting anxiously for the outcome. GREAT writing!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully we get a happy ending with this guy in pound him in the a$$ federal prison. Something is telling me we won't.

Anonymous said...

Where's part 8. I know you are probably busy, but really this is major.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me he gets hit by a Mack truck. I'm picturing it in my mind...

Laurel said...

You know, you could of written cliffhanger storie for the early days of cinemas... (chewing my nails...)

Sarah said...

I have checked the blog a million times today to find out what happens next...you are KILLING us out here while we wait for number 8 to show up!

Aleta said...

Good Lord.... I'm new to your blog. A friend of mine sent me a link to your first post of what happened to your sister after I posted about my fiance's debit card theft. His story is NOTHING like your sister's. I'm so incredibly sorry that she has suffered from this. Sounds like she is very trusting. This can be a horrible thing in the wrong hands. I know, I've been there in the past. You have to trust those red flags. Thank goodness she has her family there for her now.

(Oh, one quick note, there are people who don't use credit cards that aren't hmm questionable. It's not common, but it is a worthy goal.)

Anonymous said...

As a mother of both of these girls I feel I have to make a comment. I had to sit back and watch this unfold. It was a horror from almost day one but there was little I could say. Mothers know their childrens personalities very well so when we try to protect and defend it is often taken in the wrong way and many times your child will rebel against you. Daughter 2 is at the age where she will not listen. Matter of fact by age 18 she never wanted to listen. She wants to learn everything the hard way. Daughter number 1 was the same exact way! At the same exact age! I often wondered why either one of them wanted to listen to me? Did they think I wanted the worst for them? Did they think I did not want them to get married, be successful? The problem was I wanted them to marry men that were wholesome, kind, generous, loving, educated and honest. Sometimes they just want to prove you wrong at the cost of their own lives. I spent many hours trying to figure so many things out and this time I sat back and said very little. I knew my words would be in vane. It is painful to watch your child make every wrong decision and when I say this about daughter number 2, she is absolutely brilliant. She is one of the smartest girls you will ever meet. She could have been a Dr. with ease. Time wasted on men and play have taken her off course. Her future could have been divine. Not many people are born with a brain where learning is easy. She has it. The ultimate gift. If she would only focus on herself and less on the nonsense, her life would be fulfilling. She could do it on her own. It's not to late daughter number 2! Daughter number one pulled it off when she had enough! She is living proof. It is time she do the same. Forget men. Forget marriage and that dream dress and the rest of the BS. That perfect man will come when she gets her life straight. That dream dress will be there and so will that fabulous wedding. I want to see her standing with a doctorate degree in her hand. The rest will soon follow. At the end of the day no matter what happens I am blessed to have raised these two girls. They both have an incredible heart and both of them are truly brilliant. The are my gifts in life and Lord knows my life hasn't been easy either. I had many lessons to learn along the way, I just really wished that either of them had to repeat what I have already learned. That is what parents are for. Learn from their lessons in left. Don't make the same mistakes, listen to them. They really do want the best for you.

BohoPoetGirl said...

ITA Dayna... More excited about part eight than Greys Anatomy tonight, practically...

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