Bill and Margaret Montgomery had so much hope for their daughter Samantha. She was their princess, their hope for the future, the child that would give them loving grandchildren. Samantha was a beautiful girl with a bright future and parents who loved her. At twelve years old she was on her way to becoming a heartbreaker. She was also on the honor roll at Geneva Heights High School, a cheerleader and member of the Science and Beta Clubs. Her future was wide open. That all ended in November of 2001 when Samantha Montgomery disappeared on her way home from school.
There was no body, no ransom note and no suspects. Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery posted a sizable reward but no one came forward with any real information. No one believed she had run away, she had no real reason. Her parents were strict but loving and there was no hint of neglect or abuse. She had not started dating yet so there was no family friction of a boyfriend. The plain truth was that Sam was a good girl and her parents were decent folk. She was popular in school, but also a kind person and had no enemies.
The general consensus was that she was the victim of random violence. Search parties formed and combed all the areas where a body might be hidden. Neighbors were questioned and interviewed. No one had seen anything. There were few clues if any and Samantha’s disappearance remained a mystery. Tearful televised pleas went unanswered and rewards went unclaimed. The little girl was gone and no one knew where. Bill and Margaret’s life crumbled and their dreams all withered away.
EIGHT YEARS LATER
She could hardly be called a little girl anymore. She was a young woman now, but only in terms of her actual years. She had lived a lifetime in eight long torturous years. The girl who was once Samantha Montgomery was a frail, shell of a woman. Her hair was stringy and sickly. Her face was smeared and dirty. In her eyes was more than a hint of madness. She sat at the table staring straight ahead and smiling at the man with the clipboard and funny glasses. He was the latest in a progression of funny men with glasses and clipboards and notebooks and funny clothes. He asked her a lot of questions and she answered them as best she knew how. She knew how to cooperate. She had learned that lesson well over the last few years. Cooperation meant reward, resistance meant punishment and solitude. Outside the room more funny men looked in at her through the glass. She smiled at them too.
“Is there any hope?” Detective Simms asked the psychologist.
“Define hope.” Dr. Walters replied. “Hope that one day she might be sane enough to be released from a mental ward? Maybe. Hope that she will ever have some semblance if a normal life? Not a chance in hell. At the very least she is delusional with sociopath tendencies, at the worst she is schizophrenic, borderline psychotic and dangerous to herself and others.
“This is so fucked.”
“I agree with you there John. How are her parents taking it?”
“ Not very well, but then what do you expect. How do you take it hwen your daughter shows up after being missing eight years. The same daughter you have decided you will never see again. The daughter that in your heart you know is dead and buried in some dump. Then suddenly you get the call that she is alive. Can you imagine how that would feel? The hope alive again after so long. Then you are told you can’t see her just yet. You are told that everything isn’t alright. People start saying things like “traumatic stress and dissociative disorder. People you have never seen before are telling you that your little angel has suffered a psychotic break from reality, and if she is very lucky one day they might be able to check her out of the mental hospital for weekends. How the fuck would you take it? Would you be happy that she was alive or would you secretly wish she was dead?”
“How can you even imagine that they would rather she be dead?”
“I don’t. I am sure they are both glad she is alive. Still to know that your only daughter, the only child you will ever have, is taken away from you, repeatedly raped, tortured, brainwashed so that she doesn’t even know who she is, much less anyone else. How do you accept that? Wouldn’t some small part of you, deep inside of you, wish that she had just died?”
“ Not if he’s a real father. He will be glad she is alive. He will hate the fucks who did this to her. They both will suffer knowing what happened to their little girl, but they will lover her and they will thank God that she is still alive.”
“What about their ‘grandkids?’” Simms asked. “Will they love them? Will they be angry that she murdered one of them or wish she had killed them all?”
“Fuck you John. Fuck you.”
(From the Topeka CBS affiliate)
Top story today is still the combined raid by state and local police along with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the farm of Henry and Emily “Em” Watson. Henry Watson is a convicted sex offender who was arrested in 1997 for kidnapping and raping a 16 year old girl. Watson was released on parole in 2000 despite suspicions that he was involved in several other sex crimes, including the kidnap, rape and murder of 14 year old Elisa manning, whose body was found in a Nebraska landfill in 1995. Emily Watson was described by police as a habitual offender with a long history of petty crimes and misdemeanors. The two met and were married during his trial in 1997. So far no official comments from the police, but sources tell us that the police were tipped off that Samantha Montgomery who went missing in 2001, was being held at the farm. The moment we have more information we will bring it to you live.
“so what are you trying to tell me Doctor? Is my baby alright?” Mr. Harrison looked much older than his forty eight years. The years may have been bad on Samantha, but her parents had suffered too. His brown hair had gone from grey to white and his face was a topographical map of lines. Mrs. Montgomery was a shell of her former self. All the light had gone from her eyes over the time Samantha was gone. When the police called the light had returned, but was quickly fading as she realized just how deeply her daughter was hurt.
“Physically she is fine. Sam is a little malnourished but no dangerously and nothing that a few good meals and rest won’t fix.” As far as her mental condition is simply to early to know for certain. You have to understand, she has spent eight years, basically as a slave. You cannot go through that and not be mentally damaged. That damage may heal over time, but for now, we just don’t know.”
“Can we see her?”
“It would be best not to see her right now, best for you and her. Right now she doesn’t even know who she is much less you or your wife. Give yourself just a little time to prepare yourself and for us to finish running tests. Then you can see her and hopefully the reunion may have a positive effect on her mental well being.”
“You said she doesn’t know who she is, are you saying she has amnesia?” Mrs. Harrison asked.
“No, not amnesia, “ Dr. Walters chewed on his pencil as he considered his words. “In simplest terms, she has had a break from reality. After they kidnapped her , the Watson’s claimed her as their neice and renamed her Dorothy Gale. She fought them at first, held on to her real self, but eventually she broke. The mind can only take so much. She was raped, beaten and forced to live as Dorothy.”
“Ohhh” Mrs. Montgomery cried softly
“I’m sorry, but you need to know.” The Doctor continued as bill gripped his wife’s shoulder. “When she answered to Dorothy, her beatings were less severe and her treatment was better. Eventually she stopped resisting all together. She became Dorothy Gale. She became pregnant for the first time when she was fourteen. At that time, we believe she still resisting the Watsons. She hated the child and when it was born she broke its neck. She did to it what she couldn’t do to her Uncle Henry. By the time her second child was born, she was fully Dorothy Gale. The Watsons named the boy Bert, but Samantha never saw it as a baby. It was her “friend.”
“That makes no sense doctor.”
“To her it made sense. Taken from everything she knew and forced to live a solitary life in the Watson’s basement, broken only by raping and torture, she needed a friend, not a child. Her mind was already on the breaking point. By the time her second child, Jack was bone she was totally detached from reality. She was Dorothy Gale and lived ain a magical land beyond the rainbow. Those sick fuck Watsons had transformed to kindly Uncle Henry and Auntie Em. If she was good and obedient, she got to go back upstairs, to Kansas and her “family.” If she was bad, she was banished to “Ox” in the basement. In her mind she is still in Ox, just a different part. She thinks the doctors are all wizards. We don’t thingk she even realizes her children are human. All she keeps asking is when she can go home to Uncle Henry and Auntie Em.”
Mrs. Montgomery was sobbing harder. Her husband’s calm was just a façade bubbling with suppressed rage and pain. Underneath he was falling apart. Looking through the plate glass window at the grinning frail woman who used to be his daughter, he could feel his own sanity slipping away. He wondered when he would find his own Ox to escape this nightmare.
Later that night the girl’s parents ate in silence. A part of Mrs. Montgomery’s brain still screamed that they should be celebrating. Their daughter was alive! She might even remember them on day. However, deep inside she knew her daughter was gone forever. Samantha was just as dead as if Henry Watson had fed her corpse to a landfill. All that was left was Dorothy Gale and the three things that were biologically her grandchildren. Looking at them al she could see was the face of the man who had taken her daughter. Maybe the children were innocent, but to her that menat little if anything.
The doctors had finally let them see “Dorothy” and the children. It had hurt her soul to see her Samantha staring blankly at her with no recognition in her eyes. The children were little more than idiots. The oldest was five, the youngest three. None of them talked, they just stared blankly at a world they didn’t belong in.
Bill seemed to be taking it better but she was worried about him. He hadn’t cried, hadn’t screamed, in face he had barely talked after leaving the hospital. He had loved his angel so much. Many men would be disappointed if their only child were a girl, but no bill. He had such hopes. He wanted his baby tyo have a storybook wedding with the man of her dreams. He wanted her to have happily ever after and to give him healthy strong grandchildren. That would never happen now. She knew that no matter how stoic his exterior, inside he was just as broken as their Samantha.
She was damaged. That was what the doctor said. Better to say, they were all damaged. No fairy tale for their daughter. No Christmas with the grandkids for the Montgomery family. No loving family for the children of her daughter’s rape. Henry Watson had damaged so many people beyond repair. Maybe destroyed was a better word. Samantha was dead to them and they were little more than walking corpses.
Margaret was hardly surprised when she heard the gunshot from her husband’s den. She stood up and with a cold determination walked down the hallway to the open door. She could see his legs on the floor and knew that the rest of his body was lying behind his big oak desk.
“Oh Bill” she sobbed. She walked over to the desk but couldn’t bear to look behind it. She picked up the small hand written note. There was not explanation, none was needed. The two words he had scribbled were more than enough for Margaret. A single tear fell upon the paper. One tear for her, for her daughter, for her husband, and even for those poor children that she could never love. The tear landed right in the center of her husband’s note. A drop that stained the truth that bill had written on the paper.