I've waited until after Father's Day to write about my father, with good reason. During a strange, strained visit from my father and current stepmother here in the summer of 2004 (the main purpose of which seemed to be quizzing me extensively about how much I'd learned about my ex-husband), I told them I'd contacted the FBI. My father then shocked me by threatening to have me killed--which ended both the conversation and our relationship for good.
Later when I'd calmed down a bit, I remembered strange remarks my father had made over the years about my marriage being a "business deal", which I'd assumed at the time referred to the fact that I'd married a professional who was considered a pillar of the community. (When I tried to explain that this simply wasn't true and that these remarks were upsetting to me, my father became visibly uncomfortable and changed the subject.) I also remembered my ex-husband referring to my father as "abusive" several times while we were married and refusing to explain this, which was also upsetting because I knew I'd had a happy childhood.
Over the next few months, I received a number of threatening letters from my father in which he libeled me repeatedly and threatened to disinherit my children solely because he was mad at me. My children confided in me that they'd never felt close to their grandparents (I also have a stepmother) and actually felt uncomfortable around them. They were so upset about their grandfather's written threats that they too said they wanted no further relationship with their grandparents.
A few months later, my kids came to me very upset and said their father and his family recently told them they had actually been in close contact with my father and stepmother for years and had even hosted them here a number of times without our knowledge. I went back and looked at some old correspondence I'd kept; I discovered that my father had been repeatedly emailing my ex-husband at his office in the weeks just before my husband left. I also noticed that there was absolutely no mention of my children or me in my father's annual Christmas letters after my divorce was finalized in 2001.
Meanwhile, my ex-husband began bragging to our children about a waterfront home he owned in Tahsis, British Columbia that had a private dock with multiple speedboats. This house just happened to be located close to where the family of my well-known jet-setting equestrian cousin lives--and explained why my uncle had once emailed that he'd known my ex- had a drug problem for years. All of a sudden, my ex-'s fascination with my cousin and his well-heeled, hard-partying friends was starting to take on a whole new meaning.
Then I started remembering all my father's and stepmother's many birding trips and other long driving vacations (especially all the ones to Florida). I also stumbled across a reference to my stepmother's family in a KY AAA guidebook, of all places, describing her ancestors as the most famous hemp-growing family in KY going back to the 1700s. (which explained why I'd heard at least 10 different stories over the years as to how my father and stepmother met and when they actually bought their first cell phone?).
I remembered one visit during my marriage in particular in which my father's next-door neighbor and his wife just happened to be traveling in our area in a R.V. at the same time my folks were here. The neighbor, a KY FBI agent, parked his R.V. in our driveway and went off somewhere privately with my ex- and my father for over an hour before we all went out to dinner together. (Interestingly, a few weeks after returning from this trip, the FBI agent also suddenly left his wife and was transferred to Cincinnati.)
Then there's the fact that the trust/elder law/personal injury/criminal defense attorney recommended to me by the document expert with FBI ties told me she had ties to the equestrian world and made frequent trips to Paris. The last of the suspicious death cases connected with property in our neighborhood (the woman who was murdered in San Antonio) had connections to the equestrian world as well.
I have also remembered that my cousin's first wife had been a major witness for the prosecution in a famous horse-killing trial in New York years ago that involved organized crime. (My cousin divorced her sometime after the trial ended.)
Finally, a local woman from down the street who has harassed us regularly for years (and, by the nature of the harassment, has to have access somehow to illegal surveillance of us) is currently married to an Argentine equestrian. She was a friend of the murder victim mentioned above, is a former head of the local hospital foundation, her mother is a longtime close friend of my former mother-in-law, and we have seen both her and my ex-husband driving what we think is the same expensive silver luxury car.