Saturday, December 26, 2009
Shown here is an excerpt from a letter I once received from the FBI asking me what I knew about a close associate of my ex-husband and his family. This letter, dated April 18, 2000, asked me to send this and other information to a San Antonio post office box address or to come to their San Antonio office in person. (I immediately mailed them the information they asked for.)
I first met this man and his family on Easter Sunday of 1991; I remember the date because it was a holiday and I was pregnant with my youngest child at the time. After church, my husband, my children, and I were invited to my brother-in-law's house to eat. When we got there, I was surprised to discover that my in-laws had brought along weekend house guests of theirs they'd never mentioned having. I was introduced to the man, his wife, and their child and told they were visiting from their home in California in order to look at some valuable property adjoining my in-laws' that had recently become available [another story] because they wanted to build a house and move here.
This couple aroused my curiosity right from the start. The man was very unusual-looking: extremely short in stature, long gray hair in a ponytail, considerably older than his wife, rather simply dressed, and reserved. His wife seemed his complete opposite: much younger, of average or slightly above-average height, well-dressed, loud/talkative, and exuding an air of wealth. I remember her telling me she was originally from somewhere in northern California but that they now lived in the L.A. area.
It was not at all like my in-laws to not mention having guests, especially ones who were potential neighbors, and I was even more confused when it became obvious that all the adults except me clearly knew each other very well already. I was told that the man owned a head-hunting agency for nurses and was moving to our town to bring in nurses for our local hospital and others in the area. I was also told that his wife was a former nurse herself. I can't remember if it was then or a few months later that the wife told me she was also pregnant.
This couple did purchase the property adjoining my in-laws', and they moved into the old farmhouse on the property and began having an enormous basement dug nearby for a very large new home they planned to build (despite my trying to warn them that the location they'd chosen was too low and would probably flood). I tried to befriend the wife and get our young children together to play, but to my dismay, it quickly became apparent that she was not at all friendly towards me and at times was downright rude. I decided this was simply her personality and tried to ignore it, but when it became apparent that she was using me as an unpaid babysitter (leaving her child at my house for increasingly long periods of time without telling me where she was going), I reluctantly gave up on any friendship with her. She was a close friend of my brother-in-law's wife, however; the two of them did thing together frequently, but I was not invited to join them.
There were a number of things about the husband that began to make me extremely uncomfortable about him as well. I quickly discovered that he always carried multiple cell phones and pagers that were constantly going off. Nearly every time I went to his house, there were big, burly bikers there I'd never seen before who met with the husband and never seemed to stay long.
Also, neighbors on the other side of this couple were raising large numbers of pit bulls. I had several very frightening encounters with these and couldn't understand how this couple could raise small children so close by.
Then the night I went into labor with my youngest and was having a very difficult time, this couple suddenly burst into my labor room--while the doctor was examining me! My doctor ordered them to leave immediately, but they said they were "on a hospital tour" and refused to go. The doctor then yelled at them to get out and threatened to call security and have them forcibly removed, at which point they finally left (laughing). After that incident, I no longer wanted anything to do with them, and the feeling must have been mutual, because I don't remember seeing them afterwards.
Later, I asked my brother-in-law's wife (who continued to be a good friend of theirs) for more information about this couple. She told me the husband had made a fortune in real estate and owned a good deal of valuable property in the Los Angeles area. She also said this man owned a large shopping mall in Norman, Oklahoma that was close to the university and extremely lucrative as a result. When I tried to ask why he'd come to our area, she became evasive and quickly changed the subject.
Meanwhile, as I'd feared, a heavy rainfall flooded the couple's huge future basement and they stopped work on their planned house. The wife had had her baby as well, and they began traveling extensively, especially to Germany and Florida. Eventually, they left here for good and moved to Germany. Later, they moved back to the U.S. and settled in the Orlando area. The family did make several short visits here, and twice my husband insisted we let them stay in our guesthouse. (As usual, they left their children with me and went off together somewhere.) They sent us a Christmas gift every year for several years, and my husband asked me to reciprocate, so I did. Shortly after my husband suddenly left in 1999, my brother-in-law and this man began developing much of the man's land here into subdivisions, and my ex- and his new wife lived in one of the houses there for a short time.
Like so many of my ex-husband's close associates, the mystery man was also a pilot, and he owned numerous planes. He also employed a foreign-born man who was a talented airplane and submarine mechanic with an extensive background and training to keep up his fleet. The mechanic became one of my ex-husband's closest friends, and he helped my ex- build an airplane from a kit down in our barn shortly before my ex- left. This mechanic eventually moved to Corpus Christi and later to Key West, FL. My ex-husband is still in close touch with both the mechanic and his employer, and he and/or his family visit with them regularly.
After my husband left in 1999 and I began finding frightening evidence and hearing persistent rumors of possible criminal activity, I contacted the FBI in San Antonio to tell them I wasn't involved and ask them what I should do. Eventually, I received their letter in reply that asked me for further information on several specific topics only, one of which being what I knew about this man. Years later, after 9/11 when I was remembering all of the things I've discussed previously in my "Middle Eastern Men" and other posts here, I also realized that this man had ties to a number of the same places being mentioned in connection with the hijackers: Norman, OK; South FL; and Germany. I also knew that my ex-husband was making regular trips to Las Vegas for some reason and that he and a friend from San Antonio sometimes made trips to Portland, Maine, supposedly "to eat lobster". I mentioned all of this when I contacted the FBI after 9/11, but because I never heard anything back again from them, I concluded it was all merely bizarre coincidences.
When I decided to start trying to file formal criminal complaints related to our case [see "My Story" below] at the end of 2007 and realized I would need to visit the FBI office and meet with an agent again, I brought along a copy of their letter to me regarding the mystery man just to see what would happen. While I was talking to an agent there (who would not give me his name and was not wearing any I.D. badge that I could see), I casually brought out the letter and left it sitting out on top of a stack of other documents. The results were pretty spectacular: the agent did a classic double-take when he spotted it, he kept staring at the letter, and it was clearly bothering him, although he never said anything about it to me. [If you don't believe me, go back and look at the tape of this interview.]
There may be one more postscript to this story as well; I'm not sure. Recently a man who does occasional repair work for me told me he'd once heard that Disney originally planned to build their "Animal Kingdom" theme park near Kerrville, TX and actually got pretty far along with the project, until a "blue norther" happened to blow in at the same time Disney officials were visiting. The company supposedly did more checking into our weather and discovered there were too many days here when the park would not be very pleasant for guests, so they abruptly shut down negotiations and moved the park to Orlando. While there have been rumors of a Disney park swirling around the San Antonio area for years, the specifics of this one made a lot of sense with regard to other things I already knew, such as the way my former father-in-law and his friends had been buying up property in the same area near I-10; the fact that the property that supposedly interested Disney (and other ranches in our area) had previously been used as a "camera safari" with exotic animals; the sudden fascination my former father-in-law had with the Disney company around the same time that involved several trips to Orlando; a sudden interest by other local "insider" families in making regular trips to Orlando; and the timing of the mystery man's sudden arrival and equally sudden departure here.
For a small amount of possible additional information about this man, please see the end of my 8/28/09 post entitled "Check Connections".