Ivan’s (my step grandfather) family was planning a small reunion the summer of 1991. I had been working on plans for it for a year. I was excited. He was going to see his great granddaughters. Bret would be coming with us too. Keith was going to be with us as well. But in the newspaper business it never warranted Mike and I to take time off together so he would be taking care of our business. The closer it got to time to go, Mike began making it difficult to nearly impossible for me to go. I got angry at him and said you can’t stop me from seeing my family. I’ve been planning this for over a year and now you have a problem with it? He said I have to talk to you. Ok that night the kids off to bed he said I don’t want you to go. LeRoy could make his truck break down and kidnap you and the kids. I would have no idea where to look for you or how to get you back. I was stunned. The plan was for me to drive up to the ranch and we would load everything into LeRoy’s truck. We would then drive to Delta in his truck for the weekend and back by Monday. I told Mike that is exactly how LeRoy thinks too. We went to bed. The next day I said to Mike, I understand your concern. I really want to be there for Granddad. Do you have any suggestions? He said don’t get in his truck. Take your truck. So we talked about the possible schemes and traps so I could avoid them. I drove out to the ranch that Saturday morning. I informed LeRoy that we would have to take both trucks. During this conversation he stated that since we would have more room Miss Jessica would like to come with us. He hollered for her. This was Jay’s daughter, she was 8 years old. She came out of the house and to LeRoy. I saw it on her face. He had molested her if not raped her. I was sick to my stomach. I wanted to be there for Ivan. I told the kids to get in my truck and we left. Jessica did not come. LeRoy followed in his truck. We got to Ivan’s and I was violently ill with the concern for Jessica. Everyone thought it was the flu. It was good to see Granddad and Dorothy. We spent the night Saturday night and came home on Sunday. I came running into the house and told Mike he has hurt another little girl. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t keep food down. I called my sister. She had wanted to discuss the abuse each of us had suffered. I told her about Jessica. I asked her how I could help her. She suggested calling social services. I had tried to file a police report 2 years before but they just laughed and told me it was in the past. But since then Roseanne Barr a well-known actress had come forward about incest abuse and prosecuted her father. That was a turning point in America. It became okay to point the finger.
I called social services and got a woman on the phone. I don’t recall her name. She was kind and considerate. I told her I would not tell her my name I was concerned for my own safety. But that I knew of a young girl who is being molested and or raped and needed to know how to get her help. She said she could speak with the girl at school but without her parents agreement there was not much she could do. Her recommendation was to file a complaint with the police and attempt to give LeRoy a criminal record. I explained they laughed last time. She told me that with a criminal record they could keep children away from him and she had an officer that would work with me. We set up a time for me to call back and speak to him. I called the next day at the designated time and spoke to Lieutenant Roger Vance. He explained that he would need names and a few facts. That he would check those out and get back with me about what type of charges could be filed. I told him I would have to call him another day after I spoke with my husband to see if he agreed. I trusted Mike. Mike never hurt me and always had
my best interest at heart. Everyone else seemed to look after themselves, but Mike usually looked after me. I shared with Mike what Officer Vance had said. Mike was uncertain but felt that it would be a good thing to give him the information he wanted. I spoke with Linda who spoke with Bob and called me back affirming yes answer his questions. So I called the woman’s office at Social Services the next day at the appointed time and spoke with Officer Vance. I told him my name, LeRoy’s name and my general answers. I recall telling him LeRoy was dangerous and always within an arm’s reach of his .22 revolver. He asked me if anyone could verify that. I gave him a few names; one was Bobby Shay the owner of the Phillips 66 Gas station in Kremmling. He asked if he could contact me after he checked these things out I told him yes and gave him our phone number. He called me just a couple of hours later and said everything I told him had checked out and he would like to meet with me to take an official complaint. I explained to him that I was providing day care for part of our income and this was not a subject I could openly talk about with the children around. He willingly met me after 5 PM so as not to upset the children.
He came to the house. Mike must have been home and kept an eye on our girls because most of our conversation was out front on the deck. I told him when the abuse started, when I left and some of the things I knew about my father. LeRoy had told me several stories which made me know how evil he was. One was that he was at The Cowboy bar in Laramie, WY to get his paycheck cashed from the Fluorspar mine in Northern Colorado. He had just bought a round for the house and some guy hit him sending him flying down the bar. He grabbed a beer bottle and chucked it at the guy to slow him down till he could get his feet under him, the guy ducked as a cop walked into the bar. That bottle hit the cop straight in the mouth. They arrested LeRoy, beat the crap out of him- he spent 30 days in jail eating food through a soda straw. The day he got out ‘someone’ walked up to the cops car that beat him, tossed in a stick of lit dynamite with a fuse less than a ¼ in long, laid down beside the car and killed both of them. The investigators came to the mine to arrest LeRoy for it but all of his buddies gave him an alibi, so they did not arrest him. He always indicated to me that he did this without exactly saying “I” tossed in the dynamite. Officer Vance was a little bit excited and told me that murder has no statute of limitations to prosecute and holds a much longer sentence. He tried to dig up facts on this story. He used every avenue available to him. Praise God there has never been any police officers killed in such a fashion in the history of Wyoming, not just Laramie. So Officer Vance determined that this was a lie.
Another story he told me was he was in a bar in Montrose, CO. A fight broke out and he killed 6 Mexicans in the bar. When LeRoy was a child his father beat him when he came home from school getting bullied by some spics and after that beating he learned any good white man can take 7 Mexicans at a time. He was never bullied by them again. Then some spics tried to jump him in that bar in Montrose. They broke his jaw- but he just wrapped his arm around it to hold it in place and killed 6 before the cops arrested him. He did time in Canon City for that- although he never said how long. Officer Vance also looked into this. There is nothing on record anywhere of it.
So we are going to move forward with the charges of sexual abuse against me. Some of it is past the statute of limitations. We can press charges for 9 years back. This is 1992 so any abuse from 1983 which was the last year that I lived with him. But he took as many details as I could give him from all of it. He called me and recommended therapy. He said it looked like this would end up in a jury trial and I would have to face LeRoy. We all knew I was too scared to do that. So the state paid for 6 weeks of therapy. I would go in each week and tell her of the horrors I suffered. But being concerned that this therapist was working for the state and my everlasting fear of actually being insane I always talked with Mike and Linda about the sessions, before and after. I wanted to make sure that I would not be locked up in an insane asylum for the things I told her. Thru this time Officer Vance would call and request different things that pertained to the investigation. I would tell him I had to check with Mike first and let him know. Mike became my trusted advisor. I had seen him many times look after his own best interest. It is something I do not know how to do. So I leaned on him to look after my best interest. He sometimes would give me questions to ask Officer Vance. Then I would call Officer Vance the next day with the questions. Once Mike got home from work I would tell Mike the answers. Sometimes I wonder why the two of them didn’t just talk and work it all out! I had called my mother and my sister in law to inform them of all of this. I was certain that LeRoy would be striking out at anyone close to me so I tried to keep my loved ones safe. Officer Vance was concerned thru the entire investigation that it would boil down to a ‘he said/she said’ case, which is difficult to win. It came time to make an official statement so that the DA could draw up charges against LeRoy. We set up the appointment for me to come to Officer Vance’s office at 2:30 PM. I told Mike I would be home to cook dinner. He took off work at the golf course early so he could watch the kids. I drove into Hot Sulphur Springs and met with Officer Roger Vance. I walked in and told him that I had an abortion when I was 16 yrs old. LeRoy knew about it and if I was just going to made to look like a slut I wasn’t going any further. He opened the law book behind him to aggravated incest. He turned the book to me and asked me to read the charge. I read it and began crying. It was clear in print that it was not my fault. I said ok, then I will make a statement. He apologized that we could not smoke in his office. He stated that anytime we wanted to take a cigarette break we could. We would just step outside have a cigarette and then come back in. I said ok- I smoked heavily, nearly 2 packs a day. He set a tape recorder on the desk and turned it on. He stated his name, the date and case. He clicked it off and I was standing up to leave. He was speaking calmly telling me this is how they take statements. I said I’ve made lots of statements and I had always written them down for everyone else. He said yes, for a traffic accident but for a case like this we make a recording and then have it transcribed. I was standing in the door, telling him no. He assured me that Pat was discrete and had transcribed for the sheriff’s office for over 17 years. I said I know, I deliver her newspaper to her. No I can’t do this. He kept assuring me and got me to sit back down. I decided it didn’t matter if I spoke or wrote it- people were going to find out about it now. I said I am ready for a smoke. We stepped out and smoked a cigarette. We stepped back in about 3 PM and began my statement. He had asked me to have it in as close to chronological order as possible. That is very difficult for me, because with the many years of abuse I can’t tell dates, times, places and such. The therapist helped me figure out clues like important Holidays close to abuse events to help create timelines… I began telling Roger about the abuse giving as much detail as possible and occasionally he would stop me and question me. One of the memories that he questioned me on was the carbon monoxide poisoning. We determined that was attempted murder but without the blood work to prove the theory we stayed on the incest trail. Another memory I told Roger about was the photos that LeRoy had taken of me. There were 11 Polaroid’s. I tried to be clear and open about all of the abuse. I remember saying ‘Ok that is all, I can’t remember anything else’. I looked up at Roger- he said are you ready for a cigarette? I said Yea, I think so. We walked outside and I grasped his arm and asked him what time is it? He said it is 9:30. I fell to my knees and began shaking. Thru tears I looked up at Roger and said you mean I just sat in your office for 6 ½ hours making a statement and thought I was there for about a half an hour?? He raised me to my feet and put his hands on my shoulders- he looked me in the eye and said Becky I’ve never heard of anything this bad. I do not know how you survived it. I said I have to call Mike. He said ok. I went back inside and the dispatcher gave me an outside line. I called Mike and apologized. He said I knew you were ok- I called and they told me you were still in his office. He said he had fed the girls and is it ok if I go to bed? I said yes, I am going to have cigarette then we have to cross the T’s and dot the I’s and I will be on my way home. I went back to Roger who was almost done with his cigarette. I lit one and he lit a second. I smoked two as well and we went back inside. We completed the statement and he walked me to my car. The next day the DA called me and offered his empathy for what I had survived. He said he was drawing up the charges. I asked him if letters would be a good thing or not. He asked what kind of letters. I explained that LeRoy had tried to rape my sister and we knew it was past the statute of limitations but she would write a letter if that would be helpful. He said yes. I also ran ads in newspapers of towns he had lived in looking for other victims. I called his first ex-wife Linda Hall in Nevada. She was shocked and all but hung up on me. The DA called and said that he had the papers ready for his arrest and then Officer Vance called me one day and told me that he thought if I would have a taped phone call with LeRoy and get him to admit to the abuse it would end the concern of ‘he said/she said’. I was so shocked by the request I simply hung up on Officer Vance. When Mike got home from work I told him. He looked at me in dismay. We talked about the implications that would mean. Mike told me that he thought it would be considered entrapment and not admissible. So the next day I call Officer Vance and told him that. He explained to me that as long as one person in the conversation knows it is being taped it is not entrapment. That it is useable evidence. I told him I don’t think I can do this. I’ve never talked to LeRoy about this, he will know and he will kill me for it. Worse he will kill Mike in front of me and rape my daughters. I can’t do this. Officer Vance said he would work on a plan. He called me back and said that he would set it up to have LeRoy arrested and charged the minute we hung up from the phone call. That they would place a tap on our home phone, record the phone call, call for him to be arrested, and remove the tap. I told him I would have to get back with him. I went over the plan with Mike. Neither of us liked it. LeRoy did unspeakable things to me, but to set him up with a taped phone call felt wrong. I finally agreed to it. I spoke with the therapist. I told her I do not know how to open a conversation about the abuse. She suggested telling LeRoy that you were becoming frigid towards Mike sexually and needed to understand some of the things that had happened. I spoke with Officer Vance, he suggested that I write down what I was going to say. He told me specific words that had to be used for court reasons. He explained that if it was written down that LeRoy would not be able to distract me as easily. I could go back to my list when I was having a hard time. I began working on writing out a list of questions with an opener. I told everyone that I thought we should do the phone call on a Sunday morning at 7 AM. That the family would be walking out the door to go to church and LeRoy would be there alone and could talk openly. We set up a date. I let NO one see my list. Officer Vance called me on Monday and told me that he was going to go on vacation and his partner Dan Ellis would handle this phone call. I told him no, we will just do the phone call when you get back. Dan doesn’t believe me, he is a friend of my fathers. Officer Vance said I understand that but Dan is still a good officer and will do his job. You have nothing to worry about whether he believes you or not. I told him I had to check with Mike. Mike didn’t seem to have an issue so the next day I agreed. I don’t know if it was my sister or therapist who said it would be good practice to tell my story in front of others, since I would probably have to do that in court. So Sunday rolled around and Officer Ellis arrived. He was in plain clothes. He put the tap onto the house phone and I pulled it over to me. I had my list written on a legal pad and turned it over. I looked up at Dan and picked up the receiver. Mike came rushing out of our bedroom. I hung up the phone and turned the pad back over. Mike was rubbing my shoulders and introducing himself to Dan. He was still rubbing my shoulders and I put my hands onto his and asked “what are you doing?” He said I am here for you. I know how hard this is and I don’t want you to be alone. I took a deep breath, stood up and took his hands into mine. I softly looked him in the eye and said ‘I can’t do this with you here. I thought you would sleep thru this. I promise that if we go to court I will tell you everything from my lips and you won’t have to sit in a court room and hear it for the first time, but this is not that time. He hugged me, said I am going to Pole Creek golf course call me when you are done. He grabbed his clubs and walked out the door. I sat down. I heard the truck start and back out of the driveway. I was trying to regain the courage and strength to do this. I looked up at Dan. He snidely said to me, ‘I suppose you want me to step outside too’ I still looking him dead in the eye said ‘no, I want you to sit there and listen to every word that is said. I want you to hear every word that LeRoy says. I don’t care what you think about me, but that man that just left here married ME and I don’t want to wake up every morning wondering how revolted he feels today because of what LeRoy has done.’ With that my fight returned and I picked up the phone and dialed Aunt Madalyn’s number. LeRoy came to the phone and admitted to the abuse. He gave no reasons- he told me that he thought women liked it! I got him to say each of the designated words. He was reeling from this phone call. I hung up the phone. I looked up at Dan. He said to me ‘I am sorry. I did not know.’ I said please take the tap off of my phone. He asked me if I was ok and the tears were going to start. But Miss Regina woke up and came out. She had to walk past Dan to get to me. She saw his gun belt. I reached for her and she loudly announced Mommy that man has a gun! I said I know that man has a gun. He is a police officer and his name is Officer Ellis. She gave me her that look of ‘are you sure?’ I smiled and said yes I am sure. I know he is not wearing a uniform but he is a police officer. Dan had the tap removed and was chuckling. I said aren’t you going to call for the arrest? He said he would do that when he got back to Hot Sulphur. I said but Roger said you would when we hung up. He tried to assure me that everything was fine and he would call as soon as he was in custody. I waited for 45 minutes and called Dan. He said that when he called he was informed LeRoy had left the house and they did not follow. I told him he was coming straight for me- to put an APB out. He was not taking me serious so I decided to leave. I loaded up all the kids and some extra clothes. I drove us out to the golf course and tried to pick up Mike. He was in the middle of a game and didn’t feel threatened. He promised to not go to the house until we talked. I was going to Denver. I stopped in Empire and called the sheriff’s office- still no arrest. We got to Denver and did some shopping at Wal-Mart, Petsmart and ate lunch. I called and was told he was under arrest. I told Dan that I would not
be home until tomorrow. They could leave me a message at home if needed. I had told the kids we would go to a movie and I wasn’t going to skip that. I called the golf course and got hold of Mike. I let him know what was up. He told me to have fun and he would see me at home. The kids and I went to the movie. I called one more time after the movie just to make sure. I was told he was jailed in Grand County at that time without bail. We drove home. There were a few panicked phone call messages from Aunt Madalyn. She at first was calling to let me know he had been arrested and she had no information other than they were bringing him to Hot Sulphur. Then several more messages screaming what have you done to him and so forth. Mostly I just kept pressing erase. The one that got me was Granddad Likes- he said LeRoy was supposed to work on my truck do you know why he didn’t come? I called Granddad the next day and said I am sorry Granddad but he isn’t going to fix your truck- He is in jail because he raped me. I told the police everything. I love you Granddad and I am sorry. Granddad told me he loved me and he wanted to help. I thanked him and got off the phone. Officer Vance called me, he told me he got the photos and he destroyed them himself. He burned them in his trailer and no one saw them. I said I thought you were on vacation. He said Becky I wanted to make sure this arrest went correctly. He confessed to everything. There is nothing for him to deny now. You won’t have to go to court. I began crying and thanked him.
Mom came up as soon as LeRoy was arrested. I told her I know he has your address, I do not want you down there by yourself. One of the nights I put the kids to bed and sat down at the table with her. I said Mom this is the hardest thing I have ever done. You have to fill in blanks for me. I have huge gaps in my memories and because of that it is difficult for me to determine who did what to me. I need you to put names to faces that are in my mind. I began describing different events and she would tell me who, what and where. The huge one that she
placed for me, although I still do not have the actual memory was Carl Hoffman. I told her what happened when I was 12. I told her he was married to Gail and I can see his face. My only memory of his face is that night. Mom was crying. She told me that was Carl Hoffman. I froze. I said the Carl Hoffman that I said yes come to my house to spread Dave’s ashes? She nodded. I said Mom- do you realize I would have killed him? If I opened the door and saw his face I would have killed him. Mom this is really important- I need you to fill in all the blanks- I can’t be surprised like that EVER. We spent most the night talking. I told her everything. I told her about Chelvy, and about Frog. I told her I know you tried to rescue me from LeRoy, but Mom you said to me ‘I know you are LeRoy’s lover. Come home with me and everything will be ok’ Mom you have to understand I was never that man’s lover. I was his victim. I was not there by choice. I am not sure she believed me.
LeRoy tried to get my medical records for the abortion. I knew he would. But he wasn’t able to. The newspaper printed the arrest story. My married life with Mike did not include LeRoy so most people did not realize it was about my father. They knew me as Becky Maloney so there was no mental connection of LeRoy Smith. I was working at the local café as a waitress and was amazed at the talk of this arrest. People would read the story then everyone was talking about what had happened in their own life. I was amazed that every single woman I knew well or just an acquaintance had their own story of sexual abuse in some way as a child. 100% of the women. Most only told a story of a onetime incident but still that is entirely too much abuse happening everywhere.
LeRoy plead guilty to aggravated incest. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 16 yrs of probation. I had been getting phone calls prior to his sentencing but they exploded upon his sentencing. Lyndia, my best friend went to court that day. She told me that the Judge told LeRoy the only reason I am not giving you 16 yrs in jail is you aren’t worth the state having to pay for your burial. I hope you go out to the field and let the coyotes eat your sorry ass. His release date was November 10, 1992. With Regina’s last hospital stay Mike and I had decided to move to a lower altitude. He was working at Pepsi and was going to put in for a transfer to Tucson and the girls and I were going to move down there with Mom now. We did not want to make it easy for LeRoy to find us. He had stood at his sentencing and vowed he would kill me and the Judge for this.
My Aunt Madalyn called me and vowed that if LeRoy didn’t kill me she would. I told her if she called me again I would press charges for harassment. I called Officer Vance and told him. He called her and assured her of harassment charges. Jay Noonen called me, he said ‘Paula and I will be picking LeRoy up from jail and on that very same day he will be watching both of our girls while we go out.’ I said Jay I thought you loved your children. Your children are the only reason I did this. I told you he would hurt them and I know he has hurt Jessie. Jay told me I was a gold digger and hung up on me. I was sobbing when Mike came home. He was angry and wanted to disconnect the phone. I said no- I knew people would blame me. I got a call from Mark Davison. He thanked me. He told me his daughter was going to go up there the next summer- if Mark hadn’t learned of this she would have been one of his victims. Of all the people that knew LeRoy and I this was the only supporting phone call I received. I’ve never heard from my Aunts, Uncles or Cousins from LeRoy’s side of the family since.
Mike called his supervisor to put in for a transfer. Matt told Mike I don’t want to lose you- I manage all of Colorado and there are openings at 7 warehouses right now. You pick which one you want. We talked about it- we figured we could move in the middle of the night and make it difficult to find us. But we are smart enough to know anyone can be found. My brother-in-law Bob called me. We had spoken several times throughout this but this call surprised me. He told me that LeRoy was just like a school bully. I had punched him right in the nose and he would never come around me again. I tried to hear him, but LeRoy proved to me too many times how vengeful he was. I had told Officer Vance about his sharp shooting ability. Many people confirmed that he was an above average marksman. Officer Vance put into place a lifetime order of protection. LeRoy is not to be within 50 miles of me ever. But I told Officer Vance your piece of paper doesn’t keep bullets away.
November was fast approaching. I applied for a concealed weapons permit. I was denied. Mike interviewed at the Grand Junction Pepsi plant but did not feel good about that interview. He set up an interview at New Castle. We all came down. We dropped him at Pepsi and the girls and I went to Rifle to look around. Regina was 6 and Adriane was 2. I brought a stroller for Regina. She was weak and could not walk as far as Adriane could. She only weighed 36 lbs. and had to have a nebulizer treatment every two hours. The girls and I found a restaurant called the Fireside Inn. It had a salad bar, which if I had known I would not have taken the girls in. They both loved salad bars but children rarely eat enough to make it worth paying for a salad bar. The waitress was kind and said we have a children’s price for it. So I let Regina order the salad bar. She had 5 plates of salad! I was amazed! She looked up at me after the 5th plate and asked if she had eaten enough to have dessert! I said YES! We drove back to New Castle and met with
Mike. It looked like it had gone well. As we were driving away I asked him how it went. He said he liked the boss and the interview went well. He thought he could have the job if he wanted it. I told him Regina can eat here! I shared our lunch experience and Mike was pleased too. He called his boss and said yes to the New Castle plant. He had to be there Oct 1 for the position. So we got busy finding a house to rent and move to. He moved down to South Rifle and took the job on Oct. 1st. I had to stay and finish our notice for the newspaper routes. Each weekend we moved more things down to Rifle. Many nights we talked for hours on the phone- it was hard to live apart from each other. I was glad he called me as much as I called him. We decided to keep our P.O. Box in Granby. We still owned the house and would be renting it out so we could check our mail on our trips back up. We didn’t want to leave an easy trail like a new mailing address to find us. We rented our house to Randy, Mike’s friend. As we left that last weekend I had a chuckle at myself. I felt sad to be leaving ‘my’ home. It had not been long ago when I swore I would never live in ‘Chris’s ‘house. Oh my time does heal wounds.
Because I prosecuted LeRoy I lived in guilt for many years. He had always instilled you NEVER ‘turn’ on family and then the bible commandment ‘Honor thy Father and Mother. I struggled with this for years. There was enough blame to pass around between my parents and myself that I kept up the guilt far too long in life. God finally released me completely and helped me see that I did honor my parents. My parents received my love and respect more than lots of parents do. That just because I honestly prosecuted LeRoy did not mean I dishonored him. As I walked through these realizations I had to learn to forgive myself. We have all had these: If I hadn’t of smiled, if I hadn’t worn THAT dress, if my body wouldn’t have responded then he wouldn’t have…… I had to take captive every one of those thoughts and throw them away! I found love in Jesus and hung onto it. I found no condemnation! I began putting my name into scripture: For God so loved Rebecca, that He sent His only begotten Son…… It was imperative that I learn to forgive myself and stop blaming myself. I was a child that all of these people manipulated and trained up to feel shame, guilt and self-disgust. God does not want that for any of us!! NOT EVER!!