The cabin was in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a bumpy dirt road and surrounded by thick woods. It needed a decent amount of work done to make it inhabitable, which is why we got it so cheap. My husband loved it. He loved the location, the privacy, the chance to make it his own. He spent every weekend that the weather allowed up at the cabin doing the renovations himself. He left me at home, partly because I’m useless with tools and partly because he wanted the finished product to be a surprise. I was okay with it. I was enjoying the “me” time.
He was close to finishing the last of the repairs, and was so excited that he used some vacation time from work so he could complete the project and we could spend the next available weekend in our new getaway spot. He left our home Friday night after dinner. His plan was to return the following Saturday so that he would have all day Sunday to spend with me and rest up before returning to work on Monday. The first few days, he called me every night after putting away his tools. When he didn’t call on Tuesday, I assumed it was because he was too tired or that he lost track of time and didn’t want to call too late. When he didn’t call on Wednesday, I called him and left a half-playful, half-annoyed voicemail. When I still hadn’t heard from him after I got off of work on Thursday, I decided to make the 2 hour trip to our cabin to check on him.
The last time I had seen our cabin, it was obvious that it had been deserted for some time. My husband had been working on it every weekend for over a year, so I expected it to look much better. It didn’t. The front yard was still overgrown, the steps leading to the front porch still broken, the windows still covered in grime. The only evidence of my husband being there were the tire tracks worn into the grass where the dirt driveway ended. You could tell by the divets that he would pull up to the porch, then turn around in the yard to return to the driveway to leave. I made my way to the front porch, careful not to trip on the broken step, and peered through the cleanest spot on one of the windows. The scene inside made me run to my car and make the 45 minute drive to the nearest town.
The police found the den of a mad man in what was meant to be my cozy little cabin. The only renovations that my husband had actually done were those that allowed him to hold the women he had abducted for who knows how long while he raped, tortured, and eventually butchered them. The 5 bodies left in shallow graves in the woods were eventually identified as homeless women who were likely only missed by their drug dealers. The 6th woman found in my husband’s truck, which was at the bottom of a hill wrapped around a tree about 5 miles from the cabin, was the same. She was naked, malnourished, and covered in deep cuts and bruises. The knife she had somehow gotten and used to stab her captor, my husband, in the chest and throat repeatedly sat on the floor in front of the passenger seat. They said the high speed impact killed her instantly. The other women weren’t so lucky. I wouldn’t have been so lucky.
The room at the front of the cabin where the women were restrained and violated on a stained mattress that lay on the floor, where I found my husband naked in a bloody heap, was decorated with photos of me. Seven blood spattered pictures were nailed to the wall, and 5 of them had scratches over my throat so deep that they cut through the paper.