By Sean Cruz
Some minutes after I woke from the nightmare this morning, I wrote some lines while the memory was still fresh. I’ve had several hundred of these since my four children disappeared into Utah in a Mormon abduction more than fifteen years ago, but there was something about this one that felt different, and it took some time for me to put it together….
This, I came to realize, was the first nightmare to trouble my sleep since the conclusion of the Casey Anthony trial, the young mother who couldn’t find the time to report the disappearance of her 3-year-old daughter Kaylee, whose skeletal remains were found months later, her lips and nose duct-taped shut, packed into a plastic bag and dumped by the side of the road.
What was different about this dream was that where my ex-wife Gina Foulk was in it, she had that emotionless Casey Anthony/Terri Horman demeanor, was indifferent to the fact that a small child was missing, although clearly unhappy with the inconvenience resulting, and aggravated at the notion that she might be thought somehow lacking in her role as a mother, an epic of pathological self-absorption….
Nicole Kidman had that look, too, in two of her movie roles: To Die For, and The Others. She was a dead ringer for my ex in those movies, almost like she’d studied scenes from our lives, watched home movies, in preparing for her parts.
Seeing the images of Kaylee Anthony over the course of the search, arrest and trial was always painful for me, and I never lingered on any of them or the horror story itself, but it was always there, has been there since July 2008, when Kaylee’s grandmother contacted the police and the media took an interest….
I saw my baby girl in every one of those pictures of Kaylee Anthony…so many memories triggered…Allie was a week past her eighth birthday on the day the Mormons took her away from the father who loved her, and set her on a path of three Mormon stepdads in three states. Memories of her early childhood were still very fresh.
These are the lines I wrote earlier this morning:
“Nightmares of an abducted child...struck early this morning....
“Sometimes they are focused on a single child, sometimes all four...
“This one was about Allie, missing with her mother for days in the dream, and I was reporting this to the police, over and over...feeling all the shock and horror...over and over...desperate...talking to the police, over and over...then I woke up, exhausted...and the nightmare is real....”
In actual fact, when my four children disappeared from Oregon in February 1996, they were driven more or less directly although by a circuitous route to the home of Mormon zealots Chris and Kory Wright, somewhere in the mountains east of Ogden, Utah, who had been in on planning the abduction for months beforehand.
While all of their friends were in school and safe at home, the Mormons were shuttling my children from place to place, knowing that they were violating a joint custody order that had been in place for five years, which is a serious felony, worth five years in prison, but infrequently and very poorly enforced.
The statute of limitations expires on these crimes after three years, even if the child is not recovered. Try to make some sense of that reality….
My children never recovered from the trauma academically or emotionally; and, of course, Aaron is dead, left behind ill and alone in that crappy little Mormon town on the edge of the desert, Payson Utah….
Years later, after many fruitless online searches, one panned out… I located kidnapper Kory Wright right here, where he works at Columbia Ultimate in Vancouver:
I counted coup….
But today my thoughts are still buffeted by this most recent nightmare…and that look in these eyes….
…the look of pathological self-absorption, epic…. You would never know there was a child in distress from these people.