Season 2 - Panic Button: Operation Wildfire *trigger ⚠️ warning* Mark your calendars for the podcast release of the summer. Come with us on a journey through rural Oklahoma, on the backroads and through the courthouses as we track a serial domestic abuser who is still out there. One person with a trail of victims as long as Boston Pool Road winding all the way back to 1997. What will it take for a punitive system to hold a known violent offender accountable? So many folks said that April Wilkens should have held back, should not have shot so many times, should have left. But what happens when an abuser is left unchecked in Oklahoma? Women are getting life sentences for fighting back — but men go on to abuse with impunity. Join us for this multi-part serial podcast to be released June 27th, 2023. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
Tuesday Jun 27, 2023
Tuesday Jun 27, 2023
Serial Somethin’: Jim grew up to be a serial entrepreneur, have serial marriages and engage in a serial pattern of prolific abuse. Often using our courts as a tool to carry out that abuse. Jim's professional, and personal life are part of what makes him interesting and enigmatic for the women who go on to love and then eventually leave him. He's a sort of most interesting man in the world type of character when you first meet him. Or if you look at it from another lens he learned about how to become a serial fraudster from his father, and never looked back.
You can find the court records and sources for this episode at okappleseed.org/serial-somethin.
Josh Kidd, Colleen McCarty, Donna, Leslie Briggs, Heather, Jim Luman, Newscaster, Tisha, Christen
Colleen McCarty 00:00
This episode contains graphic accounts of domestic and sexual violence, violence against women in particular, and language that is not suitable for listeners 18 and under. There are also discussions of necrophilia. Please use caution when listening,
my energy never vibed with his energy. There was just something about him that was dark, you know, you know how you know, but you don't know how you know why they've done anything at all for that man. I mean, besides just stepping on the risks, why is it hard that the evidence is there if that had been a man, he had done that too. They would have had him on assault and battery when we didn't have What's so hard about that. He's an awful man. Our justice system system is a reason that women are killed every day. Men like him, man like him that get off, repeat offenders that get off. I could walk in a Walmart and take something and then give me more than what they've ever given Jim and I've looked at his record.
Colleen McCarty 01:11
That was Jim's old landlord, Donna. She learned firsthand what an expert manipulator Jim Luman is, particularly when it comes to court proceedings like an eviction. Donna's struggled to get him out of her home in 2014. When Donna leased the property to Jim she had no idea what kind of person she was dealing with. Like so many others who have done business with Jim, she learned the hard way that he is ruthless, maniacal and an expert manipulator.
Leslie Briggs 01:41
Jim's behavior in Donna's home and throughout the eviction proceedings, evidence a person who is willing to use the courts and manipulate their inefficiencies to his advantage in a serial fashion. Jim grew up to be a serial entrepreneur, have serial marriages and engage in a serial pattern of prolific abuse. Often using our courts as a tool to carry out that abuse. Jim's professional, and personal life are part of what makes him interesting and enigmatic for the women who go on to love and then eventually leave him. He's a sort of most interesting man in the world type of character when you first meet him. Or if you look at it from another lens he learned about how to become a serial fraudster from his father, and never looked back. Every narcissistic abuser has one thing in common charisma and charm. To the naked eye. Jim doesn't look like anything more than just a country boy from Oklahoma. Even though everything he does is an attempt to set himself apart from that. With Jim, there's always something else going on a new scheme, a new job, a new woman a new trip. Just join him for a while on this cruise called life. But how long before you get the rug pulled out from under you and find yourself flooding in a park? Not sure who to call? The answer is that horror happens bit by bit, but then also all at once. I'm Leslie Briggs. And I'm Colleen McCarty. And this is Panic Button. Operational Wildfire, episode three, serial something.
Colleen McCarty 03:18
If you're new to this podcast, we recommend you go back and start from Episode One. Knowing everything that we know about Jim's upbringing, it's likely that he was already abusing his intimate partners by the time he got to high school. He was so young when he got married to Don that his mom Patsy had to sign a consent to allow him to marry her. And about seven or eight months later, after they got married, they had their first child and they're both still teenagers. Jim's dad of course wasn't around for the wedding or the childbirth because he was serving his 30 year sentence in Oklahoma DOC--Department of Corrections. Jim and Dawn were high school sweethearts. Jim accompanied Dawn to one of their high school dances at the Cleveland high school where they both went. Dawn was very active in extracurricular activities, including being voted Most Likely to Succeed by her class. Jim and Dawn were married in November of 1991. And like I said their only child was born in June of 1992. So we'll let you do the math on that one. We reached out and like we said Dawn does not want to participate in the podcast. But we do have personal accounts of two of Jim's survivors both Christin and Ember. If you remember from episode one, Ember told us that she distinctly remembers Dawn warning her to hide her birth control because she was worried that Jim might try to tamper with it to get her pregnant, which we know is a common tactic of abusers to put holes in condoms or take birth control pills in order to try to get their partner's pregnant to tie them to them for a longer period of time.
Leslie Briggs 04:54
Right and you remember he was pushing and pushing and pushing him or to marry him back in you know October of 98, and it's just like it's you can see there's a pattern forming.
Colleen McCarty 05:06
So Ember remembered Dawn sharing her own stories of abuse from Jim with her. And she credits Dawn's openness with helping her get away from Jim after just six months together. Ember expressed such gratitude for Dawn, and she wanted to thank her. So Dawn, we don't know if you're listening to this, or if you will listen. But we hope you know that the impact you had on Ember was a lasting one. And she's grateful. Christen, another survivor of Jim went to high school with Don and Jim. And she had only one memory of the time when Jim and Dawn were married,
then to a party one time where he was at in high school, it was at him and Don's house. And I think they just got married. So maybe they were like 17, or something like that. And they had this house. And we got word that there was a party, I can't remember who I went there with. But like we were there 10 minutes, and Jim comes out and shoots a gun off into the air and says everybody needs to leave. And so yeah, we left.
Leslie Briggs 06:06
Then there's the setup of Jim's childhood home,
the house was the house he grew up in. So spent a lot of time in the little house on the corner. It's you know, probably like 800 square feet. Jim's room was his childhood room was in. It's like a small little room off of the living room. That's got the guests, like half saloon door, things like no privacy.
Leslie Briggs 06:32
So we're just there's just like questions that we have about. I don't know, just you know, he's getting married at 16, his mother's signing of consent. I think we can surmise that that had a lot to do with Dawn being pregnant.
Colleen McCarty 06:48
I mean, we can just surmise from these circumstances that there was sexual activity happening in the home before he was of a quote of age. And that probably his parental figures knew about it, heard it happening, did nothing to intervene. And some parents have that thought of like, I'd rather them do it, where I know what's happening or whatever. But like, that's just indicative of a lack of boundaries and a lack of like, discipline.
Leslie Briggs 07:19
Yeah, I think it just it's so unsettling. And there's a lot I mean, I think prolific and unsettling are gonna be words that I overuse by the time we get to the end of this podcast, but like, it's unsettling, I think. And we do. I mean, we do have confirmed, there was there are some of his romantic partners that confirmed There was sexual activity that happened later on, not in high school that but these are this is later years, while Patsy's in the
room, there's a bedroom that is the largest bedroom, and it has a half wall in it. And on one side of that half wall is a bed and on the other side is a bed. And so Jim's on one side patsies on the other. And in the in the bigger room with the Yeah, I can remember being in there with him whenever his his mother was in the same room, like and we were fooling around. It didn't bother him at all. And I was like, she's gonna hear us...
Colleen McCarty 08:22
unusual, very strange, very unusual.
Leslie Briggs 08:27
Ultimately, though, the marriage to Dawn does not last. She filed for divorce in 1995, citing irreconcilable differences, and I guess it just like an interesting note. It's in 1995 that the appearance of Patrick Pickerill an attorney in Pawnee County comes into the story and he represents Don and the divorce. And he actually goes on to become an associate judge and Pawnee County where Cleveland is located. And in later years, he's presides over some cases that involve Jim
Colleen McCarty 08:57
after his divorce from Dawn, Jim moved to Tulsa and opened a mortgage company it was called American family mortgage. Ember remembers that when she saw her protective order and needed help with service from the sheriff, the officer looked her in the eye and told her, "You need to make better choices."
Leslie Briggs 09:15
Colleen McCarty 09:16
Real victim centered policing out here in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1998. This interaction might remind you of some of the police interactions that April Wilkens had during the same time with the Tulsa police department. She's the subject of our podcast from season one.
Leslie Briggs 09:31
That shit makes me so mad to think about. You need to make better choices.
Colleen McCarty 09:34
I can think of one person in this scenario that needs to make better choices. And it's not her not her. In 2001. Jim married his second wife, Misty in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Eureka Springs is one of his favorite spots.
Leslie Briggs 09:47
It's like one of my favorite spots.
Colleen McCarty 09:48
I know like you can't have it.
Leslie Briggs 09:50
You can't have that, Jim. It doesn't belong to you.
Colleen McCarty 09:55
Misty did not want to participate in the podcast but we have reviewed court filings and give a glimpse into the end of their relationship. Missy and Jim were married for 10 years. During that time they had two children. By 2011. Misty had filed for protective order against Jim. In her application for protective order. Misty describes urgent fear that Jim will harm her to the protective order as evidence of her fear. She attaches text messages between the two of them. And also a picture of Jim holding a pistol in his mouth. She describes a history of mental illness in Jim's family, which we talked about in episode two.
Leslie Briggs 10:33
Yeah, with Cathlyn, the PO that that was entered against Cathlyn, he's like using suicide, his potential suicide as a tool for coercive control. Like going I'm putting it on you to save my life. And if you don't, that's on you.
Colleen McCarty 10:50
Unfortunately, the threat of suicide by an abuser is an extremely common abusive tactic, because abusers know that their victims love them, and they don't want them to die. And it often is used as like a last resort to try to control the person keep them to stay, if you leave, I mean, I'm going to kill myself. And it puts that person in a state of like hyper vigilance worrying that if they are gone, and that person does kill themselves, then it's their fault, which is extremely perverse and horrible way to make somebody feel.
Leslie Briggs 11:32
Yep. Yeah, highly manipulative. We're going to read this text exchange. And I'll just tell you, we don't know all the bit players that are there some names in here, we don't know necessarily who everybody is. We're not going to say the names of the kids for our respect their privacy, but so just ride with us through this because it's kind of it's I mean, it's just gnarly.
Colleen McCarty 11:52
Little bit of a roller coaster. So Leslie is going to be Jim, and I'm going to be Misty.
Leslie Briggs 11:59
Okay. "Kids still up?"
Colleen McCarty 12:03
"Yeah. You don't always have to text me. If you want to talk to the kids then call them."
Leslie Briggs 12:08
"Take my fucking kids around Noah and see what that gets you stupid bitch."
Colleen McCarty 12:13
"What are you talking about? They have never even met or seen him. I don't know what [bleep] was talking about."
Leslie Briggs 12:21
"Bull fucking shit. Plus, [bleep] followed up with she's met him. The guy I talked with about the mamas stuff, who has black hair and met him and went to Big Lots with him. Total deal breaker, you stupid worthless motherfucker. filed court papers say you cannot discuss our stuff in front of the kids. And you ignorant fuckers think my kids can be around your attorney at Big Lots and cherry bear. I'm having Kelly file total contempt charges on your worthless ass on every aspect I have. And you will be scheduled a day for you and your fucking attorney to explain everything from being partners with Zanotti to this and all in between. You will also have to prove exactly why you should not go to jail for a minimum of 30 days on contempt to the judge. I've held off doing that to you before because you're the kid's mom, but I'm not now. I'm sending your ass. You will figure this shit out. Fuck you.
Colleen McCarty 13:21
That's total bullshit. They did not see him at Cherry Berry. We went Cody and her son
Leslie Briggs 13:29
go to hell Misty. You motherfuckers that somehow think you're above shit to explain it to the judge and my new co counsel Bernice Schudrich, you're going to jail period.
Colleen McCarty 13:40
Leslie Briggs 13:42
I could have put you there two weeks ago and held off on it because it didn't seem right. Fuck that I'm going back to the beginning on all counts, including the attorney being in partners with mine, Fuck you I've done with you and you can fucking rot and Creek County as far as I'm concerned, hide and watch bitch, hide and fucking watch.
Colleen McCarty 13:59
Leslie Briggs 14:00
"Okay, tell the judge how you think you can just blatantly go against what is ordered whenever you're like that'll get you pretty far." I mean that you can just feel him seething because she's not doing what he wants.
Colleen McCarty 14:13
Because she potentially has another male around his children
Leslie Briggs 14:17
Like he's not in control. And he is in a rage
Colleen McCarty 14:20
It's called legal abuse. And it's a part of the post separation abuse cycle. That is like extremely under talked about. I think if you're in a custody hearing and you're going before a judge, the judge is going to pick which parent is the most harmonious the most easy to get along with the most letting everybody get visitation the most. letting everybody stick to their dates and schedules and things like that in any parent that is even seen as going against those pre determined conditions is all of a sudden the least favorite parent in the custody like agreement. And so the fact that he knows Was this the fact that he knows that he can use contempt the fact that somebody can. He knows somebody can go to jail for contempt. And he's threatening this person with these very technical legal terms who probably doesn't know much about the legal process can feel very intimidating and scary. I mean, it's like, well, what do I want to do go to jail for 30 days away from my children? Or do I want to just like do what this guy says?
Leslie Briggs 15:25
Right? It's coercive control to the use of the courts. But we're going to this theme of like, abusing a court process to not in pursuit of any kind of justice, but to like harm his former partners. I mean, that is going to come up again and again and again throughout this podcast. And Jim's savvy enough to understand that courts can jail people who are held in contempt, he's manipulative enough to know how to file those applications to do that very thing, and he's abusive enough to follow through.
Colleen McCarty 15:59
In the chaos of his marriage to Misty Jim seems to be struggling to find a meaningful career or in the alternative embarks on a series of strange get rich quick schemes that all go belly up. Over the course of a decade, Jim opens and operates at least five businesses.
Leslie Briggs 16:15
Jim's businesses range from the clever to the morbid. We found a couple of news clips about two of his failed ventures during this chaotic decade
over your school T shirts light up. Britwell shows us now a local man has developed a t shirt that does light up and not only responds to music and clapping, but sounds like the hot new thing and fandom Jim Luman was in China on a buying trip for his other business. He owns a casket company saw this technology at a trade show.
Jim Luman 16:41
They have these actually in rugs, you know, like welcome mats. So when you're wiping your feet the things are exactly exactly
when he bought the US rights to it because he thought he had a better idea than welcome mats.
Jim Luman 16:53
We have about 20 College licenses already put in place. We're waiting on about 25 more.
The Dallas Mavericks have some soon the Houston Rockets will too. They've contacted local high schools, they're just getting rolling.
Jim Luman 17:08
This just comes off like Velcro. wires go down the shirt or receiver fits in the built in pocket. I think we're onto something.
Yeah, me too. The only downside is also the upside. They look much better in the dark. So let's see him go hang up some shirts, turn on the Black Eyed Peas and turn out the light another really good idea. I didn't think of Rick was the news on six. Once you have lumen thinks his T shirts might be a good fundraiser. He says anything which can be displayed graphically can become a lumen eight t shirt. We've provided a handy link to his website and the web version of Rick's story.
Leslie Briggs 17:53
In addition to cornering and then failing to launch the lightup t shirt market in the United States. Jim also started a complaint hotline called griping me. It also failed miserably.
There is a new website out there. It's made for you. It's called firstname.lastname@example.org. It's run by a guy out of Cleveland, Oklahoma. Take a listen to one of the calls they got. Why do we keep dumping all this money in education and more and more classes keep getting cut. Okay, their website says we are the first and only service that actually encourages your complaints and arguments. Okay, so here's the deal, you can call and they will quote Listen, affirm and be sympathetic to wherever you have to say, or they'll play devil's advocate and point out the other side, depending on what you want them to do what you want them to do that. Right, exactly. It's not free. You want to get it off your chest. It's 299 a minute minute. They also have gift cards. So if you are tired of listening to someone else. Oh, yes. So they say they hear everything they hear about divorce. They hear about losing jobs, they hear about the government, they hear about football teams, they hear about it all? So
Colleen McCarty 19:05
I bet that you're at all question is though, isn't that what our husbands are for? Jim also has a degree in mortuary science and has had several businesses that are related to the end of life services industry. Like one of them was the Cleveland funeral home that he owned with his sister Kathy before she passed away in 2004. And another one is new standard caskets LLC, which is one where he was importing caskets from China in 2006. And another one is serenity caskets LLC in 2008, which was registered to a gem loom and it could have been his bad, but probably was him. And I'm not sure if those were also caskets coming from China, but it's interesting that it's basically also a casket business that he's still arted again, only two years later with a new business entity. Yeah. And
Leslie Briggs 20:05
when he goes the sites like that illuminate the lightup T shirts. He is like in China on a casket buying trip when he sees this technology. I mean, this is just like, this shit is a little bit chaotic, like gripe at me, like, on first glance, you're like, oh, how clever. But then you're like, I don't know, people are paying 299 to call him and complain about their lives.
Colleen McCarty 20:29
That's more than Miss Cleo. Like, if I'm paying you, $2.99 a minute, I better be getting some (a) phone sex or (B) astrological readings. $2.99 times 60. That is way more than therapy that is so much
Leslie Briggs 20:51
$179 an hour. Yeah, get a therapist.
Colleen McCarty 20:54
I mean, if you're complaining about your life to a stranger, I think you should at least
Leslie Briggs 20:59
be like a licensed person who can give you coping strategies. I mean, that business fails probably for that reason, everybody started to realize that they could get like actual help.
Colleen McCarty 21:10
To me, it's like, it just looks like you're looking for a highway out of your situation. Yeah, that you don't like your life. And you're like, this thing popped into my head one day, it's impulsive, and it is impulsive, chaotic, and like he'd never had any intention of running any of these businesses for any, like, really long period of time. I think it's like, he's going to try something. If it makes him a ton of money in the first month, he's gonna stick with it. If it doesn't make him any money, he's gonna abandon it. You know what I mean? Like, it's just like, it's like fun to imagine and dream and do stuff like that. But same time. Like it takes a lot know how in business acumen and investment capital to actually do anything like that what he's talking about doing. And also it's really easy to pick up women when you say, I'm starting a company. I have angel investors looking at this, I have this going on. Dude,
Leslie Briggs 22:13
I--we need to talk about that. Because he's a self described entrepreneur. And every single time I've met a guy who is a self described entrepreneur, they've turned out to be, well, unpleasant to say the least to be around. They're a fraud. They're deceptive. I mean, are you an entrepreneur? Are you a con artist? Man? It's such a fine line is a fine line. I don't know red flags for me. Somebody says they're an entrepreneur just fucking run, I think.
Colleen McCarty 22:40
Yes, yes, for sure. So interestingly, though, his work at the funeral home led to unsettling conversations with several of his romantic partners. He
used to tell me, he would do stuff with the dead people. Like what? Like, have sex with the dead people?
Leslie Briggs 22:59
He told you he would? He did.
He was just like, he said he was involving a body or doing something with this dead body. And he goes, Oh, I wonder what it would be like to do it at that person. Would you just say it to get a rise out of somebody to see what they would say? Or would you say it because you really did it?
Leslie Briggs 23:18
That was Tisha Tisha is one of Jim's ex girlfriends from Iowa. Interestingly enough, though, Tisha reported the gym never physically abused her. He did, however, share some obviously very scary thoughts, and claimed to have had sex with one of the bodies he was embalming in his funeral home business. Here's Heather on that topic as well.
He'd made comments about, like, when he was a mortician, that if he wanted to be super sweet, he would tie a bow to a dead man's penis, before he buried him or it was always so important to him that I understood that he would never have sex with a body. Never have sex with a dead body. But he would do that. And I always thought that was odd, because I'm like, why would you? Why would you even bring that up? And then in talking to Christin and Karrah. I'm like, Uh huh. I see why you would bring that up. Because you've already told people you
Leslie Briggs 24:11
have. I mean, I don't know what to make of that. Do you think you'd like no dead body?
Colleen McCarty 24:15
God, I do not ever want to think about that in my life ever again. So me trying to figure it out. It's just more me thinking about it.
Leslie Briggs 24:24
Or middle I'm just closing the curtains. We're not good. There's no need for further explanation. You guys heard the clips?
Colleen McCarty 24:32
Yeah, make Yeah. Right as your write us and let us know make your own
Leslie Briggs 24:36
Colleen McCarty 24:38
So 2001 to 2011 is a really wild ride for Jim's professional life as we've seen, but his personal life seems no less chaotic in the years immediately following Misty's Divorce from Jim is finalized in 2013. Anyone who has been through a divorce, especially one with small children, can tell you it's really never over.
Leslie Briggs 24:59
What's wild about on the timeline here is that we're again we're seeing like a serial marriage situation take off because the marriage between Misty and Jim is over as of August of 2013. That's when the decree is entered. And before a full year even passes, he is going to marry and divorce another woman. Her name is Amber. And he's like a family law nightmare, but also a pathway to a vacation home.
Colleen McCarty 25:28
We all have those clients
Leslie Briggs 25:29
and like, yeah, I don't know. So there's like this whirlwind summer, this whirlwind year basically of the summer of 2013, to the summer of 2014. And in that year, Amber's his third wife now, she filed two different protective orders. And she makes two different police reports about Jim's domestic violence. And these are, I mean, let's just like, set the tone here, because we've been joking around. But like, you're about to hear some really horrific stories of domestic violence. Let me just say quickly that we tried very hard to track Amber down. But as of this recording, we have not yet been able to reach her. So we have to rely on her court documents alone in May of 2014. This is what Amber reports in her application for protective order. So
Colleen McCarty 26:15
this protective order was filed on May 19 of 2014. By Amber, Jim's third wife, and it was against Jim Luman. And again, it's very upsetting. So take breaks if you need to, while you're listening.
Leslie Briggs 26:35
I think it is important though, to hear exactly what he did to her because yeah, I mean, this is like, this is psychotic.
Colleen McCarty 26:44
Yeah, these are very scary things. Okay. So remember, when you file a protective order, you the person who is filing have to write out exactly why and what happened to you to require being protected by the law from this person that you're filing against. On the evening of May 13. We got into an argument that led to him pulling my hair throwing a heavy box at me hitting me and throwing it into the floor and on the bed. He held his hand over my face, smashing my mouth and suffocating me putting a split in my lip. After choking me and holding me down. He finally let me up clean the blood from my face and the pillow case in the bed. He then got on the phone and when he disappeared to the other room with the door closed. I grabbed a bag and close and ran to my car leaving for approximately two hours. He and his mom both called my cell phone. I didn't answer his calls. But his mom said I should just stay in a hotel and not go home. I sent him a text message saying I wanted to come home and just go to bed. We haven't argued in a long time and I thought he had time to cool off. When I got home, something was in front of the door so I pushed hard and pulled at the bottom of the hinge to get inside. He came running across the living room, grabbed me by my face and throat calling me names telling me not to come home. He threw me down in the living room floor by my hair kicked me jumped onto me. spit on me.
Leslie Briggs 28:20
The spitting. I fucking hate that.
Colleen McCarty 28:23
I hate that too. Choking me. drugged me by my hair into the kitchen kicked me and told me to go to our room. He threw me across the bed. I slid off the other side into some boxes and furniture. He jumped on top of me crushing air out of me and hitting me in the head several times. He stayed on top of me holding me down with force until I urinated on myself.
Leslie Briggs 28:52
God damn dude. That's fucked.
Colleen McCarty 28:56
He went to the bathroom and was smoking a cigarette and I told him I couldn't breathe and I asked for help. And he told me to lay there and bleed out. Then he pulled me onto the bed where he poked his finger into my right eye choked me and hit me in the head. After he calmed down for a moment, I went to the bathroom. And I came back out and he told me to stop crying and he threw the remote control at me hitting me in the forehead. Then he made me go back to the bathroom. He made me douche and cleaned from under my fingernails. He used bleach to clean the bathroom and proceeded to tell me how he was going to kill me. He lifted my shirt and bra and pulled down my shorts looking for bruises. He told me he was going to shoot me to cover up the bruises and explained how. Explain how he could cover up anything that would be identified in an autopsy. Then he made me lay across our bed and told me he had two guns under his left hip and was waiting for me to go to sleep. He said he had a gun from someone that it wasn't registered to him. And that had a silencer on it. He went to my car and brought in all the things that I had taken out there. And he laid next to me drinking beer and watching TV, he told me to set the alarm on his cell phone so I could go to work the next day. And that if he ever heard me tell anyone about anything, he would kill me. When the alarm went off, I ran to the car and left while he slept.
Leslie Briggs 30:34
Can we talk about how fucking casually he's just drinking beer watching TV at heart bothers lysing her
Colleen McCarty 30:41
the parts that bother me the most She's somebody who hears these stories all the time is the cleaning out from under the fingernails. Yeah. And examining the body for the bruises. The casually going back to whatever he was doing, like watching TV and drinking beer and just talking casually about killing her while she's laying there in complete terror. The part about lay there and bleed out like all those things are so bad.
Leslie Briggs 31:07
And he has this he is like a funeral home director. He knows what a dead body looks like, in certain conditions
Colleen McCarty 31:15
part about verify anything up in an auto I would make it so it would never show and an autopsy. He's talking about shooting her through the bruises Leslie that he's caused, so that it doesn't look like it was a battery. So that it was just a fucking shooting?
Leslie Briggs 31:31
Yes, God, like that's how important it is to him for it to not be a fucking shooting.
Colleen McCarty 31:37
I'm assuming he would make it look like she did it to herself is like the implication.
Leslie Briggs 31:43
And the thing is she makes a police report. She the police report doesn't come unfortunately, until almost a year later. And
Colleen McCarty 31:53
oh, no, a year later?
Leslie Briggs 31:56
Yeah. So she makes the police report in April of 2015 after filing the second protective order, and she reports a violation of that second protective order. But the police tell her we haven't served him yet. So there can't be a violation, even though you have the protective order, he hasn't been served. So no violation. Because he was like texting her and contacting her. And it's like, no criminal charges result from that. I mean, that is a fucking That shit is horrifying. Like to live to survive that. To serve. I mean, to survive that just like, yeah, it takes a lot to survive that
Colleen McCarty 32:35
to go and ask the court for a protective order to have many people at the court in your tiny county read what happened to you and to still have no law enforcement involvement until a year later. Like they should have been going to her house and checking on her.
Leslie Briggs 32:50
And that's my thing is like, okay, that protective order gets entered. And like, is anybody providing this woman with services to say this, we need a police report, we need police action in real time, because she's put up she's filing a protective order in real time. But she doesn't file the police report until later. Right. And of course, that makes it hard. That makes it hard, practical realities of like investigating a crime that's now a year old. You lose evidence.
Colleen McCarty 33:15
And the I mean, you have to say it calls your credibility into question. I mean, I don't I definitely believe what happened to her because of the protective order being filed that week. But when you wait a year and file a police report, it's like okay, well, now you're ready to talk about like charges being brought for what happened to you that just says, like, in a logical person's brain, and we've talked about this ad nauseam, that survivors don't act logically, but in a logical law enforcement person's brain they're like that is problematic.
Leslie Briggs 33:47
Like, we can't trust that. Why are you just reporting it now? Three months after that incident that Colleen just read, she's she's divorced from him. But you know, she's not out of his orbit, because we know survivors leave and we know that they come back. And we know that this is cyclical. And we know that abusers are very adept at drawing people back in, I mean, the emotional connection. They're the best in the world at manipulating that and so she is not done with Jim. And that leads to another protective order the following year. It's a incident that occurs in Bethany, Missouri, and according to the application that was filed by Amber it occurs in front of Jim's daughters. So here's what she has to say, in the March 2015 Protective Order application. I have suffered physical abuse from Jimmy for two years off and on. He is promised to get help and stop abusing. He becomes violent and hostile, repeatedly lashing out on March 14 of 2015. We were in a hotel in Bethany Missouri, with his two young daughters present He began to drag me pull my hair choke me, and bang my head against the door, called me vulgar names, cussed me, ordered me to the bathroom and told me that I was traumatizing the girls, because I wouldn't mind him. Once he had me in the bathroom, he proceeded to hold me by my hair, throw me down on the floor, ripped at my ears and bit my face. He spit on me, and told me that he would gouge my eyes out if he had to tell me twice to do what he says. My foot was injured from him stepping on me. And he pulled out hands full of hair. He told me to clean my face and fix my hair before I left the bathroom and was in front of his daughters. A few minutes later, there were two police officers at the door. Jimmy was confrontational and wouldn't let them in the room. One of them asked me to come out and I did. I told him we had a fight, that everything was okay now. I was afraid to have Jimmy arrested in front of the girls. The officer told me that they received a call that the kids were screaming for help. And someone was being beat up. I said I was okay. And they left. I don't know why this is affecting me so much. I think it's because the kids were there. Two days later, I removed all of his personal belongings to storage building, changed the locks at my house and sent Jimmy a letter of eviction at his mom's asking that he no longer come to my home. I'm afraid that he will come after me or my daughter. He has threatened her and revenge from my previous PO, which he says cost him custody of his daughters in 2014. My children and I are very scared of him. He is scary and violent and seems to have some type of issue with anger and controlling his temper. He is also suicidal, a large portion of the time, I'm terrified he will kill me or possibly my kids. Before he hurts himself. He has said that if he has nothing left to lose, he will take us all with him. I request that he'd be monitored, if possible, and he'd be ordered to get help if possible. I also will call Sapulpa PD and request that an officer check up at my residence daily. Yikes, Jesus. I mean, we don't have to diagnose that.
Colleen McCarty 37:20
God. I'mso disturbed by that. ,
Leslie Briggs 37:22
Yeah I mean, yeah, that's terrifying.
Colleen McCarty 37:25
I didn't know that. I mean, I did vaguely remember, though, that there was an incident in front of the girls of Amber, because I remember someone telling us that they still talked about it even years later,
Leslie Briggs 37:37
Heather? Yeah, yeah.
There was one time that I was helping the girls put their clothes away and stuff. And then the oldest daughter. She, we were talking about Amber. And because all I got was that she was just as bitch and stuff. And so I was kind of bad mouthing her. And she's like, Yeah, but Dad was always mean to her.
Leslie Briggs 37:57
So after that protective order. Again, Amber tries to report a violation. But the police told her they hadn't served him yet. And that was several weeks later, the police still had not served him. A few weeks after that, she reports kind of the entire abuse that she suffered over the last two or so years. And it's funny in the report, the only thing that the police the investigation that is conducted, according to this report, is the police call Jim and they're like, did you do this? And he's like, call my lawyer. And they're like, Okay, I'll send it to the DA. And then no charges ever come of it. There's nothing ever filed. That's what I guess I should say. That is what the police officer was asking if Jim would talk to him. Oh, will you
Colleen McCarty 38:45
come and talk to me and he just wired up? Yeah. Okay. I mean, I do believe in the right to the sixth amendment.
Leslie Briggs 38:53
Yeah, like, that's fine. You know what I mean, but like, there's no follow up. Did they go out and take any pictures? Did they try to get medical records from Amber? Did they ask her for evidence, text messages? I mean, did they investigate?
Colleen McCarty 39:06
The PO on its own and the previous PO are more evidence than most domestic violence cases have. They're already there. They don't have to do anything. We have to backup though because in April 2014, about a month before Amber files the first protective order that you heard a little bit ago, Misty files of notice of relocation in her divorce case with Jim she's remarried, and she's moving to Iowa with their children. And this kicks off a new round of legal battles between Jim and Misty. You don't even have to read the pleadings to know it's getting uglier and uglier. Jim loses custody and is only allowed supervised visitation in April 2015. Right as Amber is reporting Jim to the Sapulpa police, as she mentioned in that second PO It does look like the PO was used to terminate his custody.
Leslie Briggs 40:04
She does get called to testify. She gets subpoenaed in the custody custody battle.
Colleen McCarty 40:09
In July of that year, Jim gets unsupervised visits of his kids back, but the court orders him not to bring the children around his romantic partners. Misty is allowed to relocate to Iowa and Jim is allowed unsupervised visits there. So he starts kind of his slow migration from Oklahoma to Iowa.
Leslie Briggs 40:31
Yeah. And then there's like a, there's a final order for the custody in August of 2015. Right?
Colleen McCarty 40:38
Yes, in August 2015. The court grants custody the misty in orders visitation for Jim. In addition to allowing Jim regular visitation schedule, the court makes the following orders one reiterates no girlfriends or romantic partners to be around the children to no alcohol or drug consumption around the children or immediately prior to visitation. Three no texting or videoing while driving with minor children, for Jim is ordered to attend therapy per the recommendation of Dr. Stockley. Specifically, the therapy must include domestic violence issues as it pertains to exposure to children. Five, Misty is ordered to continue counseling for herself six, Jim cannot bring the children around anyone with whom he is involved in other litigation. We'll talk about that in a second. Seven, Jim also had to submit to alcohol assessment and follow the recommendations. Some of the things that come out in the custody battle are disturbing particularly because they are alleged to have happened at least partly in front of Misty engines children. So there's a piece of the pleading here that we have pulled that says
Leslie Briggs 41:49
yeah, this is actually from Misty is affidavit. Oh, really? Her sworn testimony here. Okay. So
Colleen McCarty 41:55
this is sworn under oath. Misty says among the statements made respondent which is Jim said in the presence of the minor children that he quote, would love to point it. The weapon he was holding at mom's head and blow pink mist all over the wall.
Leslie Briggs 42:13
Fucking Christ in front of the kid from memory, you're just like saying that to them? Who else is there? Yeah, he
Colleen McCarty 42:21
says mom's head to them. The fuck? Second thing that says on January 3 2011, Misty claimed that other women had in fact moved into the marital home while she was picking up some personal items. And on the same day, Jim threw a car seat at her in front of the kids. So I just would like to take this moment to point out that there is a totally separate felony for domestic violence in the presence of minor children in Oklahoma.
Leslie Briggs 42:55
That's right. Separate from just domestic, regular domestic domestic violence. Why again, actually, it's
Colleen McCarty 43:02
a misdemeanor Leslie. All the domestic violence first offenses are misdemeanors except for with a deadly weapon or a pattern of prior domestic abuse.
Leslie Briggs 43:11
Oh, oh, only somebody would bring a charge to establish a fucking pattern here. Wow. Like what the fuck?
Colleen McCarty 43:21
Can I also say that prior pattern of domestic abuse, which serves up to 10 years in Oklahoma does not require previous criminal trials to have occurred only previous evidence of abuse like medical records, or I don't know affidavits.
Leslie Briggs 43:38
It's good to know, for any DAs who may or may not listen to this than you do.
Colleen McCarty 43:45
I'm in the fetal position.
Leslie Briggs 43:46
Colleen has gone fetal. I mean, that's that shit is fucking disturbing, dude. And like, we have to also just like, record stop again. So like we pivoted from Amber, to back to Misty and we're gonna pivot a third time in this episode to Christin. You guys remember Christen, we've mentioned her in previous episodes. So Christen and Jim also strike up a romantic relationship in July of 2013. Like a month before the divorce is finalized with Misty. And we also know that he married Amber shortly after, so he's juggling three different women all at once. We don't know exactly what the crossover is, but we do know that there's crossover between Christin and Amber. But if you think about it,
he's always probably got three of us he talks about the triangulation. So these are telling me all the time I got a girl in Oklahoma you're my Iowa girl Don't worry about it. There'll be a Missouri girl you know don't worry about it. Well, in my instance, there was me there was Sarah and Amber still in the picture. Amber's always in the picture.
Leslie Briggs 44:50
That was Heather. Here's Karrah describing the first time she ever spoke with Christen when they were both dating Jim Luman
Jim Luman 44:57
first conversation I ever had with him. his girlfriend, Christen, I had been on a first date with him. And we got back from our first date. And his girlfriend at the time, which I did not know he she existed. I just found out that he had a girlfriend while she was saying that she was his girlfriend, and she was asking me about my pumpkins. And she said, Well, my boyfriend, Jimmy likes your pumpkins. And I was like, he's my boyfriend, late lady. And she's like, Well, I'm gonna block you. And then we'd stopped being friends for a while. And then he explained to her away, he said, she wasn't his girlfriend, he she was obsessed with him. You know, like he says, everyone's obsessed with him. But he did say that. You would like Christen, you and Christen would get along, and I'll never I'll never forget him saying that. And I'm like, I'm not gonna get along with her. You know, I'm gonna get along with your girlfriend.
Leslie Briggs 45:56
By the time the court enters the order in 2015. Not to bring the children around anyone involved in litigation with Jim. Christen had sued Jim and his mother for civil battery. And he was involved in litigation with Donna Walkingstick, who was evicting him with
a wily to leave. And he basically told me how eff off so I went and got an attorney. And that's when I found the eviction. You couldn't go with him? There was no dealing with him. He did some damage to my home--tore it up--Yeah, I have a real nice, built in oven in the wall. He took a ball bat and busted the glass all out of it. He sold the back patio furniture, I had a birdhouse on a stand, he took the ball bats that put holes in my walls is a smooth talker at first. And, boy, when his ugly comes out, it comes out in full force.
Leslie Briggs 46:59
2014 and 2015 are fully chaotic times. Jim's violence is becoming more prolific and more unhinged, and he's seeing almost no accountability. I mean, you get the court order for custody. But he gets visitation. The only reason custody is I mean, she's getting custody to move them to Iowa. You know what I mean?
Colleen McCarty 47:21
Can we just talk about how honestly chaotic and crazy it is for the court to in the same order? Say yes, you get visitation. And secondly, you also need to go to therapy that specifically addresses domestic violence in front of children. Like it's not like the court doesn't know.
Leslie Briggs 47:39
Right? Like he's still in the visitation is unsupervised. Like it's not even a supervised visitation at that point.
Colleen McCarty 47:45
I guess we all agree that he doesn't beat the kids. Just the women.
Leslie Briggs 47:50
Yeah, me. Yes. Yes.
Colleen McCarty 47:52
Which, which, in the courts mind makes us all fine. Yeah,
Leslie Briggs 47:57
I don't know. I'm just like, why you ordered supervised visitation when this whole thing kicked off? Then you undid that a few months later, and now he's got regular visitation, no supervision, but you have all these other extraneous orders because you know, domestic violence is a problem for this guy.
Colleen McCarty 48:12
But let's go send him off to Iowa State where he has no resources with his children unsupervised. Bye.
Leslie Briggs 48:20
See ya. I don't know. And so like, but Christen is part of the story. And the reason I'm mentioning her in this episode in this moment, is because Jim in the midst of this custody battle is engaging in further violent behavior with not romantic partners. And he leaves this this voicemail for Kristen one night.
Jim Luman 48:43
I'm not ok. I broke it all. [chaotic laughing and crying]. This is how it ends. I am not okay. I broke it all. I beat the hell out of Leroy in the fucking parking lot. And my right hand is fucking mush. This is how it fucking ends. This is how it fucking ends. That bitch wins. She fucking wins.
Colleen McCarty 49:25
So what's he saying? Leslie?
Leslie Briggs 49:26
I mean, when I hear in that voicemail is I fucked it all up. Smashed Leroy is facing in the parking lot. His head is mush. And this is how it fucking ends. That bitch wins. That's what I hear.
Colleen McCarty 49:40
So it sounds like he's doing another suicidal thing. This is how it ends. This is how it ends. Yeah. Or like, I
Leslie Briggs 49:47
mean, what came to my head was that he's like, he got drunk. He beat the shit out of Leroy. And then he's like, now I'm gonna get in trouble for this except he never does. Now I'm gonna get in touble for this. And it's going to affect my custody case and that bitch, what is going to win my kids?
Colleen McCarty 50:05
Because I'm such an idiot that I beat up some guy in the parking lot and people are gonna know I'm violent idiot.
Leslie Briggs 50:11
Yep, it's crying. It's all her fault. Self. You're crying for yourself, you asshole.
Colleen McCarty 50:19
Yeah. Any leaves that voicemail for Kristen? Yeah. Wow, what a winner What a fucking
Leslie Briggs 50:24
winner. I mean this guy.
Colleen McCarty 50:26
Yikes. Okay, so he's bottoming out. I think arguably, this is one of the points and this is another one of the turning points or like focal points in the story. Yeah, that causes his violence to escalate pretty extremely. He's losing his kids. I do think from all the evidence that we have seen, he does care a lot about his children and about being a father. Yeah. Like most people do. It's a very primal connection to your children, and you don't want to lose them. And you don't want to lose the ability to see them. Even if you've done stupid shit and hurt people. And so when he actually does lose the right to visit them, unsupervised, he becomes like this chaotic monster.
Leslie Briggs 51:16
Yeah. And, you know, we're going to talk about the kind of immediate years after this, like, between, so this is like, 2014 2015, he bottoms out, but then he like, kind of finds his footing professionally, in some ways. Yes,
Colleen McCarty 51:30
after a long quest, a long quest to find himself, he finally does find a profession where he can have a soft landing.
Leslie Briggs 51:43
Tell us about it. Colleen. What's the what does he do in 2017? I wonder if
Colleen McCarty 51:47
it's going to surprise any of our listeners that Jim lumen ends up becoming a consultant. in personal injury cases working for lawyers, he
Josh Kidd 51:57
was not an employee, he was an individual contractor, independent contractor. So we did indeed work together.
Colleen McCarty 52:04
That was Josh kid, he worked very closely with Jim and use Jim's consulting businesses in his own practice
Leslie Briggs 52:12
led to your like fault, like do you have a falling out with Jim or did you guys just part ways? Or was it? Was there some incidents? Or how did that work?
Josh Kidd 52:21
I mean, looking back, I remember, I think I just caught him lying. He was lying about stuff, about money flow, about advertising and stuff. He was lying about that, and trying to get more money as an independent contractor, and so when I caught that, I just was like, we're done. It was that simple. I don't know what's, in fact, you surprised me when you say that? It's actually still going on? It's hilarious to me.
Leslie Briggs 52:56
But yeah, they're still running the the PI associates, as far as I can tell. It's still in business.
Josh Kidd 53:02
Yeah, he's, yeah, that's a mess. I don't know. That's for legal authorities to deal with. I'm surprised I haven't really dealt with it yet.
Leslie Briggs 53:11
Yeah, I mean, do you think is, is there a world where Jim is out there representing himself to be an attorney?
Josh Kidd 53:17
No, that never happened.
Leslie Briggs 53:19
It's funny, because his voicemail when I call I tried to call him today, because we were supposed to speak this week. His voicemail says something to the effect of like, I'm with clients, or I'm in court. And it just, I mean, you know, there's lots of things that could, that could mean, but I'd you know, it sounds to me like lawyer.
Josh Kidd 53:37
I think Jim tries to do everything he can technically to represent himself as a legal helper. But he just doesn't, he doesn't fire the gun and say, I'm a lawyer.
Colleen McCarty 53:51
There is a cottage industry of people that work out there that are consultants for legal services, they are not providing legal services themselves, but they are consulting with legal services and other types of
Leslie Briggs 54:05
experts. And it's like, it's a cash, it is a cash cow doing personal injury work. And so he opens this business. I mean, technically, it's registered to his son. But he lists himself as the CEO on LinkedIn says
Colleen McCarty 54:19
This is his sixth venture. I mean try try again, folks, because...
Leslie Briggs 54:26
yeah, he figures it out eventually. I mean, at least by all accounts, they're sort of this like these years of milk and honey that he kind of enters in 2017. And it's through PI associates,
Colleen McCarty 54:39
thought it was 2015.
Leslie Briggs 54:42
Well, I don't know if the business is registered in 2017. Oh, okay. But I'd so I don't know what I really don't know, career wise.
Colleen McCarty 54:50
So essentially, if you're looking at it linearly, somebody gets an injury. They come to a lawyer. They say, I can make some money. I deserve some money for my injury. If the lawyer then takes the case goes to Jim and says, Can you investigate this? And can you go to find the chiropractor that this person can go to?
Leslie Briggs 55:10
I don't know like this. I have qualms about this because when you go to that website, Pei associates and you click, you see the attorneys that are listed, and you like go to contact the attorney it every single one of those contact buttons goes to Jim at PIassistants.com.
Colleen McCarty 55:28
Leslie Briggs 55:30
So the company is a sense, the company's PI associates, but the website is PI assistance gets a little confusing, but like every single one, like you're not able to contact the attorney through that website, you're contacting Jim, but like, I'll say this also, lots of law firms have like non lawyers who navigate the pre litigation stuff. Under the supervision, though, of a licensed attorney like they're not they're sending out letters that an attorney has reviewed and approved. But Jim is He's found his niche in this personal injury firm. And so that is where he like stakes his claim.
Colleen McCarty 56:13
This has been kind of a roving journey through a lot of the different pieces of this story so that you can have the background and the texture as we go into the more up close and personal experiences that happened through the rest of this podcast. But Jim goes on to have two more marriages to Heather and Marci in Iowa, and he was divorced most recently in October 2022. From his last known wife, Marci. Each of these women has their own harrowing tale of escaping his abuse, and we hear their stories in detail throughout this podcast. As Jim has gotten older, his patterns have become more prolific and more harmful. Multiple marriages, numerous businesses, some more forthright than others and more than a dozen victims, almost no jail time. You have to start asking yourself what will it take for our system of district attorneys in the state of Oklahoma who pride themselves in protecting victims to actually pursue an investigation and criminal prosecution of such a prolific abuser. On the next episode of panic button operation, wildfire will begin to pull apart Jim Luman's, abusive tactics, starting with how he was his victims and how he lures so many women into relationships that end in tragedy. You can find links to pictures, documents, and all our sources in the show notes of this episode. These cases serve as a reminder of the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the importance of seeking help if you or someone you know, is a victim. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number. For confidential support and resources you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for listening to Panic Button Operation Wildfire and for joining us and shedding light on the importance of ending domestic violence for good. I'm Colleen McCarty, and I'm Leslie Briggs. Panic Button is a production of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. We're recorded at Bison and Bean Studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our theme music is by GYOM additional editing is provided by the wave podcasting. Our music supervisor is Rusty Rowe. Special thanks to our interns Kat and Allison to learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed or donate to keep our mission of fighting for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman reality, go to okappleseed.org.
Tuesday Jul 04, 2023
Tuesday Jul 04, 2023
The song played in this episode is "Getaway" by Bandelier.
To access pictures, maps, and other sources, click here: https://okappleseed.org/not-hard-to-fall-in-love
Welcome to the newest episode of Panic Button: Operation Wildfire. This is Episode 4: Not Hard to Fall in Love.Last week, we told you about Jim's professional life and a little bit about what was going on in his life while he was also simultaneously physically and sexually abusing numerous victims. This week, it's all about the love, baby. Anyone who's ever fallen in love will tell you that falling in love can depend a lot on where you are in life, and what you've gone through and how you perceive yourself. Sure, it matters a lot what the other person is like, if you're attracted to them, and how you interact together. But if you're in a particularly emotional or vulnerable place in your life, like if you've just had a painful breakup, or a divorce, or if you've just lost someone--falling in love can make you vulnerable.
PB S2:E4 Not Hard to Fall in Love (Transcript)
Colleen McCarty, Karrah, Heather, Marci, Leslie Briggs, Christen
Leslie Briggs 00:00
This episode contains graphic accounts of domestic and sexual violence, violence against women in particular, and language that is not suitable for listeners under 18 years of age. Other themes that you may hear in the following episode deal with suicide and addiction. Please use caution when listening. Finally, we've heard from some people who were at the high school at this time that Dawn and Jim were not really high school sweethearts, but they did end up having a son and getting married. We also want to make it clear that the two women who shared the conversations Jim had with them about necrophilia were doing just that, sharing topics of discussion that Jim brought up. No one has ever come forward to allege that Jim actually did have sex with a dead body and that they have some proof. As Colleen and I stated in episode three, we have no opinion on whether or not he ever committed necrophilia and we would rather not think about it now on to our regularly scheduled episode.
Here also you didn't want to be like the others you wanted to be in the beginning was his big thing was he wanted you wanted to be his unicorn. It's like he had this.... one of the first things he asked me was, "Are you my unicorn?" and he, for some reason, you wanted to be his fucking unicorn, you wanted to be that cool girl that could hang out and be cool and watch him do his millionaire business deals. You know, you wanted to be that girl.
Leslie Briggs 02:14
Last week, we told you about Jim's professional life and a little bit about what was going on in his life. While he was also simultaneously physically and sexually abusing numerous victims. This week. It's all about the love, baby. Anyone who's ever fallen in love will tell you that falling in love can depend a lot on where you are in life, and what you've gone through and how you perceive yourself. Sure, it matters a lot what the other person is like, if you're attracted to them, and how you interact together. But if you're in a particularly emotional or vulnerable place in your life, like if you've just had a painful breakup, or a divorce, or if you've just lost someone falling in love can make you vulnerable, or if you've had a traumatic childhood, if you're abused or belittled as a child, or if you have particular insecurities about your body because people teased you. Each of these things, which happened to almost everyone can create the basis for future relationships. If you're in a healthy relationship, you can fall in love with someone who creates a healthy attachment. And that person can actually help you heal your past emotional wounds. You can become the best version of yourself when you fall in love with a healthy person. But when you fall in love with someone who is also hurt and damaged, or worse, someone who is actively cruel and pathological. They can use your pain and vulnerabilities against you. One of the questions we've had over and over again, as we researched the story is how someone like Jim Luman can get so many smart, dynamic professional women to fall in love with him and continue being hurt by him. His victims are lawyers, artists, realtors, nurses and musicians.
At the time I met Jim Luman, I was working as a piano teacher for a music company and also as a graphic designer for that same music company. And I was teaching adult beginner recreational piano lessons and I absolutely adored my job.
I have been a nurse for 25 years. I am a nurse practitioner I currently practice as a family nurse practitioner. I work in my own practice and have my own established group of patients that I care for. Occasionally I fill in at the walking clinic and handle more acute situations. And then very infrequently, but I still do continue to work in the emergency room setting patients in that capacity.
I am a licensed real estate agent in the state of Oklahoma. I help people buy I am still home some lands, and I enjoy that greatly. So,
in 2009-2010, I was a 911 dispatcher. After that I worked in the medical field as a medical assistant. And when I met Jim, I was working for a chiropractor.
Leslie Briggs 05:22
These kinds of professions are taxing. They require empathy, technical knowledge and hustle. Most of us probably have some stereotype of a domestic violence victim in our mind. If we sat and thought about who we think these crimes happened to. Maybe your own preconceived notions make you think it's generally something that happens to people living in poverty, or people addicted to drugs. But we know the statistics show that is not true. In gyms, victims bear that out. They have a wide range of socio economic statuses. Some are multi degree professionals, and some are high school graduates. But all of them found themselves in abusive circumstances. Thanks to Jim. And here's where we're going to break the fourth wall for a minute. This kind of story is very difficult to tell there are so many victims so many tragedies both great and small, that weave in and out of so many people's lives. If we told you all of them in succession, you would begin to get desensitized and it would feel repetitive. So what we've decided to do is tell you each of the phases of Jim's relationships through all of his victims words, we want you to feel what they felt and understand their journeys into the relationships with him. This week's episode details falling in love with Jim over and over and over in almost the exact same way. Welcome to Panic Button. Operation Wildfire. This is Episode Four. "Not Hard to Fall in Love." I'm Leslie Briggs, and I'm Colleen McCarty. The best place to start is at the beginning. Jim usually meets his victims online, either on an online dating site like Plenty of Fish or on Facebook. He always uses messaging on platforms like this to flirt and arrange a meeting. For one of his victims. He knew her from his hometown. This is Christen talking about how Jim came back into her life
where my sister in law invited Jim to my brother's 40th birthday party because they were on you know, we're friends and played football together or whatever. So at that time he was dating. Christa, he brought her to the party at my brother's.
Leslie Briggs 07:31
After the party Jim posted to Facebook when I asked people to meet him at a local bar in Sand Springs called Torchy's.
And he was on Facebook talking about you know, everybody's here, some kind of maybe episodes divorce party or something like that. And I was under the impression like, there were a lot of our mutual friends there. But I get there and it's just him. I can't remember the girl's name now. Nikki, maybe that he was there with and then as soon as I walk in, she says well, I guess this is who you're waiting for. And then leaves. We had a few drinks and then went driving around Sand Springs back roads and talked and watched the sun come up or whatever. And he was trying to encourage me to pay let's go to Dallas for the weekend. Just like all of a sudden, you know,
Leslie Briggs 08:34
another one of Jim's victims. Karrah received a random message from him one day about her side business. Pumpkinbrainz.com. Karrah is an incredibly skilled pumpkin carving artist and she has carved pumpkins for oh you football coach Bob Stoops Peewee Herman and even one for William Shatner. So, pumpkinbrainz.com is kind of a big deal.
And then I met Jim Luman, I met him on Facebook. He found me on Facebook where he, my my niece and his son went to school together. So we had something in common kind of thing. And he was really so confident and so cocky that I liked it. And I'm not used to people like talking to me like they own the place, you know, and I liked that. But I also was kind of put off by him and I was kind of weary of him at first as well. But we talked for about a week before our first date. I'm also a professional pumpkin Carver. You can see my work at pumpkin brains.com No, I am a professional pumpkin Carver and yes, that is a thing. I've I've been I've carved pumpkins for ComiCon I have carved William Shatner for William Shatner. That was one of my cool Learn wins. Pee Wee Herman actually I've carved Pee Wee Herman once on a pumpkin entered it in a concept contest for TMZ Pee Wee Herman ended up like getting all of his followers to vote for me and I won the contest because of BB urban and then and then he kind of became my like weird online friend in it's my pumpkins have gotten me in weird situations, including Jim Luman. Jim Luman actually, he was all about my my pumpkins. They're all about my gourds, y'all. I know that he was really big into my pumpkins at first and was was like, Oh my gosh, we can you can sell these everywhere. And I found out later on. He was taking pictures of my pumpkins and telling women that he was carving them. Like, literally Clank I can't make this. I carved Bob Stoops on a pumpkin. And he sent it into Oh, you and said he did it. That was one fun thing. Yeah. And the other one. They're like, Thanks, Jim Luman for sending this and I'm like me, but okay.
Leslie Briggs 11:10
Heather, a more recent one of Jim's victims who went on to marry him in 2016 met him on a dating site called Plenty of Fish.
So I was coming out of a 20 year marriage, which didn't really know how to do his dating thing and ended up on the dating site, plenty of fish came across Jim's profile, and just started talking to him through there, um, I was kind of seeing somebody else at the time. But that really wasn't gonna go anywhere. And I figured that I thoroughly enjoyed the aspect of being a wife. Um, not that I was quick to, to jump on that wagon per se, but, um, I liked that role in my life. And I wanted somebody who wanted a wife down the line. And Jim kind of took that and ran with it once he figured that out.
Leslie Briggs 12:09
There's nothing inherently nefarious about meeting someone online. Especially if you're dating and you want to meet people, it's one of the easiest ways to find new people. Here's Heather again, talking about one of Jim's favorite things to do with a new flame.
So it was he lived in an apartment in Hubbard, Iowa. And it's just outside of Hubbard. It's this little gravel circle. And it's literally like the same probably five, six mile trip. And it's just in the middle of nowhere. It's kind of an idle thing. We got nothing else to do up here, but drive around, look at stuff. And he he really likes deer. So the route that we would take is just covered in deer like we would go out a lot of times at night and just count how many deer we could see while we were out.
Leslie Briggs 12:58
So Emporia Kansas was just another like I picked him up from his mom's house. And we had no like reservations or plans or anything. And it was pick him up and then take him to go get beer and then a highway 99 We went into Kansas, he had a whole list of songs and song lists for different things. But he you know, there was a song called Jolene by Ray...
Leslie Briggs 13:37
Oh, Ray LaMontagne.
And I would sing sometimes and he, you know, liked for me to sing. And he told me that he was a that he managed a band or helped like cowrite a song. But yeah, I had a certain you know, set sunless and stuff like that, that that was important to him. Sometimes he would bring even like a USB speaker thing to, to play it better wherever we were going.
Leslie Briggs 14:08
Karrah also got to experience the thrill of driving with no real schedule or destination in mind.
So he, we ended up he's like, let's just go drive around and we'll go, we'll go I'll go show you some stuff. So we ended up driving to his home town area. And he takes me to a place called Frog rock, which is this big rock that looks like a frog. I know. It's a surprise. It's a big green rock. But he eventually took me to another place and I think it was called Sandy Point. It was just this little beach area that he took me to. Then he took me to a place called Boston All rode. We were going to go to my mom's house and see if we were gonna go stay the night at my parents house. Because my, my parents actually had a big, nice house, they just built kind of close to where he lived. And we're kind of close to where his mom lived. And my mom was dying of Alzheimer's. And we were like, let's just go see her while we're out. And he's like, okay, that's fine. But first, let's go do some a couple more things. So we went to Boston Pool Road, where he showed we, it's basically this eight mile road where you drive around in circle, and he drinks beer. We only went around three, three times. And then he wanted to show me where his sister lived. And so one thing at Boston Paul road that he did point out to me, was this place that he wanted to buy, was right across like this body of water from my where my mom lived. And like this place that he wanted to buy, was a stone's throw from where my dying mother was. And so I'm like, he wants to live out here by my mom, you know, I mean, that was something also that I was like, Yeah,
Leslie Briggs 16:18
so you're hearing something that's important for a number of reasons. One is because these folks live in very rural areas in both Oklahoma and Iowa, something rural places all have in common is there's not a lot to do. In a more urban area, you might go to a park or a bar, or a restaurant or a gym, or go to an event that's happening nearby. On any one evening in Cleveland, or Sao Paulo, Oklahoma, there just isn't a lot to do. Plus, driving has become one of the common threads of living in a rural community. Anyone based in a rural town house to get really comfortable spending hours in the car?
Colleen McCarty 17:09
Wow, loud draw.
Leslie Briggs 17:49
There's something else interesting about spending so much time in the car with someone you don't know very much about. After looking into this a little I believe there is a method to this. Being in a car with someone is a fast way to create intimacy. You're physically proximate, but you don't have to look into each other's eyes, you share a destination and are prone to reveal things about yourself and a long drive conversation that you might not if the date were in a restaurant or coffee shop. Here's the thing about my theory, it seems to bear fruit for Jim, his partner starts to feel some type of way about him really fast.
Well, it was fairly, you know, the familiarity of him knowing as many people that I know, and a lot of history of, you know, things that are funny, like teachers that we knew, and, you know, it was very captivating, and familiar to be with him during that time. And of course, he's telling me all these things like that he's doing all these things where he's successful in business. And I think at that time, he had just sold gripe with me.com or something like that. And he showed me something about the the news did a segment on him selling that or whatever. And then then he hadn't like, I think it was beloved voices he had going on or it was just something about what was going on. It He had something going on in his mind all the time. So it wasn't a boring conversation, I guess it's all was always there, you know,
for that first, probably four to six weeks that we talked, I would come up after the kids would either go to bed, or there were no kids there. So it was usually like 10 o'clock at night. So I'd go up and I would spend three days just wrapped up with him in bed, like, we'd just be in bed for three days, he'd wake up, and he'd go make me something for breakfast, he'd bring it into me, we'd lay there and talk and just cuddle and it was just something just out of this world,
intrigued by him. And when we kissed it felt like you know, was passionate.
And I'd been in a marriage where I was responsible for all the finances, every decision that ever had to be made was mine. And suddenly, I have this man who's cooking for me who's saying, hey, pack a bag, we're gonna go for a trip this weekend. Like, like, and he's the lawyer so he makes money. So I had all this security in one man. And then it just derailed.
Leslie Briggs 21:17
By all accounts, Jim makes the women in his life feel comfortable and listened to. Here's his most recent wife, Marci.
I felt comfortable. He had shared some of those trauma with me. So, you know, it was just a conversation. Yeah. And yeah, I mean, I felt very comfortable talking to him. Well, I remember talking about some traumas from my life. And he was just so understanding and, and will talk to me about it and try to help me work through it and get over it, which is very empathetic. He was very, very funny. very compassionate, very caring. We had talked all day, for about a month. Yeah. Maybe a little over.
Leslie Briggs 22:24
Something else our listeners might find familiar from season one is this idea of whisking your new romantic partner away on a weekend or a quick trip early on in the relationship. Jim and Christen went on a few weekends away in the early days of dating. Here's the story of one of those.
Alright, picked him up from a parking lot. He had his bag with him and we just took off for the night or the weekend maybe. And we went to the river, which is in town near Tahlequah. And we sat there and talked and I think that was where we kissed and where he talked about the 51% where he believes that the man is you know, it's like it's not exactly equal in a relationship. He was explaining that the man has more of a responsibility to how the finances and how everything goes because whenever everything falls apart, everyone looks at the man like oh, it's his fault or whatever. So he is really trying to sell that he was the 51%
Leslie Briggs 23:31
tight. In fact, Karrah's first date was a trip to Branson, and if you live anywhere within five hours of driving time to Branson, Missouri, and you haven't been it's time to fix that, because Branson is like Vegas, but if you're a fundamentalist Christian, and it caters to an average age of 55 but there is a very fun amusement park there called Silver Dollar City, which is a frontier themed Park. That's got great rollercoasters.
Our first date was out of state, our first date we go all the way to Missouri I picked him up in his driveway of his big beautiful home that was down the street for me. He had an he owned it well, he said he owned it. It was a big two story home with several beds, bedrooms, several bathrooms It was big and impressive for for a single man to have you know and it was really clean. So our first date we go all the way to Missouri where he starts to already crossed kind of boundaries with me that first night. He definitely was not we got a room with two we got the same room and I was I was trying to be like, I don't I'm not gonna sleep with you, dude. I got a five date role. And but you know, I wanted to get to know him. So I was like, Let's go Got a room with two beds. And so we got a room with two beds. And he didn't respect me on my my bed boundary at all. So he definitely, we have sex that first night with me definitely not saying yes, but I did not consider that like an conceptual I just felt it. Me saying yes because I didn't want to deal with the fallout of saying no. And now looking back, I think I was already scared of him kind of thing. The next day we go have a wonderful time at Silver Dollar City. He is he's saying things like, he's like, look how these these people are looking at us. They think we're married. They think we're they think we're an old married couple already. And, and he was really trying to put that in my head, like, look what a great couple we make. And he was also being gross, touchy to, like, just, I couldn't go anywhere without him having his hands on my butt or my boobs or just something and it was just kind of like, you know, and he tried to play it off. Like he was just like, kidding. And, you know, for a lot of those times I was strapped in, in a on a roller coaster with something over me that was fun. We rode rides until I was sick that day. And then the first he actually took my aisle. Now, one thing that sticks out to me, when we were at Silver Dollar City, there was this cow, a wooden cow that you could go pretend milk and it had like these little fake cow Teddy's. And so he said, Go milk that cow. And I was like, No, I'm not gonna go milk that cow. And he took my phone from me. And he said, Go milk the cow. And so like, you know, I grew up with a big sister and like cousins that teased me. So I it was making me laugh. And I didn't I don't mind people teasing me. And if he looking back he was it was the first time he took my phone from me and I and I was forced to do something to get my phone back kind of thing. And that happened later on. But it was a lot more serious.
Leslie Briggs 27:28
When Jim was together with his partners, he wasn't just listening to their stories and learning about them. He was also sharing interesting stories about his own life and experiences. And here are some of the examples that he gave some of the survivors like
he was a pilot. He actually had passed the bar exam, but didn't become an attorney. Or no, he got to eat leave. I'm sorry. He got his law degree, but never took the bar exam. One of the I can't remember there was some specific reason why his sister was the attorney. And he wasn't. And then he later would tell me that he was also a mortician. His degree was in mortuary science. And so I was kind of impressed with all of his abilities. Like the fact that he was also an a pilot. I was thinking, you know, they don't let just anyone be pilots, right? I don't know. I think I was wrong on that. But and then he was he had a baby with a country singer Sarah Evans, who's this famous country singer, and he had friends that were country singers. And I was I was very impressed by that.
Leslie Briggs 28:46
Another interesting thing that the women who've been with Jim discussed was his beautiful and enigmatic personal assistant, Vikki Brochan. Jim hired Vikki to work in one of his businesses. And she had 1000s of connections on LinkedIn. Frequently, Vikki would post on LinkedIn and Facebook about going for flights with Jim and his plane. And he even bought her a chihuahua and a red Corvette.
She would say how fun it was to watch a football game together with him over the weekend or thanks for the plane ride or you know thanks for the new ad or something you know like it was really so great to be his boyfriend. Vicki thought he was so great
looking back he had like he was getting all these you had this assistant that was working for him Vicki brush and that was doing all this work for my pumpkins and getting all of these fans for my pumpkin page. Which I didn't really it funny enough I'm not big into like having a lot of like fans. I don't have time to be carving a lot of pumpkins in October like it's not like something that I do because I want fans you know, I mean, he wanted the fans for Me and so he all of a sudden, like my my Pinterest page, and I'm like who uses Pinterest but he he's got like 1000s of followers on my Pinterest page. My Facebook page has 1000s of followers all because Vicki brush in his assistant is really helping me out. And I was like, Well, this is great. You know, she's, she's at least awesome. And then he his, his business savvy impressed me like he was always making deals like he was buying semis full of stuff. And like, in making millions of dollars at once. And it was just fascinating to me, you know, and as a single mother, sure I'm, what a what a cheap as I was, but I'm just like, Dude, you're like a millionaire. And this is really weird that you're even hanging out with me, you know, I make 13 bucks an hour.
Leslie Briggs 30:58
So we know that one of the attractions to Jim was his exotic lifestyle, his money and his business savvy. Heather, who you heard from a bit ago was one of the women who went on to marry Jim. We know from episode one with ember that marriage was one of Jim's goals from the very early on. He always wanted to be married and often push his partners towards marriage very quickly. Heather and Jim were together for a mere four months before they got married in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
So we like I said, we're our first date. This was probably like July 4, or fifth, we got married. I know I'm terrible. But I've kind of blocked it out, I want to say October 11. of that same year. And there was so much that happened in that amount of time.
Leslie Briggs 31:47
You might remember from a previous clip that Heather had just recently divorced her ex husband of 20 years, only five months prior to marrying Jim, she realized that one of the things she really liked about being married was being a wife, and having someone to take care of. So the first marriage actually appealed to her in a way.
So he started kind of priming me in September, he was sending me pictures of wedding rings saying like, which one would you prefer and things like that. And then he just suggested that we go to Arkansas, after the it's at the Oklahoma State Fair was in Tulsa. So he had this plan to go to the Oklahoma State Fair. And then he wanted me to come down there and go to Tulsa with him. Or to excuse me, hotsprings any loan? Which, at that time, I'm like, uh, yeah, of course. So we had arranged with a wedding planner in Hot Springs. I'd found them before we went down there on the dates. And they did all of the photography. They officiated the ceremony. They had the ceremony locations. So it was absolutely it was a beautiful trail, tree lined. And it was just the three of us. Um, I thought at the time, he seemed very into it, looking back and almost like it was a burden that we had to stop and do this. But he never, you know, he took the pictures, he smiled. He told me he loved me and i don't know i It wasn't this big, beautiful grandiose wedding that women dream of. But it was pretty intimate. And I didn't have on a wedding dress I had on just a regular dress that I normally would wear. So it's nothing fancy. Um, he had not bought me a ring, we went to Walmart and got a ring, a fake ring to use for the ceremony. And then he was going to buy something when we got back to Iowa, which he never did.
Leslie Briggs 33:54
During the four months that Heather and Jim were dating, they started to experiment with more of what she would call the s&m or like 50 Shades of Grey types of sexual behaviors. To her at the time, it was exciting and new.
And everything just escalated. It started so innocent and so playfully fun and different for me. And then it just there was like the beginning hot wax, and then you you know, kind of peel it off with a sharp knife. So I think that we used to do that I absolutely loved was he would hit me in the butt with a belt, a leather belt. And it was weird because he would lay on a sign I would lay right up to him. So our faces were right at each other like I and he told me pick a number and I'd be like, okay, so if I picked a three that would be like a, you know, just a little SWOT if I picked a 10 That was like a Whap and it was it was kind of like this. And he got off on my reaction to the severity of it.
Leslie Briggs 35:01
These kinds of behavior were part of what Heather loved about Jim. He was exciting and unpredictable. After coming from a marriage, where she felt she had to always make decisions and run the household. She found it refreshing and thrilling to enter into a new phase of life and try new things in the bedroom. The thing about Jim is that he often appears spontaneous and charming at first, but his particular brand of abuse is gradual demoralisation. And it causes you to call into question your very essence as a person of use is so confusing to the victim. Because at so many parts in the relationship, you can feel so good. You can feel so much love for this person that is hurting you. But we can draw a distinction between someone who hurts their partner gets therapy and works hard to change, versus a person who has a method, an intention, and continues to escalate their violence over and over and over again.
He is a creature of habit. And if you he made the comment to me one time, he's like, all you bitches are the same. All I have to do is do the same thing from day one. So that's like when Marcy and him first split up. And I was trying to get to Marcy to make her understand. It was like I said, I bet you got pictures of rings. I wonder if they're the same rings I got. I wonder if you did this. We've all been to this damn tree, this frog rock, whatever the fuck that is. We've all been on Boston pool row. We've, you know, everybody up here has been to Omaha, everybody appears on this. We've all cruised the same background. And I'm trying to ask Marcy, did you look at this house, you know, what do you think of it? You know, he approaches every one of us
systematically. I was completely done with them. And I'm not going to be the kind of girl that goes back. Unfortunately, I can now empathize with why women do go back to their abusers. A few days later, his apologies really started. And I and I didn't want to be back with him. I didn't. I knew I didn't want to be back with him. But I also wanted to not be wrong about either, in a way. Like, I just, I wanted him to be sorry. I wanted to hear how sorry. He was like, oh, like how self righteous Have you like, you're gonna say you're sorry. You know, if you can also you didn't want to be like the others you wanted to. You wanted to be his unicorn. But I went on a third weekend with him. Third weekend, we we drove around Boston pool road and he ended up stopped, we stopped he put a gun to my head.
Leslie Briggs 37:48
Next week on panic button, we'll hear how things in Jim's relationship started to shift. And that visceral fear that hits you when you realize you're out in the middle of nowhere, alone in a car with someone who's twice your size, who wants to hurt you. You can find links to pictures, documents, and all our sources in the show notes of this episode. These cases serve as a reminder of the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the importance of seeking help if you or someone you know, as a victim. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number. For confidential support and resources you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for listening to panic button Operation Wildfire and for joining us and shedding light on the importance of ending domestic violence for good. I'm Colleen McCarty, and I'm Leslie Briggs. Panic Button is a production of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. were recorded at Bison and Bean studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our theme music is by GYOM. Additional editing is provided by The Wave Podcasting. Our music supervisor is Rusty Rowe. Special thanks to our interns, Kat and Allison. To learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed or donate to keep our mission of fighting for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman reality go to OkAppleseed.org.
Friday Jul 07, 2023
Friday Jul 07, 2023
Our first bonus episode this season features an interview with Forrest Smith. Forrest ran for sheriff of Pawnee County in 2010. He hired Jim Luman, the subject of this podcast, to help him with his campaign. Forrest opens up about his experiences with Jim and the aftermath of a separate assault against a woman named Brandi.
Forrest also speaks about the system's response to domestic violence, and the tragic consequences that happen when we don't get it right.
Tuesday Jul 11, 2023
Tuesday Jul 11, 2023
The song featured in this episode is Street Light by Branjae.
Season 2, episode 5 of Panic Button brings us face to face with the red flags in Jim’s relationships. Bringing dates to a graveyard? Talking about leaving your fiancé in a field to get eaten by animals? Following fetish accounts on Instagram? Going through your girlfriend’s phone? These are just some of the red flags the survivors who have dated Jim saw waving as the walls of their abusive relationships began to close in on them.
Pictures and source documents available here.
Karrah, Tisha, Colleen McCarty, Jim Luman, Leslie Briggs, Kimber, Marci, Branjae, Operator, Christen, Heather
Leslie Briggs 00:00
This episode contains graphic accounts of domestic and sexual violence, violence against women in particular, and language that is not suitable for listeners under 18 years of age. We also discussed coercive control. So please use caution when listening.
And you know, we sat and talked, you know, everything was good. And yeah, something in his little brain flipped after we left that's because we were already back to my house. You know, he was dropped me off. And yeah, it something triggered, and he showed up, bit me on my bit me on my cheek completely out of nowhere. I mean, when I say it's like you flip on a light switch. That's exactly what it what it is, you know, and I don't I really don't remember what happened other than we were talking. And the next thing I knew, I thought he was grabbing me to kiss me. And he grabbed me and said, my face, I have never had anyone like, nibble my face. This was straight up, I had teeth marks and a bruise, somebody was like, You need to call the cops. And I'm like, what for? What are they gonna do? Oh, you went out with this guy, one time and he bit you. Don't go out with him again.
So when you start seeing red flags, acknowledge them and let it go before you really get hurt. It's too good to be true. It probably is too good to be true.
Leslie Briggs 01:24
Have you ever been in a relationship that seemed to be going so well? And then out of the blue? Your partner says or does something that goes up like flare in your mind? Was that a red flag? Does that mean I need to leave? Is that the last straw? Maybe it's just a bad day. When you are in relationship with an abusive person. The red flags come in many forms and those behaviors are deployed for different purposes. There are a million books and research papers on abuse and why people are abusive. The most recent research confirms that abuse is about control. And there are a lot of different tactics to get control over someone. Some of these tactics are minor and almost undetectable. Others are violent and scary.
Colleen McCarty 02:11
On last week's episode, we showed you what it was like to fall in love with Jim lumen. This week, we show you what happens when that love turns toxic. This is panic button, Operation Wildfire, and you're listening to Episode Five bloody red flags. I'm Colleen McCarty.
Leslie Briggs 02:32
And I'm Leslie Briggs.
Colleen McCarty 02:34
If you're just getting started with us, we recommend you go back and start listening from episode one. For ease of listening, and also for anyone listening who might be living with these behaviors at home and who hasn't been able to put words to your experience. We've categorized the types of red flags in this episode by the types of behavior Jim exhibits with his victims. The types of red flags are low empathy, dishonesty, coercive control, sexual violence and physical violence. We'll start with low empathy red flags. Typically people like Jim who are chronic abusers have very low empathy for other people. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of someone else. Having low empathy is not necessarily against the law, and it isn't a basis for saying someone was abusive. However, it is an indication that someone might be abusive or can be used to explain abuse after the fact.
And I can tell you know, he kind of disconnected from me a little bit. I figured he's probably texting Amber again, or whoever else. And he tells me it's just best that he goes or whatever, and I was like, okay, all right. You know, we have and he got all of his things. And I felt like he had Amber come and get him. Now, he stole my truck. Yeah, he just took off in my truck. And so I call he doesn't answer think I tags. And, you know, he like, tells me like, doesn't care Fuck off, or whatever He tells me, you know, and I like have a pretty good idea of like where he is. And so I called the police and the police told me since I know the person who has the vehicle, but it's not stolen but there's nothing I can do criminally that it would be a civil issue. So I decided I would go get my truck. And I took my pistol my daughter, and we went to the trailer park over at Amber's and the keys were in it. And he was asleep inside I guess or whatever. So without incident, I took my truck back.
Leslie Briggs 04:51
He's married to Amber the whole time you guys are seeing one another.
I just remember when I met him at Torchy's It was for like a divorce party, but I think it was his divorce from Misty. If the timeline matches up, and then he tells me like we're dating, and he tells me that he's got to be with Amber because, you know, it's divorce and it makes it look better that he has someone instead of being alone, and yeah, he, he tells me that's why he's marrying her, whatever. But he, and the whole time, you know, she's aware that I'm in the picture too. He tells her that we're just friends.
And then I noticed, I remember seeing her headstone and thinking it and I remember it sticking out because he said she was a crazy bitch. And, and I remember thinking, well, he's already said Amber was a crazy bitch. He said, Misty was a crazy bitch. So that's weird. You know? Why is he calling his dead sister a crazy bitch. And I just I remember the back of her headstone. It was pretty much like, "sorry, I was so crazy." I mean, I don't remember exactly the words that said it was something something poetic, but it was pretty much I felt like it was just sealing the deal that she was crazy. For some reason, like, I don't know. Anyway, so he took me to her house that she used to live in, where his brother in law and his neices still lived. They were not home. So we went in by ourself where he told me to play her piano. And you, I was like, it's kind of weird. He's like, No, sit down. Just play her piano for me. I was like, okay, so I sit down and I played November rain by Guns and Roses. And he stared at me the whole time. And then we went to Boston Pool Road, again, went around a few more times, and it was getting dark. And I was really sad because I wanted to make catch my mom's bed time. Because you know, she had a bed time. She was on hospice at that time. And he was really weird about like, controlling my time, he wouldn't he wouldn't stop. He wanted to go around one more time. One more time. And I'm like, but I want to see my mom. And sure enough, when we got to my mom's my mom was asleep in her bed in the living room. And Jim Luman walked up to my mom, it was laying there asleep and kissed her forehead.
Leslie Briggs 07:32
The next group of stories illustrates the gym is generally dishonest. Some of these have to do with infidelity or cheating. Now, we know that there are folks out there who might be in an open relationship or a non monogamous relationship. And that's not what we're talking about with this. What we're talking about is the way in which Jim will pit women against one another, or use other relationships to make someone jealous. It's a classic abusive tactic,
the first conversation I ever had with his girlfriend, Christen. I had been on a first date with him. And we got back from our first date. And his girlfriend at the time, which I did not know he she existed. I just found out that he had a girlfriend. Well, she was saying that she was his girlfriend, and she was asking me about my pumpkins. And she said, Well, my boyfriend Jimmy likes your pumpkins. And I was like, he's my boyfriend, late and lady. And she's like, Well, I'm gonna block you. And then we stopped being friends for a while.
Colleen McCarty 08:34
Sometimes the dishonesty can be about something small, like lying about where you got your couch.
There was a lot of little like, fights trying to make me jealous with certain things. And it was it was interesting to me, because when I first went to his place, I didn't think anything of it, but he would make comments like, on the couch that was in his living room. He's like, Well, that was here when I moved in and they couldn't move it out. That's why I have that couch. Um, his bed was an air mattress didn't have a real bit like he had no real possessions. The first time I ever went up to his apartment and met the kids I went up to help him set up a bunk bed for the kids, which come to find out. Shannon summers from Oklahoma, had driven up and bought with him, and then ended up driving home. It's so twisted and tumultuous,
Colleen McCarty 09:26
or lying about creating something that you clearly didn't create.
I found out later on, he was taking pictures of my pumpkins and telling women that he was carving them.
Colleen McCarty 09:40
Sometimes lying could seem like it's supposed to be a joke.
So Leroy called me to tell me and oh my God is with me like I don't know why like all of a sudden I'm just so mad but there's one more girl in the picture I guess. I can my car and driving right Over. And by this time she's gone. Jim's passed out upstairs and the door's unlocked. I don't bother knocking. I'm like in some kind of autopilot craziness. And I go straight upstairs and there's a dildo on the floor that I stepped over. And what I'm there for is a T shirt that is a blouse that I had hung in his closet. And if that blouse was not going to hang in that closet, while another girl's and that was like, all that matters me is I needed that blouse. So I go up the stairs. And step over is still though and he opens his eyes about this time to see me in his room. And he's like, what, what are you doing? I said, Nice dildo, and I grabbed my shirt. And he was like, hell, what did he say? Could have been using that on Leroy are counting like, because he knew then that I knew he had a girl over so he's trying to say it was like him and Leroy
Colleen McCarty 11:02
then there's big lying, like creating fake people online. Remember Vikki Brochan? Jim's personal assistant from the last episode.
Vicki Brochan Well, she's no longer with us. We she's dead now. Vikki Brochan is actually does not exist and never did exist. She was a he had a picture of a mail order Russian bride that he used as her profile picture. He had maybe one or two other pictures of her that he used and he she had a LinkedIn page with 1000s of followers. And I'm talking on Vicki's birthday. She would get so many birthday greetings from all these men. And she just be like, Thank you. Thank you. And turns out Viki Brochan is Jim Luman. Viki Brochan was Jim Luman posing to be a woman to make other women jealous of his beautiful assistant. Jim, he used her to triangulate to he had on her Facebook page. There's proof of well, it's not proof ish. She's got post. Well, she sorry. I don't know. Vicki has post of Jim taking her flying on his plane. She has posted of the of the Corvette that he bought her. She has posted of the little teacup chihuahua that he bought her you know, because he loves me. And so I'm sure Amber was seeing those and being really jealous because he didn't buy her a dog or a Corvette or an airplane. Anyway, Vicki Brochan was Jim Luman.
Leslie Briggs 12:59
How did you guys find out that it was him?
I found I found out it was him. Because I learned it was Google started to allow that feature where you could search for images. So I searched for the Russian mail order bride photo that he had as his profile picture. It came up as Martina something but then he had another LinkedIn page after Vikki died. That was something Victoria Smithson. And he also used the same picture of Vikki Brochan from use those same pictures as well. And so LinkedIn kind of took both of those down for us, because you guys reached out to LinkedIn and said, We did reach out to LinkedIn. And I actually I had a couple of friends that were reaching out to him and saying, Hey, this is kind of confusing. This girl looks like this girl, you know, just to kind of jab him a bit. One of my piano movers would always would always do his kind of kind of jab a little bit.
Colleen McCarty 14:23
Other big line examples are saying you have a certification for professional occupation.
Leslie Briggs 14:30
Yeah, so did he actually say to you, I am a licensed attorney.
What? Okay, I don't know if he ever said those words to me. But I will tell you that he never corrected me. He at one point when we very first started talking, we were supposed to spend the weekend together and he had to cancel he had to go back to Oklahoma. And the reason he gave me was because his niece had been picked up for fighting. And he had to go defend her and get her out of jail. No, when he was on the phone talking to clients. There was one instance in particular when we were in Omaha. And he was laying on the bed naked and talking to a client. And I got off of he got off the phone. And I said, I wonder if she has any idea that her lawyer is laying on the bed naked and talking to her. And he just giggled. So I don't know that he ever came out and said it. I know his plenty of fish profile used to say that his job was legal, but I was never corrected. I was never told no, no, I'm just just this or just that. He told me multiple times he doesn't he didn't take the Iowa bar. And what the rationale for that was.
Colleen McCarty 15:50
For the record, Jim is not an attorney has never been an attorney has never been to law school and has never taken a bar exam anywhere that we could find. He is not certified to practice law in any state,
Leslie Briggs 16:01
but just want to chime in and say that Bar Association's in the states where he's operating should care about the things that he's doing. Because we don't in Oklahoma, we may have paralegals, but we actually don't have a requirement for a certification for a paralegal, you can go and you can get like an Associate's and that can like help you get a job. But we don't have anybody overseeing those people other than the lawyers. And that leaves open this unregulated territory for someone like Jim to call himself a, quote, legal consultant, and do whatever it is that he's doing in the personal injury game. You know, when I tried to call him recently to get his interview and his version of these events, this is what his voicemail says.
Jim Luman 16:44
I'm not able to get the phone right now, I'm either with clients. On the other line, or possibly in court, if you will, please leave your name, number and a message and I'll return your call as soon as possible.
At the tone, please record your message. When you finished recording, you may hang up or press one for more options.
Leslie Briggs 17:06
Hi, Jim, it's Leslie over at Oklahoma Appleseed. I was just trying to give you a follow up to see if you had you wanted to still kind of give us your side of the story. You can call me back anytime today. And I'll be this is my direct line. So you can catch me here. Thank you. So I just want to say I think that Bar Associations should care about regulating the non lawyer legal space, and take steps to ensure that people who are engaging in Paralegal type activities or quote legal consulting type activities, either have some kind of like, certification requirement or an oversight requirement that can be tracked and controlled by the bar.
Colleen McCarty 17:51
Yes, because like this, like we found, as we researched all this, this is sort of falls into a gray space like he's, it's he could easily say he's not doing unauthorized practice of law. And I don't think other attorneys or judges or people affiliated with the Oklahoma bar, or the Iowa bar would be comfortable with the gray space that this person is operating in, especially when they let people believe that they are a practicing attorney and don't correct that. Even more big lies would have to do with money.
I was I was cashing the checks. Like I was working the cases with him. I watched him on the phone with insurance companies like I had no reason to think he wasn't, we were pulling in 30 grand a month. So I'm like, why would I even question that?
Colleen McCarty 18:43
Or whether or not you have a criminal history, that he
had explained it away and the son had explained it away. My understanding, and he'd even show me a court document that he had told his ex wife Heather to go fuck yourself, because of the word fuck that put it into the sex registry offense.
Leslie Briggs 19:08
And you spoke to his son about that as well.
But I believe he told me that it was because he had said that to Heather.
Leslie Briggs 19:18
How did like how did he get involved? Tell me about that conversation? Like why did he tell you like, Hey, I'm gonna have my son vouch for me like you can talk to him about it or like, how did that come about?
I really don't remember if I had brought it up. probably me saying something. But you know, like I said, he would show me a court document that stated that's what it was. So I was like, Okay, well, I can overlook that. Because who doesn't say that?
Colleen McCarty 19:44
Or even how many people the abuser is seeing at once.
But if you think about it, he's always probably got three of us he talks about the triangulation. So these are telling me all the time I got a girl in Oklahoma, you're my Iowa girl. Don't worry about it. There'll be almost You're a girl, you know, don't worry about it. Well, in my instance, there was me there was Sarah, and Amber still in the picture, all Amber's always in the picture
Leslie Briggs 20:10
Well look, unless there are criminal implications to the lies lying in and of itself isn't usually a crime. It's another indicator that you might be dealing with someone who is abusive. The next group of stories shows coercive control. Coercive control refers to a pattern of controlling behaviors that create an unequal power dynamic in a relationship. These behaviors give the perpetrator power over their partner making it difficult for them to leave.
Colleen McCarty 20:38
So I think it's worth mentioning here that there's actually a recent movement in the United States to codify coercive control. And three states explicitly haven't statute actually, Oklahoma is one of the three states that has coercive control codified but we only have it codified in the family law code, which means it can be used against someone in a family law case like divorce or custody case. But it's not a criminal definition, of course of control. But there are 10 states that have a statute that mimics something that's very close to criminal to coercive control. So it's interesting because it's hard to define what coercive control is, but a lot of domestic violence and sexual assault groups across the country are working to make this actually a criminal offense.
Leslie Briggs 21:28
It's interesting. What if What can I do the devil's advocate thing? Yeah, but because it's like, course of control. I mean, we know that it's like this accumulation of behaviors that results in like the inability to act independent of your partner, or free like, you know, essentially robbing you of your free will. But like, at what point do you reach the critical mass? You know, I like like, I want my wife to, like, do the laundry. And so as I was having an argument, and her deciding to do the laundry, is that me? coercively controlling her?
Colleen McCarty 22:10
Well, let me just read to you how we describe it in Oklahoma. It is coercive control, involving physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, economic, or financial abuse. So it has to meet one of those other abuses. And you're using that abuse or the threat of the abuse to control the person. Yeah, it's kind of a slippery slope. If you ask me. I think
Leslie Briggs 22:39
it could be, I think it could be, because like, what behaviors? It's almost like, pornography, you know, you know it when you see it? Yeah. It's difficult to define. Yeah.
Colleen McCarty 22:50
And the thing about coercive control is it's really like, an environment or a culture inside of a relationship. And it would take a lot of evidence to produce to show a culture or an environment exists. Yeah. That's tricky. You can't just show one act of what someone would call coercive control and say that you were being coercively controlled. I think it takes more than that.
Leslie Briggs 23:19
This is again, why the more that we look at these issues, and the more we like, come up with what we think are good policy, looking at other states and all of that I keep coming back to this idea that like courts, and in particular, criminal courts, and I guess family courts, too, are not the... I mean, they are a last resort for solving these problems, we have got to find a better way as a society to intervene sooner. I think it starts with the police because they're the first responders to calls. I don't know what that looks like, but like intervening before we get to the point of like, we're expecting a criminal court, or a family court to rule on custody or to put someone away in jail to solve this problem. Because it's like, we need to intervene when you are coercively controlling somebody about the fucking laundry or the dishes or not getting your dinner on time. Before you are punching them in the face. You know what I mean?
Colleen McCarty 24:17
Yeah, but then like I don't know. It's so hard. Like what even is the intervention that we're asking people to do is just like, separate you?
Leslie Briggs 24:31
Yeah, no, I mean, toxic masculinity. strikes again, like, stop being a toxically masculine person who can only is only emotion is anger.
Colleen McCarty 24:45
Yeah, I mean, that goes to such deep roots of like, how we raise boys and how we don't want boys to have feelings. Yeah. So many things
Leslie Briggs 24:54
that I'm not qualified to comment on. Frankly,
Colleen McCarty 24:57
honestly, truly, we're gonna have an expert's episode this season. And that's going to be really good. And I think some of those folks have ideas about this
Leslie Briggs 25:04
samesies, okay. Coercive of control can be seemingly small.
That was, I mean, one problem that we had was all the time that we wanted to go. So when we put some makeup on, and he got mad at the wanting to put makeup on, and he ended up moving without me and got kinda of crappy.
And so he said, Go milk that cow. And I was like, No, I'm not gonna go milk that cow. And he took my phone from me. And he said, Go milk the cow. And so like, you know, I grew up with a big sister, and like, cousins that teased me. So I it was making me laugh. And I didn't I don't mind people teasing me. And he looking back, he was, there was the first time he took my phone from me and I, and I was forced to do something to get my phone back kind of thing. And that happened later on. But it was a lot more serious.
I can remember one time when we're going out of town, and I said, I need to stop at Walgreens and get some makeup because I'm running low. And I didn't grab it before I came to get you. So we'll just stop. And he's like, you don't even make it. We're not stopping. I laughed, like I didn't understand, you know. So it just,
it was constant. Just mind games, mind games, not allowed to talk to my family, he would tell me if I could go out and have a cigarette or not. One night, the kids were there, we were playing this game where you take something off the fridge and you eat a spoonful of it. And it escalated to him wanting me to go out and put my tongue on the grill because it was sub zero so that the girls could see what what happened when he did that. And then when he got pissed at me, because I wouldn't do it. Then that became a big deal after the kids went to bed. They're just constant fights it's constant. And I wouldn't say word and I shut my mouth.
Leslie Briggs 27:12
What are can you help us? What are some of these you would say? Like taking that the grill example? Like, how does he turn that into a fight? You know what I mean? Like, can you tell me what he's saying? Are you remembers that something may be that your brain is blocked out? I could understand if so. But yeah,
I remember that clear as day because that happened. And I was in tears standing in the kitchen at the sink. And he walked up behind me and got as close as he could, like a sandwich grabbed a hold of me by the hips, put his fucking mouth in my ear. And he says, I don't know why you have to be such a fucking cunt all the time.
Leslie Briggs 27:49
This type of control can be used to make you leave places or interrupt plans. He was
actually going through my phone. And I didn't know he was going through my phone. And he was using his phone to go through my Facebook. And I had an April Fool's post from years ago with my my friend Troy, who was a gay man that worked at Saeid music with me. And we, we pretended like we went to Vegas and got married. And we clearly didn't get married. He's a gay man. I'm a straight woman. And Jim found this out in it. It got his retroactive jealousy, enraged, which he said. He got on this long spiel about how he's got serious issues with retroactive jealousy. And we ended up leaving Branson because he was mad about Troy, my ex husband that I was never married to. And but on our way home, we were going to see we were going to go our separate ways the date was going to be over. He decided on the way home he started apologizing. That's when he started explaining his retroactive jealousy. And now this is a couple hour drive home. It's not like we're we've got a 15 minute drive. So he's starts telling me like why he has all these jealous feelings. Because Amber was a cheater. And in you know, he's got these reasons and he's got tears coming. And it's breaking my heart. And he's like, I've got to stop drinking. I can't drink anymore. And I'm like, Yeah, you probably should stop drinking, and clearly makes you angry.
Leslie Briggs 29:42
Very often in these relationships. coercive control is used to cut people off from their existing family and friends.
If I didn't do something that we wanted me to do, and he would whip me with a belt, like I was a child would ground me from my phone would take watch away so that I couldn't call anybody.
And it would get to the point where he would just start really getting on me about, you know, every family member. Well, this is why she's better. This is why he's bad. I'm the one time that really brings out in my head was sitting on the couch next to my mom, my stepmom called, we talked all the time. And he literally got mad because I was talking to her and told me to get off the damn phone, I didn't need to be talking to her. So it was like, things just kind of, I don't know, they just escalated.
Leslie Briggs 30:34
Another frequent coercive of control tactic is to tamper with birth control, or prevent a partner from purchasing or receiving birth control, newly divorced so I
went on depo provera, to make sure nothing happened. Well, I ended up with a bunch of irregular bleeding with that. And he didn't want me to continue to get the shot. He wanted me to get pregnant. And I said absolutely not, I will not do that. So I would have to go to my doctor's appointment and get my shots behind his back, which ultimately got me beat up sometimes.
Leslie Briggs 31:03
And something not discussed widely is course of control as it applies to the sexual relationship.
So my wedding present, he had sex with me, vaginal intercourse.
Leslie Briggs 31:13
Finally, a common mood of coercive control is looking through a partner cell phone or through their email.
Friday night, he stayed up all night working files for his clients. He wanted my phone so he could do two different phones, what kind of find out he wanted my phone to look through it. So when I wake up Friday, he's pissed at me because he found a text message that I sent to one of my friends in August, about the guy who was actually seeing when I met him stating that I had taken him home from the fair. And then it took me so long to come back because I wanted to get a little D, he ended up throwing the phone at me threw his ring at me shove my face in the door and left, I'm gonna find out he's spent that night with Tisha which is another ex from up in Hubbard.
Colleen McCarty 32:02
So the next group of behaviors that we're going to be talking about is sexual violence. I think if you are easily triggered, or you've been through some stuff might be in your best interest, just skip forward through the episode. But sexual violence is incredibly prevalent in abusive relationships and frequently underreported. After all, spousal rape was actually illegal in Oklahoma until the late 1990s.
Leslie Briggs 32:28
That's fucked up
Colleen McCarty 32:29
Fo sho. It can frequently start with pushing obvious boundaries or not taking no for an answer.
It was very much into the dom/sub culture.
Leslie Briggs 32:45
Sorry, the what side culture?
Leslie Briggs 32:55
and it, Marcy, at any point, when you're not, if you're not comfortable talking to me about anything, you just say, like, Well, I'm not gonna talk about that. So like that you have free rein to tell me, you're not going to answer any of my questions. Okay. But had you ever experienced anything like that before? Like with any of your other sexual partners?
No. Absolutely not.
Leslie Briggs 33:16
Were you worried about it nervous about it excited about something new.
I don't really have an opinion. But I definitely did not expect to be as violent as it was.
He was over on his bed, and I was over on my bed. And I was like, I'm going to pass out and go to sleep. Because tomorrow we get to go to Silver Dollar City, and I'm excited. And he comes over to my bed. And I'm like, No, and I had like, all my clothes on to like, all my clothes on. And he's like, and I wanted to add pajama bottoms on. So I mean, in like, ugly ones, too. Like I was I was be, I was like, careful not to like, make him think I was trying to look sexy. You know what I mean? Like I had, like, gross looking like, polar bear pajamas on and he ended up like, kept putting his hands in my pajamas. And I was like, No. And finally, I just stopped saying no, and I ended up I ended up having sex with him. And I like don't remember it very much.
Colleen McCarty 34:32
Sometimes the sexual violence starts out being consensual.
There was a lot of at the time, I would have called it like s&m type sexual things going on between us that were very risky and probably not what most you know, moms do sitting around the house think about but kind of like a 50 Shades of Grey. Now. I've never seen the movie because I can't bring myself to watch it. So at the beginning there was a lot of more risky sexual stuff going on. And I didn't have a problem with that. But then it
Colleen McCarty 35:06
escalates to controlling someone's body shaming someone's body or threatening physical punishment for certain things.
He really this is so embarrassing. Um, he he'd made it a point to tell me like if there was an odor, or if things weren't as fresh as could be. He himself would doche me. Use all kinds of different things. And then it got to the point where he told me that I wasn't tight enough. And I needed to use this certain thing. So he douche me with that. And like stuff like that were, you know, at first, he couldn't get enough. And then suddenly, he's like, Oh, God, that's gross . It's nasty. I can't do that. I remember one time, he pushed me away. And he's like, yuck, you need to fix that. But if I tried to fix anything, myself, he would get mad. Wouldn't let me do any self grooming, that was his job. He wanted to do it, but he wouldn't deal with it.
Leslie Briggs 36:15
We're gonna go through some very public Instagram information that we find unusual. And we're doing that not to kink shame, because everybody has kinks. But in the larger context of what Jim has done to these women, it's just like, it's unabashed. It is what it is. It's also it's like just very public. It's also indicative of someone who just like lacks scruples, a little bit like it's, he's, he's posting about his business, he's bragging about his business. There are attorneys and law firms that are following him and liking his posts. And then he's very publicly following these, like exotic leg accounts, right?
Colleen McCarty 36:53
I mean, I think if like I was trying to convince the world that I was not womanizer and abuser, that I maybe would not publicly show everybody that I have leg fetishes and muscular woman fetishes, and that I clearly objectify women on my social media. It's that whole thing about I lay in bed and do naked and do million dollar business deals like I do. I come on the phone with somebody, I make a settlement. They pay me 100 grand, and then I go look at muscley woman legs.
Leslie Briggs 37:32
Yeah, I post that. And then I get to scroll for legs.
Colleen McCarty 37:36
I don't know. I don't know if it's shaming, Leslie. It feels like we're shaming but like, deservedly.
Leslie Briggs 37:43
Yeah, I guess. I think it also just highlights some of like, I would be hard pressed to find a professional woman out in the world, who would just like have her her kinks on full display on her on an account where she's doing her business?
Colleen McCarty 38:06
Well, not only that, but like women have been fired from jobs and like, been publicly shamed. It's a double standard, because of sexual activity that became public,
Leslie Briggs 38:18
right? It's fully a double standard. And it's like, again, I think it just highlights how unabashedly, he is about the things that he engages in, and no one will tell him otherwise.
Colleen McCarty 38:30
He does what he wants.
Leslie Briggs 38:31
everybody's still doing business with him. It doesn't like stop, it doesn't stop. Nobody looks at that and goes, hmm.
Colleen McCarty 38:40
I mean, can you draw a line to, like, from leg fetish accounts? To the horrific abuse he's done? No. But when you look at it in the larger context of like, everything we know about him, and everything that we've seen, and all the pictures of the abused women that we've seen, it just adds an extra layer of validity to what they're saying. Yeah. It's like he's not ashamed. He's doing very public gross things. He's, he's not trying to hide it.
Leslie Briggs 39:19
And they're just like, there's just like, No, there is no societal pressure on him to hide it. Like there is no one saying, Look, man, maybe don't follow the leg account while you're posting about our business. You know, it's like, I just did like a woman, a cis woman couldn't do that. Any woman couldn't do that.
Colleen McCarty 39:44
No. No. Can you imagine
Leslie Briggs 39:48
a trans woman especially couldn't do that.
Colleen McCarty 39:51
Oh, God, no.
Leslie Briggs 39:52
Imagine all the sexual perversion that would be an insult that would be thrown at that individual's. Life.
Colleen McCarty 40:02
Yeah. And it's like it's not like there's any shortage of public information out there about this person's like behavior. But it took us like five minutes to find that less than that to find that stuff, right? But nobody was even looking.
Leslie Briggs 40:19
Alright, so hit me with the names of his fetish accounts.
Colleen McCarty 40:22
Okay, so these are some of the Fetish accounts that he followed from his like,
Leslie Briggs 40:27
it actually wasn't his business account although he was like doing mostly business on it. It was Jim underscore Luman..
Colleen McCarty 40:36
Okay, so it was his personal account but he was posting a lot of work stuff from it. He follows a lot of chiropractors and other lawyers on it so he operates his business somewhat at least yeah affiliates has been since with this account fully affiliates his business with the account and also friends and and boyfriends out there. Everyone can see who you follow on Instagram even if your accounts private. I just want you to know that little little tipo from me tipo but here's some of the names so the accounts Okay. Female strong legs legs appreciation society
Leslie Briggs 41:23
I haven't heard these
Colleen McCarty 41:26
girls and legs huh like ready for this one, but
Leslie Briggs 41:37
I don't know.
Colleen McCarty 41:39
Leslie Briggs 41:41
Got the way you hit the C's. culf. colf. the calf cravings.
Colleen McCarty 42:00
Okay, there's more. Good. Wait, okay, so also among these are several female bodybuilders. Okay, so okay, you're into lifting heavy things. That's cool, but most of them are naked. Oh, naked lifting. The other nice one is my sexy stilettos.
Leslie Briggs 42:29
Colleen McCarty 42:30
yep. And we've got hot strong legs what Yeah, girl strong legs and strong legs and calf cravings.
Leslie Briggs 42:43
Oh my god.
Colleen McCarty 42:46
And we have sexy muscle Woman
Leslie Briggs 42:54
Oh my god.
Colleen McCarty 42:55
None of these on their own word enough to be oh I do just want to indicate that sexy muscle woman was followed two follows after Tommy Lehren oh
Leslie Briggs 43:14
he's not following Tomi for the Tommy. Tommy Lauren. He's not only Tommy for the politics.
Colleen McCarty 43:24
And then we have Blake Shelton Of course.
Leslie Briggs 43:26
Colleen McCarty 43:27
with a couple followers below that diamond calves. Yeah I hate that. I have the diamond colves. Sorry. Diamond calves. I cant say calves appropriately anymore.
Leslie Briggs 43:54
Oh, it's so many.
Colleen McCarty 43:56
Leslie Briggs 44:01
he's posting about his business from this account. He's like, he's pretty he's actually saying need a lawyer call us on this account. Yeah, but he's not a lawyer by the way. Not a lawyer.
Colleen McCarty 44:12
No, ma'am. Sexy muscle woman. I mean, listen, I'm all for mixing business and pleasure but like this some something a little bit weird.
Leslie Briggs 44:28
Like this is all just nonsense. It's all nonsense.
Colleen McCarty 44:31
Yeah, I mean, but also like mixed in here is like, okay, Pain Treatment Center. And revolution chiropractic, and enlightened chiropractic from Oklahoma City. Like, I mean, like we're clearly Chiro concepts Tulsa. We're clearly mixing business and pleasure Yes, legs Appreciation Society right down from watts Chiropractic Clinic. I mean, Whatever, send all the feet pics you want folks do what you got to do in this economy? I don't know.
Leslie Briggs 45:08
Because like, I guess it's like, do people a question query doesn't matter if you're going to do business with him what his sexual fetishes are.
Colleen McCarty 45:16
I mean, that's what people keep saying about the LGBTQ conversation as it's like, I don't care about your sexual preferences. I just want to do business with you shut up about it. Don't put it in my face. And then it's like, yeah, this.
Leslie Briggs 45:30
Right, right. Right. There's it's like this, it is fully it is it is emblematic of this double standard in society where a cis man can put his sexual fetish out there on his public Instagram, post about his business, and there's no repercussion. There's no one going. There's no morality piece ringing the alarm and saying, we're not doing business with this guy. Like it? Like? I don't know, I guess I'm not saying that it should, at some level. Be free. On some level. I'm just saying that like, there's a double standard here. And he's benefiting from it completely.
Colleen McCarty 46:06
Yeah. And one of the benefits of doing this on a podcast is we have the ability to put all of the things we can verify in this format, and let people make a decision about what they believe or not. Right? And this would never be admissible in court, and it would never be so it shouldn't be. It really shouldn't be because it's not indicative of whether or not he's an abuser. No, it's not it. But it is indicative of a double standard where he's allowed to act in a way that like every other person on the planet, every other gender identity on the planet cannot. without suffering and consequence. Yeah, name, legitimate name, another gender identity, or sexual orientation that could have their sexual kinks on an account where they're doing business, other than a porn star, other than a porn star. Yeah. No, there isn't. Sex workers.
Leslie Briggs 46:56
Yeah. But that's, I mean, that is it. Anybody trying to do it, especially in the legal business?
Colleen McCarty 47:02
Yeah. Like this is a professional business. It's like the professional business. There's like accountants, architects, lawyers, and doctors,
Leslie Briggs 47:10
engineers, might be sad about being left out
Colleen McCarty 47:10
Leslie Briggs 47:11
said about being with sorry, engineer, sorry, engineers.
Colleen McCarty 47:15
But ya know, I mean, it's not like it's still pretty taboo in those fields,
Leslie Briggs 47:22
to be like to publicly have your kinks out there.
Colleen McCarty 47:24
I just don't know. I just honestly, Leslie, don't think he even thought about it. No, I don't think he realized people could see it. And I don't possibly I just don't think he could even like thought twice about it. No, I
Leslie Briggs 47:36
think you're right. It's like,
Colleen McCarty 47:37
I see that. I like that. I want that. I'm going to look at that. I don't care about anything else. Right. Impulsive, right.
Leslie Briggs 47:47
Of course, the most obvious and widely frowned upon and criminalized tactic of abuse is physical violence. There are many warning signs that someone might become physically violent. Jim in particular, uses play violence, like small hits, or slaps at first to get his victims more comfortable with physical pain being part of their relationship.
Hello, he was living at the support the house and Donna's house at the time. And we, we ended up downtown Tulsa, we go to the max and have really a fun time. And like video games and stuff like that. And then we went to the center of the universe. And we're checking it out. I think he'd been there before. I've been there before. So no big deal. And he was like, hold on, and he takes his iPhone, he sets it over on the side of the things goes to record. And he like does this can't remember really the words that were said about you know, being married now. We're married or whatever, and then we and then right after we kissed he slaps me in the face. Like, not like not like, you know, I fall down flat but a slap in the face and like he laughs and that's all I'm reporting.
Leslie Briggs 49:10
Often Jim will introduce a small act of violence into the relationship to test waters for what's to come. We have
all started out it before the bed part before we even went to dinner. I had been alone in this hotel room with him for not very long at all. I walked by him I got hit by his belt in the butt as I'm walking to the bathroom. I got to the bathroom and I just started crying. And because I've never been hit like that by your my parents. I feel like I got spanked like twice my whole life and I probably earned you know like, but never with a belt. You know, I was never a never been hit with a belt and it just made me cry. And I remember him coming out of the bathroom trying to hide the fact that I was crying. And he was like, oh my god, don't be a crazy bitch, please don't be a crazy bitch. And I was just like, I'm not. I'm not a crazy bitch, I promise, you know, and I was just like, I promise I'm not a crazy bitch, you know, and I didn't want to be what he was saying. I was, you know. And that was the first thing that was the first time he hurt me. And it was within minutes of actually being in Branson. He played it off as being playful. It was it did not feel playful, because it hurt. And, and he basically was making me feel crazy for crying when he was just playing with me. Yeah.
Colleen McCarty 50:50
Do you think he was like testing you?
I do. I do think he was testing me. I think he was trying to, to see if what I would put up with honestly does to see. And I actually, I went to my car. I went to my car and I sat in my car by myself. And I, I want to see I smoke some weed, because I was like, freaking, like, I need to figure out how to leave this guy here. And leave. And I went and then he ended up coming to my car begged me to come back inside, where we actually went to dinner, and drank and then he pounded the whole dinner. Dinner was awful.
Leslie Briggs 51:39
Tell us more about that. What happened?
We were at dinner in which the The dinner was we just walked to dinner because it was right by where our cheapest little Outback hotel was like that he got with his mom's credit card. By the way. I'm sorry, his mom's debit card. So Red flag number 12. We ended up eating and he the whole time at dinner. He wouldn't speak. He was pouting. looking angry. Looking down at the table anytime I would like say anything. He would just just dismiss me like I was bothering him in some way. So I'm just over there getting shit faced so I can just enjoy myself, you know? And then my my drunkenness is annoying him. And I think looking back I think he was arguing with Amber. Or maybe Kristen. Okay, Kristen. I later found out that him and Kristen were supposed to go out of town that weekend Kristen and in Jim were supposed to be on a on a trip to Eureka Springs together. That weekend. She rented a car and everything he took me to Branson.
Leslie Briggs 52:57
Last week, you heard there's a lot of driving in these relationships. Some of the most frightening acts of violence have happened in the victims cars.
Wasn't a cause me to slam on the brakes. Something I wanted out again as he did something and it caused me to slam on the brakes so hard and I took the side of the road. And he was so mad about that. He punched my windshield. And when I talked to one of the other victims, I was adequate to different victims. I was told that like he punched him in the face while they were driving. And whenever I look back, I'm like he punched the windshield instead of my face. Probably I mean, like looking back, you know, makes me think that's probably his mindset was just guessing. It's already cracked. And then when he punched it spider when he gets fired or cracked. And then in another car, he when we were on the road, he busted a windshield and that one wasn't cracked already. And I honestly I can't remember why he punched it I can't remember. But like, at the time, I was like, you know, I'd like to tell him to get out of the car. But it was a little scared to do that. So it just drove and I can't even remember like the points after that. So we're in his mom's car, and I'm dragging his mom's car and he's got a scan. He says we'll stop and he takes this coffee cup. It's like metal or whatever and he takes it out into the road. And he shoots at it and misses a few times and then hits it and brings it back in. and shuts the door. And then I remember right? That's like, right when he grabs the gun and puts it under, like, he's in the passenger seat on the driver's seat, and he puts it under my chin. And he asked me, What do I look for? And I'm just like, not sure what to say, you know, like, what's the right answer? And he says something like, you know, I just want you to know how it feels to be me so much. He wanted me to know what it was like, all the pressures of being him. And then, obviously, he didn't pull the trigger. And we went, drove back into town, and went to his mother's. Actually, I think I got him to calm down by telling him like, I would go get breakfast for him at the restaurant in town. And he was fine with that. So I dropped him off, went and got breakfast. And then I came back. And he was in an argument with this mother, and throwing stuff in the house and even like through a vacuum, and then it turned on, and it was like, I was sitting there. And I was like, why am I here right now. And I The door was right beside me. So I looked,
Leslie Briggs 56:28
especially with the prevalence of firearms in Oklahoma, many threats of violence and abusive relationships involve guns.
When I found when he went to sleep early, and his phone was getting this previous at the top from some other girl, and I was like, what, and I curious, took his phone to the bathroom and just read everything. And then I knew he was playing so many women at once. And it was I was pretty shocked. He woke up to see me with his phone. He was like, Really, and absolutely just upset and told me to sit over here, you know, and then he pushed me up against the wall and had me by the throat, spit my face. And I said, I can't believe it just in my face. Like, you know, I was freaking out. And we were probably like, the wall next to us was the front desk. So that saved me. He's, he said, we're leaving, you're packing your shirt. And we're leaving right now. And just be quiet. When we walk through here, whatever, you know, it was like, okay, so we get in the car. And he, he brought a gun down there with us. He typically had one or whatever. But it's not like he ever got it out, you know, or anything. But that time he got it out. I feel like to intimidate me to just drive and have it unzipped and set it between the two of us in the car. And I'm pretty sure he took my phone. And you know, I wasn't to contact anybody or whatever. I was just supposed to just drop them off. And I did. And I don't know what happened after that. Obviously, I saw him again. Oftentimes alcohol
was involved. I know that the last the last weekend that the final time I ever saw him he we stopped and got at this liquor store and got this banana schnapps. And he called it as Panty Remover drink. And basically, he chucked it and got violent, like, it was just instant, like he and he does that. I mean, that was kind of like he, he would basically pick something that I was doing wrong, and then he would go off on that. That's what would start every fight was just something that he would pick out about me that I was doing wrong.
Leslie Briggs 59:04
When you begin to change your behavior to hide things like bruises or changes to your body, that's a big red flag.
Um, the kids now looking back, they were one was a junior and one had just graduated high school. When I met him. Um, the kids will comment now about, they used to call us the house of nakedness. We're all girls. So my poor ex husband, we ran around all the time in our underwear because we were just a bunch of girls running around. And they would comment on how they notice. I wouldn't do that anymore. I wouldn't get in the shower after one of them was getting out. And the reason was that I was covered in bruises from the back of my neck down. Often the
Leslie Briggs 59:47
stress of big events like weddings or vacations. Can see someone act out physically.
I'll know that the night before the wedding. She and I were driving around in Oklahoma down in Do you remember the row Boston pull rope? So we're driving around around around he gets this random text message that says I love you. person sending the text messages Nikki says we're Nikki starts fumbling into all of this. So I take issue with that because at this point, I've not gotten my ass kicked. And I say to him, Listen, if I'm going to marry you, I don't want some other woman texting that they love you. And you not saying listen, I'm getting married. Um, it caused quite an argument. He ended up I said, You know what, just take me back to your mom's house. Let me pack take me to the airport. I'll just go home. Because my daughter had driven me down to Cleveland and dropped me off from Iowa. She drove me all the way down, turn around, drove all the way back. So I'm down there, no car, no nothing. So he takes me back to his mom's and continues to drive around, drink, drink, drink. He at some point, I'm sure I started off on the phone on via text. I said, just come back and take me to the airport. And he came in and I happened to be in the bathroom in his mom's house. He came in and fish hooked me. And then just got my face and sort of screaming at him and he's like, Get your shit. Let's fucking go. So it loads everything up, puts it in the car and starts driving but I don't know where we are. I have no clue. And he started showing me fields and little timbered areas that he could just put me in my suitcase and leave me there nobody find me.
Colleen McCarty 1:02:32
This has been a tour of the red flags and gyms relationships, which we find are actually pretty common in a lot of abusive relationships like these. Our hope and sharing these stories this way is to both tell the story of Jim's reign of terror on so many women, but also to educate anyone who might find themselves in a relationship like this. Many survivors we hear from tell us that they did not know they were in an abusive relationship because pain and dysfunction was all they knew in their life. We hope these stories will help you put words to your experiences and also let you know that you are not alone. And the next episode, you will hear the combination of these red flags for the women who have survived Jim lumen, we will allow the survivors of his abuse to tell their stories in their words, like they have never been able to before. This is the true crime story that happens before the True Crime Story. Most stories we hear are after someone's been killed. And we wonder what we could have done. How could we have prevented it? How could we have kept her alive? We're telling you these stories now so you can keep her alive. Keep telling the stories, keep telling the truth, and keep speaking out against violence. You can find links to pictures, documents and all our sources in the show notes of this episode. These cases serve as a reminder of the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the importance of seeking help if you or someone you know is a victim. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number. For confidential support and resources you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for listening to panic button Operation Wildfire and for joining us and shedding light on the importance of ending domestic violence for good.
Put your hands together. If you leave then put your hands together if you go.
Colleen McCarty 1:04:36
Panic Button is a production of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice were recorded at Bison and beam studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our theme music is by Gyom. And additional editing is provided by The Wave Podcasting. Our music supervisor is Rusty Rowe. Special thanks to our interns Kat and Alison to learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed or donate to keep our mission of fighting for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman areality go to okappleseed.org.
Tuesday Jul 18, 2023
Tuesday Jul 18, 2023
Panic Button, Season 2 Episode 6: Plenty of Fishhooks in the Sea
The music in this episode is Wicked Games by Desi and Cody. Show notes and resources are available at https://okappleseed.org/plenty-of-fishhooks.
Most true crime stories are about one of two things: solving a mystery, or learning about how you can avoid being killed. Women around the world have become consumed with true crime, to the point that some of our listeners have admitted to listening to true crime podcasts as they fall asleep–because it soothes them. Usually, you’re watching and listening to stories about killers who have either been killed or been put in prison–so they’re no longer an active threat. Killers like Jeffrey Dahmer or Jack the Ripper. We can pick apart their methods, study the psychology, and run scenarios in our minds of how we would get away, or how we would solve the crime.
In truth, these kinds of sensational crimes represent less than 1% of murder crimes committed in the US. Far more common are women killed in domestic partner offenses. And even more common than those are women hurt and assaulted in domestic assaults. Oklahoma is ranked number two in the nation for the number of women killed by men.
Twenty people per minute in the United States are physically assaulted by an intimate partner. Perhaps the reason we don’t tell these stories, and the reason they don’t make the true crime top 100 list is because these incidents are so common. They hit pretty close to home, especially in Oklahoma. It’s interesting that psychologically we would rather focus on the 1% of sensationalized murder cases than on the 99% of intimate partner violence cases that gum up every criminal docket in America.
This episode is going to be tough. In a way I think we’ve been trying to protect our listeners from the particularly intimate and horrific details of Jim’s abuse. But here we are, it’s Episode 6, and we have to dive into the details of the domestic violence assaults that form the basis of this podcast.
Heather, Christen, Leslie Briggs, Rusty Shouse, Marci, Colleen McCarty, Karrah
Leslie Briggs 00:00
This episode contains graphic accounts of domestic and sexual violence, violence against women in particular, animal abuse, and language that is not suitable for listeners under 18 years of age. Please use caution when listening. So since starting this podcast, we have had lots of different people reach out to us with their thoughts, opinions, and just impressions about what we've done. Over the last five episodes, we've actually heard from a couple of people who I would call on Jim's side, people who believe that the things that we're saying are untrue, or not factual. And unfortunately, none of them are willing to go on the record, or provide us or they have yet to provide us with anything that we could look at to verify or even consider as something that would warrant us issuing a correction. But this is my message to everybody listening. If you have information that refutes the things that we're saying, if you can provide us with documentation or personal lived experience that we can corroborate or consider, we'll issue a correction if it's warranted, we've always been willing to do that. So you're a little frustrated.
Colleen McCarty 01:19
I'm a little frustrated that people who claim to have information that would refute any of the information in this podcast are not willing to provide us documentation or records, or messages. And I think it's worth like going through how much time and effort we have spent trying to gather the truth. We spent 1000s of hours ourselves personally going over court records documentation. We've spent financial funds getting records from courts, we've had two interns working on this from January until May gathering information and sources and talking to everybody that we could find.
Leslie Briggs 02:08
Yeah, yeah, we cast a really wide net.
Colleen McCarty 02:11
And people continue to come forward. And whenever someone comes forward and says they have information, we always talk to them.
Leslie Briggs 02:20
My whole day gets eaten up, I will walk into the office at you know, nine in the morning, and I'll get a message and it's like, I need to talk to you today about this. And then my whole fucking day centers around getting that information to us, that's happened to me multiple times during this process where I had no plan, I was going to work on some other project, you know, and suddenly, I, I've just spent four hours confirming information and discussing it with somebody. And, you know, like making sure that we consider that perspective or that data.
Colleen McCarty 02:53
And part of the reason we're doing that is because there's been so much hearsay, there's been so much rumor and there's been so much gossip about this, that I think from all sides, it's important to have the record straight. And it's difficult in a situation like this. And so we've really taken a lot of time to do that. And I feel like we've done that justice. And if there's information that you or anyone you know, has about this case, or any of these cases that you feel like adds to the story, or contradicts, or rebuts, any of the information we've provided. It will be helpful for us to have that.
Leslie Briggs 03:39
And let me be clear, if you have an opinion about us doing X, Y or Z, it's not the same as having some evidence to contradict, so that's fine, you can send us that opinion, it doesn't mean it's gonna make it on the pod. Now on to your regularly scheduled episode.
I don't remember the ambulance ride to the first hospital. But I remember I think they took me and did a CT and then that's when they decided to transfer me to the trauma hospital. And I remember that drive because every bump we hit I hurt. I didn't realize at the time that I had four buckle fractured ribs, and one that was broke all the way through on the other side. So every bump we hit, it was like excruciating pain. Plus I had to compression fractures in my spine, from what I'm assuming from when he tackled me. And I had a broken nose.
Colleen McCarty 04:52
Most true crime stories are about one of two things, solving a mystery or learning about how you can avoid being killed. And women around the world have become consumed with true crime to the point that some of our listeners have admitted to listening to True Crime podcasts as they fall asleep. Because it Soothes them. Usually are watching and listening to stories about killers who have either been killed or been put in prison, so they're no longer an active threat. killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and Jack the Ripper. We pick apart their methods and study the psychology and run scenarios in our minds of how we would get away or how we would solve the crime. In truth, these kinds of sensational crimes represent less than 1% of murder crimes committed in the US. Far more common are women killed by domestic partners. And even more common than that are women hurt and assaulted in domestic assaults. Oklahoma is ranked number two in the nation for the number of women killed by men. 20 people per minute in the United States are physically assaulted by an intimate partner. Perhaps the reason we don't tell these stories. And the reason they don't make the true crime 100 list is because these incidents are so common. They hit pretty close to home, especially here in Oklahoma. It's interesting, that psychologically we would rather focus on the 1% of sensationalized murder cases than on the 99% of intimate partner violence cases that come up every criminal docket in America. I'm Colleen McCarty,
Leslie Briggs 06:30
and I'm Leslie Briggs,
Colleen McCarty 06:32
and you're listening to panic button Operation Wildfire. This is Episode Six, plenty of fish hooks in the sea. If you're just joining us, we recommend you go back and start listening to the story by starting with Episode One. Leslie, this episode is going to be tough. In a way, I think we've been trying to protect our listeners from the particularly intimate and horrific details of Jim's abuses. But here we are, it's episode six. And we have to dive into the details of these incidents.
Leslie Briggs 07:06
Yeah, it is disturbing. And so what we've decided to do is to allow these survivors to tell their stories uninterrupted by us as best we can. In this episode, we're going to hear straight from four different survivors' mouths about what they experienced with Jim. On one hand, it is tough to hear it all in one episode. On the other hand, if we string each story out across the season, we're worried our listeners will become desensitized to the violence. Another benefit of doing it this way is if you're sensitive to this kind of content, and you want to skip the worst of it, but still hear the rest of the story. You can skip this episode. So go ahead. We'll pause right now if you want to turn us off and go do something fun instead.
Colleen McCarty 07:51
So let's rip the band aid off and get started.
Leslie Briggs 07:55
First, we're going to hear from Christen. Christen is one of the survivors that you've heard a little bit throughout this podcast so far, episodes two, four and five. She was dating and talking to Jim around the time that he was also dating and eventually married Amber, and was he was dating one of our other survivors Karrah. Christen grew up in Cleveland and has known Jim since they were little kids. Christen and Jim started hanging out when they were both going through difficult periods in their lives as adults. Christen liked Jim, she wanted to be close to him. But Jim always seemed to be keeping Christen on the side. Christen grew up in Cleveland and has no gym since they were little kids. And Christen is well respected in that town even today. She's a realtor. When we visited the Cleveland lounge, some of the characters there spoke extremely fondly of her. I think if you ask anyone about Christen, they'll tell you that she's a good woman. Reliable, steady. least that's how she seems to me.
Colleen McCarty 08:59
She seems like she's got a good head on her shoulders. You know, she runs a business. She's responsible. She shows up when she says she's gonna show up. She's not like you would assume how a lot of victims of these situations are like I think a lot of people think these kinds of victims are like drug addicts or extremely impoverished, or they're just kind of desperate. I don't get that kind of a vibe from Christen.
Leslie Briggs 09:25
No, no, I think that those stereotypes. I mean, those stereotypes obviously are not the reality. And we know that but I definitely like Christen certainly doesn't fit the stereotype. As you heard in episodes four and five, Jim would take Christen on road trips, they would hang out together sometimes all night. Here's Christen's account of the last time she saw Jim, outside of a courtroom.
So I had been like on a little holiday with my sister and my mother. We rode that Heartland flyer. I think that's what it's called it a train from the city to Fort Worth, we did a day trip. And we'd actually stayed the night the night before we boarded then and drove back, whatever. And he saw my Facebook posts and sent me a message about, you know, where I was at or whatever. And then I think there was an ask for me to come by, and I was coming through Cleveland on my way home anyway, so I thought I'll stop in. And when I got there, his brother in law Gene was parked in the driveway at Patsy's and, and he gets out there drinking beer all day, or whatever. And he gets out of his truck and gets into my car. And I can just kind of tell like, he's had too much to drink, so not going to be any fun. And he gets in my car, and we're just sitting next to each other. And before he had done like a buddy punch like this, what he would call it, where you punch in the arm just to kind of get you started, you know, to see if you want to fight back or gripe about it, or whatever, I guess. And I was like, Don't do that. And he did it again. Don't do that. And so I took a drink of my cup, and he flips the cup. And the drink spills down me. And I got out of the car and walked back to the trunk to get I think it was a blanket or something to dry off with. And then I walked to the passenger side where he was sitting, I opened the door, scared as hell and asked him, you know, I said, you know, maybe I can come back and see you another time. And what are you trying to kick me out of your car? And I said, no, no. And he like, very casually, like goes for a mint in my console first. And then punches me in the nose twice. Yeah, helping like by by the hair on the head back here. Like he took him in, stepped out of the car, I had the car door open now. There it was being nice, like maybe I can come another time, right. And he just pops him in and then starts kicking my ass. So punched in the face twice. And then I think it was immediately He takes my head like I he still has me by the hair. And he's pulling my pulling my head down like this way. So it's like almost like my chin is like so far into my chest like I can't, like I can't, you know. And so he goes from that position on down to the ground. And I'm right by the back wheels of my car. And it's in the gravel. And he's smashing my whole, like he saw this the back of my head and he's smashing my whole face into the gravel. And I can hear like things breaking in my face or whatever. And I can't speak because he still has me in that like locked in the fight, my mouth is closed still, you know, too, and I'm smushed down there. And he's kicking me in the ribs. So he pulls me back up, then I can speak again, I think I'm screaming. And we struggle. And he kind of stumbles down the ditch. And that's when I get free of him a little bit. I think that's when I went across the street. And then I changed my mind about waking those folks up. And I came back. And when he gets a hold of me the second time, he's we're somehow near like, he's in the driver's seat of my car. And he's holding my head again, in my hair, pushing it against the steering wheel of my car and the horn is honking and as mothers in the house and I'm thinking she's gonna hear this and see this and come out, not. And she's even up at that time getting ready for work or whatever. So this is whenever he does the fish hooking, which is what I call it, where he pulls, puts his fingers in my mouth and then pulls the skin away from the gum line and rips it. And so he does that. And then I think while he's doing that he's he beat me in the show on the farm. And he dropped his phone I think right about that time. Or he noticed that his phone was in the passenger side floor, so he must have dropped it previously. And that like catches his, you know, distracts him. He's got to get that phone. So he lets me go. It gets out of the driver's side, walks around the front of the car and I was like I'm out of here and I hopped in and I think it was already running. And I put it in reverse. And he was like, I think he grabbed his phone. And enough time. And I backed out. It's like, all at the same time, I almost ran over him. And then he threw a full beer. But like he was stumbling from, like, we're almost ran over him. And as he's falling down, he grabs a full beer and pitches it and throws it and I'm back. I'm like, going like this driving out from the driveway. And the beer hits the back of my trunk. Like, that's how crazy he's being. So I drove. I was in shock. I thought, Well, I'm gonna go to the police station, at the time the police station, and like they had just moved it from one location to the next. And when I drove by and saw that it wasn't at the place, I was like, oh, yeah, it's another place. And I was like, well, maybe I should just go home down to the park. So I went to the park, and was sitting there, and then the police drive by. And like, but this is the same street, but I mean, just three blocks up, where I couldn't use the police just moments earlier. So but anyway, they come in, they're like, you know, they see me with the blood. And they take my picture. Sure, I didn't even know they meant to say, hey, we're gonna take your picture, you know, they just took my picture. And I still haven't seen that, but not that I want to, but it didn't get brought to our hearing for some reason. Yeah. But, um, so then they asked me, you know, who did this to and the officer. I felt comfortable with him because he knew Jim. And he knew me, we don't go to school together. So I just told him it took it took me a little bit to want to say you know who it was, but I told him when they asked me if I wanted an ambulance and suggested I get one and I I refused. And then it was the next day that I went to emergency the emergency room rental.
Leslie Briggs 17:10
What do you think about that? The most like horrifying part of that to me. I just was sitting here she was describing him like smashing her chin into her chest. I just put a little bit of pressure on the back of my head and it was like really painful. So I really that just is horrifying.
Colleen McCarty 17:27
The weirdest thing about this assault to me is how just blatant it is like outside in front of the neighbors not even thinking about it. And also how casual of the relationship it is with him and Christen like it's just like a thing where we're highschool buddies and we go driving around you show me frog rock, we do it sometimes. It's not like this heavy sheet of passion. Like I'm beating you because I found I'm deeply in love with you like that's not what this is. It's just so like it's such a casual just violence for the sake of violence
Leslie Briggs 18:04
right and to be clear, like not that like I'm beating you because I love you is a better excuse. But like like there's something so insidious about him doing this to someone who is casually dating I mean
Colleen McCarty 18:17
there's a whole like whole jurisprudence about heat of passion murders and heat of passion, second degree behavior and the thought is when you're so emotionally invested with a person you lose it you write so you red and you get violent and sometimes things happen and whatever so maybe if you if you didn't premeditated it and it was just the heat of passion quote unquote, you don't have to go to prison for as long right? So fine. Okay, but then that this is just like pathological then
Leslie Briggs 18:52
I just like in the like this smashing up her face in the gravel, hearing the things in her face breaking. I mean, just like Oh, my God, Christen is a true fucking survivor, you know? I mean, after that, she was like, enough is enough. I'm out of here. So Christen actually went and got a protective order against Jim after that assault. Here's what she wrote. When Jimmy gets angry, he breaks things and is physically violent to women. He himself has admitted this. He knows he has a problem. Last June, we went to Missouri on a weekend trip. He woke up to find me looking through his cell phone, got angry and spit in my face. threatened to kill me, pushed me against the wall, ordered me to stay pulled my hair. We were in a hotel room. It was around midnight. He made me pack up and take him back to Tulsa and wouldn't let me use my phone and he pulled his gun out of the holster and laid it on his bag in the back seat. I drove him straight home. He threatened me and my children and left. Last January, I met Jimmy and we went for a late night drive. He was depressed about a custody case he was going through. He held a pistol to my head at my temple, then under my chin, and when I started gasping, and trying to catch my breath, he said, that's what I feel like inside 24/7 I want you to know what it feels like. You he eventually lowered the gun, and we drove to his mom's house. He picked a fight with his mom when we arrived. Broke mirrors through his phone and a vacuum. I left. On March 21 2015. Jimmy sent me a message asking that I stopped by on my way home from my sister's house and Fairfax. I got there. He got in the passenger seat. He hit me in the arm and I told him to stop. He said it didn't hurt and slapped my face. I told him I didn't want to play like that. Then he smacked the cup in my face as I was taking a drink and it spilled down me. I got out of the car and came to the trunk to get a blanket to use to dry off. I shut the trunk and went to the passenger side, open the door. And I told Jimmy I would come and see him another day when he felt better. I told him I was going home. He got mad and asked if I was kicking him out of my car. He grabbed the back of my head by my hair, spit in my face and punched me in the face. Still holding my hair. He took me over to the gravel rocks, pushed my chin to my chest locking my head there by continuing to hold my hair. As he pushed me down, face first into the gravel. I bit my tongue and had locked jaws but could not speak. I was pulled into an upright position and still holding my hair. He grabs my arm pulls me near the driveway, and I broke loose. I ran to the neighbor's house and almost knocked. I asked Jimmy if I could please just have my car and I would just leave. He told me to come closer. And if I didn't, it didn't matter because he could catch me in three steps. I came closer. He pulled me down on his lap in the passenger seat while holding my head down with one arm. He was using his other arm to fishhook my mouth separating my cheek from my gum line. I said ouch. You're hurting me. He said that will teach you not to scream. He said are you going to scream again. He let go of me and I made it to the street. He got out of the driver's seat and walked around the passenger seat to find his phone. I got closer to the car. As you were shutting the passenger door. I locked myself in and quickly left. He threw four cans of beer at my car and later sent me a text quote funny how Amber had a note on the door when you left just fucking jovial. Amber is his ex wife who filed a protective order against him in 2014. I went to the police station but wasn't sure I was at the right place and used that as an excuse to go think about everything that had just happened to me. While I was at the park, Officer Russ of Cleveland PD drove up and saw my face. He started asking questions. Russ asked me a few times if I would let him call an ambulance. I denied I went to the hospital for treatment the next day. Jimmy is in jail and should be treated by a psychiatrist and completely rehabilitated before release. He has a history of violence against women. I am afraid he will kill me for writing this. Christen mentions officer Rusty Shouse or officer Russ. He's the Cleveland PD officer who came upon her while she was sitting in the park bloody and in shock after being beaten by Jim rusty spoke to us about what he saw that night. what that experience was like for him because he actually knew both Jim and Christen from high school as well. Cleveland is that kind of a town.
Rusty Shouse 24:20
I was on patrol at night I saw a vehicle parked at the park and it was I don't remember what time of night it was. I know it was after dark saw a vehicle parked so I checked the vehicle and when I come up on the vehicle I recognized I recognized Christen and I knew who she was I knew her older brother. And I could tell that she had that she had been in some sort of an altercation and she was crying and I started asking her what was going on? Is she okay, does she need an ambulance? And she started explaining to me what was going on and as soon as she said yeah, it was Jimmy. I didn't I didn't have any clue because I I didn't I hadn't talked to Christine. Christine on a long time. I didn't know who she was dating but apparently you know, she had been dating Jimmy. And the crime occurred right there in front of his house, which was still inside city limits. I had a deputy Go with me to make the arrest on Jimmy, the deputy that went with me is now the Pawnee County Sheriff. So, Oh, interesting. Yeah, he shows they're Darren Varnell. He's a Pawnee County. He's the Pawnee County Sheriff. You he's the one that went with me to the house. Just you know, we're going to pick up somebody who's been violent. I did not want to go along just for procedural matters, but we went and arrested him and took him to Pawnee County and I didn't deal with him again after booking man I was saying was I did my paperwork. And I don't believe we ever had a court date on anything.
Colleen McCarty 25:55
One of Jim's survivors we're going to be hearing a lot more from is Karrah. Karrah data Jim for three weeks in October of 2014. Before she met Jim, Karrah was a piano teacher at a local music school. She has a child and at the time, she was caring for her mother who had late stage Alzheimer's. Prior to meeting Jim Kerr had never ever filed a police report before. And Leslie I actually know Karrah, because and that's how this story came to us because she taught me piano lessons. Oh, yeah. 2014.
Leslie Briggs 26:27
That's right. Do you want to tell the story of those piano lessons?
Colleen McCarty 26:31
No, that's embarrassing.
Leslie Briggs 26:32
It's really cute
Colleen McCarty 26:33
is it? I was learning one song on the piano. I don't play the piano. But I was learning one song on the piano to play for my husband on our 10th anniversary. And she helped me set up this whole thing. There's a grand piano inside the music school where she teaches and it's like inside of a little concert room and she got us champagne and like chocolate covered strawberries and like, filmed it from behind the door with like the door halfway cracked open. This
Leslie Briggs 27:00
feels like right up her alley.
Colleen McCarty 27:02
She loved it too. Like she loved the theatrics of it and she loved like helping us. Yeah, did and everything I know about Karrah is just that she's fierce, fierce and just very pure hearted. Yeah. Like her motives are always just for like, very greater good. Yes. It's it's always very like it's for justice, or it's for romance. Or it's like it's just very easy to boil down why she's doing what she's doing. And so, this is Karrah's account of what happened to her when she was dating Jim.
Yes. And it was also my birthday. It was also my birthday weekend. And it was the worst birthday of my entire life to this day. And I'm really grateful that he didn't ruin my birthdays. I'm glad that I still look forward to my birthdays. And I have amazing birthdays. But it sure isn't because he didn't try. When I got to his house, you know, first of all, we had a little bit of argument about the underwear that was in his laundry basket as I walked in the door. So then he the deal was he was going to take me to Freddy's which Freddy's is actually a Lebanese Steakhouse in Sapulpa but and it's actually a nice steak house. I know it sounds crappy and we're going for it. He's no he we were going to Freddy's and for my birthday, and we did go to Freddy's wherebwe got back. And then he was really stressed about his custody case with Misty. And so he wanted to go for a drive around Boston pool road. And so we spent the rest of the night driving around Boston pool road. He was drinking heavily. I was not. We ended up in there a lot. I don't remember a lot of it. But I remember being in his bed. And he me and him. We got an argument about something. And I went and I got in his daughter's bed. And and I took because I wanted to be away from him. And that's when I fell asleep. And I woke up to him trying. Well, first he was putting pushing the back of my head under the pillow. And then he was trying to put his dick in my butt. And he couldn't because he couldn't keep it hard. So he started using this bottle this beer bottle that he had from his bedroom, and that's when he tore my butt and I started like crying. And he, I don't remember how long it lasted like, it wasn't even that long because I got on his nerves so bad. Like every, like I, he never did hurt me for that long. Because I just for some reason. I don't remember what it was what I the things I was saying to him or whatever, I was able to make him stop. And I got up and I remember I got I drove to my house, and I stood in the shower, and I took that shower. You know, I took the shower that you always see people having on on TV, the ones that you can't get clean enough, the ones that you stand in until the water is gone. And I remember standing in my shower and crying because that motherfucker raped me on my birthday. And I I'll and I'll never and I was like, I'm never going back. I mean, I obviously I was done with them. I was completely done with him. And I'm not going to be the kind of girl that goes back. Unfortunately, I can now empathize with why women do go back to their abusers. So on the third, the third weekend, we we drove around Boston Pool Road and he ended up stopped, we stopped he put a gun to my head. He put a gun to my head. He took a seat, my seat belt and put it around my neck. He put my head into my windshield and cracked my windshield with my head. And then I was done. Like I knew, I knew then I was done. Like there was no apologizing. There was no coming back from this there was I was not going to be that girl. I knew I knew that me and Jim Luman work were completed at that point. But he was still in my car and we were on Boston pool road. So I I just got really kind of cool for all of a sudden, and I was like, alright, we're leaving. And I started leaving and he tried to put my car in the ditch several times. I managed to drive to the main highway. He continued to try to he kept grabbing my wheel kept trying to make us wreck. I got to New Sapulpa road. He on the way there he told me he was going to put me in a field because my my my sister could track my phone like we had to find my friends or whatever. And he knew that and he said I'm going to put you in a field without your phone. And your sister's not going to be able to know where you are all weekend because I think it was like a Friday night. And it was like a long three day weekend too. And I and I remember saying you're not gonna do shit because I'm the one driving and he punched me as hard as he could, as I was driving 55 miles an hour going down the road. And then he proceeded to tell me how uncool I was. And I my smart ass said well, "I guess I'm pretty damn cool because you just punched me in the face and I kept my my car between two lines." And, and then he started to grab my he started to fish hook me he started to stick his thumb in my mouth and pulled my cheek until my lip was bleeding. And I knew it was bleeding because I could taste it and I could feel it coming down my mouth. I took him to his house where he got out of my car, he grabbed my keys, acted like he was going to throw my keys and I said So you're telling me you want me to go home. But you don't want me to know where my keys are? And I guess his ration I guess I questioned his rationing and he threw he barely tossed my keys. And so I went and grabbed them and got in my car and left. I was trying to get my glasses before I left, which is stupid, but I didn't get my glasses. And that was the last time I ever saw his face. I mean other than in a courtroom.
Colleen McCarty 34:34
I think for Karrah's experience what we're seeing and you'll see this some more is a pretty quick escalation to extreme violence after just meeting the person. You know, like he starts talking to on Facebook, they start messaging they go on this first trip to Branson, which we heard about in episodes four and five that were it was kind of like hallmarked with some really serious red flags, but nothing super violent happens on the trip to Branson and then the second time they see each other, it's like, anal rape.
Leslie Briggs 35:10
God. Yeah. Yeah, again, I'm just like, I'm left, like, speechless a little bit like what the fuck?
Colleen McCarty 35:21
Leslie Briggs 35:22
I just don't understand. I just don't understand the pathology. So Jim moves to Iowa to be with his kids. While there he meets our next survivor Heather on a dating site, plenty of fish. She was recently divorced from her husband of 20 years. She had two daughters at home and her life was going through a serious upheaval. The thing about Heather Colleen though, is that she's this incredibly independent and strong willed nurse.
Colleen McCarty 35:51
Yeah, she's a medical provider. Yeah, I mean, really smart really like quippy. And so you heard in episodes four and five, how Jim and Heather met and how they got married pretty quickly. Within four months in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Leslie Briggs 36:06
They met on plenty of fish. And before we launch into Heather's story, Colleen, why don't you tell us a little bit about plenty of Fish's horrible, horrible history with abusers.
Colleen McCarty 36:19
Yeah, so I noticed Well, I I don't date or anything, because I'm married. But like, I've heard that plenty of fish has this horrible reputation for like, harassment and people getting dick pics and like, just women getting harassed every day, so and so yeah, that's every dating. I mean, like I don't know, firsthand, but I don't know, either. That's just what I hear from single people that I know. But I knew it was like bottom of the barrel. It's like there's match, which you pay a monthly fee for and you take a personality assessment, there's like eHarmony, which is like the Ferrari of dating sites, or you take this huge personality assessment. And so plenty of fish is free. What I didn't know until I looked it up is that actually, abuse, stalking and harassment are like literally rife on plenty of fish, and they know about it. They've like been called to the carpet on it before and decided just to not do anything, they don't do any background checks. They don't prevent sex offenders from joining the site. And it just creates like this cesspool of people who are genuinely out there looking for companionship in like a pool of, like, sorry, sorry to use more fish analogies, but like Shark Tank, yeah. I really do wonder like, is there some kind of cause of action here?
Leslie Briggs 37:42
My thing is, like, we looked into this, like super briefly, like I spent less than five minutes looking into this Colleen, maybe spent and, and they're all like, match, Tinder, plenty of fish. They're all owned by the same company, match group. And match. match.com was sued by this, this woman back in I can't remember what year it was. But she heard a lawsuit by being assaulted and abused by someone that she matched with on Match resulted in them like updating and taking all these steps to change their policies and like putting all these protections in place, you know, apparently did improve things on match.com. Why would the parent company not just do the same thing for the rest of the subsidiaries? All they're doing now I think, is an please reach out if you want to take this case, because I bet we could get you some clients. All they're doing now is like you have solid evidence that they are aware. They know it's a problem, a rampant
Colleen McCarty 38:43
problem. It's not just like a couple of people this has happened to it's like a lot of people this has happened to and people reporting it to their, you know, quick chat for help. And then just their accounts getting suspended. Not the people who were abusing or harassing the person reporting that harassment is getting suspended. Wow, I didn't I didn't see any of those articles. But yeah, yeah. And then we've got this one case where a woman, Mary Kay Beckman was set up with Wade Ridley, who was a murderer. Yeah. She sued them.
Leslie Briggs 39:22
This is the woman I think this is the Harvard educated match.com woman.
Colleen McCarty 39:26
Yeah, so for failing to disclose the dangers of online dating, like they didn't have a warning. So that's a weak fucking take, I think it's negligence.
Leslie Briggs 39:29
Look, all I'm saying is that they need to be doing these dating sites need to be doing more because somebody like Jim Luman who's been meeting people online since 1998. Back when it was still like a little bit taboo, knows how to game this system and has and has abused multiple women that we have spoken to who have met him on plenty of fish?
Colleen McCarty 40:02
It seems like it's not that hard to institute some type of basic background check. Like get your profile approved, you know, you apply for a profile and then you get it approved. If you don't have a criminal background, that's,
Leslie Briggs 40:16
I guarantee you the answer is capitalism.
Colleen McCarty 40:18
I'm sure it is like it's more expensive to pay for background checks. But it's also more expensive to get your ass sued off.
Leslie Briggs 40:26
If you want plaintiffs in the sounds like your bag, I bet we can hook you up.
Colleen McCarty 40:30
We got we gon' get you there.
Leslie Briggs 40:32
We'll get you there. Plenty of Fish, we got our sights set on you. Do Better you for you.
Colleen McCarty 40:38
If anybody wants to tweet that knock knocking on your door at the CEO have plenty of fish listener who's a woman right, who is a woman girlfriend, that she's perpetuating violence against women, we
Leslie Briggs 40:48
do not stand a woman who upholds the status quo. You got to do better girl. So Heather, and Jim met on plenty of fish. And they moved from dating to marriage within a few months. And as we noted that Heather had just gotten out of a 20 year relationship, and she was in a period of great upheaval in her life. But we'll let her tell you exactly what happened between her and Jim.
So even like he would go to Oklahoma for a week, and then he'd be in Iowa for a week and back and forth, back and forth. Well, I'm a very sexual human being, I always have been nothing new. So like when he was gone, I still had needs. I didn't need them satisfied by other people. But I wasn't even allowed to take care of things myself. And I was made to feel like, there's cameras in the apartment. Like, don't let me catch you doing that. I'll kick your ass. And he'd show me like pens that have cameras in them. So I never knew like I'm like, I can't do anything because I don't know when he's watching me. I mean, it was an extreme like. The douching was all the time, which of course through my bedroom floor off, which was terrible. I'm, like I said the grooming. I'm very particular and I like things a certain way. He wanted to do it, but he'd never do it. So he was just weir-- he's just some of the things he was into was so bizarre.
Colleen McCarty 42:24
What's the weirdest thing?
Um, two different things. Number one was wine enemas. I can't drink white wine to this day. I can't stand the smell of it. The he super anal fetishes. I'm putting milk in my rectum with a funnel and then having anal sex with me so he could watch it come out around his penis. This is where it gets kind of fuzzy for me. So I think we got married on a Tuesday. I know I got my first ass kicking on a Sunday. So Saturday. Okay, so when we came back my oldest daughter had told me that my youngest daughter had tried cocaine. Which I'm I'm pretty tight with my kids. And so I talked to her and we work through this. And I said, you know, I'm, I'm going to drug test you whenever I want. That's condition of this. And he wanted me to do that right away. He wanted me to take her phone away. He wanted all these things. Well, that's not how we parent our kids. It's just not That's not how we did it. He flipped shit. They ended up calling her dad. Her dad came on Sunday to pick her up and move her back with him. And I called Jim that morning I said, Hey, my ex is on the way. I'm scared. Um he's like, Okay, I'll be right there. He ended up coming just after Brian had left. And after my daughter is taken from my home to go live with her dad who's been my whole life her entire life. I got my ass kicked. He told me to strip down give me a stool, bent me over the bed and whipped me repeatedly with a belt and then finished and went out in the kitchen and may supper. It escalated to a dowel rod to this day. I hate fucking dowel rods. And that was part of that was all punishment. But what he liked to do he was to make me watch videos where like the woman would come in and perfect body, no bruises, no nothing. And she would get hit after hit after hit with dowel rods until she bruised in front of your eyes. That's what he would do to me from the back of my neck. If I would bend my legs up because he would hit my back. He'd smack the back bottom of my feet. That's where I had bruises my entire time I was married to him. And what he'll tell me is that well, that's so that other men won't touch you.
Leslie Briggs 45:12
Yeah, so there's this line between consensual, you know, you guys having a playful, sexual consensual relationship that he just kind of blazes past once you guys are married, right?
Oh, yeah, terribly, and he knew I hated it. There was one night he made me hold his beer while he beat me with it. Um, he used to do too toothpicks underneath the fingernails, um, battery clamps on the nipples, like nothing fun, he would hold me down and ram his dick down my throat until like threw up and then make me clean it up. There was like the beginning hot wax. And then you you know, kind of peel it off with a sharp knife. Well, then it became hot wax or something even hotter. And then it'd be a cut along the rib line or in everything just escalated, it started so innocent and so playfully fun, and different for me. And then it just went right past that. The day that I got beat up in October, my ex was there. He ended up pushing me up against a wall kind of got chest bumped me. Um, I took a pretty significant beating from Jim. That following week, I had to go to the mall on my way home when he questioned me about because I had to get extra makeup because I had bruises on my face. And I was a consultant so I had to not have bruises on my face. He told me that I needed to file a restraining order against my ex husband, and photograph all of the bruises about my arm and my face. And told me that I will go file charges and present those pictures so that they charge him with or not charge him, but I get a restraining order against him. Um, I didn't make it to the courthouse in time the first day because I had to go to Des Moines. Um, I'm at my ass beat for that. It was important and how could I not do it? So needless to say that I was granted a restraining order for that.
Colleen McCarty 47:38
So that's not still in place, though.
No, no, it's done.
Leslie Briggs 47:46
Ultimately, Jim uses the violence he perpetrated upon you as a basis for you to obtain a restraining order against your ex and he directs you to go and do that.
And I was beaten up because I missed the first filing date. So he had, he had this thing about me getting a tattoo and then before I got married, or before we got married, he decided that it would be super sexy, if I would get a brand with his initials, like a steak brand. You know what you'd normally do on a steak. Um, so he took it upon himself, he ordered it off the internet and he had it when I came down to Oklahoma. And he would light it up with a lighter. And the first one was an accident on the side of my arm. He lit it up, and then he touched me with it and it was enough to make it happen. And then he thought that was so cool. Like that was one of our wedding things. Um, he did one on the back of my neck on that Boston pool road. He simply reached across the car grabbed ahold of me, which I believe I think that was around that November assault in Tulsa and just burnt the back of my head with it. um the one on my shoulder. I can't remember what that one was for the one on my butt was punishment when I had left and went to my parents house and came back. But yeah, the neck, the arm and the in the neck, the shoulder and the butt were all punishment for something that I had done that he didn't like. He made it very clear to me how he would take care of things you know, like leaving you certain places or putting you in ponds or there was God the hiding like I'm terrified of the dark I've said that so he used to threaten to tie me to a tree and just leave me there until the animals would eat me or putting me out in some remote area. Um, we looked at purchasing two different houses. And when we would look at the houses he would point out Like, Oh, I could put you in this pond.
Leslie Briggs 50:02
And so ultimately you decide to get a firearm to protect yourself.
Yeah. The Ankenny officer. I had two huge patio doors in my apartment. And he told me that I should do extra security like putting something on the base so that he can open the door but he goes you know, bottom line if he wants you he's gonna get you you have a gas grill here with propane tank. If he wants you, he'll have you before and get back to you.
Leslie Briggs 50:28
That officer also kind of discouraged you from filing a protective order is that right?
Yeah, he told me it's just piece of paper. He's simply told me that it is just a piece of paper and there's nothing if he wants you like just like I said in order if he wants you he's gonna get you doesn't matter what you do. So then that put that put fear in my head because I'm like, wait a minute, this is law enforcement. Like you're supposed to be here to protect me and whenever I need you. And now he's telling me he can't I didn't tell this man no for anything. It got my ass beat. Or Or will he go? Will he hurt Lincoln? Will he hurt the dog? He would he traumatize that dog one day so bad that dog shit on my bedroom floor because he was terrified. That was one occurrence. Because Lincoln wanted to look at us while we were eating supper. The first time we ever had supper as a family in my apartment with his kids. The dog sat by the table and watched and he led that dog around the house and was just a complete asshole to him. A dog had never been hurt a day in its life.
Colleen McCarty 51:42
There's a couple of things about this story that are like so harrowing. I mean, just like I wake up in a cold sweat sometimes thinking about it. Partially it's the leaving her in a field that really bothers me because she she says like I am afraid of the dark. And it's just kind of sweet like I'm afraid of the dark and he knew that and he would just threaten to leave me out in the dark and field and watch animals eat my body like
Leslie Briggs 52:09
just turns my stomach.
Colleen McCarty 52:11
There's a lot of literature that shows that abusers often turn on the family animal. If they're abusing the people in the home they're also abusing the animals in the home and a lot of the reason why victims don't leave is because they're concerned for the animal if they leave the animal they're afraid they'll kill the animal so there is like this tie between domestic abuse and animal abuse that I don't think is explored as often as like maybe we should
strange foolish people
Colleen McCarty 53:51
Marci is Jim's most recent ex wife and they met in 2019, because part of Jim's legal consulting business that we talked about in episode three works with chiropractors. And even though he was an Iowa, he still had chiropractors and legal cases that he was consulting on in Oklahoma. So one of the chiropractors who worked with Marcy actually worked in his office. And she was one of the people that worked, you know, work the phones and things like that. And so when Jim was calling all the time to work on cases, she would be the person to answer the phone and they just kind of started a relationship that way. And the interesting thing about how they met is that he let her think he was one of the attorneys.
Leslie Briggs 54:35
I think his method is more letting everybody assume, right,
Colleen McCarty 54:40
acting like an attorney and letting everybody assume, and she thought for sure that he was one until her boss the day she was driving away from Oklahoma to go visit him for the first time in Iowa. Her boss says you know he's not an attorney. Right? And it was like a little bit too late by that point. And she kind of thought it was strange. but she was still like into it and excited to go and meet him. So she didn't really push back on that very much. Marcy is from Yukon. And Yukon is a town in Oklahoma. And their relationship was mostly long distance during that first part, while they were getting to know each other, it was a lot of calling a lot of texting a lot of driving to Iowa, to go and see him.
Leslie Briggs 55:22
So as you heard in Episode Five, at this point in time, Jim was actually on the sex offender registry in Iowa. And that is part of the reason why Marcy was constantly having to drive up there to meet him, he couldn't come see her.
Colleen McCarty 55:37
So it wasn't very long after Marcy and Jim are together and she moves up there on Christmas, she kind of just decides impromptu not to come back to Oklahoma, even though her family and her whole support system are here. And then she starts getting mail at their house. And Jim doesn't like that her ex husband's name is on her mail. And that's essentially how he proposed to her as we're getting married now, because I don't like to see your ex husband's name.
Leslie Briggs 56:02
Yeah. And so they started dating in that September, and by the following July, they're married.
Colleen McCarty 56:08
That's right. We know these relationships move really fast. There's not a lot of time to question things. There's not a lot of time to talk to your family and see if they want to meet him if they want to have like, you know, a sit down with him. It's just kind of like, Let's go Hurry. Don't ask anybody about it.
Leslie Briggs 56:24
By the time Jim begins dating, Marcy, a lot has happened in his world as far as like, he's getting worse, at avoiding accountability in some ways. And I mean, Iowa really kind of steps up to try to hold him accountable. You still see the same patterns of pleading out for way less time than is warranted based on the facts.
Colleen McCarty 56:45
But like, comparatively, if you look at the deals that he got an Oklahoma and the court time that he got in Oklahoma versus the like accountability in the amount of time that he got in Iowa, you can definitely see a difference in the court systems. I mean, it's like they take it very seriously. They're taking him to court on multiple different cases, for multiple different offenses. And he's getting time some of them he is getting suspended sentences, like he was getting here. But it's like there are more charges being brought. There's more work being put in generally, yeah,
Leslie Briggs 57:15
you can just see that there's an effort being made. Yeah, like you threatening a violent act. I just didn't like that is a charge here. And you know, who gets charged with that shit known the homeless guy who is incompetent, and he's shouting at the at the liquor store clerk that he's going to shoot him because we're XY and Z. That's who gets charged with threatening a violent act and Oklahoma? We're not going to do that for Jim.
Colleen McCarty 57:36
Yeah. Or when he threatens people's kids, he's going to kill people's kids if they talk or like, no, none of that. We're not seeing any of that.
Leslie Briggs 57:43
So Iowa is at least trying. So I mean, some props to Iowa and I liked and the reason I bring that up, is that like, he's sort of just he's just like getting worse at this, or he's getting sloppier at this.
Colleen McCarty 57:56
And I mean, the fact is, it's been 25 years. What the fuck, right? Like, we're literally saying he's getting worse at this. No, it's like, we can't ignore it anymore. Yeah, 25 years worth of charges and filings and POS. And it's like, there's, it's just impossible to ignore at this point, at least for Iowa, for Iowa.
Leslie Briggs 58:19
But like I say that to also say that, like, Mercy gets fucking gaslighted from the beginning from the beginning. And it's gonna get it gets worse as the relationship goes on. And it culminates in the final, most ultimate gas lighting that we're gonna have to discuss a little bit.
Colleen McCarty 58:38
So without further ado, here's Marci's account of what happened to her during her darkest days with Jim.
We had gone to while I was driving there, he had gone to Walmart for supplies for the weekend. Drinks and food and things like that. And we had got some rope and tied it up to the bed. And when I got there, I came through the doors and push me up against the wall and started kissing me. And next thing I know I'm tied up and he's basically raping me. I remember screaming asked I mean, begging him to stop and we would not stop.
Leslie Briggs 59:26
Did you guys discuss like after it was over? Did you discuss it at all?
Yeah, I told him that the reason I askied him to stop is cause I couldn't breathe and it scared me. He just kind of basically said Well, I'm sorry. I didn't realize I thought you were just playing the part.
Leslie Briggs 59:55
Had he discussed like a rape fantasy with you?
Oh, he had discussed fantasies of tying me up to a tree naked leavin' me. And me being a sex while being tied up to a tree, I actually have a picture. I have marks from head to toe. With a dowel rod all the way down nobody. I had been with his belt multiple times.
Leslie Briggs 1:00:31
Bad. Yeah, very, very bad.
Leslie Briggs 1:00:37
And that was that was part of his sexual pleasure that was for him.
Yeah, yeah. Everything was good when I first moved up, and then there was something that we had gotten a fight about. And I left in my car. And I told him, I was gonna go back to Oklahoma. We were on the phone with each other. And I was driving around. And he said that if I left him, or if I ever exposed him what is that he would kill me. My two sons and my mother he would have us killed. And then proceeded to talk me into coming back home. Totally changed up became this nice, sweet man. So I ended up going back to the house. And as soon as I walked in the door, he pushed me around the throat and shoved me up against the wall and strangled me until I passed out. And when I came to I remember, like, I could see in my head, I was rocking my youngest son. And when I woke up, I was actually rocking back and forth on the floor. And I asked him, I said, what happened? And he said, Get your ass up and get in the bedroom now. And when I went in there and proceeded to basically rape me again. So the night before we got married, he tackled me in a ditch and beat the crap out of me. If you look at our wedding pictures, the white of my eye is pure blood I have a bruise on my chin and a bruise on my chest.
Leslie Briggs 1:02:26
Tell me about that. So like let's back up. Let's actually like talk about When did he start talking about marriage with you? Like when? When did you bring that stuff up?
Shortly after I moved up there, because I was getting mail. And it was in my previous husband's last name, because that was my name. And he had a problem with that. And he was like, I can't do it anymore. I'm tired of seeing mail with this name. We need to have my last name. So we're getting married.
Leslie Briggs 1:03:00
what did you think?
How can I say no? What's gonna happen to me if I say no.
Leslie Briggs 1:03:07
and so what? Tell me we walked me through the night before you had mentioned that you guys he beat you. It was there was a bad night before. Can you walk me through what happened?
I had a bottle in my hands. And I want to throw it out the window and the window was up a little bit. And so the bottle hit the window. And I got backhanded. So I stopped the truck because he hit me in the eye. I stopped the truck and I got out. And I think I had just like started walking towards the bar ditch. And next thing I know who's gotten tackled in the ditch and telling me to get back in the truck after punching me and beating on me.
Leslie Briggs 1:04:09
you so you were driving? Yes. Were you guys just like because I know like, yeah, go ahead.
He was drinking. He was drinking so of course I was driving because we already had so many DUIs. So anytime he wanted to train, I was always the one that had to drive him around for it. He would make me drive him around all night all while he drank. And then I would have to get up the next morning and work and be there to answer the phones for work while he slept. So the night of the wedding, we're at this hotel room and I get a text from my son. And he said I just wanted to let you know I'm in the hospital. I had a motorcycle accident and I shattered my pelvis. So they're gonna do emergency surgery. So, of course, I'm getting texts from him all night with updates of what's going on. So I got in trouble with Jim saying that I ruined the honeymoon because I was more worried about my son. Which, of course, I was. Sure. That's my baby. You know? Yeah. So, the next weekend, I left and I came to Oklahoma for a week to be with my son. I mean, there was several times where he would backhanded me or there was a time that I was in the bathroom using the bathroom, and he came in and strangled me. And then, and I don't even know what that was about. I still don't know what that one was about. It was just bizarre. Like he wasn't himself, strangled me, and knocked my head into the wall. And then told me that if I got out of the bathtub, he would kill me. So I waited in a bathtub of cold water for two hours until I finally texted him. And I said, can I get out and he said, I don't care what you do. Shortly after that, he comes in there, and he's like, do ya want something to eat. like nothing ever happened. There was another time that I was sitting on the couch, and he came over and again strangled me. And when he did, my legs went up, or does the arm on the couch, and I accidentally kick the lamp over. And so you know, he would always go try to gouge my eye out with his thumb. So when he got done with that, I was on sitting on the floor at that time, and he took the lampshade and hit me over the head with it and bust my head open. And I'm just pouring blood. So he's like getting them back to stripped down. So I'm sitting in the bathtub, blood pouring down. And apparently, he took pictures of me and sent them to Amber of me naked, pouring blood from my head in the bathtub. Because Amber told me that that night, was the first time that he cried. He sat there and bawled. He tried to stitch my head up by himself with no anesthesia, because I wasn't allowed to go to the hospital because then he would be found out that he had beat me. So we decided that we were going to go out because we'd been married for six months. So it was a sort of anniversary celebration, I guess. And at that point, I was nine years sober and decided to drink that night so we went out back roading. And we went to the next town over to the liquor store. And he bought a huge bottle of some kind of banana, something or other. So we were both drinking beer and drinking the banana stuff. And he said that he wanted to, he asked me if I wanted to go to the bar or something. And I was like, yeah, we've never been to a bar together. Let's go. So we went to the bar. And I remember it was 10 something that night I remember going to the bathroom and I texted him from my watch. And I told him that I was trashed. He went out to the truck and got the banana stuff and took it out back behind the bar in the smoking area. So every time we'd go outside to smoke. We would drink more of it. There was another couple I don't know there was some more people that came over and joined up with us. And so me and a girl and then two guys, we were playing pool and Jim went off to shoot darts with some other girl. And I'm still trying I mean parts of it, I don't remember. And parts of it, I think because I've talked to Jim he had called me when I was in the hospital. And I think he put part of it in my head of what happened some, I mean, some of it's still very boring. And I'm still trying to make sense of it. But I guess he had come over and told me that the girl he was playing darts with was making him uncomfortable because she was telling him where she lived. And according to him hitting on him. So we were playing doubles, in pool. And it was me and that girl against Jim, and somebody else at this point, and the girl shot, and then the other guy shot, and then I shot and I ran the table. And I went up, and I was dancing in front of Jim. And I guess it embarrassed him. Because I had just run the table. And I was in front of him dancing. Like I guess he took that offensively. And so he was like get in the truck. And I went to the bathroom. And I guess he left. Like I said parts of it, I still don't remember. I remember walking down the road and realizing that my ring was gone. And then I remember walking back into the bar. And it was in the bathroom. I guess I had taken it off when I was washing my hands. I remember getting to the house. And I was just gonna go sit in my car, you know, to stay away from him. Basically, like I had done many times before where I go sleep in a part of a Walmart parking lot. I was just going to sit my car because I knew he was mad at my car, sleep in my car if I had to. And let him be. So I got out of the bartender's truck. And I remember walking into the car, not realizing that Jim was sitting in his truck right next to my car. And I remember him saying, What are you doing? And I said nothing. And then everything goes black.
Leslie Briggs 1:13:32
Do you remember when police or the ambulance arrived on the scene?
Do I remember? Well, so I don't remember going in the house. But I remember I laid down in the bedroom floor. And he was sitting on the couch and he yelled at me because I was bleeding on the carpet. Not that I was bleeding. Instead I was bleeding on his carpet. So I crawled to the office. And I guess I passed out again. I thought at that point that he had kicked me in the ribs. He says he didn't I don't know. But for some reason being kicked in the ribs stands out to me. I don't know if that actually happened or not. But he came over there and he said that I was gurgling on my blood and I quit bleeding. So he came over there and like sickening want me to and I remember getting up and going in the bathroom to pee. And when I saw myself in the mirror it scared the crap out of me because I was just covered in blood. So I remember locking the door which I was never allowed to shut the door when I was going to the bathroom. And definitely that was not allowed Unlock the door. So remember quietly locking in the door and calling 911 For my watch, because I wanted an ambulance, I wouldn't call them for police. I wasn't calling for help. I mean for for the police, I was calling for help for an ambulance. So they answered and I just said, Help, help. Because I knew I needed an ambulance, I had so much blood all over me. And then I remember going out of the bathroom, and I ran out the back door and snow was knee deep. So it wasn't going very fast. And he ran after me and tackled me in the snow. And I remember thinking, oh my god, I'm gonna die right now. And I looked up and saw the police lights coming up. And I knew I was safe,
Colleen McCarty 1:15:54
look, what you're seeing with Marcy is like, what I've been afraid of since we started recording the season. This is extreme escalation. Yeah.
Leslie Briggs 1:16:05
Yeah. And this is like, again, the crying while sewing her head shut with no, because she can't go to the hospital. You won't allow her to go to the hospital. You're not giving any. You're not numbing the area. I mean, like, I just can't imagine what that was like
Colleen McCarty 1:16:21
for Marcy. She's sitting there like having to feel like she needs to console him all her head. Yeah. sewn up. Yeah, right. Yes,
Leslie Briggs 1:16:27
exactly. That's exactly what's going on. He's crying and telling her he won't ever do it again. He's so sorry. Suddenly, the for the first time in that relationship. He's suddenly sorry. And her head is split open. And she's what she's supposed to be saying. I forgive you, like, I'll show that woman can do is the next, the only decision. And you can see how this plays out. The only decision that Marci can make in that moment is the decision that allows for survival. There is no other choice, whatever the decision is, it's the decision to survive. And like, that's all she can do. Yeah, that's all she can do.
Colleen McCarty 1:17:06
Yeah, and I think I'm seeing some parallels and like what people will be thinking or saying about Marci's story, like, especially when they hear about the fact that the second time to visit him, she goes to Osceola, and essentially gets raped the first night after she arrives like right then. And it's like you lived five states away nine hour drive, why are you getting raped driving back home and still involving yourself with this person? It's a very, like, Why did April go to Terry's house that night question. And again, it's like, she brought it up to him. She said, that hurt. I didn't like it. I kept telling you to stop. And he said, I thought you were just playing a part. And it like, minimized her experience to the point where she's like, well, I guess.
Leslie Briggs 1:17:49
Yeah. And I think also they had I mean, they were having look like in any long distance relationship, anybody's been a long distance relationship, will sex their partner, I don't know how else you stay connected, if you don't. Sure. And so it's like they're engaging. She describes it, you know, that, like they're engaging in these, these sex scenarios that are sort of escalating, and she sort of doesn't really know how to react to it. And, you know, she and I had a conversation about how oftentimes women I think I've been in a sexual scenario with a man where it's like, I guess I'm consenting. Because I don't actually know how to get out of this. And if I say no, now what how what's going to happen if I push you away from me? So I'm consenting and you know what I mean? And you can rationalize those things in your mind. Women do it every day. And
Colleen McCarty 1:18:42
this line between that we just do not discuss enough as a society this idea of like personal agency and consent is so is so ever present in these kinds of stories because it's like, Okay, I did consent a texting with you about slave fantasies. I did consent to texting with you about rape fantasies or whatever. Does that inherently mean I consented to be tied up to the bed and raped? It shouldn't
Leslie Briggs 1:19:11
know that's it the answer is that it doesn't. But we haven't as a society gotten to that place
Colleen McCarty 1:19:19
or the fact that like or like what Heather says, which is you know, I liked it when he was pouring hot wax on me and I liked it when he was like, you know, doing some subtle but some some slapping
Leslie Briggs 1:19:29
Yeah, like the pat the czar, Pat spanking some spanking.
Colleen McCarty 1:19:34
She call it swats swats? Yeah, the swats and like there's a whole subculture about, you know, tying people up and using you but there's also a whole subculture of people that know you need to use a safe word and it's like at some point you just like are like not cool with it anymore. Right? But you also have to be so in touch with yourself and your job and feel so safe with your partner and your ability to say like, it's over it crossed the line and I'm done. And to know that they're going to be cool with it, then like, this dude isn't going to be cool with it
Leslie Briggs 1:20:07
when we are not having enough conversations about consent. And I don't know, like, I guess I so I would say to the people who are raising those types of questions, it's like, I think that a lot of women can rationalize what is essentially a non consensual sex act being perpetrated upon them to Well, I didn't say no, it's the victim blaming. It is it is it's your classic victim blaming.
Colleen McCarty 1:20:33
It's like, I set this up, I packed the lingerie, I did the I sent those messages, I participated. So I have to be okay with whatever happens next. And if you don't press I know, I feel like a fucking broken record on this button. But like, if you don't process your trauma at all, and you're not a Healed person, and you get into an attachment with somebody who likes these types of scenarios, it is going to be very difficult for you to say no, and walk away because you're afraid that person is gonna abandon you. You're afraid that person is not gonna want to be with you. Yeah. And you're gonna be you're a people pleaser,
Leslie Briggs 1:21:08
right? It happens. And I think that, Jim, what's what we know about abusers, especially abusers, like Jim, or that they can pick that person out of a fucking crowd. Like he could see a fucking like Live Aid concert that we're like, That woman has trauma, and it's unresolved. And I can exploit that.
Colleen McCarty 1:21:27
I feel like he can tell from the initial messages with you. Yeah. Like hex in test, sorry. So
Leslie Briggs 1:21:34
this is the other thing that I think that Marcy really shined a light light on is that is this issue of, he's vulnerable. First. He will tell you a story that makes it seem like this man is willing to bear his soul to me. Why would I hold back
Colleen McCarty 1:21:52
heather talks about that, too. It's like this idea of like, he's this big, GRUMPY MAN WHO HAS to be mad at everybody. And Corton settling stuff all the time, like his gruff exterior. And he's just some good man in search of a good woman. And he's had sad things happen to him too. And like, and he's the first one to go there. Yeah. To let down the walls and like, Oh, you're seeing something that no one else sees. And
Leslie Briggs 1:22:14
it invites all these women to share their own trauma like a man. I mean, imagine I like, look, I have a wonderful relationship with my wife and like, we share a lot of things. I mean, most things with each other, and all of our vulnerabilities and it is a wonderful connection. And I love it. I love her. And to be in that spot thinking this is the guy that I'm going to share that connection with only to later find out he's going to manipulate gaslight and abuse you using that using oil you using what you share in those vulnerable moments.
Colleen McCarty 1:22:51
I don't What do you think's getting talked about on these fucking nine hour booze cruises? Leslie, like, we're not just like talking about Jason Isbell lyrics, where it's like we're talking about deep shit. Yeah, that's why he does that. Yeah,
Leslie Briggs 1:23:03
yes. You said that in an earlier episode. And I think you're exactly right. It's like this. It's like forced intimacy, forced
Colleen McCarty 1:23:09
fast intimacy. And it's not just for the purpose of feeling close with somebody, it's for the purposes of learning about you so he can figure out how to make you stay, how to put you in situations you can't get out of, and he won't say no to right. It's literally methodical. Yes. So I think many of our listeners are probably reeling right now, I'm
Leslie Briggs 1:23:28
a little worked up myself, right, I have a hard time listening to these stories, even after especially you Colleen you've had to mine them over and over again, in you know, I've listened to them multiple times as well. And it's just hard. And it doesn't get any easier.
Colleen McCarty 1:23:44
No, and it's just I think we talked about this at the top of this episode that like we focus as a society. And as, as people, our brains are so interested in the very odd and the very 1% of cases that are just just strange enough to make us think I want to learn more about that, or I want to look into that, or I want to solve that. And we don't pay any attention at all, to the violence that's happening right under our noses every day, every 20 people every minute. And maybe it's because it's too painful to look at that. Because it's too close to home. We've all had those kinds of things happen, or we know people that have or the people we love have, and it's just too painful. Yeah, but like, we have to start telling these stories. And we have to start looking at this because it's just
Leslie Briggs 1:24:34
Well, I mean, like, Okay, so the reason I think that we're saying here that violence against women and domestic violence is so insidious. It's because of that secrecy, that manipulation, that unwillingness to shed light, right, because of shame, fear, all of the things and so the person. And in this scenario, and in many other scenarios like this, the abuser, the person who's hurting us telling you it's just not that bad. you're overreacting, I didn't mean that. It's not gonna happen again. I mean, all of that is part of why these things take so long to come out, right?
Colleen McCarty 1:25:11
Yeah, and hearing the escalation of the violence from those early accounts you heard from Ember in episode one, and those were harrowing to Leslie like, I'm not downplaying what happened to ember. But to hear how it's gone from that to the extreme levels of sexual and physical violence that Jim committed against Heather in 2016, and then again on Marci 2020. It leaves me feeling terrified honestly, that the insufficient interventions from so many agencies has allowed him to continue to become more violent and more severe. And it also makes me wonder how many victims there truly are and how much we still have to uncover about the depths of Jim's violence.
Leslie Briggs 1:26:12
Next week on Panic Button, we'll discuss what happens when these survivors try to exert independence in those relationships. And what happens to them when they decide Enough is enough. Jim is particularly adept at two forms of abuse that aren't talked about much separation, abuse, and legal abuse. Because of his connections with lawyers, and to the legal field, Jim is smart enough about the court system to use it to his advantage. He does that in more ways than one.
Colleen McCarty 1:26:49
You can find links to pictures, documents, and all our sources in the show notes of this episode. These cases serve as a reminder of the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the importance of seeking help if you or someone you know, is a victim. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number. For confidential support and resources. You can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for listening to panic button Operation Wildfire, and for joining us in shedding light on the importance of ending domestic violence for good. I'm Colleen McCarty, and I'm Leslie Briggs. Panic Button is a production of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. were recorded at Bison and Bean studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our theme music is by GYOM additional editing is provided by the Wave podcasting. Our music supervisor is Rusty rowe. Special thanks to our interns Kat and Alison to learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed or donate to keep our mission of fighting for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman reality. Go to okappleseed.org
Tuesday Jul 25, 2023
Tuesday Jul 25, 2023
The song in this episode is Nightmares by Keyland.
Documents and Resources for this episode are available here: https://panic-button-episode-7-show-notes.tiiny.co
Episode 7 “Didn’t Think It Could Get Worse” follows the survivors of Jim Luman after their breakups. Nails in your driveway? DHS showing up at your house? A professional complaint filed on you at the Board of Nursing? The abuse never seems to end, even when you leave.
Colleen McCarty 00:00
The contents of this episode includes topics that cover separation abuse and legal abuse as well as violence against women, and potentially bestiality. It's not suitable for children under 18.
So after I left him, he made a formal complaint to that I worked nursing. So I had to go and sit in front of the board and answer to everything that he said I did. There was a HIPAA concern, because I looked at his files, which I was consulting, so whatever, um, there was a, an accusation that I was guilty of Beast reality. There was, there's like six things. The number one thing that stands out is he said that I cut the GPS locator off of my state car. I left that office, I drove to our state garage, went to the mechanic and said, Tell me my GPS is working. He in fact, told me my GPS was gone. They looked back. My GPS was disabled in October. So he took that GPS off my car in October, I don't even know where the damping is, I wouldn't know how to take the thing off. So this was before we got married, that he cut this locator off.
Leslie Briggs 01:28
That was Heather, Jim's fourth wife. Extracting yourself from an abusive relationship is difficult, even when you have an incredible support system and everything falls in place. But with Jim, he makes every effort to interfere with manipulate and threaten other aspects of your life that make it much more difficult to leave. And with Heather, you can see he tried to get her nursing license taken away. It's a form of coercive control, post separation, abuse, Colleen Do you want to tell us what legal abuse and post separation abuse are?
Colleen McCarty 02:09
Yeah, so there are some kinds of abuse that are so covert and misunderstood even now that we're just as a society starting to build a language to even talk about them. And two of the types that are particularly prevalent in Jim's cases are legal abuse, also called litigation abuse, and the second one is post separation abuse or also called separation abuse. So firstly, legal abuse and domestic violence relationship refers to instances where the abuser is using the legal system to manipulate or exert control over their victim. And this can range from frivolous filings of lawsuits protective orders, falsely accusing the victim of crimes, manipulating custody agreements or arrangements and potentially withholding financial support. The abuser can use legal means to further isolate the victim from friends and family, such as by falsely obtaining protective orders, or making false complaints to government agencies like in our state, it's called DHS, like making child custody or saying that you're not parenting your child appropriately. Right. And then the second one host separation abuse is particularly in domestic violence relationship where the abuse continues after the victim leaves. And this can include harassing the victim through phone calls, text messages, social media, stalking, making face, sorry, making false accusations to friends, family, or law enforcement and using custody arrangements as a means of control. It's also like, using threats against someone's life, against their children's lives, threats or future violence to try to keep someone from leaving. Because we know that once someone does leave a relationship like this is the most dangerous time. Right. And we know he likes to also use suicide as a threat to live in who may be preparing to leave or or making an attempt to leave. Yes. And so it makes essentially for post for post separation abuse. It makes people stay in violent relationships, which is something a lot of people don't understand. It's like I hear this all the time. Like why do they stay? Why do they say in the such a trope for me? Because I've heard it so many times but also I feel like we kind of woke up to this as a society in like 2016 but people in Oklahoma are still asking me why did she stay and it's like post separation abuse is usually the answer. Because if they try to leave they I think in our first episode Kate waits Professor Kate waits describes this idea of like there are a lot of reasons why people say and situations they shouldn't stay in -- take all of those and then add the threat to your life.
Leslie Briggs 04:57
Colleen McCarty 05:00
And then the fear of being alone to face this kind of abuse can just make leaving seem kind of like, insurmountable and daunting.
Leslie Briggs 05:09
Yeah, and, you know, I will just say that I go I find myself cycling through when we you know, not not just with some of the stories on this podcast, but with all a lots of our work on domestic abuse cycling through the "Why did she stay? Well, I wouldn't do it that way." And then remind, you know, it's like a, it's a it's so ingrained in our culture and society that those cycles play through my mind on occasion, and I have to catch myself and go, you know, why she stayed? Yeah, you know, the the having the ability to leave and leave successfully without dying is -- it's a monumental task and post separation abuse to your point is generally the reason that it's so so difficult.
Colleen McCarty 06:02
And the fear of the unknown to you, it's like that whole thing about the devil you know, is better than the devil you don't I think a lot of times, and we say this in season one that survivors know how to keep themselves safe. And oftentimes the ways that they keep themselves safe are staying
Leslie Briggs 06:18
right. And also to you know, Angela Beatty who's an expert on this issue to her point in season one as well that like, most times, people want want the abuse to stop, they want the person that they love to just do what you said, I think in the first episode is like be the person that they can see that they're capable of the potential potential to be a good person and to stop doing this is also a factor in leaving, but in case you didn't know, I'm Leslie Briggs,
Colleen McCarty 06:48
and I'm Colleen McCarty, this is panic button, season two, Operation Wildfire, you're listening to episode seven. Didn't think it could get worse.
Leslie Briggs 06:59
If you're just joining us, you'll want to go back and start listening from episode one.
Colleen McCarty 07:02
One of the most important things to remember about Jim is that he fancies himself a legal expert and works closely with attorneys. His sister was an attorney. And he, according to his friends, learned how to practice law from working with her. Through his work with PI and Associates, he is always connected to an attorney who could represent Him in exchange for his services, on the PI consulting work. So in all these cases we're looking at he was never short, any legal help if he wanted to file a lawsuit. Conversely, his victims or survivors don't have the money to hire lawyers don't know which lawyers would be good don't have access to just free legal help anytime they want. And so it ends up becoming a very huge imbalance of power for them. And anyone who's like embedded in the legal community in any ways that they're putting forward, can inherently be an intimidating for people who are not familiar with the courts or with legal processes. And his relationships with attorneys are also helpful in getting him favorable plea deals in some of these smaller counties where the attorneys that he has work with the judges and the prosecutors a lot. And it's just sort of this off the bat advantage that he has in any type of legal proceeding, I would say.
Leslie Briggs 08:29
Yeah, I think, you know, there's like a running joke from folks like folks who, who practice mostly in federal courts then find themselves in a state court called Getting hometowned. You don't I mean, you're in front of the local judge who deals with the local bar, those attorneys are in that courthouse every single day. And it's not to say that, like judges are just not applying the law, although
Colleen McCarty 08:56
the other day said, Well, in federal court they care about the Constitution.
Leslie Briggs 09:01
Well, the truth hurts wake up, wake up Oklahoma do better. But I will say like so it's like these relationships, these relationships impact the proceedings for sure. Like it just not that the law doesn't get applied, but it can make, you know, if it's a close race, it can it can impact the final decision.
Colleen McCarty 09:20
Plus, it just makes it easier. It's like when your attorney goes in to talk to the prosecutor about your case about trying to get you a deal and it's a prosecutor they work with every day and they know you always bring them reasonable deals and they make recs to you because you know, I did five recs from yesterday I have to do a rec for him today like it's just it ends up as human nature does. It ends up being this like I'm familiar with this person and this is what I did for them yesterday and this is what I did for them the day before and so that's what I am expected to do for them today. And if yesterday I gave his guy a six month plea on deferred for or domestic assault? And today I'm gonna give his guy a six month deferred.
Leslie Briggs 10:04
Yeah, you like naturally people fall into patterns and those patterns play out in the courthouse. No lawyers are no different from regular humans.
Colleen McCarty 10:12
Leslie Briggs 10:14
No, but many survivors are afraid to leave violent situations, right, as we're just discussing that they know the system will struggle to separate them from their abuser, particularly if you're married, and particularly if you have minor children, that can just add to the difficulties. And oftentimes, the system, as we've seen throughout this podcast will fail to really hold their abuser to account or fail to stop that abuser from hurting them. Like, on the one hand, you have this idea of accountability that this person needs to answer for what they did. But on the other hand, you just have like immediate safety issues that need to be dealt with. And so it's like, this system is kind of shitty at both, unfortunately. And so but when abusers particularly abusers, like Jim continue to escape consequences, it continues to put survivors and future victims in danger. And something we hear a lot a lot from prosecutors and courts is that they can't prosecute cases where victims don't want to cooperate.
They told me that it was likely going to get a jury the assault charge. And they said, you know, we're not going to let him buy or we're not going to produce or whatever they were telling me, they weren't going to let him off or whatever. And then they called me on a Sunday, and said, Don't come to court tomorrow, we're not even going to hear the case. And then I got a call on Monday that said, we settled or whatever, and he pled not guilty. And or, you know, he pled guilty, and we reduced to, but like anger management or something, whatever. I just like collapsed, like right there, I can remember exactly where I was whenever I got that phone call.
Colleen McCarty 11:53
So go off girl,
Leslie Briggs 11:55
you know, I feel about this going. We've talked about this, in this case, particularly like let's take Christen's case, I have never met a woman more ready to get in front of a judge and a jury and take this man to task. She's ready to tell the story of what happened in that driveway. And you had a prosecutor who had a victim who would testify and what did that prosecutor do? offered a plea the night before the jury trial, and just told her not to show up? And what was the plea?
Colleen McCarty 12:26
At 90 days,
Leslie Briggs 12:28
so that the plea was 18 months? 18 months deferred. Now. He's on he's on that deferred sentence, when the shit happens with Heather and Iowa and he gets arrested. Oh, yeah. And so they then Christen being unwilling to give up, goes back to that prosecutor and says revoke, revoke that deferred sentence, because he's been arrested in Iowa, hold him to account in Oklahoma. And you know what happens?
Colleen McCarty 12:56
We're like, hey, you know what, and other states already doing that. So I don't really want to.
Leslie Briggs 13:01
what we get, though, we do get we do get a revocation, we do get a revocation. But do you know what the court sent? sentences him to? Is it the 90 days, 90 days? So we've gone down from gone 18 months, 18 months to 90 days? And then and then and then you know how I feel about this?
Colleen McCarty 13:20
Oh, it's very bad.
Leslie Briggs 13:22
And then he actually So Jim, having access to those lawyers, allows him to do something that is pretty much unheard of, in a case like this, you get 90 days in jail, credit time served, buddy, credit time serve. So if he got arrested, he spent five nights in jail. It's only 85 days. He appealed that decision. I still have questions logistically about how all of this happened in 90 day. I think he probably isn't retroactive. I think he probably what probably happened was like a bond was posted in the desert, like the sentence was stayed pending appeal. But the he lost the appeal. However, however, in the interim, he goes to anger management for 52 weeks, at some point, he has little certificate of completion that he presents to the court. And he goes and he files a motion for judicial review. Okay, he's saying he goes back to the trial court loses on appeal, goes back to the trial court says, Hey, Judge, check out this certificate from 52 weeks of anger management. And and by the way, in the interim, they've started bullying me these women have started bullying me on the internet and calling me an abuser online. How That's so unfair. I deserve 30 days instead. And he gets it and he gets it and he fucking gets it.
Colleen McCarty 14:41
You know what's crazy about this, like we're putting all the pieces together for you and letting you build the puzzle yourself. But if you listen to episode two, you might feel like this is a little bit familiar because it's a pattern Jim's father throughout the 1970s and now 1980s and early 1990s had a lot of his sentences reduced through these types of post conviction filings. And I don't think that's a coincidence at all. Every prosecutor I talked to you about this, every single one of them, every single one. I mean, it's like they're trained to say says domestic violence victims need to cooperate and prosecute their abusers. They walk away, they drop everything, they dropped the POS, they want to get back together with him. This is a toxic relationship, and she needs to just balls up, and go sit in front of a jury and testify against him if she really wants him to get time. And I would like to proffer to our listeners that that is bullshit.
Leslie Briggs 15:47
This this, these cases prove it.
Colleen McCarty 15:50
Not only that, but have you ever seen a murder victim testify at a trial? Oh, they can't. They're dead, they're dead. There's also an entire type of prosecution, which I know is now kind of happening in Tulsa County, at least, called Evidence Based prosecution, where you use all of the evidence, what a fucking concept, to prosecute the person, and you don't need that person's first hand testimony saying he hit me, you can actually just use the pictures and the medical records. And you can fucking get somebody prosecuted like that you don't have to force people to come back to the courthouse and go through this very traumatic process where they feel scared and in danger, right. And it's, it's also just this other form of victim blaming, we talked about in the last episode, but our whole system is this whole thing about not only are you a victim of violence, but you need to be the person that's solely responsible for doling out the consequences. And if you don't want to do that, and you don't have balls up, then you can just expect him to get out and hit you again. And that's your fault. Fuck yeah. I mean, yeah, that's what this is. That is what this is. That's been their approach for the whole history of time. Yeah, the whole history of of like the criminal justice system in the state of Oklahoma since we were first formed.
Leslie Briggs 17:07
But again, to reiterate, these women are ready, get them in front of a jury because they want to tell, they want to tell the public what happened. And there's evidence and there's evidence, lots of photos, lots of medical records, lots of voicemails, lots of text messages, lots of emails. The list goes on. But addition to the problems that we have with how prosecutors approach this often, many of the victims have tried to go to police to report what's happened in them. Only to be told, we're not here, not only are we like, not, you know, we're not only are we going to defer this person out, but we're not actually even going to make we're not going to charge them. We're not going to pursue this in any way.
Colleen McCarty 17:50
When Karrah tried to go to the police for her assault and rape. Her report what had happened to them. And to be fair, we'll talk about this in a later episode. It was several months after it happened because he threatened her only child and told her that if she told anyone he would kill her child. But she goes to law enforcement only to be told that the officers were not going to bring him in for questioning because he just didn't want to go.
Leslie Briggs 18:15
Is that right?
Colleen McCarty 18:16
Yeah. They said he doesn't want to come in for questioning. So there's nothing we can do. That was from the police. And then she went to the district attorney. And now you'll get to hear some from that meeting.
When I was dropping him off. I told him I was gonna go to the police station. And he said that he would kill if I did. He said, If I tell a soul, he will tell it will kill. And my only child and I 100% believed him because he was very much capable of killing. And so I didn't tell a soul. I say that. It turns out I did. I told my sister I told my boss. And other than that, I went on to teach piano and pretend like it never happened. After all of this happened with Luman, he told me he was going to kill ___. So I didn't come forward a few months later, I actually got he started reaching out to me. And I actually would reach out to him because I kind of wanted a little bit of closure a little bit like I wanted to, I didn't want to meet him in person at all. I just wanted to be like, Hey, I know. I know. You're an abusive motherfucker kind of thing. And so he he sent me a message one night that said What's up? And I said nothing. I'm just sitting in my parents attic. And he's, he sends me a picture of his new girlfriend that he's dating. And I said she's beautiful gem. I hope that you don't beat her. And he said she's not a cunt like me, so there was no beatings required. And I thought, Man, that's a good email, I need to hold on to that email. I feel like he's really confessing to something in this email, right. So a few months later, Christen, the girl that he kind of programmed me to hate, reach out to me on Facebook, and her words were, I got brave. And I my words to her where he hit me too. And that was the first person I'd ever told other than my sister and my boss, that he'd hurt me. And then I found out he had also hurt Amber's his wife that same week. So and by hurts, like, Christen was savagely attacked, those were the kinds of hurt that I was talking about. So when I went to the I got the courage to go to the St. Paul Police. I filled out a police report to the best of my ability. And looking back on it, it's pretty spot on. And it was the first police report that I'd ever filed in my entire life. At the time, I think I was 35 years old, 36, something like that. And I'd never filed one before. And I was really excited to get some justice against him. And it, you know, I couldn't wait to watch his face once he got some charges pressed against them. You know, I naively thought that's what happened. Because I guess I watch too much law and order. And that was and then I That same day, I was giving given information to go for the DVIS the Domestic Violence Intervention services counselor. And that's when I started going to group therapy with two other victims of his
Leslie Briggs 21:57
what happened after you filed the police report?
Nothing. We continue to go to group therapy in Creek County. But after I I would contact the detective Amy Nichols, the one that was working on my case. I found out that Jim Luman did not agree to come in for questioning. And so eventually they just dropped the case because he didn't come in for questioning.
Leslie Briggs 22:35
Did they ever attempt to? I mean, do they ever follow up with you and ask you for what kind of evidence you might have or anything like that, like that email that you held on to like, did they ever do anything like that?
No, they did not. We had a meeting with Laura Ferris, the assistant district attorney and Creek County. And by we I mean me, Christin and Amber. So we were all victims of the same guy in their county. Talking about the how he had hurt all three of us individually in the same county. And her response, we had an hour and a half interview with her a meeting with her. She basically said that there needed to be some sort of video evidence of him hurting us to get anything to stick. That was pretty that was pretty much what I got out of that whole conversation.
Leslie Briggs 23:27
So survivors are not only fighting against their abuser, but they're fighting against the system to get it to care. And all of this fighting is extremely difficult to continue, especially in the face of this post separation of views. Jim, like many abusers will set off on a crusade to ruin his survivors lives for threatening their jobs, to reporting them to their professional boards, and threatening to have them investigated by Child Protective Services.
I tried to get a protective order that when I filed that I've tried several times. I tried the first time when I filed my original police report. I tried when he was the there were a bunch of all of a sudden things happening in front of my house like nails in my driveway and calls to da I was getting like reported to Department of Human Services for child neglect. So I kept trying to get a protective order and they kept would not give me one. Finally, he reached out to my piano teacher like the guy that owns the studio that I was teaching at and told them I was assuming a harm to small children and that I was serious drug use or a And that children shouldn't be around me and that he should fire me. But he said that from his own name, I got a call that I was at work and DHS had had a tip that I was that Chloe was neglected. And that DHS was going to have a mandatory home visit. And they were going to be there tomorrow. And I was like, oh, no, is going to be at the end of the day. I mean, like, I don't, I wasn't even like, in like, I wouldn't even like in the system. Like, I mean, like I had to like I had, obviously, this was my first report with the state with. So the DHS lady shows up to my house. And he and I were actually I had a bunch of clothes on the couch and including like snorkels, and we were packing for the Bahamas, and so I had to apologize for the clothes on my couch to the DHS lady because me and my neglected child, were getting ready to go on a cruise to the Bahamas. So like, within five seconds, she was like, okay, you know, and she actually separated me and asked us questions. She asked what my worst form of punishment was, I told her I, sometimes I take away her YouTube and the lady. She closed out her investigation. I mean, obviously, I didn't lose my kid, but
so his complaint to the board ultimately cost me my job with the state.
Leslie Briggs 26:34
You tried to get justice for it? I mean, how does it feel?
Oh, like a never ending process where no one gives a shit.
Colleen McCarty 26:42
Post separation abuse is difficult to process because your abuser continues to remind you that you're not safe. But another tactic Jim uses when post separation abuse is not successful, is legal abuse. Jim files protective orders on his own victims. He fabricates testimony and generally runs up legal fees in any proceeding. He's a part of which causes his survivors to run out of money and run out of patience trying to fight him in a court of law. Jim tried to file a protective order against me and retaliation several times, but never was granted. One.
Leslie Briggs 27:22
Did you have to go to a hearing for that protective order?
Yes, I did. By myself.
Leslie Briggs 27:24
Tell us about that.
I had to go in there and I saved by myself one of the DVIS ladies walked over there with me. But I did not have an attorney. I had to the judge basically told me basically told me that I should not act so obsessive and crazy. But he's gonna go ahead and grant me the protective order. And so they did they did give me the year protective order, but they told me basically stay away from him. Stay out in his county, don't don't be trying to. It was basically like, don't bother him.
He when I found the restraining order on him, he lawyered up, which caused me the lawyer of our restraining order hearing lasted three hours. The judge is finally like, listen, we're I'm shutting this down this ridiculous, because he kept coming up with thing after thing after thing. And the judge finally asked him one question, like, Did this happen or something? And he's like, Well, yeah, and judge was like, Okay, you just wasted the court's time. But what he's doing is charging me $479 an hour for my attorney, which is when you start looking at the discoveries and stuff in my divorce, same thing. I was tortured the entire day. That's the day that he laid on top of me and bit me over and over and over again on the left, shoulder, down arm. That is ultimately what got my charges in Hardin County filed. Um, it was like three weeks. Three weeks after that, two or three weeks that Jim was emailing me. And I'm like, listen, just pay for your phone. I'll sign divorce papers. I don't have a problem with this because I think he's an attorney. So why would I file Bernie will file the papers you can do it. And he would not he's like, No, I'm not gonna do it and you're gonna have to pay for it and I'm like, well then fuck you. I'm not doing nothing you're paying for his damn phone. He ended up calling deputy Rahm and Hardin county saying that I was harassing him and then went in and showed him text messages and emails of me harassing him. So deputy Rahm calls me while I'm on a consultation, and I'm like, listen, I will be there tomorrow. And I'm going to show you the full emails and text messages. So you can see them in content. Because this is what he does. He'll give you a little excerpt. And then I'm the bad guy. So we I went and talked to Deputy Rahm and it started more conversation. By the end of the time, I by the time I left there, Deputy Rahm was like, Can I photograph your injuries, and that's what got the ball rolling in Hardin County. Until that point, I, when I left him, I just wanted to be gone. I just wanted to be gone. I wanted to shut up. I didn't want to talk to anybody. Just let me walk away and be done with this. And then it was one thing after another that he kept doing and then Karrah, and Christen and Christen, were reaching out to me like, Hey, we're here. If you need help, we'll help you through this. And I'm like, Oh, you're just jealous bitches. So you just want him? And at first, it's hard because you do you think these are the other women that want your man because that's all you've heard. They don't want him at all. They want to help you deal with what you're about to hit because it's a hard solid law.
Leslie Briggs 31:18
At the time, that you and Jim were together, he was engaged in a lawsuit against Karrah, right. Can you tell us about all of that.
So remember, when I said we'd spend days wrapped up in Ben, like part of it was he told me about these crazy pitches that wanted him he'd show me the messages between him and Karrah and the emails and all this stuff to prove how she was the crazy one. So really priming that pump. And then he asked me to come down and go to court to testify against her. And my sole responsibility was just to say how this is affecting him emotionally and mentally. And that it's consuming so much of his life, and he can't function because she's so distracting and harassing. So that was my purpose for going down there. When I was down there. It was interesting to me because I got up in the middle of night and he was in the living room with topes. Two huge totes of evidence against her. So we go to court, I end up not testifying. I don't think they can see me at that time. But the whole murdering Karrah thing came prior to the Oklahoma State Fair. Which now I think back and I'm like, oh, okay, this makes more sense. His thing was, he had been telling you that, you know, he's scared of what she's gonna do. She's gonna hire somebody to kill me blah, blah. He's like, so like, what do I do if if we're at the fair and she's walking towards me? How do I know she's not going to kill me first like priming that pump. So his suggestion was that we carry and that way if we run into her at the fair, we can shoot her first and by we means I, not him. So he planted that little, this is how we should do it. This is when we're going to do it. To make it go away.
Leslie Briggs 33:18
Did you think when you went to the fair with him that you might wind up having to shoot somebody that day?
Nope. So I didn't have a gun. Until Until I asked him I had no firearms. I have no firearm training. Nothing and the Ankenny police officer that came and took the report the initial light when he threatened to come and bleed me out and kill me. He's the one that told me I should consider carrying. And then my divorce attorney for my first acts. He's like, Listen, you need to carry here's where you get your gun.
Colleen McCarty 33:52
We know he did this with Ember, because she filed her protective order. And then two weeks later, he filed a protective order on her and he used the burn mark that he gave himself with the cigarette lighter in the car. That's right. So that's not pattern started decades ago.
Leslie Briggs 34:11
So we mentioned also, Amber's filed for protective order against Jim back in 2014. And again in 2015. Also in 2015, Jim filed a protective order against Amber. Here's what Jim wrote in his protective order. Amber lumen filed for appeal against me. She has continued stalking and harassing me since on April 1 2015. She appeared in court on a matter not related to her. She was subpoenaed. She had been subpoenaed by the court, Jim, on April 10 2015. She called from grandfather's phone I did not answer. On April 15 2015. She was in court again in a matter not related to her. If you remember from episode three, we discussed how Amber was repeatedly called back because there were many continuances because Jim was filing frivolous pleadings, and dragging out that custody battle. So here we even have him using his legal abuse in one case, using it in a separate legal abuse from a frivolous PO and another case, complaining that she's showing up to a case that is not related to her. She's under subpoena. You know what a subpoena is. It's an after show up, you better show up or I will hold you in contempt. And I will arrest you and have you jailed. The court can do that. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. For 16 2015 calls me from her phone did not answer on April 30 of 2015. Jim lumen is saying in his protective order that she left the courtroom after being dismissed from the PO hearing, and then came back in the courtroom. This is somehow fodder for him to get a protective order. On May 5 of 2015 appeared in court in an unrelated matter again, isn't she also being she's also coming to Kristin and Karrah's Pio hearings to she made that may be what he's referencing as well, because she's getting she's offering testimony in that at this point. Now, these women have met one another and they have offered emotional support to each other. And there they are willing to come and testify about separate incidences of abuse on May 6 2015. She is outside my house in her vehicle at approximately 520 on May 14 2015. At approximately 7:15pm Amber lumen and Christen Norris were parked in the elementary school parking lot adjacent from my mother's house it then he lists the address. They were in Christen's black Dodge Charger. I had been running errands with a friend of mine Shannon summers, and I had stopped back at my mother's home to pick up a few items. When we pulled into the drive, I noticed the ladies in the car and upon leaving the residence Amber and Christen began following us. They followed us down Gilbert Street, then followed us left on Cato by the way there's like five streets in Cleveland so it's kind of hard not to follow someone. We drove to the Conoco gas station where Amber and Christen continued to circle and drive by upon leaving the gas station Amber and Christen were parked in the nearby parking lot and began following us again. We stopped at a stoplight at Broadway in Kato and at which time Amber lumen took pictures of Miss summers license plate. After turning at the light we turned back east where Amber and Christen continued to follow. After some time we lost them and they were no longer in view. Amber and Christen's friend Brett contacted Shannon via Facebook and began making numerous allegations about me claiming I was an attempted murderer and continued to harass Mrs. Summers. Later that evening, Amber and Christen's friend Karrah began contacting Miss summers via Facebook and began harassing her making outlandish allegations and continued and continued pages and pages of harassing comments for hours.
Colleen McCarty 38:31
Is this Jim's Po or Shannon's PO?
Leslie Briggs 38:34
Right I know. Preach sister. Due to these actions by Amber lumen and Christen Norris, I felt and still feel harassed, annoyed, intimidated, and feel that these actions are performed partly in an attempt to lure me into violating a protective order. Therefore, I'm requesting a protective order be issued to the parties to prevent further stalking and harassment are the signs that Jim C lumen. So again, I so that's Jim's version of those events, I think that we should hear it from Christen as she experienced it.
So I walk along and ask the clerk about it, I guess. And she hands me a slip of paper and then says if I have, you know, I can attach another paper and she sends me over to the little area. It's got all the ball like books in it and I start to fill it out. So I fill it out. I think you guys have read the contents of that. And I brought it back over to the clerk to file it and I had I had not put a relationship in there because I'm like, like no one knew he and I were dating. You know, we were friends. And I really didn't think that I needed to share that. So I left it Mike Well, she must have knew because She grabbed it and wrote the relationship in there that I was, I think it says girlfriend or ex girlfriend or something like that on there. I didn't write that. It's not my handwriting. But so that, you know, was my first clue like, something's off about what how this was working for me here. But anyway, filed that, and then I think I can't remember if I came with the attorney on my first hearing or not, to be honest. So I don't know if I came about when the first time and then it was just, you know, it was just a day where they said, Oh, come back later anyway. So then, then all of that started. So I don't know how many continuances there were. I don't know how many, you know. And then during that time, that I was, I don't even know if I had been granted, perhaps I had been granted mine. And or at least the emergency one, I guess. And then Amber and I are together out in Cleveland, and he violates the protective order. But when we go and report it to or we reported it to the police, and they took his side of the incident in our side, and then they just decided to believe him instead of us and allowed him to have then a protective order in place against us. After we already had one. Like from what I understand and Tulsa County. It doesn't work like that. But in Pawnee County, it does. So my Tulsa attorney was telling me, you know, but that's not how it works in Tulsa, like if there's already a protective order in place, they don't allow the other party to file one. But he they did. And so you're there's like more coordinates. You know, how have you violated your protective order. So Amber and I were together and then in Cleveland, and we had driven by his house because it was on the way back from going up to the high school and down. And then we went and parked in town. And he saw us and pulled into where we were parked. And he parked like, right next to us, and took a picture, and then drove to the police station. And we drove right behind him took a picture of their tailgate or their license tag to report but he just pulled up right next to us. And he can't do that. So that's what we are. They're saying. And I guess he filed a report to say that. We were following him. And that's how he got his picture. So because we both had pictures, I guess. They the police officer and there's an affidavit of the police officer statement that speaks to what he believed about, you know, Jim, saying that we approached him, I guess. So please, just went with Jim's side of story. Yeah, it's in you know, and it's all hearsay and we both have pictures. But yeah, they allowed him to that protective order. And then there's our new set of court dates.
Leslie Briggs 43:43
What was that like?
Oh, it was it was surprising. And to be in the middle of everything that I was already on it for that to come along. It was just that, you know, I just wanted to stop going to court. Like I was just tired of it. It was like more but it seemed like kids game like and he was winning, you know, so it was exhausting.
Colleen McCarty 45:00
There's no question Jim put survivors through a lot emotionally, physically and legally. These women a lot of times would find themselves losing a battle, even though they were the victims of heinous violence. The turning of the tide only happens for them when they begin to discover the power in organizing themselves. A lot of this podcast is about the idea of whether or not survivors of abuse should band together to stop an abuser. For many of these women banding together had negative impacts on their cases. However, there's no question that starting to talk to each other and getting organized, helped them when they were in the most vulnerable positions against Jim. When's the first time you met Amber?
I met her I think it was April 1, the day of my protective order hearing. She drove up. We met somewhere and she got in the car with me. And she rode with me to my first EPO hearing, following the assault. And that's, that's the first time that I met her. And then he also saw the two of us together there, and was very shocked. You meet Karrah. And then you when did you meet for the first time? I think it was I think her and Amber were able to have lunch, but I wasn't able to join. And then they came over to my apartment afterwards. That's when I met her.
Colleen McCarty 46:33
Your initial impression.
Oh, my gosh, both of these women just so you know, when they're just beautiful, kind, loving women. That was my first impression.
So it was interesting, because after he and I broke up, I didn't know. Like what story he was telling like why this happened. He ended up meeting with another girl who had reached out to us as a threesome. Like, right when we broke up Karrah, Christen and Christen and I. So she was kind of getting his side of the story. And he was talking about how nasty it was. And I want to have sex with the dog and blah, blah. Well, pretty soon it came to light. She's like, that was the moment I knew that he was lying about everything. Because he had the exact same fantasy with me that he told her that. So that moment she's like, Aha. So tell us about the process of deciding to make that report what it was like, you know, why did you decide to make the report because once I finally realized that this wasn't a man lost trust, trying to love a good woman and that this was a methodical and coniving pattern of behavior from him. It became very apparent but no, he needed to be held accountable for everything that he had done. When I did the reports and stuff my life from this time I left him until probably April was a complete whirlwind. My kitchen table was full of papers, trying to figure out how to stop him from getting to the next one. It wasn't about jealousy. It wasn't about loving him. It wasn't about who was going to be in his life. This was about how do I make him accountable so that he can't get to the next one.
I know that he called me a cunt a lot. I know that he called me a crazy bitch a lot. And other than that, I don't remember his words, because I just was done hearing him.
Colleen McCarty 48:52
Then there's Marci. What happens with Marci is particularly insidious. In my opinion, we see a certain type of manipulation that is the most dangerous kind of gaslighting. Marci recalls the Jim senior who she cared deeply about. And Jim himself, began selling her on the idea that she was wrong about having been beaten. Rather, she hit herself in the face with her own car door. And Jim, who has a very large man fell on her while trying to get her into the house. Here's Marci talking about the aftermath of her final assault, and how doubt crept in, when Jim his family began to converge on her with a narrative that differed from her blurry memory. And so he, I know that at some point, this story about you hit your face on a frozen car door and he accidentally fell on you getting you into the house became like, a narrative that Jim was pushing.
I think he told me that when When I talked to him in the hospital, but I mean, I remember trying to get my car door open, but I don't remember if I ever got it open. So I don't know if I did it myself, because I had four cuts on my face. That could have happened. I don't know, I don't know if that actually took place or not. Because the only thing I can come up with is the cuts that were on my forehead. And then I had to find my eyes. Maybe for my keys. And I don't know.
Leslie Briggs 50:37
And so well, can you tell me about what you remember from the hospital and Jim calling you and trying to talk to you?
I remember him just telling me that. You know, he had bailed out of jail, and then telling me what happened. And I was like, okay, yeah, yeah. Okay, maybe that did happen. Because I remember putting my key in the car and you know, it not opening. So that that again, plus I'm, I'm still they had me so drugged, and that I coded twice in the hospital. So what he was telling me and what? Everything's just boggled. Yeah.
Leslie Briggs 51:35
And so was did you change your statement at some point, like, like an official statement to say that he had not beaten you?
Or, at that time, when, when we were to try out, I didn't think that he had after I was able to remove myself from his dad, and his son, everybody pushing that and pushing that, nope, this is what happened. This is what you told me. No, I don't think that's what actually happened. Because I have memories of laying on the floor. I have memories of going in the bathroom, and being scared. So I think it was I wouldn't say that they knew how to get to me, because I don't know if anybody knows how to manipulate anybody, but I think they manipulated my memory.
Leslie Briggs 52:50
And it was it was all three of them. It was Jim himself his dad and we're all calling you and telling you this is how it went down.
Leslie Briggs 53:01
Tell me about his dad's effort to influence you
Leslie Briggs 53:11
you don't want to talk about that?
Leslie Briggs 53:14
Okay. Do you would you mind do you wondering about __ or?
I think __ is a good guy. But I think gonna do anything that his father tells him to do. And who's going to back up anything that his father says and push that narrative I believe that I text from the ambulance
Leslie Briggs 53:54
is that when he told you like Sorry, go ahead.
I think I texted him a picture of my face from the ambulance I'm almost positive
Leslie Briggs 54:07
and so what was saying to you as far as like, like, what what had happened? Like what was what was he saying to you?
Basically the same thing that Jim was saying, "Well, this is what I was told." I'm saying same story that Jim was telling
Leslie Briggs 54:28
did say anything you like you told me this is what happened
but I don't remember which part it was about if it was about the car door or if it was about falling at the sketch which we may have--Oh, one or two steps. I don't know. I don't remember going in the house if you look at the pictures from the crime scene on the front door, it almost looks like I had leaned up against it and my blood was dripping down. It was literally up against the door.
Leslie Briggs 55:29
Yeah. Well, on top of this being an extremely traumatic event you were drinking for the first time in nine years, right?
Leslie Briggs 55:39
Which just like I mean, just I say that to say that this makes it hard. That makes it harder to remember every single detail.
Well, on my blood alcohol when they tested it at the hospital, it was almost three times.
Leslie Briggs 55:53
What like, what prompted you to decide to drink that night?
I don't even remember. Yeah, I think it was just let's go celebrate. I have control of this. I can, I can stop at any time and I didn't. I haven't drink since then. I can drink a beer and be done. Or drink two beers and be done. I don't have a problem with it anymore. Like I had nine, you know, or however many years ago, 10 years ago, 11 years ago. When I couldn't stop. Yeah. I'm able to, I'm able to control it now.
Leslie Briggs 56:40
Good. That's awesome. That's awesome.
Colleen McCarty 56:45
This gaslighting is so effective that Marcy goes on to tell the court that Jim never beat her. The problem is her injuries in her initial statements to first responders simply do not align with a narrative that includes smacking herself with her own car door. And Jim falling on her once.
Leslie Briggs 57:03
When I was interviewing Marcy about her final assault, which you heard in Episode Six, I actually had an email pulled up on my own laptop, which was written by the District Attorney in her case. In that email, there was a list of statements Marcy had made to different first responders on the scene. Marcy did not know I was looking at it while she recounted her assault to me. And the email was not sent to the DA did not send that email to Marcy, that I do not know if she has it. But Marcy's account to me matched those statements to first responders nearly exactly. And then, as you heard, at the end of her recounting, she sort of begins to pivot to a discussion over the confusion as to whether Jim did foul on her or whether the cardboard did hit her in the face. And the reason I think this email is so significant is that it corroborates in real time contemporaneous to the events what Marcy initially said happened. And her story only changes after the lumen boys began calling her and harassing her while she's in the hospital bed. And I don't know Colleen, do you have? Do you have some reactions to any of that?
Colleen McCarty 58:07
Yeah, when you first told me that this happened that they all went to the hospital and I think I remember hearing it in her interview, but then we talked about it again. It reminds me of a really famous case that everyone's talking about right now, which is the Murdaugh murders. So right yeah. I don't know if our listeners listen to or have watched any of the documentaries about Alex Murdaugh. There's a case it's a case in South Carolina and live in the Lowcountry is what they call it, and many cases actually, of a high powered lawyer there that has sort of a lot of suspicion and deaths, suspicious deaths floating around him in this family. The first one of those will not the first one second one of those was a young woman named Mallory Beach, who was in the in a boat crash with Alec Murdoch's son. And I think 2018 or 2019. And she flew off the boat, he was drunk driving the boat, and she never came back to the surface again, right. And the kids call first responders, they come to the scene, everyone needs to go to the hospital. There's a lot of injuries. And there are like three other passengers and Alex, two other passengers with Alex's sons. There are four of them. So three kids that are that were drinking, that were on a boat in the middle of the night, are now in a hospital after a huge trauma. And the first thing that this lawyer family does is they show up at the hospital, right they start talking to the police at the hospital and that everybody who's in their own hospital room about don't say anything, they start going into the rooms of the teenagers and get you out of this and implanting facts. Yeah, so they actually tell the one boy you are driving the boat and they They start manipulating the situation very early on. Yeah. And they figured out that this is a really easy way to skew an investigation because everyone's memories are so pliable in these kinds of situations. It's very easy to just inject certain things. Yeah. Because your memory during trauma is so shocked that it's really easy to tell somebody something happened during that period of time. And then just like remember that that happened. And so I don't know if they're consciously doing it, or they're just lawyers that have been working for a long time. And they know they need to start getting to the scene as soon as possible so that they can start figuring out the facts. But this is exactly what Luman Sr, Luman II and Luman III do.
Leslie Briggs 1:00:50
So Luman three, actually did not participate in the implantation of the Okay, the initial story, as I understand it. Okay, so we know, lumen Sr, who Marcy, this is the part that is so it's difficult. It's difficult, because I mean, we can just let you hear how Marcy reacted when I when I brought up, Jim senior. But I know you don't want to talk about like Jim's dad's efforts to influence you. But I did want to go back to you know, you had mentioned that you were really close to him. Throughout your all's relationship, and I was wondering if you would just share some of that with us if you're feeling comfortable with it.
I mean, he didn't come up and visit. And I just felt a bond become almost like a father figure. We would like I said he would call and check on me every other day. At least once or twice a week. You know, he would text me or call me and asked me if I was okay if I was good. And this is after Jim had been arrested and we weren't allowed to be in the same house or whatever. mean he felt close to him. I can honestly say I love that man.
Leslie Briggs 1:02:19
And I just I hate that understand that to son for a man to support a man that does something like that repeatedly to women. So it's been it's been hard on me. Because I truly, truly cared about him.
Leslie Briggs 1:02:55
I mean, I still haven't programmed and my phone is dad fuzzy wuzzy this. That's what the girls called in. To me. I called him dad.
Leslie Briggs 1:03:07
So yeah, like lots of high emotion around that
Colleen McCarty 1:03:10
considers she considered him like a father.
Leslie Briggs 1:03:13
Colleen McCarty 1:03:14
And for him to show up the hospital under the guise of a doting father in law,
Leslie Briggs 1:03:20
or I think probably the phone more than physical presence
Colleen McCarty 1:03:23
or via phone.
Leslie Briggs 1:03:24
Yeah. He's he is talking to her. He was in the immediate aftermath.
Colleen McCarty 1:03:29
And he was to her as somebody who's attached to him now as a father figure. He's trying to be consoling, trying to make sure she's okay.
Leslie Briggs 1:03:43
But let me just talk about the extent of her injuries real quick, because this idea that it was so the narrative sort of becomes well, Marcy was trying to open her car door and it's a dead of winter in Iowa. And she pulls on the car door, it's stuck with ice and she's pulling with such great force, it hits her in the face, causes these lacerations like all of her face and breaks her nose. And then Jim's trying to help her in the house and they slip and fall and he falls on top of her and that's how all those ribs get broken. But she has four separate lacerations in a cross, there's like a cheek one, there's several on the forehead. And then on the other side of the face, her nose is broken. One of her cuts is so deep that it has perforated the epidermis and is down to the connective tissue between the muscle and skin, which will take a lot of force. Having spoken to a couple of folks that work in trauma ers, about these injuries. It's my understanding would take some serious force to get through that that like your get through all of your skin layer down to your connective tissue. And, like I said, broken nose and she has four buckle fractures, which are fractures where the bone doesn't crack all the way through but sort of the kind of buckles out on one side and then she has one completely A displaced rib that snapped off broken off. Yeah, she has three bulging discs in her back. And she has a compression fracture in her thoracic spine, which are all, one of the trauma nurses I spoke to actually said that sounds like somebody who was in a car wreck. More than, you know, she her exact words to me were like the force it would take from opening the car door, on one event, like on one hit, would be just, you wouldn't be able to do that to yourself.
Colleen McCarty 1:05:35
It's not possible.
Leslie Briggs 1:05:37
And you know that we have to talk about the fact that they were drunk. And Marcy was drunk for the first time in nine years. And you get you might be listening this and saying, Well, she changed her story and she was drunk, how can we possibly trust her? I guess I would just go back to her statements to EMSA. And the police when they got there, and her recounting to me, I mean, that's the story that came out of her naturally. And it's not until the end that she gets to this idea of like, but then this kind of gets brought up about so far, just say like, kudos to the Iowa district attorney that like pushed through this because, you know, on face value, if you have a heavy caseload, and you're just kind of like making it,
Colleen McCarty 1:06:22
it would be easy to just say, yeah, she fell. Right here.
Leslie Briggs 1:06:27
You have a victim who sort of starts to recant kind of, in a way. I mean, she does tell the court look, he didn't beat me.
Colleen McCarty 1:06:34
And then she says she doesn't want them to go to prison. On the stand. Does she say that the sentencing hearing? Yeah. So I mean, still clearly very under his spell right at that time, but like, this is kind of what we keep hearing from DAs is, is it's like, I don't want to bring these charges. Because I don't want to put that person up on the stand. They're not going to be reliable because they were drunk, or they're not going to be reliable because of this, but also, they still like him right now.
Leslie Briggs 1:07:02
Yeah, or at least they're supporting him. Right?
Colleen McCarty 1:07:05
Yeah. Yeah. And so what am I going to risk putting them on the stand and have them like, take his side or flip on me?
Leslie Briggs 1:07:11
Yeah. And luckily, in this case, he pled. Yeah.
Colleen McCarty 1:07:14
Let's also make sure we tell everybody that he did plead guilty to this assault.
Leslie Briggs 1:07:18
Yeah. And got a 10 year sentence for which he served 15 months?
Colleen McCarty 1:07:24
Yeah, I think it's we keep hearing between 13 and 15.
Leslie Briggs 1:07:28
It was September to December of the following year. So that's 15. Yeah. But I guess what I want to say is the reason drunkeness. Sorry, real quick, the reason that drunkenness also comes into play as I was also talking to a trauma nurse that I know. And she was like, when we see people who have had a traumatic physical event, and they've been drunk, usually, their injuries, generally speaking, the injuries aren't super severe, because when you're drunk, your body doesn't tense up before the force of an impact. So you would expect to see not from a single from him falling on her a single time. You have four buccal fractures and a completely displaced rib, three bulging discs and a thoracic spine injury. It's like, that's heavy, heavy, heavy trauma. A couple of drunken people falling on each other in the snow. wouldn't cause that. No, you know, no.
Colleen McCarty 1:08:25
Also just one more remark. And you can put this wherever you want. But the only people saying that she had multiple stories are the people who were implanting multiple stories in her mind at the time, right. So when you're the cause of somebody recounting or somebody having multiple stories, you don't get to say they're not credible anymore.
Leslie Briggs 1:08:46
Right. Like that's the that is the other thing that's so insidious about this is that this is like the ultimate manipulation, emotional manipulation. by Jim Wright. It's an effort to get her to be very confused about what happened to her, and to recant and make her less credible and then say, Look, she's not credible, you know, and that's just like, uncool man.
Colleen McCarty 1:09:06
Yeah, I think it's like also part of like, the legal abuse that nobody sees. Yeah. Yeah. He knows what impact this inconsistent testimony or inconsistent statements will have on her case,
Leslie Briggs 1:09:18
right. It's definitely a version of the legal abuse. Yeah. That's a very good point. So in any event, I mean, you guys have to make up your own mind about what you think happened to Marcy, but the medical records Actually, I'll just end on this note, the medical records. Note that the EMSA tech who arrived who brought Marcy to the hospital said the scene looked like a quote, murder scene. There was so much blood that was in the notes of the paramedic that responded to the scene. And I read that yesterday and I remember just being like, lots of blood, and the blood was outside and inside. Yeah, I'm sure because he complains that she's bleeding on the carpet at one point, and it's all over the front door. Okay, and I guess if, if we're following with his story, the bleeding started when she fell, and he fell on her outside and then continued when she gets walked inside. Or it happened when she hit herself in the face of the car door, broke her nose and put four different lacerations on her face.
Colleen McCarty 1:10:17
She did that to herself.
Leslie Briggs 1:10:19
Yeah, the narrative, as I understand it, is and please reach out to me if I'm wrong. But the narrative as I understand it, is that she was trying to get that car door open to her car, and it was icy, and then it popped open and hit her in the face. For lacerations, one that perforated the connective tissue, down to the connective tissue, and then a broken nose. I mean, that would take a lot of force.
Colleen McCarty 1:10:43
Well, this like, Look, if you you can believe us or not believe us, whatever. But the system in Iowa certainly didn't believe that that was possible. Right? That's true. They prosecuted him for inflicting severe injury.
Leslie Briggs 1:10:57
That's right. And so that they look guilty, he pled guilty to a lesser charge, of course, that's the story of Marci's assault. But you can see that the legal abuse aspect of it is really very insidious. These survivors have gone through so much. We aren't going to be able to capture it all in this podcast. But you can see why we decided to focus on Jim's cases to educate the broader public about abuse. His tactics hit all of the buckets of the most common behaviors that abusers use to control their victims. Legal abuse is one of the most difficult behaviors to curb because as citizens of US, we all need to have free and equal access to the courts. It will be difficult for a judge to know the motivation behind a particular filing or case. This issue highlights particularly why the court system may not be the best venue in which to cure and heal the harm caused by domestic and family violence. Next week on panic button. We bring on four experts in the fields of restorative justice and law enforcement discuss what can be done about these types of offenders and what can society do to reduce the harms and trauma created by domestic violence.
Colleen McCarty 1:12:16
After we hear from the experts, we'll dive back into the story and hear how the survivors came together in the name of justice. But were broken apart by Jim's constant manipulations and promises. When you join a quest to take down a monster. Can you avoid becoming a monster yourself? You can find links to pictures, documents and all our sources in the show notes of this episode. These cases serve as a reminder of the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the importance of seeking help if you or someone you know, is a victim. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number. For confidential support and resources you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for listening to panic button Operation Wildfire and for joining us and shedding light on the importance of ending domestic violence for good. I'm Colleen McCarty, and I'm Leslie Briggs. Panic Button is a production of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. were recorded at Bison and Bean studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our theme music is by GYOM. Additional editing is provided by The Wave Podcasting. Our music supervisor is Rusty Rowe. Special thanks to our interns Kat and Alison .to learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed or donate to keep our mission of fighting for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman a reality go to Okappleseed.org.
Tuesday Aug 01, 2023
Tuesday Aug 01, 2023
This week's episode is a break from the heavy story telling to ask the experts. Our expert panel features:
Ashley Nix, Assistant District Attorney and Director of the Special Victim's Unit at the Tulsa County DA's Office
Xavier Graves, Executive Director of the Restorative Justice Institute of Oklahoma
Detective Amy Hall, Supervisor Family Violence Unit, Tulsa Police Department
Aurelius Francisco, Co-Executive Director of Foundation for Liberating Minds
Listen as they discuss the real on the ground realities of dealing with domestic violence in a state like Oklahoma, that has some of the highest rates of interpersonal violence in the country.
Tuesday Aug 08, 2023
Tuesday Aug 08, 2023
The song in this week's episode is "Surefire," by Wilderado.
You can access the show notes at https://okappleseed.org/wildfire
S2:E9 WILDFIRE follows the story of one of Jim's survivors as she tries to hold him accountable in the court of public opinion. She was told by the Sapulpa police that they would not pursue charges. Once she learned about all the other survivors, she created a flyer to distribute about Jim's past abuses. Can your abuser sue you for spreading the truth? Can he win?
Leslie Briggs, Colleen McCarty, Josh Kidd, Karrah
Leslie Briggs 00:00
This episode contains references to accounts of domestic and sexual violence, violence against women in particular, and language that is not suitable for listeners under 18 years of age. We also discuss coercive control. Please use caution when listening.
Yes, he retaliated and takes my weed mugshot, which is like hysterical because I got, I got pulled over with a little bit of weed one time and the smile, I smiled in the mug shot, because I was like, I'm gonna take advantage of this mug shot. And I'm like, I'm gonna smile. And like, I didn't even I didn't have to, like, put the clothes on or anything. I didn't have to like go behind bars or anything. He takes that mugshot and makes a he tries to get it put on a billboard. But nobody would do it for him, I guess. And he bought a website, know your neighbors dot biz or something like that. And puts my mug shot on there. But you can't tell it's a mug shot because I was smiling really big. And he put my face all over town and was warning neighbors about me. I got a call. At work. I start getting calls. And they're like, carry out your faces on signs around town. He put one by my daughter's school, which was also a violation of my protective order. I but they didn't. When I reported it as a violation. They didn't count it as one. They didn't count any of his violations as any as a violation. He did. And I found this out. This was like right before, this was in 2021. Right after he beat his wife number five. His house was on Zillow. And somebody sent me a link to his house. And I could see my face on the sign and this yard next to his house. In Iowa.
Colleen McCarty 02:04
Everything in life has a tipping point. No matter what, at some point, the way you've been living becomes too much and something has to get for Jim lumen. The tipping point came when he met Karrah. He didn't know that was the moment and neither did she. But the end of the relationship sparked a series of events that's almost too crazy to believe.
Leslie Briggs 02:34
In Episode Six, you heard the survivors accounts of abuse and harrowing detail. Karrah was the survivor who Jim took to Branson on their first date. They only dated for three weeks in October of 2014. Three weeks that would change both of their lives in immeasurable ways. The thing about Karrah is that she has a very fundamental and pronounced sense of what's right and wrong. There's no compromising, and there's no excuses. So when she found out about all the other women that Jim had abused, including the women who she was told to hate when she was dating, her basic humanity transcended all of the mental manipulation. And she began to reach out to them. She and Christen really became close and they bonded over what they went through. What happens when these women begin to organize is remarkable.
Colleen McCarty 03:22
This is panic button. Operation Wildfire, and you're listening to Episode Nine. Wildfire. I'm Colleen McCarty.
Leslie Briggs 03:33
And I'm Leslie Briggs.
Colleen McCarty 03:35
If you're just getting started with us, we recommend you go back and start listening from episode one. Leslie, one of the most remarkable parts about this story is the companionship that emerges between so many of Jim's victims,
Leslie Briggs 03:51
right. I mean, they were told during their relationships with him that they were each crazy bitches obsessed with him. They're scorned lovers. They just want to get him back. And often that's happening while they're dating him simultaneously. Like he's talking about someone who's actively dating and saying she's just obsessed with me. I broke up with her already. And I guess something we should talk about Colleen is like that culturally in the United States. Women are bombarded with subconscious messaging, and I mean overt messaging as well. That push us to compete with one another for resources, men jobs, romantic attention. I mean, do you agree? Yes,
Colleen McCarty 04:30
I think it's often called internalized misogyny. But it's the idea that, you know, women hold up the patriarchy almost as much if not more than men do. It's the idea that what you're wearing to work is going to be scrutinized not by the men, but by the other women. What your you know, social circles think of you is more important than or what your church thinks of you was maybe sometimes more important than what your husband thinks of you? Or what what are the other women going to say or think or what's the gossip going to be? I mean, I think there's a lot of fear of women's judgment. I mean, when I hear these stories about these genuine friendships that developed between these women that were competing, for the same exact man who all slept with the same man, while had the same exact experience with the same man, it's pretty like it really bends my brain, the fact that they could just like lift up out of their pain and see past the manipulation is one thing. But then, to reach out and become friends with each other is something you just don't see very often. So we talked about this recently together, and we're bringing it onto the podcast, but in a function of their of healing their trauma and growing, becoming friends was actually a great thing for them, they could reflect with each other share stories, and Bond through what were some of the hardest moments of their lives. They needed each other to get through this. But often, they didn't have anyone else. And they didn't feel safe going to family or current people in their life, with what had happened to them. But this is something that frustrates me still, to this day, even after we've heard this story. So many times, legally, their relationships with each other are extremely problematic. And if they associate with each other about these cases, the system looks at that with suspicion. Every attorney when the time comes to go in front of a judge or a jury will hit them hard with accusations that these women are simply getting together and getting their stories straight, organizing their testimony to be consistent making sure that they all say similar things. So they sound more credible,
Leslie Briggs 06:47
right? I think for me, so it's like hard for me to take off the lawyer here. Because if you want to get him in a civil or criminal case, you can't, can't cannot hang with your fellow survivors, you simply can't. Because that would be we don't believe women, we just don't. Juries don't believe women. And so when you when you give the other side an opportunity to to attack your credibility. It's pretty hard to come back from
Colleen McCarty 07:18
Yeah, but that just plays into this perfect victim narrative that like, you have a therapist and a mom and a grandma. And that's their purpose in your life is to go to with your problems. And you don't need anybody else. And you can find you a good man. And you don't need to worry make better choices make better choices like that police told like that police officer told Ember from episode one, it's just, it's not realistic, especially in the face of the systemic indifference that these people are facing at the time,
Leslie Briggs 07:48
right? You have a system that has not done very much. There have been some things but not much. And we were talking about like 30 Day jail sentences, where he gets out in a week for like the abuse that he perpetrated upon Christen. And it's like, okay, well, I tried that. I tried that, that criminal process, and I got jack shit. I'm gonna try a civil process.
Colleen McCarty 08:15
The counterpoint to all of that is like, what is going when is it ever going to be enough for you? When is it ever? You you've got the prosecution? You've got the deferred since he got the conviction, you bought the things you want it, it wasn't enough for you? Why wasn't it enough for you? Why didn't it feel like justice to you?
Leslie Briggs 08:32
Because it didn't stop him. It didn't fix the problem. And like, that's what I would. That's how I think if I could channel any of those women, it didn't fix it. There were several more victims after Christen got the 30 day jail sentence. And, frankly, like, this is like the it's the big overarching criminal justice problem, like problem is that incarceration doesn't solve the root cause of violence, or like the root problems with community safety. And so and we've heard from the experts last week, and we'll move we're gonna move on from this topic here just a minute, but like, I get frustrated, because I don't know. I don't know what the answer is to this.
Colleen McCarty 09:20
I mean, I think a lot of people don't know. But the problem is, we haven't been allowed to study it. We haven't been allowed to try other things. Right. We've been allowed to, like, try restorative justice with these kinds of cases race are looking No,
Leslie Briggs 09:33
like the investment in alternative resolutions. Isn't hasn't happened in Oklahoma. And I'm just not convinced that incarceration has done anything to solve Jim's behaviors.
Colleen McCarty 09:47
No, and like, what are we saying though? Like he needs to go to prison for life then I just like no,
Leslie Briggs 09:53
I just I disagree with that as well.
Colleen McCarty 09:55
I mean, I think that's what that's how Jim's family feels is that these women will be up he until he's in a graver and behind bars for the rest of his life like The Green Mile. Right?
Leslie Briggs 10:06
Right. And I think the problem is that the trauma for them is still so visceral, the system re traumatize them. And there wasn't any healing. I'm just like, gonna say you're like Xavier. And it really is and their take on how to heal those traumas. I agree with. I think that's the only real viable solution.
Colleen McCarty 10:27
I mean, human psychology says the only way to heal things like this is not further separation, further abuse gation further, hiding and stave, pleading the fifth and the things that the legal system is built to do. It is built to bring only the relevant evidence and relevant based on a judge's opinion. It is, you know, only built to do those things and various, it only really works in very limited circumstances, personal interpersonal relationships, interpersonal violence, the solution is probably never, you're never going to feel fully healed. Because you're just never going to feel fully healed after a criminal prosecution no matter what happens. Yeah. Because you never get to hear from that person, how it impacted them that you never get to hear from them that they had, that it had an impact on them what they did, that they recognize the impact that it had on you that they're sorry, they no one ever gets to hear what really happened because the point is to obfuscate what really happened,
Leslie Briggs 11:34
right? Well, I think that the point is also to protect the individual liberty of the defendant, which is like you and I both agree feel very strongly that that needs to happen is one of the most critical facets of our entire legal system. So this has been a huge sidebar. Yeah, I do. I do think that we should hear from Karrah about what she thought about banding together helped her HURT
Colleen McCarty 12:02
Do you feel like your friendship with the other girls in any way undermine your credibility in the courts?
Absolutely, I do I feel like I feel like like me going in to I went with I had Christen with me a lot of times when I would be filling out violations of things or when I would be filing all my court filings or anything Christen would come with me sometimes Amberwood in the beginning and they basically would just look at you like you two crazy girls that are teaming up against this poor guy like it was pretty much like leave the poor guy alone at mentality and and they would ask me well, why are you even friends you and it was really where do you even therapist seem to not encourage me and Christen being friends. It was really strange like the the way that our friendship was looked down upon. It has been for a long time.
Colleen McCarty 13:16
So even despite the suspicion phrased and Karen knowing that this raises the hackles of of all the legal participants in this situation, it doesn't stop her from forming a plan after she realizes that her case is going to get dismissed against Jim are basically is not even gonna get investigated at all. She decides to take matters into her own hands.
The minute I found out my case was dropped a day before my mom died. And when my mom died, I did not get sad like most people do when their mom dies, I felt like a big badass warrior. All of a sudden, I felt like my mom would die if she knew I was freaking rolling over to this guy if I was just not doing anything to stand up to him. And so I I didn't know that I was going to hang the flyer at the time. I made the I was going to make a flyer I just wanted to make a graphic that had at least a warning. Yeah, I was thinking about making a website honestly. And I was and I knew that if I just put it and I was having a hard time searching for him. I couldn't prove that he was any kind of criminal when I was with him. I couldn't look into his background to see that he had any kind of violent history. And so I learned that if you actually put in lumen to like when you're searching for him It pulls up a lot more stuff. But so, but people don't know that. So I wanted a way to condense some information, some public information about him, also with people. And I wanted to use women that personally told me things that he had done with them. So I made a flyer, I put his one of his mugshots on it, I made a list of some of his crimes that you could find online, including, like the casket stuff, just because it's creepy. I put that one in there just because I wanted someone to pull it up and see that he has a casket lawsuit. Yeah, I know that. I mean, I just threw that in there. Because everybody needs to know about the caskets. No. And so I, I just put a list of the allegations from the women that I had personally heard from. I I just Christen and I talked, it was it was right after my mom's funeral. It was the weekend of my mom's funeral. And we were going to do something that we were going to do something to because the police weren't doing anything, we were at least going to hang one flyer, like we were at least going to put one flyer up. And so I ended up going. We talked on the phone the night before Christen and I and we said okay, we're doing this tomorrow. And I didn't think we were actually going to do it. And she didn't think we were actually going to do it. And last thing I knew I was at the place that she was house sitting at, we were on our way to make 200 copies, color copies of the flyer after I made the flyer after we made the copies. I realized that my email address was at the on the bottom of each fucking one of them. And I had to tear off my email address off of all 200 of them before we hung them. But anyway, sorry, that was a long story. So we we didn't want our cart her car to be seen on camera. So we went to the airport and we rented a Mustang. And we named it wildfire because we were about to be spreading the truth like wildfire. And we took the Mustang to Cleveland, gems hometown, and we hung fliers pretty much everywhere that we could think of including his sister's grave. We hung one at the Hickory House Restaurant is favorite place to eat. We hung one at the police station at the library at the place that they get shakes. I can't remember what it was a really good like ice cream place but the dairy barn, we put one at the dairy barn. We put one at his sister's house. I think we threw a few out there at the school at the park where Christen was found. And then toward the end we we went up we put them up we I think Kristin put it judges house because she used to clean for him. At the end we had a few leftover and we went up to the top of this hill and we just throw them out and watch them fly up cross this golf course and over this hill it felt fucking amazing. It felt like we had finally we laughed so hard that day. I was wearing sunglasses, a black hoodie, black everything because I didn't want to be on people's cameras, because I knew Jim would be coming after me. And so I mean, it was truly like vigilante justice. And you know, neither one of us are like, you know, it was like we both have jobs and stuff. So it was like we were really felt like we were getting by with something and and we were probably well, a few days later, I started to get a lot of angry messages from the women on the flyer. I started to get angry messages from a lot of people in general, saying How dare you put this up? Basically, he had a lot of women blaming each other for he didn't know who did it. And everyone was blaming each other for it. Everyone was freaking out thinking he was going to come after them. Because he was kind of livid. And he was blaming every woman on the flyer and they kept coming to me and they're like, he's coming after me because of this flyer. And I'm like, Well, I gotta take it. I got I take full responsibility for it because I can't handle all these poor women going through more trauma because of this flyer. I did not even like think that through at all I did, I did Black their eyes, like put a bar across their eyes and like, covered their names like I mean, it was completely anonymous. Like they weren't like, I didn't think that through at least but they were he, he just has a way to make you the bad guy and him the victim. And so I really felt like I had no choice but to take full responsibility for the flyer. I believe. I think I just like posted the flyer on Facebook and said, Hey, I posted this around town. And, and Cleveland, Oklahoma. And because this is what my abuser did to me, and I know I said a women's group did I think I blamed some women's group. And then I later on said, I was the women's group. That's what happened. I blamed a women's group at first. And then I said, I'm the women's group. I also did not take everyone's advice and lock my stuff down either. I wanted him to be able, honestly, I wanted him to be able to see what I was doing. And I know that sounds really crazy. But I honestly, this whole time, everyone's like, Well, why are you why are you my my page is public. And I, I want him to be able to see what I have to say to him. He's tried so hard to silence me. So it's like I have no choice. But I don't, I won't let him.
Colleen McCarty 21:50
So Karrah realizes pretty quickly that Jim is going to sue her for her publication of the flyer. And by the way, you can see the flyer in the notes of our show. And also for the dissemination of the flyer around Cleveland, and also for the publication of a flyer on social media. All of those are different as essentially publications under defamation law. And here's how Karrah learned that Jim had filed suit against her.
I get a process server on my porch, and I get slapped with a $300,000 civil defamation lawsuit from Jim Luman.
Leslie Briggs 22:38
So Karrah goes on to make a mistake that I think a lot of listeners of this podcast will identify with, but the lawyers who listen are probably going to cringe a little.
My mentality was, well, it's a civil suit. I don't have to buy a lawyer. And like I tried, I looked around at some lawyers, but it was all like $5, 6, 7000 retainer immediately. And I just could not. I was like I could have gotten into my retirement. But I was really trying not to let Jim Luman eat my retirement. It was kind of my thing. And I'm like, Well, I'm well spoken. I'm not afraid of men. I can probably do this, which was totally looking back was totally naive. And I mean, I did not think that it would be allowed to go on. Honestly, I naively thought that I could just defend this with the truth because that's what the First Amendment says. It says that if you say the truth, or I can't like, quote it verbatim, but like, if you can't be sued for defamation if you're telling the truth. And so I knew I was telling the truth. And so I didn't feel the need to hire anyone to say I was telling the truth, because I knew I was.
Leslie Briggs 24:04
I want to be super clear that I think the law should be accessible to everybody. But some cases just can't be handled per se. They are complex, the body of law that they are based on is complex. And defamation is exactly that. I mean, I don't know what you think about accessibility to the courts. But I do think that like there's a time and place and their particular dockets that should be pro se. But this is not one of them.
Colleen McCarty 24:29
This is the thing that I really struggle with. I mean, I believe very strongly in access to justice. And the reason that Karrah couldn't hire a lawyer is because a defamation lawyer, a first or a First Amendment lawyer, as she calls them would run you probably 15 grand to defend this kind of case. minimum, minimum. Yeah, that's for a capable, qualified attorney, you know, to even just respond to all these crazy pleadings, right amount of time that it would take to just respond to all of this is crazy. But also to do a good job like to, you know, lay out the facts, make sure the court understands what's actually happened here, like, introduce all the POs introduce all the rest. Like we've spent hours and hours going through all these documents. I can't imagine, you know what it would take an attorney to defend this case from the beginning of it. If I'm
Leslie Briggs 25:22
just it would maybe be a little cheaper. Honestly, I mean, I don't know for that for a fact. I don't know what the final cost was for Karrah. But I do think like, by the time her attorney enters the case, so much had happened, that it was like he had to read the same amount of hours that we spent reading all the pleadings to figure out what went down before he could even get a plan together.
Colleen McCarty 25:42
Yeah, yeah. So I want you just really quickly Leslie to like do a basic overview of what is defamation even.
Leslie Briggs 25:50
Defamation is this. It's actually there are two categories of defamation. There's slander and libel. Libel is the written word slander is the spoken word. And these are torts. These are these are intentional torts. Yeah. intentional torts, intentional torts, intentional wrongs. And, you know, beneath those two that I won't talk about slander and libel individually, I was gonna talk about defamation, but there's two types of defamation. There's defamation per se and per quad. So per se is like on its face, on its face. This is defamatory statement. Usually the best example of that is like Joe killed his mother. But it's not true. Right. So that's, that's a false if it were a false statement. That'd be defamatory because you're accusing him of a crime. Paraquad is a little more complicated. It's you got to use extrinsic evidence you have to the statement itself is not necessarily. It's not on its face defamatory. The standard paraquat example of like an insurance company accusing you of having been injured in an accident, but you weren't the party that was involved, right? Like that's like a mistaken identity. That's, that's a per se, that's a sorry, not per se, that's per quad defamation, you have to have more information other than just the statement and on its face, it's not enough. And so in some cases, you have to plead and prove special damages. So in Paraquad cases, you're gonna have to show special damage. The same is not true for per se defamation. So special damages are like the economic harm that you have suffered with relative certainty. That's what you got to prove. In a per se case, you could do things like mental anguish and recover, right? Again, you have to prove your damages up, but you don't have to plead and prove special damages for per se, defamation.
Colleen McCarty 27:35
What about malice? Do you have to have like, do you have to prove that the person did it meanly?
Leslie Briggs 27:41
Yeah, so the elements of a, of a defamation claim. And the state of Oklahoma really that it's like an unprivileged communication? It's false. It's the standard normally is negligence. So it's a negligence standard for private parties, like for private individuals. It's a negligence standard. If you're talking about a public figure or public entity, it's a actual malice standard. So negligence being like you were just not careful about checking that it was true. Public for that's for private parties. But if you're talking about a public person like me, and I don't know if everybody knows this, but school teachers are considered public figures. Really? Yeah. It's the kid. What is the case? I forget the case. It was the high school like basketball coach, that was misidentified by a news story is like having committed a sexual assault or something? No, it was bananas. It's bananas case. I've defined it. But
Colleen McCarty 28:35
there's a whole body of law on whether or not you're a public figure. Yeah, there you and I are probably,
Leslie Briggs 28:38
we might be it might be at this point. Tom always
Colleen McCarty 28:43
says to me, it's like you're probably a public figure right now.
Leslie Briggs 28:46
Probably yeah. Right. And so there's a there's probably a test out there that I don't know off the top of my head to figure out who's a public figure. But so if you are a public figure, if somebody is going to defame you, they have to do it with actual malice with an intent to hurt you. And then again, you have to prove plead and prove damages. So it's either special damages or just your emotional distress damages. So there are several defenses to defamation right, you have absolute privilege, which is the truth. You can get like qualified privilege and play things like fair comment. So if you're commenting and reporting on what's gone on and an official proceeding fair report is another privilege. That is a defense to defamation. That's something like the news making a fair report on something that's gone on. Of course, there are you know, there's things you have to prove relating to that. But fair comment, that's your opinion, your opinion is not defamation, but you have to be careful about catching a fact as opinion. Right. And then legislative or court or official other official proceedings, generally you are you are protected from defamation, for the things you say during those proceedings. So that's defamation in a nutshell.
Colleen McCarty 29:59
I have a question about that. Yeah. So like when you say the truth is not defamation, because that's an a complete defense. What do you have to do to show that it's the truth?
Leslie Briggs 30:15
Yeah. I mean, if you're being sued for defamation, like Karrah was to prove the truth, you would need, it would depend on what the exact claims were that were on the flyer, right. And on the flyer, she lists the cases and the police reports that she was aware of, at the time that were out against Jim. And she's, it's a, it's a statement of, beware, was there a serial abuser, in your community? And then she lists the cases, right. So to prove the truth, I mean, it's like, here's all the cases, and here's all the file paperwork on those cases. And here's the police reports. And also, if you can get any of those women to testify, it's and then you prove it. That's I mean, you prove it substantially true.
Colleen McCarty 31:02
So, okay, let's look at this a little more closely with Jim and Karrah's case. What what it is he's trying to say happened?
Leslie Briggs 31:09
Yeah, what I find interesting about this, and this is something we touched on in the legal abuse episode. So what's interesting about Jim's petition, is the way he's trying to counteract that these statements are not true, despite there being court cases about it. So for example, he says in his petition, that and who was his lawyer, his lawyer this time was Josh Kidd.
Colleen McCarty 31:32
We heard from Josh in episode two,
Leslie Briggs 31:33
we did hear from Josh in episode two, but the his current attorney has actually gotten Jon Nation who was also heavily affiliated with PI associates currently, that's who has the last entered appearance in the case. So Jim alleges that he doesn't know or recognize the woman listed as victim 8 on the flyer and if you go look at the flyer, you'll know what I mean. He alleges that another one of the victims her name's Brandy. He spoke to her and she's like no, that never happened was that's what he's alleging in the petition
Colleen McCarty 32:05
that's just so fucking funny to me. I talked to her and she said that didn't happen. and she said you're right
Leslie Briggs 32:11
tshe said I did not hit her.
Colleen McCarty 32:12
listen, in case you want to know the truth. She told me I didn't do that. So
Leslie Briggs 32:18
I except also by the way, you met Forrest Smith corroborated that she came to
Colleen McCarty 32:24
listen to the bonus episode here. Forest Smith corroborate Brandy's assault. Yeah.
Leslie Briggs 32:28
All right. I'm sorry, but like, but anyway, so that's Brandy, he speaks with Misty, his ex wife. And it doesn't actually say that Misty, says that it's untrue. But she says that the flyer is ridiculous, and she's not happy about it and then there's another victim, Lindsey, Lindsey, someone we tried to find, but we we just could not track her down. That is again, has nothing to do with truth or falsehood. But that Lindsay was disturbed and distraught and humiliated that her information was out there on that flyer, because apparently she had one of the cases against him.
Colleen McCarty 33:02
So none of them are actually saying he didn't do it. They're mad about the flyer.
Leslie Briggs 33:08
Yeah, they're like they're like not happy that the flyer is out there, which I don't blame them if they didn't if they weren't consulted, and they were you know, I don't blame them for having their stuff blasted, but that none of them are saying other than he's saying the Brandy's recanting, but that's the only one He's saying is recounting. He also says he's not aware of an Arkansas victim. Well you're gonna you're gonna meet the Arkansas victim next week. So you just like it. That's what he's alleging in this petition when he files this suit. None of it, sir. None of that is evidence of untruth. Except for Brandy who may be recanted. If she did. I don't know
Colleen McCarty 33:51
But she recanted to the abuser.
Leslie Briggs 33:54
But he's nice. Seems like saying that she recanted to him. He calls her up,
Colleen McCarty 33:59
like as if that wouldn't be threatening in itself. Right.
Leslie Briggs 34:03
So that's the petition for defamation. It's just, you know, I think it's flimsy. I think it's very flimsy at best to begin with. But let's talk
Colleen McCarty 34:13
about what happens next. Because this is the most shocking part maybe, is that it moves forward. It
Leslie Briggs 34:22
moves forward. Yeah, she she files a motion to dismiss. At some point that is not granted. She files counterclaims as well, and they get her counterclaims dismissed, you know, but she's given a chance to refile she does. So there's just like a lot of procedural things that are going on in this case. And again, she's representing herself. And so and that's, that's tough because you have not only do you have like local court rules with your local county courts, you have the district court rules that are statutory. And then you have the rules of civil procedure, which are also statutory, you have to be able to navigate all three sets of rules effectively. To do this,
Colleen McCarty 34:58
plus you have to be making determinations about what's relevant. What do you want to share what actually proves the truth here without showing yourself in a bad light, there are a lot of information sharing decisions that need to be strategically made. And plus, when you're also trying to learn the rules and trying to learn how to respond to something. What is legal pleading look like. It's just gonna be a mess. It's
Leslie Briggs 35:27
it is it is a mess. And like, it's interesting, like my theory on this is that Karrah probably could have done this if she'd had like some, like ad hoc legal help, like some limited scope, legal help, if there was somebody that she was paying some amount of money to do strategic decision making and give her guidance on the rules, versus like paying for their hourly appearances, right in court or, like, Yeah, but I do think with like a little bit of support, like she could have navigated this better, it's still the gold standard is to have representation, I just want to say that this is a very complex body of law, like you, you should be represented, it sucks that it costs a bunch of money. I'll leave it at that. But actually, what's what's probably there's two extremely fucked up things we have to talk about this case, before we move on to the next thing. It's the default judgment that gets entered. Yep. But before we get to the default judgment, I want to talk about the restraining order that gets entered. Because Josh kid files for a temporary restraining order, preventing her from speaking out about any of this stuff relating to gym, and its Yarrow is an equitable remedy, right, that would essentially a gag serve you speaking, stop her from talking about it stops her from being able to talk about it. And there's actually and it gets granted, and it gets granted. And this is the big kind of this is the conundrum I have, because like that decision was a bad decision. It was made on on an erroneous conclusion of law. Because there's lots of good case law that says that, like, what's at stake here is somebody's first amendment right? And somebody else hasn't, has an adequate remedy at law, which is money damage, you sue somebody for defamation to get money, because it's hurt you. And on the opposite side of that you have somebody's first amendment rights. And those are competing interests in every defamation case, and so to to allow equity, what's called equitable relief, you have money damage, and then you have, like courts of law and Courts of Equity. That's courts of law or money, Courts of Equity or things like injunction and restraining orders. And so here, things have gotten criss crossed. And the judge has entered an equitable relief when he had the ability to enter a money damage relief. And that gags Karrah, I mean, Karrah can't talk about what she's experienced now, as a result of that ruler that she
Colleen McCarty 37:49
couldn't talk about it. She could not talk about it on social media, she could not speak to anyone about it. And this was in place for 441 days. So over a year,
Leslie Briggs 37:59
over a year. Yeah. of her being silenced. And I think that's had a really lasting impact where because it compounds her trauma of like the experiences that she had. And then like her effort to assert some kind of independence or control over the circumstance is met with a full on court order silencing her, which is based on bad law, just it's just a bad I mean, and to the judges credit, and it's actually judge pickerel he undos his own ruling, but not till after a lot of other things go down, including the default judgment. Do you want to talk about that?
Colleen McCarty 38:34
Yeah. So quickly, though, I think before that, we have to just let Karrah discuss, like we asked her when we talked with her what her favorite part of doing the lawsuit was of defending the lawsuit herself was, and she said that it was actually being able to cross examine Jim herself, because she was the lawyer. So when you're the lawyer, you do the cross examining. So this is what she said,
I got to cross examine him for one thing. I cross examined him for a long time, in fact, to the point I asked him if he had ever beat a woman, and he said, No, I asked him if he had ever laid his hands on a woman. He said, No, I asked him if he had ever flown an airplane. And I asked him if he had a baby with Sarah Evans. I asked him all of the things that would get under his skin. But he couldn't hurt me because he was in a court.
Leslie Briggs 39:38
We actually pulled the transcript of that. And so here's some of the highlights. I guess.
Colleen McCarty 39:42
I wanted to also say like it seems like Jim is trying to limit the claims of defamation to only certain things on the flyer like he's conceding
Leslie Briggs 39:53
sure he has to concede like the Christian assault because he pled guilty.
Colleen McCarty 39:59
Yeah, and He is like saying, the parts that defamed me are these specific parts of the flyer like, Okay, I'll give you these things give you
Leslie Briggs 40:10
the domestic A&B. I'm gonna not tell the truth or I don't or I'm gonna have selective memory about the Arkansas victim and say that I've never I don't know what that's about.
Colleen McCarty 40:21
I don't know what that is. I'm not aware of it as Arkansas
Leslie Briggs 40:26
full police report. You know? Yeah. And I and like, he also it's also just like, so silly to read how he's saying that, like some of the some of the women who are on the flyer are like mad that they're on there as if that this proves that what happened,
Colleen McCarty 40:44
they don't like that their
Leslie Briggs 40:46
pictures on this flyer, I don't know. And I don't begrudge anybody that if that's like, if that has how they felt like I don't, I don't begrudge them that. But I'm sorry to say to Jim and, Josh, that that is not how you defeat a claim of defamation that somebody's mad that the truth was told is not the same as saying that like it's defamatory. That's just, but that is like, that's like a refrain that he kind of goes to,
Colleen McCarty 41:12
well, they're in a really weak legal position when you're reading, like, they're already in a very weak legal position, because we're coming into the situation saying, I'm not a serial abuser, because two of the things on this serial abuser flyer are false. Right, the other eight things I'll talk to you about those later. One of them is just a bloody nose, blah, blah,
Leslie Briggs 41:32
right? He really dismisses what he did to Christen, which you guys heard in Episode Six, like the bulk of like what she experienced, he dismisses it as a bloody nose.
Colleen McCarty 41:42
Yeah, and so it's a very weak position to come in here and be like, I'm gonna go ahead and concede many of these points. I clearly do have a violent history. However, these other two things are defamatory, and I deserve $300,000. Oh, he's saying he never raped anyone.
Leslie Briggs 42:01
Colleen McCarty 42:05
That was one of them. He says he never fish hooked anyone. He never choked anyone. He never held anyone hostage at gunpoint. He never threatened the lives of anyone's children. And he never stalked anyone.
Leslie Briggs 42:18
I mean, there's a lot of evidence that those things happened. Yes, the problem is that like what's happening in this hearing in 2016, is you have pro se, you have pro se Karrah, who's doesn't have a lawyer, who doesn't practice who's not like in that courtroom and doesn't know how that operates like the niceties of having a hearing like this. But you also have like, this hearing goes off the fucking rails almost immediately they go to this. So let me just situate us really quickly because this is a hearing in the defamation proceeding on whether or not Jim is entitled to an injunction against Karrah, an injunction is equitable relief. It's an order from the court to prevent you from doing something. So that's what they're there to get. Because the court had previously entered a restraining order against Karrah to not speak about the things that were on the flyer to not publicly discuss them while this litigation was pending, but like the hearing itself should have been limited to whether or not an injunction was warranted. And somehow they end up litigating the whole case, but it's just off the rails and it should, it just shouldn't have played out that way.
Colleen McCarty 43:25
I'm trying to remember how it even came to be that they were introducing evidence or that they were calling witnesses in the first place, because it's like, there shouldn't be any witnesses. There shouldn't be any evidence presented? Well, like they're doing
Leslie Briggs 43:39
it because like the issue of evidence, the issue of taking evidence should have been about the singular question of whether an injunction was necessary to stop Karrah from from discussing the flyer or the things on the flyer further. So they do that a little bit. They're like the her post is still up and cares, like, Well, I haven't reshard it, it's way down on my Facebook. And it's like, that should have been the limitation on this. But they start introducing emails from people who are not present in the courtroom. I mean, so many layers of hearsay. It's an email from somebody who's not there. It just is like, why are we putting this stuff into evidence?
Colleen McCarty 44:16
Authentication? Can I just say authentication like 500 more times, please. Authentication and the rule of completeness,
Leslie Briggs 44:21
if there is reasons Karrah is raising these issues, she's not doing it again, because she's pro se. She's not doing it with like all the niceties of like objection, relevance, Objection, rule of completeness. And the court gives her some leeway and like kind of reads between the lines of her speaking objection to get at what the rule underlying rule would be. And on some occasions, you know, he's granting those objections but it's just like, utter chaos. Yeah, it is. And it ends it culminates it actually, when he read this transcript, and you get to the end of it, and the judge issued his ruling, I can see exactly what happened. So there is a point when Christen gets called to testify, and Christen wasn't prepared to testify, she had not expected to testify that day. Christen, who gets called to testify by Karrah, regarding the underlying defamation, they because they've started litigating the issue of what's true in the fire, what's not which they never should have been doing the question of real. I mean, in my opinion, the court should have put a stop to that. And like, very clearly put parameters on what we're here to decide today. Because like we said, it goes off the rails, we're talking about hearsay, within hearsay in these emails, authentication, all that stuff we were just talking about. But there's this moment where Karrah is questioning, Christen. And I want to read that, and then I want to talk about the court's decision. Yeah. So question by Karrah, would you say that this is a streamlined version of everything? That's public record that you've seen? Yes. That's Christen. Answering. Yes. Karrah says would you have when you met him in a dating capacity? Would you have liked to have something like this to look at before he injured you? And then we get an objection from Jim's lawyer on on relevance. And care says, Well, how is that irrelevant? The court says, overruled, you may answer if you know, and then Christen answers.
Colleen McCarty 46:14
Had I had this information in front of me whenever I made the decision to see Mr. Lumen, I would have not continued a relationship with him or ever found myself alone with him in his grasp.
Leslie Briggs 46:26
Okay. And so that testimony, I think, actually becomes the thing the court makes this decision on. So the court itself begins to, to examine Christen. And then what that what I mean by examined is like the court begins asking fact finding questions, which usually the court will not be doing, like we mentioned earlier, that's not their role. And so the court questions Christian and says, I have one question that I want to ask that I want you to clarify some of your testimony to me. I understand. You tell me that, that you knew of Mr. Lumen as another person in the community. Since I think you said you were four?
Colleen McCarty 47:07
Yes, I have known of him since I was four.
Leslie Briggs 47:09
And the court says you attended the same school, things like that. Yes. But you didn't know him? Well, until you became involved with him romantically? Is that what you're saying? That's true. Did I understand your testimony that if you had seen this document, this flyer that would have changed? It would color your opinion about Mr. Lumen and you would never have dated him? Absolutely. Okay. Thank you. That's what I wanted to clarify. You may step down. Yeah. And so then the court, the court issues its ruling from the bench. The court
Colleen McCarty 47:39
is always cognizant of the constitutional first amendment right to freedom of speech and expression. However, the First Amendment just like the second amendment that allows you to bear arms comes with responsibilities and consequences. The determination to date as to the purpose, I heard a lot of testimony of why whether or not this was done to damage purposefully Mr. Lumen or whether it was done in a purely altruistic manner to warn other people so that they would not be victims is not before me today. What I have is the determination of whether or not plaintiff is entitled to an injunction. Based upon the criteria set forth under Oklahoma law and injunctions. I have been able to find continuing harm as a result of the actions of Karrah posting this in Pawnee County and online based partially on testimony that was someone who only vaguely familiar with Mr. Lumen would have their opinion of him changed for the worst if they had encountered that flyer. But I find the continuing harm and it does exist, I find that the potential harm suffered by the defendant is less than the harm suffered by the plaintiff. If the injunction were to issue, I find that the plaintiff has barely established that he's likely to prevail, at least having established a prima fascia case regarding defamation only. And I haven't heard any argument regarding public policy other than Karrah's statement that she is doing this to protect the public. And I don't see that the actions taken here specifically fit that particular method. There could have been other methods to protect the public and the court is a little concerned that if in fact the woman on the flyer whose pictures are there, other than Karrah are in fact victims, then some of them may not have wanted to be identified as such. And the photographs although I don't personally know any of these women, apparently are such that people can make out who that is. I had people identify them on the stand as to who these people are.
Leslie Briggs 49:41
So I wouldn't interrupt to just say like all that's predicated on hearsay, that was presented by Jim during the proceedings, he just starts telling me he starts testifying as to what these women told him about how they feel about the flyer. And it's like, that's not that's and he's
Colleen McCarty 49:53
the one identifying them. He's the one identifying his own victims. Yeah, of course he can.
Leslie Briggs 49:58
Well, it's just like It's yeah, right. I just the whole thing is based on a bad decision by the court and he to the judges credit, he reverses himself again only after like there's briefing on this issue of whether an injunction injunction is not an appropriate remedy for defamation. You have you have money damages, Jim would have been entitled to money damages. How do you prove the defamation, but the hearing just It's so chaotic. It's just it's so difficult to read, because you're just watching. Frankly, you're watching in my opinion, this may sound harsh, but like a bad lawyer doing a victory lap over a pro se, defendant. And you're just like, this is like, bullshit.
Colleen McCarty 50:47
Trash, it's trash. Also, like I think it's worth just mentioning briefly that what the court is trying to place on Karrah is called a prior restraint, which means we are not only restraining you from saying something that you've already said, we want you to eliminate those statements from the public. We're also going to restrain you from saying things that you haven't said yet, which the forefathers of our Constitution frowned greatly on prior restraint is one of the reasons they left England and came to this new land and created the constitution to begin with. And so it's pretty fundamental in First Amendment law, that it's, it's really inappropriate to try to prevent someone from saying something. Yeah, the government
Leslie Briggs 51:35
has to meet the strictest standards to put a prior restraint on you. So yeah, it's it's a bad decision by the court. And again, it doesn't get undone until you have legal intervention by another lawyer representing Karrah. You know, but something we have to do, we do have to talk about that comes out in these transcripts are some of the bad facts right, Colleen. And after they break up, or after the, you know, this, this final weekend happens, there's, in the hearing, it's suggested? Well, it's basically testified to that by Jim that he broke up with Karrah after three dates. And I just wanna say, like we've seen, we have seen how quickly he can move in three weeks with somebody. I mean, he has moved from meeting someone for a first date to a marriage proposal within six weeks. And Karrah has told us that they were already discussing marriage and moving in together. And so the idea of like, again, I think this is part of his gaslighting tactic of like, up the stakes really quickly with a with a bunch of love bombing. And then if it falls apart, and any like in this exact scenario, when you're trying to like hold me accountable, what I'm going to say is there was three dates. So she's crazy. She's crazy. It was three days. And instead, what is that, but what he's actually done is really intensely up the ante with with love bombing and discussions of marriage vulnerability. I don't know. Do you have thoughts on that?
Colleen McCarty 53:04
Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of the time we spend talking about these issues, we talk about survivors, and how oftentimes their behavior to someone outside of these situations, it doesn't really makes sense. It's not a logical. And it's not something that can be easily explained in a court testimony. And oftentimes, a defense attorney will try to tear a victim apart because of things that they did, you know, during the relationship or afterwards. And these are the kinds of conversations like that happen between people who are having an emotional breakup, like they sometimes Express fondness for each other, they sometimes express that they miss each other, right?
Leslie Briggs 53:50
And it becomes if you don't immediately hate him, and express that every time you're talking to him then
Colleen McCarty 53:56
and go to the police immediately. If you don't go to the police immediately with the harm. That didn't happen,
Leslie Briggs 54:01
right that it didn't happen. Never mind that like that's just not how humans operate when you when you're getting in a relationship, especially an emotionally manipulative one with also, you know, sexual violence. Like the emotional work that has to be done to actually separate yourself isn't happening, the night of the breakup, when you're sending emails back and forth to each other about how you felt at particular moments in that relationship.
Colleen McCarty 54:30
Hasn't everybody gotten drunk and texted an ex or texted somebody? So they broke up with that you like, just want to like razz a little bit sometimes. Well, in
Leslie Briggs 54:41
the idea that like, again, to what you're saying, is that like, okay, you don't get to act like a regular person. Because there was sexual violence in the case in this situation. You have to act in a very specific way otherwise, we won't believe you. It's like, you don't stop being you don't stop having your normal breakup among shins that are also just elevated and complicated by the abuse. So it's like there's a very chaotic exchange of emails that gets introduced during that hearing of, you know, are we gonna get back together? Are we not going to get back together? You know, let's do some business together, him reaching out to her for hookups, her reaching out to him for hookups and like, just, it goes on for a period of six months. So there's really I mean, there's, as far as I can tell from the transcript, there's about three times that he reaches out to her and initiates contact post breakup, and three times from her back at him. So we're like, okay, numerically were pretty even here. Like if the numbers matter, it was
Colleen McCarty 55:41
but at the same time, like what you keep seeing during Jim's testimony, and this is Josh, attempting to only introduce the pieces that are favorable to him. And I mean, that's something that narcissistic abusers and coercive controllers do all the time. And a verbal argument is they just say the things take the thing out of the context. Yeah. And supports their proposition. Yes. And he's, and he's the worst part about this. And I'm sorry, Josh, if you're listening. The worst part about this is that he's an attorney, and he knows better.
Leslie Briggs 56:12
Yeah. And he's, he's definitely like taking advantage of a pro se.
Colleen McCarty 56:16
He's putting somebody who has no reason to know. Right? And it's like, she even she actually does do a good job of saying, oh, yeah, that's not all of it. That's not all of it. And also, mine doesn't match that. Yeah. Why are the words different on this one? She's
Leslie Briggs 56:32
just not letting him get away with it without a fight. Yeah,
Colleen McCarty 56:36
and it's good. I'm glad that she did that. But at the same time, it's like, when you're up against somebody that's pro se, you should be double on your game. Like, you shouldn't be trying to sneak things past.
Leslie Briggs 56:48
Like, are you kidding me? Yeah, I was dying. When she's cross examining Jim, on his finances, and undercutting his claim of damages, just like you can't have it both ways. You can't be online, claiming to bid on an airplane, and then act like you've been losing tons of money and sleep over this. I don't, it just is like, and she gets him to admit that he doesn't file his taxes, which I thought was
Colleen McCarty 57:17
pretty bizarre. He just fill out says, I haven't filed taxes in seven years. Yeah,
Leslie Briggs 57:21
it just I don't do my taxes. You're running? No, you are running a legal consulting business and not filing your taxes.
Colleen McCarty 57:28
And hi lawyers, people who pretend to be lawyers, there's this thing called the Fifth Amendment that I really recommend you avail yourselves of.
Leslie Briggs 57:36
So I don't know dude, I like I it just is the whole, the whole thing is so scattered and difficult to make sense of, and it just it for me, the culminating thing of all of this is that, like, Karrah holds her own, like, really fucking holds her own in that hearing. But you can't you just been a case that's complicated like this. We're talking about injunctions and equitable relief, and we're talking about first amendment rights, or we're talking about defamation. And all of these are like extremely complex bodies of law. It's just like there was going to be a tough hill to climb for her, I think,
Colleen McCarty 58:10
yeah, and what I hate the most, and this will be the last thing I say. But definitely what I hate the most, is that she brought her friend there as a support, who is also a victim of the same man. And it's used against her not by Jim, but by the court itself, right. Like, talk about systemic gaslighting. Right. Wow.
Leslie Briggs 58:42
Yeah, I agree with that. I mean, it just like that whole candidates bad decision by the court. And Christen hadn't been prepped to testify. She didn't know she was going to testify. And it was really an off the cuff decision to put her on the stand because they wound up litigating the underlying truth of the claims, which they never should have been doing in the first place. That hearing should have been limited to the issue of injunction. And the court really should have done a better job boxing in what was going to be heard and what wasn't. But Karrah makes this decision to put Christen on the stand with no prep, and no legal advice. And it winds up being the thing that the court uses to make its decision.
Colleen McCarty 59:18
Well, then also, like she's just answering honestly, yes. If I saw this flyer about a serial abuser in my community, it would change my opinion of him. Yes, of course it would. And then he takes that as evidence of reputational damage.
Leslie Briggs 59:34
Yeah, and that the harm is going to continue to Jim if the if Karrah is allowed to continue to discuss what's in the public record. So you know, I think I just like I have to say I appreciate that care out, really put up a solid fight. And I wish the system was better designed so that it wasn't like it wasn't always necessary to have a lawyer there with you. But this kind of a case just really required it. It really did. So the fact that there was a restraining order entered is like what blows my mind? Because it's just it's an equitable relief, and it wasn't necessary.
Colleen McCarty 1:00:08
And that was the truth of the law is that that should have never been entered, because that wasn't the right kind of relief for this type of tort. Right, exactly. And so she was, she was silenced for 441 days, but it was wrong.
Leslie Briggs 1:00:29
Right. And it also just speaks to another problem with the legal system is that like, lawyers get the benefit of the doubt. Like Josh kid is in that courtroom very regularly. And so when he's making his legal argument in favor of this TR o this restraining order, and Karrah's in there going, This isn't right. I can feel it in my bones. This isn't right. But maybe I don't have all the legal authority to explain that to this judge. They're just gonna go well, I've got legal authority on one side, and I've got somebody just saying, I don't like this on the other side. Guess I'm gonna go with a legal authority, except that like an independent evaluation could have maybe prevented that.
Colleen McCarty 1:01:08
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know cod or mass. And like the whole the other part like you said it competitor trauma, because the whole time that this is happening, she's thinking, the state of Oklahoma, not only have the cops walked away from my case, refused to investigate. But now I've got a judge in the state of Oklahoma taking his side.
Leslie Briggs 1:01:34
Yeah. And saying, I can't talk about this,
Colleen McCarty 1:01:37
that he's right. And I'm wrong. And I can't even tell anyone that it happened.
Leslie Briggs 1:01:43
Yeah, it compounds it for sure.
Colleen McCarty 1:01:46
It's just like, I mean,
Leslie Briggs 1:01:50
and then like, then it gets, I mean, it gets worse. It gets worse, it does get worse
Colleen McCarty 1:01:55
because they entered they ultimately, through a series of very chaotic events, but the court enters what's called a default judgment on Karrahf. In on behalf of Jim So Jim, essentially, like from my perspective, reading, the transcript wins, right? Like he beats her, he gets a judgment against her for defamation, essentially saying she has defamed him. And they enter the default judgment. And she gets notice that she's lost. She had to like notice in the mail, you've lost, there's been a judgment entered against, there's gonna be a hearing on the damage and on the damages. And so the reason that that happened, and it's kind of suspicious, but I don't know.
Leslie Briggs 1:02:35
It's super like is like super in the details. But basically, there were two separate hearings, one on November 2, one on November 9, and she gets notice of them separately, I think even a lawyer could have made this mistake, like because the whole thing is playing out in a very chaotic way. But she gets noticed of them separately, and one of them is has got the ninth. It's one of them, has the date scratched out and the other date written in. Right. And so she's like, okay, and she calls the court to confirm the date of the hearing. And like a court clerk said it's the ninth it's the night. Well, on November 2, a hearing occurs.
Colleen McCarty 1:03:14
And one of the things that happens at a default judgment hearing is if the other person doesn't show up, it's almost like an automatic default judgment on them because they're not present.
Leslie Briggs 1:03:25
Yeah, I mean, that's like one of the main ways you would wind up getting default, is it takes honestly, it should take a few. It should take more than one non appearance. But I think that the judge was probably pretty frustrated at this point with the case because, I mean, like, lawyers, lawyers in general, dealing with pro se parties is like notoriously just it's like some within the profession. It's something that we all kind of complain and, and just you know, like, if you're dealing with a pro se party on the other side, everybody's like, Oh, God, good luck, you know, even worse when they're a sovereign citizen,
Colleen McCarty 1:04:04
Leslie Briggs 1:04:06
you they're an aviator, where they're claiming to be a sovereign citizen. So it's like, the judge probably on some level was like, Enough Enough. She's not here today. It's defaulted. It's defaulted.
Colleen McCarty 1:04:16
Yeah. And there was like 100 Contempt citations and 100 because she kept pushing.
Leslie Briggs 1:04:21
She didn't she refused to abide by the tiara and a lot of ways as far as I understand it, she continued to discuss. And so they were continuing to file contempt citations to try to get money from her for violating the CRO.
Colleen McCarty 1:04:35
And so yeah, so at this point, she realizes she has a default judgment against her. It's a very dark day, and she finally breaks down and decides to ask a friend for money to pay for a lawyer.
I lost temporarily because he got to default. I was at work one day, and I actually called the they changed the court date from the second to the ninth. I called and spoke with a court clerk. And who told me that court was going to be on the ninth, not the second. And everything I had said it was in even OSC and said it was on the ninth and not the second. So I'm at work on the second, I get a call saying, Hey, you just lost. A friend of mine started a GoFundMe for me. Because I was the, that I needed a lawyer because I was I had lost my ability to speak and I was supposed to pay him $300,000 My, I had one have one really rich friend, that, that he's awesome. He's, uh, he's been one of my buddies throughout this whole thing. And I've had like a small group of people that have been a support system. And one of them happens to be my rich friend RJ. And so my rich friend RJ decides to give me the money for my First Amendment lawyer. Thank you, RJ. So when I first met him, I was just like, it was the best feeling you know, I by then I had stopped opening my mail from Josh kid, Josh kid was sending me I was getting injunction after injunction. I kept getting these I'm sorry, I kept getting these most of these contempt charges for because I was trying to have a front a GoFundMe for a lawyer. Like they were they were filing contempt charges for me like saying that I was abused on Facebook and there was just I stopped opening them and then I when I finally got my attorney Taylor and did everything and then I was allowed to talk again
Colleen McCarty 1:06:51
that can feed it in the future see it in the call see the moon as a song see the stars the mining like Ben Farr's like the heat in the car to the cheese cake now.
Colleen McCarty 1:08:14
so this is like, let me just think about it in purely Oklahoma in terms. It's the last five minutes of the football game. You are, it's your seventh and the other side is 14. And they're on the fifth yard line, about to score a touchdown, like you are about to have your ass handed to you. And there's nothing you can do about it. There's not enough time you've lost essentially, like everyone in the stands is packing up their shit and ready to go home. Right. And she finally find somebody who's willing to help her because she does not have the money that they are trying to get out of her. She has what we call judgment proof. And like I don't know what they would have done probably would have just tried to bankrupt her and take everything she has. But she goes and hires a lawyer in town new Taylor Burke, who's very good on these issues. And in order it's also extremely difficult to undo a default judgment. I mean, you you it doesn't it does actually help her that she wasn't there because it's like she didn't get notice. And you can't just enter a default judgment on someone who doesn't know what's happening.
Leslie Briggs 1:09:22
Yeah, it's better. I honestly think it's it's easier to get a default than it is to get to get a default vacated than it is to get had she shown up and argued and lost. That would have been harder. It would have been a bit harder to get that undone. Yeah, so I don't know I guess I'm like so bad of a football references, but
Colleen McCarty 1:09:40
I'm gonna be like, like, like Dan Marino shows up. A lot, but no, I don't think
Leslie Briggs 1:09:49
the person guy I,
Colleen McCarty 1:09:52
personally would say like, shows up at the end of the game and fixes everything.
Leslie Briggs 1:09:55
What's the guy I can't stand him. The Patriots guy. Oh, Tom Brady.
Colleen McCarty 1:09:59
Tom Brady, Tom Brady shows up, and somebody kicks like 105 yard field goal and you win. Okay? Like that's literally was four,
Leslie Briggs 1:10:10
I don't think the score on that was working out no whatever. Basically, you're down to the wire, and like, Hail Mary row enters the scene. And that hero in this story is Taylor Burke. And I'm going to fangirl on Taylor for just a minute, because I've seen him in action in court before. On one case, where I was represented, it was an, it was a probate matter, and I was representing a potential creditor, like I hadn't got my judgment yet. But there was a lot of crazy shit. But Taylor in this very chaotic probate where there were a ton of creditors, and like, lots and lots of issues. I just saw him speak so matter of factly to the court and what was otherwise a very contentious and like emotional hearing, and he was just like, This is what has gone on. And this is what must happen now as a result, and it was like a he carried the day, you know, he wins everybody in the crowd, like, so I've just I've seen him do something kind of like, I mean, this was like a very chaotic situation. And out of that chaos, he like Drew order, very deftly. And it's the same thing here.
Colleen McCarty 1:11:13
And he writes the motion that you were just talking about. So he comes in, and he and he writes the motion to the court with all the case law saying an equitable remedy, like a gag order, or tiara is inappropriate here under the law, and she should have never had that entered. All of this has to be undone and have to start over. We have to start over. And and the courts like oops, oops, you're right. You know what, you're right.
Leslie Briggs 1:11:41
Oopsies that's our bad. That's our bad, but you love it. You love it when a court can correct itself and does
Colleen McCarty 1:11:48
and yeah, she can't get that 441 days back, unfortunately.
Leslie Briggs 1:11:53
Well, right. And so like he wins on that issue and gets the restraining order taken off. Yeah, taken out. And that kid eventually left the case and left the practice of law left the state of Oklahoma. And a new guy entered. The last thing that ever happened in that case was that John nation entered the case on behalf of Jim.
Colleen McCarty 1:12:12
And I think that really, ultimately after going through this, like, year and a half are longer than that of hell. We asked Karrah like that she regret making the flyer that she regret Operation Wildfire, like what is the ultimate conclusion for you? And here's what she said.
Absolutely not, I don't. I feel like the defamation lawsuit made me such a better, stronger person ever. Because I don't know. When you walk into a courtroom and Pawnee County alone, and there's a your abuser, his attorney and the judge that has also been in trouble with them before. It is definitely a bears den you're walking into. It is definitely an intimidating situation. There were many days where I cried on the way to court and I had to really just suck it up and walk in there was actually one of the one day I saw looming in the hallway. And I looked at him and I said fuck you. And he didn't know what to say back and he was like, fuck you like and, you know, that kind of that little that area that little time in my life. Sure did make me where I don't get intimidated, that easy by anybody else. And it really gave me a backbone. And I don't know, he tried to take me down and I went from being a piano teacher and now I'm a vice president of creative operations. So I mean, he's hasn't been able to like run me like he's tried so hard. He's trying to take my kid away. He's trying to make me lose several jobs.
Leslie Briggs 1:13:59
So heavy with your heavy with your thoughts on just this whole this whole this defamation case is chaotic.
Colleen McCarty 1:14:05
Let me say what my thoughts are. And it is that man, the fucking balls on the sky,
Leslie Briggs 1:14:14
the fucking balls on this guy.
Colleen McCarty 1:14:16
The mother fucking balls on the sky. Okay. Every single one of these things that she put on the flyer is documented in a fucking government agency somewhere. Right? That is one of the exclusions to, to defamation. That and the truth. So you have to have the exclusions. Yeah, you have wrote offenses.
Leslie Briggs 1:14:41
Yeah, there's a great there's great defenses here to the defamation case.
Colleen McCarty 1:14:45
I think the fact that the thing that I will give the gym and I know he's listening is
Leslie Briggs 1:14:52
Jim call me babe.
Colleen McCarty 1:14:53
What you did, was that you? You did what every lawyer is told to do in law school which is Don't read the law, read your opponent. And you knew she didn't have money. You knew she was ballsy enough to try to do it herself. And you knew that that would work to your advantage, you knew that she wouldn't be able to prove up these things because she doesn't know the procedure. You played your opponent. And he almost won.
Leslie Briggs 1:15:29
For a period of time you did win. But you won the battle, not the war, the arrogance, the arrogance,
Colleen McCarty 1:15:37
going forward with a suit like this. Knowing what he's done, right, knowing how easy it is to prove all of it. Right. Right. Like mind blown.
Leslie Briggs 1:15:53
I know. And then you have, then you really do have a court system that American courts are not like, you know, like a European court where they would maybe act as somewhat of an independent investigator and do some research on their own. American courts don't operate like that. Very courts are very much like a horse with blinders. Like they can act sua sponte, they can act on their own. It's very rare that they would. And so like you got that's like a horse with blinders. It's like, I can only see what's in front of me. One, I got one side, that's representative one side, that's pro se. The guy that's the guy that's represented, has got somebody who understands the rules of procedure understands, like judicial economy and how my dockets operate. You know, Karrah talks about the judge kind of getting annoyed with her because of how long she was taking on cross examination,
Colleen McCarty 1:16:39
how many objections she's drawing, because also, she's asking a bunch of irrelevant questions, things that are irrelevant, talking about his sister, talking about random as shit that has nothing to do with any of this. That doesn't make him look bad. Yeah, if you're having a basic conversation with somebody at a coffee shop, but in a courtroom, it can't come in, can't come in here. It can't come in, and the judge will get annoyed. And he's getting pissed because you continue to try to disparage the other side in ways that are not really in this room.
Leslie Briggs 1:17:08
Yeah. And yeah, so it just like, and to your point, like he knew that she would do those things, or that she would at least try to go it alone. And he was right. I don't know. Like it just as another version of the legal abuse. In my opinion. That's another version of like, Karrah, in particular being so outspoken and so adamant about right and wrong, and so unwilling to back down,
Colleen McCarty 1:17:35
he read that about her, he read that viewer for three weeks.
Leslie Briggs 1:17:39
Right, that's a special skill set to be able to do that. And we've heard from a lot of people, he's extremely arrogant
Colleen McCarty 1:17:46
arrogance, but it's it's also very frood. It's like very, he took a huge risk. That was a huge risk. Because anybody could have proven all those things on the flyer. He knows he did the things on the flyer. He pled in his petition that he doesn't know anything about Arkansas,
Leslie Briggs 1:18:08
where he was arrested,
Colleen McCarty 1:18:10
held overnight in jail in Eureka Springs, right.
Leslie Briggs 1:18:14
And like that shit is sanctionable. Like That shit is like so anyway, the long and the short of it are this defamation case. And that wasn't necessarily a victory for Karrah at the beginning. And it is extremely deft way of continuing to manipulate systems to your advantage as an abuser.
Colleen McCarty 1:18:36
Leslie Briggs 1:18:37
shocking. And I wouldn't like I mean, what you have a little bit to say on that chilling effect, right? Like,
Colleen McCarty 1:18:43
yes, God bless. The thing about suing someone is that in America, like you were just saying is that your claims don't have to be right or virtuous. You just have to bring them and you have to be willing to keep showing up at court. And I mean, the fact that this goes on for so long, and that there's so many emotions in so many hearings, that that's enough to wear anyone down. And that's despicable, especially considering that you're dealing with somebody who's a survivor of abuse. And what's so frustrating about this, too, is that and we hear this from victims advocates that, you know, part of the reason that a lot of victims and survivors don't speak out is because they're afraid of things like this happening. This is the fear. Like it's not just that he's gonna come after you physically which is a real life here. Right? But that he's going to take everything you have, he'll take your kids will take your housing, he'll take your car, he'll take and then he'll come after you for talking about it. Right? Like
Leslie Briggs 1:19:46
not only will he punish you physically, but he will he will eviscerate you for telling anyone.
Colleen McCarty 1:19:52
And so, I mean, I hate that these cases like this are allowed to go on like this. This one was because it shows, however many other survivors out there that I can never talk about this.
Leslie Briggs 1:20:08
Yeah, but the thing is, and I just want to say this, though, but we have very, very strong anti slap protections in this state, you can, at the outset of this case, had I been defending this, I would have filed a motion under the Oklahoma citizens participation act. To get it dismissed under the anti slap statute, you can't silence me because you don't like what I'm saying. And you're doing this too. It's the slap stand for. So anti slap slap stands for a strategic lawsuit against public participation. Like you have to do this early in the case or you lose the right to do it. So it should have happened early in this case of like filing for this motion and trying to have a hearing on whether or not this was just a strategic effort to prevent her from participating in a public discussion about issues of public concern. And I think, if she had representation at that, she probably would have won. And that would have been the end of that. At that point. Least I like to hope, I would like to hope that too. So like, for anyone listening out there who is afraid of talking or speaking out about things that have happened to them, that have really happened to them that they have evidence of, or the bet or the truth, there are legal protections for you. And you shouldn't be afraid. And you can get you get, you should talk to a lawyer, a lot of them will do a free consultation. And you can just explain the circumstances and talk about I mean, bring this issue up, if you're dealing with a defamation issue, it's like ask them about the possibility of an anti slap motion, and getting the fees recovered that way, rather than you paying up front, see if they'll do it on a contingency, I mean, negotiate that thing with the attorney because that exists. And that's that's a beautiful mechanism for having your abuser pay for the privilege of having tried to harass you.
Colleen McCarty 1:21:51
Yeah. And we have a really high profile case in Tulsa, Oklahoma right now, where the abuser sued on Dr. Didn't actually sue for defamation. He sued for
Leslie Briggs 1:22:00
legal negligence, which was a bad theory. I mean, it was just nonsense theory. And he lost, he got that kicked out, he lost,
Colleen McCarty 1:22:07
but they also got their fees, they just rolled into my house to pay $15,000 to the women that were speaking out again, against what he was doing.
Leslie Briggs 1:22:15
That's right. We're talking about Scott Taylor, by the way. I'll say it
Colleen McCarty 1:22:21
is in the public record. Yeah. So all is not lost. You do need a lawyer though. Hire somebody. Just Just do it. Just do it just do at the beginning. Yeah. But the beginning at the
Leslie Briggs 1:22:36
beginning. So something I've
Colleen McCarty 1:22:39
been saying a lot. And that's ringing true to me about these kinds of situations is that in a dysfunctional family, the person who tells the truth is the one who gets punished. And the ones who keep the secrets are the ones who get rewarded. And what we have right now is a system that rewards the abusers and punishes the victims for telling the truth.
Leslie Briggs 1:23:03
You know, all that to say, though, like, I would like to end this episode with a couple of clips, because I did have a conversation with Josh, who was representing Jim, in that hearing about how he felt about Karrah today. And how he felt about Jim today. And I wanted to just kind of play that for you guys to consider. I
Josh Kidd 1:23:20
think everything you need to know about Jim can talk to Carrie Youngblood and, and his the alleged victims, I mean, seriously, I mean, I have a lot of respect for even though she probably doesn't respect me at all. But I have a lot of respect for Karrah. And yeah, especially now that Jim, we know that Jim is an abuser, like he's admitted it right in court.
Leslie Briggs 1:23:45
So now our listeners can understand why the cover image of the podcast is an old car, and the podcast is called Operation Wildfire. The idea is it the flyer was intended to spread the truth like wildfire. The problem with that is that these survivors and victims should not have to be the ones to take on that burden in that risk. We rely on the system of criminal courts to bear the weight of prosecuting and informing the public about dangerous people. And that system has really failed in these cases.
Colleen McCarty 1:24:13
I think one of the reasons these women struggled to find a willing ear in prosecuting these cases is because they worked together. Any DEA or district attorney, as we say, who's looking at these cases is going to see a mess that they don't want to deal with. These women have been damaged. They have damaged their cases and their credibility to the point that it would be difficult to get a conviction on any of their cases. But wait, wait. Lesley Remember Ember from episode one, right? She was approached to join this merry band of survivors and for a multitude of personal and professional reasons she did not engage at the level the other girls did because she had been warned so early on by her attorney She had been expecting the call, but she kept a healthy distance. I wonder if there are other victims out there like her. That would also corroborate Jim's violent behavior.
Leslie Briggs 1:25:13
Well, as it turns out, Colleen, there's a woman out there who's gotten nearly three decades without sharing her story with anyone but her family and the Eureka Springs police. And for any geography students out there, that's Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Next week on panic button, we talked to a victim who has never spoken out about Jim's abuse before a victim whose abuse happened in a totally different state in 1997, we hope you'll join us
Colleen McCarty 1:25:48
you can find links to pictures, documents and all our sources in the show notes of this episode. These cases serve as a reminder of the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the importance of seeking help if you or someone you know, is a victim. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number. For confidential support and resources you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for listening to panic button Operation Wildfire, and for joining us and shedding light on the importance of ending domestic violence for good. I'm Colleen McCarty, and I'm Leslie Briggs. Panic Button is a production of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. were recorded at Bison and Bean studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our theme music is by GYOM additional editing is provided by The Wave Podcasting. Our music supervisor is Rusty Rowe. Special thanks to our interns Kat and Alison to learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed or donate to keep our mission of fighting for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman reality. Go to OkAppleseed.org
Tuesday Aug 15, 2023
Tuesday Aug 15, 2023
In this episode, Colleen and Leslie interview one of Jim’s survivors who has never spoken to anyone about the incident (aside from the police and her mother) in thirty years.
The music in this episode is “I Can’t Make you Love me,” by Combsy.
You can find the documents and pictures that support this episode at okappleseed.org/eureka.
Carisa, Colleen McCarty, Leslie Briggs
Colleen McCarty 00:00
This episode contains references to accounts of domestic and sexual violence, violence against women in particular in language that is not suitable for listeners under 18 years of age. We also discuss coercive control. Please use caution when listening.
Leslie Briggs 00:23
Last week we finally gotten to the subject for which this podcast is named Operation Wildfire. Operation Wildfire was the act of a desperate woman, the act of someone who no longer has faith in her justice system to protect victims from her abuser, the act of someone who was powerless to stop someone else from getting hurt. Some would argue that she acted recklessly. Others would argue that she was bold and brave. One reason the courts didn't believe care about Jim's violence is because she made herself less credible by associating with his other victims. For becoming friends with Kristen, going on a cruise with Kristin and Amber, and continuing to go out of her way to warn his girlfriends about his behavior. All gave rise to questions about her truthfulness.
Colleen McCarty 01:11
Welcome to panic button. Operation Wildfire. This is episode 10. Eureka. If you're just joining us, we recommend you go back and start listening from episode one. The idea that by associating with each other they've heard their cases is a harsh reality. It not only calls Kara's case against Jim into question, but all of these women's cases, it allows Jen to continue to say these women are just crazy bitches who are all obsessed with him. Because we already don't believe women, more women compounded together unfortunately doesn't mean more credibility, it means more suspicion. Imagine if a group of men all alleged someone was violent, instant credibility. But multiple women claiming a man as violent. Instantly everyone starts saying witch hunt.
Leslie Briggs 02:07
When you're dealing with an unreliable witness, or one whose credibility has been attacked, or what we would call, quote, impeached in a court of law, you've got to try to rehabilitate them. You can do that through introducing corroborating statements, maybe you have the ability to put on character evidence for truthfulness. That's one of the exceptions to the no character evidence rule, which we talked about extensively in season one. Or, as we have here, you can put on a witness to testify to their independent experiences, untainted by the corruption of having worked as a group, which is the primary source for having attacked the other witnesses credibility in this case. So Arkansas.
Colleen McCarty 02:49
The crazy thing about the Arkansas case is that Kristen, and Cara have known about it for a really long time. It's not really clear to us how they came to know about it. But they put it on the flyer. Right. And it's only a police report. Right? Kristen spent years looking for this person. And they she was told when she called the Eureka Springs police department that you have to be a lawyer to get the full report because they had a partial report that did not include the name of the of the survey. It was like anonymized right. So they had that one, right. But they'd never had the name. They never had the contact information for this person. They could never find who it was. And it would have been incredibly helpful for Kara, in defending against Jim's defamation suit, possibly to have this person if it did go to trial. We were able to find it. We got the full thing, actually with Kristen's help randomly.
Leslie Briggs 03:57
Yeah, so what's weird about this, too, is that like Kristen tried for a long time to get the full report. And they kept telling her that it had to be a lawyer that would request it, which is untrue. I don't know why they would say that to her. So we requested it. And we got the report. And after we did, she went back and tried again and got it independent of us. She just I mean dog it about getting it. So once once she knew that we were able to get it. She tried again. Got it. And she was able to locate what she believed to be was was this individual.
Colleen McCarty 04:27
We had three or four people narrowed it down to that we thought it was and she was able to ultimately find who it was. And we contacted her. She didn't ever contact her right. Kristen didn't reach out to her. She just gave us the info. Yeah, none of the survivors have ever talked to this person.
Leslie Briggs 04:47
Yep. I've sent her a message on Facebook randomly. And it was almost instantly that she responded I asked her I was like, did you ever know Jim Luman? And the message I got back was "yes, he is a monster."
Colleen McCarty 05:02
So the memory was quite fresh.
Leslie Briggs 05:04
I mean, it was an instant response almost.
Colleen McCarty 05:08
Yeah. And like, I feel like you and I always go into people's "other messages." So like, they might not even see it because we're, yeah, we're sending messages without making friends or strangers to strangers all the time. That's fine. We're not weird.
Leslie Briggs 05:20
We're just trying to find people like that just for the podcast, but for many of our projects, we need community. Yes, so
Colleen McCarty 05:26
we look for people a lot. But the thing that's so remarkable about this person is the recall. Yeah, it was still visceral, very visceral. And she wanted to share. She really wanted to share and so let's quickly read what the police report says into the record of the podcast. And then we will hear from her.
Leslie Briggs 05:55
So the full police report from the Eureka Springs police department states that the date and time of the incident report was March 19 1997. The type of incident was a domestic battery third degree and it happened at the Crescent Hotel. In Eureka Springs. The method of attack says suspect bit, spanked, and assaulted victim. The description of the weapon is mouth, belt and hands. It lists the suspects name is James Carroll Luman II. And the complaintant is a woman named Carisa. And here's the narrative. "On Wednesday, March 19 1997. At 9:15am officers Fortenberry Jacobs and I were dispatched to the Crescent Hotel on a report of a hysterical woman in the lobby." I have issues with that right out of the gate again, where it's 1997. "Fortenberry and Jacobs arrived first and found the woman who identified herself as Carisa. She said her boyfriend had assaulted her and room 218 at 7am this morning after she tried to get him out of bed. She said he woke up angry and hit her very hard and lower back. She said he then pulled her onto the bed and began pushing her face into the bed when she tried to scream. She said he then bit her nose and stuck his fingers down her throat telling her to quit screaming she said he also pulled her bottom lip to the point of bleeding and Bit her on her right forearm. She said he then took off his belt and hit her on the butt and legs five to six times, leaving marks on both. She said she finally got out of the room and into the lobby to get help. Mr. Luman was arrested for domestic battery third degree Class A misdemeanor and transported to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office. Mr. Lumen was taken before Judge Kent cocci in Berryville at 4:30pm. And given a bond of $1,000 and a court date of April 18 1997. In Eureka Springs, it appears that they the officers also took Polaroids of the victim and those are in her file. Here's the affidavit of probable cause." And this court this case was in the municipal court in the city of Eureka Springs, so it wasn't even in like a District Court for the state. This was a municipal issue.
Colleen McCarty 08:12
So we're going to play the recording of our interview with her now.
My name is Carisa
Leslie Briggs 08:19
and how did you know Jim Luman?
I met him. Oh yeah, that's the whole Wow. I met him at work. And started dating him probably the day I started when I met him and actually moved some of my stuff into him into his apartment because I had been because we'd been spending so much time together. Really quick. I was young. I was stupid. And I moved in really quick.
Colleen McCarty 08:52
Where were you guys working at the time?
He was a car salesman or worse than some dealership if I remember correctly. And I was working at a at a club in Tulsa.
Leslie Briggs 09:12
Do you know what dealership he was working at?
No, I don't remember. That's okay. Anyway, he was like a car salesman. And there was a bunch of dealerships around. It was like one of the big guys like Ford or Toyota or something.
Colleen McCarty 09:34
Gotcha. And that was in Tulsa.
Leslie Briggs 09:39
And what was the name of the club that you worked out?
No, I don't know if it was. Lady Godiva's or.... I don't know which one it was to be honest with you. I didn't do it for very long. And I've kind of put that whole life out of my mind. So I believe at the time I met him, I was 19. He came in with a bunch of his friends one night, I believe. Kind of like, you know, guys night. And you know, they always press "Well, can we get your number? Can we take you home?" first you always say no. And he just came in, and he was just really, like, polite and charming. And he wasn't trying to get me to go home with them. And he was like, No, I really want to just take you out to lunch. And then like, you know, like an idiot 'cause I'm only 19. And I didn't understand the world. I was playing in pretty much. And so I was like, yeah. And he was just really charming. And he took me out. You know, he never pressed anything. And he was just, you know, sweet.
Colleen McCarty 11:02
Do you remember where you had your first date? Your first lunch date at?
No, he was Italian or something. It wasn't like, like, I could tell you every detail on that night. But I can't tell you all the details that led up to it. Yeah, if that makes any sense.
Leslie Briggs 11:24
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. Well, so how long were you guys dating before you took the trip to Arkansas? couple nights? A couple of Yeah.
I mean, I had I didn't have all my stuff there. But I had quite a bit of my stuff there. Well, I wouldn't say quite a bit, but I had enough. I had clothes and you know, stuff that you would think you'd wake up and go to work. I mean, I'd been spending the night over there, you know, probably three or four nights a week at least. And I mean, it was just good. It was normal. We, you know, we never thought there was it was really good until it wasn't. It was it was fine. It was he. He was He liked his job. I remember that. And remember, he really enjoyed it. It was doing really well. And I was making good money. And we were just having fun. And we went out to Arkansas to celebrate his birthday. I believe. Did
Colleen McCarty 12:29
you know his son or his ex wife, Dawn? No. As you mentioned,
I didn't know he had a son. I knew I take that back. I knew he had been married. And that he didn't like to talk about it at one time we drove out into the country. And I don't know if it was a family member or somebody but he said I think it was like his brother or sister lived there. But I think later it was probably when he drove me by his ex wife's house, I think. I don't know. But that's just kind of what I got when I when some people were telling me stuff a couple years later. I don't know. But he said it was I think maybe it was he said it was his mom's but I thought it was really weird because we didn't stop.
Leslie Briggs 13:22
Right? Yeah, that is unusual.
There's my mom's house. Wave!
Leslie Briggs 13:29
Right. So before the that you were you guys moved really quickly, right from just this date to moving in with him. And then you guys go to Arkansas. And yeah, that's the first to
celebrate something. I think it was his birthday. Or his birthday was like next week or something. Yeah. And I had to be at work the next day. So we just went up there for the night.
Leslie Briggs 13:53
And so was that the first time any? You got any indication that something wasn't quite right.
No. We didn't fight. Yeah, but I also didn't want to not because I couldn't argue with them because I'm pretty feisty. I just knew I didn't want to I I can't explain it. You just it's just one of those people used to look at me like now I don't feel like being feisty with this one. I can't. You just didn't. I don't know. Maybe that's why we didn't fight it's because I just okay, I was just like, okay.
Leslie Briggs 14:39
Yeah, no, I think I think lots of women probably make those calculations every single day in their lives of like, am I going to you know, say something here. Am I just going to let it lie and live you know?
Exactly. To me. Jimmy was never Serious. I was there for my own reasons. And I had my own issues going on at the time I had a child myself, that was very young that I was away from. At the time, I knew him and so he was never going to be serious. It was always just fun for me. That's why I didn't like move all my stuff. And I just moved in enough to, you know, wake up the next day, so I had some comfort.
Leslie Briggs 15:27
Yeah, yeah. So would you guys go driving around like quite a bit? Was that a regular activity for you guys?
I think so. Yeah, remember, we've got the country and it's so weird. I thought I would remember every detail of everything about him, but I just I've been so many years since I thought about it. And and it's not something I like to think about tell you the truth. And, you know, I just I forgotten a lot of the stuff but uh, yeah, I think we did drive around, move out so country a few times, and made the drive to Arkansas. So that was like, normal. Yeah. I would say it was normal.
Leslie Briggs 16:11
Yeah. And, you know, I have the incident report. I've been able to get that as part of a public record with from the police. And so I know some of what happened. So why don't you just tell me what you can remember.
He wanted to stay in a haunted place. The whole thing like it was, I'm pretty sure it was his birthday, or was going to be his birthday. or some type of celebration. Anyways, we went up there. We got up there. Six or seven that night. We went to a couple of bars, but he got us a hotel. In this place that used to be like an asylum or something.
Colleen McCarty 16:49
I think it was The Crescent.
Yeah, some haunted hotel.
Colleen McCarty 17:00
It had appeal to him that it used to be an asylum?
Yeah. Yeah, it was supposed to be haunted. Ooh, we're gonna go in this haunted thing. You know? I don't know. I was just like, cool. Because that's kind of how I was about everything. Sure. Let's do it. And we went out, we went out to a, we stopped in a couple of bars. We were drinking a little bit that. I mean, we were walking around, it was still kind of chilly at night. And we got home, we got back to the room fairly early. We didn't shut down the bars or anything.
Leslie Briggs 17:38
It says then that you reported that he grabbed you by the throat.
Like before? Um, yeah, yeah. But it was like, it wasn't. It was scary. But it wasn't. I don't know the sounds so bad. But it wasn't like he was like, at the time, I didn't take it as something I needed to be fearful of it was almost like he was playing around a little too rough. If that makes sense?
Leslie Briggs 18:08
No. A lot of sense. And also, you know, I think I just want to say this that. I called you I contacted you out of the blue today, you don't know me from Adam. And I'm asking you to tell me one of the most traumatic things that's ever happened to you. So like, I just, I want to name that and say that I appreciate your candor and your vulnerability with us because I think it's important. And then like another thing I just want to say to you is you don't have to make any excuses to us for anything that you chose to do or not do with Mr. Luman. I mean, we've been working with survivors now for about a year. And we have seen all kinds of different things. And we know that experts who provide services to domestic violence survivors have told us, you know, survivors, they know how to survive, they take whatever actions are required to survive and you so I just want to say like there's the you don't have to rationalize anything with us because we've seen it. But so that being said, I guess what, what wound up causing the big the big fight what happened after you guys went to bed?
Nothing. That's when I was asleep. I woke up the next morning, I had to get to work. We had a three hour drive ahead of us. I woke up I don't know. I guess is still serving breakfast downstairs for a little bit. So I tried to get him up and he was like, I'll wake up in a little bit. So I was like, Okay, I'm gonna go downstairs and have breakfast. And I went downstairs and they were closing up their breakfast buffet or whatever they were doing. And I caught him from the phone from the lobby and I was like, Hey, if you want that just about to get up and you get it because they're about to close the build and He says, Yeah, he said, come on up and get ready with me and we'll go down, we'll have breakfast together, and then we'll hit the road. I was like, Cool. So I hung up the phone in the lobby, in the lobby there where, where the front desk is, is the phone I used and I went back up. It's like a grand staircase that I don't know if it's still there anymore. Because this big, the big staircase, like I don't remove it or something like out of an old movie, it's big staircase. So I didn't think that would be emotional about it all these years later.
Leslie Briggs 20:37
Yeah, take your time. Take your time.
You know, there's a moment before every bad thing in life where you know it. And sometimes you only have that split second, know that this is gonna be bad. But usually you're not in tune with your instincts or whatever, then you go ahead and you take that step off that cliff or you walk in that door. But you know that there's that moment, there's always that moment, where whatever you call it, your guardian angels, your sixth sense, whatever, that helps you, not Tonko in there. And so I walked up the stairs, and he and the door was locked. So my doctor, I'm like, It's me. I'm here. And you open the door. And there was that split second step, and then the doorway, in a voice setup. Go in there. And of course, I pushed it aside and walked in. And that's what it started. It was that morning. It wasn't a night before. Yeah. So and it started. As soon as I walked in.
Leslie Briggs 21:49
You Yeah. Do you recall, I guess when it was finally over, you know, what happened when he was when he was done? being violent with you? What, what was the next thing that happened?
Well, once I caught my breath. And I think, you know, it's funny, I always believed that it's when I looked at him with every type of honesty and truth that I could muster. And I looked right at him, and I told him, I loved him. That's when he stopped. It's weird to say that, but that's what it took. It took me actually not fighting him, and not fighting back. And I think that's what saved my life if you want to know the truth, because I thought I was gonna die. There were several times I think I passed out. He choked me out. It's just an interface. Just kind of some really weird shit. I just thought I was gonna die. And so I knew if I taught back, he would have definitely crossed the line. And I'm surprised he's not wanted for murder under investigation for murder, because there's nothing in his soul. This man goes to a place where he has no soul. And I'm surprised that he had killed a few along the way. I'm really shocked that nobody's caught him. Because i That's why I was looking at him. I wanted to see if they got it for murder, because I thought that the only reason I left was because, I mean, it was a lie. But with all this power, and everything in my soul that I could possibly muster and all the tightness in once in honestly that I could push out. I told him, I loved him. And that's when he stopped. So then the other thing was all and he was like, Get up, washed up. Let's go eat breakfast black and blue. There's blood everywhere in the room. I looked in the mirror, I couldn't watch that. Like, my life is torn in my face. And there was no way I could clean up. But I wasn't gonna argue with him. So I just come back and did my best. You know, and then he's like, ready for breakfast? And I'm like, sure. Let's go. Everything's fine.
Colleen McCarty 24:06
Yeah. When did you call the police?
I had to get out of that room. So we walked down that beautiful. I don't know why that stupid thing, right? We walked down that staircase we walked down the staircase. And there was this little angel, paramedic this little. I don't know at the time she was older. So I was 18 or whatever. So she was like probably in her 40s A few things different than but this little angel of a paramedic. She was the first person I saw. And I grabbed her. And I bought this. I split it she was like maybe four tiny sort of Beautiful. So air touches mail. I mean, no, that's just the body. And I put her in between me and somebody helped me please. Man she put into action like she was waiting all day to be there. Jimmy, Jimmy's a big guy. And this little shorthand paramedic got us down down. You don't touch right. He was looking at her like he didn't know whether to be afraid of her squash or, you know, he was just in shock. And he tried to get around her. She just got right in front of him. She hollered over the desk. You called the cops. I mean, she was just friggin nailed it. And my angel.
Colleen McCarty 25:47
She just happened to be there. Karissa standing right there was she was she was there on a different call like she was.
She was there for private reasons. She was normally just in regular clothes. Oh, wow. She was a paramedic later. Oh, wow. So
Leslie Briggs 26:09
easily, man, angels.
Yes. My little angel. I never saw her since I've ever seen her before. But she was literally she like Jimmy is bigness. She's a little tiny of being little slender, tiny thing. And she was like, you know, bad dog. I just remember getting it right. If you're not going to hit me, you're not going to touch me. You're not going to touch her again. Like she was like, see it just don't fear. She had no fear. I knew I was gonna be applying. I was gonna be okay.
Leslie Briggs 26:47
Wow. That's I mean, yeah, I have goosebumps. To hear wild to hear all that. Yeah. Yeah. And so the police obviously arrived and you made a report to them.
When they arrested him,
Leslie Briggs 27:03
and how did you leave him in Arkansas and go back to Tulsa? Or what happened after that?
I did. I did. I think I even paid for a cab to take me from Arkansas to Tulsa. During the agent Yeah. I was I didn't ever want to see him again. I got a police escort to get out my stuff. But I didn't need them. Because there is that my stuff outside. I don't think I ever actually laid eyes on them again after that night. Because I never went back to follow up. I never, I never went back to follow up charges in in different states. You know, I didn't know this. But like in Colorado, the state will take over the charges. But I guess an Arkansas the state doesn't take over. If you're not there to follow up. They don't follow up with them.
Leslie Briggs 27:55
Wow, interesting. And nobody tried from Arkansas. Nobody tried to contact you try to like encourage you to follow up or anything like that.
Back then I was kind of a hard bird to get a hold of.
Leslie Briggs 28:07
Yeah, it's not like today where I can Facebook. me on the phone with you and
right. And it's not like I was very stable. Or you know, I mean, I think I listed my mom's phone number, which may be the same. I think she got a new one about 15 years ago. But I mean, she pretty much kept the same number she had for this kid. So and that was the youngest. So she was pretty used to be in the stable block for a while, you know?
Colleen McCarty 28:37
So you've told your mom everything that happened? Yeah. What was that conversation like?
Oh, my mom's my person. You know, I didn't tell her till years later, though. I didn't tell her right away. I actually went back to my baby's daddy's mom's house, stayed there for a while and then ended up back in Colorado. And it was probably years later before I told her what had happened and why I left Tulsa so quickly. So she didn't know right away. I didn't want her to win worry or feel guilty because she couldn't protect me even though I was the one that chose to travel all over the world by myself. You know, I didn't. So I didn't tell her for years.
Colleen McCarty 29:25
Was Jim part of the reason that you left Tulsa? Did you think he was gonna come after you?
Yeah. Well, no, I don't think he was gonna come after me. I think it was done. I don't. I never felt like he was gonna stalk me or he didn't know enough about me to stalk me. I was in. We didn't have that kind of in long talk and all that stuff. It wasn't a guy or in told you it wasn't a guy I was gonna be serious about it was just fun. It was sweet and charming and fun. So you didn't know a lot about me and I didn't know a lot about him. We just spend time together.
Colleen McCarty 30:08
A minute ago, you said that you had started talking to people after and hearing things about.
Okay, I think I investigated it. When I told my mom, I think I tried to investigate whatever happened to the charges and everything. And I talked to somebody at the police department who said that she told me that she was a paramedic. So, but they didn't tell me anything else. So I think they are the ones that told me that the that the reason the charges were never pursued is because I didn't show up. So and that wasn't once I got in Colorado, around my family and my daughter, and everything, I had no intention of ever going back to Tulsa. So it was just kind of a, a new deal. And it popped in 15 years after that, before I even like, Googled his name, to see and the first thing that popped up on Google was some news report on him. And I'm like, wow, they don't have him for murder yet. I wonder why? Because he has. He's, what do they call it psychopathic? Where they don't have a soul. They don't have like that. thing went makes us human. I guess you would say he knows how to fake it really well, but deep inside, he doesn't have that thing. It's not It's he doesn't need to hurt. It was It wasn't mad when he was beating the hell out of me. He wasn't. He was he was doing it because it was like having tea or something he enjoyed. Like, I don't know how to explain it. That I when I looked in those eyes and told him I loved him, I knew Oh, I don't know why he stopped either. Because I don't think it really affected him. I don't think he cared one way or another.
Colleen McCarty 32:08
Like it was just a way to kind of disrupt the what he was doing.
Yeah. Yeah. Because it's kind of weird to say this, but for a lot of it. Yeah, there's entire fist in my, in my mouth. Big guy, big hands. And that's what rip the inside of my mouth. And that's why what helps close the scene. There's a lot of Latin stuff. This guy was he had his entire and it was choking me. And that's how he was choking me. It wasn't grabbing my neck. Although he did do that. But a lot of time, he just put his entire fist in my mouth. It was really weird. So when we pull it out, is when I would look at him and tell him I loved him. So that he would stop.
Colleen McCarty 32:52
Wow, have you ever been contacted by any other victims that he had?
Um I don't think so. Um, you know, I remember something. Sony girl tried to contact me once regarding a man I think we ever talked. Yeah, I mean, my life is so different. I'm a nurse for almost 15 years. I'm a travel nurse, like my life. And, you know, being a mom and my daughter and as best I could, and, you know, she turned out pretty good. And, you know, I just been that's so long ago that like that. I had that craziness. A long time ago. Yeah, for me, so a lot of it I don't think about so. I don't think someone did try to contact me. I'm not sure. I don't think I ever talked to him, though. At the time. I don't think I was ready.
Colleen McCarty 34:00
Well, thank you enough for sharing that was literally probably one of the most harrowing stories I've ever heard in my life.
Yeah. Yeah, it was. It was a it was a moment. That's for sure. I don't know if you guys believe in guardian angels, but I do. Absolutely. And I think I had one that kept me alive that night. And I really, uh, you know, I've said it a couple of times, but there has to be bodies out there. This man is capable of killing. I know that in my heart and soul that he is capable of killing and not thinking twice about it. He's not a good guy, and under any circumstances for any reason. He is a bad man. Through and Through. Whatever he tries to pretend or it's just a facade.
Leslie Briggs 34:53
I'll say that you are not the first person to kind of just wonder about that. Like the There have been other women that we've spoken to that are like, I just don't. I don't know how if he hasn't yet he will, if that makes sense. Which is terrifying, right? So yeah, I do. So I do. I mean, obviously, I have the incident report that was made on the day that all this occurred, I do want to give you as the person who experienced and survived this, the option if you would like to, to describe it to us, you are more than welcome to if you would prefer that, we just rely on what's in the report and what you've already said. That's fine. But the actual assault, if you want to say anything, in your own words about it, I do want to give you the chance now to do that, but I don't want you to feel pressure to if you just aren't up for it.
Okay. I think I told you everything I remember, I there was a lot of I mean, your Africa went up there. I think I was up in that room for like, it felt like an eternity to be at least a couple of hours. I you know, I like I said, My memories kind of fuzzy. But I mean, it felt like forever. But it really seemed from the minute I walked in the door until we left, I'm thinking it was two, maybe three hours. And it was. So I mean, a lot happened in that time. And I'm not sure. You know, I can't tell you all the details. Like I remember the mouth, the hand being in my mouth is the big one, and choking me. But there was there was more there was a lot of these, he would say stuff, I don't remember what he would say, but I remember he would say stuff like, I'm gonna hurt you, I'm gonna kill you. They'll never find your body. There's no one out here looking for you. Nobody even knows you're up here, like that stuff. And then he would. And then sometimes he would just sit there and just look at me. It was it was weird. You know, I'd be interested to see what that choice report says. I don't think I remember. Other than that,
Leslie Briggs 37:21
part of the purpose of this podcast is to really illuminate what it's like for survivors to try to get help through the system. And I know, you know, you were just a kid, you know. And it sounds like what you basically did was say, That's it. I'm going back to my community. I'm done with all of that, which I think is probably how I would have have handled it as well.
But I never danced again. I never yeah, there's a lot of ways to change the direction of my life. It dawns me the way I would have done it, but it really did set me on a little bit of a different course. Yeah, that's for sure.
Leslie Briggs 38:03
Is there anything you would want them to know and understand about, like, Jim lumen as a person or getting help from the police or what just what it's like to survive something like this with your intimate partners or anything like Final thought you want to provide them?
Don't be ashamed. For mistakes you make when you're young and any mistake you make, I think, you know, my thing was that my mom, you know, she's just, she's an angel in her own right. But you know, she just always told me that, you know, whatever bad choices I made, I didn't deserve what happened. You know, what, whatever choice a job I had at the time, or how I was living my life, it doesn't mean that I deserve what happened, that I put myself in a bad situation. Yeah, maybe. But no matter what, or how many mistakes you made, you don't deserve to have nobody deserves to have that kind of violence on their dreams. And it's not. And I know, through not only my mom, but also being on the other side of it as a nurse that takes care of women who are in bad situations sometimes, you know, it's you can always start making the right choice now. And as long as you're not ashamed and not afraid to talk, then we go, you know, you will find out what you need through that. I kind of caught off guard here. So I don't know if I'm wording that correctly. But
Leslie Briggs 39:47
no, that's great. I really think that you know, one of the things one of the biggest barriers that we always hear from survivors is the shame and the fear that accompanies, like, trying to get help and actually really speaking to people about what happened to you is one of the best ways to get help. But it's really hard to do that if you're wracked with fear and shame about the situation.
And that's why I didn't tell my mom for years was because here I was, I was dancing. I was taking on my talk for men, which if you know, the way I was raised, like that was, like, I was raised in a very my parents had a bottle of wine in their cabinet, I think for six years at one point, like, they went to work everyday type of family, just, you know, so for me to go and answer party and all that said, they were like, a little girl, you know, like, and so I didn't want to follow it. I didn't want to have to stand in court and say, oh, yeah, by the way, I work at your local strip bar. But I didn't want this guy touching me that way, you know. And I didn't want to stand up and say that I was embarrassed of not just what happened with him, but my whole choice a lifestyle at the time.
Leslie Briggs 41:03
Yeah, so I think that's really valid. I mean, I think plenty of women have made similar calculations, you know, it's
men that are like Jimmy picked up on that they picked up on that they know that you're not going to speak because you're making some bad choices. That's part of why they want you they know you're not going to cause them. They're not a guy like Jimmy wouldn't pick me up now. You know, because he knows you'd have to go all the way at this point. Because, you know, if I didn't make it out of there alive, I'd be on the Nine O'Clock News. Hey, watch out for this guy. I'd be holding space with his name on it. Like I'd be all have a kid. But back then, I was just a kid making some bad choices. And he knew it. And I guys like Jimmy, they know that. And that's what they picked up but they know that you're saying they know that you're not in a good place. And they prey on that. And that's why they get away with it. Because you don't have to follow through and you don't have the stability. You don't have the courage you don't have the experience and all that stuff that makes you stronger because at the time you're not a survivor or victim and they know that. Few I mean, this has been this has been really kind of kind of a good thing. You know, as far as you guys call it and stuff and my emotional right now. Absolutely. But I mean, I feel like, hey, 30 years later, I got to say something about it
Colleen McCarty 44:13
doesn't have to go down in history as the secret thing that happened to you anymore. No. That's cool.
Leslie Briggs 44:22
If you think of anything else you want us to know or you just want to point us in the direction of anything else. Don't hesitate to call me.
Okay. No work. Thank you. We really
Leslie Briggs 44:34
appreciate you. We're so grateful. I mean, I know this is hard to talk about and I'm sure that you are emotionally exhausted after all that so it makes it nice to just be do something to take your mind off of it. But we can't thank you enough because we do think it will make a difference bringing this to light.
I went okay, yeah. Okay,
Colleen McCarty 44:54
thank you so much.
I call me if, if I could do anything.
Leslie Briggs 44:58
So good. ERISA is dating Jim. And those events occur about almost exactly one year before he meets Ember who you heard about in episode one.
Colleen McCarty 45:07
Okay, so the timeline would go married to Dawn divorced from dawn. Karissa, Amber, Amber, then that we know of Misty. And so on and so on.
Leslie Briggs 45:25
So, yeah, mestiza 2001 marriage,
Colleen McCarty 45:29
I think it's probably fair to say that like, from Ember probably wouldn't have known about her Missy wouldn't have known about her. Nobody would have known about her until Kristin.
Leslie Briggs 45:40
Right. I mean, she was an exotic dancer, too. And you hear about her talking about like, the, like, the shame of all of that. And like, just like the social stigma about like, who's going to believe you because you're a stripper?
Colleen McCarty 45:51
Like, I mean, we'd spoke to someone who will remain unidentified because they didn't want to cooperate and go on the record. Who said she was giving it away. You can't really trust what she says,
Leslie Briggs 46:03
right? Big Yikes. Big Yikes. What the fuck? Yeah, that individual sucks. That opinion. I mean, yeah, it's just like, but her descriptions of it are so visceral even like 30 years later, like, just, you can hear the emotion in her voice. I get goosebumps. I had goosebumps the first time. She told me I had goosebumps now the fourth or fifth time listening to that,
Colleen McCarty 46:34
that part when she starts talking about going into the room? Yeah. It's just like, I have had those kinds of feelings before. Obviously, it didn't end up as bad as this. But you just get those like, trust your gut. Yeah, it's a gut feeling. And some people be like, That's anxiety. But it's like
Leslie Briggs 47:04
anxiety is useful. Yeah.
Colleen McCarty 47:05
It's there for a reason. It's there to warn you about things that could happen to you. Maybe not always. It's sometimes it gets like its antenna gets a little crooked. But like she clearly knew there was something going on with him as soon as he opens the door. Yeah. And this whole thing, I just have to say, like, if I had to get back to work, and I tried to wake my husband up, to go downstairs to eat because we had to go and he was like, Nah, and then I was like, Fine, I'm gonna go eat by myself. And then they're closing up the breakfast buffet. And I know he'll be pissed at me if he doesn't eat something before we go. Because the breakfast is free. So you've got to call up to the room and be like, come on, they're closing and him still being like, Nah, come back up here. And then we'll then we it's like, it's gonna be fucking closed ass.
Leslie Briggs 48:01
Right. Like, there's like some annoyance, you know, maybe on her part.
Colleen McCarty 48:05
Yeah. And I'm sure it's like, okay, whatever. Like I my eggs gonna be on you. Yeah. But then, like, you gotta think from the other examples that we have the stories with this other woman? That that may have been like, part of what originated the anger with him. Was this like, he went to breakfast without me kind of a thing?
Leslie Briggs 48:31
Yeah, I mean, I think it really is that simple with him. Sometimes. I mean, with Ember, it was like he thought she was in a bad mood. Yeah, where she wasn't appropriately sorry. Like, she was sorry, but not sorry enough. You know?
Colleen McCarty 48:43
Yeah. Or she tried to leave her own house. And he said it wasn't her house. It's my house. And that was it.
Leslie Briggs 48:52
Yeah, just as like, I don't know that that I know, that was hard to sit through and listen, but we really wanted you to hear that this is this independent account. More than, you know, 25 ish years ago. Yeah, that just has been
Colleen McCarty 49:08
out there. And there are pieces of that assault that we hear refracted in all of these other stories. Like I think I just said while I was listening to it again, like it's like, it's like a kaleidoscope of all of these different experiences. Like his mood flipping on a dime happened to Kristen, him just going back to normal as soon as the violence as soon as like his mood for violence is over. That happened with Amber when he was laying on the bed talking and watching TV and drinking beer. Like we know that these little pieces of of behavior are consistent across all of these people when it's illogical. Yeah, and it just continues to build the credibility of all of these stories, right? It's like how would you know to make up He just went right back to normal afterwards, how would you know to make up that he sticks his fist in your mouth and pulls your
Leslie Briggs 50:06
lip apart, right, but they all describe the mouth fixation in different subtly different ways. But I guarantee it's all the same effort at Fish hooking, he's getting his his, like, myself, as I said that, he's like getting his fingers in that mouth to pull away at the lips and the gum and like, rip their mouth apart. And it's like, but some like you know, Ember described it as like, pulling it my mouth, she described it as, like tearing it my lips, putting his like whole fist in my mouth.
Colleen McCarty 50:37
Heather talks about it on the night before their wedding and Patsy's bathroom when he comes in rips or like grabs her by the mouth and pulls her out of the bathroom. Right? So like, there's this. It's like you're using the mouth as like a way to drag somebody around. It's a very specific and weird thing to do. It's
Leslie Briggs 50:56
not it's an interesting visual to about like, you're not going to talk back to me, you're not going to be independent. You're not going to have that attitude. Yeah,
Colleen McCarty 51:02
the this is one of the only times we've heard of him using his fists to choke someone by sticking it all the way in their mouth and his fingers down her throat, which that part for me like horror movie status is like 11
Leslie Briggs 51:19
Yeah, it's that's like, I cannot help but like, just do it a little bit and see what that's like. And it's like, so like, doing it on myself is like very intense. And like, the thought of not having control over the that is fucking terrifying.
Colleen McCarty 51:34
I mean, suffocation is like way up there on my waist, but I don't want to die. burning alive and suffocation drowning suffocate, yeah, yes, those are the worst. We all agree. But like, oh, to have to not only be struggling to breathe but be fighting against the force of somebody with their with that happening? Yeah. It's like, and then this other piece that she talks about where he doesn't have anything in his eyes like there isn't right Tisha said something similar about him going? Yeah, there says it let his eyes go black, different person or so? Yeah, that there's no soul there. We've heard that from other people. Like, these are things that like they're not the kind of things that you would like get together in a room and gospel about there are actually things that like happen in the privacy of an of an event like this and the universe of an event like this. That is like an fabricate double. I mean, maybe I'm just gullible. I'm really gullible, because I just believe them.
Leslie Briggs 52:44
Yeah, I mean, I think that there's a faction of people out there that would are going to always question their believability. They'll always disbelieve women, because again, like we've talked about this, too, if you believe that that happened, you cannot sit idly if you sit idly, and just allow that to be the reality that the police didn't follow up, and the courts didn't do anything. And that happened to her. And like, you believe that as a baseline, then you're living a life that Colleen and I are living that is extremely stressful. Like, I have to talk about this every fucking waking minute, because I need everybody to be as upset as I am. And we need to do something. Yep. And fundamentally, like the rest of our society just doesn't have the like ability to do that, or the
Colleen McCarty 53:28
sense of urgency like it's dangerous. We are not safe. We are not, we're not. The illusion of safety, is what we have.
Leslie Briggs 53:41
And if you like just as much easier to not believe it just allows you to continue with the status quo and the status quo is not working.
Colleen McCarty 53:49
Isn't it isn't it isn't? And it's like for this to have happened this many times with this many women and the same man. And every single time the same outcome?
Leslie Briggs 54:02
Yeah, it's like, maybe a few months in jail. Or maybe you go to an anger management course, because we know he's been through anger management, that didn't do anything, didn't fix it. And like, what are we doing?
Colleen McCarty 54:16
The person that is committing the harm, though, like, here's the problem, the person is committing the harm has to a feel that the harm they're committing is wrong. And be want to stop. Right. And he fundamentally does not.
Leslie Briggs 54:37
Right. And I think that like we talked about this with experts as well that like, there are people that I believe should be sequestered from society because they cannot change and they will continue to be violent for the people who can do and really genuinely want to change. We've got to get better at intervening. We've got to get better at intervening and repairing those harms and break think those cycles, but there are some people I do think I'm sorry. Like, this is like the carceral feminist and me that I think that there are some people that just can't change, that won't change. And the only other and the only option at that point is prison.
Colleen McCarty 55:18
Yeah, I mean, it just depends on what your philosophy of of what the purpose of the system is. Because it's like, if the purpose of the system is to stop every incidence of violence and and prevent it, then yes, what you're saying. But if the purpose of the system is actually just to serve as a deterrent, and an example of what could happen to you. And the rest of the time, we don't really care, then there is no point of it really. It's just like a kangaroo court.
Leslie Briggs 55:55
Yeah. Well, I mean, I think I think it is now because these cases again, for whatever reason, it's like these are horrendous, violent crimes. Listen to that person. Listen to Carissa. Talk about that. It's a horrifying experience. It's a harrowing tale of survival.
Colleen McCarty 56:13
She's lucky to be alive, and there's no jail time. They never even they didn't even bring charge and didn't call her mom. They didn't even call her mom. She was what she was saying in the middle of that was that my mom was always on track for all of us. She always had was on the block for me because I was the youngest. She was used to getting phone calls about us. She never mentioned it. It was a he's gone back to Oklahoma. Get this off my desk. Case closed. Well, it's not my problem because he doesn't live here. victim is gone. She left. So there's no harm done. Because she's not here. No
Leslie Briggs 56:55
harm, no foul. It's just as an absurdity. So Carissa represents an important corroborating witness because she's never spoken to Cara, or Kristen or Heather, or Marcy, or Ember, or Tisha or Kimber or brandy, or dawn, or Misty or amber, or any other victim, or survivor. Chris had told two people about her views, her mother, and the Eureka Springs police and that's how it stayed for nearly three decades until we contacted her.
Colleen McCarty 57:25
You will ultimately have to make your own judgments about who you believe in this podcast. But as for me, I believe the women I believe the women who have come forward and filed for protective orders or police reports. I believe the women who haven't, who simply relied on their own networks for support, until society is willing to believe women as fervently as we do. We'll be here making podcasts and highlighting the audacity of systems that ignore discount, discredit and disbelieve, survivors who are crying out for change to how we respond to domestic violence.
Leslie Briggs 58:06
Believing survivors be they men, women or non binary people is the first step to overhauling a system in desperate need of reform. When we fail to take survivors seriously and to adequately investigate and prosecute their claims, we leave them powerless, and people who feel powerless resort to taking measures into their own hands. Next time on panic button. Operation Wildfire, the series finale. We're taking you through the efforts these women have made to seek systemic justice and where they turn when the system fails them over and over. How big is the box of acceptable behavior? What happens when you cross a boundary or employ the tactics of your abuser to level the playing field? Could you become a monster in your own right?
Colleen McCarty 59:02
You can find links to pictures, documents and all our sources in the show notes of this episode. These cases serve as a reminder of the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the importance of seeking help if you or someone you know is a victim. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local emergency number. For confidential support and resources you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for listening to panic button Operation Wildfire and for joining us and shedding light on the importance of ending domestic violence for good. I'm Colleen McCarty, and I'm Leslie Briggs. Panic Button is a production of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. were recorded at Bison and Bean studios in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our theme music is by GYOM. Additional editing is provided by the wave podcasting. Our music supervisor is Rusty Rowe. A special thanks to our interns Kat and Allison. To learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed or donate to keep our mission of fighting for the rights and opportunities of every Oklahoman reality. Go to OkAppleseed.org
Tuesday Aug 22, 2023
Tuesday Aug 22, 2023
The music in this episode is “Let it Burn,” by Oliver / Aberson.
Find the notes and documents referenced in the episode at okappleseed.org/vigilante-shit.
This is the finale of Season Two – we discuss the different measures of justice each survivor got in the courts and we ask: is it enough?
Leslie Briggs, Colleen McCarty, Marci, Heather, Christen, Karrah
Colleen McCarty 00:00
This episode contains references to accounts of domestic and sexual violence, violence against women in particular and language that is not suitable for listeners under 18 years of age. We also discuss suicide, sexual assault, addiction and relapse. Please use caution while listening.
Leslie Briggs 00:35
Welcome to the last episode of season two of panic button operational wildfire. Up to now we've been complaining about a system that fails to hold abusers accountable in a meaningful way. We've spoken to survivors, recanters, law enforcement, district attorneys, restorative justice experts, community advocates, and lawyers. We've reached out to Jim and his family, his business partners and generally tried to find anyone we could, who would give us insight into how these events could have unfolded over three decades, three states and many, many victims.
Colleen McCarty 01:12
Today, we're going to take you through the survivors efforts to seek criminal and civil justice through our courts. Even where they were, quote, successful in having charges brought the actual consequences of those charges were relatively minor. When Justice was fleeting, or altogether absent, several of the women turned toward each other and employed tactics that may raise some eyebrows when you hear about them. You've already heard about the flyer and the defamation case that followed. But what about the others? Heather, Marcy, and Christen. What justice have they seen through the courts? What measures have they relied on the courts failed them? What should survivors do when the system that's supposed to advocate for them doesn't is raising the village and assaulting the earth? The only choice left?
Leslie Briggs 02:06
I'm Leslie Briggs.
Colleen McCarty 02:08
And I'm Colleen McCarty.
Leslie Briggs 02:10
This is panic button season two episode 11.
Colleen McCarty 02:13
Leslie Briggs 02:16
It might just be easiest to take this pre and post wildfire that is before and after the flyers. Before the flyers Christen suffered her her violent assault in 2015. And you heard those details in Episode Six. But after officer Rusty Shouse found her in the park bloody and afraid he arrested Jim.
Colleen McCarty 02:36
Officer Shouse filed a police report and an affidavit of probable cause. And here's what he wrote on 320 to 2015. At approximately zero to 31 hours. I was on patrol in the city of Cleveland. When I saw black Dodge Charger parked up Billy vessel's Park on West Cherokee Street. I gave the dispatcher the license plate information and advice that I would be making contact with the person in the vehicle. When I approached the vehicle, I saw a woman and I recognized her as Christen Rochelle Norris. Christen had blood on her hands and face and her nose was bleeding. I asked Christen if she was okay. And she said that she had just parked there for a minute before she headed home. I asked Christen if she needed an ambulance. And she said no. I asked her what happened and she seemed reluctant to answer. I told Christen that I could tell something had happened to her and that she was safe. Now if she wanted to tell me what had happened. Christen told me that she had stopped to see a friend during her visit. And he had hit her in the face. I asked Christen who had hit her and she said I'm afraid of him. I told Christen that she was safe again. And if she wanted to tell me what happened, she could. Christen began crying and her nose began to bleed more. I asked her again if she needed an ambulance. And she said no. I asked Christen, who had hit her. And she said Jimmy lumen James Carroll lumen second. I asked Christen if she wanted to file charges against him and she asked what would happen if she did? I asked Christen. If her and Jimmy were dating and she said that they had dated in the past but until tonight she hadn't talked to him in about a month. Christen said that she was coming home from Fairfax when she received a text from Jimmy asking her to come to his house. Christen said that when she got there, Jimmy was in the driveway. And when she pulled up he got into the front passenger side of her car. Christen said that they were talking and Jimmy was placed slapping her. Christen said that Jimmy got mad when she told him to stop. Christen said that Jimmy spilled her pop in the car. And she got out. Christen says that Jimmy got out of the car also, and that is when they thought Christen says that Jimmy grabbed her by the hair and punched her in the face twice and then pushed her face into the ground. Christen said that Jimmy told her to keep screaming and see what that would get at her, Christen says that Jimmy did not want her to leave. So he got into the driver's seat of her car and was arguing that he was not getting out. Christen said that she was finally able to get in the car and when she was able to get into the driver's seat and lock the doors, she left and went to Billy vessel's Park. I asked Christen, how much Jimmy had been drinking and she said it must have been a lot, because he gets to a point that he turns violent. I asked Christen, if she would make a statement about the incident and she said yes, Christen made a written statement and signed to the prosecution notification form indicating that she did want to pursue charges. While speaking with Christen she said that she was still afraid of him and would get a protective order. I photographed Christen's hands and face showing clear sign of assault. Carson's face was swollen and she said that she had bit her tongue when she was being hit. At 03. For six hours, I went to the address and knocked on the door. Jimmy's mother answered. Then I told her I needed to speak with Jimmy. Jimmy came outside and I advised him that he was under arrest for domestic violence. Jimmy was argumentative, but did not resist arrest. I read Jimmy the Miranda warning and asked if he wanted to talk about the incident. Jimmy said no but would not stop arguing. I transported James Jimmy lumen the second to the Pawnee County jail where he was booked in. When I returned to Cleveland I had four pictures from Pawnee deputy Darren var. Now, the pictures were of blood droppings in the driveway at the address and a picture of bloodstained piece of paper with Chris's name on it. The piece of paper is an invoice from Tulsa Hyundai for the Dodge Charger, like Christen was driving. The paper was logged into evidence.
Leslie Briggs 06:46
Again, I like it when the police get it right.
Colleen McCarty 06:50
He did a good job investigating.
Leslie Briggs 06:52
He investigated he gathered evidence got the facts made an arrest. And actually that leads to the prosecution by the Pawnee County District Attorney at the time who was Rex Duncan, who people may recognize his name if you're super into what's going on in the Oklahoma criminal justice world. He is actually the individual who was hired by the AGs office to conduct an independent investigation of Richard Glossip case. And he did find that there was prosecutorial misconduct in that case, and he's a DA, he's a DA. So we applaud Da's who will hold their own accountable for sure. So his his assistant DA files, the charges against Jim for assault and battery. But Christen doesn't feel or did not feel at the time that the DA who prosecuted her case took a very proactive approach. Christen remembers the DA calling her the day before the trial to tell her not to come to court. Ultimately, there was no trial, the DA allowed Jim to plead guilty to misdemeanor A and B and received an 18 month deferred sentence that and, Colleen, Do you want to remind everybody what deferred sentence means?
Colleen McCarty 07:54
Essentially, for a layman? It's like probation. It's it's what we call out time.
Leslie Briggs 07:59
So what's interesting is you often hear this refrain from DBAs. And we've talked about this, that there, it's hard to prosecute these kinds of crimes without a victim willing to testify. But I mean, we have that here. Right. And we still we don't get the day in court, we don't get the trial, we don't really get the kind of punitive justice that we think violent offenders should receive through our criminal justice system, or that a lot of people think, you know, violent offenders should receive. She doesn't get to get up in front of a jury and have the satisfaction of retelling the story. I don't know just like it's unusual that we have, even when you have a willing victim, like in this case, the case still doesn't get kind of the level of prosecution that I think a lot of people want for these cases.
Colleen McCarty 08:48
Yeah. And I'll just say like, for the other side of that argument, it's like, you could have a willing victim and you can have all the evidence that you need. But if the person is willing to make an agreement about a plea recommendation, most of the time, a prosecutor is going to take it because trial is hard. Sure. It's big. It's a heavy lift. It's a very heavy lift, you block off everybody's day for multiple days, the judge, you know, I'm not arguing against going to trial. But from a resource allocation perspective, right. You have hundreds of cases on your caseload, and one person is saying I'm ready to make this go away. I've never seen a district attorney turn away a rec that the person was going to agree to.
Leslie Briggs 09:35
Yeah. So in any event for Christen, that she doesn't she doesn't feel that she she got a resolution that really served justice for her. But So Christen actually turned to the civil courts and filed a negligence claim against Jim and his mother, Pat, and I for me, I think there's something a little bit poetic here of like, you know, Jim does PI cases, he's dealing he's in the negligence world, you know, dealing with all of that and then he gets hit with One and his mom gets hit with one and they have to, you know, figure out how to provide a monetary resolution to the assault that he perpetrated. That's a form of justice, right?
Colleen McCarty 10:10
I think most people would say, yes. And they would say, drop it now, like you won, you got the settlement, and you gotta get you got a guilty plea in your and in your criminal case.
Leslie Briggs 10:22
Justice or not justice. Justice is
Colleen McCarty 10:26
really complicated. It's very particularized to the person. And yet it's also very universal. What we've heard from our restorative justice experts, is that a lot of pieces of the legal system actually exacerbate a feeling of injustice, and exacerbate a feeling of non closure, I guess. Because the person is incentivized to never tell you what happened. They're never gonna apologize for what happened, that would be incriminating. I mean, I guess unless they take a plea. But he never apologized. He just took the plea and went on probation. Yeah, I think it continued, frankly,
Leslie Briggs 11:07
to deny the severity of it later on down the road, calling it a nosebleed.
Colleen McCarty 11:11
But if you ask them, why wasn't this enough? I think they would tell you, it's because he kept doing it. And he kept hurting more people,
Leslie Briggs 11:21
right. And that's like, some of what Leigh Goodmark this, like her philosophy on this. And she's the law professor out of law school, she out of University of Maryland School of Law, University of Maryland, she's got that book Imperfect Victims. And a lot of her philosophy is the same as like what what Xavier and aurelius would say, of this idea that like, the criminal justice system,
Colleen McCarty 11:44
the carceral system doesn't serve up justice because it doesn't feel good. And it doesn't feel like enough. And it never feels like it's really over either. Like it continues to reopen the wound and reopen the wound. Every time a person gets out. Every time there's a parole hearing. Every time somebody asked to testify at something every time every court is it. Yeah. And it just keeps the pain alive in a way, which is not what true. Restoration looks like. Yeah,
Leslie Briggs 12:15
I think so. Yeah. When you when you really peel back on Christen, you know, you look at these two cases she had she had a civil case and a criminal case. And she was she got what we what lawyers as lawyers, I would say she got she got a guilty plea to the domestic violence case. And she got a money judgment for the negligence case. And so that's as good as it can get. Yeah, that's like double win. And the fact that it still doesn't feel like justice, because he continued to then go on and abuse other women, just for me, exemplifies why that system, it doesn't really serve the purpose, I think that we all expect it to.
Colleen McCarty 12:54
Yeah, but I mean, the question is, and what we've been posing all season is like what would have? This is something that I've heard from people who are more on the supporters of Jim camp that we've spoken to, it's like, what would ever be enough? What would ever be enough? You think that this person should go into prison for the rest of his natural born life?
Leslie Briggs 13:14
I mean, it for me, it's this bigger question of like, I'm still I'm not quite I haven't quite gotten to the point where legged mark is on this on this issue of like, I, I still believe that incarceration serves a function in society to sequester violent people away from nonviolent people. I mean, it's best, that's what that does. But there are so many degrees of harm. And we talk a lot about proportionality in our survivor justice work, and we have to ask ourselves, you know what, like, it's like trying to the same concept as putting $1 value on a body on a body part. You know what I mean? What personal injury attorneys do that all the time, it's like, how much? How much is a numb, useless pinky toe, you've had a slip and fall now your pinky toe is numb all the time? How much is that worth? It's uncomfortable and slightly annoying. It's so bizarre. How much is it? I can't talk about it. You can't talk. Five figures. I mean, it could be as little as 10,000 It could be
Colleen McCarty 14:22
okay, but like, Ah, I don't know, there's like so little value to pinky toe. But I would be so upset if I didn't have
Leslie Briggs 14:34
come on. So, but it's the same concept of like, this idea of like, okay, well, it was the song battery, your face in the gravel. It's like our system of justice. And that sounds probably maybe like a little insensitive when people hear you but it's like our system of justice. Basically, does this transaction, it's transactional. It's, it's supposed to be proportional. And so
Colleen McCarty 14:58
well, this is something that I I've been thinking About a lot of something that we've done with this system with the, quote, criminal justice system that I don't think is necessarily correct is we've taken this idea of like, religious justice. And if you read back in jurisprudence from like the 1800s, or the 1700s, like the judges will acknowledge that there's a moral sense of justice, whatever you want to call it, religious justice, moral justice, karmic justice, whatever you want to call it, that exists separate from our manmade system, our manmade system is full of flaws and is full of people. And it can only deliver this transactional type of outcome. That is never going to feel like karmic justice probably to either side. It's like it's this. It's this in between thing that we've come up with, that's better than people going out and stabbing each other in the street, when they don't agree with something is much better than
Leslie Briggs 15:55
better that yeah, it's better than bashing each other with rocks. But it's
Colleen McCarty 15:58
not meant to be and it's not intended to be healing, healing, or take the place of moral justice, you have to do your own personal work with yourself or your priest, or your therapist, or your meditation or whatever, to get to a place where you can forgive somebody. Yeah. And a lot of people will tell you, if you continue to carry this around, it hurts you a lot more than it hurts the other person.
Leslie Briggs 16:30
That's true. I mean, that's true. And as somebody who holds lots of grudges, I am torture, it's heavy. I'm constantly tortured. The weight of these grudges. No, I mean, but like, honestly, when I like, you know, I'm a grudge prone human, you know, me too. But it has an effect on me mentally. And I'm cognizant of that. And I've done a lot of work, done a lot of self work to try and not be that grudge prone person. But I also I have never been beaten by an intimate partner I have, I can imagine it, I can try to empathize with it. But I really don't know the reality of that existence.
Colleen McCarty 17:09
I think he, I don't know what it would take to like, come to a place where you can let it go. I don't know if the system even plays any part in that. If it plays any. Imagine all the people that are like, victims of domestic partner violence, and they walk away, and they never prosecute. And they never want it to be in the record. And they never, it's so many. All they want to do is just get safe and be away and have it be over. And they never seek any type of formal justice, like criminal justice, whatever that means.
Leslie Briggs 17:39
Well, and I would say like we have some of those cases in this story. And that, to me, has been the most unfair, I feel the most for those people who felt that after their relationship with Jim, they just simply couldn't do anything about it, but leave it behind them. You do I feel like they're the
Colleen McCarty 17:59
most free. God? Well, we have done such a disservice to humans to conflate this stupid dumbass system, with our internal workings of justice inside of our psyches in our hearts, God damn preach Sr. It's just not the same thing. They'll never be the same. They'll never be the same. You could get civil justice and criminal justice, you can get a verdict, you can get a plea. And you'll still feel broken inside because that person committed a harm against you.
Leslie Briggs 18:35
Right. And that is why I think I do hope that like the conversation with a really aurelius, Xavier, and the TPD detective Amy Hall, and ADA. Ashley Nix. I mean, I really hope that like when you look at all of those different perspectives that you can see the value in the restorative justice approach, because it is aimed at healing the harm the underlying harm and the root cause of the violence. The reason I feel for the people who didn't do anything is that I'm making an assumption that that's a cross they bear silently, and that they haven't freed themselves of it. I don't know, that's an assumption I'm making, right. But when I think of it in those terms, I love your perspective on it. I hope that that's the case for most survivors who get away and don't, don't have to pursue anything. And this
Colleen McCarty 19:20
is the danger of like thinking of victims, like a monolith, which is something that we often do and something that the criminal justice system was especially guilty of. It's like DAs and prosecutors and cops are like, victims want XYZ victims want incarceration victims want prosecution victims want this. And all victims, you meet a victim you meet you meet 50 victims, you've met 50 victims, they all want different things. And from just my personal observations of the all the people that we've talked to the people that and I'm not advocating for people not prosecute, and I'm not advocating for people not go through the traditional systems. So take that but the people who have let this go? They process it in their own way. But they have not been burdened with this idea that it's their fault. What he goes on to do, they have not taken up this mantle of like, well, if nobody else is going to do something, I guess I have to do something, they don't feel the sense of personal responsibility, they don't feel like and they made a conscious choice. They were like, I'm setting this down, and I'm walking away.
Leslie Briggs 20:32
But like, Okay, speaking is somebody who, there's one thing I can't abide, it's an injustice. You know, me, I feel the same way. Right. And it's like, so I'm like, if there was any effort, or work being done by Jim, that I was aware of, I'm not aware of at this point is, as of this recording work being done, to heal those harms that he's caused, then I would feel better about it. But like, instead it like about the approach that you're talking about. But instead, what you have is just like, a continuation of the same horrific pattern. And us all all going well, they should just get over it. I mean, you know, like, that's like a very, like, crude summary of it, but it's like, get over it and love yourself. But also, fuck, stop hitting good women and girls, and biting them in the face, stop biting them, stop punching them stop doing weird sex stuff to them, when they don't want it. I call that rape over our unlike, I'm sorry, but Well, hold on, we're spinning out about what they should or shouldn't do, what the system should or shouldn't do, when it's really about what Jim should or shouldn't do one person in this entire equation, it's him. And like, we're trying to figure out a way to stop the violence either either with traditional means with alternative means or with this like vigilante path that emerged. And what it really is, it's like personal responsibility on this guy.
Colleen McCarty 22:11
I know it's like we will do ourselves into some contortions around here, to try to make something stop. And to look at every other factor and every other what's, what's the DA, and what's the PD and who's the this And who's that. And who I which jail, was it and what did they do? And why did this happen? And who let him go?
Leslie Briggs 22:30
We just spend a live and we just spent 10 episodes doing that. And we're just like, carve
Colleen McCarty 22:34
ourselves into more positions to try to accommodate the fact that this person continues to act violently and against other folks. Yeah. Can we just deal with that? Like, can we just for once, like, think about all the resources we've expended to try to deal with this? Yeah, from every other angle possible, all of
Leslie Briggs 22:54
And it's it didn't work. It didn't work, and people are still people have been hurt for 30 years.
Colleen McCarty 23:02
In the same exact way.
Leslie Briggs 23:07
Let's think about what Christen, received from the system. I do think like, as a lawyer, that's as good as you can expect, from better actually better. Yeah, most victims don't get a monetary judgment or a monetary settlement. But then, so that really, that happens back in 2015, those criminal and civil cases. And then we have the defamation case against Karrah. And one of the things that I found out from Karrah that I, I think we should discuss here is that she made made attempts to get protective orders before, like she made several attempts with the police to get protective orders against them before she finally just filed one in the in the civil courts, shortly before the defamation case is filed. And what was interesting about that conversation to me is that the police kept telling her, whatever she was saying, or whatever she was asking or going about, it didn't meet this standard that they would generally rely on to get an emergency protective order for her. But that's where that conversation ended. They didn't say to her, they didn't say to her, you can go and file your own, even though we're not gonna I never told her that was an option. No. Like it was because I was five months later. Right? It was, yeah, that is. And they hadn't seen each other in person since then, and so it's just like Karis case, for me is the hardest, probably the hardest one, from a purely legal perspective, the hardest one to like, prosecute and put through that system to an outcome that feels like accountability, if not justice, just because of the delays and the trouble with the evidence that she has in the defamation case, which we talked about in episode nine. I mean, it's just it's that case is fully the kind of case that doesn't get prosecuted,
Colleen McCarty 24:56
right. And I am not minimizing what happened to her at all, but people from the outside will look in and be like, it was only three weeks. Right? It was only three weeks. And it was only you didn't even get to know him that well, like, it's not as bad as Heather. It's not as bad as this. Or it's just like everybody wants to just like compare right? The harms. And it's like, it does look like, Well, you got it. You got out fast. What are you complaining about?
Leslie Briggs 25:22
Yeah. And the thing, the thing about that, that I'll say is that, like, we know that his pattern is to ramp up these feelings of love and all of this. And if care was at a particularly vulnerable place, I could just see that getting a I could see it getting a grip on her.
Colleen McCarty 25:41
Yeah. And we know she was dealing with her mom having a horrible illness. And we know that she was very swept off her feet by his entrepreneurial stuff, and that he lived out by her mom, I think she like created a fantasy in her mind that they were going to live together out there. And she was gonna get to see her mom more in the last couple of months of her life. And it was very emotional. It was a very emotional time.
Leslie Briggs 26:07
Right? Right. But then sorry, lawyer might like my lawyer hat is on now. Right? And I say this to just say that, like, here's, here's the reality in front of a jury. You had three weekends with him. You guys broke up. Months later, you were you were still sending him emails and checking in with them, and saying kind things to him. You know, like, I hope you get your kids back. You deserve to have the kid asking for his help with a business and asking for help with a business. And so like, you put that in front of a jury, and it's really a tough sell. I say that as a litigator, not because I disbelieve Karrah, I believe Karrah about the things that happened to her. And I mean, that's my opinion. But like I say that as a litigator that like that would be a very difficult case to bring to trial.
Colleen McCarty 26:54
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's why people don't do it. But
Leslie Briggs 26:58
it does for me. And so like, because of that, I think, because she's she's not getting the police aren't doing anything with her reports. And so she does pivot to the this vigilante justice the flyer, and again, we don't need to rehash the whole flyer, but it it becomes this thing that feels really good. But it leads to this other horrible experience with the legal system. And a situation where she gets restrained, wrongly, wrongly, and the judge corrects himself. Again, we talked about we talk all about that nine, but like, what another just another horrible, like, how would you have any faith in the system?
Colleen McCarty 27:39
And that's the other thing that I continue to hear in her voice. Is this a reverence for what the system has put her through? It's, it's, it's I went to the police, they did nothing. They didn't even bring him in for questioning. And then the system allowed him to sue me against my First Amendment rights. I was I was prior restrained for 441 days, I was, you know, almost, I had to pay a lawyer 1000s of dollars. I like all for things that were true and happened, right. And from a citizens perspective. Like, that's not what we pay for when we are paying our taxes is a system that's just going to rake you across the coals.
Leslie Briggs 28:23
Right? Right. And justice prevails in that case, but it's not without a lot of time, money and heartache. It was a close one. It was a close one. And it caught I mean, it cost her a lot of time and it cost her a lot of money.
Colleen McCarty 28:37
And that like even that, like isn't justice, though. What happened in that case? Isn't justice. I mean, she got out from under the temporary restraining order and she basically proved at least the ability that she had at the time that the flyer was true enough and but that's not justice. That's the like that's like the that's one on the scale of like the kiss Oh meter. Like as far as Justice goes, like, whatever. I'm comparing two different things hot love that but also like, I'm thinking of the thing where you get the hammer and you Oh, you whack that you whack the thing at the fair. Yeah. And she whacked it as hard as she could. And it went up one thing, right? Like it didn't even go up two things, for sure is going up to the top. You're not getting that. Yeah, that's like what these women keep thinking is going to happen is they've got the big hammer out and they're like, and I here we go bay here your whole life about how the Constitution protects you. And it gives it gives you rights and that's what it means to be an American. And it's like, that's not really how any of that works,
Leslie Briggs 29:48
right? It's kind of sad. It's a lot more complicated than that. It's a lot more complicated than that. Really for Karrah. It's like I I don't know. I don't know what what the resolution is
Colleen McCarty 30:03
on a quest for justice to stay because part of the reason is because her she was not only traumatized by the assault that happened to her assaults that happened to her, but she was traumatized by the system courts.
Leslie Briggs 30:17
Yeah. And the silence or inaction. Yes, them silencing her. Yeah. And the injustice of that is enough to get me really fucking angry. I mean, it makes me angry to think about, like, men or abusers who are successful in these defamation cases like I don't know. When it's real, it's real. When it's real, it is real. When you've been defamed, you have been defamed, and that should be a legal recourse. But I am just so tired of people misusing a system that is too lazy, and too dependent on overpriced lawyers to serve justice. Like it just I, that isn't good enough for me. And it's not good enough for Karrah either.
Colleen McCarty 30:58
Never husband. It never has been even to this day. And like, I think that the system has to reckon with that, like, the system has to reckon with that. Yeah, it's never going to be a perfect system. And we've already talked about that at nauseam. But some people would say, and no one in this room would say this, that lawyers are the problem that I might say if we weren't getting our fees jacked up and making the courts inaccessible to people and getting in the way of people telling the truth, because we're restraining people from saying the truth, because that's going to hurt your case. If we weren't standing in the way of the truth coming out, people could just come forward and apologize to each other and heal from this stuff. But because we make a lot of money off of people's pain, and we're incentivized to keep cases going and to keep the settlement tie and to keep people from telling the truth, that that actually makes things a lot worse.
Leslie Briggs 31:55
I mean, I don't disagree. I mean, like, look, I don't I make my living as a lawyer but like we so that our system is antiquated, not in like this, the cultural sense of like, we, you know, we don't believe women, although there is that, but it's antiquated, just like in the the actual technical processes that it uses. I mean, when I'm having to drive an hour to the Pawnee County courthouse to stand there on their dos desktop, to search case numbers and ask them to print it and pay them like 55 cents or a quarter or whatever it was per page. When like, we have so much technology. And we have for decades now, that could alleviate that. I mean, if I were charging a client that I'd be charging them for the trip on the county and the trip back and the time I stood there, and all of those pages that I had to have them print because there was no way to email it to myself. And it's like that stuff that like, and I'd be charging mileage to on top of my hourly rate, right. And that's just that is how lawyers make their living. And for better or for worse. We have to charge fees to provide services and assist them that requires our expertise. If you can sense as you're listening to this, that that doesn't feel like there's a resolution here. That's because I don't think there is there simply isn't one for Karrah. No, but so after Karrah's defamation case in 2016, we have Heather in Iowa, she has these 2017 cases, one in Hardin County and one in Polk County. The first one he gets charged with sexual abuse of the third degree, along with domestic violence, assault and battery domestic violence with impeding airflow.
Colleen McCarty 33:49
In Oklahoma, we call that strangulation.
Leslie Briggs 33:52
But he pleads guilty to the lesser crime of harassment in the first degree, and the domestic violence, assault and battery was dismissed. He didn't go to prison. He got a suspended sentence. Well, so these cases, the Iowa I guess has some really strong harassment laws like in looking at those statutes. It's like there's a lot of different kinds of harassment in that state. And they can come with like, really serious penalties such as registering as a sex offender if it's a sexually motivated harassment. And in Jim's case, they the court found that it was and he pled guilty and had to register as a sex offender.
Colleen McCarty 34:25
Okay, so Heather's like, here we go. We finally got some outcome in the criminal system against this person. How much does he get in in jail or prison for this?
Leslie Briggs 34:36
It's a year in jail suspended. How long do we serve? Seven days.
Colleen McCarty 34:43
But this case, causes his 18 months, the first sentence in Oklahoma.
Leslie Briggs 34:51
So yeah, we pivot back to Oklahoma because now everybody is these women are sort of talking to each other at this point. They're finding one another and And they look at what happened in Christen's case, the deferred sentence with no jail time. And they go back to the DA there. And they say, you've got to revoke the deferred because he's getting these charges in Iowa. So again, for Heather, we have two cases, we have two guilty pleas, we have two criminal sentences. Both suspended. Very little jail time.
Colleen McCarty 35:24
Seven days, isn't that enough?
Leslie Briggs 35:25
Again, and it's like, for me, I sit here and I wrestle with this idea of like, what would more time away accomplish?
Colleen McCarty 35:35
Well, if you're a victims advocate, and a lot of victims advocates listen to this podcast, they would tell you, it takes a lot longer than seven days to do several very important things. One, move away, yeah, get your shit and go someplace where that person can't find you, that takes longer than seven days to find a place to sign a lease to get your shit in order to get everything out. That takes longer than seven days. Right? It just does. And then also, the other part of it is to remove yourself from the situation long enough to observe the calculated mental manipulation that's been taking place in your life. Right? You have to get some separation from this kind of a situation in order to be able to see what's been going on. Yeah, you
Leslie Briggs 36:14
needed some distance. That's not long enough. It just isn't. No, it's not long enough and far is that all of that is concerned, the problem is the like, that's just like the final sentence. This case is pending for a lot longer than that. And, you know, the bonds that are set in these cases are not that significant, particularly for someone like Jim, who is apparently operating where cash is no concern. I mean, I don't know you heard forcement say that, like money did not seem to be a problem for him. But whatever, man, the money is not a problem. So like, my point in bringing that up is that like, this case was pending for months, he had bonded out and wasn't in jail awaiting any of that. So it was like, but again, I'm just like, left with this question of like, what is going to fix this? And I, there's no good answers.
Colleen McCarty 37:09
I know, it's like one of those snakes eating itself. It just keeps coming back around to the same conclusion.
Leslie Briggs 37:15
Yeah. And so that's Heather, I mean, again, she gets these two criminal charges against them to guilty pleas. And he has to register as a sex offender.
Colleen McCarty 37:25
So he's out again on the streets of El Dora, Iowa. And he meets Marcy, which we know they met through him meeting her when he was talking to the chiropractor's office that she worked with, while he was doing his job. She lives in Oklahoma at the time he lives in Iowa, she very quickly began to relocate and move her life in to his home in Iowa, where a very prolific and scary pattern of abuse goes down. Yep, one of the pieces of that is that he now has, and he also had this with Heather, but he has a brand. Yeah, that has his initials on it. That is a steak brand. So you can go online and you can buy yourself a brand, like your custom brand for your steaks, quote, unquote. Yeah. And he sort of thing if that's your thing. You really like steak.
Leslie Briggs 38:17
I love steak. But I don't feel the need to get a brand with my initials. I'm good dish with the steak. That's just the that's the nice part.
Colleen McCarty 38:24
Yeah, I don't need to have my name on the piece of meat that I'm eating. That's going to be gone in a second. But so one of the ways that he abuses Marcy, and Heather, is he they both have brands have his initials on their bodies in multiple places. Yeah, there is sexual assault, there is rape. But none of those things get reported in the relationship with Marcy until the incident that you heard about in episode six. And so we're not going to rehash what happened to her, but
Leslie Briggs 38:50
well, so with Marcy's case, the charges are bananas. Yeah, so he in Iowa after Marcy's horrible, horrible assault. He's charged with kidnapping in the first degree, willful injury causing serious injury, assault, causing serious injury.
Colleen McCarty 39:07
He has dominion or control of a firearm, and he's a domestic abuse offender. So they have a particular felony that if you are a domestic abuse offender, even if it was a misdemeanor, which we don't homeless here, you cannot possess a firearm. You can only not possess a firearm. If you have a felony in Oklahoma.
Leslie Briggs 39:26
By the way, there's a case pending before the Supreme Court right now to determine whether or not that's even constitutional. So buckle up friends.
Colleen McCarty 39:34
Can we see Clarence Thomas's opinion of domestic violence victims? Oh, Christ,
Leslie Briggs 39:39
okay, so two charges for having a weapon a firearm or a weapon and being a domestic having a firearm and being a domestic abuser. one count of domestic abuse assault with intent to inflict serious injury and one count of harassment first degree so excuse me, and then another account of assault with intent to inflict serious injury, this one, including a violation of individual rights, so there are eight counts presented in that case. And that last one is the one
Colleen McCarty 40:13
the violation of individual rights. That's the hate crime.
Leslie Briggs 40:15
We'll talk to talk to us about that. Because there's this there's this hate crime theory that emerges in this case.
Colleen McCarty 40:21
Yeah. So obviously, by this point, anyone in law enforcement would be what I would like to say I'll call it frustrated by someone like Jim, who continues to evade any type of accountability, or penal. You know, process, I think the system's just not working. The thing is, like, as much as people want to hate on law enforcement, they also don't like to see these people walk free. Yeah, it actually bothers them to a deep degree from everyone I've talked to, and they like to protect people. And this, obviously, what's been happening with him is not protecting people. And so there's a female District Attorney in Iowa that gets really incensed by what's been happening. And she actually puts forward this novel legal theory of what he's been doing to these women. He's doing it because he hates women. Just like if you walked up to a black person and started hitting a black person and calling them horrific slurs, you're doing what you're doing because of his race. That's a hate crime. It's also an assault. Let's, you can charge them together. Yeah. So the way she does this theory is she says he always use a very particular slur against women in all of his relationships, and that slurs cunt. Yeah. And in Iowa, they do you have gender as a basis for hate crimes. We don't have that here. Oh, interesting. We have religious affiliation race, I think disability. And maybe one other thing, but we don't have gender as a basis. So we couldn't have done this here. But they can do it there. And so they filed this charge and the DA there goes ham, and she starts collecting all the evidence that these women have have every time he's ever That's right. All the women go to Iowa to give a deposition. Yes, they get called up for depositions. And Jim's attorney deposes them, all kinds of stuff is coming out. Oh, I would not want to be his attorney in those depos.
Leslie Briggs 42:26
mean, Heather's being groomed to murder Karrah at the Tulsa County Fair.
Colleen McCarty 42:32
So yeah, there's a murder plot that gets uncovered in the depos. Several of the women expose issues of abuse that the his attorney didn't even know about. I think that's probably the moment that his female attorney decided to go ahead and take a plea for this, right. Because like, nobody wants to be the person to take this to trial at this point. No, because
Leslie Briggs 42:51
it's going to be bad because there's going to be this parade of women
Colleen McCarty 42:54
and hate crimes in Iowa or up to life on the sentencing. Really, wow. And the risk, though, on the prosecutor side, even though I think she did an incredible job, and I do think it has legs. Nobody wants to be the first one to try a novel legal theory just don't want to because there's no precedent and it's just
Leslie Briggs 43:12
the stakes are high. You know, what if you lose, I mean, she had lots of padding on like, seven other counts, though, there
Colleen McCarty 43:21
are tons of other counts, and all of those probably would have stuck, but they don't have as long as sentences. So that was really like their belt and suspenders sure all the way to life. But you know, he did have a good attorney in this case. And they offered, they came to an agreement about what he would take as a plea bargain. So he doesn't have pleading guilty to this case. So all of the allegations in Marcy's case, and he admits to those. But he admits to them as he takes it, a single from eight felonies on the charging sheet down to one. And it's the causing willful injury to another charge that he ends up pleading to. And he takes the plea the number of years that he agrees to go to prison for is 10. So instead of getting eight felonies in life, he gets one felony in 10 years, which, when you're stacking charges, as a prosecutor, part of the reason you're doing it is because you want to come to an agreement like this. Like it's just like any other negotiation. Sure. When you go in to sell a house, you're going to price it really high.
Leslie Briggs 44:33
Sure you put it you start with everything you could possibly ask for. Yeah,
Colleen McCarty 44:37
knowing that some of those are going to get plead away knowing that some of those aren't going to go to trial, you're going to have to drop them or maybe she could have made every single one of them. Sure, but it's just sort of more more fodder for coming to an agreement. And I think what they didn't tell the victims and what the victims or the survivors did not know when this plea went through, is that Iowa actually has one of the most liberal days earned laws in the books in the country.