The Letter

When I first uncovered the family secret, I hadn’t had any real contact with my family for 16 years. I couldn’t exactly call them up and be all ” Heeeeey! What’s with the all the rape and murder?” I wasn’t immediately keen to talk to them anyway, save for possibly my sister, but as time went on an idea began to sprout inside my head. An idea that involved contact.

It seemed ridiculous at first because it was so, so simple but before long it became A THING and my brain added it to the its running list of very important tasks.

Tell my parents that I KNOW.

That’s it.

That’s all I needed to do.

This wasn’t a need to confront them and release a bunch of energy on them. It felt vital to tell them their secret was out, definitely not safe with me and then move on. It was bewildering to me how something so small felt so critical but I’ve learned to trust myself over the years. If that wee thing was important, I needed to honour it.

Now, unless I conduct a sΓ©ance, telling my dad was out of the question. Father Murderer had died in 2014. But my mother, the murderer marrier (it’s totally a word!) was alive and thus she became my focus.

I figured a letter would be best as the thought of speaking to that woman was revolting, my bestie suggested I send it registered mail and that’s exactly what I did.

It took me about two weeks to get it just right. First, I wrote the letter every night in my head as I was falling asleep, ha ha ha! Of course this was involuntary but it was really, really important. I needed to get that vile shit out of my head. It wasn’t mine anyway!

Then, I put pen to paper and ripped through two legal pads in my attempt to get it just right. I didn’t want to be rude or mean because that never feels good no matter how justified but it took me awhile to get there, let me tell ya! In the meantime I’d grown really curious about the whole situation from my mother’s end.

How?

WHY?

WHHHHHYYYY?

My heart wasn’t set on getting an answer though because A. I knew she’d never tell me anything. Her favourite saying being ” Deny, Deny, Deny” I’m fairly certain she’s going to her grave with the story. B. Liars lie. There was no way I’d believe a damn word of what she said, even if she did respond. But I was definitely curious and I wanted to create a more fertile ground in case she decided to unload what must be a very heavy weight.

I also knew that I’d be talking about this and telling MY story. I felt it only fair to give her a chance to say her peace before I did so.

Sooooo, the letter.

I simply addressed her by our former last name – Huculak- told her that I knew everything and if she ever wanted to tell her version of the story she was welcome to contact me. I then gave that woman my freaking home address and my email address. Aaaahhhh! After not allowing her any access to me for 16 years, I freely gave that information out! Yes I did.

That was a little a scary. My inner child was definitely not comfortable doing that but I persevered and the icky feeling was replaced with something else. I felt like I was on a mission from my higher self. When I handed the letter over at the post office, I levelled up. My daughter offered up her address -sweet child that she is- but I knew I’d be able to handle any negative repercussions. Life has taught me that much. Plus, it was an integrity thing for me. I wasn’t hiding anything.

To date and true to form, she’s never responded. To date the only thing she’s done has been to orchestrate a weak attempt to discredit and gaslight me. Totally on brand for her. No surprise there. BUT the most important thing is this:

On April 13, 2021 Mother Murderer Marrier, went down to the post office, showed her ID confirming her identity and picked up the letter I sent her with the accompanying newspaper articles pertaining to my father’s crime.

She knows that I know.

Task complete.

Moving on. ❀

F*cked Up Book Club For One – A Bloodstained Hammer.

This is a whole thing.

There’s a book!

A Bloodstained Hammer was written by Allison Townsend and her friend, Brian Seifrit.

Allison Townsend is the daughter of Mr. Townsend and his second wife.

His second wife was the nanny he hired to care for his two boys after my father murdered their mum and sister.

The book is a fictionalized retelling of the murder with facts interspersed throughout thanks to court documents, according to one article I read.

Against good advice and all sense, I bought it 45 seconds after learning it existed:

Yep! I did!

I regret…being born. Ha! Only sometimes.

Ok, joking aside, I regret nothing. It wasn’t so bad and I’m glad I was brave. I learned some things.

It’s definitely a strange thing to hold a book like that in one’s hands. I have no other experiences to compare it to and nobody else that I know has been through this. There is no how to guide for this side of murder.

I think it would be highly inappropriate for this murderer’s daughter to actually review the book like I normally would but I’m cool with sharing my feelings and experience as I read it. Perhaps one day this post will help someone else. Because this? This is a bizarre experience!

Onward we go:

Right away I was disappointed the book is fiction. A true crime account would have been a gift. Nobody owes me anything though. I know that. I’m a person who craves accuracy and clarity. Wanting to know all the details is also a trauma response. All “me problems” . I did find it fairly easy to pick out details that felt like truths buuuuut I can’t know for sure and that’s frustrating. I sure do appreciate the elements gleaned from the court documents because even though this is a work of fiction, I feel closer to something that feels like…settled.

I had a huge physical response to the book. It came into my house and my heart went off! I started unconsciously holding my breath and pacing, ha ha. My body was screaming “DANGER!” at me. I’d pick the book up. I’d put the book down. Again and again and again! I couldn’t stand for it to be in my hands and yet I couldn’t stop touching it! Finally, I just opened to a page and started reading, in dribs and drabs until my heart rate regulated and I was taking normal breaths. I was not expecting all that nonsense!

Once I got the lay of the land so to speak and became comfortable with the authors’ voice, reading it was πŸ”₯”fine”πŸ”₯. I knew who it was about but the dialogue was so unlike my father that it was easy to feel like I was reading about someone else even though I knew full well I wasn’t.

I read it in one night. Once I started I couldn’t stop! I was horror bound to the words within. I couldn’t have set the book down if I tried. I’m probably going to have to read it again just to absorb it fully because I just zoomed straight through it!

The authors and I agree: My father was NOT “crazy” and he definitely got away with murder x2. 100% . That was one of my first thoughts when I found out back in March. I’ve been invalidated on this subject before and so I’m pretty fiercely defensive of my stance on this fact. I will die on this fucking hill. My father knew exactly what he was doing when he raped and murdered Linda and Eyvon and he knew exactly how to manipulate people into feeling sorry for him and thinking he was mentally ill. Ask me how I know.πŸ™„

In the end, I had some creepy and disturbing realizations about my father and my childhood 😬 Before reading this book I would have said that nothing other than the abuse I knew about had happened to me growing up. Now, I think something different.

I have all the symptoms of a person with repressed trauma. Experienced or witnessed. I don’t know. But my body does. And this is why I regret nothing.

A Bloodstained Hammer helped me finally formulate a million tiny pieces into a single point, with one sentence.

Overall, reading a book about one’s rapist/murderer father’s crime wasn’t as horrible as one might expect. I can’t say it was a pleasant thing to do but it didn’t hurt me to read it. Quite the opposite. It helped and I’m grateful it was written.

If you want to read it too it’s available from many sources online including here.

Thanks for reading about my fucked up book club for one. I appreciate the company! πŸ’š

Murder & Rape. My Father’s Crime.

Today’s the day. 😳

While it’s been four months and twelve days since I learned my father was a vicious murderer and rapist, it’s been sixty two years to the day, since he committed his crime.

At the time of The Knowing, my brain came up with a list of very important tasks to complete. This post is the first of those tasks:

Tell the story. Reveal all. Refuse to be a part of the cover up.

Its not my shame- I know this in my heart! – and yet I feel strongly compelled to do something. Anything, to take a nick out of the wrong. I cannot abide injustice. So. Let me tell you about my father’s crime.

In March of 1959, my father, born Richard Alexander Huculak -You can Google him – was hired on at a farm outside of Trail, BC. He was 25 years old at the time and drifting.

It’s easy for me to see why Mr. Andrew Townsend hired him. Young, strong and experienced he would have made a capable farmhand. He was a quiet person too, the kind of guy who settled into the background. I know from my own experiences that he presented as gentle. Trustworthy. A person who didn’t give much of themselves away yet seemed placid and decent. Not a threat. Mr. Townsend observed him much the same, according to one article.

In addition to running his farm, Mr. Townsend worked nights with a large employer in town. He left for work on the evening of July 29, 1959Β  leaving his family, wife Violet ( known as Evonne) and three children (two boys and a girl, Linda) at home. In addition to their own kids, the Townsends had a guest that evening. Another child, just a toddler at the time. The house must have felt lively with all those kids.

That same evening my dad, (known then as Dick ), headed into town with a friend and his wife for some drinks.

The party eventually returned to the friend’s house, with a case of beer and another case they purchased from a taxi driver. Later that evening the friend drove Dick- an entirely appropriate name all things considered- back to the Townsend farm.

As July 29 rolled over into July 30, my dad raped Linda Townsend, 8 years old. (Its unknown whether he raped Evonne too, the coroner wasn’t able to find any evidence but that doesn’t mean he didn’t. ) Then, my father picked up a two lb. ball peen hammer and murdered Linda and her mum, Evonne with multiple blows to their heads, while the little neighbor child lay in a crib in the same fucking room.

My dad hid the hammer behind the bed frame of the bed where Linda lay in her mother’s outstretched arm, cleaned the blood off himself, changed clothes, broke into the kid’s piggy banks, went through Evonne’s purse, stealing her money and her car keys too.

He stole the family car, (stopping somewhere along the way to purchase two bottles of Aspirin) and drove across the Nelson toll bridge, before taking the Kootenay Lake ferry to Kootenay Bay. Eventually he abandoned the car in a patch of bushes and started hitchhiking towards Calgary, AB.

As this is all going on, the Townsend kids were waking up to start their day. Hungry and wondering where their mother was they headed for their parent’s bedroom. It was clear right away that something was wrong. The oldest boy-who was only around 5 years old- lifted the littlest child out of the crib and the three of them walked a fair ways to a gas station for help. They brought a neighbor back to the farmhouse and of course that person immediately called the police.

The man hunt for my father was on.

It was one of the biggest man hunts in the area’s history. (Not a point a pride, definitely an event you don’t expect to have attached to your father )

Eventually, Dick was spotted by police officers cruising the highways for him and arrested without incident. Unbeknownst to the officers at the time, immediately prior to his arrest, Dick had swallowed both bottles of the Aspirin he’d picked up earlier and promptly lost consciousness in the back of the patrol car. He was taken to the hospital in neighboring Nelson, where his stomach was pumped. Mr. Townsend, who had been notified by then, was called upon to identify my dad and was able to correctly do so. Once my dad was stable he was released and taken to Castlegar jail where he was held under heavy guard to await trial.

Ooof. 😒

The Townsend family, their friends and neighbors were left to live with the loss and trauma my father inflicted on them while he sat alive in jail, cooking up Act 2.

And what an act it was! I’m the first direct byproduct of that. Conceived and born while my dad was still under the care of the institution he was placed in.

I’m alive today because my father got away with murder. I’m alive today because my mother thought that particular man would be an appropriate and suitable spouse and parent.

Spoiler alert! He wasn’t. Nor was she for that matter, but they were absolutely perfect for each other.

Act Two to follow…

Acceptance-Kind Of.

Well, I’ve evolved to the making jokes stage of healing so maybe I can write about this mess again!

This mess being THIS POST HERE if you missed it.

It’s been a challenging few months! Trauma, trauma everywhere! I’ve tried to come back and start writing again but my brain just wouldn’t let me put anything decent down. I was blocked at every turn. I kept running into this quote:

It’s SO true! It’s all feelings and emotions and trying to mash that into a story for here has been nigh but impossible. Also, I don’t have hindsight. I’m still living this. BUT so many other things have happened that I can write about. Good things. Fabulous things. Healing things. And I shall, starting with this post now πŸ™‚

Acceptance. My Hubs says my jokes means that I’ve accepted IT.

At first I readily agreed. The crime my dad committed was a real thing that truly happened. I’ve got all the proof ( including secondary real live human confirmation from 3 other people!) He did that.

But I don’t accept it…ya know? Acceptance as in “Willingness to tolerate a difficult or unpleasant situation” I’m still mad about it. I’ll probably die mad about it too. That’s OK. I’m fine with that. The day I readily accept the death of an 8 year old and her mum is the day I lose my humanity. I don’t know how I could ever tolerate such a thing. ( I feel like scrubbing out my brain though, ugh!)

I do know that I’m doing good now. I’m not 100% but I’m good. My life is FANTASTIC and I’m busy unpacking things and hopefully healing and growing and “levelling up”. My life is so much more than discovering my dad was what he was. My life is so much more than that family secret. It keeps rolling forward, leading me to better and better things.

I’m going to keep writing about that horrible discovery here, as my brain lets me and I’m going to keep writing about the genealogy I’m still doing too. I found my grandparents! I’ve been able to add their real names to that side of my tree! I’ve connected with relatives. The most lovely humans a person could ever hope to meet. ❀ I feel legitimate and rooted in something honorable and important.

Honestly, I also feel extremely self satisfied. Those two assholes thought they could hide what he did. From their family, their friends, their children and their community. And then I came along, ha! They created their worst nightmare. I feel like a little kid when I say this but I don’t care: I’m going to tell EVERYBODY. The secret stops with me.

Part Two: I Never Seriously Saw That One Coming.

You can find Part One: HERE

Trigger Warning for mention of violence.

I don’t really know where to start. What I’m about to tell you is just so awful. I’ve had almost three weeks to live with  this information and while I’ve managed to keep the horror of it all down to a dull roar, the family secret I discovered is not something one gets used to.

My brain keeps shouting “NO!” at me and every time I reach into the knotted mess to find a thread, I find nothing but more knots.

I WANT to tell this story. This is one dark secret that needs to be brought into the light, so let me start with salad?

My last meal before the knowing was the most delicious salad. It was chock full of greens, beets, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. It also had oranges, fresh and dried and the most delicious lemony dressing. It was fresh and cheery! The Hubs and I had baked up a couple of chicken breasts and this meal was the perfect ending to a pretty great day. I ate my salad curled up on my couch, enjoying the Springtime sun shining through my window. I basked in it’s gentle warmth and felt…damn good. Content with my lot.  I still had the taste of that salad on my tongue when I opened up my laptop, logged into my ancestry account and typed in my father’s name.

Now that I had his real name, I figured I’d finally get some information about that side of my family! I was excited! I still had to deal with why my parents changed our last name and why they lied about it but, my main focus had always been finding my Metis roots so the lying nonsense could wait.

Along with my father’s name I typed his birth date and birthplace, an obscure little hamlet in northern Alberta. Lots of possibilities came up and I checked each one out diligently coming up with a maybe in one person with the same last name, living in another hamlet near my father’s hometown. Could be a relative!

Nothing in birth records…nothing in death…oh! Maybe a marriage? I knew he’d been married before and the union had been annulled. I added the information to my file and continued on, coming upon a news clipping. I almost didn’t click the link because sometimes the news clippings are on another site that requires further payment. Maybe the secret played on my mind or maybe it was my intuition because I took a chance on that link and found full access to an old newspaper page!

Woot Woot! My lucky day.

I scrolled to the highlighted section and my heart thudded to a stop in my chest.

“Dangerous Escapee Recaptured” the headline stated.

My eyes alit on the five words highlighted so helpfully:

My father’s first name. My father’s middle name. My father’s last name. Murder. The obscure hamlet where my father was born.

I knew.

I felt it in my body as my stomach clenched.

The truth.

I jumped up and thrust my laptop at my Hubs whilst a long scream? moan? keening? of disgust escaped me.

“What!? What?!” he demanded, most startled by the noise I was making and my sudden pacing and hand wringing.

Bless his sweet heart to be so concerned about me instead of my OBVIOUS REQUEST TO READ WHAT I COULDN’T SPEAK ALOUD.

“Read it!!” I managed to force out between my clenched teeth.

“Oh!” I heard him say next. Then again with solemn understanding “Ooooh”

He continued on with the details and this is what I heard ” Mental hospital escapee. Implicated in double murder eight years ago. Extremely dangerous. Not guilty by reason of insanity. A mother. Her child. Beaten to death in their beds. “

Looks like I solved the name change mystery!

Disgust and outrage hit me first. Then realization after realization flooded in. ” I left my children with him!” My husband would later chuckle kindly at me about this and tell me ” YOU were left with him!” I went through every emotion and went off, in every direction. Words and feelings pouring out of me until thankfully, blissfully, the shock gently took over and I became numb.

I messaged both my kids and right away my daughter started researching. My Hubs did too and within minutes, MINUTES, they found me some more information. Including all my father’s court documents. Right there on the front page of The Google.

My man, my wonderful man found the final proof that evening: Court papers with my father’s real last name (mine too!) and the new one. The name I grew up under. Ooof.

There was one last surprise left for me to discover and this is the one that absolutely broke me. I had been emotional and teary yes, but this new fact had me sobbing and spitting with rage…

My father had raped the little girl too.