A Drugged Out Pimp Gets Revenge on the Wrong Girl


You might see it as really bad luck, but I think I was incredibly fortunate. It’s the kind of thing that makes you a better person in the end, if you let it; it’s impetus for nobler behavior; it’s the fire behind a rich and well-lived life; if nothing else it makes a great story at cocktail hour.

My husband (at the time) had just completed writing his first album. I had yet to hear most of it but this night he sat me down and played the whole 45 minute set. It was a special moment for us both. He felt accomplished and I was in awe. He was no less than a genius songwriter – dramatic and melodic like Radiohead. We had a brand new baby, but he was getting a band started which would soon lead him and his beautiful music to greatness. We were high on dreams of success and talked about it well into the night. Finally, I went back to the bedroom and he took the dog out for a last pee before bed.

We lived in a brand new apartment building in Fremont, California. It was a big complex, right across from the lake. The ceilings were high and the walls were thick – from the bedroom I couldn’t hear much of anything in the living room. Maybe I did hear the front door close, maybe I didn’t hear anything at all. Maybe I thought I should have heard something. Maybe I was just listening. Something seemed strange anyway so I got out of bed to investigate. I wore a thong to bed and nothing else.

My first step fromthe dark of the bedroom was met by a massive black figure towering towards me. A man dressed in black with a black face mask stood where my husband should have been.

My first thought was quick. ‘My husband’s dead. Save the baby!’ She was six months old. This man was here to get her. Why else would someone break into my house and come to the bedroom? ‘He’s here to kidnap my baby!’

I stretched out my arms to block the doorway and an electric shock pulsed my abdomen – again and again. I fell to the floor. He grabbed me from behind and punched me, holding my tiny body with one arm. He tased me again and beat me and kicked me until I was limp.

‘Stay alive, Peggy. Don’t close your eyes. The minute you close your eyes she’s gone. The minute you close your eyes she’s gone. The minute you close your eyes she’s gone. Evelyn! Evelyn! I love you Evelyn! Stay up, stay up. Don’t die. Don’t die, Peggy.’

Everything went black and I fell to the floor.

‘I fell! He let me go!’ I shuffled to my feet only to be grabbed again by the man.

The shocks, the punches, the kicks. ‘Don’t die Peggy. Stay alive for her. He can’t hurt you.’

Blood dripped down my husband’s head who was lying on the floor. ‘You’re fucked Peggy. There’s no one to save you now.’ Again, blackness and I lay on the floor.

Free again! My husband struggled with the masked man, the two of them moving further into the living room, knocking over furniture, moving further away from me. I scrambled up again, found the phone, and dialed 911. The voice of the operator broke the silence – the desolate silence of a fight for life.

Finally, I screamed, “Help!” I screamed my address. I screamed gun. I screamed.

The man ran out the front door and I ran to my husband. He said he was dying. He was weak, bloody. He’d been shot in the head. I held him and I cried. He cried. Evelyn started crying in our room. I brought her to her dad. We cried together and waited for the ambulance, waited for our the last goodbye.

There was a knock at the door and then at the window. ‘Oh god, he’s back. Duck!’ The knock again. We panicked. A flashlight shined in the window. A voice yelled “Open the door!”

I crawled up to the window and peeked outside. The swat team surrounded the building. 10 or 15 officers pointing M16s at our windows from behind the bushes and in the doorways.

The ambulance took us to a trauma center 50 miles away. My husband had been shot point blank in the head with a pellet gun which didn’t break the skull but left a nasty bloody gash. The CT scan showed no brain damage, his scalp was stitched up and he wasn’t going to die. There wasn’t much they could do for me. My ribs were broken and the front of my body was covered in burns and bruises. We were released.

A friend picked us up at the hospital and we got some breakfast at Whole Foods. We ate bacon and eggs in the warm August sun. I nursed my baby and I smiled. We were alive. I didn’t know why we were almost killed but we were alive.

My phone rang. We were on the phone constantly with the police and with investigators for the next several days. But this time the phone call was the admissions office at Bastyr University. They called to tell me that I had been accepted to the graduate nutrition program.

I don’t know what I said. I was still shaking. I was still in panic. I was paranoid. I really didn’t care about college.

I blurted out that someone tried to kill me last night and that I was leaving town and didn’t know anything else. Thanks but no thanks. Strange timing. Strange fate.

We were escorted back to our apartment to grab some clothes and our dog, and we drove down to LA to stay with family. The man was found a few days later and put in jail. We returned to Fremont, packed up our things, and moved to the safest town in the bay area – Los Gatos. We testified. It was his third strike. He got ten years with four felony counts. And we finally got the whole story.

He hadn’t followed me home to rape me as we all had thought. He didn’t break in to kidnap my baby as I had thought. He likely beat me so brutally because he was on drugs and because he thought I was a whore.

He had come to recover his money from a guy who had hired a girl and failed to pay her. The guy in the apartment across from ours had hired a “massage” from craigslist. For whatever reason he didn’t pay her. The masked man came back to get revenge. My husband walked outside at the very moment that he walked up. The pimp, never having seen the guy he was going to beat up and not even being sure which apartment he was going to, saw my husband and made an assumption. He pointed a gun at my husband, backed him up into the apartment, tased him, and told him to get down on the floor.

Even though the man was caught within five or so days, the surges of adrenaline continued for months. Doorways were a threat, the dark of night a terror, sounds and silence full of danger, my own home did not seem safe.

But I was alive. I was jumpy, but I was lucky too. I would have taken a thousand punches to see the sun shine on my daughter’s beautiful smile. I continued to breast feed with broken ribs, bruises, and burns. She was all that mattered. We were together and I was happier than I had been in all my life.

I had never really known how tenuous is our grasp on this world, how unexpectedly it can end. Now I knew the importance of living every single day like it means something. Every moment, every idea, every new project,  and every friendship became a miracle to me. That man thought he was trying to kill me, but he gave me the world. He breathed beauty, urgency, and wonder into my life. I’m thankful that I was lucky enough to get the shit kicked out of me on some random night by some random guy. I’ve never wasted a precious day on this planet since.

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  1. Amazing story of survival! Glad he was caught and that you, your husband and your child- escaped with your lives. Keep living for the present.

  2. Fuuuuuuuuuuck, Peggy. I look up to you as a kickass female role model, and this just reaffirms what a strong, positive, courageous individual you are. I’m so glad you are sharing your stories and your life on this blog. You are helping people- you are helping me.

    • Thank you Heather. There were many things that I read which helped me too. It always made me want to offer the same by writing about my own plethora of wild experiences.

  3. That’s an amazing story. I’m glad you and your family survived…

  4. Fucking hell! I don’t swear often, but I think it is warranted. Wow! I am glad you guys have come through this, physically and mentally.

    I have often thought about what I would do if confronted with an intruder in the night. I mean, I know my house better than they do, but still … they come armed and all I have is whatever I can pick up and my own sense of “I can fuck you up more than you can me”.

    Blimey! What a read!

    • Thanks Paul.

      It’s something I used to think about too, oddly. I used to actually make note of unwashed knives or something on the counter after dinner and think, “that might come in handy under some circumstance…” I watched too many Jackie Chan movies or something.

      But in reality, when you’re just at home doing your thing, having a good night like I was that night, and suddenly there is no home, there is no safety, there is no peace. I don’t even know how to explain how wrong that feels.

      As a girl, in particular, there was nothing I could do. He grabbed me so fast and he was huge. I’m 5’6″ and he was well over 6 feet and just plain massive. Being a girl is tough. When you’re fucked you’re fucked. Sure I kicked and squirmed but the best I could do was just try to be strong and not die. Escape was not an option. But that was good enough for me, just to stay alive. That’s the difference I guess between a girl and a guy.

      Another interesting read would probably be the whole thing from my ex-husband’s perspective. Unfortunately, he doesn’t write. Staying alive for my daughter’s sake was all I could think of, but all he could think of was what was the right move to make to protect his wife.

      The guy was holding a gun the whole time and my ex feared that I would be shot. He feared that if he moved off of that floor that I would be killed and maybe he would be killed too. But as he watched that man killing me with his hands, he said fuck the gun. And he went for him anyway. What a decision that must have been to make. He felt that my life was in his hands. He could be the cause of me being shot or of me being beaten to death. Obviously he chose to risk the gun. And it’s a damn good thing isn’t it? But until you’re there in the situation and you’re faced with these decisions and the other man’s strength and drugs, your fears, adrenaline, the darkness of night, you really don’t know. It’s all just improv.

  5. Peggy, you are a blinding ray of sunshine in a world of clouds. Thank you got sharing this story, I will remember the message. xoxo

    • wow,something like this really changes you, for better or for worse, thank God you chose the positive option.

  6. Thank you for sharing this extremely shocking story. It must have taken a lot of courage to put this out there, but hopefully also cathartic. I don’t how I would react to that situation but I know I would do anything for my daughter and wife, including risking my life to save them.

    • I talk about it all the time. It doesn’t bother me, it’s kind of fun actually. I mean this kind of thing just doesn’t happen to people. It’s almost cool to know this side of life.

      Talking about it isn’t hard but it is kind of hard to see people in masks like the one above and I can get pretty freakin scared when people sneak up on me. But I just remind myself that a lot of things in life are beyond our control. I like the fact that I know that so well. While it can be scary, it’s also really humbling.

  7. What a story, it’s the firts thing i have read this morning drinking peacefully my cup of tea… what a lesson ! thanks

  8. :)..umm you are amazing! Not only am I getting worthy nutritional tips from your blog, but I get trinkets of advice. Thank you sooooo much for sharing. Thank you for turning a hellish situation into something that made your life better and fighting for your little one. This totally made me stop complaining about day.

  9. wow

    that was a very powerful story, I’m sat here with tears in my eyes

    thanks for sharing and good on you for being strong enough to survive both mentally and physically, a true inspiration to us all :-)

  10. Wow. That is pretty much my worst nightmare. So glad nothing (terrible) happened to you or your sweet daughter.
    That is also an awesome perspective to have. My mom died when I was a kid, I always wonder why God chose that way for me and my dad but there is a reason and I’m happy with it. My dad and I are super close and I know that it wouldn’t have been the same if it would have worked out differently. And life is such a precious gift we must enjoy it all, even the bad moments, they are always there for a reason and can bring light we just have to choose to see it.
    Thanks for sharing this story!

  11. You are truly an inspiration!

  12. Hi Peggy,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but this is the first time I’ve commented. I love your insight on feeding kids and handling family members who believe everything Dr. Oz says.

    What an amazing story. My heart was in my stomach while reading. I can only imagine the months and years following the attack. It takes a certain kind of person to look at the positive of something like this and not focus on the “why me?”

    Also, I noted that you moved to Los Gatos. Do you still live there? We moved to Los Gatos 13 years ago from the South East and still live there. I love raising my family there.

    • Thanks Jennifer, but I’ve got to say that I had my share of why me. I’ve seen so many tragedies and had such bad health that for many years when I thought I’d never get better, I asked myself frequently why me? I think it was that moment that finally got me to stop asking that dumb question!

      I’m not in Los Gatos anymore. I moved when my husband and I divorced. I wish I were though, it’s a lovely place.

  13. This story is just jawdropping. I’m so glad that you and your baby and her father made it through OK.

  14. Thank God your family is ok.

    I have a question, do you think if you had a gun on your person at the moment you first saw the bad guy it would have made a difference? What about your ex? Even though he was taken by surprise, if he had a gun on him while laying on the ground do you think he could have shot the bad guy at any point?

    I have a situation with my teen daughter and a stalker. I have legally obtained my concealed weapons permit and I carry every waking moment.

    • The question is, why would I have had a gun on my person at the time?

      Home is the one place that we know to be safe. We don’t usually think of danger in our homes, or at least when we do it’s just when you’re lying in bed and there is a tree branch scraping at your window or you hear something bumping downstairs. You would probably get out of bed with some kind of weapon.

      But we had been peacefully enjoying our evening and, as a woman, I knew that my husband and my dog were in the front of the house, my brain couldn’t even latch on to any concept of danger. Something drew me out of bed that night, but it wasn’t a sense of danger.

      This is the kind of thing that you’d never expect. The two protectors of your house to be suddenly “gone”.

      So, I never grabbed any kind of weapon and was simply overtaken within a milasecond.

      If my husband had had a gun, I doubt he could have found the opportunity to use it. The other guy had a gun and he was holding me. So taking a shot could have been really dangerous.

      Your current situation puts you constantly on defense. But that’s not regular life. Once this stalker thing is over, you’ll go back to normal (and if you don’t you’ll kill yourself with stress) and the world will feel safe again. It’s when we think that we are safe, which is most of the time, that we are the most vulnerable. You have a lot more hope protecting your daughter than my husband and I had that night. You’re already on alert. We weren’t.

      Good luck to you. That sounds scary.

  15. Wow, Peggy. Thanks for sharing your story. We have but only one life and I am glad you are LIVING it. :)

  16. Fucking Hell. I missed this post, it was the day of my twins wedding. You are right, this is an icredable story. I certainly don’t know anyone who had a stranger break into their house and beat the shit out of them. We all know the saying That which does not kill me makes me stronger. Sometimes, things shout Truth so loudly, we have to listen. Our lives and the lives of our loved ones are prescious beyond measure and really are all that matter. From those things and those things alone stems the beauty of all that is. Warrior indeed.

  17. Wow, powerful story! I’m so glad that you can look back at that horrible time in your life, and get something positive from it. I admire that!

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