Oblivious, we stepped right into his wife’s trap. The FBI team she hired was apparently watching us 24–7 and feeding the family the acquired information. The team even managed to take photos of us boarding the plane with what must have been high-powered lenses, because we had not a clue there were any people, let alone feds, nearby. As I look back now, I imagine the family’s second home must have looked like “command central.” And teaming up with his wife, his entire family was at command central, and were involved with solving the mystery of the twenty-seven-year-old stripper from Vegas who was stealing away this family’s patriarch. The funny thing is that I have no idea where they got the twenty-seven-year-old bit. If someone thought I was twenty-seven, God love them—I was forty-two at the time.
I was introduced to the Stetson man’s ranch early on in the relationship. The ranch was his safe haven, partly because his wife refused most invitations to the ranch due to her being jealous over his time spent there. I picked up on his love for the ranch with its vast expanse of land early on, and I played it to my advantage. I made friends with the staff, especially the world-renowned chef. He would make my favorite meals and spend time with me while the Stetson man was off hunting wild game. This particular weekend was much like our previous stays, except that I had a friend with me—and the FBI were hidden in the brush with long-range zoom lens cameras, snapping photos at every opportunity.
Naturally, the FBI shot their prized photos of us while we were deplaning and loading my dog, luggage, and all the treasures I’d purchased over the weekend into my car, which was parked immediately adjacent to the chartered plane—my license plate in plain view. The plate on my car was still registered back in my home state because I hadn’t yet switched the registration over after I’d moved to the Stetson man’s hometown. This would give them my previous address from a few states away. But, worse yet, they tailed me home from the airport, and so now they had my current address.
The FBI had easily accessed all my information, and all while I was oblivious to their sleuthing being so involved in my grief over my son’s death. The truth is, his wife wasted her money on the FBI team—she could have hired a few high school kids to obtain the same information. During that weekend, I was not even attempting to hide; I believed she was a few states away at their family’s second home. I basically handed his wife my name, addresses, and photos. I could have just as well called and introduced myself. And now she knew her husband’s dirty little secret—the game was about to begin.