A “Mother’s” Obsession
This is rather long, but considering it spans nearly three decades, that’s to be expected. Much of this I don’t remember, for obvious reasons, but over the years I’ve spoken with my mother and other family members about everything, and I’ve written their accounts down as accurately as anyone could. Apart from that, I’ve gotten copies of all the police reports, and have written this using information gleaned from them.
It all started, quite literally, the day I was born. I was in the nursery of the hospital, and my mom and grandparents were standing at the window. Being that I was born at a large hospital in a major city, there were seven or eight other babies there beside me. Next to my family, another woman was standing with a big smile on her face, not a creepy one, but the smile of someone who was genuinely happy at that particular moment. She was an average looking woman of maybe about 22, and had stringy blonde hair. My grandma said she looked like she hadn’t showered in days.
Regardless of her disheveled appearance, my grandmother greeted the woman. The woman replied cheerily, commenting that all the babies were so adorable. My mom asked the woman which baby belonged to her, but the woman gave her an awkward kind of half-glance and didn’t answer her. My mom just assumed the woman hadn’t heard her. They all continued observing me and the other babies, with my family making comments about how big of a baby I was. They eventually realized the woman was humming. The blonde lady eventually became aware herself that my family was hearing her, and she quickly apologized, explaining that she was just so excited that her “baby boy was finally here”.
Now that they were interacting again, my mom posed the same question she had earlier, asking the woman which child was hers. The woman replied slowly, in a sing-songy voice “my…baby…boy…issssss…right there!”. She finished the statement off with a burst of energy and pressed her against the glass. “Isn’t he beautiful? I just love him so much.” My mom and grandparents tried to determine which baby she was pointing at.
“The one there, with the white blanket?” my grandpa asked her.
“Noooo! That baby isn’t even half as cute as my baby boy!” the woman was still talking in a playful, sing-songy kind of voice, if that makes sense. She didn’t seem threatening, or creepy, she just seemed like an especially affable new mother.
She kept her finger pressed to the window and brought her face up to it so her nose was just touching the glass.
“That’s my sweet, beautiful, amazing little baby boy, right…there!”
She still hadn’t given any other clues as to which baby she was pointing at, and it wasn’t immediately evident because the handful of babies were all mostly grouped together.
“Is he…right there?” my grandpa took another guess, pressing his own finger to the window. “With the Nike hat?”
The woman took a deep breath. She started giddily stamping her feet as if she were overcome with joy. She took her finger from the glass and started clapping her hands together.
“He’s so perfect!!! Isn’t he?! Isn’t he perfect?!”
My grandfather looked at my grandma at nodded his head once, and she took it to mean that she should go find a hospital employee. After she walked away, my grandpa turned back to the woman, who was still staring at the baby in the Nike hat, a look of pure joy on her face.
The baby in the Nike hat was me.
“Ma’am…” my grandpa said to her, but she didn’t reply.
When my grandpa told me the story (this part of which I’ve also heard from my mom separately, nearly verbatim), he said that when they realized she was all effusive over me, a newborn that wasn’t hers and didn’t have any relation to her, the woman didn’t seem delusional or confused, nor did she seem threatening or dangerous. She just seemed like a new mom, albeit an over-excited one.
“Ma’am.” he said again.
This time, the woman whipped her head around and the look of joy on her face was gone.
“What?” she said through clenched teeth. “He’s mine. And he’s beautiful. You don’t think he’s beautiful?”
My grandpa looked at her and simply said “I don’t think he’s yours.“
The woman started breathing heavily, and my mom has described her as looking angrier than she’s ever seen anyone before or since. My grandpa put his arm in front of my mom and guided her backward and behind him, making sure he was between her and the woman. Then, as quickly as she’d flipped from excited to enraged, she calmed down and a warm smile crawled across her face. She kissed the tips of her fingers and pressed them to the glass once again. And with that, she turned around and walked away.
Like 30 seconds after the woman left my grandma came back with a doctor, to whom my mom and grandpa explained what had just happened. The doctor apologized profusely, explaining that, for obvious reasons, they were very strict about who could get into the nursery, and that he had no idea how someone would get in there without authorization. A security guard was placed in the nursery until (and presumably after) I was taken home.
Now to where I can (however vaguely) recall for myself.
My mom and I went to a playground in the springtime when I was six years old, and had walked there since the weather was nice. After I’d played on the playground for a while and tired myself out, we began to head back home. About halfway between the playground and our house, two police cars pulled to a screeching halt. Two cops got out of the first car, and one out of the second, all with gun drawn. They yelled at my mom to get on the ground, and because I didn’t know what was going on, after she did, I got on my stomach on top of her back, begging them not to hurt her.
My mom was placed in handcuffs and put into the back of the second cop car while the police talked to me. I explained that the woman they’d detained was indeed my mother, and I assured them of that even after they asked me about twenty times. After more police showed up and talked to me, as well as my mom, we learned that a frantic woman had placed an anonymous call to police claiming that a woman with the exact description of my mother and her outfit that day had abducted “her son”, who had the exact description of me and what I was wearing that day. The call had been placed from a payphone outside the convenience store a few blocks from our house, and the police, after assuming the woman who called had hung up before identifying herself had done so in the heat of the moment, put out an Amber Alert.
When the police had finally determined that I was indeed my mother’s son, they apologized and dropped us back off at our house. Around that time I’d noticed my grandparents and mom getting into heated discussions, not necessarily arguments but just more vocally distressed. Specifically on the day that the fake kidnapping was reported, I remember hearing “it was her, you know it was her”, and other similar things. I wasn’t sure exactly what they were talking about, but they assured me everything was okay.
The following year, when I was in second grade, one of the office workers came to my classroom and asked the teacher to excuse me. When I left the room, I was escorted with the office worker and two other school employees to the office, where I was sat in the conference room. I remember sitting there for about a half hour with the woman who’d gotten me from my classroom, but she wouldn’t tell me what was going on. The door to the conference room had a glass pane from nearly top to bottom, so while I waited I watched as two police officers came in and talked to the other office employees.
Eventually, my mom walked in, and a few minutes after her arrived my grandparents. All three of them rushed in by me and began giving me hugs and asking if I was okay. Then, my mom, my grandparents, the two police officers, two of the three office employees, and the school principal came in and asked me if I’d been approached by anyone I didn’t know recently, to which I responded that I hadn’t. They told me, in no uncertain terms, that if anyone I didn’t know ever came up to me, to begin running and screaming for help until I get to somewhere safe. Apparently, as I learned years later, a woman had come in to the school claiming to be my aunt, and demanded that I be released into her care, as there was a family emergency and my mom and grandparents were unable to get me from school.
Due to protocol, the office workers obviously did not comply with what the woman was demanding. When one of the workers said they would call my home to get permission to release me (a ruse of course, she was going to and did call the police), the woman responded by saying “That beautiful baby boy only has me. He only has me and you’re trying to keep him from me. I don’t know what that beautiful child ever did to you to deserve such horrible treatment. All he wants is me, and you’re keeping him from me. He’s such a beautiful perfect baby boy and you want to hurt him! Shame on you!” and hurried out of the school with tears running down her face.
After the incident at the school, I wasn’t allowed to walk home alone, and I was asked regularly if I was approached by any strangers, to which I could honestly say I hadn’t been. About a year after that, we began getting phone calls. They were your typical creepy calls, with someone just breathing on the other end of the line then hanging up. Some days we’d get thirty calls, others we’d get only one. Eventually, my grandpa had our number changed, but that only quelled the issue for about two weeks before the calls began again.
The day after my 13th birthday, my mom and grandparents sat me down and said they had to tell me something. They explained that every year on my birthday, I would receive a card in the mail, it would come with no return address, but as the years went on, the messages inside the birthday cards became increasingly bizarre. By that point, my family felt that I was mature enough to know, and that I had a right to read the letters, which they had copied before they were given to the police. I won’t regale the letters in their entirety, but here are some highlights:
The very first letter, from my first birthday, was just a generic birthday card with the message “To the most beautiful baby boy in the entire world. Love, your real mommy.”
By the time I was six, they’d gotten a bit more direct. “My beautiful, perfect baby boy, I miss you and I love you so much, and I am so, SO angry that they’re keeping you away from me. I love you more than life itself, sweetheart. You are mine.”
I opened the letter I’d gotten the day prior, on my 13th birthday. Another basic birthday card, but by this point the messages were overtly threatening. “Have a wonderful birthday, my beautiful, perfect, amazing baby boy. They will regret keeping us apart. I know you want to be with me and I know I need to be with you. We are supposed to be together, I’m your REAl mother. I love you. I love you way more than the fakes you live with now. They will regret ever stealing you from me.” That letter too was taken to the police, but as per usual there wasn’t much to be done.
Around the time I turned 15 is when things got exponentially creepier. Police and emergency services were called to an apartment building in a very undesirable part of the town in which I live in relation to a tenant having had a heart attack. After they’d done their duties, a different tenant from another floor of the building asked one of the police officers to check on an apartment unit at the end of the hall, because there were awful smells coming from inside. The tenant said they’d complained to the landlord numerous times but nothing had been done as the landlord was largely indifferent to the goings-on of the building.
The officer went to the other floor and noted the smell, and knocked on the door of the one bedroom unit at the end of the hall. The tenant who had brought the smell to the officer’s attention said she’d never actually seen anyone going into or coming out of the unit, and therefore didn’t know if it was a male or female, a single person or a family, or if there were any pets. Deciding the smell was a potential indicator of an issue, the officer forcibly entered the apartment. I remember him telling me that he would’ve bet his own life that he was going to find a dead body in the apartment, but he didn’t.
Upon entering, he found piles of rotten food and other garbage everywhere. The smell seemed to have come from the multiple glasses of spoiled milk and half-eaten plates of eggs, moldy bread and rotten fruit, as well as any number of other pieces of trash that was strewn about the apartment. But that wasn’t nearly the most noteworthy thing about the apartment. What stood out the most was the pictures, the hundreds upon hundreds of pictures that were tacked, taped, and/or stapled to the wall.
I’ve seen photos taken of the scene, and it truly must have been a sight to behold in person. The pictures, which were from both traditional film as well as polaroid cameras, covered every wall in the apartment, in every room. Both sides of cabinet doors, both sides of closet and bedroom doors, even the ceilings throughout the unit were all covered in the pictures. The officer cleared the apartment, and once he knew he was alone, he looked around more closely. In the closet of the bedroom, a pile standing nearly to the overhead shelf, as well as piled on the shelf itself, were notebooks.
The notebooks were filled front and back, cover to cover, with what were essentially ramblings about a “beautiful baby boy” and how he was “going to be reunited” with the author someday. They eventually devolved into blatant threats such as “Everyone who keeps us apart will die. No one will be spared. We will show all of them, all of them who don’t understand us, and we will make them hurt the way they hurt us.” Investigators spent days removing and logging all of the photos off the walls and ceilings, and even longer transcribing all of the notebooks, which, based on infrequent labellings of dates went back to 1989. June 8th, 1989 specifically. My birthday.
They spoke to the landlord, who said he had never actually met the tenant that lived in the apartment at the end of the hall. The tenant had been living there for some time when he bought the building, and he received rent on time, so he saw no point in disturbing them. Original documents with the name and information of the tenant were destroyed in flooding after having been haphazardly kept in a storage unit in the basement of the building, and because the landlord got his rent money on time, he never bothered to have them fill out new copies.
Whilst trying to determine the identity of the tenant, they also worked on identifying the subject of the notebooks and pictures. They were able to put the pictures into a rough sequential order, and found that the main subject of the pictures has been so since birth. The tenant of the apartment had been taking pictures of me from afar since I was brought home from the hospital. Pictures of me playing with my mom and grandparents, playing at school, my yearbook pictures (which was how they eventually identified me, by going to all the schools in the area and eventually finding my middle school, where my sixth grade yearbook photo was recognized), pictures of me sleeping taken through my bedroom window, and all other manner of secretive photos taken of me at any and all junctures of my life.
We were notified, and my mom and grandparents went over the previous incidents that had occured over the years, but were still no closer to finding out who the woman was. After the apartment was discovered, years went by, and it wasn’t until I was 19 that anything else happened. I was at my girlfriend’s house, and we decided to go out for something to eat. Her car was parked in the driveway, and when we went outside, we found that all four of her tires had been gouged open. On the passenger’s side of the car was a message, keyed deeper than I’ve ever seen any scratches on a car.
STAY AWAY HES MY BABY BOY WHORE
The police were called, but they didn’t really have much to go on. My girlfriend and I weren’t very deep into the relationship, and the incident had understandably freaked her out, so for her safety and peace of mind, we decided to break up. Not long after we broke up, I received a letter in the mail.
“Thank you for getting rid of that nasty girl. You know I’m the only woman you need in your life, and that your REAL mother knows best. Now all you have to do if get rid of your fake mom and fake grandma and fake grandpa. I’m your REAL family. Your REAL mom. And you’re my REAL baby boy. Nothing will ever change that. I can’t wait until you come back to me.”
It was taken to the police all that, but of course, nothing was done.
The following year, in the middle of the night, our home security system went off. We got up to see what was going on, and the police showed up very soon after. At our back door, they found evidence of someone tampering with the lock, and in our neighbor’s backyard, where footsteps had led, a butcher knife. On the side of our house was written “FAKES” in red paint. We decided to move after that incident, and nothing else happened until my 21st birthday.
A six-year-old boy was kidnapped on the morning of June 8th, 2010. Around 11pm, reports of two bodies were called in, an adult female and a male child that was immediately identified as the missing boy. The location of the bodies was the backyard of the house we’d moved from about six months prior, and was called in by the husband of the couple that moved in after we left. Along with the bodies was an envelope with one picture from each year of my life up to that point and a letter. Police concluded that the woman had strangled the six-year-old to death and cut her own wrists, bleeding out in the backyard I’d grown up playing in.
The letter stated “This ugly little boy doesn’t even begin to compare to my beautiful baby. But he was close enough. They wouldn’t let me have my baby, and they made me hurt this one. When they moved they took my baby away from me for good. I looked but I couldn’t find them. The fakes. They are fakes and they stole the most beautiful, precious boy this world will ever have. I hope they’re happy. Happy they killed this ugly little boy. I give up. The world is a terrible place, keeping a mother from her boy. And nobody ever tried to help me get him back. I will see them all in hell.”
The boy she’d killed had brown hair and brown eyes like me, and police believed she cut his hair to match the photo of six-year-old me, and also dressed him in the same clothes I’d been wearing in the picture, which they believe she’d stolen from my house years and years earlier. The woman herself was a transient with no work legitimate history to speak of, and in the subsequent investigation, was found to be a prostitute and methamphetamine addict. My mom and grandparents, as well as the office workers present during the incident when I was in second grade, were shown photos of the woman, and said that there was a chance she was the woman they’d seen in the hospital and school, respectively, decades earlier, and accepted that the ravages of time and drug addiction could have altered her appearance considerably.
With this, we thought everything had met its end, albeit a gruesomely tragic one. I’m 28-years-old now, my mom and grandparents are living happy lives, as am I. I’m married, and have a great career. All of this crossed my mind from time to time, but for the most part I’d put it behind me. That is, until I received a letter in the mail last week.
“I tried accepting that the world would never let us be together. That they wanted you to stay with your fake family, and now with your whore. But I know thats not true baby. You’re my beautiful, perfect baby boy, and I know you better than anyone knows you, and I know you need to be with me. I see you every day living your fake life and I know it’s not what you really want. I know your whole life you’ve been told that those fakes are your family, and that they are who you should love, but they are WRONG. I am who you need to love. You are MY BOY. We will be together. No matter what. I promise. I promise I will never let you go. I love you.”
I took the letter to the police, but as always, there’s only so much they can do. Since I learned what was going on, that I was being stalked, I’ve often wondered why I was chosen by this woman to be the object of her bizarre affection. What I do know is that I need to protect my mom, grandma, grandpa, and wife.
I’ve been pursued by this woman since moments after I came into this world. I don’t think I’ll ever know why.
Categories: Nick Botic Original Story