On a domestic violence shelter counselor’s advice, I purchased and read The Sociopath Next Door. She was right, the book explained everything.
I had been grappling with how I could be fairly intelligent and yet have been so thoroughly fooled, entering into a relationship and then marriage with someone I’d known since elemntary school who’s intent – from the onset – was to do me harm, and that while being conned, I might have overlooked harm done by the same man to others, perhaps grievous harm.
In the early hours of an Easter Saturday morn, he’d come home doused with pepper spray, with a tiny stab wound in his leg. While showering the pepper spray out of his eyes, he howled out an explanation of how he’d been carjacked by two big black men, who drove his van a few suburbs away and then let him go, letting him keep not only his vehicle, but his wallet and everything that was in it. He didn’t want to call the police, and that should have sent off warning bells, but it didn’t. Not only did I buy his story, family and friends bought it, too.
Police officers didn’t buy it when I was reporting other suspicions, although some later pretended to. One retired officer – a personal friend – said something close to, “God, Susie, he probably raped someone, maybe killed her.” I still hold out hope that my friend was wrong, but fear he’s right. It wouldn’t take much to find out. There are ER records that would fill in the blank … I know which hospital, I know Easter Saturday, but I don’t know what year … my memory doesn’t work well, a common side affect of the epilepsy medication I take.
While Melbourne, Florida police had compelling reasons to get in touch with Detroit counterparts and obtain the year from the hospital, they refused to. Detroit cold case officers were polite to me over the phone, but said they couldn’t obtain the hospital records. If memory serves, one of them directed me to the Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy.
Ms. Worthy didn’t answer my letters, even though it may have afforded her the opportunity to solve an aging case. Or two. There was another incident where the con man came home with the driver’s side of his van smashed in. He explained that an old guy – again black – driving an old Cadillac had crashed into him, and that the guy didn’t have insurance. The con man had insurance, and could have had the damage fixed. But he didn’t. And he wouldn’t drive the van, although there was apparently no frame or engine damage. He pulled it far up into the yard, and then sold it to a mutual friend. Again, everyone bought his story. Except the cops that I told it to.
I recently read through the police report I filed, reliving the nightmare of finding out I was arsenic toxic. It’s one thing to have threats leveled at you and harbor suspicions about unexplained long term illness, and quite another to hold a lab report in your hands with just one elevated heavy metal level toxin. If obtaining the report hadn’t been delayed by the oafish Melbourne detective, the level would likely had been much higher – I’d fled the threats months earlier, and was already feeling better than I had for years.
The lab misspelled what was then my last name, Schoof, not Schoot. The handwritten number at the top is the investigation number assigned by the Melbourne Police Department.
The Melbourne PD asked for supplementary evidence, and I provided it. They discarded it. They didn’t tie in a 911 call to their investigation, nor did they tie in a directly related arrest by the Palm Bay Police Department. When I contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about these problems, they allowed the Melbourne PD to investigate its own work and, of course, find it flawless. At the time, the Melbourne PD had been undergoing internal, state and federal investigations, which eventually led to chief Keith Chandler’s resignation. His replacement, Don Carey, was every bit as callous and unprofessional. The local state attorneys office, under Norm Wolfinger, refused to help. So did the state attorneys office where I’d fled to, under Bruce Colton. Jeb Bush wouldn’t help; Charlie Crist wouldn’t help; there is no sense approaching Rick Scott for help … I’m not a Koch brother. The FBI wouldn’t help.
Motown – my hometown – could have stepped up and got me out from under whatever nonsense was going on that abruptly closed the investigation before it even got started. But Kym Worthy is not a step up prosecutor, she’s a step on prosecutor.
One of the unfortunates she’s stepping on is Davontae Sanford, from whom the Detroit Police Department coerced a ridiculously false confession to a quadruple homicide in 2007. Davontae was 14 at the time. He’s blind in one eye, and developmentally delayed. In 2008, admitted “Hit Man” Vincent Smothers confessed to playing a role in those four homicides and eight others, clearing Davontae. Smothers was charged with and convicted of all but the four homicides that Davontae was already serving time for.
Smothers is still trying to free Davontae. Worthy is still doing everything she can to keep Davontae behind bars, knowing he’s innocent.
There’s many other matter that show Kym Worthy for what she is – one is her throwing the book at Kelly Michael Brady.
Brady had committed a homicide twenty years earlier in Wayne County, and despite turning his life around, and despite their being no incarcerated innocent to free, and despite his never being a suspect, Brady turned himself in – right here in St Lucie County – where I now reside. His confession gave answers to his victim’s family, and closed a homicide case in a county with a abysmal record of closing cases, but Kym Worthy saw it as an press opportunity to be played to the max. Brady was sentenced to 30 to 60 years, making it bloody unlikely that others will come forward to clear their consciences and give their victim’s families peace.
When actual killers like Vincent Smothers and Kelly Michael Brady display more heart, soul and honor than police, prosecutors and judges, there won’t be much hope for our justice system until people start acting in concert to right all the wrongs being done by our public servants.
In that spirit, please sign this petition to free Davontae. Enough pressure on Kym Worthy may make her resign, and that would be a very good thing for Wayne County, and the city of Detroit. It may even be a good thing for me … although I no longer will allow myself to feel personally responsible for what may have happened on an Easter Saturday long ago, I know my heart would feel much lighter if an ethical prosecutor looked into what may have actually happened. I hold out hope that there’s no connection, but I also once also held out hope of not being arsenic toxic, too.