Getting paid to travel. It was a dream job for an ambitious young woman like Kate Jewell, becoming a flight attendant for American Airlines.
The planes that looked like massive silver bullets with a red stripe down the side took passengers all over the country and all over the world.
It was 1970, back when it was more common to see a three piece suit than a sweat suit at the airport. Pilots were idolized and flight attendants, in their neat and tidy uniforms, were the stuff of teenage fantasies.
Kate traveled the world for more than a decade.
And she was still traveling when, at 38, she booked an appointment with a highly recommended naturopathic doctor, John Brendan.
Their connection was immediate. The romantic doctor would surprise her with flowers and dote on Kate day and night. He was a little compulsive, a little obsessive, but that was part of his charm. It was part of what made him such a great doctor and such an impressive man.
Kate and John moved in together, living in a little country house in Gold Beach, Oregon just up the coast from California. They enjoyed gardening together and taking care of their little piece of heaven.
But, there was another side to the charming doctor, a jealousy that he couldn’t keep at bay, especially when he started drinking.
It was a secret that Kate kept from her friends and family for years, until she couldn’t any longer.
In May of 1999, Kate was out working in the garden on a hot spring day when John asked her to take a break and come inside. But instead of a cool drink, John pulled out a knife.
He tied Kate to a chair, beat her and raped her for hours.
He told her he was going to cut her into pieces then dump her dismembered body into the sea.
It was John’s obsessive compulsive habits that gave Kate the break she needed. When he left to use the bathroom she made a daring escape, jumping out of a second story window and running, naked, through the brush to her neighbor’s house to call 9-1-1.
The cops are put on alert. John is wanted for assault, rape and attempted murder.
But, the charismatic doctor has vanished, and Kate is left wondering: Will he be back to try again?
She isn’t willing to wait to find out. She’d heard about a little hamlet called Orcas Island, just to the north, in Puget Sound. A place where nobody had ever been murdered, where Kate could create a new identity, leaving her old life, and her violent ex behind her. If only it were that easy…