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Susan and her children might not be here today if it wasn't for Lynne, Susan's friend and co-worker. When Lynne started noticing bruises, she asked Susan if something was going on at home. Susan lied and said everything was fine. Secretly, Lynne began keeping track of the injuries on her calendar.

Then, one morning when Susan came to work in tears, Lynne took her aside to talk. "She didn't approach me as, 'I know something is going on. I want you to tell me now.' She started out by doing the family thing—she had a family, I had a family. It was one of the things that bonded us," Susan says.

By showing compassion, Lynne got her friend to reveal what was really happening at home. Although Lynne says she wanted to call the police, Susan begged her not to. Instead, they came up with a coded phrase that Susan could tell Lynne if she felt like her life was in danger.

One month before the violent attack that was captured on tape, Susan wrote a letter and hid it in Lynne's desk drawer. The letter read: If anything should happen to me or if I should turn up missing, it is possible my husband was involved in some way. I have been kicked, punched and slapped. I just want my children to know that I stayed because I love them. Please forgive me for the things you have seen in your young life. Know that I would not leave you and live a life without you. Mommy

Susan says she wrote the letter because she was afraid that her husband would kill her and then tell her children that she had run off with another man. "I wanted my children to know how much I loved them," she says.

When Lynne realized how serious Susan's situation was, she says she grew more frantic. "I'd drive by on my lunch hour just to see what I could see…just to make sure she was okay if she didn't show up [at work]," she says.
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FROM: A Mother's Nightmare Captured on Tape Part 2: Her Children Speak Out
Published on January 01, 2006

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