FOR WOMEN ONLY : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

"All the time I was locked in the trunk, I could hear him yelling from the driver's seat about what he was going to do to me."

Kate Petit's car sputtered to a stop on the interstate highway between Lake Kissimmee and Tampa, where she lives alone in a nicely groomed but older condominium development on the established side of town.

"You know, I have never made that drive to the lake without worrying somewhere along the way about the risk of having a flat tir or breaking down and being stranded on the side of the road, alone."

Kate was stranded, all right. What looked to her like a mixture of smoke and steam was pouring out the top, bottom, and sides of the engine compartment. She knew it was safer to stay in the care with the windows and doors secured, but sitting in a burning car, to her thinking, was by far the most dangerous thing she could do, so she grabbed her purse and took up a position at the side of the road at a conservative distance from the car's gas tank.

"I didn't know what to expect next. You just hear so many stranded-women-on-the-highway stories that I became short of breath and nervous as soon as the car took its final gasp and I pulled to a stop on the shoulder of the road. Just being stopped on the highway after going sixty miles an hour for the last half-hour is unnerving enough, but with the car burning and all those cars whizzing by shaking the ground, I just hoped - well, maybe prayed - that a state highway patrol car would pull up and some yes-ma'am-type trooper would tell me not to worry adn take me home."

The car that stopped was not a highway patrol car, and Kate tried to reason with herself that anyone stopping, short of an actual policeman, could be more of a problem than her stalled car, but she knew she couldn't stand there all day. So she greeted the well-dressed, middle-aged good samaritan with enthusiasm for his assistance, and grinned a big hello with an audible sigh of relief.

"I had to size up the situation in a hurry," said Kate. "Here was this respectable-looking gentlemen who stopped an expensive-looking car on the highway and backed all the way up in front of me and my burning car. I didn't have much choice except to ask him for help."

Kate was right. She had no choice. After being polite and sympathetic, the man took a knife from the inside pocket of hhis suit coat and pressed it sharply into Kate's ribs, telling her that if she didn't cooperate he would push the knife into her heart.

"He slit a tear in my blouse and I felt the knife cut me. I was absolutely numb. All of a sudden there was no more traffic noise, or even a fear of being stuck on the highway, or any concern for my car," explained Kate. "I was this man's prisoner."

Kate was ordered into the trunk of the man's car. She had no choice. She got in the trunk. The man drove with Kate in the trunk for what Kate guessed to be a half-hour. The last few minutes were on an unpaved road; then the car stopped and the engine was turned off. During the entire time, the man yelled back obscenities to Kate in the trunk. She wouldn't respond when he demanded to know if she could hear him, so he yelled louder and got more obscene. When the car stopped, Kate recalls vividly the sound of the key in the trunk lock.

By the time she heard that sound, Kate had repositioned herself so that she was lying on her back, her feet tucked up under her, and her knees pushing hard up against the inside of the license-plate wall. Kate's head was jammed up against the back seat, and she hoped the overhang wouldnn't obstruct a clear view of him when he opened the trunk. She knew he would have his knife out - that was the only thing she was really sure of.

Kate doesn't remember when the man stopped yelling at her in the trunk, andn doesn't remember what he said as he opened the trunk. All she remembers is the flood of daylight momentarily blinding her when the trunk lid popped and an almost slow-motion sight of the bullet holes being made in the man's chest by the .38-caliber revolver she took out of her purse.

She had planned to shoot every bullet in her gun at the man when the trunk opened, but after three shots he slumped into the trunk on top of her, dead.

"The nightmare was over, but when he fell on me, bleeding, I became so frightened I thought I was suffocating. I gashed my head on the lid as I got out of the trunk. It was so horrible having him lie on top of me, dead like that. When I got out of the trunk, I forced his legs in beside him and slammed the lid. I went over to a tree and threw up."

"You know, I have carried that gun for years in my purse when I drive along or have to go into areas of town I think are unsafe. It's funny, but all those years I never really thought about actually shooting someone, much less killing anyone...

The police investigation revealedd that the dead man was a twice-convicted felon who had previously been found guilty of eleven counts of sexual assault, including sodomy, child molestation, and rape. He had served prison sentences in another state at various times for a number of convictions. At the time he picked up Kate onthe highway, he was out on parole for good prison behavior after having served only twenty-two months for raping a woman and her twelve-year-old daughter.

From Armed & Female (1989), by Paxton Quigley, St. Martin's Press.

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), January 23, 1999


...and Justice for all.

-- (, January 23, 1999.

hey when I first started reading this I thought they were talking about Declan.

-- a (a@a.a), January 23, 1999.

In the past nine months I have watched myself changing from being very anti guns to cheering when my husband purchased his first gun. I have never touched a gun but now I will be going to target practice. I see this as not a choice. What else can a woman and mother realistically do?

-- woman (, January 23, 1999.

Yes, Yes, YES, Congrat s Ms, The World is a safer Place and you are Great, :), Thank you for sharing this

-- F. Marion (, January 23, 1999.

So Blue, you sell guns for women only or somethin'? ;-)

That's why I never leave home without my well loaded, fully automatic, one push button mobile phone.

-- Chris (, January 23, 1999.

Thanks, Blue. This reminds me of a story that I read in our NRA journal, The Rifleman, right around the time of the Luby's killings in Texas. One of the women in Luby's at the time was a sharpshooter, but because Texas did not have a concealed carry law at the time, she had to leave her gun in her car instead of carrying it into Luby's, where she was meeting her parents for lunch. While the gunman walked through Luby's, brutally shooting people left and right, the woman was only thinking how she could have taken him out with one shot. He ended up shooting and killing both of her parents.


-- jhollander (, January 23, 1999.


what happens between the time you push the button and the time someone responds?

just wonderin' Arlin [who lives in a neighborhood where it takes the cops twenty minutes to get here in the daytime...]

-- Arlin H. Adams (, January 24, 1999.

I have guns in every room of the house and they are loaded. I also carry a gun in my purse and it is loaded too. I also have knives in my trunk and under the seats in my car. Living in the city altered myself of the feeling of safety. I live in the country now but have never broke the habit of being ready.

-- bardou (, January 24, 1999.

Just for the other perspective ...

Thanks for the story Blue, and, believe it or not, I still dont want a gun. It goes against my personal choices (however I do support others right to carry arms -- so no flames please). It also helps to be tall with an ability to lock eyes with someone and, when appropriate, send a non-verbal energetic vibe of Dont even try messing with me!

There are self-defense techniques that every woman should learn. Guns can be knocked down or taken away, so having built-in, back-up personal capabilities is decidedly wise.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 24, 1999.

Obviously Diane your technique didn't work for Kate when she was forced into the trunk! I like Kate's self-defense technique, she wasted his ass, saved the taxpayers a long court trial, saved the taxpayers the cost of either a life time in prison, or the cost of wasting his ass in the electric chair. It spared the taxpayers the long appeal process and it took money out of the lawyers hands. It was truly a win-win thing for all of us. It's one more asshole off the face of the earth, Thanks Kate! I'm going to the shooting range today, it's a beautiful day for polishing the skills.

-- bardou (, January 24, 1999.


The difference between Kate and I, is that Id NEVER climb into a car trunk in the first place. Be it at knife point or gun point. If they kill or shoot me, so be it. I can then go home beyond the other side and Im not afraid of dying. Give me an opening, and the assailant would feel some physical pain, be flipped onto his backside and kicked below the belt, and elsewhere.

There are very few instances, IMHO, that warrant the death penalty, especially when you understand bigger pictures. For repeat sexual offenders, a better deterrent, might be a eunuch penalty, however thats not a popular option among male dominated judicial systems.

Once, in college, I participated in a 24-hour encounter group, which was a way of talking through and sharing very painful moments in ones formative years. After hearing others stories, I realized I had no real problems during my pollyanna childhood. Ill never forget one choked up young man describing how his mother would shut him in an oven, at three years old, and turn the heat on, or about the times when she would drop him from the second story stairs and break his arm. The abuse one receives in childhood could well warp ones attitudes for life, and cause someone to remain unbalanced and looking for revenge. I try, admittedly not always with success, NOT to judge someones actions and reactions until walking a mile in their shoes.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 24, 1999.

Diane: In your scenario, you would be dead because of stupidity, and Kate is alive because she took care of the creep, permanently. I'd rather be alive knowing that I took care of some asshole that can't hurt anyone else, than be dead and have him prey upon another victim.

-- (, January 24, 1999.

Never assume, bardou.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 25, 1999.

Why not Diane, you do it all the time.

-- Bardou (, January 25, 1999.

Since this is a for-women-only thread, I can't comment, I guess. But I can cheer! And I am also rooting for Bardou!! Go, girl!!!!

-- Jack (, January 25, 1999.


what happens between the time you push the button and the time someone responds?"--Arlin

I can make more than one phone call, right? 911, home, taxis, my lawyer, the tow-truck...they're all on one push button. In 20 minutes she could have made lots of calls, and an engine overheating will not blow up the car. She was imprudent to get out of the car to begin with.

Oh I know, I'm an idiot for thinking that. Well there's proof that I do have optimism ;-)

-- Chris (, January 25, 1999.

Ok, I guess I can't say anything either, but I understand both sides of the idea. I'd want the women I know to be able to protect theirselves with either a gun or training in self-defense of some sort. Of course when criminals get out and commit another crime, I'd rather somebody shoot them.

-- Enoch (, January 25, 1999.


After Y2k, a .38 will still function. Will your cell phone?


-- E. Coli (, January 25, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ