I have been through a violent attack, rape, and stabbing; several cancer battles, and health issues like type 1 diabetes, brain aneurysm, thoracic aortic aneurysm, severe asthma, SMAD4, Cowden's Syndrome, and others.  Childhood violence, and beatings from my psychotic alcoholic father, sexually molested by older neighborhood boys; in addition to domestic violence relationships as an adult.  I'm still standing! I still struggle and am a work in progress, but am determined to work and grow through it all.

Over 25 years ago, I was doing a paper route in the early morning over Labor Day weekend. After the last paper was delivered, it was still dark and early in the morning. I heard heavy footsteps, but assumed it was another of the many joggers I had seen out running. Then the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I knew something felt off. The footsteps grew faster and louder and then I felt like I was bowled over by a freight train. It knocked the wind out of me. My attacker instantly put me in a chokehold and tried to drag me between two businesses, but I put up a hell of a fight and he was winded. He was too strong and succeeded in his mission and then produced a knife. He told me if I did everything he said, he would let me go. While he was trying to catch his breath, he set the knife down and I tried to grab it to throw it over the fence. Because of fear I was too slow and he grabbed the knife and demanded that I take my clothes off. I told him no and he launched into a vicious rape and attack. I knew he wasn’t going to let me go and that I was in the fight of my life. I was a single mother of two kids and thought of them and how their life would be without me. I thought if you are going to try to kill me, you are going to have to earn it! After the rape, he stabbed me several times in the throat and the face. I also received defensive stab wounds and cuts on my arms and hands. When he was aiming straight at my esophagus, I grabbed the knife and pulled up, and he pulled back, slicing to the bone in between my thumb and pointer finger on my dominant hand. I kept fighting to survive, but was also receiving cancer treatments, and was weak from the treatments and the rape and attack / fight. I knew I could not keep going at full steam then I choked on the blood in my mouth, and went limp. He kept looking up at the traffic that was picking up on the avenue, and back down at me. After watching me for a few minutes, he got up and ran from the scene. I waited for a few minutes, but was afraid he might return, so I struggled several times to get up. After falling a few times, I finally stood up, shaking violently. I was in shock and losing a lot of blood. I clumsily stumbled into the street and tried to waive someone down, but after several vehicles drove by, either looking straight ahead ignoring my presence, or looking over but continuing on, I lost all hope and felt my strength waning. I thought I was going to bleed out in the street, but the final car in the long line of cars, stopped. She rushed back to her house to call for help. I was taken to the E.R. and they did the rape exam (which is humiliating and traumatic) before I was whisked off to surgery. I woke up hours later and the surgeon said it was a miracle I survived and my angels were definitely with me that day. I had a torn rotator cuff, and a brachial plexus injury in addition to all the stab wounds and cuts. I have lifelong damage to my jaw, mouth, and face and it is hard to smile, chew, swallow, and I cannot feel a kiss from my grandkids. I also have nerve damage to one arm and when anyone touches it or hugs me, I get an extremely painful electric like shock shooting through it.

After the attack I thought it was over and I was so wrong. Then the nightmares, PTSD, excruciating pain, paranoia, difficulty doing anything with my injured hands, and other issues reared their ugly heads. Then there was dealing with the court of public opinion (why was she out that early, why was she wearing shorts, etc.), victim shaming / blaming (you need to get over it, stop playing the victim, etc.), self-doubt and hatred, struggle with my faith, the could haves, should haves, would haves, and watching my loved ones dealing with their trauma. It was so overwhelming and I made a half-hearted suicide attempt. I did not want to die, especially after fighting so hard to survive, I just wanted the pain to end. I went down to the police station to go over everything for what seemed the hundredth time and had to step out of the room when I got overwhelmed. I overheard the detectives saying my affect was flat and I wasn’t acting like someone who had just been through a traumatic event. I was so livid and thought, “Are you kidding me? Is there a handbook on how to act?” As a child, I had endured so many beatings at the hands of my psychotic alcoholic father, had been sexually molested, endured school bullies, and had gone through several domestic violence relationships as an adult. This attack was just another thing to add to the mix. This only added to my social awkwardness.

A couple of months later a young beautiful 18-year-old woman was murdered and I felt a connection to that crime. The detectives said it was two different MOs and they were not related at all. Both crimes were unsolved until the monster came forward and confessed nineteen years later. They let him go while they investigated to make sure he was truly the perpetrator. During that time, he went to Spokane and committed other crimes. The DNA matched in my case as well as another woman he raped 7 days after my attack. She had passed away so they did not charge him for that crime. He was also the one who murdered the beautiful young woman. He received 3 life sentences but only has to serve 10 years on each of the 3 charges for a total of 30 years. He is eligible for parole in 2049.

Years after he went to prison, I received a notification that he had been transferred to another facility and then a few months later that he had been transferred back to the state prison. I watch too many crime shows and panicked. What if he had escaped during transport? I called the Department of Corrections and spoke with an amazing victim liaison and she mentioned the VIP (Victim Impact Panels). She got me into their upcoming conference and trainings and I have been presenting ever since. She was my angel when I needed one and everything was perfect timing.

I began my journey of finding my voice and speaking with inmates as well as other survivors. I do Victim Impact Panels in the prisons to hopefully help the inmates see how it is from the victim's viewpoint and the effects of trauma and how far reaching it is. I, also, am a Survivor Speak member for Jane Doe No More (and they recently added John Doe No More). I am also contemplating volunteering at the YWCA to work with victims of domestic violence and other crimes. It has been so healing for me to know how it impacts and helps others. I realized I was so focused on what I had been through and had overlooked that I had been given the wonderful gift of a second chance at life. I no longer wanted to waste that time; that I could pay it forward and use it for good. Most of the panels I have done, at least one inmate comments on how badass I am, and that makes me feel stronger and blessed. I am also writing a book, which has been extremely healing to put it all into words.  I am living on God’s strength and know he is the reason I am still here. 

I am truly blessed to be a part of this amazing tribe! Thank you for all you do to lift up and support all of us badass warriors! (Lol, that sounds like I am describing a bra!)  I AM is my favorite collection because it is affirmation that I am all of the positive things listed. I struggled with Imposter Syndrome as well as survivor's guilt during most of my rape/attempted deliberate homicide journey and kept thinking I wasn't strong like people told me I was. I now know that narrative is no longer needed nor valid. Thank you so much for the positive message I so needed!


Here are a couple articles written about the cold case: 




Tammy said:

Wowza sister! You are a warrior! So happy for you that you found this site for support. We all have your 6 girl! Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Much love BD sister

Maxine Mougeot said:

My dear friend Julia. I am so humbled to have you in my life. You bring love to all who know you. Hugs and love.

Nicole Gleason said:

Your story is something that no human being should ever go through. How you handle it is so inspiring! It’s terrible that people were able to make you feel so low, so it’s wonderful how you turned it around and are now using your life story to help others. Hearing your story pushes me to be better and to try to use my story in a positive way. Life is so full of ups and downs and I don’t want to let it take me out of enjoying my life. Your story says that I need to persevere. Progress not Perfection! You are a total Badass!!! Thanks for sharing!

Colette Pelletier said:

Honestly Julia, reading your story I was brought to tears. I don’t know how you survived all this but God has a plan for you. You are doing it. Just keep going, stay strong and you are a Angel Woman. You are volunteering to speak to inmates and write a book. Yes don’t stop doing what you are doing. I can’t even imagine what you and the victims’ families have been through. I believe in Kharma and God. The monster that did this will face Him one day. Keep doing your public speaking. You are helping more people than you know. You are a Beautiful Disaster!

Lisa Gough said:

I’m so sorry for the terrible experiences that you had to endure in your lifetime. You’re definitely a warrior and I love that you are able to overcome and help others through your same struggles and you are the Angel in this story. Would love to read your book!

Bridget said:

I cannot express how humbled I am by your strength and perseverance. I am in awe of how you overcame those horrendous situations. You are not only a warrior in the fallen world you are a conqueror! May God continue to bless you and your endeavors.

Teri said:

I cannot even phathom what you had to endure during your childhood & the vicious attack you went through. You fought to survive, literally, and you are now so much stronger because if it.
It breaks my heart that the police stated that you did not “act” like you went through a traumatic attack. How is one supposed to act & how do they know?
You took some horrific & are making something positive out of it by your participation in Victim Impact Panel
& other forms of public speaking.
You are one amazing woman!!! 👏 Please know that I am sending my love & hugs to you. You inspired me through your story. I pray that you continue your heroic life in peace.

Tyler ann said:

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy to be a part of this tribe with so many strong women like you. ❤️

Tiffany said:

I look up to you for your strength and courage!!! I’m going through a trial now with my soon to be ex husband. He strangled me broke my feet I have a scare across my face, fractured ribs and a brain bleed. He almost killed me if I wasn’t able to make an escape I wouldn’t be here right now. I face challenges now from it but I’m making the best out of it that I can. There’s to many women that have lost there voice and courage to fight for themselves. I give you props for talking to others about your story that definitely takes a lot of courage!!! I hope all the best for you

Lindsay Covington-Wescott said:

Wow u are an amazing woman! Cheers 🍻 to u for getting through it all!

Kelli said:

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was sexually assaulted 3 times before I turned 19. To this day, I have never told anyone. I feel guilty because I did not stop it. I worry that God won’t accept me into Heaven. I am 65 and pretty much a hermit. I feel awkward in crowds. I am trying to change that.

Kellie Legere said:

I’m so so very sorry you had to go through any of that nevermind it all! You are amazing and living proof that there are still people out there who do care!! Thank you for your story and God bless💚🍀💚🍀💚

Rachel Cavanah said:

U have an amazing voice! I wished I could have been heard. Thank you for sharing your story!💔💕💕💕

Allie said:

Your story of strength and resilience is Amazing!! I hope that you continue to tell your story to help other victims out there to find their own voice and strength!! I like you am a beautiful disaster due to abuse and violence!!

Kristi Erickson said:

God Bless you Julia. You are amazing! You are doing wonderful work and are a blessing to many others. Thank you for sharing. This Tribe loves you.

Barb said:

Wonderfully spoken, shared & observed. A truly beautiful woman 💯 whom is an overcomer!! God bless YOU AND YOURS💖Bless THIS BEAUTIFUL TRIBE OF OVERCOMERS, as well as all those behind the scenes and to the Original Beautiful Disaster herself, AMEN & AMEN Well displayed and a beautiful Portrait(s) of hope, strength and Faith. Absolutely beautiful abundantly overflowing blessings to YOU+ MORE ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💞✨️💞❤️‍🔥💞❤️‍🔥💞❤️‍🔥💞❤️‍🔥💞💜

Kristi Zespy said:

The sheer will to live and strive through it all you are a true inspiration to us all and the strength you have is mind blowing, you are my hero.

Laurie Broome said:

Wow, just wow. We’ve all been through horrible stuff. That’s why we found this place.
You my dear have been through so much more.
And have so much to give to others through all of your journey of lessons. I hope you keep the healing road forward for yourself. But know that anyone that steps in your path that needs your help will be blessed knowing they are not alone. .

Kat said:

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am a survivor of childhood sexual and mental abuse. I just got out of a 42 year marriage with an extreme taker who mentally abused me for years. Your story resonates with my Heart. Bless you.

Faye Renna said:

Thank you for your testimony 🫶🏻🫶🏻
Beautiful inside and out!

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March 21, 2024