The decision to write this has been a difficult one, what with the hundreds of hours spent putting it into words, anticipatory for the world to read. The decades I have suffered, including the eleven years spent behind prison walls, pales beside the last two-plus years of my writing and re-writing this account of my life; of the countless hours of introspection and self-examination, of the tears, anguish, guilt, angst, depression and years of suicidal thoughts. There just seems to be no end…
For some thirty-five plus years of my life I was a peeping tom. I violated the privacy of tens of hundreds of women. I spent more time pursuing this obsession than many spend working for a living. Though it has been thirty years since I last peeped upon a woman, the weight of this perversity still haunts me.
It occurs to me that in all of the years of my obsessions, I not only violated the rights of women I did not know, but all of the women in my family; my wife and all the women in her family, my Mom and my Grandmothers and all of my Aunts and all the women in their families. I was an offense to these women and all of womankind, just as though I had deliberately sought out each to gawk at them as well.
My early childhood years, especially those spent in Middle River, Maryland, were an absolute delight. They are years of precious memories for me, memories that always bring a smile of warmth to my heart.
The road that led to our home was about a mile in length, surrounded on either side by grand tall oaks. Its name was Weber Avenue, so named because of the family that had owned all of the property and the homes, including ours. They were the Weber family.
Their magnificent two-story home sat as the focal point of the estate. It was nestled near the center of the property, surrounded by plush green rolling grass, magnificent trees and carefully maintained shrubs and flowers.
Middle River itself was only a hundred feet from their home, giving the illusion that it was only there to accommodate their 70-foot ocean-going sail yacht docked at their pier.
The only dark memories of that time began when I was seven years old. You see, I was born without a right ear and eardrum. Mom and Dad thought I should have re-constructive surgery. I realize now that they were only thinking what was best for me. I had actually believed then that they were ashamed of me.
My first surgery was in 1947. One of the downsides of the surgeries was my not being able to play with my friends for about a month or so afterward. And then there was the sheer number of them – thirteen! It is my understanding that they had to be done slowly, over a long span of time, to allow the new grafts time to grow and heal.
This all ended when I was about 14 years of age. Dad, Mom and I agreed there would be no more surgeries. I had quite enough and was not then concerned with how I appeared to others. It was finally over! No more interrupted summer vacations from school!
There was much for a child my age to do during those early years in Middle River. I rode my bicycle every day. I would make at least one trip up and back on Weber Avenue. It was just right. Not too curvy nor too hilly, and with very little traffic. Oh how I loved that place! I still do. I wish I could return there.
I had a really neat red wagon with wooden sides resembling three-tiered fencing. I remember my Grams siting in it while I proudly gave her a “tour of our estate.” I believe she enjoyed that as much as I.
During the winter months our home was heated with pot-bellied cast-iron wood-burning stoves. There was a small one in my bedroom. I still remember lying there at night while dozing off, my senses alive with the wondrous sounds and smells of crackling wood as it gave off its warmth. A night light was unnecessary. The stove glowed cherry-red in the otherwise dark room.
The winter months left me smack in the middle of another surgery behind, and that of the one yet ahead. It was a reprieve, and when the weather cooperated, as I recall it did just once, the river froze over. This meant ice skating, a passion of mine in those wonderful early years. I loved this as much as riding my bike during the warmer months.
That winter we kids got together and created an ice ramp from the top of the bank down to the river. We nurtured it with water and packed snow and ice in such an ingenious way as would have made the Olympians proud!
We each took our turns belly-flopping down that ramp on our sleds, often finding ourselves gliding all the way to the other side of the river, a considerable half-mile venture! Oh, if it were only possible to return to those joyous times.
I recall a proud possession of my Dad, a beautiful black 1927 Chrysler Coupe. I particularly remember a trip that we took to my gram’s house in Guilford, a highly residential neighborhood in northern Baltimore County.
On that day it had decided to snow. It was heavy and wet, making driving conditions a bit challenging. Not for old “Betsy,” though. That’s what Dad had affectionately nick-named his car.
We had crossed Falls Road, traveling on West Cold Spring Lane toward Roland Avenue. At that time the road was quite steep. Because of the snow and ice, as we made our way to the top of the grade, the other cars were spinning off to the side of the road.
Ol’ Betsy? Why, she just kept putt-putt-putting along, passing all the disabled, much newer and more expensive automobiles!
This prompted Dad to toot the horn proudly as we made our way up the steep grade.
O-o-o-o-ga! was the distinctive sound of Betsy’s classic personality. People shook their fists at her as she continued on unabashed by her critics.
My Teen Years
It was during my early teen years when events took a turn on a one-way street. I was heading in a direction opposite the flow of traffic, and I am ashamed to say this has been true of nearly my entire life.
My early years brought me in much contact with my Aunt Joyce. We were six months apart in age, Joyce being the younger. We were really close and enjoyed much of our growing-up years together.
Much of our times together found us engaged in an activity usually only found among adults: Cunnilingus. We were about seven years of age when this began and it continued all the way to the age of 17. To this day, I still find it a mystery as to where we had learned of such a thing during those “innocent” years of the 1940’s.
Joyce got married when she was 17 and she put a stop to this activity. It was during all of these early years that I became more and more preoccupied and obsessed with masturbation. All of this then, cunnilingus and masturbation, led to peeping at women. I had even peeped at my own mother and grandmother!
I recall having gone with my mom when she went to see a doctor at the Medical Arts Building in downtown Baltimore City, Cathedral and Reed Streets. I was about 7 or 8 years of age.
As we were leaving the doctor’s office, I told mom that I needed to go to the bathroom. She took me to a bathroom marked for women. I remember being in a cubicle when I heard a woman’s distinctive “musical tinkling” to my left, a sound that still excites me, even to this day.
There were slats in the cubicle door that enabled me to see the women as they walked by, washing their hands and chatting. They were unable to see me. This, too, excited me.
I could hear them talking and laughing, and I could hear the sounds of one or more of them peeing. I was so excited! I found myself not wanting to leave, all the while engaged in heated masturbation!
This was the beginning of a life-long, ugly, downhill obsession that only ended because I became physically incapable of sneaking into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.
For some thirty-five years I spent hours, days, weeks, months and thousands of miles desperately seeking ways to peep at women! I also often satisfied my evil perversions while peeping into the windows of people’s homes.
So obsessed was I that I literally spent more time invading the privacy of innocent women than most people spend working for a living. During the thirty-one years of my marriage to my wife, Joy, the longest I ever worked for any one company was two years, and never with my heart in it. My mind was always elsewhere, forever preoccupied…
The release from this stranglehold, this obsession, clearly is the result of my no longer being physically capable of such disgusting behavior. It has now been about thirty years since I last entered a woman’s locker room or toilet facility. The prevailing question being, were I capable, would I still be preying on innocent women?
I suspect I would. At 79 years of age I still visit porn sites. My only progress appears to be in my trading innocent unsuspecting victims with that of women who get paid to expose themselves. Where, really, is there any change?
It was when I was about 12 years of age when we moved to Cook’s Lane in Ellicott City, Maryland. My Mom had been hired to work for Cook’s Florist. We shared a huge two-story home with the Cook family. This was part of Mom’s pay. It was an ideal job for Mom, for she loved flowers.
Cooks Lane was a great place to live. The property was huge and a wonderful place for a twelve-year-old boy to play. There were lots of kids my age. Cook’s Lane was much like Weber Avenue, in that it was about a mile in length, with very little traffic.
We had been living there for about two years when something very peculiar occurred. Mom began coming home each and every night in tears. Each night seemed worse than the night before. The tears escalated to sobbing and hysteria!
Apparently, Mr. Cook was very cruel in his approach to “working” with Mom. I don’t believe he ever laid a hand on her, though apparently he frequently attacked her with vicious name-calling, often accusing her of stupidity.
Mom was anything but stupid. But she was very sensitive to what others thought of her. This barrage went on for weeks. Dad never confronted Mr. Cook to set him straight, and so I decided to try my hand at it…
I had a b-b gun. I shot out every window in Mr. Cook’s barn! I ran a pitch fork through one of his chickens! I shot up two of his panel delivery trucks, windshields and all! And now, at age 14, I had added animal cruelty and malicious destruction of property to my growing criminal bent.
Mr. Cook did not report this to the police, but we were forced to move from their property. If memory serves me, we were given one month to get out.
We were quite fortunate. Dad had found a place for us to live in Joppa, in Harford County, Maryland. The house and property was a “fixer-upper,” but livable. The house and nearly two acres of mostly wooded grounds was $7,500 dollars! We moved there in the Spring of 1954.
A new home, filled with the endless possibilities of new chances, a new life, new friends and new horizons. Right? Wrong! As the hormones raged in my body, all hell broke loose! The horribly ugly behavior of voyeurism had begun to rage.
Voyeurism, peeping at women during their most vulnerable times, while I masturbated, grew to an obsession. I became so totally consumed that I found myself taking Greyhound bus trips to places I imagined would offer newer and greater opportunities for one such as I, a peeping tom.
I was without a car until around age 41, and so I either walked, rode my bike, hitch-hiked, took buses, yes, even taxicabs, so that I could prey on unsuspecting women.
This obsession became such a part of me, it was all-consuming. I loved my Mom and Dad and yet there were times when, late at night, I would actually get out of bed, get dressed and sneak out of the house and begin walking with the sole intent of finding a house with a woman inside.
Dressed, undressed, or partially dressed, it did not matter. All that mattered was that she did not know I was there to peep at her, and I would masturbate feverishly until fruition. Then I would return home.
As time progressed, my arrest record grew, ultimately having spent about eleven years of my life behind bars. I can’t recall all the details. I spent about a year at Baltimore City Jail. The charge(s) elude me. I remember having spent about a month or so at Spring Grove State Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. I was also evaluated at Clifton T. Perkins State Hospital. I was there for about a month, as well.
I spent about eight years at Patuxent Institute, Jessup, Maryland. It was an indefinite-sentence psychiatric prison. Before being sent there, I was given a sentence by the court of about two years. Once there, I was evaluated by psychiatric staff.
I was found to fit the criteria of a “Defective Delinquent” and my court-given sentence was suspended and my incarceration became indefinite. I was there from 1965 to 1973, about eight years.
I hated that place, though I eventually began to realize that they were right. Anyone who commits the same crime over and over, particularly of a sexual nature, should be held indefinitely.
Why is this you ask? Well, it was only a short time after my release from there, thirty days or so, and I was right back at peeping again! How is it that I lived without gawking at women all of those eight long years?
Most of my criminal behavior was that of a peeping tom. I often entered the locker rooms and bathrooms of women at various colleges and universities throughout a three-state area.
This behavior also included invading the public rest rooms of women in many hotels. I can’t even begin to guess how many office buildings I frequented, all with the same intent of preying on the privacy of women.
I was sent to The Maryland Correctional Institute, Hagerstown, Maryland, for auto theft. I cannot recall the length of my sentence, but I believe I was there for about two years.
There has been little to nothing in my life of a positive contribution to anyone, certainly not that of my wife, my Mom and Dad, nor my family. My life has been one giant cesspool!
Now, given the circumstances of my life, there are many who would insist that “life is what you make it.” Each of us possess the capacity for change, we are told.
We are given minds with extraordinary capabilities, enabling each of us the capacity to re-evaluate and recognize what has led us down a wrong path, and then do an about face.
“Free will” is an alleged capacity which enables each of us to choose to move in a more positive direction in our lives, a direction of change, of betterment, of hope.
Oh, really. Is life indeed that simple? Then how do we explain all the horrendous things that happen to good people?
What explains war? It is my understanding there has not been peace on this planet, since man began recording history, with the exception of a hundred-year span. What accounts for that?
What explains the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Saddam Hussein, and Leonid Brezhnev? Monsters, all.
What explains Prescott Bush, the father of George H. W and the grandfather of George W? Prescott had owned a bank in New York City. He was found guilty of using large sums of money from that institution for the explicit purposes of funding Adolph Hitler’s extermination of Jews! All this, while enjoying the fruits of living here in the good old U.S. of A!
What of someone like Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed and then ate pieces of his victims? Is this behavior explained and understood as that of choices he made, of his choosing such aberrant and inexplicable behavior?
How do we explain, in the richest nation on earth, approximately twenty million women, children and men desperately seeking transitional housing or an emergency shelter?
What explains our obsession with placing far greater value on “green toilet paper,” commonly referred to as money, than human lives?
What explains the horrors of rape, murder, child molestation, and women throwing their babies into trash dumpsters? How do you explain incest? And what of a 6-year-old boy taking his Dad’s gun to school and shooting a 4-year-old girl to death?
To what do we attribute all the alleged shootings that have occurred in schools and colleges in our recent memories? Evening news has every atrocity imaginable, to the extent that it cannot possibly be considered news any more.
How do we explain half the world’s population, approximately three and a half billion women, children and men, in abject poverty and starvation, without running water or sewage, food or a place to live? Are we to assume that all these people chose their circumstances?
Can life be reduced to that of simple choices, choices devoid of any outside forces of nature, illnesses, genetics, unforeseen or inexplicable circumstances?
What plausible explanation can we offer for only 3 percent of the world’s population without any financial concerns? The other 97 percent of us? Do we choose a mediocre existence, usually just two to three paychecks away from living on the streets?
What explains half the population of the United States, one out of every two people, approximately 160 million souls, now living within the clutches of poverty? Do we choose these circumstances, all of this within the boundaries of what is reputed to be the freest and most wealthy nation on earth?
What explains some forty million people in “free America” without health insurance? How do we explain about 190 thousand people a year killed by “legal” drugs, even when taken as prescribed? Thirty-five thousand die every year from Tylenol alone!
Additionally, with all the noise and hype about illegal drugs, how do we explain the huge chasm between those that die under the hands of doctors, hospital staff and prescription “medicines,” approximately 190,000 yearly, and those that die by “illegal drugs,” ten to twenty thousand a year, and the consequent silence by “authorities and the news media”?
What explains there being more people killed by doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutics in the United States, than by Cancer and heart disease combined?
Curiously, how do we rationalize the incessant news media’s portrayal of us as perpetrators, rather than victims?
What explains one out of every two marriages ending in divorce? How are we to understand one out of every four women being beaten or killed by their boyfriends or husbands?
Even further, what explanation can there possibly be for one out of every two women being beaten or killed by their boyfriends or husbands who just happen to be cops, law-enforcement officers, peace officers?
What explains political corruption? How do we explain rampant corporate greed, such as we see all about us, as within the pharmaceutical and so-called “health care” industries, just to mention two?
As I see it, life is essentially one huge cesspool, with occasional pleasantries thrown in to give some semblance of sanity and forbearance.
Is “free will” a reality, or is it simply an egotistical fabrication of man’s mind?
Let us pause for a moment and examine the notion that we possess “free will,” that we indeed do possess the capacity to freely choose activities that turn us away from self-destructive and aberrant behaviors.
The Bible would have us believe that we are each born dead in sin and trespasses. Rather, let us consider that sin is mere fiction and plays no part in our lives. This being our reality, then we are even more despicably evil than what the Bible would have us believe, and we are without excuses!
Look around you. All of the horrors of this world, the murders, rapes, child molestation, sexual assaults and slaughter of women, rampant wars, a government who claims the “right to rule us,” appear only as the manifestation and realization of congenital evil: sin.
There are so many factors in life of which we are unaware. How can we be so adamantly and arrogantly certain that there are always simplistic choices we can make that will produce positive changes in our lives?
Is it inconceivable that the multitude and variances of behaviors we make, that point us in a positive and healthy direction, are so often countered by those that give the appearance of positive and healthy choices, yet are nonetheless unhealthy and destructive?
I am adamantly convinced that the God of the Universe is grossly evil. I have selectively eliminated both God and the Bible from my life.
Ultimately, it would appear that my behaviors and their consequences are the product or by-product of these “choices.” But, as with the axiom, “appearances can be deceiving…”
Mom had once told me that I was a quiet kid, “a good child,” much unlike that just described. My childhood memories are happy ones.
In retrospect, I had gone from childhood to adulthood, my life having begun quietly, normally, and then exponentially deteriorating over the passage of time.
At 79, I am still addicted to porn and masturbation, and have been for many, many years. It has been, and is, an incessant and arduous struggle.
I have replaced the activity of physically seeking out unsuspecting women to satisfy my masturbatory proclivities with that of porn. Innocent, unsuspecting women are replaced with women who are willing to expose themselves for big bucks!
My fascination with porn, it would appear, has replaced my propensity for peeping. I am very pleased that I am no longer a criminal bent on the violation and invasion of the rights of women to their privacy.
Where, however, is there any progress? Am I not now still contributing to the effacing of all the wondrous and marvelous spiritual and existential components of womanhood? I am still a criminal by my active participation in a criminal system that perpetuates the false premise that women are sex objects.
Our lives are filled with ultimatums. They are sometimes achieved through a labyrinth of complex inductive and deductive reasoning, though more often through simplistic snap decisions, based on little more than “gut feelings and instinct.”
It is difficult for me to believe, after all these years of painful introspection and self examination and guilt, that it was ever possible for me to do an about-face. If so, why haven’t I? So I am now left with a terrible feeling of emptiness.
Had mom or dad caught my aunt Joyce and I in the act of Cunnilingus, and severely punished me, would it have changed one iota of a thing, and would I then have continued on to enjoy a happy, normal and fulfilled life?
Again, it was just thirty days after my release from an eight-year stint at Patuxent Institute, with “therapy” twice weekly, and I was right back at it again, peeping, doing the very same things that got me arrested in the first place!
How am I to understand how it is that I was unable to peep for eight years? And where, in all this, is the idea of free will?
Very often while actually in the throes of peeping, of masturbating, I experienced very intense feelings of dread, fear, shame, self-hatred and guilt, and yet I did it irregardless!
All during those times I knew full well that what I was doing was wrong. I also dreaded and feared apprehension and incarceration, and yet I still did it!
My very worst fear now, however, is that of knowing I could die and my life had all been for naught. I would leave this life knowing I had not left anything to the honor of my wife, mom and dad and family...
Hell to me is the knowledge that I could quite possibly die knowing, at that instant, that I had achieved nothing more than an offense and disgrace to everyone, my wife, my mom and dad, my family and my friends.
All of the crimes I had committed, all of the tens of hundreds of times I was violating the privacy of women, all of this became a huge ball of self-hate and dread and fear and stress and guilt and shame. I was causing my wife, my mom and dad and other family members great shame, as well as just not being able to understand why my life has been as it has.
For those cumulative individual moments of peeping and masturbating over the decades, I had traded a normal life for a lifetime of anger, bitterness, self-hatred, deceit, lying and imprisonment. Why? Has this all simply been a vast matter of choices?
I had missed the very real joys of friendships, of relationships, an honest, open, loving and healthy relationship with the only woman in this world that I did not deserve, my wife Joy.
As said previously, my life has been one huge cesspool. Given this, if it were indeed possible for me to trade all of this, is it not even remotely conceivable that I would have jumped at the “free-will” opportunity years ago?
Incidentally, for those who believe this writing to be a kind of catharsis, it is indeed not! I still feel just as horrible about myself. Dredging all of this up has certainly not improved the image of myself.
My Wife’s Passing
On the evening of October 13, 2013, I was at our computer. I can’t recall, but I suspect that I was doing what I so often did at the computer: porn.
My wife, Joy, was in bed. Had I had any kind of decency as a husband, I would have been at my wife’s side seeing to her care and needs. Being in bed at such an early time in the evening would have been sufficient alarm to any caring husband that something was wrong.
Joy came into our office and said, “Bill, I am having the worst headache I have ever had.” It was then that I realized she was going to need me to help her back to her bed. She could hardly walk on her own. I helped her back to her bed.
I asked if she wanted me to call 911. Two or three different times she responded by saying no, she did not want to go to the hospital. In retrospect, I should not have listened to her and called that number anyhow. I did not. Instead, I said that if she needed me, to “holler.” I would be at the computer. I then went back to the computer, leaving her alone in her bed.
About a half hour later I went back to see how she was doing. She did not respond. It was then that I called 911. It was too late. She had slipped into a coma and remained in that state until she passed eight days later, October 21, 2013. She had suffered a brain aneurysm as well as a stroke.
She had died alone. Other than medical staff at the University of Maryland Medical Center, I again had not been where a decent husband should have been, at the side of his wife.
This, too, is part of a very long list of indictments that condemn me. Other than this writing of my story, I again can find no redeeming value in my life. It is my fervent wish that this story will be of benefit to others…