In Their Own Words 2
Welcome back to another edition of In Their Own Words. Tonight, we hear the tale of a woman who was forced to spend the night in the company of a rope fetishist, a mother and daughter whose Saturday morning turned out to be far from normal, and a grandmother whose kindness was repaid in an unusual way.
But first, a housewife in Birmingham tells us of how she was forced to tell a burglar where her valuables were kept. Kate begins her story on an autumn evening...
I’d just managed to get Bobby, my baby boy, off to sleep in his crib when I heard the noise. My husband was out for the night, and I hadn’t even had a chance to take my black leather boots off since coming in. I actually fancied a bath, but when I heard the sound from our guest bedroom I wasn’t sure what to do.
I work in a local shop, so I was dressed casually - a turquoise blouse, open at the neck, and old blue jeans with the lower legs tucked into my boots. I turned on the baby monitor, and closed the door to the nursery, before walking slowly down towards the door to the room.
Yeah, I know - looking back now, I should have called the police, but we’d had a problem with mice a few weeks before and I honestly thought it was just them coming back. So anyway, I open the door, walk in, and that was when I was pushed face down onto the bare mattress of the spare bed.
“What the hell?” That was what I called out, before I felt somebody sitting across my back and felt a cold length of metal against my throat. “Not a word,” a quiet voice hissed, “We don’t want the baby to wake up, do we?”
It took a few minutes for me to register the fact that it was a woman talking to me, but before I could say anything I felt my arms been pulled behind my back. “Don’t move,” the voice hissed again, and I felt rope pulling my wrists together, rubbing against my bare skin as it was yanked tightly around them.
“Please, you’re hurting me,” I cried out as he pulled them tightly together, passing the rope between them as I looked over my shoulder. “I already am,” she said with a snarl, “because you don’t want your little baby to be harmed, do you?”
Well, I didn’t so I did nothing as she pulled me up and sat me down in a black wooden chair beside the bed. I got my first good look at her, and to my horror I saw she was only about - what, fifteen years old, in a grey jumper and jogging pants with brown Ugg boots on her feet. Her hair was bleached blonde and cut short, and her green eyes stared at me with a real sense of malevolence.
Form somewhere, she produced another length of cord, and kneeling at my feet she started to wrap it round my ankles. I really wanted to just kick out at her, but on the floor was one of my chopping knives, within reach of her hand, and of course I had Bobby to think of, so I just watched as she pulled my ankles tightly together, the leather squeaking as she forced my boots to rub together as she cinched the ropes and tied the knot off behind my feet.
Using yet another length, she tied my legs together above my knees, forcing them to be secured as she again passed the rope between my legs. “Now then,” she said with a smile on her lips as she sat on the mattress, “I want you to tell me where all your jewellery is, or else I go and fetch the baby and you watch me play with him.”
She had obviously been in the house for some time while I was putting Bobby down, and I did not want him to be hurt in any way whatsoever, so I told her where I had my stuff hidden in the bedroom. “Don’t move,” she said as she left me in the room, wondering what the hell I was going to do.
As I said, we were in the guest room, so I was sat between the bed and a drawer/cupboard set which had a television on the shelf area. I squirmed round, trying to free my wrists, but it was no use - she had tied them too tightly. I was also too scared to try standing up and hopping to the door - the floor was hardwood, and with the heels on my boots she would have heard me jumping up and down.
I looked up as she came in, a pillow case in one hand and a belt from my black dressing gown in the other. “I’m going now,” she snarled, “but I need you to keep quiet. Open that mouth of yours.”
As I did so, she pulled the belt into my mouth, forcing my tongue down to the floor of my mouth as she passed it between my lips twice, and then tied it off at the base of my neck.
I watched her as she simply picked up the pillow case and walked out, leaving me there twisting on my chair and wondering how I was going to get out, or if I would have to wait for my husband to get home.
That was when I heard Bobby crying. I forced myself to stand up, and take short, unsteady hops towards the door, my legs aching with each movement. It was torture, but eventually I managed to hop to the nursery, and sit myself down in a wicker chair there. Bobby could see me and that seemed to calm him down a little, as I started to hum some nursery rhymes to him.
That was where my husband found me when he got home - fast asleep, the cloth in my mouth soaking wet, and our bedroom turned into a tip by the girl searching.
For our next case, we go back to the early 1980’s and for Barbara an evening she was never, ever going to forget...
I had been at the office, and that particular day was wearing a light blue dress, with a lace collar and puffed up shoulder pads. The waist was drawn in, and the front was ruffed while the rest of the cotton was smooth. The skirt came down to just above my knees, and I remember having white tights and black Mary Jane shoes on.
It’s funny how you remember the little details at times like this, isn’t it? Anyway, I had come home, and had only just walked into the living room when a leather gloved hand was clamped over my mouth, and I heard a man say “Not a word, Barbara - just stay nice and quiet.”
“Heduknmnm,” I mumbled under his tight grip, but her said nothing as he forced me to walk into the middle of the room, then down on my knees as he pushed my head down into the seat cushion of a chair.
“I said not to say a word, Barbara,” the voice continued, and I suddenly realised that I recognised him - Gary, from the accounts department. As he took his hand away, I said “Gary, what the hell are you doing in my house?”
“Showing you the joys of restraint,” he said a she grabbed my hands and pulled them behind my back, “now keep your head down until I tell you that you can move, Barbara. I have gun, and I will use it if necessary.”
Well, I did as he said, and as I felt him pushing the elasticised cuffs of my sleeves up I had a horrible premonition of what he meant by restraint. That proved all too true as I felt some sort of rough rope around my forearms, which he had placed one on top of another behind my back, and he tightly bound them together.
I was terrified, wondering what was coming next as he took the longest, thickest rope I had ever seen, and tied it round my left wrist. He took the rope under my right shoulder, pulling it up and over the side of my neck, then passed it through the loop behind my back and wound it several times around my right upper arm. That pulled the wrist up, as well as secured my arm in such a way that it was impossible for me to move it, before he wound the rope round and round the central cores, this cinched the rope between my arm and body, as well as made damned sure I would not be able to move that side.
He repeated this on the other side, so that by the time he had finished my arms were tied so tightly I could hardly wriggle my fingers. He made even more sure of that by passing some rope between the two bands running up my back and pulling them together, winding it round so that it looked as if a skein of rope was tied between the two.
By now I was crying, as I looked over my shoulder and pleaded “Why, Gary? Why are you doing this?”
“Because I love you Barbara,” he said quietly, before pushing me towards the bedroom. I had no choice, and I was worried about what else he might do, so I allowed him to guide me in and sat on the edge of my bed, watching as he used even more rope to tie my ankles and feet together, then my calves, and then my thighs.
“Please,” I pleaded as I looked up at him standing there. I saw a look in his eyes, one I was not wanting to see, one that terrified me - and then he just turned round and walked out, leaving me sitting there wondering what was happening.
Eventually, I wriggled over to the telephone and somehow managed to get the receiver off, calling the police as quickly as I could. As for Gary - I never knew what happened to him. I guess he realised he was in the wrong and couldn’t face anyone again.
I just hope he got help - or found someone who liked what he did.
Of course, the experience Barbara had is rare, but all too often it is the unlucky lot of those who tell their stories here to walk in on a situation. For Agnes, however, the situation walked in with her...
I’d just got off the bus from the bingo, and was looking in my handbag for my door keys when the young man walked up to me.
“Excuse me,” he said politely, “but I’ve managed to lose my wallet. Would it be possible for me to use your phone to call for my father to come and collect me?”
Well, it was a cold night, and the rain was falling, and he seemed honest enough, so I agreed and allowed him to come into the house. As I took off my coat and hung it up, I told him where the telephone was, and he thanked me as he went to pick up the receiver.
I remember what I was wearing that night - I’d gone straight to the bingo from a birthday meal. A long black skirt with a slit up the left side, a grey jumper with sequin detail on the neck and edge, and black shoes.
Anyway, I turned to head to the kitchen, to make a cup of tea, and that was when I saw the knife in his hand and the evil looking smile on his face. “Upstairs, granny,” he said as he looked at me, “I’m going to take your money.”
Granny - I ask you, I may be in my fifties, but I don't look like a granny, even if I do have a little girl on my daughter's side. Not yet anyway. So I said “No, I won’t - you can just leave now.”
Well, kids today have nor respect fro their elders - he just walked up, pushed me against the wall and snarled “I said upstairs, or I strip you down and take you right here, right now.”
That terrified me, so I said “All right - I’ll do what you want,” and walked up the stairs, his heavy footfall behind me. “Who did you call,” I asked a she marched me into my bedroom.
“My friends - they are going to come and collect me, but I have enough time to take your stuff and leave you alone.” As he said this, he pushed me onto the bed and walked behind me, picking up a white pillow case from the clean bed linen as he did so.
I heard the cloth ripping, and as I looked over my shoulder I saw him roll up one side of the case into a thick band and tie a knot in the middle of it. “What are you going to do with that,” I said as I looked at him, but I found out when he climbed on the bed behind me and held my nose, forcing me to open my mouth and allowing him to push the cloth between my teeth.
“Whwtfffckkk,” I mumbled as he pulled the cloth back, forcing the corners of my mouth to stretch before he tied them together over my red-brown hair. As my lips closed over the packing, he rolled the second half into a band and pulled it over my eyes, blindfolding me as he also tied the ends of that together over my hair.
Now I was sacred - his threat downstairs may have been all too real. I listened to him searching through the drawers in the room, and then felt him kneeling behind me again as he pulled my hands behind my back.
I felt what seemed to be plastic pulling my wrists together, but I stared straight ahead through the blindfold, too scared to move as I felt them been tied together. He then got off the bed and I felt my ankles been secured together as well.
I felt him kneel behind me again, and gasped through the gag as I felt his hands touching my breasts. “I love big breasted women, and I love big women,” he whispered in my ear as he began to squeeze them, “and I think you qualify on both counts.”
Now I was whimpering, partly because of what he was doing to me, but mostly because of my fear of what he was about to do. I began to steel myself for a more physical attack when I heard footsteps on the wooden floor, my husband saying “What the fuck...” and the young man behind me been pulled off the bed, his hands pressing into my breasts in a vain attempt to prevent his removal.
I could hear the scuffle, and then footsteps receding and returning, before the blindfold was removed and my husband was looking into my eyes, saying “Are you all right?” That was when the tears started...
Agnes was lucky - sadly, many older women are not.
For our final story today, a Saturday morning becomes a terrifying ordeal for Denise and her daughter, Dee Dee.
I needed to go to the Westfield shopping centre to pick up some new clothes, and I really wanted Dee Dee to come with me. She, however, wanted to get ready to go out with her friends later, so I left her in the house on her own as I went off. After all, she was eighteen, and old enough to look after herself.
When I left, she was still in a pair of short pyjamas, eating her breakfast. I had put on a thin black coat dress with white polka dots, which was just opaque enough to hide my red bra and panties but thin enough to show off my body, natural coloured tights and a pair of white shoes.
As I say, I felt her there and drove down to the shopping centre. This would have been at about nine, and it was eleven thirty when I got back - I remember because the radio news was just coming on.
As I walked into the house, and dropped the bags on the floor, I called out “Dee Dee, are you there?” There was no answer at first, but as I headed to the kitchen I heard her say “Mum? Can you come into the dining room please?”
Well, I walked in, and I got the shock of my life. My daughter was sat in one of the white plastic chairs we have, her head turning at the sound of my heels on the wooden floor. “Mum?” she said quietly, as if she could not see me - which was true, as there was a band of red tape wrapped round her head, covering her eyes and holding her blonde hair firmly against the back of her neck.
She had changed into a dark grey blouse, a pin stripe skirt that went just over the knee, and a pair of black tights. Her hands were behind the chair back, and lashed together with white rope that went around and between them, holding them firmly together as I watched her clench and unclench her fists.
More rope was holding her firmly to the chair back around her waist, and there was a length that went over her shoulder, through the band at her waist and back over the other side.
Her ankles were tied together side by side and pulled back so that her stocking covered toes barely touched the floor, then secured to her wrists with a length of rope that was wrapped round itself. I could see a similar length at her back, and her knees were tied together under her skirt as well.
“DEE DEE!!” I screamed as I walked over to her, looking at the complexity of the knots holding the ropes in place. “My god, who did this to you?”
“Mum,” she sobbed, “Get out - get out of the house before they find you as well. Please, just go and get help.”
“They - why are they?” I asked her, but my question was answered when I heard a voice behind me say “Us,” and I felt a short, small circle of metal pushed into my back.
“Stand up, very slowly,” the voice said, “and go and bring another of those chairs over here. Don’t look at me - just do it.”
“All right, all right,” I said quietly as I walked to the table, picked a second chair up and brought it over, looking at Dee Dee the whole time as she tried to twist round. Setting it down so that I could look at her, I sat in the seat and said 2Just do what you need to do, I won’t fight you.”
“I know,” he said as he grabbed my hands and pulled my arms over the back of the chair, then the feel of rope as they were crossed and pulled tightly together, the cords biting into my flesh as he tugged the rope tightly around them.
“Are you all right, Dee Dee - did they hurt you?” I said as I felt the rope getting tighter and tighter around my arms. She shook her head, and said “I’m scared mum - they jumped me, and forced me to let them do this to me. What do they look like?”
“I don’t know, darling,” I said as I saw a pair of gloved hands pass more rope around my waist, and I felt my back been pulled against the chair as he forced me to sit back. “I haven’t seen them - did you?”
“No,” Dee Dee cried as she shook her head, “they told me to close my eyes, and then I felt something sticky been passed round my head. What is it?”
“Some sort of tape,” I said as I felt the rope been tightened still further, and my wrists been secured up to what I presumed was the rope behind the chair. There was then a ripping sound, and as Dee Dee said “Oh god, oh god, oh god,” I saw a length of black tape been held in front of my face.
“Close your eyes, mummy,” the voice said, and as I closed them I felt the tape been pressed tightly over them, and then the ripping sound continued as it was wound tightly round my head, blocking my sight as I felt it sticking to my own hair. Eventually the ripping sound stopped, and I felt myself been dragged across the floor, Dee Dee complaining as well until I could feel her hands with my own fingers.
I figured we had been moved back to back, as I felt the rope going round my left ankle, pulled tightly as my foot was forced back so that my toes barely touched the floor. I could feel them doing something at my side, and I figured (rightly, as it turned out) that they were tying the other end of whatever was round my ankle to the back of the chair.
As whoever they were repeated the process on the other side, I heard a second voice saying “We’ve found the safe, but we need the combination - do you think she knows?”
“Let’s ask her,” the first voice said as I felt my head been pulled back and the cold circle pressing against the side of my head. “Combination, mummy,” the voice said, “or your little girl here gets to hear your brains exploding onto the wall.”
“No, please” Dee Dee pleaded, but I wasn’t going to put her in any danger. I gave them the sequenced, and felt the pressure go as footsteps, heavy ones, resounded n the wooden floor.
“It’s all right, Dee,” I said as I tried to touch her fingers with my own, “It’s all right, I’m here now.”
“Mum, I’m terrified.”
“It’s all right to be scared, but I don’t think they’re going to actually hurt us. I think they just want us out of the way while they steal our stuff.”
“But it’s ours!”
“And it can be replaced - you and I can’t. Just try to relax and let’s get through today.”
I have no idea how long we were sat there before they came back, and the voice said two words I was dreading.
“Look, we’ll be quiet,” I said, “and we’re going nowhere. Just leave isssmwdsmfdsmsdmf.” My words were cut off by something been stuffed into my mouth. IT tasted of soap and was damp, so I figured it was a washcloth of some type. As I heard the ripping sound again and something sticking to my cheek, then the pressure round my face, I heard Dee Dee complaining as I presumed the same thing was happening to her.
“Rullgrt,” I mumbled as the ripping sound finally stopped, and I felt my daughter’s fingers brushing against mine as she mumbled “Mmmffnn.” I heard the footsteps on the floor, and then nothing - nothing at all for hours.
It was only when my husband got home, later that night that we were finally freed. They cleaned us out - and we were helpless to do anything about... about....
I think we’ll leave Denise there, and bring tonight’s programme to a halt. Next time on In Their Own Words: - Disco Fever hits a new high of fear; a young house sitter has an unexpected visitor; two flatmates find themselves host to an assassin; and a young Japanese women discovers why it is always best to check before opening the door.
All next time on In Their Own Words...