By Michael E. Miller
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Krueger lived in Pembroke Pines in a half-million-dollar home with an SUV and Lexus in the driveway among the affluent in the gated community of Silver Palms. Roberts dwelt in a $200,000 house in strictly middle-class Towngate and drove a Saturn.
The two women seemingly had only one thing in common: They were both mothers of daughters who attended Silver Palms and practiced gymnastics at the nearby Park Avenue Gym. Roberts' version of the relationship begins in her living room, watching Channel 10: "I noticed this blond lady who was cross-eyed, and she was paired up with a black guy wearing a lot of makeup, which would be Dwight Lauderdale. She seemed to go out of her way to be friendly... I thought either she was the nicest person in the world or the phoniest."
Soon, Roberts says, she began to see the broadcaster all around town. As she toted her then-toddler twins on errands, she'd see Krueger at drug stores and gas stations, at Chuck E. Cheese, Winn-Dixie, Publix, and a Barnett Bank branch.
In the spring of 1998, she finally spoke with her favorite broadcaster. The twins, who were almost 3 at the time, were dressed up to see the Easter Bunny at Pembroke Lakes Mall. As Roberts snapped photos, Krueger happened by and told her, "Your kids look just like two porcelain angels. They'll outshine the Easter Bunny."
Around Halloween, Roberts claims she bumped into Krueger again, this time as she was leaving a store with her twins. Krueger politely held the door for them and picked up a stuffed animal that fell out of Kyle's hands. "I remember that she was wearing shorts and I noticed her legs -- I don't want to say they were big, but they were chunkier than I thought they would be," Roberts recalls.
That December, Roberts and Krueger happened to wind up in the same line at a Home Depot, where they chatted about their respective houses. In August 2000, they chanced upon one another at a Barnes and Noble bookstore, where they had a long conversation and Kylee first met Kelsie. Ten days later, they met outside a Toys R Us and decided to have lunch together at Miami Subs. "I followed her shiny gold Lexus," Roberts says.
You might call it a highly improbable series of coincidences, but Roberts calls it the chronology of a budding friendship. Krueger, though, says it's all a figment of Roberts' twisted imagination.
When Kristi Krueger talks about Georgia Roberts, she's talking about her own personal nightmare. She says the woman has tormented her since they first met at the Park Avenue Gym shortly after the 2001 school year began. Roberts approached, said she was a huge fan, and began to recount facts about the broadcaster's life -- that her son had been treated at the Dan Marino Center for headaches, for instance -- that Krueger felt were too personal for a stranger to know. "She showed me pictures of her daughter winning Pembroke Pines princess -- it was just an assault of information," Krueger recalled in a deposition. "A friend and I both agreed this is a mother we need to stay away from."
The following school day, Roberts gave her daughter a present to give to Kelsie, a little "Tommy Tooth" throne to hold her first lost incisor. Krueger threw it away. After that, Kylee gave Kelsie many other gifts, including videotapes of cartoons and stickers to take home.
Roberts would also find Krueger in the school hallway every morning and tell Kylee things like, "Go over there and say hello to your best friend, Kelsie, and tell Kelsie's mommy how pretty she looked on television last night."
"She was pushing a friendship that Kelsie really had no interest in," Krueger said in the deposition.
To avoid her persistent admirer, Krueger changed the time of her daughter's gymnastics class and began using the back door at the school each morning.
She says Roberts also would often eat lunch at the school and sit with Kelsie, prying information from her, asking personal questions like, "[Are] your mommy and daddy in love?"
"Georgia asked my daughter, 'Who's going on your skiing vacation?' And my daughter said, 'Troy, Mommy, Daddy, and Elizabeth.' Elizabeth is her doll," Krueger recounted in her deposition. "Later... I hear lovely stories of how Georgia is telling numerous people that I have an illegitimate daughter named Elizabeth who I had with probably one of my father's football players when he was the coach with the Buccaneers."
Roberts also started popping up at Publix on Monday mornings, when Krueger, a self-described "creature of habit," did her weekly shopping. She claimed that one morning, she decided to go 90 minutes later than usual but still found Roberts there, walking up and down an aisle with three items in her buggy. She said Roberts rushed up to her and said, "Oh, you're late today shopping -- so am I."
Krueger claimed that unsettling incident prompted her to switch supermarkets. But nothing would stop Roberts. "Every time I turned around, she would be there," Krueger says now. "She was living in this fabricated world, and I was the starring character."