The Widow and the Nurse, Part Two

Page 7 of 8

"Bridget is simply a pathological liar," he adds emphatically. "I repeat, she is a pathological liar. I warn you as a reporter not to trust one damned thing she says. If Bridget tries to find fault with the first test and intends to use this test in her support, then it's time for us to crush Bridget. We'll go after her."

Bridget claims that Michael Snyder has already tried to crush her. On May 8 Bridget secured a temporary restraining order protecting her from, in her words, Snyder's "bizarre behavior." Although she did not employ an attorney when she filed her petition for the restraining order, her complaint is full of legalese courtesy of the courthouse clerk who helped her complete the paperwork. Bridget is the petitioner and Snyder is the respondent.

"While placing his finger close to the petitioner's face, the respondent stated to the petitioner: "Listen, I'm a very powerful man and I can wipe you off the face of the earth.' The respondent was angry because the petitioner did not accept a check from the respondent that was an attempt to keep the petitioner quiet about the rape.... The respondent also threatened the petitioner by stating that "my father is the mayor of Aventura and I just have to snap my finger and anything can happen to you.'"

Bridget's attempt to have the temporary injunction made permanent was dismissed on May 23, the judge having decided there was insufficient evidence to believe Snyder was a threat. By then the police investigation of her rape charges had already concluded. She was never informed that her allegation was deemed unfounded.

Three months ago Bridget moved into a modest house located in a primarily black neighborhood in north Miami-Dade County. Her phone number is not listed, and her address is not included in public documents relating to her case. She is not trying to generate support for her officially discredited version of events. After initially, if reluctantly, cooperating with New Times, she recently asked that this article not be written.

"I just want to disappear," she says quietly. She is sitting at her dining room table, wearily recounting yet again the chronology of her history with Regina. She is tired of telling the story. While she talks she absently fiddles with the diamond ring Regina gave her, pulling it off her leathery finger and then slipping it back on. "That's what I'd really like to do," she continues, "disappear. I remember I told that to Gina several times, and she stopped me. I said, "I just want to go somewhere and never come back.' She said, "Honey, don't do that. I need you here with me. We have to stick together, you know?'"

To finance her move after being evicted, Bridget sold the Infiniti G20 Regina bought for her. She still has the ring, of course, along with a handful of Regina's mail. Included in the pile is a check from Regina for $1000 that Bridget never cashed. She also saved the clothes she was wearing on the day of the alleged attack. They are stored in a gray plastic bag that crinkles as she removes a simple ivory blouse, then a pair of white polyester pants. The blouse appears torn at the neck. The pants remain soiled with the blood from Daniel's alleged attack. Also inside the bag is the pair of panties she says she was wearing. She told Detective Cumbie about the clothes, she says, but he never asked to see them.

"Detective Cumbie visited me when I lived [in Miami Beach immediately following her eviction]," she recalls. "I told him I could even describe Daniel's private parts. I told him, but he never asked me to do so. So I just dropped it. I don't care what anyone says; Daniel and I know it happened. And Gina knows it happened."

Bridget never obtained a lawyer. She never filed a civil lawsuit and says she has no plan to do so. "I'm not suing Gina, oh no," she elaborates. "If I was suing Gina, I would have sued her from the 11th of October. If I wanted Gina's money, Gina would have given it all to me, all of it. She wanted me to be her trustee. I had the opportunity several times; several times she asked me. That's what got me angry. I didn't take her money, and yet they say that's all I wanted."

Bridget recently accepted a new position as an overnight nurse for a couple living in a Miami Beach mansion. She quit after two nights, though, saying she woke up screaming both times she stayed at the house. "I imagined Daniel standing over me," she recalls. (Dr. Lotspeich believes Bridget is suffering from so much stress she is unable to work.) Bridget is interviewing for other jobs and will land one eventually, she says.

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Robert Andrew Powell