Has your ex threatened to take revenge after your divorce?

Dwight Lamon Jones (Scottsdael Police Dept)

Dwight Jones, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was bitter and angry about his November, 2010 divorce. Last week, almost eight years later, he allegedly lashed out.

Jones is suspected of killing six people, four of whom were connected to his divorce:

  • Dr. Steven Pitt, a well-known psychologist who testified against Jones in the divorce
  • Veleria Sharp and Laura Anderson, paralegals who worked in the law office of the divorce attorney retained by Jones’ ex-wife
  • Marshall Levine, a counselor who took over the office space once used the counselor who treated Jones’ son
  • Mary Simmons and Bryon Thomas, who were friends of Jones, although police don’t know why he killed them

It certainly seems that Dwight Jones had a personality disorder. According to news reports, “Pitt said Jones did not conform to social norms and acted impulsively and aggressively. He lacked remorse and close friends and required excessive admiration.”

Here’s more information about the case:

Retired detective’s hunch leads police to suspected serial killer in Arizona

Days before shooting started, Scottsdale murder suspect sought media attention

More detail on Jones’ psych evaluation

According to media reports:

It was during the exhaustive divorce proceedings when Dwight met the first victim of the killing spree, Dr. Pitt. After evaluating Jones, Pitt testified in the divorce case that the “father has anxiety disorder, mood disorder and features of an anti-social, narcissistic and paranoid personality,” documents said. Pitt also testified Dwight “poses a high risk to perpetrate violence toward mother, the minor child and/or himself,” documents said.

PD: We knew he was our suspect and murderer

Are you afraid your ex could do the same?

One of the truly frightening aspects of this case is that Jones apparently harbored his grudges for almost eight years after the divorce.

Lovefraud heard from one reader who said that this case “hit close to home” — for a long time, she feared for her life, and the lives of her children.

Lovefraud would like to gather information on threats issued by disordered former partners, and any actual harm that they inflicted, long after your divorce or breakup. If you experienced this, please share your experience. You can add a comment to this blog post, or if you prefer, send an email to donna at lovefraud dot com.

Here are some questions — please answer any or all of them. But do not post any identifying information on the blog.

  1. Did your ex threaten you, your family or pets with violence? When were the threats issued? Did you experience violence after the breakup?
  2. Did you report the threats to law enforcement? How did law enforcement respond?
  3. Did you get a restraining order? Did your ex comply with it?
  4. Were any professionals or witnesses involved in your divorce afraid of your ex?
  5. Did your ex threaten other kinds of harm, such as financial or reputational damage? Did your ex follow through on the threats?
  6. Did your ex harm you, or attempt to harm you, long after the divorce or breakup?
  7. Are you still in fear of harm from your ex? How long has it been since you were together?

Thank you!

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9 Comments on "Has your ex threatened to take revenge after your divorce?"

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He threatened to destroy me. Witnessed him kicking the cat ‘because he was annoying him’
He forced his way into the home I shared with the 3 children 12 months following the breakup. I had stopped talking to him because he was making up so many lies and accusing me of doing things I hadn’t done. He threatened me, abusing, screaming and holding his fists at my face. He was drunk and off his head with anger. The police came. I filed a DVO which was granted for 2 years. He dropped the child support right down and then simply stopped paying me anything.
Then he ramped things up, ringing through all hours of the night, having numerous writs served on me, stalked me, went bankrupt so he didn’t have to give me child support and I was terrified of what he would do to me. I’d see his car parked in my street, in the side street, he had me followed by private detectives (yes, plural) got hold of my unlisted number after I changed it 3 times. I called it the reign of terror. He told people the most terrible lies about me which they obviously believed. I had a full breakdown, couldn’t work for months, was terrified we’d end up on the street. He sent solicitor’s letters regularly threatening me (he was a solicitor and I’m sure he wrote the letters himself and got someone else to sign them)
Then he filed a DVO against me claiming I planned to shoot him – we live in Australia and we just don’t have guns.
When the 2 years were up I applied for another DVO. He fought it in court and I was cross examined by his viscious barrister. The DVO was granted to me.
I reported him to the law society for harassment. They showed him my letter (old boys club) and I was served more writs for breeching the confidentiality agreement from our settlement several years before and well and truly post divorce which had been another year prior.
I reported him to the police for the stalking. They told me he was very slippery and threatened them with legal action. He wasn’t charged. I felt so very vulnerable. I was diagnosed eventually with PTSD.
His plan was for me to be destitute. He’d threatened that he wanted me working on a street corner.
The vexatious litigation put me into massive debt. He ruined my reputation, ruined me financially. I told my family if anything ever happened to me to get the police to go straight to him. He continued to put hand delivered letters in my mail box. I was terrified for my life. I still wonder now whether or not I’m safe. I keep a very low profile. I don’t believe he’ll ever stop.
It’s been 18 years since I split with him. Surely I deserve some release from his threats. I’m receiving counselling at the moment for extreme anxiety.
I have a locked letterbox and blackout curtains on my bedroom windows. The house has bars on every window.
He threatened my family, wrote disgusting letters to them.
The children were told some really nasty stuff about me. As they matured they realised what a liar he was. They have all suffered terribly. They are managing now with ups and downs.
He’s still a very viscious, vindictive and spiteful man.

He not only threatened revenge. He actively was revengeful for ten years AFTER divorce until he got everything he wanted. 1. He stalked, harassed, initially refused to see our children because he wanted to “go have fun”. He lived at the bars, after committing adultery, and partied instead of being a parent. When he was court-ordered to see our children, then he used our children to maintain control by disrupting visitation and initiating custody disputes, broke into our home to destroy property and steal money, took belongings from the garage and driveway, was destructive with children in order to frighten me i.e by drinking and driving with them, leaving them alone without supervision, etc. He harassed me in my workplace and punctured my tire (while in the parking lot at work) so I got a flat tire. I eventually relocated for safety and was physically assaulted, again, in front of our youngest child. I set up safe visitation exchange which he refused to follow and which intensified his revenge. He knew our children were suicidal but he only laughed when I had to call for intervention. He thought it was funny that the children were out of control though he was the cause of the suffering for our children and I; 2) I repeatedly call law enforcement, wrote legislators, consulted with my attorney and domestic abuse advocates, etc. I was told I fought harder than most battered women. But, there was NO help, only re-traumatization’. I learned that the toxic, male dominated, patriarchal legal system blames the victim (now known as “family court crisis” in which judges remove children from protective parents and give them to abusive fathers). Though I submitted much evidence of the ongoing abuse, in repeated hearings, the judges chose to ignore what he was doing. One even revoked a protective order. That judge was eventually forced to leave the bench when he was investigated for much fraudulent corruption; 3) When I got restraining orders and an OFP, they were either not enforced and the ex ignored them anyway, 4) There were plenty of concerned witnesses, including professionals, who were afraid of him and who submitted affidavits which the court IGNORED and then blamed me. A psychologist said she would feel better if I was far away from him; 5) He did not just threaten he followed through. He hid money so that our children and I were left in poverty after living a middle class income. He committed character assassination, took no responsibility, and routinely lied even making up bold face lies i.e. that I hit him over the head with a frying pan which never happened; 6) Yes as I struggle with C-PTSD and chronic health issues decades after surviving his evil behaviors as he would not leave me alone in spite of relocation and an OFP, while I needed to rear our children, get higher education to become financially independent and pay my bills. I believe he was out to destroy me; 7) I have nothing to do with him to this day and have NO desire to be around him. He is so unstable and vindictive but he can put on his mask of sanity when he feels like it. Our divorce was finalized in 1988 but he continued to stalk, harass, and assault until 1998 when he got everything he wanted including custody of two children by lying, manipulating and terrorizing our children. He did much damage to the well-being of our children who struggle to this day because of his evil, unrestrained behaviors which the legal system ENABLED.

mine played ‘the victim’..during our separation, followed by the divorce. he didnt show up at the courtroom for the final hearing; his lawyer told the judge ‘he’s too disraught to be here’, he was somewhere in the courthouse. Several months later, in the winter; I was told (twice) by a visiting son “dad says you better sleep with one eye open” and “he can come out here and kill you and no one will know”..needless to say, i was terrified. I called my lawyer, who URGED me to get a restraining order ASAP..I didnt do it..never heard from the ex like that again. Why he HAD to use a teenage son to pass along messages like this, I’ll NEVER know. I should have gotten that restraining order, for my own peace of mind. You never really know if they’re bluffing or really mean it.

he has NEVER threatened me like that again; but its been almost 20 years since divorcing him; and I STILL choose to stay away from him, even from grandkid’s events, parties, etc..I can still feel afraid of him, even around other people. I did have a restraining order on him, during the divorce proceedings, my lawyer convinced the judge that he was ‘mentally unstable’..and he minded that order. As much as he hated my mother; I’m surprised he didn’t threaten HER..

I’ve been divorced for a year and a half although I am still in court. The ex continually told our children he would financially ruin me and ensure that I was homeless. I tried to get a restraining order when he got physical with our son but the judge denied it and said it was just emotions of divorce. He has also said he wanted to emotionally and physically ruin me as well. A girlfriend of his contacted me and told me that he wishes me and his mother dead and he hopes our oldest son will be homeless so he will have to crawl back to him and beg. His mother and sister have both encouraged me to get a gun. I was fortunate enough to be granted a cross country move but the legal drama never stops. I filed bankruptcy due to the crippling legal fees and he turned around and filed to have spousal support stopped just less than a year of the divorce being filed. He has told anyone who would listen how awful I am, how awful the kids are, and how I lied to turn everyone against him. I have been told by his family and my therapist that he will never stop seeking revenge. I do believe that he would hurt/kill me if he could figure out how to get away with it. His sister believes she is a target as well.

My divorce from a probable Dark Triad was scarily similar in many ways to this case involving Dwight Jones and his wife – whose situation was similarly complicated and long. Even my friends are now concerned for me, 8 years after my divorce was final, and even though my ex-H has moved away. I was lucky in that my case did not turn worse, and I hope it stays that way. I do not feel out of the woods yet, though I don’t usually think of it, nor is the threat to my family over.

My answers in brief to the Qs are:

1. Yes, I and my parents lives were threatened indirectly in many imaginative ways he fantasized about. Our dog was not treated well at times. Threats and harassment happened before and throughout the divorce and years after, but no violence actually occurred.

2. Yes. I reported the threats to police and they saw them as threatening, and took an incident report. They told me to warn threatened parties. However, they said that even if I were murdered, they would not look at the incident report again.

3. The first motion for RO fell through legal cracks, and never was completed. The second application for RO resulted in an RO. It was later overturned for legal technical reasons, mostly because the current law does not include longstanding patterns of danger, not because there was no danger.

4. Yes. Two male witnesses were afraid they would be beat up or killed. I believe the evaluator was afraid of litigation or physical harm. The life of our private judge was threatened after the divorce, and this came out in the RO hearing, and that judge noted it and presumably notified the private judge.

5. Yes. He did not have to threaten financial harm. Not only did he decimate me financially, but a huge lawsuit he brought on hung over us, which could have wiped me out for life. I had to pay his legal fees to keep fighting me in the divorce trial, 3 times, under threat of contempt of court, even when fees may not have been justified (he asked for me to be sent to jail specifically multiple times, and we shared kids at the time.) Additionally I had to pay off large hidden debts to preserve my credit. The public judge’s temporary decision made me choose between my kids and my career (as a business owner and only earner) in writing in 24 hours. It had the effect of all but killing my businesses and forcing us into foreclosure, and our house was sold short, losing our significant equity built up over a decade. My then-H threatened reputational harm to my businesses, but I handled it. He did reputational harm to me with our family members and children, alienating some, and my relationship with one of our now-adult children is still affected.

6. Yes. He threatened to harm me, even long after the divorce was final, but never did physically. He did psychological harm to me, my children, and my parents, even years later. I had PTSD for 3 years. He moved away for no reason, upsetting our kids, and causing him to harass us worse. He moved close to my parents and stalked and cyberstalked them, breaking into a local private account to use the info falsely against them and me. All this is continuing harm, but I was not violently attacked or killed, nor were others. Threatened for a long time, yes.

7. We no longer have contact directly. But there are major family events we both need to be at like going to college, graduations, and an upcoming wedding of one of our children. If I do think of him, the feeling of looming danger is always there. I do not consider the risk over as long as he lives. He likes to take revenge years later, and the psych evaluator said he might take revenge years later. If things turn bad for him, he might strike out at anyone he blames, which is most anyone around him or who was instrumental in his past.

Those are my quick answers. Our case was strikingly like Dwight Jones’s case, except my ex did not follow through. I was lucky, though the odds are they don’t. I could post somewhat more detailed answers, which might be educational for others as they raise common issues, but they are long as our situation was involved. The whole danger and harassment time spanned just over 9 years — 2 of which were a hostile divorce — a year before, and many years after. It was a nightmare time. If anyone wants to see more, let me know. I just did not want to take up too much comment space.

I’m going to take a lesson from divorce court when it comes time to plan our child’s wedding, ironic, LOL, but that is where I learned to deal with him amid no contact. I think I’ll use a wedding coordinator, along the lines of the Our Family Wizard rolled up with a Parenting Coordinator. Stay at arm’s length and put my adult child in charge. Still dreading that.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention another thing. Someone else’s comment on another post reminded me. Before my ex remarried, his gf stalked one of my children and me. I was with my child when the child saw her car and pointed it out, at a time and place she would only have been there if she followed my child. I was told by both my children later that she stalked me at their school events, as my ex and I were ordered to attend them separately in our divorce decree. And perhaps more stalking by her that I did not know about. Probably over a year or two.

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