Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Evil Beside Her by Kathryn Casey
The Bergstrom marriage was never a great one. Linda was guilted by James into dating him and not breaking up. When he joined the Navy and wanted to get married, Linda decided to go along. Things weren't great in her family and maybe getting out of town was the right thing to do. The two moved to Bangor, Washington where James was assigned to work on a Trident submarine.
Things went from blah to bad. James started to show a temper and was very possessive of Linda and her time. They didn't have friends since James was jealous of everyone around her. And he had started to ask her to do things she wasn't comfortable with; things like letting him tie her up in the bedroom. At first just her hands, then her legs and a gag were added. When she refused, James would storm out of the apartment.
Soon, Linda lived only for the months that James would be out on the Trident. Those were months where she could have girlfriends, do whatever pleased her with her time and just relax. Life with James was a lot of things but relaxing was never one of them. Whenever James returned to land, the entire cycle of jealousy and possession started back up. Soon there was physical violence added.
James left the service early at the Navy's request and the two moved back to Texas. By now Linda realized she had married a very sick man and the rapes that started occurring whenever he was around were not happenstance. How could she end the cycle of violence?
This case happened in the late 1980's and early 1990's. I can only hope that the police would be more responsive in such a case now. Linda told the police early and often of her suspicions of James. Several of the police she talked with believed her but others either brushed her off or said she could not testify against him. James managed to terrify women for months in several locations, raping some and attempting to rape others. This book outlines the difficulty both of identifying and then prosecuting men like James, and is recommended for true crime readers.