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By Karen Baddeley
I don’t exactly know where this story truly starts.
But I will start at the end and end at the beginning. It was New Year’s Eve 2003 (but this goes into 2004, I guess, because, you know, the actual THING happened after midnight). I was in New York with my friend Rachel and we were going to go out and whatnot. I was visiting from Connecticut, where I lived at the time. We were going to meet another friend of mine named Carissa with whom I grew up and we were going to see her boyfriend’s band.
They were playing at the Continental. Rachel and I got there kind of early so we could start drinking. We were doing shots of Jaegermeister. I think before the band actually started playing I had maybe 3 or 4 shots. I used to drink a lot at that time.
The band played and we were hanging out with my friend Carissa and drinking some more, I suppose. I kind of lost track as to how many drinks I had or what they were. I think the band finished early. I realized that I was into the lead singer or he was into me -- both, I guess.
His name was Paul. Normally, I’m into drummers, never into lead singers because, obviously, lead singers are totally conceited. But they’re always good looking. He was okay looking. Not really my type. But he was a personal trainer so he had a really nice body.
So, I’m getting incredibly drunk by now. It was quite late. We were at the bar and I was sitting on his lap and I guess we were making out and stuff. I remember doing a shot of tequila. I cannot even smell tequila without getting physically ill. But I thought since I was already so drunk that maybe I wouldn’t taste it? Well, it was disgusting. I came so very close to actually throwing up but managed not to.
The clock struck midnight and there was champagne. I LOVE champagne. It’s the only thing I drink now. So that was good. He and I went into the bathroom and were fooling around some more. I gave him a blowjob and I think he sort of felt me up. I didn’t finish the blowjob because someone was knocking on the door. So we left. Rachel wanted to go home. She had been making out with this guy named Tom. She wanted to go back to her place. For some reason, we made this plan for Paul and Tom to come over later.
Rachel and I left and went to her place. I kind of assumed Paul wouldn’t actually come over. I didn’t really care either way -- I was tired and kind of getting sober. But both Paul and Tom did come over around 4:00 am. I was totally up for having sex with him. Regular sex, oral sex, that was all okay.
What happened is this: He sodomized me. It’s such an odd term for it. Sometimes, when I wish to make people really uncomfortable, I’m just straight up. “He knelt on my chest and made me suck his dick. Then he flipped me over and put his dick in my ass twice. Did you know for each time you are penetrated, it’s an additional count of sodomy?”
But that’s what really happened. It was horrible and excruciatingly painful. But I thought if I just let him, that he would leave. I told him to stop several times.
He said, “I thought girls from Nebraska were supposed to be tough.”
I don’t even know what that means. I grew up in the suburbs, not a farm. He did leave, he came all over my chest and left. I didn’t feel anything emotionally. Physically I was in horrible pain. There was blood all over the sheets. The sheets were white so that made it worse.
Now it’s November 2005. Around Thanksgiving. All over the Post and the Daily News and even the Times was this story about a stripper who had been murdered. Her throat had been slashed. Her name was Catherine Elizabeth Woods. My name is Karen Elizabeth Baddeley.
She came from Ohio to New York to be a dancer. Later when there was a show about all this on TV, I found that we had the same teddybear that we’d kept since we were kids. The same exact bear. It made me cry.
Then the papers said that there were two suspects because she had two boyfriends. One was her yoga instructor. The yoga instructor was Paul.
I read this while I was at work. I felt quite ill and upset and did not know what I was supposed to do. I told all of this to my boss because her boyfriend was a detective for the NYPD. He said I should go in because any little thing can help an investigation. He gave me the number of the police station.
I called them and talked to one of the detectives working on the case. He was very excited for me to come in and talk to them. So I went to the police station. On the way there in the taxi, I made the mistake of calling my mom and telling her everything.
When I told her what Paul did to me, her first response, truly, honestly was, “Did he pay you?”
I hung up on her and she called me back. I can’t comprehend why anyone, but especially my own mother, would say such a thing. To this day she doesn’t understand why I got so upset.
I got to the police station. It really did look like the police stations on TV.
There was this young cop at the front desk. I told him I was supposed to see some detective with an Irish last name that started with “M.” He made some joke about how that could be anyone. He was cute, and under other circumstances I might have found that amusing, but I looked like shit and had obviously been crying.
I told him that I was there about the Catherine Woods case and he suddenly got all professional. The homicide detectives were called Marino and Murphy. Marino was small and jumpy. Murphy was large and very calm. I wished that Murphy was my dad. My own dad wouldn’t really care about this.
I told them what happened. As soon as I got to the sex stuff, they asked if I’d rather tell this to a female detective. I didn’t really care but I could tell that they were really uncomfortable. So they brought in a female detective called Shanahan from the Special Victims Unit. I liked her a lot. She was kind of big and cursed a lot. She also made the whole thing really hilarious.
We talked about guys and sex and it was all very nice. So I went home and I thought that was the end of this.
The next day, they arrested Paul for 2 or 3 counts of sodomy. They didn’t really care about what happened to me, they needed Paul’s fingerprints and they couldn’t get a court order for them. His fingerprint ended up matching a bloody fingerprint that was at the scene. I had to go to the DA’s office and talk to her about what happened to me.
The DA was named Martha Stolley. She rode her bike over the Brooklyn Bridge. She was young and very pretty and blonde. She went to Northwestern for law school. The first thing she said when I walked into her office was, “I LOVE your hair!”
She asked me these questions from a survey that was on her computer. I sounded pretty bad. Yes, I had been arrested twice before, had been in an institution, and was on psychiatric medication. I sounded kind of crazy when it was all out there like that.
I also remember this question:
“Was there blood when you went to the bathroom?”
“When you peed or when you pooped?”
It felt like kind of a gross thing to discuss. Then when it was over, she mentioned that the story was in the Post and the Daily News (I guess it was too lowbrow for the Times) and that they probably had my name and address. Great.
The Post and the Daily News started coming to my apartment all the time and ringing my bell and trying to get me to give them an interview. I cannot understand why anyone would talk to them.
The charges of sodomy were dismissed because there was no interest in them. I didn’t even know they were dropped until I read it in the paper. Nobody ever called or anything. I also wasn’t a part of the murder trial. He was convicted. He got 25 to life. Now his mom runs a website proclaiming his innocence.
Later on, a guy wrote a book about it. I did give him an interview because he changed my name in the book. I’m “Monica.” The book is called "Death of a Dream" and the tagline is, “She was a born dancer with a dream of stardom, he was a jealous lover with a murderous obsession.” It’s totally one of those slapped-together true crime paperbacks.
This is how I am described: “Monica was not a hardened New Yorker; she has something of a little girl’s voice and comes across as meek. She wasn’t wise to the ways of the city.”
This is what his mom said about me, “It was obvious she came on to him. She invited him to her apartment, and somewhere along the line, what? It’s a rape? They continued to see each other at the band’s shows.” That’s sort of true. I didn’t see him exactly, I just went with my friend Carissa. I didn’t really know anyone else in New York then.
And that was it. I don’t really know if I am the way they described me. I am quiet, but I’m not timid. Also, I love that they say I was coming on to him. As if he was resisting and I lured him to my apartment. Please.