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New Discoveries

The investigations into ‘Daddy’ and ‘Momma’, who I found out were really named Don and Jackie Mickelson, continued over the next couple of weeks. Jake would fill me in here and there about what was discovered or where we were at in their hearings. He talked to Det. Marcus nearly every day or met with him at the station before coming home.

Not only did they find file cabinets full of information on each one of us, which I still have yet to see mine, they found a file full of all the men that ‘utilized their services.’ The police definitely had their work cut out for them, as they found hundreds of names in the files and some were apparently influential people in the city, so they had to tread lightly. Many men were brought in for questioning and/or arrested for abuse and sexual assault. I’m also still waiting to see if they have found and arrested this Matt or Mark that beat me to the point I nearly died.

Because we were all young girls when we were taken, it was just Don that had his way with us until we were about sixteen. It was then, that these men were able to use us for their pleasures until we turned eighteen, and sold to another to be used for sex or whatever they wanted. It was still illegal, even though we were of consensual age, because we were forced to endure their abuse and they paid for it. None of us ever consented to be abused or raped in any way.

Jackie took a plea deal and put all the blame on Don, however, she did plead ‘Guilty’ for what she did to a lesser sentence. She admitted to the police that she was one of his first victims after charming her online. She ran away from home to be with him and he married her. She said the abuse started after that and he forced her into helping him for the last twenty-five years or so. She never wanted to be involved in this, but she didn’t know anything else or how to say ‘no’ since she was with him since she was a teenager and trained or brainwashed to do what he wanted. I learned that her condition is called Stockholm Syndrome. She is awaiting her sentencing hearing and being held in a women’s correctional facility where she is receiving services to assist in her recovery.

As far as Don is concerned, he will never see freedom again. He knew he was beat and pled ‘Guilty’ to all charges brought up against him, and those are just the ones from here in Chicago: kidnapping, sexual abuse of a minor, physical abuse, trafficking, and much, much more. He was also being charged from other states where he actually did the kidnapping including Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and quite possibly others as well. He is also still waiting on his sentencing hearing while waiting in a maximum security prison.

I did attend both Jackie and Don’s plea hearings, but it was hard, to say the least. Jake, of course, was with me and held my hand as they walked into the courtrooms. When either of them looked at me or one of the other girls that was there, we would sit tall and not let them see how nervous and scared we really were. Jake had to remind me both times that I am free of them forever and they no longer have power over me. They only will, if I let them.

After the hearings were over, I asked Jake for another favor. I wanted him to talk to Detective Marcus about letting me into the compound one last time, for closure. He was hesitant to agree, but finally gave in when he realized I really needed to say goodbye to that place once and for all. Detective Marcus also was hesitant, but finally gave in.

******

We stood outside the building that was my home for a very, very long time. I wanted to go in, but yet I was scared. I was afraid of going in and reliving every nightmare I faced, but I needed to face those fears in order to move on. Jake grabbed my hand and we walked in together following Det. Marcus inside. I don’t remember the upper level that we entered as it was too dark when I was first brought here and it was so long ago. We went downstairs and my mind went wild with memories.

Almost automatically, I walked around the compound until I found the lounge and library that we all would sit in during the day hours as we were allowed. I ran my hand over the books that I read a hundred times or more and pulled out the book I read the most and looked at the cover. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. I don’t know why I liked this book so much, but I think it was because he found the freedom to travel and I dreamed of being able to do that one day myself. Jake came over to me and looked at the book I was holding and chuckled a little bit. “I read that once...a long time ago,” he whispered. I took the book with me as we continued through the compound.

I slowly walked up the hallway that led to our rooms, our very tiny suffocating rooms. I stopped just outside a closed door and leaned against the wall to catch my breath and prepare myself to open the door. Jake and Marcus were nearby, but gave me enough space. I opened the door and just stood there looking around this little room.

I recalled one of my first memories I shared with Jake and Dr. Edwards when my memory came back and saw the small window, a small bed in the corner of the room, a small dresser, and a night stand with some books on it. I walked into the room and ran my fingers over each object until I got to the bed. When I got there, I just stared at it as visions of things that happened on that bed flashed through my head. I snapped - I grabbed the blankets and threw them off the bed and grabbed the mattress and ripped it off the frame. I took the books on the nightstand and flung them across the room and then fell onto my knees and cried.

After several minutes, I heard Jake come over to me and wrapped me in his arms. My tears were slowing down and my breathing was returning to normal. We sat like that for about thirty minutes or so until we heard Det. Marcus come back to the room. I got up, grabbed my book, and walked out of the room. Jake and Det. Marcus followed behind me as I walked through the ground floor, back up the stairs and out of the building. I took a deep breath of fresh air, took one last look at the place and walked down the stairs to the car. Jake thanked Det. Marcus for letting me do this and we got into the car and went home.

******

By the time Labor Day weekend rolled around, things were finally settling down again. The police were still searching for the men in the files they hadn’t found yet and still searching for the families of a few of the older girls, including myself.

The girls that didn’t have answers yet, were staying in a group home together as wards of the state of Illinois, since they were about sixteen, seventeen or recently turned eighteen. I would go and visit them once in a while and we would just talk or go for walks outside. Sometimes I would have Aaron take us to a park or to a museum to show them around and get them out of the house.

It was the Saturday before Labor Day when I found something that may shake up everything I have built over the last several months with Jake here in Chicago.

I had just gotten home after lunch with the girls. Jake told me he had to work today, so he must have still been at the office. I wanted to write a letter to Detective Marcus and some of the others that helped me over the summer, but I didn’t have their address. I went into Jake’s den to look for it, since I knew he had all their information. I rarely went in there unless Jake was working from home, so I didn’t really know where to look. I started going through the drawers and I found the address I was looking for. I also discovered something else.

I saw a folder laying in the drawer with my name on it and pulled it out and placed it on the desk. I sat down in Jake’s chair and just looked at the folder with my hands on the cover. “Did I want to know what was in this? Why does Jake have this and why didn’t he tell me?” The thoughts rolled through my head.

I lifted the folder cover and began looking at its contents. There were several pictures of me in various stages of my life. Apparently, Don had been taking these as I grew up, some were of me fully clothed, while in others I wasn’t. Then I came across one that had me in tears. I picked up a photo of me at the carnival with my mom and my little sister. This was the first time I saw their faces in a very long time. I ran my thumb over their faces and closed my eyes as those images came back to me and I smiled.

I continued going through the file reading various notes that Jackie or Don wrote about me, a tracking page of who came to visit me and when, and a lot more. The last page in the file made me gasp. It was a missing poster of me that looked like it was printed or copied from somewhere. There was a large photo of me as a young girl in the middle of the poster.

Missing Person: Stacy Lynn Bishop

Birthday: February 14, 2000

Age: 8

Last Seen On: July 22, 2008 in Washington County, Wisconsin

Contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Dept. if you have any information at 920-***-****

Or the New Salem Police Dept. in North Dakota where family resides at 701-***-****

I couldn’t believe it. Here is what I needed...the missing piece of who I am: Stacy Lynn Bishop. It is now 2020, so I am 20 years old now. At first I couldn’t figure out why I was taken from this carnival in Wisconsin if I was living in North Dakota, but then it all came back to me. I was raised in North Dakota by my parents, but my mom’s family lived in Wisconsin. We were visiting my grandparents there and we decided to go to the County Fair while we were there. My father couldn’t get off of work, so he stayed home while my mom, sister and I made the trip.

I sat at his desk for a long time letting my childhood memories flood my mind. I cried, I laughed, I cried again. Then I got pissed off. “How dare Jake keep this from me! How long has he known who I was or where I came from? Did he reach out to these police departments? Did he reach out to my family, or has he just let this sit in his drawer?”

I put everything back into the file, but the missing poster, and placed it back in the desk drawer and left the office. When Jake got home, I was going to give him a piece of mind and demand answers from him. How could he find out this information and not tell me...how could Detective Marcus? I paced back and forth in the living room with all these questions running through my head.

I then heard the click on the door as it was unlocked. I started for the door yelling at Jake, “JAKE, HOW COULD YOU KEEP…” and stopped in my place when Jake entered with a man, and two women, one older and one younger; the poster fell from my hand.

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