H is for Horror: A Horrifying Tale of Idyllwild

H is horror

At YoYo-Dyne the word ‘horror’ has in the past been used as a description of out of control children, ex-husbands, family portraits, slide shows, auto-tune, Nevada and random pedestrian writers. The following chronicle embodies the unmistakable definition of that word.

Here is a true horror story

 Once upon a time,  20 years ago, I lived in a tiny town in the midst of a National Forest called Idyllwild. A beautiful, magical place amidst mountains, tall pines, creeks, forest creatures and good neighbors. No stop lights, no police, volunteer fire department and not a corporate business or franchise store to be seen. We lived above the clouds in clean air and enjoyed delicious spring water.

Idyllwild is a  town populated by painters, artists, misfits, musicians, students at the private arts academy ISOMATA, avid outdoors enthusiasts, quaint lodges, one of a kind shops, summer homes for the wealthy of Palm Springs, get-away weekend fave of LA stars, SoCal wanderers and the San Diego visitors. You have no idea how many of the tourists packed snow in their cars to take home. Cross my heart.  The joy of standing outside of my store after a snowfall, just to watch the tourists slide through the main town intersection, cannot be underestimated. Espresso in hand, idiots doing unintentional donuts, and the crisp air combined to make this a winter hobby of sorts.

Idyllwild, Ca downtown

A busy Saturday afternoon of shopping on Idyllwild’s main street

I was married to PsychoF*ck at the time of this tale. Ofttimes referred to as Lucky Ex-Husband Number Two. We’ll call him PF2 for the sake of brevity. My daughter was perhaps 3 or 4 years old. We and our friends participated in town activities, helped out at the grade school (built in 1928), joining in the 4th of July Parade and could never think of living anyplace else..

Curt was a doll, married for his second time as well.  Karen was a stewardess with a wonderful six year old daughter from her first marriage. Cool log cabin home they’d built together and a cute little boy was born to them just as they completed their new home.  I’d been friends with Curt prior to ever meeting PF2,  Curt and PF2 wound up working together on jobs.  We all became good friends.


Karen, Curt’s wife, had a nasty ex-husband. Really nasty. As in prison nasty. Wanted to see his daughter though, despite any silly restraining order…then kill his wife. Despite her ex’s prior convictions for manslaughter and god only knows what else the SOB still had parole coming up.

PF2 worked with Curt every day, and because of that I became very good friends with the family.

Then one day in the late winter Curt disappeared.  His car, wallet, clothes were all still at their unlocked home.

Karen, Curt, PF2 and I had a bad feeling; Her ex-husband had been released from prison a few weeks earlier. No one had a good feeling about this.

Our entire tiny village,  the overwhelmed police, local citizens, FBI and cadaver dogs all searched days, weeks and it painfully became months.

Three months later, when the snow melted, Curt’s body was found. In a shallow grave. Tortured, beaten, burned, signs of restraint and pepper spray. The latter must have been used to subdue him.

At the camp ground in the same mountains where Karen and that abomination had originally met. The  beautiful and peaceful San Jacinto mountains where we all lived then.

Their daughter was fine… physically. His toddler too young to understand the implications.

There was enough evidence to convict Karen’s ex. He fled the LA police department, gun in hand. He jumped from a bridge during pursuit and died. The sick bastard was never brought to trial.

At Curt’s memorial I was asked to speak, and tried to keep it as light as I could. Curt was one of the sweetest, kindest giving men I’d ever been friends with.

“When I met Curt he told me one thing I will never forget….If you have a baby boy never open your mouth when changing his diaper”

Monsters are real.  Be careful.

~Miss R

 names have been changed