Personal and Family History of the Abductor

Feb. 16, 1995


In the event that information from me, as the husband of Nilda Keene, 48, and as father of our children, Grace, 10, and Jimmy, 7, may be useful in Nilda's pursuit of health and happiness, I shall list aspects of my beloved wife's personal and family history prior to Feb. 1, where subsequent events may be found in my Feb. 9, 11 and 14 letters and an eleven page chronology: "To Jimmy, Grace & Nilda Keene & Whom It May Concern."

1. Nilda is the youngest child, with six brothers, the oldest some 25 years or more her senior. (1) One older brother has deceased. (2) She almost never sees another "mysterious" brother. (3) She is close to brother Pedro, who is still working, retired from a distinguished military career, whom I contacted twice when my family was missing in this current episode. (4) Luis, a lawyer, (5) Paul, who lives on a disability pension next door to sister, Ana. (6) Youngest brother, Jose Antonio "Che", works for the Government of PR.

2. Nilda has two sisters, the oldest having died in childhood before, I think, Nilda was born. Her sister, Ana, about four years older, has a Masters in Education, lives in the house of their parents in Patillas, has never married and has no children. Ana dearly loves her nephews, Grace and Jimmy, and frequently has visited our home, staying for many weeks at a time. During these prolonged visits, Nilda's symptoms are reduced and therefore, Ana is always welcome and indeed, I have often asked her to visit and even consider living with us. She has often told me, "Jim, you are not my brother-in-law, I feel you are my brother." I have reciprocated this expression of love and confidence to Ana. Given that the current episode may end with Nilda and the children living with Ana, even though Ana is an objective and thoroughly good person, her objectivity may be somewhat compromised, because, I think, she would desire to assume a daily role in the upbringing of Grace and Jimmy, perhaps even if that were in substitution for my so doing as their father.

3. Nilda has avoided speaking in any detail of her childhood, but has alluded that certain upsetting events took place, but I am not clear what might have happened.

4. Entering UPR, Nilda says, and I believe her -- she is highly intelligent, that she scored the absolute highest on college entrance exams taken by tens of thousands of students, including, of course, those who had attended private schools. She has a Masters in Business Administration.

5. Prior to Nilda's first year in the UPR medical school, her very elderly father, who had immigrated from the island of Nevis to PR and carved out a successful life, deceased.

6. In her first year as a medical student, Nilda's mother died in a car accident, and Nilda was very shaken. She sought care from Dr. Jose Rodriquez, M.D., psychiatrist, and then member of the UPR Department of Psychiatry, and was taking psychiatric medication, for a number of months during this period of grief.

7. Nilda and I were married in April, 1974, and I supported the remainder of her training -- medical school, internship and a residency in psychiatry.

8. Shortly after we were married, I began to observe recurring nightmares, often several times a night, which continue to this day. In a Feb. 9 letter, I described these heart-rending nightmares as "frequent nightmares where dreadful moaning and louder whines of terror can be heard throughout the house." Recently, our children have heard, and have been worried by, Nilda's vocalizations during these nightmares. I have found that if I slightly nudge Nilda, saying, "It's all right, honey," a nightmare will seem to end, without her waking up.

9. After a few years, she developed chronic psychological complaints and periods of depression which have been very gradually increasing in severity ever since. She has consistently projected, or in common terms, blamed me for, her troubles. Over the years, I have heard hundreds of times the following amazingly consistent complaints: (1) I do not listen to her, (2) I do not understand her and (3) She cannot converse with me. After more than two decades as husband, however, I am by far the single individual who has, in fact, listened, understood and conversed with her most during her lifetime. Thus, these complaints are, to some degree, delusional in nature and a mechanism to avoid discussion of experiences and feelings with another person.

10. Given the complaints, however, I often urged her to make friends, to find some one who she felt did listen and understand and with whom she could talk, this being a simple need that everyone should fulfill. Regarding these complaints and depression, she again sought psychiatric care from Dr. Rodriquez, during the period of her psychiatric residency.

11. She started to develop excessive fears of many things, and associated anxiety which then became associated with the beginning of "hysterical outbursts of screaming and weeping with delusional ideation" (my Feb. 9 letter), occurring less then once a year, but increasing in frequency and severity to the present. During these adult temper tantrums, she would scream, "The walls of this place are like a prison," and other complaints, for our neighbors, and later, our children, to hear, with suicidal ideation at times, "I should just die," etc.

12. Another preoccupation was that she thought I made very little money as an Associate Professor at the UPR School of Medicine. To help her get out of the "prison," and be with other people, I suggested that she take an opportunity to work in the Department of Psychiatry, but although, as an M.D., her salary would be significantly greater than mine, she repeatedly said, "To make that little money is not even worth the effort." [Obviously, these complaints and statements would not ordinarily do much to support a husband's ego; but fortunately, I have been blessed with high self-esteem and an optimistic temperament.]

13. She then went to live in Mayaquez, PR, renting an apartment and practicing psychiatry sharing an office there with some of her medical school colleagues, with the objective of making money. Although I was not happy with this separate living arrangement, I supported her effort to find happiness. Some months later, she moved back home. Indeed, she has not been able to work in a single professional situation for more than several months, since this period, except when she later (1983) opened an office in Patillas with Ana helping as receptionist, book-keeper and constant companion.

14. In San Juan, again living at our home, she later practiced psychiatry sharing an office with other colleagues, for some months. She quit this citing problems with her fellow psychiatrists, regarding, for example, patient distribution. While such can be a problem in shared medical offices, thousands of physicians do share offices and somehow work out satisfactory arrangements among themselves on this sticky issue.

15. As her psychological troubles recurred with increasing severity, in about 1983-4, she again voluntarily sought psychiatric help for herself. Over many weeks, she kept appointments with Dr. Luis Escabi, psychiatrist, in Hato Rey, a colleague of hers from medical school. According to Dr. Escabi, she discontinued treatment under his care before he could complete his treatment plan.

16. Several years later, we suffered a burglary in our Villas del Mar condominium in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, during which the very agitated burglar held a cocked 38 caliber pistol pointed at my head, with its barrel often touching it, during a 15 minute period where I was tied up on the bed. Nilda performed splendidly to calm the burglar and facilitate our survival in this very scary incident.

17. From the day of the birth of each of our children (1984 and 1987), starting in the hospital where the mother, newborn and father could stay together in one room (with me sleeping on a bench), I did all of the "night duty" in child care -- feeding, changing diapers, rocking them to sleep, until the day when each child slept through to the mornings. Nilda cared for the children during the day while I was at work. Both of us have always been intensely involved in raising our children. We have always coordinated our activities so one or the other was caring for the kids. We have never employed a baby-sitter, for example. Ana has occasionally baby-sat for us. In the birth of our son, Jimmy, Nilda lost a lot of blood, had lowered blood pressure and required transfusions to revive her.

18. About two years after we moved to Medford Lakes, New Jersey, in 1989, Nilda started to practice psychiatry, part-time, again sharing office space, this time with masters-level psychologists and social workers, who wanted her supervision and patient evaluation with respect to treatment plan and prescription of medication. After several weeks, she discontinued this work situation, telling me that uncomfortable situations had arisen since clients referred to her for evaluation wanted to stay with her (she is professionally excellent), but "more important than that," she said, "I cannot remember things I should remember, like patient names and prescriptions. The office has called me at home and I can't remember. So, Jim, I don't think I should practice at this time." I supported her honesty and self-awareness on this issue. Indeed, I have never asked or required her to work and earn money at any time. She and I discussed that this coincided with the seeming onset of menopause.

19. During this same period, again with excellent self-awareness, she said that on several occasions, she had become "lost and confused" while driving oft repeated routes during trips, 10-20 miles one way, to and from our home to libraries and stores. She always made it back home, but often much later than expected. She said that, thank God, the children were not with her at those times, because she feared she might become further disoriented. Therefore, she said she did not want to drive a car anymore, especially with the children, and would I take she and children on all of their frequent trips to libraries and stores. I agreed and have done that up the present time.

20. At about the same time, at her request to treat depression, I installed a strong plant "grow light," which simulates sunlight, in the kitchen above the table where she often sat working with the reading, drawing and writing of the children.

21. Perhaps the best friend of Nilda in the past twenty years is Pat, a wonderful lady in our neighborhood who was approximately the same age, in menopause, and they had much to share with each other. Nilda was very sad when, in about 1992, Pat and her family moved to Indiana.

22. We agreed to move in mid 1993 and I had been offered a position in Dillingham, Alaska. My position there was Clinical Director of Mental Health at the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, a major regional hospital serving the mental health needs for an area "the size of Ohio." I supervised a staff of some forty mental health professionals and worked in association with the Director of Medicine and medical staff, in diagnosis and treatment. After I had accepted this position and we had moved to Alaska, I was also offered a position at Ross University School of Medicine, as Professor of Neuroscience, in Dominica.

23. Nilda had been very enthusiastic about our move to Alaska, but was unable to cope soon after arrival and she entered another troublesome episode. Upon my returning home from work each day, her fears and complaints to me about life in Dillingham increased daily. Repeatedly, she threatened to leave me and the children, if I did not quit and accept the job in Dominica. Finally, I caved in to the daily pressure from her, not wanting our children to loose the daily care of their mother, which, aside from her symptoms and often bizarre and disruptive behavior, was generally superb. When I announced my decision to leave, a number of my staff wanted to come with me and work under me in Dominica, but I explained that I would be a professor and not have a mental health care staff. We moved to Dominica about three months after arriving in Alaska.

24. While Nilda and the kids stayed about a month with her brother Pedro in New Jersey, I came to Dominica to set up household. The spacious house features strong bars on every window and door for security and other visiting faculty families have been envious that I was able to get this place. I painted all the ceilings and walls to freshen its appearance and scrubbed everything to sterility. When Nilda arrived with Jimmy and Grace, there was immediate horror, for my information and that of our children, "How could you ever think we could live in such a place." "There are bats in the roof and rats everywhere and we are all going to die of disease." "Don't you care anything for your children?" In fact, there is no evidence of either bats or rats in the house, above or below the ceiling. Nilda repeatedly told us all that she wrote to Ana that she should not visit us here "if Ana valued her life."

25. Thus continued this element, added to her periodic hysterical tantrums, in what I describe to myself as the "terrorization of our children." Nothing was safe -- the drinking water (Dominica exports bottled water which is essentially the same as comes out of the tap); the sea to swim in ("It is polluted," but there seems to be some truth to that); the yard to play in; or the house to live in because "There is a gang of criminals that will not rest until they have broken into our house and raped Grace and me" and "We won't even sit on the (enclosed) porch, since some one might come by and shoot us." While parents do have to orient children to their environment and safety, my heart sank every time this unending stream of phobic expressions and fear was drilled into our children's ears. I was surprised to find that Nilda had made the rule for the children that they were not allowed to take a walk with their father to campus to play together.

25. In reality, although burglars have entered into the homes of many students and faculty members, we have never been robbed, nor, Nilda's imaginings to the contrary, is there any physical evidence of even an attempt to break and enter. It is obvious, I think, to burglars, who may be armed with only a screw driver as a burglar tool, if even that, that they cannot penetrate this house. In addition, burglars here typically flee when seen, to avoid their identification. There is also a deep-rooted belief that the ghost of a victim will haunt one for life if one kills a victim. On the other hand, Nilda did report to us all that Ana said she was very happy that we did not live in Puerto Rico, because of the frightening crime situation there. There, the criminals typically have guns and are prepared to use them. Indeed, our family may well be more safe from crime and drugs in Dominica than in Puerto Rico!

26. Despite the constant infusion of fear that our children have been receiving, our kids love life in Dominica and our house. Their dream was being fulfilled -- to be around animals; and there are cats, chickens, goats, sheep, cattle and horses here around the house and nearby. They have never been awakened by a burglar or lost a moment of sleep over all of this fear which has been proffered to them. Tremendous children!

27. After having threatened to leave me and the children if we did not move to Dominica (#23 above), Nilda again threatened to leave us, if we didn't move from Dominica. On one occasion, my heart was broken when the children heard this from their mother. Later, when Nilda was in the shower, Jimmy and Grace sat close at each side of me, trembling, and said, "Well, Dad, we aren't allowed by Mom to tell you, but we don't like the bad things that Mom says about you when you are at work" and "Dad, if Mom goes away, you are going to take care of us, right?" I reassured them, "No matter what, your Dad is going to take care of you for ever." I will never forget how they trembled in my arms, saying simply, "Well, Dad, we're sorry; we just wanted to check."

28. For a time, Nilda seemed to adjust to Dominica. Pat and family visited. Nilda did the home schooling of the kids in a splendid fashion. However, she was almost always confined indoors from fear of the environment; I took the kids out for play, walks and exercise. However, in the last four or so years she would be in bed ten to twelve hours a day, closer to twelve when depressed. The children were sleeping less and began becoming aware of the dreadful sounds from her nightmares. Then, in a very agitated period, Nilda took the kids away without my prior knowledge on Feb. 1 and hid them from me.

James J. Keene, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2002 James J. Keene

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