Beheading on Mount Baldy, Part II 

Thursday, May 12 2005
Illustrations by Joel Kimmel
To read the first part of Beheading on Mount Baldy, click here.

As Marcia subsequently explained, when she and Judy first moved in with Jack, they had big plans to do all sorts of things together, from starting a computer business to becoming “land barons.” Unfortunately, said Marcia, things went wrong almost from the start — Jack was taking a lot of medications, including Klonopin, the powerful anti-seizure/anti-panic drug, and “he started turning weird.”

“He lied,” Marcia said. “He would give me money or tools and then want them back.” Another time, Jack shouted so loud that the neighbors could hear him complaining that the dogs were digging holes in the yard.

But the final straw, Marcia told Detective Dean, was the time that she came home to find that Jack had put a ring of powdered ant poison around the dogs’ water bowl. Although Jack explained that this was just to keep the ants away, Marcia went ballistic. “I was fuckin’ pissed!” she said. “I just told Judy, ‘We gotta get out of here because he’s going to kill our dogs.’ ”

Not long after they moved back up to the cabin, said Marcia, Jack unexpectedly showed up at their door, hopping mad, calling her “a nasty girl” and badmouthing Judy.

Naturally, said Marcia, she was upset. “I love Judy. This is my wife. We’ve been together for a long time.”

Later — Marcia couldn’t remember the sequence exactly, as she was “cycling” in bipolar mode — they went for a ride in her and Judy’s white Ford Expedition with the “Girls Rule” decal in the rear window. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Jack “whipped his dick out and said he wanted to be with me.”

“And I was livid. I was so pissed off. It was like, ‘How dare you!’ ” It brought back all these horrible memories of men who had raped, beat and molested her as a child. When they got back to the cabin, Marcia went inside to use the bathroom, but when she came out, she had a .22 automatic in her hand. Jack, who was facing away from her, was still “talking shit” about Judy.

“So,” said Marcia, “I shot him.”

“One time?” asked Dean.

“One time,” said Marcia. “I’m not a gunsmith or anything like that, but apparently I’m a pretty good shot. It hit him in the back of the head. All of a sudden I see his hand go up, and there was blood just squirting out. So I think I hit an artery or something. And he just went, ‘Oh,’ and then he dropped. And then I just went, ‘Oh my God! What did I do?’ I wanted him fuckin’ dead because of what he did to Judy and what he did to me, but I didn’t literally want him dead. You know what I mean? I just wanted him to stop. I wanted him to shut up.”

Jack fell down in a pool of blood. “I’ve never seen so much blood!” So she ran back into the cabin, got a sleeping bag and covered up his body. Then she got an electric chain saw out from under the cabin and cut off his head. “I was so mad at him. I cut his head off, and then I cut both of his hands off with the chain saw, and then I cut both of his feet off. But when I cut his head off, I didn’t know how heavy a head is. It’s really heavy.”

Marcia stuffed his head in a garbage bag, zipped up his torso in the sleeping bag, and fit his hands and feet (still in their shoes) in two big Rubbermaid-type containers. Then, she told Dean, she put everything in the Expedition and started driving down the mountain. “It felt like I was in a dream.” She was so confused about what was real or not — she had been both drinking and taking Jack’s Klonopins — that at one point she pulled over and looked into the Rubbermaids to see if Jack’s arms and feet were really there. “I could not believe it. I was like, ‘This gotta be a dream. It’s gotta be a dream.’ ”

Continuing down the mountain (Marcia apparently drove to Wrightwood as well), she dropped off his torso in one spot, his hands and feet in another. “And his head, I just took it out of the bag and just watched it roll down the mountain. And I was really mad, and I was screaming at him for making me kill him. I was so fuckin’ mad.”

But she wasn’t just mad at Jack, said Marcia. Despite the “little thing he did with his thing,” she said, she wouldn’t have killed him just for that. But all her life, “Some stupid motherfucker was trying to get into my pants.” Here she leaned down and tugged at the cuff of her jeans as if to show how guys were forever trying to pull them off. Except none of them ever “paid for it.” It was Jack’s bad luck, she said, to be there when she finally “snapped,” and the result was, he ended up taking the blame “for everything that’s happened to me in my whole life.”

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