By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
She’s had a lot of different jobs, and is comfortable handling a lot of different tasks at the church. Her mother was an escrow officer who “used to come home with paperwork and I would do it. I didn’t know after that it was called appraising.” She has deep roots here, having attended her church since she was 15.
Being the victim of a violent crime hasn’t been easy for her, nor has knowing that she is the only known surviving victim of the Grim Sleeper. “It ruins my relationships,” she says quietly. “If I am not walking the walk, who am I? I want to be settled with myself.”
Her mind often turns to the violence that happened, and is still happening, in her community. “Maybe there are other live victims,” she says, a nagging thought that often returns to her. “Life is a circle. It is coming back around and bringing [the tragedies] to my attention. . What you do will come back to you.”
She seems unafraid of the Grim Sleeper, sometimes growing almost combative and offering up, “If he sees me, he might panic and slip up and make a mistake. [And] I owe him one.”
But soon she’s bustling off, to multitask again, rushing through a corridor, then bolting through a door into the church kitchen, where she joins hands with a dozen praying members of the congregation. They each begin to tell stories about what they have witnessed in their lives. They pray for someone who has emphysema, and then one reports, with thanks, “My mom is doing better.”
“Praise the Lord for that,” they all say together. Margette tells them of an incident involving a young girl she met on the street who was trying to act like a thug. “A girl walked up to me and did one of these” — Margette makes a gesture like she’s grabbing her crotch. “I said, ‘Excuse me?’?”
More people begin to trickle in around 10:30 a.m. and Margette rushes up to the stage to take her place with the choir behind Pastor Stephen McGlover. McGlover only recently learned that she was raped and shot two decades ago. “I was hurt for one thing, and I felt sorry for her,” he says. “That is a pretty bad place to be. It affects people emotionally and can affect them for the rest of their life. It answers questions for me about certain expressions or the emotional state of her sometimes. . She and the Lord have a good relationship. I think it has helped her to grow past the pain.”
As Enietra Margette claps her hands, smiles broadly and sings raucously with the choir, her teenage son, dressed in a suit and tie, pauses to describe in detail his mother’s lasagna — how she mixes three cheeses with tomato sauce and a little meat. He talks about how busy she keeps him during the afterschool hours, with his packed schedule dutifully arranged “so I won’t be in gangs.”
There seems little chance of that. His tough mom survived a sexual assault and a point-blank shooting by the longest-running, most elusive serial killer ever to operate in Los Angeles, remade her life, and chose not to live in fear. ABC, CNN and other networks are trying to interview her, and she finally seems ready to talk.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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