In Plain Sight - When The Unthinkable Happens - What Does A Community Do?
A lively neighborhood community filled with families, children and the hustle and bustle of daily life. We all travel in the same circles, passing by smiling, saying hello. You think you know the people surrounding you, because you see them every day; but do you really?
My family spends a lot of time outdoors. We garden, and our home is encompassed with many beautiful flowers and trees. We work outside all the time and being on a corner lot we see a lot of activity. The children love to play in the front yard, and ride bikes. Most of our neighbors are quite friendly.
Our street is connected to a busy main road Page Blvd. The traffic on this road is busy all day long and well into the night. Travelers use our road as a path to cut through trying to avoid the chaos. I find myself many times reminding people to slow down! YES, I shout out those words many times as kids are always playing and riding bikes up and down the road!
There was one car a black Nissan, and the man driving always came around the corner accelerating to the fullest. I continually yelled at him to slow down, and so did my neighbors. He always looked intense, with a dark glare as he sped by. He did not seem to care what we had to say, he just went faster. As time went by we did figure out what house he lived, and it was just around the corner from us. There were times when he would not come around for a while, and then we would have periods of madness.
Fast forward to Memorial Weekend 2018, this man in the black car went on a high-speed chase to avoid the police, he was caught, and now this intense faced man had a name Stewart Weldon! As soon as I saw the news, my husband and I looked at each other and recognized him immediately. The man that lived on Page Blvd., the speed demon, now had a name.
The next stage of events that transpired in the days to come were mind-blowing to say the least. As Stewart remained behind bars on kidnapping charges and beating a woman (who was in the car with him when he was arrested), his home was being searched. A fowl smell was coming from his house, and prior strange activity was reported!
As police entered the property to do a search they discovered 3 bodies, in and around the home. Three women, raped, beaten, tortured left to rot. How horrifying. These disturbing events were happening as we were maybe, sitting outside, eating dinner, or putting our children to bed. What a disgusting thought!!! These ladies were someone’s daughter, mother, sister, friend, now gone at the hands of what he is being called a “serial killer”.
Those Words “SERIAL KILLER” - In my neighborhood?? How can that be? Our safe community is now rattled to the core! The simple hustle and bustle of daily life, now overrun with police, news crews, and countless strangers hanging out just to see the action. It is like an alien invasion, stripping us of all that felt safe!
The children’s who so happily played outside are now, confused, scared and filled with anxiety. Many questions asked, and tears many tears flowing. How do you explain to your child that the bad man murdered women right around the corner, and then following it up with, “You are safe!”
As the story is unfolding neighbors close to this home have now stepped forward and stated they saw things and heard things that didn’t seem right but brushed it off. I myself felt I heard odd noises that I thought may be gun shots but didn’t quite know if it could have been a car backfiring as the roads are so busy all the time.
The biggest lessons here are that as a community we need to step up and not be afraid to ask the questions! If something doesn’t seem right or feel right, mostly likely it is not. We have police for a reason, and even if the call is for a wellness check, it is worth the effort as you may just save a life! We have a duty as neighbors to look out for one another, and this man lived among us for a very long time, carrying out heinous acts of abuse right under our noses.
Three lives lost, multiple families are grieving and we as a community mourn not only the loss of life but the feeling of safety that was robbed from us all at the same time. How do we regain our sense of security? How do we move forward and live normal? It is not normal anymore, as our eyes are now open on a new level.
Please I ask that if you see or hear anything that is not right, step up and do the right thing. So many people do not want to get involved but we must if we want to create change in this world. There were children in that house of horrors what did they witness? You see the damage runs deep, not only with the deaths of these three women, but for all who surround this horrible, tragic story.
Our neighborhood will never be the same again.
Awareness is Key!
God bless all who lost their lives, and I pray for peace.
Written by: Lisa Zarcone