It was the early evening on September 24, 1998, when 26 year old Ziemlewski was shot to death on a walking trail on the Metropolitan District Commission Reservoir property near Old Mountain Road in Farmington, CT. For years it’s been believed that she most likely knew her killer. On Sunday June 28th, an arrest was made on someone who has been charged with hindering an investigation. Police are getting closer….. Tick Tock……
Years ago, I took a class at a community college about criminal law. I had once entertained the idea of being a police officer and even lawyer. Several ride alongs with various police departments convinced me that this was not a path to take. Given today’s political situation, this is more true than ever.
It was early March in 2015, when my Criminal Law Class was cancelled due to a family emergency that the instructor had. I had time to kill and figured I would go to an exotic dance club, grab a soda, relax, put a few dollars on stage and enjoy the female scenery. Exotic dancers are a diverse and interesting bunch. From college students paying their tuition, to teachers/psychologists looking for extra cash, to single mothers whose kids get no child support, to the ones with serious mental issues and supporting drug habits. Often times, when sitting at the bar or stage, you occasionally find the one that doesn’t mind talking and telling you their backstory. It’s a business, and much of the time, you never really know whether or not to believe their backstory.
But that Wednesday March night would be different and tragic. For someone’s life would be changed and scarred permanently.
I thought I was finished for the night after spending around ten to fifteen dollars on various women dancing on the stage that night. The club I was at, is well run and known as a club that doesn’t put up with any dancers “going the extra illegal mile” or allowing drug dealers inside their premises. But sometimes clubs just don’t know and can’t control what person go through their doors.
I was playing one of the bar top video games when a taller, dancer wearing glasses approached me. She was flirtatious and seemed to have a few drinks in her. She tried to get me to go for a lap dance in the back area but I was not interested in her nor spending the money. She would soon start to grab various parts of my chest and neck in an effort to lure me away from my hard earned cash. Feeling a little bad for her financial situation (she said she barely made any money that night) I eventually told her that I would go visit her on stage There were only about four or five men at the bar, with only one other man by the stage, so I knew there was not much opportunity for her to make money dancing that night.
After more than a few minutes of her dancing and dropping another five or six dollars, the dancer then asked me if I wanted a lap dance by the Disc Jockey booth. I politely declined. She expressed her anger with me and abruptly walked over to the other customer on the stage about thirty feet from me. He was around my age, bigger and heavier and he engaged her in conversation when she went over to him. I would leave shortly afterward only to be shocked by a major news story two days later.
I saw his picture and immediately recognized him as the customer at the stage near me. This piece of shit had raped and brutalized a dancer and then attempted to take his life when the police tried to arrest him. He had brought this poor woman back to his workplace and raped her several times as well as repeatedly sexually penetrating her with an object. She saved her life by calling 911 on a landline that was in the office. The East Windsor Police barged in and tried to take this monster in custody but he unsuccessfully slashed his own throat. The rapist would survive his injuries and be arrested.
A few days later, I went to see the head detective of the department and tell him that I was at the club that night. He told me that they had enough evidence for a sure conviction and he would contact me if needed. The rapist would eventually plead guilty to a lengthy prison sentence. Future confirmation from others would reveal that the victim was indeed the woman who tried to get me to go for a lap dance.
I sometimes wonder, if I had gotten a dance or two could I have saved her from the horrible physical & mental trauma of what happened hours later to her. Would she still have gone over to her rapist for a dance and eventual disastrous arrangement away from the club later? I don’t think it would have changed things and I’ll never know anyways. All I know is that this guy looked like an average, harmless guy. What he did was unforgivable and he would eventually take a plea deal where he will serve several decades behind bars. I still shudder when I think about that poor woman, the physical & mental scars will never go away.
Sadly, this wasn’t the first time I encountered pure evil. It was only twenty-five years earlier when I would be a victim of crime by a monster and his accomplices while I was in College. I was fortunate I escaped with just a black eye and some bruises. I was lucky that night in hindsight because this piece of garbage would go on to take two human lives on different occasions. He’s walking free right now…. But that is a story for a another time……