HALL OF SHAME
Listing of All Concepcion's Information
I was married on October 29. 1966. At that time, we had
very difficult moments due to an old woman that my husband claims
as his aunt. She was, however, no relationship whatsoever.
In the beginning, I noticed very peculiar behavior between
them. I believed it to be the Italian way of life and Italian
customs. I tried very hard to gain her sympathy; but everything
I did was useless. she never agreed that my husband was married.
One of her best friends, Gina Granrelli, used to tell us that
we should move far away from her. This lady told me. "It
is not because of you, Conchita (short for Concepcion). Any girl
who married him would have the same problems and difficulties."
She addressed herself to my husband and said, "So what is
the situation now? Two husbands and two wives?" that meant
there was something going on between them. After we were married
my husband told me that, at the age of nineteen, he was involved
with a baronessa in Italy, and that he was living with her until
he came to the United States; and that he already had this other
old woman's address in his pocket.
She nagged at me all the time telling me that in those
days, they didn't have all the facilities that we have today.
For instance, that they had to wash everything by hand, that they
didn't have a car, and so on. They also made many remarks that
I was not able to give birth to a child. This was very painful
for me, so one day, I asked her how many children she had. I was
sick and tired of her annoying, and interfering in my private
We could not go to see a movie unless they felt like going,
or even go to the beach. If someone invited us to a wedding, or
even a shower for the new bride, they had to be invited too, otherwise
we wold have to refuse the invitation.
My husband used to convince me to cope with the situation,
since they were very old and that one day we would be the owners
of their property and belongings. I did love my husband very much,
and so I tried my best to please everyone.
The first two years of our married life were spent at 380
Avenue U, Brooklyn, New York there we had a beautiful modern apartment.
The only problem was that we did not spend very much time in it
besides the working hours. Every night we had to go to dinner
at her house and we stayed very late. We went in the summer and
winter, and we had to walk home to sleep. Many times we slept
there, too. I tried to convince my husband to stay home and let
me cook for him to see if he liked my cooking. He did not like
the idea, but finally agreed. However, on Thursdays and weekends,
we had to go there. One day during dinner, he started to argue
about the same thing. He raised his fist and banged the table
and all the dishes and food flew around the room. He then took
his jacket and left the house, spending that night in a motel,
as he told me after.
The next day, I went to the parish church to see and talk
with Father Frank Souccimar, the priest that performed our marriage,
and explained the whole situation. He called upon my husband and
advised him to change his behavior, or make a decision between
the old woman and myself. Again he persuaded me to be patient
and to cope with him and carry on this cross that God put upon
As the time passed, I was going through the same problem.
One day we received news that the apartment on the second floor
of this woman's house (but it is also under my husband's name)
was going to be vacant. One of the tenants had died, and the house
was too big for the wife, so we moved in. I figured that instead
of making so many trips going back and forth to the apartment,
this would save us a walk in the cold weather. Once we had more
rooms than our apartment, and I was trying to make it as comfortable
as possible. Besides, I was working at the Commercial Office in
the Spanish Embassy and had been for a period of seven years,
and I enjoyed buying things for the house.
I wanted to have a baby, but somehow I was not able to
get pregnant. We went to see the best doctors, and they told me
that there was nothing wrong with me, and that probably I had
too much pressure at home and work. The best thing for ms to do
would be to stay home and relax, which I refused to do. I liked
work, and I had the feeling of independence, plus the extra money
came in handy as we always needed things for the house.
I was having a hard time convincing my husband to adopt
a child. We went to the Children's Aid Society on East 45th Street
between Lexington and Third Avenue in New York City. After a long
period of waiting, more than a year, we were told that there wasn't
much hope for the only babies they had available at the time did
not suit us, these babies had birth defects, etc. My husband spoke
with his friends, and people at work, when one of his best friends
told us that he would, get in touch with a family in Buenos Aires,
Argentina; and that it would be easy to get what we wanted there.
On June 15, 1973, my husband called me at the office and
said that his friend had a phone call from Argentina and that
there was a baby girl waiting for us. In order to get her, we
were told we had to go right away or we would lose the opportunity.
We also were told to leave $600.00 for maternity expenses in the
clinic. My husband picked me up at the office, went to the bank
to withdraw the money, made air line reservations and the next
day we flew to Buenos Aires.
His friend's family was waiting for us at the airport and
drove us to their house where we talked and were told that we
would see the baby the next day. I could hardly sleep that night
waiting for something that I had been dreaming for a long time.
Finally the morning came, and we were ready to see the child and
take her home. The day came and went, and we did not have the
baby. They told us that the father of the girl who had had the
baby found out that she was in the clinic and went to see what
happened. Although he had been told, there was the problem of
a nervous breakdown since in Latin countries, it was very bad
for a single girl to have a baby, and it gave her a bad reputation.
After three or four days, they told us that Peron was arriving
from Spain and the army had taken over the hospitals and clinics.
We had to wait a few more days because of this. I started to become
suspicious about the whole thing, but I had no choice and had
to wait. Two weeks later they told us that the father of the girl
had found out the truth about the baby and decided to keep it.
I was upset about the whole situation, but I was down there and
had no other alternative but to wait and see.
The next step was to look for another baby. They introduced
us to a few doctors that they knew, and each one promised to find
us a baby, since I wanted & baby girl, and there were only boys
available. In the end, I was willing to take any baby as long
as it was healthy. They started to bring us babies in a stationwagon
as if they were sacks of potatoes. All of them were newborns,
and we felt very sorry for the poor things, but there wasn't one
that we had in mind. Finally a midwife came to see us with a two-hour
old baby girl. We had decided not to look any more because we
were Very disappointed with the whole situation. They convinced
my husband to go outside to the car and take a look at the baby.
He came back in the house and asked me to see the child. I refused
in the beginning, but then I went, and we both decided to keep
the baby. We made all the arrangements to meet their demands and
settle the whole thing. They drove us to the Registration Office
to register the baby as our own legitimate. (Olga's Birth Certificate) By this time, another
doctor rushed in with the news that he had a baby for us. We thanked
him, and told him we already had what we wanted. He was furious
and started to demand the money he claimed he had to pay other
people for their services. I refused and told him that we did
not sign any contract and that we were looking around. Someone
came along first and we had taken our baby. He took it very hard
and became terribly upset. We agreed to go with him to see the
other baby. he drove us to a very fancy clinic and once inside,
a nurse brought the baby girl to us with the scissors still holding
the cord. We liked her too, but my husband told them that we already
had a baby and were settled on her. I felt sorry for that little
one and begged my husband to take her, too. I told him I would
take care of both of them as if they were twins. He left with
the doctor warning us that we had to pay for this.
After two or three days, my husband went to the American
Consulate to register the baby in order to come back home to the
United States. He signed an affidavit and was told to bring me
in to sign, too. A few days later we went back to talk to the
Consul Deputy, Mr. Hichkok, who was very angry. He took us to
his office and asked us many questions. I'd learned from him that
someone sent an anonymous letter stating that the child was not
legitimately ours. We denied the fact as I was afraid of losing
the baby, with whom I was already in love. They gave me an appointment
to visit a doctor at the British Hospital to verify the facts.
Meanwhile, the people who gave us the baby were afraid and there
was talk about getting rid of the baby by letting the cord bleed.
I was so furious that I told them if anything should happen to
that child, I would go to the authorities, television, newspapers,
etc., I warned them against touching the baby. They tried to convince
my husband to have me put under for a small operation to show
I had had a baby. I refused the proposition. and told them that
no one was going to touch me or the baby. They seemed very angry.
My husband had to get back to work, and time was running out,
for he had only four weeks vacation. He decided to let me stay
there with these people, and he would go back to the States and
see what he could do from New York. I begged him not to leave
me alone with the baby among people that I already afraid of,
but he left, leaving the baby and I in the middle of the danger.
The baby and I went to the British for the check-up and
blood test, They took blood from the heel of the baby's foot,
and examined me. After through examination of my body, they could
not agree or deny the fact that I had given birth to a child.
After a certain period of time, the birth canal in a woman's body
closes back to its normal size. I had the appointment many days
after the baby was born, so it was not a written law against nature.
Nevertheless, the Consul would not issue the baby any papers.
He simply refused to let the baby enter the U.S., even though
he knew we were American citizens.
My husband was calling by phone practically every other
day. I begged him to let the baby and I go to Spain with my family
and wait there until he could do something about it. Every time
I mentioned it to him he refused, but he would allow me to go
to Milano, Italy to his brother's house. In fact, he had already
spoken to his brother about it on the phone. I refused because
I felt more comfortable going to Spain with my own people.
Meanwhile it was a nightmare for me in Buenos Aires, living
with that family. I began to notice that every time the baby had
her formula, she would get sick. This made me worry. I suspected
something was wrong with the formula, so I got a new formula and
locked it in my suitcase in my room, so I would be sure that no
one could get it. When I gave her the new formula, she was fine
and I began to have a suspicious feeling that someone was putting
something in it. I always locked myself in the room and I was
awake as much as I could, as I did not have any confidence in
those people. One night, I heard voices, and people arguing. I
peeked out the door and saw a man holding a gun, with his parents
preventing him from entering the house. I really panicked, and
when my husband called me on the phone and I explained the situation,
he insisted I should be patient and wait. I asked him again to
let me go to Spain, and once more he refused. After I had been
there three months, my husband phoned me and instructed me to
go to the Pan American Office and make a reservation for myself
and the baby. The baby's ticket amounted to ten percent of the
fare. He told me not to worry and that immigration in New York
had made arrangements with Pan Am Airlines to let me get on the
plane with the baby, who was holding an Argentinean passport.
Naturally I was very happy to see that ny imprisonment in that
house was coming to an end, (By the way, all of the time I was
in Argentina, my husband was calling me practically every other
day from the same house that the old woman lived in. She never
came to the telephone to say hello, or give me advice, or even
a good word... etc) I kept asking my husband why she wouldn't
talk to me, and he always gave me an excuse, that she was busy,
or she was planning a vacation trip to Italy.
After eleven hours on the plane, I finally arrived in New
York with my precious cargo. The baby slept all the way, and no
one on the plane could believe their eyes when they saw me disembark
with her. They had no idea that there was a baby on board, that's
how good she is. At the checkpoint, an Immigration officer called
upon me, looked at both passports, and asked me if she was my
baby. I told him she was, and he gave me the passports and told
me to go ahead to collect my luggage at customs. I finally got
out the door, where my husband and a few of his friends were waiting.
I was very happy, and I thought everyone must be. After all the
greetings we went home. On the way my husband told me that Aunt
Tessi (that is how he called. the old woman) went to Italy on
vacation. We started painting the whole apartment, and went shopping
for the baby, etc. The house started to be filled with my husband's
friends and neighbors that Came to see the baby, but I noticed
that they were not as warm as they use to be with me.. I did not
suspect anything as I did not have a guilty consciencious.
On the week following my arrival, my husband took the baby
and I to a lawyer that he said some friends recommended. This
lawyer was Mr. Ralph Lavine at 26 Court Street, Brooklyn, New
York, who, after hearing the whole story, says his fee for arranging
everything with Immigration concerning the baby's papers will
be $5,000.00. We knew that $5,000.00 was a lot of money, but my
husband said as long as we didn't have any problem with Immigration,
we'd sacrifice and pay the money. Mr. Lavine took our passports,
the baby's and her identity book, and kept them in the office
for twenty months.
The next step was to go to the Immigration Office at 20
West Broadway in New York, to see Mr. Graco, a man that my husband
said helped him with the case. He introduced the baby and I, and
we thanked him. He also went to the Immigration Office in Brooklyn
and presented all the baby's papers. Mr. Vaiggio was the person
assigned to the baby's case. (I somehow found out that everyone
was mad at me, but I was busy with the baby and didn't pay any
attention.) Mr. Vaiggio said that we would hear from him, meanwhile)
I was taking care of the baby and the house. Whenever we received
any letters from Immigration, we simply gave them to Mr. Lavine
and he postponed the case.
The baby was growing up very healthy and bright. From the
very beginning, I began to talk to her in three languages, English,
Spanish, and Italian. I also spoke a little French, and she was
responding to all of them. At the same time I was teaching her
letters and numbers, and when I asked which one it was, she pointed
her little finger very accurately. She did the same thing with
animals and objects, and I was very proud of her. I thought she
was doing pretty good for a baby at her age.
When the baby was about twenty months old, I began to get
a pain in my left side, and my strength began to lessen. I was
very worried since there was so much concern on television about
breast cancer. That was the time when Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Rockefeller
had Breasts removed. I wanted to go for a physical examination,
but my husband refused to allow me to see any doctor. He claimed
that I was sick in my head and that he knew my trouble. He told
me that the sickness that was bothering me was something that
no one would believe and that this sickness would burn my insides.
He also told me that no one would help me because no one would
Meanwhile, my physical condition was getting worse. I was
getting up in the morning with a mouth and lips very tight, and
my body did not respond as usual. I had to hold myself to the
wall in order to control my balance, and I had a, feeling as if
I were being drugged. I was very drowsy. I asked my husband for
an explanation and received the same answer again. Finally, he
decided to let me have a physical examination in the Union Clinic,
Local 485, 160 Montague Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. in which he was
a member. After a thorough examination, they told me I had something
in my chest, and asked me if I ever had worked in a place a exposed
to chemicals. I told them I had always worked in offices as a
secretary, and the only chemicals I had access to were household
detergents, etc. Finally, my husband agreed to let me see the
family doctor who sent me to a radiologist, Marcus Wisner, M.D.,
1430 Forty Eight Street, Brooklyn, N.T. 11219 - Telephone TR-1-9700.
All the reports they gave me were satisfactory and they
said nothing was wrong with me. I went back to the Union with
this report and they insisted that I had something in my chest.
I began to suspect that someone was not telling me the truth.
I decided to get help by my own sources, but as much as I tried,
I could get no where. First, my husband would not allow me to
leave the house, not even to take the baby for her daily walk.
He refused to let me talk on the phone when he was home, using
the other extension to tell whoever I was talking with not to
believe me because I was crazy. I even called Spain to ask my
family to come, but he went and used the same words.
When I began to suspect something was going on, my husband
remained at home on sick leave, telling me that he had an accident
with the truck at work, and that Mr. Lavine would take care of
the case so he and his friend could collect some money. He came
home every night from the doctor's office with many little bottles
of pills that he was supposed to take every day according to doctor's
One night I woke up and caught my husband feeling my head.
When I asked him what he was doing he simply said that he was
covering me with the blanket. It happened two or three times again,
and on one of those tines, I heard a click, like glass or metal.
He again excused himself Another night he woke up screaming and
hit himself saying, "God help me, I will kill myself!"
He was all perspiration and I had to change the bed linens and
his pajamas. I started to become very frightened.
The next day called Mother Superior Maria Garcia (I had
grown up with in Spain) and asked her to come see me. I gave her
$40.00 for the car fare since it was a very cold day and the snow
was heavy. She came to see me with another nun, and I explained
the situation. While she was in the house, my husband arrived
and they started to talk, but I was not satisfied with what was
going on. The next day when I woke up, I felt the same way. I
told my husband I was going to visit an old friend from the office
and I would be back. Then I arrived at this old friend's house,
I had the feeling of being followed. My friend was not much help,
so I called my husband and told him that I was spending the night
in my friend's house. Instead I called the nun seeking help. She
refused my need, advising me to go to St. vincent's Hospital.
It was very late and I was very frightened. I did not know what
to do, and being under the pressure from the drug, I panicked
and decided to go to Washington, D.C., to get help from the Embassy
of Spain. Since I worked for them all this time, they knew me
Everything was against me when I arrived there. Everything
was closed as it was a long weekend and everyone was away. I was
still seeking help and I went to see a few churches near by, but
none of them helped me. As evening came, I began getting cold,
and I checked in at the Holiday Inn. I was not completely confident
in the whole situation, and I went down to sit in the lobby, and
I saw people gathering around me. I got up and went for a walk
and noticed that one of them was following me. I kept walking,
not knowing where to go. I took a bus, thinking it would be safer,
and went for a long ride. When I realized what the bus was going
to the end of the line, I got off and saw a gas station. I asked
for directions to get back but while I was talking with a boy
that was pumping gas into a car, he bent down as if he was hiding
from a flying object. I ran inside the office and through the
window, I saw the same person who was in the hotel lobby. I called
the police and told them what happened and that I would like to
talk to the Police Commissioner. A patrol car came and I asked
for protection. I told them I would like to go back with them
to Police Headquarters. They refused, and told ne that the police
in Washington was no better than in New York. I didn't know what
to do, so I managed to get in the back of their car and sit down.
They refused, using force to get me out of the car. I called for
help, saying that was police brutality, and they finally told
me that if I wanted to go to the police station, I had to get
in a van that was parked near by. In the beginning, I refused,
and they said to stay in a motel near by, which I refused. Then
I decided it was better to get in the van than to be left alone
in the streets. As I approached the back of the van, the police
ran ahead and closed the door leaving me outside. I struggled
to get in, and finally they pushed me in, locked the door, and,
drove me, not to the police station, but to a mental hospital
where they kept me in the office.
After all the preliminary questions, I told them I wanted
to call my husband, who, instead of helping me, told them to lock
me in and not let ne go. I begged my husband not to do that, but
it was useless. Somehow they refused and kept me in the office
all night. About five a.m., one of the staff of the office, a
middle-age Negro, jumped on me and kissed me on the mouth. I passed
out and when I woke up, I found myself sitting outside the hospital
on a bench. I found it physically impossible to move my eyes and
lips due to the pain. My toes and nails were covered with blood.
I then saw my husband arrive with a neighbor by the name of James
Smith. They went inside the office and came out with a bunch of
papers. They put in a taxi to the airport, and sat me in the back
of the airplane. I looked at my husband and his friend who says
to ne, "This is for the baby's benefit." And my husband
was telling him that after they will go on vacation to Jamaica.
When we arrived in New York, they told me that we would
go home to see the baby for the last time. As soon as we were
in the house, my husband told me to lay down on the bed; the baby
was downstairs with the old woman. After a while I started to
feel a little less pressure and could talk, so I asked for the
baby, but the old woman did not want to release her. I tried to
go down, but my husband was in my way and wouldn't let me move
from the apartment. Meanwhile, I was getting much better from
the drowsy feeling and pressure. I called the nun on the phone
and told her that I was afraid to be alone with my husband that
night, so she sent a woman to stay. We were supposed to pay her
$35.00 for the night.
Later in the evening, they let the baby come up. I could
not sleep that night; my husband came to get me back, so I told
him that I wanted to go down to say good morning to the baby,
as I always did. When she opened the door, I gave the baby to
my husband, and locked the door behind me, leaving my husband
out with the baby.
I took the old woman by the shoulders and shook her, asking
at the same time what was going on between them, and what my husband
was doing to me at night because I woke up every morning very
sick. She started to laugh at me, loosening herself from me. I
held on to her tight and gave her another shake in order to make
her talk, but she was screaming so loud, saying that I wanted
to kill her. My husband forced his way in, jumped on me, and sat
down on top of my body, choking my throat with his hands. Cutting
off my breath, I tried to scream and he pushed me out and I went
upstairs, leaving the baby with the old woman and my husband.
I took the telephone and called the nun again, but nobody would
Then I telephoned the Insurance Co., Mr. Winderman, since
my husband had recently changed the insurance policy a few months
before. I asked Mr. Winderman for help. He told me he would send
the police; but, by that time, my husband already had called the
police and an ambulance. The house started to fill up with my
husband's friends that were not too near the house. I do not know
who called them, but only men come.
Then the ambulance came and took me to Coney Island Hospital,
arriving there at 10 a.m. My husband, the police, and his friends
were talking to an Italian doctor.
I began complaining about my ear, and they put a drop in it. They
kept me there all day, waiting for an available ambulance that
would transfer me to another hospital, but I did not know for
what. I thought it would be for a physical examination. Later
in the evening, they pushed me in a white van and injected my
arms until we arrive at the hospital. That was King's County,
where my husband, police and his friends were already waiting
for me, and talking with a doctor as they approach me. Then I
saw may funny people and I realized what was going on. I told
the doctor that all we needed was a marriage counselor, but he
ordered me to underdress completely and gave me a very strong
medicine to drink and started to inject me again. I tried to refuse
and protest, but nothing would help for I was in their hands.
They laughed and put me in a chair, sending me to a ward where
I saw all these funny people that I was afraid of. I did not have
a choice, and this was against my will.
The next morning, I called the nun, asking for help. She
promised to come, but she would send a priest first. I spoke with
the priest, but he was not very much help. In fact, I noticed
that he was talking to me and looking around at the same time
My husband came to see me, and I begged him to take me
out of there. He laughed at me again and said that I was going
to be transferred to Pilgrim Hospital in Long Island. I was very
angry at his attitude, but helpless. I asked the nun to get me
a lawyer, but she refused. She was coming to see things, and that
it was just terrible what they did to me. She may very well that
I was not sick, and that was not justice at all.
The days went by, and I was still there. They stuffed me
with strong pills and drinks, which I managed not to swallow for
I knew they would make me very sick. I started drinking plenty
of water, and the nurses used to come and slap my hand in order
to drop the cup. They did that several times. I started to eat
a little and began to feel better. The nun
sent me some fruits and desserts; but the way they treated
me there was terrible, not even an animal deserves such behavior.
One day I was walking in the corridor and two nurses jumped on
me and injected my backside and pushed me into the gymnasium where
all the mixed patients, male and female, were at play. I was so
drowsy that I sat on a bench.
I tried to talk with the doctor that they assigned to me,
Dr. Sinkman, but every time I asked him, he gave me the same answer,
"I have no time, I have no time," and would walk away.
I asked for another doctor since I wasn't satisfied with only
his opinion, but he looked at me with a sarcastic face and said,
"you are stock to me." (I am using the very same words
that he said at that time.) He laughed and walked away.
Another day, this lawyer, Mr. Kaplan, came with papers
for me to sign for the transfer to Pilgrim Hospital. When I refused,
he says that I will have to go to court according to the hospital
rules. I agreed to go to court because I thought I would have
a chance to speak up .... But again he came back a few days later
with the same papers and the same words. I made it perfectly clear
that I would not sign anything that is against my will.
I spoke about the whole thing to the nun, and she said
to go ahead with the court business, and that she will be at the
hearing. I gave her the name and address of a lawyer along with
a letter, so he will be there, too.
When the day came to go to the mini hearing, the nun was
there but not the lawyer. I kept asking for him, but the nun kept
saying that he promised to be there. The hospital provided me
with a lawyer by the name of Mr. Engle. The trial started, and
the lawyer asked Mr. Sinkman, the doctor, for background on the
case, and evidence. He also asked for the Coney Island records.
He was really confused and would only say that I was incoherent
when he called me to his office. The truth is that he was incoherent
himself, and a liar. So the judge said to Mr. Engle, are you with
us or not? The judge's name was Nichols. They postponed the hearing.
After we left the room, the nun told me that never in her
life (and she had been in courts before) had she seen such a pig
of a judge. Those were her exact words.
The days passed by, and they kept me there, treating me
worse than an animal. I tried to get the nun on the phone, but
they would hang up on me, saying the time was over, etc. They
also would send the most dangerous patients in the same room.
I wanted to talk to Mr. Engle, the lawyer, but they kept
saying he was not in the office, etc... Finally, one day I sent
a message with a social worker and he came, but he appeared to
be very frightened to be seen with me. He told me that the administration
had discharged my case, but the doctor was keeping me there, and
I called the nun, and
when she came, I told her everything. She went to the administration
office, as I instructed her to do, and talked with the director
of the hospital. She came back and told me that he was not available,
but that she spoke with someone else there. She tried to get the
doctor, but the told her that he already left the hospital. She
insisted on signing out for me. Finally they said the doctor was
on the phone, and she went t talk with him. When she came back
from the conversation with the doctors, she signed the papers
and we went to the convent
on 251 West 14th Street, New York, N.Y.
When we arrived, she called my husband on the phone asking
for some clothes. He was furious when he came and saw me free.
We talked and I told him that we could forget the whole thing
and start all over again. But he gave me a very cold look and
said I was a dead woman. He asked me for the key to the safe deposit
box, since I changed from a small one to a large one and put only
my name and the baby's on it. Then he said that in the coming
week, we would go together to the box and give him all the contents,
and he left.
The nun told me that the best thing would be to go to Spain
the next day. Since it was Saturday, they would not expect me
to move from there without getting the safe deposit box. she paid
the fare and gave me $200.00 in advance for my expenses. I signed
a receipt which she would also send me a bank form for her to
get into the box. Then she put me on the Iberian Air Lines of
When I arrived in Spain, the first thing I did was to get
a through a physical examination,
and all kinds of tests. I found out that my right ear drum was
broken from the blow that my husband gave me that day I wanted
to make a phone call.
I also called my husband on the phone and tried to make
him understand, instead he was very angry and told me not to bother
calling anymore because he was going to change the number. I also
called his brother in Italy and sent him a letter, but nothing
I talked with the nun on the phone and she told me not
to come back to the U.S., but to go to another country and start
all over, that I was still young and well prepared for any position,
because she said this time they are not going to put you in a
hospital, and they will shoot you in the streets. I was terrified
I received a letter from the nun enclosing a bank form
for me to sign. I went to the American
Consulate in Bilbao, Spain, and legalized the power of attorney
in order for her to enter the safe deposit box. I registered the
letter and mailed it. I also told her to open another safe deposit
box near the convent, under both names, her's and mine, and to
transfer the contents, so it would be convenient at my return
to get there, and not to go to Brooklyn, since I am in much danger.
Another day she called me on the phone and told me that
she got the letter, went to the bank and took all the jewelry
and had it with her. The rest she left there because it was heavy
to carry (I have silver things) and the documents. She added that
in the evening, Mr. Lavine, the lawyer, called upon her warning
her not to interfere and to give everything to my husband. She
appeared to be very upset.
I decided to come back in spite of her warnings of being
in danger. I came to Canada and stayed with some diplomatic friends
that I knew before. It happened to be the Consul of Spain in Ottawa.
I was in their house as a guest for a month. After I explained
the whole situation they recommended a lawyer in New York that
was supposed to be very efficient. His name was Mr. Hayton Stannaged
at the Empire State Building, N.Y., N.Y. Telephone 212-524-0830.
I went to the New York office to see the lawyer and then to see
the nun at the same time.
First I went to see Mr. Stannaged and he told me that he
will get in touch with Mr. Lavine and Mother Maria Garcia and
let me know.
Then I went to the convent to see the nun and collect my
things, but then I arrived, she started to give excuses. Finally
she came with a little bag and gave me a few things or pieces
of jewelry. I asked for the rest, but her expression on the face
was very grave. She said that it was all she had and I told her
how I have an inventory to everything. She said she gave my husband
what she thought was his and she wanted to be fair. Naturally
I was angry and told her how I trusted her integrity and how she
told me over the phone not to give anything to my husband because
he had no intention of giving me anything, etc... So I told her
that the power I gave her was to protest my interest, for that
was the only thing I could count on. Then she was intimidating
me, saying not to talk anymore because I was going to be the loser.
I left the convent with a broken heart and the little things she
gave me. I went back to Canada and waited there for the lawyer
to call me.
A few weeks later I came back to the States to see Mr.
Stannaged and he told me that the baby was already out of the
country, that he had a meeting with my husband and Mr. Lavine
and that they will give me some papers to sign a Santo Domingo
divorce. I refused and told them I want to go through U.S. law,
not Santo Domingo Law. He refused to give any more help. I asked
who was going to pay for the operation on my ear that the doctor
told me I must have, and he said nobody. I was very discouraged
and helpless. I tried very hard to settle my situation and get
my baby back, but every time they contacted Mr. Lavine, everybody
In 1974 my husband started to tell me to leave the house
and go away leaving the baby too, because the coming year, 1975,
we wouldn't be together anymore. I told him if that is your desire,
the door is wide open, he was the one that should leave for only
he wanted to part. Nevertheless, I thought he was bluffing, and
did not really believe him, besides, I figured that if he had
planned to leave me, I would remain in the house with the baby.
I put the pieces together and saw that he had everything premeditated
for he used to say to me he was going to leave me, but the time
did not arrive yet, and on account of me he didn't going to lose
this house, etc.
Also, if we had an argument about the old woman he would
get very angry and go with his fingers directly to my eyes saying
he would pull them off and leave me blind.... Only God knows what
I have been through with him.
Once he had an accident at work. He got burned with the
steam from an open valve. He had severe burns over his face, chest,
and arms. They took him to a New York hospital and called me at
the office. When I arrived there, I did not recognize him. He
called me because I was passing by looking for him. He cried like
a baby, and said that if he will have to live with scars on his
face, he will shoot himself.... When everything was over, thank
God he was lucky. the doctor told him, you're a lucky man to have
such a wife. Then he came home to recover and I took good care
On another occasion he was very sick to his stomach. We
rushed him to an emergency room in a Brooklyn hospital and they
did not know what it was and said he had to be operated on immediately.
I thought it was cancer because they said he had a tumor. He was
in intensive care for ten days. During that time he was insulting
the nurses with dirty words. I was ashamed when I went to visit
him and the other patients were telling me that he was very rude.
I asked them to excuse him because he was sick. Thank God he pulled
through. He came home and I took good care of him. I just don't
understand how a human being can forget everything so easy and
do such harm to my life. It has to be a real sick person, even
animals respond to kindness, love, and care.
Another sort of problem we use to have was that someone
introduced him to a man that just arrived from Italy. My husband
got involved with him so deep that he was mistreating me. When
that man use to come to the house, they kissed and hugged each
other in my presence, and the change of looks was just incredible
to me. I have to confess that our intimate relationship was very
poor .... from his part, so I refused to let him come to my apartment.
So my husband took him to work in his job and also introduced
a girl to him to marry in order to remain in this country. They
had a baby and I was forced to become a good mother. He used to
give very generous bonuses and gifts to the baby, even with my
own money, since I always had a joint account. This man was imposing
and demanding so much of my husband, that I felt uncomfortable
when he was around.
One day I asked the friend who introduced this man to my
husband, what was going on, that I didn't like their behavior;
but they just kept quiet. The old woman was also asking my husband
when the Lacuna affair was going to end. That gave me more to
think about, and I always had been a loyal and faithful wife,
good housekeeper, and mother.
I could go on telling many things, but I feel that I don't
have to go on every detail. I tried to be as brief as possible.
29, 1980 -- Madrid July 13,
1978 -- Madrid July 24, 1978
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