Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hands down, the worst day of my life

Christopher Cser is my husband.  Chris and I were married just two years, one month and one week when it happened. To tell the full story, I need to go back, just a couple of days...Monday, December 7 had started out just like any other day. Chris and I had a major blowout the Thursday beforehand, lots of words said and feelings hurt, but nothing serious.  I wrote him a letter the next day and explained why his drinking needed to stop, he was drinking twice a week and I was afraid that he'd be drinking more and more until it was again an everyday habit.  So, he had promised that he would stop drinking. Well, he didn't keep his promise; by that night he was drunk and depressed. We both suffer from bi-polar disorder. I self medicated with shopping and he self medicated with alcohol. But this Monday was different. He had finally said the words that I had been waiting to hear for well over two years..."I need help!" He had finally agreed to check himself into an inpatient rehab center. The outpatient center wasn't working for him. I was overjoyed to hear those words, alcohol was quickly ruining our marriage. I had actually gotten a divorce lawyer and threatened him with the big D, divorce. I can't say that I would have ever gone through with those threats because I loved him way too much, he is my soul mate. Besides, I never contacted the lawyer, just the referral. Anyway, when I came home from work that night, I sat on the stairs and he sat on the floor in the hallway. He was sobbing about how he had let his alcohol interfere in his life for much too long. This was not the way that he wanted to live, he wanted to have a child with me and he did not want his child go grow up like him. We had a magnificent night despite his drinking, it seemed like he sobered up pretty quickly. When we went to sleep, he was anxious. He kept getting out of bed and checking the downstairs, checking the alarm, and smoking. He couldn't sleep and therefore, I couldn't sleep. The next day started out pretty well. I was going to make him breakfast (something that I hadn't done in weeks) but, he was hungry and decided to make his own eggs because I was taking too long....yeah, I was making him some fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee, bacon, and toast. We joked about it, I then went to my doctor's appointment and did some Christmas shopping. When I got back, we sat on the sofa and watched some car show that he was into. I didn't even mind, I was actually interested in it. I also showed him one of the presents that I bought for his son, a remote controlled snowmobile. He was so excited about it and was joking that he was going to play with it tonight since it was supposed to be the first snowfall of the year.

After I went to work, I sent him a text message asking him if he opened the snowmobile and started charging the battery. We joked about it some more. Then he told me that he was going to make me a surprise dinner. He hadn't made me dinner in about a month. I was so excited because our life was getting back on track, where it used to be before he started drinking again. He made me chicken fingers, with homemade baked french fries and vegetables. The vegetables were a big deal because he would always tell me that we didn't need a vegetable if we had a potato, I disagreed. I had to get back to work. We kissed, and he told me that he'd probably be sleeping when I got home because he had to work in the morning. I kissed him again and told him how much I loved him. Little did I know, that would be the last time that I would ever kiss him again.

I finished my work early and regret not coming home. I really wanted to spend more time with him, but I didn't want to blow my vacation time. So, I stayed and when I was getting ready to leave about a half hour early, a coworker stopped me to ask for my help. I did. I will forever regret those decisions. I ended up walking out the door at 11:30pm. I had to clean off my car from all the snow. It was 11:34pm as I was pulling out of work when he called. I couldn't understand him, then he said it. He said, "I've been stabbed." I had him repeat it, I asked who did it? He told me, "Shannon." I didn't know Shannon personally, I just knew him as some guy that occasionally drank with Chris. He also told me not to come home and to call 911. Our phone call lasted 28 seconds. I called 911 and gave them as much information as I knew. They also told me not to enter the house. As I pulled up to the house, I noticed one set of footprints leading to the back door and a second set coming out the front door in a zig zag pattern. I called Chris again and asked him where he was? I was thinking that he managed to leave the house, he told me that he was in the living room and to not go in. How could I not? That was my husband! I remember the front door was closed, but not locked. The first thing that I saw when I entered was blood on our manger. Then I saw him. He was laying on his back in front of the couch. The coffee table was pushed out of place. I called my mother in a panic. I could hear the moisture in the area rug under my footsteps. His shirt was a dark blue, I kept thinking "That's not the shirt that he had on earlier, that shirt was light blue." I held his hand, and I asked him, "where are you stabbed?" He told me everywhere, then he lifted his shirt. I could see one stab wound on his stomach, but it wasn't bleeding. I could see wounds on his neck, face and head (which I later learned were as the result of torture)...but none of them were bleeding. He kept telling me that he loved me. I asked him how the guy came in, he told me, "He busted through the back door." I left his side to grab the house phone to call 911 again. It had seemed like an eternity since I had called, but it was about 5 minutes. I noticed the blood on the wall in the dining room and the dining room table was pushed about 3 feet from where it normally is. With 911 on the phone, I went back to Chris. I kept going from Chris to the front door and back to Chris. I couldn't understand why the police were taking so long. At one point, Chris had said, "Tell Zachary I loved him." I thought, you can tell him that yourself! Well, the police stopped at the corner and the 911 operator told me to go to them. Worst mistake of my life. I left my best friend, my husband, my life lying in the living room alone while the police stood in front of my porch with their guns drawn. I kept asking why they weren't going in, then I heard over the radio that they smelled gas in the house and they had to wait for the fire department to get there. (After brutally attacking my husband, this monster turned on the gas on the stove.) I remember the fire trucks, but I don't remember them arriving. I don't know when they took him to the hospital because I was put in the back of a police car. I was taken to the hospital and examined. I was also having a panic attack so they had to examine me for that. I sat in an emergency room with a police guard outside my door and I was not permitted to wash his blood off my hands. NOBODY, would tell me how Chris was doing, despite me asking every few minutes. They kept saying "I don't know", "I don't know who he is" and "he's not my patient". I prayed that he would be ok. When they were taking me to get xrays, I asked if they caught Shannon. The response was, "we've already arrested him." It wasn't "we've found him and questioning him" or even "he's in custody", but it was arrested him!  (I later found out that his name was Shannon Maurice Holmes and he lived on the next block over and across the street.)

I was transported to the police station with my mom in a police car. My dad was going to meet us there. But, my mom had his keys so he had to wait for the police to bring them to him. I was questioned about the events of that night. I can't say that I know what time it was, I'm thinking it was past 2 am December 9, 2009. When I was asked to write my statement the detective told me that he was going to find out how Chris was doing. He came back and matter of factly told me, "Ok, your husband has passed away." The only thing that I could say was, "NO, NO, NO, go call the hospital because there is a mistake!" He got up and I assumed that he was going to call the hospital again. Well, he left to get my parents. They had actually already known because the medical examiners office came to pick up Chris while my dad was waiting for his keys. Chris had 61 wounds, 28 stab wounds and 33 incised wounds.

The police followed this murderers footsteps in the snow. He went past his house to the corner street and hopped fences, the officer followed his footsteps right to his fence. He wouldn't come to the door, but his girlfriend came home from work and the police immediately put her in the back of their car. When Shannon saw this, he came to the door. The police officer asked him, "What's that on your face?" He replied, "Oh that's my complexion." The officer immediately placed him under arrest because as it turns out, that substance on his face was blood, my husbands blood! He had also tried to burn his clothes and the knife (a double edged diamond tipped knife) in the BBQ. Thankfully, the police recovered it before it was too late. His girlfriend had actually led them to the BBQ because she said that he'd committed a crime before and got away with it by burning the evidence.

There was some extensive news coverage of this; which is surprising considering we are in the suburbs of a major crime ridden city. The news falsely reported that Chris and Shannon had met up at a local party store, bought alcohol and later got into an altercation at our home. This is completely false! There was only one set of footprints leading to our side door. Besides, I know my husband, if he had been near alcohol, he would have drank some. The toxicology report stated that he did not have any alcohol in his system.

I still live in the house. It was our first home together and the very first place that either of us could say is "mine". I don't think about that night or what I saw that night when I'm at the home. At least, I try not to. When I think about the dining room, I think about having dinner with his son as a family. When I think about the living room, I think about all the happy things that happened there. I am a little scared at night, I check the alarm and locks several times before and after going to bed. This guy's girlfriend still lives down the street from me and both of them give me "evil eyes" when I'm in court. And I firmly believe that she had something to do with it, or knows a lot more about it than what she is saying. I'm not really afraid for myself, I would be grateful to die. But, I don't ever want my father to have to see a crime scene like that again. He was the one that made all of the arrangements with the insurance and the clean up crew. He has stated that he's seen a lot of blood in his time, he is a Vietnam veteran, and he has never seen this much blood ever before. There was so much blood in my dining room floor, they had to cut a hole so big, I could fit through. The laundry that was in the basement under this portion of the house had to be disposed of. I have yet to go one day where I don't have visions of what happened that night. Every night on my way home from work, I panic. I can't be on the road at 11:34pm, at least not that drive home. I keep thinking about the fear that Chris experienced, about how he fought for his life. And about how he clung to life. He knew that he was dying, he held on long enough to see me. And for that, I will forever be grateful.

I wonder if this man had said something to Chris the day before when Chris was drunk to set him off? I wonder because Chris was so anxious at night. He's not talking and I doubt that he ever will. The trial has been postponed twice. Once because the DNA results weren't back yet and a second time because this monster is saying that he's incompetent to stand trial. I have to go to court in August to see what the results are of the competency tests.


  1. I'm so sorry ann. I hope you know I care..

  2. this story breaks my heart to read. from one widow to another... i am here for you. i just can't believe there are people out there that are so brutal.. so unhuman... your story just doesn't seem real to me. How can that b possible??? I hope you are healing.. and know you have another person on your side. take care

  3. You ARE the strongest person I know !!

  4. You are the Strongest Person I know !!

  5. My husband of 22 years just passed 4 days ago, not sure how yet, found him on the couch, your story gives me some hope that this darkness I feel will someday lighten. He was only 42

  6. Bless Christopher and I pray that the love that you shared be a beacon of light in a dark world.

  7. Omy goodness, im soooooo sorry for you. My hubby has been gone almost 2yrs,,,,ive stayed up all night reading those blogs crying. My life is upside down,,,,i couldnt imagine yours. My hubby had massive heart attack ...totally unexpectedly. Im so sorry. Roberta White