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April 27, 2023 16 mins

After Betrayal Season 1 was released many of Spencer’s former students reached out to the show. Jennifer and Andrea speak with a two students to understand how the arrest and their interactions with Spencer have affected them. We hear from former student Paul as he grapples with the fact that his former mentor was not the man he thought. Amber recounts a few instances that left her feeling unsettled.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hey guys, it's Andrea Gunning and if you haven't heard yet,
a lot has been happening with Betrayal. First, we'll be
back with season two of Betriyals starting May eighteenth. We
even have a sneak peek at the end of this episode.
Second Trial Season one is being turned into a documentary.
More details on when and where it will launch, so
stay tuned on the feed for updates. Hundreds of Betrayal

listeners have reached out to betrayalpod dot com over the
past year to share personal stories about their own betrayals.
Others have written about knowing Spend personally. Some of the
hardest letters to read have been from Spencer's former students.
It's been surprising that so many months after we launched Betrayal,
we are still receiving messages from graduates that encountered him

during his twenty plus years as a high school teacher.
We heard from many women over the last year who
wanted to share their experiences with Spencer, but also heard
from male students who were deeply affected, like Paul, Paul,
it's so nice to meet you.

Speaker 2 (01:30):
It's nice to meet you as well.

Speaker 3 (01:31):
Yeah, thank you so much for listening. To the podcast, of.

Speaker 2 (01:35):
Course it was.

Speaker 4 (01:36):
It was definitely inlightening to hear you know, more about
what happened.

Speaker 3 (01:40):
Well, I'm curious as a former student, you know, you
knew this person pretty well.

Speaker 4 (01:46):
Yeah, I mean I knew Spencer extremely well. You know,
he was like a mentor to me even beyond high school.
And you know, herry the arrests. First of all, just
a lot of disbelief. Didn't really believe it, you know,
is this true? And then the arrest comes and it's like, okay,
you know, I still am like, is it it really is?

Could this really be true? Like I just don't fully
believe it until really he's guilty, and then you come
out with the podcast, and that's you know, I jumped
right on, like I have to figure out and hear
for myself, like what what did he really do?

Speaker 2 (02:18):
Did he really do these things? People are saying.

Speaker 3 (02:21):
Right well, And that's one of the questions that I get.
You know, why do you need to know? But you
do when you know somebody or you think you know
somebody and then they turn out totally different. Don't you
want to find those answers?

Speaker 4 (02:36):
Especially how well I knew him After high school? I
met up with him past graduation. You know, I helped
him with his newer students and went back to the
school to kind of help teach him and teach him
with the new students and take care of the lab.
So I was very close with him, and you know,
I considered him a.

Speaker 2 (02:53):
Friend of mine.

Speaker 4 (02:54):
So just hearing it was just such a shock and
just really hurtful. I still look at it to this
day and try to ask myself, how did I not
see any of it?

Speaker 5 (03:02):
What was your experience with him as a teacher?

Speaker 4 (03:05):
Yeah, yeah, I mean he was one of my favorite teachers.
I spent any free time I had, you know, with
him in his room. I worked on the video yearbook forum,
I was on the morning show supporting that as well.
A lot of extra time outside of the normal school
day was spent in that lab working with him on
different videos and that yearbook. So I was extremely close

to him during the school year and had nothing but
great things to say about him.

Speaker 5 (03:31):
Huh what made him a good mentor?

Speaker 4 (03:33):
To you? My original goal out of high school, I
was going into video production, and he was really helping
me understand what's the real world's like, where I can
go look for jobs? How I can get into that field,
and just being astounding board for hey, you know, here's
what I'm thinking about, which way should I go? And

just helping give me that drive and motivation because I really,
you know, in a high school I really didn't know
where I wanted to go in life, and he really
kind of framed that for me. He portrayed a family man,
happy marriage, He had great kids, you know, things that
I looked for and I wanted myself, so I you know,
I kind of attached to that.

Speaker 5 (04:12):
Did he always feel like a friend or did that
come later, Let's.

Speaker 4 (04:15):
Say, you know, after graduations, when I really felt like
that closer friendship you know, started the bond because it
was no longer a.

Speaker 2 (04:22):
Student teacher relationship.

Speaker 4 (04:24):
It was you know, two men, you know, working together,
bettering each other, you know, going to see his band play,
and you know, so on and so forth.

Speaker 3 (04:33):
Did you ever come to the wine bar?

Speaker 2 (04:36):
I did.

Speaker 4 (04:37):
I was at the wine cart when you were just
a cart and then you know, the wine bar and
really enjoying seeing that success of a dream come to life.

Speaker 5 (04:47):
So when you were listening to the podcast, was it
hard for you?

Speaker 4 (04:52):
It was definitely difficult. You know, I would be lying
if I didn't say. There were some tears just with
I think that he really did these things and that
you know, these women were coming out about it. The
one episode where I hear his voice, you know, I
was just like, I really just want to call him
and just say why, Like why.

Speaker 2 (05:13):
Are you the kind of person? You know? I had
trust in you.

Speaker 4 (05:16):
I looked up to you, and you really, you know,
did these things that I just unimaginable, you know, and
I put myself in the shoe because I have a
five year old daughter. Wow, I can't imagine what these
you know, these students have gone through, let alone these
other females that he's interacted with, and who knows how
many or elpler out there. I mean, it really hit
home with me too, being a father and having a daughter.

Speaker 6 (05:39):
I'm sitting here and I'm just really sorry that you
had to go through that. You know, teachers are supposed
to be our mentors, so I'm really sorry that that
happened to you as well.

Speaker 2 (05:54):
I'm more sorry that it happened to you.

Speaker 4 (05:56):
I mean, I remember when he got married to you.
Really know, I was in his life then and he
seems so happy, And if I had ever known he
was going to do something like I wish I could
have saved you from going through all of this.

Speaker 2 (06:11):
I don't know how you're doing it.

Speaker 4 (06:12):
You're extremely brave and just an amazing person to look
up to, to be able to, you know, go through
this and unravel all of this lies and and then
talk to people about it, you know. That's that's the
biggest reason I wanted to be a part of this
is I want other females out there that may be
dealing with something that isn't right to know that there's

people here to help you, and then come out and
step forward and you know, make a voice for yourself.
Don't be scared, and don't be bullied into keeping quiet,
you know. And that's really where that's where it comes
from my heart, Like we need more people to speak
up and talk about his experiences and make sure this
doesn't happen to anybody else as best we can.

Speaker 5 (06:57):
That's right, I mean, that's the whole point. If you
were to run into him on the street, would you
say anything to him or would you keep walking?

Speaker 2 (07:07):
That's a funny question.

Speaker 4 (07:11):
I think if I was by myself and I saw him,
I would definitely want to confront him and just stop
him and just say why. I think that's the last
piece of closure I don't have, is just talking directly
to him.

Speaker 2 (07:26):
I'm not going to get.

Speaker 4 (07:27):
An answer I want, right, but for some reason in
my mind, I just want to be able to just
unload my feelings and make him understand how I feel.

Speaker 7 (07:38):

Speaker 4 (07:38):
If I was with my family, oh, I would probably
have to look the other way. I don't want my
five year old daughter anywhere in the vicinity.

Speaker 3 (07:47):
Yeah, you know that last episode where I was able
to speak with him the last time, it was just
kind of brief because I thought I wanted to talk
to him. I thought I wanted these answers h But
then I realized that he's not capable.

Speaker 2 (08:05):
Nope, And you could hear it in his voice.

Speaker 4 (08:08):
He truly doesn't think he's done something wrong at this point.
He really believes his life. He won't understand anything I say.
I won't get the closure I truly want, but I
will get enough closure of just getting words out and
walking away from him and never sing again, but at
least get those last words because it still bothers me.

Speaker 1 (08:33):
Thank you so much, Paul, I really appreciate your time
and being willing to speak to me and.

Speaker 4 (08:38):
Jen, I'm an open book with this at this point
because I just I want to I want to help
any other victims that could be out there from anything,
you know, any anyone that's going through something like this.
I hope, I hope they listen in and I definitely
hope this helps them feel comfortable coming forward.

Speaker 1 (09:04):
Amber, another graduate of Kel High School, listened to Betrayal
and wrote in to share her experiences with Spencer. So Amber,
tell me when did you graduate Cal twenty twelve in May?
And did you have Spencer as a teacher.

Speaker 7 (09:21):
I did. I believe I had three classes with him,
one sophomore, junior, and senior year, but not my freshman.
Up until senior year, I didn't have any sort of
vibes or wonderings. But when I was approaching graduation, which

was in twenty twelve, is when there were a couple
incidentss that were questionable. He did call me into his
closed door office for some random reason, not anything specific
to talk to me about. He wanted to show me
something cool on a camera, and it was a handheld

camera with a flipout screen. So when you're showing that
to someone you're kind of, you know, shoulder to shoulder
with them, and he had turned the lights out and
closed the door so we could see better. But I
just remember when he did that, his body was like
touching the other side of my body, and you know,

him leaning over and showing this thing with all the
lights off. My heart started racing and I was like, whoa,
this is pretty close. It's pretty dark, and I'm not
even focusing on what he's showing me. I'm more wondering why,
you know, he's feeling so comfortable being this close to me.
Someone had interrupted, actually, someone had tapped his door and

kind of pushed it open. It was another student, and
I was kind of like, thank you for opening the door.
I'm out of here. When it happened, it felt like
an outlier. It was so borderline of it being something passable,
because what other teacher would have the opportunity to turn
the lights off to show someone something like that video
production had that sort of pass you know, it was

very borderline.

Speaker 3 (11:13):
Well, and part of that is because of who he was,
you know, he was this beloved teacher, so those borderline
things were kind of blown off, I think because it
was like, oh, no way, it could be coach Haarn.
He would never I feel like people just trusted him,
you know exactly.

Speaker 7 (11:35):
I think also, when you have someone who's trustworthy, who
can kind of bend the rules and be cool, you
don't want to ruin that. You know, obviously that would
be him ruining it himself, but you almost just don't
want to believe that he would do that because it's
you know, it was such a special class and it

didn't deserve to be tainted.

Speaker 5 (11:58):
And abused by his thought.

Speaker 1 (12:01):
I'm really sorry you had that experience in his office.
Was there anything else that you experienced that made you
say this feels off?

Speaker 7 (12:11):
There were three other times too while I was in school.
One of the time senior year, during graduation, I had
just gotten a new camera, like handheld digital camera, and
of course I was running around taking pictures with students
and teachers, and I had someone take a picture of

him and I and he put his hand around my
waist and pulled me like up to his body. And
I'm super sensitive to touch, so when those things happened,
it's I'm very aware of it. And I remember wondering, like, oh,
is this how he acts when people graduate and turn eighteen,

like he feels that he can make a touch like that.
That was the last time I had seen him. And
then a year later in twenty thirteen, in June, he
sent me a Facebook message. The first message that he

sends me is I miss Miami, which is this made
up nickname based off of my name with a bunch
of exclamation points. He's never called it to me before.
And him saying I miss you and then using this
made up nickname, I was just really confused, and again

was just like, is this just how he talks to
grad students, Like he just suddenly switches to this like
flirty person that uses nicknames. And then we were talking
a little bit about what I was studying in school,
and then again he just switches back and goes, you know,
I just knew how special you were. I always knew

just how special you were. The last message he sent
me was, hey, babe, what's up. That's just not something
that it's appropriate at all.

Speaker 1 (14:15):
Is there anything that you want to share that's important
for people to hear.

Speaker 7 (14:19):
I feel like the takeaway from this could be that
we should have more of these conversations, and students should
have more confidants and more people that they feel safe
confiding and when it comes to sexual harassment or anything
insinuating sexual conduct that is inappropriate in any way.

Speaker 1 (14:42):
I think that's a really good message. And thank you
so much for your time, Amber. I can't thank you enough.
And thanks to you guys, our Betrayal community.

Speaker 5 (14:53):
And get ready, we'll.

Speaker 1 (14:55):
Be back with season two of Betrayals starting May eighteenth.
It's about a new betrayal that I barely ever is
spoken about, but will confront it head on.

Speaker 5 (15:04):
Here's a sneak peek.

Speaker 8 (15:12):
My husband and I were opening a business. His first
job was that very next day. One of the clients
had asked if they could bendmo him, so he'd called
me that morning September twenty ninth, twenty twenty one. He
was like, I need you to set up my business Venmo,
and I was like, all right, use your name and

password for whatever email is connected to your venmo. So
he sent me the log in for his iCloud and
as I'm signing in, he frantically calls me back. He
was like, Oh, don't worry about it, we'll do it
together when we get home, Like, I'm sorry, it's going
to be too much like don't do it. I knew
by the tenor of his voice that he was trying

to hide something. I thought maybe he bought something that
he didn't want me to know about. There was nothing
in his photos, and then I scrolled down, and that's
when I saw a hidden folder and I opened it.
You know, when you open your photos, it's going to

show you like a whole bunch of them at once.
I slammed my computer shut. What the hell did I
just see.

Speaker 7 (16:50):

Speaker 5 (16:50):
Season two of Betrayal
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