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June 9, 2022 29 mins

After more than two years of not speaking and four years since seeing one another, Jenifer and Spencer finally speak. Jenifer re-asks him questions hoping time and reflection will provide clarity. Andrea and Jenifer explore how Jen transformed over the time Betrayal was produced and the impact the series has had on some members of the audience.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
This podcast discusses sexual assault. Please take care while listening,
yet charges and consent to this recording call press one.
Thank you for using Securius. You may start the conversation now, Hey,
how are you? I'm good? How are you? I'm making
it not good? It's been so long since he's so

(00:24):
oh gosh, that was Spencer hern the real Spencer Herron
on the phone from present. I'm Andrea Gunning and this
is Betrayal, episode eight. Thank you for your time. Spencer

(00:51):
was apprehensive about going on the record with Jennifer, citing
concern for his family and publicity. However, he did agree
to speak with Jennifer and he woke unrecorded line. They
spoke for nearly an hour after not having talked to
each other for more than two years. This was an
important conversation for jen for her personally, but also to

(01:11):
hear how we've used the situation four years later, and
there was some curiosity. Has his incarceration changed his perspective
and what does he plan to do when he's released.
Hearer excerpts from their call. I just wanted to see
if he's be willing to answer some questions. Well, it's

(01:32):
the realization, Okay, since I know you're going to obviously
you're going through with it, he says it. He is
referring to this project, the podcast well you're listening to
right now, the realization of and not being over for me,
And it's hard enough trying to imagine the difficulties I'm

(01:54):
going to face anyway, and then this seems just like
another layer of it, and that freaked me out. Essentially,
Spencer is concerned that making more people aware of a
story will make post prison life more difficult for him.
But I can't obviously keep you from doing what you
need to do to feel better for yourself. Yeah, I know,

(02:17):
I keep getting back to this, but I'm just so curious.
Is to like what you think about that light you
were living. The main thing I can say is that
it had gotten so out of control that it was,
I don't want to say living a life of its own,

(02:38):
because obviously I was in control of it, but it
had taken on the dominance in my life that I
didn't see coming. You know, even with the warnings that
I had, it obviously wasn't enough to stop everything. Warnings
like Jennifer's friend's husband calling him. Spencer knew he could

(02:58):
tell Jen at any time, right, But you say didn't
see coming, but like it was happening before we got married. Yeah,
it's happening all those years before we got married. So
knowing that you were like this, why get married? Well,

(03:21):
that's the part that's going to be difficult for you
to understand or believe. I didn't intended to keep going,
but you never stop? Correct, So at what point did
you intend for it not to continue? Oh? From the
data we got back together, okay, But knowing it was

(03:42):
continuing and that you didn't stop, why did you get married?
The intentions were always on the positive side, but my
actions would win over those intentions. The main thing is
I'm going to explain is the ease of the way

(04:05):
I found myself in those situations. I'm trying to use
an analogy. Have you been to three different grocery stores
even though you don't want to go shop there anymore,
it's easier to go to those stores. You've already been
to those stores. You're not looking for another store to
go to. It's that store still open. What I'm just

(04:27):
trying to say is that you know, once once you
had been fooling around for so long, it's not like
you got to figure out how am I going to
fool around? I'm not sure how all those women would
feel about the grocery store analogy. A few years earlier,
in his letters like the ones we heard in episode seven,
Spencer seemed to deny culpability by saying women just made

(04:49):
themselves available to him. Had time changed the story? And
one of the letters that you wrote me, you said
that you never thought after Do you still feel that way? Well? Yes,
in this I've got to answer this in two ways, yes,
meaning that I was never on a long half that

(05:13):
I chose to seek it out. It's just an opportunity
with present itself, and then before I knew it, I
was pursuing it. Probably not an answered it makes much sense. Yeah,
it doesn't. With you. I have seen so much correspondence

(05:34):
that I do feel like sought after it sought after
it might include come by the wine bar. I'm single
for the next few days. I understand that I would
never argue that that's how you saw it. And I'm
sure that no matter how much we talked, there's gonna
be some things that will make sense. They don't make
sense to me either, And I was the one involved in.

(05:57):
As much as I want to make it better, No,
there's gonna be a lot of things that aren't. And
they're what I say. It's not gonna make it better. No, no, no, no,
nothing will ever make it better, not after everything I've
read and seen and the amount I'll never understand it.

(06:21):
I am baffled at how you managed so many different
people at the same time, like a year, two years,
three year long affairs, multiple at a time. When you

(06:42):
look back, do you think you might have a problem?
And I'm not being facetious, Well, my opinion doesn't matter
until I get out there. You can say you don't
think you have a problem alcohol if you never have
an alcohol around you. I'm dealing with guys who've been

(07:03):
in for decades to the eyes that has just come
in a year. You know, most of fat in the
print system are females, and they're they're not going to women.
You know. Don't mean to be mean, I mean, I
just need to paint a picture for you, right, And
these guys will go crazy. Guys in in the county jail,

(07:25):
we're going crazy and masturbating publicly, masturbasing that still happens
in here. Now, that's a problem. Maybe it's a different problems,
but it's definitely what I don't have. Oh, I don't, Yeah,
I don't care. The last time we talked, I think

(07:48):
you felt is this. You were fine and cured and
it has gone away. I still feel that way, but
that's only how I feel. I don't know. No one
knows what anything is going to be tomorrow. But the
thing is, I guess you and I think of your
situation differently because I look at what you were doing

(08:11):
our entire marriage, from before and the entire every single
day of our marriage, you look me in the eye
and lied to me. There are probably days, and I
hope to God not many, where you ended up having

(08:33):
to sleep with me and another woman on the same day.
You've brought women into our home. Your sense of betrayal
is not a sense at all, and it is a
very real thing, and I would expect you to deal
with it no differently. Any same person would deal with

(08:56):
it the way you're dealing with it, which is to
be dumbfounded into be angry and everything else that you felt. Now,
I'm never going to get words in your mouth or
emotions in your in your personality, but all those things
make sense. I couldn't skirt around that if I wanted to.
Why would I want to? But do you not see

(09:18):
and issue that might need some work. You got to
the point where you were breaking the law, not to
mention the disgustingness of it. Do you ever think about
the victim? Yeah, of course, I'm sure. That's why I'm

(09:43):
still here. No immediate expression of remorse. Rather, he thinks
of the victim's impact on his parle. I'm not to
my own horn. I just look at the facts. Anybody
makes prole as somebody like me. I just don't want
what to say. I mean, I guess good for her. Yeah,
they're passengers that have been back three, four or five

(10:05):
six times, and you get out on parole every time.
And I'm not bitter about that. I don't even think
about the TC anymore. I don't think about parole anymore.
I do that. I do the next thing I'm supposed
to do that hour. I do the next right thing
every hour, and then the next thing after that, and
then I go sleep and I can do it all
over again. Are you surprised that she would do that?

(10:29):
I'm surprised at the system more than i'm surprised at her.
I'm surprised at the system gives false hope and tells
you something's going to happen and then takes it back.
That's that's what I say, is Yeah, but they couldn't
know that she was going to come forward. Well, we
don't know. We just we're assuming, and that's a really
good assumption. You know, I've got one hundred bucks on it.

(10:51):
Actually we do know. In an earlier episode, we learned
that the victim wrote and delivered a letter to the
parole board herself. So no, I'm not surprised. I'm sure
was her failing when it was her? Why do you
think that she's an adult song? That doesn't matter. That's
all just you know, interesting drama for the story. What
matters is that she is hopefully moving on. And as

(11:17):
much as I wish I could take it back, I
can't take it back. So all I can do is hope,
pray for everybody involved to be okay and move on. Yeah,
it's taking a long long time. Jen was curious about

(11:47):
the letter, so she put in a call to the
victim and asked if she would be willing to share
it with the podcast. Do you remember when he was
first supposed to be pooled. It was last year. It
was I think either around September or October, yeah, of

(12:08):
twenty one. Right. Yeah, So when you found this out,
you decided to write this letter? Do you mind reading it? Yeah?
And I was thinking of actually just saying my first
name only because this podcast has gotten so much attention,
and I thought maybe this could be an example for

(12:28):
other people or kids. Cannot be afraid. What you did
was so brave and incredible. It's obviously up to you.
I just thought it's one thing to say, oh, the victim, right,
It's so hard for me, and you know, I'm so
protective of you and your identity, but like calling you

(12:52):
the victim, you know, it's just I get it, obviously, y.
You know you're just so much more than that to me.
Thank you. So I wrote to whom it may concerns. First,
I would like to say that I don't know what
to say other than I am still in my process

(13:14):
of healing from what Spencer Haron did to me, starting
from when I was fifteen up until the very early
stages of my adult life. At first, when I received
the letter with news of him being up for parole,
I didn't want to respond or say anything, because all
I would like to do is move on with my life. However,

(13:35):
I realized then that is exactly what he would want.
It would have been a disservice to myself and all
the young girls out there had I not come forward
in the first place. And even now, years later, I
am responding to this because I believe he should not
be granted parole. People like Spencer Heron, who prey on
the innocence and trust of adolescence, do not wake up

(13:58):
one day and decide to sexually assault these children. People
like him take the time to select their victims and
begin the grooming process, just as he did with me.
This takes strategy, time, and effort on their part. I
wasn't the first victim, and I will not be the
last if he is released. Predators such as Spencer Herron

(14:20):
cannot control their perversions, nor are they willing to. This
ends up hurting not only the victims but their families
as well, just like he did to mine. I know
a side of him that not many do, and I
still live with those images in my mind every day.
He is cool, calculated, manipulative, deceitful, and violent. He has

(14:43):
no regard for who he hurts, and I am afraid
that there will be more victims if granted role. I'm
also afraid for myself. I hope this letter will be
taken into consideration. Thank you for taking the time to
read this, Sincerely, Rachel, such a powerful letter to the
parole board and on this podcast, bravely putting her anonymity

(15:06):
behind her, claiming her strength because she's more than a victim,
She's a Rachel. Whether you would get paroled or not,
Spencer would eventually be released. Jen wanted to know was
he prepared? If you want to be successful, don't you
think you should think about getting some help? I am,

(15:31):
but I can't say that I'm going to until I
know what I'm gonna be up against. Want to get help?
Do you guys have therapy and stuff in prison? Nothing
even close to anything you might even possibly imagine. Well,
that's why I was wondering what your plan is for

(15:51):
after you get out. My first plan and only real plan,
is to make sure I'm successful on probation or parole.
Because it's not I'll in it right back here. Since
we last, so like, have you gotten more about what
kind of life you had been leading, of course. I

(16:13):
mean that's that's what you do when you're when you
have all this time in the year, you can reflect
on everything and then hopefully if you're person wants to change,
then you figure out how to do it. How do
you change it to the best of your ability? Really? Then, yeah,
maybe that's the part that you don't understand because you've
never been to prison. Let me tell you, no sane

(16:39):
person would ever come back here. Ever, I've earned my time.
I've done it. Well, I haven't finished it yet, but
I will have done it. To your point about how
I'm going to deal with things, I'm going to look
at somebody square and I I go, I've done but

(16:59):
I was told I had to do. And if you
aren't cool with that, and we just won't have to
we don't want to be cool. And I know that's
going to be the majority of my last say majority
of my past contacts. I'm going to use the word friends.
He had done what he was told he had to do,
a clean slate, that's what he was after. However, he'll

(17:22):
still serve fifteen years probation. He'll be registered as a
sex offender. I mean almost everyone as you know, the
people who have come out to support me, outside of
one or two people have been all surprises. So I've
seen the miracle and how God has used people to

(17:46):
get me through this. I've witnessed it, I've experienced it,
and I know it's going to be the same on
the out there. I don't have to have as many
friends as I had before. What I'm saying is I understand,
and we'll all understand why people are gonna forever pull back.
They're going to probably pull back Spence because of what

(18:08):
you did. I'm just I'm making the point that it's
it's it's the betrayal. It hurts sometimes more than the action.
I'm not opposed to getting help. I'm not opposed to
any of that kind. But I'm not saying I don't
need it. What I'm saying is I have to I
have to take one thing at a time, and the
first thing I have to take controller is making sure

(18:29):
I will ever get in this trouble yet. But how
do you do that? You stay under the radar, You
put it, stay under the radar before You've got lucky
that you got away with it for so long. I
know you, I know you're being facetious when you say that, well,

(18:49):
you mean well, I wasn't lucky you got away with it.
I was unlucky that I was getting away with it.
It's been better for it all gone the ship the
first time. That's the truth. Was he saying that if
he had just gotten caught having a consensual affair, he
wouldn't have committed sexual assault on a teenager. You have

(19:10):
one minute left. The call ended. It was polite, Kurt,
thank you, thank you for your time. So let me

(19:30):
get this straight. You hadn't talked to him, You hadn't
heard his voice in what was it two years? Yeah,
when he got convicted January twenty nineteen, I cut off
all communication with him. I was done. You know, he
was sent to prison and I was done. I didn't
feel like I needed to talk to him anymore. It

(19:52):
wasn't doing me any good. And then when we started
this podcast, you know, I wanted to talk with him.
Were you nervous about talking with him? Like, what were
you feeling when you're to answer that phone call because
he had to call you. Well, I see the call
coming in and it says Wilcox State Prison, and my
stomach just turns and I get so nervous, and part

(20:16):
of it was I knew when I answered that he
was going to be all happy and excited to hear
from me and everything, and that it doesn't sit well
with me, Like does he not understand? Yeah, he's just
I guess it's denial. Do you recognize the person on

(20:39):
the phone on the other side, Yes, definitely. He sounds
the same, talks the same, tries to spin everything into
a positive almost. And the thing is, I'm sure you
notice this. He avoids answering any questions. And how did
you feel after the call? I got off the phone

(21:01):
with him and realized that I never need to speak
to him again. Wow. I just feel like I can
wash my hands of it, partly because I'm never going
to get the answers. He's not capable and it doesn't matter.

(21:23):
It's not my problem, it's his problem. I feel like
I have put the final piece in a box that
I can like pack up, tape up, and put away
in the attic. We haven't even talked about this yet,
but you reached out about an update on his parole. Well,

(21:48):
I have a friend that has been so amazing the
last four years at always searching to see if dates
have changed for parole or whatever. And so I woke
up when morning to a text just the other day
that said he's getting released June twenty twenty two. So
within the next three weeks he's going to be out.

(22:09):
Oh he could be out tomorrow, right, Andrea, do you
remember last summer when we talked on the phone and
I was telling you about how Spence was supposed to
get paroled like in October. You were in the car,
like hysterically crying. Yes, And I was really scared. So
then when the parole got revoked because the victim wrote

(22:32):
the letter, you know, I thought he was going to
be in there until June twenty twenty three. How does
June twenty twenty two different from June twenty twenty one.
I think I've just done a lot more work on
understanding this mess that I was in and this relationship,

(22:57):
and I've healed a lot. And I have to say,
the first time that we were in the studio together,
I was really angry. I mean it was still raw,
and I was angry at the women. And you looked
at me and you said, Jennifer, you're really angry at

(23:20):
these women. And I think you need to take a
look at that. I was pissed. I was like, what
is she talking about? But I thank you for that
because I got there and you seeing that from the beginning,
and then seeing it when I was able to talk

(23:44):
with some of these women and the compassion that was there,
I just I felt it. Yeah, And I said, like,
I will not do this project with you if it's
coming from a place of anger. It needs to be
coming from a place of curiosity and trying to reclaim
your life. And you made a commitment to me that
day that you would get there. I just I hadn't

(24:07):
learned it at that point. I was still researching and
there was so much to read, and then the same
story over and over and over and over again with
so many different women. I just had to learn. So
thanks for sticking it out with me. Absolutely, thanks for
sticking it out with me. Heck yeah, I want to

(24:31):
play you something from episode three when you were talking
to Rachel. You said something really important and she said
something similar. I just hope that this will help someone
out there. I just want this to help someone who's
going through the same pain. But you went through and
that I went through. That's all I think We've both

(24:52):
learned that just sharing the stuff if it can help
one other person be I just know that helping other victims,
you know, of betrayal, trauma, grooming, abuse of power, was
a big part of embarking on this project for you,

(25:13):
for Rachel, for me and our other producers. And I
think that's why she told her story and felt comfortable
coming to you. So I hope it's okay, but I
wanted to spend some time to read you some of
the letters that we've received from our audience, If that's okay. Sure.

(25:33):
Listening to Jennifer's story helped me realize more about an
experience I had when I was in high school. I
had still not fully made the connection between my experience
and being a victim of grooming as a teenager. Putting
those missing pieces together has helped me process and untangle
some things and really shame I didn't realize was still there. Jennifer,

(25:55):
thank you for being courageous and sharing your story. Oh
my gosh, I'm gonna cry. Well, I am crying. Here's
another one. In two thousand and eight, I was twenty
two years old and my fifty five year old boss
did many of these exact same things. He somehow talked
me into having an affair. I felt beyond sick and
uncomfortable about it ever since. I didn't say no, but

(26:19):
I wanted to. He made me feel special all the
shitty things. It was a type of an assault on
my psyche, my mind, my heart, and my conscience. It
took me until this podcast, thirty seven years old to
finally forgive myself. Thanks for giving me space to sit
with my feels and open the door to something I

(26:40):
didn't think I could heal from. Oh gosh, and here's
the last one I wanted to share. I discovered my
husband calling and visiting massage parlors offering sexual favors my
underage girls, whom I believe are victims of trafficking, late
to the fairy tale, picturesque life of dreams to come

(27:03):
in history, proposed to at a castle in Germany. I've
never been a princess type, but he sure made me
feel like one. My family loved him as he offered
a helping hand anyone in need. Total boy scout, do
good or facade. That was all ingenuine and too good
to be true. Jennifer, your story is exactly what I needed.

(27:23):
To hear at this moment in my life. It has
truly impacted my life in the best ways and restored
my hope and the potential resilience and recovery and healing
the human spirit. Much love and gratitude. You know, I
was really scared to put this out there. It's so personal,
it's not a comfortable topic. What do you think you've

(27:47):
learned from this man? How to be patient, how to
be resilient, how to just have faith that the sun
would come up the next day, and so hearing that
it has helped other people, that's it. That's the whole

(28:09):
reason that I did this. I feel like you did
your job. Jen. We are beyond grateful to our listeners
for the outpouring of support since we've started. So many
of you have written into Betrayalpod at gmail dot com
with your personal experiences and questions associated with this story.

(28:33):
Our plan is to address them, so we're taking a
few weeks off, but plan to bring you new episodes
with new insights very soon. Stay tuned. If you'd like
to reach out to the Betrayal team, email us at
Betrayalpod at gmail dot com. That's Betrayal Pod at gmail
dot com Betrayal is a production of Glass Podcasts, a

(28:54):
division of Glass Entertainment Group and partnership with iHeart Podcasts.
The show was executive produced by Nancy Glass and Jennifer Fason,
hosted and produced by me Andrea Gunning, written and produced
by Carry Hartman, also produced by Ben Fetterman. Our iHeart
team is Ali Perry and Jessica Crinchick. Sound editing and
mixing done by Matt DeVecchio. Betrayal's theme was composed by

(29:16):
Oliver Bain's music library provided by my Music and. For
more podcasts from iHeart, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcast,
or wherever you get your podcasts.
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