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A letter from Lisa

(one of the women who appeared on the John Walsh show)

Re: 'Pro-Gun Women Allege Set-up by 'John Walsh Show'
By Jeff Johnson
CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief
April 30, 2003

My name is Lisa Marquez, one of the "guests" on the show written about above. I also appeared in the May 2003 Marie Claire article.

While this article claims my ex-husband was "allegedly" abusive, I would be more than happy to send you documentation and affidavits of proof. The taped interview taken at my home for the show highlights the scar under my eye. I have arrest records, police reports, order of restraint, doctor's records, and my friends and family could enlighten you.

What I learned from my appearance on The John Walsh Show is that he is about one thing - ratings! I think Alexandra Jewitt lives on another planet. Everything she told Jeff Johnson is incorrect!

It was very hard for me to relive the eight years of abuse I endured from my ex-husband and the damage it caused my family and friends. I would much rather pretend that part of my life never happened and go on with my very happy life. I have a wonderful family, friends and career. I have an incredible new life and I realize how precious it is. I thank God every day. Remembering the past is very painful and stressful.

The ONLY reason I agreed to be in Marie Claire and on The John Walsh Show was that I felt the need to help other women to empower themselves to leave an abusive relationship and maybe they would not have to endure the same eight years of hell. My only wish was to help others. Feeling like maybe the show was going to be a debate, I BACKED OUT OF DOING THE SHOW the Monday prior to taping. Jennifer from the John Walsh show called my fiancé, Vince, and I and promised this was a show about empowering women and not a debate. We were obviously blatantly lied to by Jennifer.

"I wanted to stand up in all the turmoil of the show and yell to the world - Girls! Stand up for yourselves, protect yourselves, protect your families. Be confident! And remember - criminals prefer to pray on the weak!"

I only found out Silivia was going to be on the show when the van picked us up on the hotel. I didn’t recognize her but she recognized me and made a big point in letting me know who she was and how tough she was and how much she and her niece really disliked their week’s stay in New York.

How interesting that in the hallway a few seconds before taping, a woman suddenly appeared from the Million Mom March. Someone from the John Walsh Show shook her hand and thanked her profusely for coming “on such short notice.” When I flew into New York, I had no idea I needed to be prepared to defend myself about my choice to protect myself and my family, to a woman who probably has never been in a similar situation. I was not led to believe the show was about anything but my story and Tiffany’s story, and how we overcame our obstacles - the very thing I used to think John Walsh was about.

In the greenroom before the show I was tirelessly coached by Jennifer on what to say, and by Andrew as to what NOT to say. We were each given our first line to use when it came our turn. I was told I couldn’t say my ex-husband was the one who abused me. Then what would be the point of me telling my story? Tiffany was told she could not say an off-duty police officer raped her.

The point is that Tiffany could no longer rely on the police department to protect her. How was Tiffany supposed to respond to Silvia when Silvia said to use the stun gun until the police get there? If I recall correctly, Maria was originally asked to refrain from indicating she was with the Second Amendment Sisters. Why then was the Million Mom March lady really brought in? I was shocked when some of the very things I was asked not to bring up, John Walsh himself brought up once the show started taping. These are very underhanded tactics used to create reactions a la “Jerry Springer.”

None of this really matters because once we started taping, I was not allowed to even tell my story because no one could hear anyone over Silvia. Tiffany, Maria and I were civilized when it came to Silvia’s story. No one asked Silvia to refrain from being rude; she indicated to me the show told her to act this way. Besides the fact Silvia should never have been invited to the show in the first place, she definitely should have been removed from the building once she became uncontrollable. We should have been allowed to complete the show without her.

AND - Shame on Mr. Walsh for paying an admitted criminal to be on his show. With all his connections, he had to have known. All his staff had to do was read the Marie Claire article. John Walsh should have paid Silvia to appear only to have two FBI agents from California waiting to arrest her. Isn’t that what John Walsh is supposed to be about, arresting criminals, not supporting them? I know Tiffany and I (who are not criminals, but portrayed as such) were not paid to appear on his show, though we were given a meager food allowance.

The show paid for Silvia and her niece to spend a few days in New York, their expenses, and also paid her for all of Silvia’s lost wages. Tiffany was not allowed to just bring someone for one day of moral support. Tiffany survived a rape from a man whose very job was to protect her! I survived several beatings and enormous amounts of mental abuse and manipulation. Silvia’s supposed “trauma” originates from the illegal acts she herself committed (and still commits), those of her family and the community she grew up in! The support the John Walsh Show gave to Silvia over Tiffany and me was repulsive. Silvia illegally carries a firearm, she is an admitted felon, and Mr. Walsh just looked the other way!

I was also insulted by John Walsh’s (un-televised) statement that he, of course, should be allowed to own a gun because his life is in more danger than others because of the criminals he has helped put behind bars. What makes his life more valuable than mine? I don’t have access to FBI and police like Mr. Walsh does. Therefore, Mr. Walsh has more protection than I do! I have a constant threat to my life that the police and courts refused to deal with. I have a scar under my eye from a very real assault, I had a concussion from the back of my head being driven into the wall in the closet.

The police, in front of my ex, told me never fight back, or I too would be arrested, and my children would then be sent to CPS. The police in New Mexico told me to come get my ex from jail because I wasn’t hurt that bad and my ex was sorry. I obtained the restraining order the police recommended (one of my neighbors also had to obtain a restraining order from my ex), and my ex would continue to break into my house, follow me and threaten me.

The police then told me there was nothing they could or would do. When my ex was finally arrested the one time a neighbor had enough courage to be a witness, the judge regretfully sentenced my ex with anger management classes and apologized to HIM for having to do so while patting him on the head like a puppy, thus encouraging him to threaten me again because there were no real ramifications.

I am sure Mr. Walsh would never be treated this way. I am sure no police officer, or FBI agent, is telling Mr. Walsh he doesn’t have enough evidence someone is threatening his life. I am sure no Judge is patting the criminals Mr. Walsh helped put away on the head like some innocent stray. If anything, I need to be armed for protection more than Mr. Walsh does!

Maria’s children were very excited to be on the show. John Walsh’s staged act in “protecting” the girls as he escorted them to their seats was ridiculous. These bright girls just wanted to show their talents to the world. John’s only real question to them seemed to say: Don’t you have any friends who are not allowed to play with you because you and your mother are a threat to society? I felt sorry for them for having to sit next to Silvia. I was proud because these girls had the confidence not to feel threatened by her in the first place.

I recently found out first through my training and then with my ex that most criminals back down from assertive, confident people. Once I became confident in defending myself, my ex backed off. He, like some other criminals, would much rather intimidate someone who feels they cannot defend themself to make themselves feel superior. I wanted to stand up in all the turmoil of the show and yell to the world - Girls! Stand up for yourselves, protect yourselves, protect your families. Be confident! And remember - criminals prefer to pray on the weak!

I sacrificed precious time with my family (nearly a week!); my house was intruded on given only a few hours notice; Vince postponed very important household chores, and the only two days off he had in a series of fourteen, to accommodate the intrusive circus; I was not paid for two-and-a-half days I had to take off work (contrary to Silvia’s opinion, I am not a rich, white woman - I am Hispanic, and in extreme debt from my ex!); my office was NOT happy about my abrupt need for time off and the lack of support to replace me; and I aired my dirty laundry across the country because I felt some good would come out of it. My reward? Instead of helping someone, I feel ashamed to have been on the show because I feel it projected the exact opposite of what I had wholeheartedly intended.

I don’t look at John Walsh in the manner I used to, and neither do my friends and family. We are all definitely very disappointed in him.

Lisa Marquez

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