A letter from
(one of the
women who appeared on the John Walsh show)
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
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.
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!"
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.
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
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.
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.
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