Sometimes I still catch myself thinking about it, unexpectedly. Unwarranted and unwanted. But there it is, so I indulge in the thoughts of that murder that happened so long ago, and the events that I and my family were inadvertently, subsequently dragged into as a result. It seems so long ago, 1991 when Sabina was murdered, and our involvement brought to the surface in October 2005 ~ 8 years ago now. And I still find myself dwelling on the known facts versus my unreliable memory of the events of that night in 1991 when it all exploded into our lives.
Certain things I can remember vividly and am sure of, but many of the things that “count” are just foggy still. I try to focus on that night in 1991, playing it over and over in my mind the way I remember it. Then I try to tack in the things that the sheriff’s department said happened, or the way they “think” things happened. So much does not make sense, and I wonder if it ever will. The only person who can confirm or deny the events that I remember is dead. When I was questioned for hours by the Cayuga County sheriff’s department in 2005, I could not tell them any more then than I can remember now. They actually tried to “console” me into “confessing” that I knew and perhaps was a part of the murder of Sabina Kulakowski. They said they knew that Barry had been abusive, and that perhaps he was threatening me to keep quiet or he would hurt me or the children. They said they understood if I had been “quiet” because he was blackmailing me. But now he was dead, having taken his own life… so now it was okay for me to “come clean”, that he could never hurt me or the kids again. During the questioning, it took awhile for it to sink it. They thought I was withholding evidence of the crime. Their at first gentle questioning turned into badgering after several hours. And I began to understand how innocent people simply confess to crimes they did not commit. But I was not about to “confess” to knowing anything more than I knew… which was little.
The man who was wrongly convicted of Sabina’s murder has finally been set free in 2005, thanks in part to my and my daughter, Katie’s, involvement and DNA testing etc. The circumstantial evidence points to the man that I had been living with for 13 years, and had two children with, as the murderer. He has allegedly committed this horrific murder during the time we were living together as a family. I was supposedly the first person to see him and be with him just minutes after this awful crime had been committed. Yet I remember nothing out of the ordinary about that time spent together before we went to bed for the night. I think THAT’S the piece that bothers me the most. Wouldn’t I have seen SOMETHING? Shouldn’t he have been covered in blood and/or been stressed or nervous and anxious about the things he had just allegedly done? (I didn’t find out until 2005 the specifics of the crimes committed with regard to Sabina, who had been my “sister-in-law” for a decade +) I saw no signs of anything amiss, except an eagerness to put the fight we’d had earlier in the evening behind us, and get to bed and get to sleep. It was obvious he had been drinking, which was also not unusual.
When I later learned about the details of how she had died, it made me cry. She had been subjected to horrific violence before the farm was set ablaze and she was carried out of the house and dumped across the street in a wooded area. One of the tell-tale signs for me that it could’ve been Barry that had committed the crime, was the fact that Sabina had been bitten multiple times. He was known for using this tactic to subdue women ~ at least one woman that I knew of. And he was the only one who had ever used such a violent and painful method. To me, this was significant. Also to the sheriffs when I brought the coincidence to light. For someone to have committed these crimes, it seems they would have been openly, noticeably sociopathic. Granted, Barry had his “issues”, but I could not wrap my brain around him committing ruthless murder. Not to mention that we continued to co-habit for six years after this crime was committed.
The fact that he committed suicide right before he was about to be accused/disclosed by the “wrongly-accused” inmate is way more than just a coincidence in my book. But again, also circumstantial. I guess there are way more many questions yet to be answered and will remain unanswered for this case to ever be truly “Closed”. And yet I can never forget that part of my questionable life. I can only be thankful that we got through it in one piece, more of less, and out the other side much for the better.
There has been a lot of publicity about this case, especially in 2005 when we were brought into it. There has been a movie made, locally, and clips on some national shows. If you want to know more about this part of my life, click on this link, or Google “Roy Brown” or “Barry Bench”. I still find it fascinating myself!
Thanks for stopping in and checking out my Random Thoughts tonight. Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt
How about a nice picture for fall before I go? Enjoy!
Church steeple, Long Lake, NY