The Utah Gumshoe: The Pugilistic Ex-Wife
- October 17, 2014
- by Scott Fulmer
Listen: The Pugilistic Ex-Wife
Her name was Bunny Espinoza and she was a looker. She was in her early 40’s and although her beauty had faded a bit she still had a body that would, according to mystery writer Raymond Chandler’s book Farewell, My Lovely, “…make a Bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.”
Bunny married Juan when she was 18. She bore him 6 beautiful kids and he repaid her by trading her in for a newer model. A trophy wife. A young, petite blonde named Ashley. What added insult to injury was the fact that Ashley was 24 years old. The same age as Juan and Bunny’s oldest daughter.
There, placed carefully in the center of the shelf on the headboard of the bed was their wedding photo in that special frame. However, now the photo featured her ex-husband and his new trophy wife.
Juan and Bunny were originally from Kensington, Maryland but Juan had moved the family to the small rural town of Morgan, Utah. It was there he met Ashley in the drive-thru at the local McDonald’s. He wanted a Big Mac. Ashley wanted a Mac Daddy. And before you can say “Sir Mix-a-lot,” Juan began picking up Ashley after work and their affair began. People began to notice Juan’s Chrysler Town and Country parked in out-of-the-way areas throughout the town late at night.
A month later Juan filed for divorce. He kicked Bunny out and the next day Ashley moved in. Unbelievably Juan (at least temporarily) retained custody of the children and the house. He told the judge that Bunny had an affair in Maryland. He said so with a pained look on his face and young children sitting in the courtroom behind him. The judge looked over at Bunny. Bunny oozed sex appeal like a gas gives off fumes. It should’ve been illegal for her to walk around without a permit of some sort. Bunny was naive. She trusted Juan. He handled the finances. He controlled everything. But then the gavel came down and Bunny was left out in the cold.
A week later Bunny stopped by to retrieve some clothes. Juan was working and the children were at school. Ashley answered the door and let her in. Everything was fine until Bunny walked into the master bedroom. Throughout the 25 years of their marriage, wherever they had lived, Bunny and Juan had always kept their wedding photograph in a special frame on the headboard of the bed. Bunny looked over at the bed and there, placed carefully in the center of the shelf on the headboard of the bed was their wedding photo in that special frame. However, now the photo featured her ex-husband and his new trophy wife.
According to Ashley, Bunny lost it. She became hysterical. She began to pummel Ashley like Muhammad Ali going after Joe Frazier in the “Thrilla in Manilla.” Ashley was eventually able to run to the front door, push Bunny out of the house and turn the lock. When Juan came home from work that day he found Ashley with a black eye and a split lip. He immediately called the police. Statements were taken. Bunny was arrested for assault and battery and thrown in the hoosegow. The clink. The pokey. The slammer. Jail. That’s when she called the Utah Gumshoe.
But things are not always as they seem. Juan’s little facade was all over pretty quickly. I found a witness. A neighbor had been working in his garage and happened to see Ashley and Bunny exit the residence the day of Bunny’s visit. They waved goodbye and Bunny departed. According to the neighbor Ashley looked fine. No black eye. No split lip. Something wasn’t right. Something nefarious was afoot. Upon further questioning it was discovered that Juan became enraged after learning that Bunny had stopped by while he was a work and Ashley had let her in. Desperate to rid himself of Bunny once and for all, he hatched a plan. It was he who administered the black eye and busted lip to Ashley. She willingly submitted to Juan’s beatings because she didn’t want him to leave her. The pugilist was the ex-husband…not the ex-wife.
Never make assumptions in an investigation. Leave no stone unturned in your pursuit of the truth. There may be different perspectives by those involved but there’s only one truth and the truth will prevail. It’s an investigator’s job to sift through the innuendo and emotions and discover the indisputable facts. That’s what we did in the case of the pugilistic ex-wife. That’s how we learned that Juan and Ashley lied. When the truth finally came out we were able to spring Bunny from the cooler. Just another day in the life of the Utah Gumshoe.
Until next time,
this is Scott Fulmer, the Utah Gumshoe reminding you the game…is afoot!
About The Utah Gumshoe Podcast
The Utah Gumshoe Podcast follows the real-life exploits, riveting case stories, investigative tips and insightful advice of Scott Fulmer, The Utah Gumshoe. Scott is a 20 year veteran Utah private investigator, surveillance expert and President/CEO of intellUTAH, a private investigation firm based in Salt Lake City.
He has written numerous articles on investigative and surveillance techniques that have appeared in PInow.com and other industry journals. He is a decorated combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War where he served with the famous 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Whether you're a novice or an experienced investigator this is the podcast for you.