Stalked by a serial killer and murderer for years*

Blog #3

Hello, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Each blog post is a truthful event that happened to me in my own life. Nothing is borrowed from somebody else. If you haven’t read post numbers 1 and 2,  I encourage you to do so before reading this post, especially  #2 “Saving my dog”

More than the first two posts, and future posts, I must let you know in advance, that I will be detailing events about a serial killer and mass murderer who stalked me for 20+ years. Some details may be too disturbing for some readers. It’s been a long time ago, so I am a little fuzzy on the years, but otherwise this is pretty accurate.

- Danny

You will recall from the post entitled “Saving My Dog” me telling you about Larry, and his brutal rape of a 6 year old child with a knife. Yes, I was that child.  

My mom worked as a psychiatric nurse at the Colorado State Hospital, so for 8 hours a day she was tending to the most deranged psychopaths and sociopaths you can imagine. For example, one of her patients was a guy she called Curly. He murdered his own parents and made lampshades out of their skin. So, the last thing she wanted to deal with in her time off was people in her private life who were also mentally ill, including my own oldest brother. Sadly, my mom chose to see the world through rose colored glasses, which I understand: to recognize the same behaviors in her own husband (my dad), and her own son (my oldest brother) would be to acknowledge there was no rest or escape from madness except when sleeping.

After I was raped, and told about it as you would expect any 6 year old to do, a normal adult would take the steps to protect a child, especially when that child is your own. My mother didn’t do that, because she didn’t believe me. Of course kids lie about stuff all the time. I was always honest with the exception of one time, which to this very day branded me a liar. A single lie that I told a year earlier to avoid being punished for eating pumpkin pie intended for a holiday dinner. Yes, as a 5 year old child, I ate an entire pumpkin pie (my favorite) and blamed my younger brother.

When I saw my brother getting a spanking for the crime of pie eating the guilt I felt was enormous, so I confessed to being the culprit who ate the pie. One single lie at age 5, like the boy who cried wolf, caused my mother to disbelieve me in spite of the physical wounds and bleeding from my neck and anus from the rape a full year after I lied about that pie.

When Larry saw that he had gotten away with raping me, he was elated. But he was even more furious with me for telling on him. Yes, that made twice I had ratted him out. He was insane, literally, and why no adult seemed able to see it or acknowledge how evil he was completely confounded me. Perhaps because my mom saw murdering psychos every day at work Larry seemed tame by comparison. Nevertheless, that was the reality I faced.

I mentioned that I used to walk to the nearby waterfalls which was a nice, mostly peaceful place to get away from the noise of a loud family. My best friend and I used to walk to the falls to play cowboys and Indians, or just go wading in the cool water on a hot summer day. Sometimes we’’d catch frogs, garter snakes, or minnows; look at them and put them back to go about their lives. 

After Larry had run over my dog Prince and killed him we got another dog, a huge St. Bernard we named Bandit. He was of course a family pet, but unlike Prince who was devoted to me, Bandit was really partial to one of my younger brothers.  After Prince was killed I decided to raise rabbits that were mine, and mine alone.

Early one morning I awoke (maybe 3 am) to tapping on my bedroom window. It was Larry. He spoke softly enough not to wake up the household, but loud enough for me. He said “I left you a little surprise Danny, I can’t wait until you see it”.  Then he ran off into the darkness. When I went out to feed my rabbits the next morning all had been brutally cut to shreds right in their cages, and the cage doors shut. Larry had killed my rabbits for fun and to scare me. 

Two weeks later our dog Bandit disappeared for a couple of days. I loved him, but since I didn’t have the bond with him that I had with Prince, I didn’t search for him. One day I went to the water falls to play with my friend, and there hanging in a tree was a huge skinned dog. It’s entrails taken out and formed into a smily face on the ground below it. And next to that, the hide of a St. Bernard. It was Bandit, left in the very place I found peace. I knew that Larry was responsible.

Over the rest of my childhood until I graduated high school I saw Larry following me and my friends wherever we went. Twice he confronted me and my friends at rifle point. We had a couple more dogs, each would disappear for a few days, and I would find their mutilated carcass displayed in some horrible fashion.

Finally my parents decided no more dogs, but we did have a cow, some chickens, and a beautiful Arabian 1/4 horse that I trained religiously, that would follow me around just as prince used to do.  (Nothing happened to my horse, luckily)

I decided to tell my school friends that we could only hang out at school in areas not visible to the street because I was sure Larry would eventually kill one of my friends. I became a loner.

After high school graduation someone told me that Larry had moved away, so I felt safe to try to have a social life. I met an older woman and went on a single date. After that she didn’t answer my calls. I figured she wasn’t impressed with an awkward young guy and met a beautiful girl my own age.  I think the older woman was Sharon Copp, but the woman I had the date with never told me about herself. We only had dinner and went our own ways.

Shortly after meeting this second girl, the a fisherman found the dismembered body of Sharon Marie Copp stuffed into a bag near Lake Pueblo, a mile from where  Larry lived, and where I lived growing up.

Pueblo police were certain that Ted Bundy had killed Sharon. I didn’t think so. I’m told that after Bundy was arrested they asked about Copp, but he denied killing her, although he was in Colorado at the time. But the second girl I dated also ghosted me. I went to HER parents  and they were devastated. She had simply vanished without her purse, and no notice. She was beautiful physically and spiritually.

The second body was found in a box or suitcase along I-25 somewhere. To this day I don’t know if the second body was also the pretty girl I dated one time after Sharon Cop. 

I went to the police, and reiterated that I was sure Larry had done it. I told police about my mutilated dogs and where Larry would leave them for me to find. The location of the torso had NOT been published at that point. I took my cop friend to a map of the city, and pointed to where Larry used to live, and where I used to live. Only a mile from where her body was found.

I was sure thatLarry had graduated from killing my pets to killing people. Still, nobody would listen to me. I literally begged cops to look into him. My cop buddy told me that in fact, Larry had never left town. Whoever told me he had moved was mistaken. To me, even more proof. Yet, because Bundy was a celebrity killer police refused to investigate further. Apparently Bundy was asked about the second mutilated and dismembered body. Again, he denied he had done It.

From age 6 to age 26 I saw Larry following me almost everywhere I went. Always at a distance for him to quickly disappear if I tried to call a cop.

As you also recall from post #2 my own dad hated my guts. After becoming a Christian, I tried, and tried to build some kind of father son relationship with my dad. The best I could do was get him to agree to have breakfast with me once a week at the White House Cafe.

So for almost year, at the same time of the morning (I don’t remember which day of the week it was, but always the same day of each week) my evil dad and I would sit at breakfast, and I would try to engage him in a father son chat. I was glad that at least he was willing to be there with me for breakfast, but he was just angry and bitter, and complained the whole time, every time. But I didn’t give up.

One week my dad said he had a doctors appointment so if I wanted breakfast with him we would have to go 90 minutes earlier than usual so that we had time to eat and he could be on time for his appointment. So that fateful day, the first time in a year that we changed our dining time, we ate early and left early.

I wasn’t there for the events that followed, I only had media reports and one eyewitness whom I knew who called to tell me what happened, and who was curious as to why.

Only minutes after dad and I left the White House Diner on Lake Avenue (a greasy spoon place) Larry showed up with a loaded 357 pistol. He didn’t see us there, so he asked our regular waitress where we were. She told him that we ate early and that he had just missed us. Larry pulled the pistol from his waistband and yelled at her “You’re a liar” (expletive omitted), he then shot her point blank in the face. He then shot other people and employees at the diner. All died. Finally, Larry went out to his pick up truck, put the gun in his own mouth, and took his own life.

The survivors guilt I faced was indescribable. At least 7 people for sure that I knew of, maybe more, might still be alive if ONLY one person believed me and got Larry the mental help he needed. I was also profoundly angry at my mom and the cops who failed to do what any reasonable person would do.

In 1979 or 1980 (can’t recall for sure) I went to my cop buddy fuming and yelling at the top of my lungs at the police department “You could have prevented this, all you had to do was your (expletive) job!  A couple of cops took me back to an interview room, and apologized to me for dropping the ball. I was lived. I told them that in their line of work people died because of their incompetence. I told them that they needed to reopen the cold cases of Sharon Marie Copp and the other girl (can’t recall her name) so that their families could have some closure.

My cop buddy was also my temporary workout partner (I was a body builder at the time) a former Mr. Universe, friend of Arnold Swartzenegger. My cop buddy was the head of the Pueblo Police Department narcotics division named Dennis Yaklich. Dennis told me that since Larry is dead it would cost a fortune to investigate the cold murder cases now, and even if I am right and Larry did it, there would never be a trial. And that was it.  To this day those two murders are still officially “unsolved cold cases”.

Shortly thereafter I stopped working out with Dennis. He was a worthless cop, and a lousy workout partner, with a terrible temper. A few years later, his wife Donna had a couple teenagers shoot Dennis to death in his own driveway. Turns out he was also on the take from drug dealers to keep them from being arrested as long as they gave him a cut of their drug money.  Dennis’ wife, Donna Yaklich spent a couple decades in prison for having him murdered. (They made a movie about it which I’ve never seen)

Of course there is zero evidence to my knowledge linking Larry to the mutilation murders, only my suspicions. There is zero doubt however about the people he murdered in the cafe’  or his own suicide immediately following.

So, what can you take away from this horrible true story to help you or somebody else in your own life?  I’m not sure to be honest. I wish I could say that since Larry and Dennis were dead, since Sharon Copp was dead that the whole thing faded from memory and went away. I can’t say that, because Larry  managed one last insult from the grave, which I will talk about in a later post.

Because people who should care didn’t. Because people who should have listened didn’t. Because people who’s actual job is to protect and serve didn’t, that leaves only one who never gave up. Only one who always listened to prayers of survivors guilt. Only one who helped me channel my energy into something positive. Jesus Christ.

As you read along in future posts, you’ll see that God helped me to step up and be outspoken in my defense of children, my caring for the elderly and handicapped, and caring for my own salvation and growth in Christ to live with joy and peace in spite of the evil.

 Yes, Larry was the first person I sincerely tried (but failed ) to stop, but he wasn’t last person, because God knew that I can identify with others who are helpless against incredible evil.

I close with this: First, I give God the glory and praise for keeping me alive so that I could help others. Second. I hope and pray that when you are faced with saving a life remember that you don’t own your own life anymore: Christ does, so risk your life to save a life. Please speak up for those who cannot speak up. Please don’t confuse memes with actual action, or simply liking a meme is equivalent to action. James (brother of Christ) said that faith without works is dead. Raise up your faith from death, as Jesus rose from the dead. 

Your sibling in love and service,

in the name of Jesus our risen savior,