Brandi Laurent: Through A Blogger’s Eye Part 2
Disclaimer: These posts are meant to be interactive. You can read and surf away if you want. Or you can participate. Read carefully about what is said or is claimed to be known. And then weigh in. Your words could have the power to solve these mysteries that continue to torment the families and friends of the victims.
Continuing on….here is Part 2
OK, where was I? Oh yeah…actual extended contact with Leo Laurent. But first…don’t feel bad for me! I’ve seen a lot of comments expressing that. I’m just fine thank you! While I knew “things” when I talked to Leo, I still wanted to believe I was wrong. I wanted to believe he was innocent despite what I knew. That doesn’t mean I was let down or hurt when the facts came out. I expected them although I didn’t expect how hideous things actually went down. If anything, I was disappointed in Leo. Yes I knew he was lying to me. But I was hoping he would eventually turn around and realize he had painted himself into a corner and would fess up. Like everyone else, I had hoped for a better ending but knew as time went on, that was less likely. What disappointed me most was the fact that his deception involved and hurt so many people. His children, Brandi’s family and friends, and his growing number of new and even old friends who didn’t see him for what he was. He was good at that. If you’ve ever talked to him, he can be fairly convincing. His arrogance could be looked at a number of ways. Look at Drew Peterson. No one can be more arrogant than he is. And it could be for a number of reasons including he believes the story he put out there. The parallels between Stacy Peterson’s disappearance and Brandi’s are very striking. Both husbands painted a bad picture of their missing wives. Leo said Brandi was involved with drugs and dealers and shady characters. Drew said Stacy was cheating on him and ran off with another man. In effect, if Leo wrote the so-called final Brandi blog, he is saying the same thing. Brandi ran off with another man. So, being arrogant or even pissed off would be a normal reaction. We know now that’s not the case. We also know now that Leo knew very well that wasn’t the case while he spun his stories. And that’s the part that is chilling. He spoke to me several times with Peyton playing in the background. As he sat there, a temporarily free man, he slandered the woman who gave that child life in the worst of ways. All while she played innocently and trusting the person she should fear the most. So if I appeared angry and used words I’ve told you not to yesterday, it was just my way of expressing my disappointment. I’m not hurt. Others are and that in itself is a crime.And on we go.On October 3, Leo contacted me again. He had asked me to send him questions, which I did more than a week earlier, and he was going to write his answers. He sent me a message asking me to call him. I did and this time he answered. I didn’t know what to expect. My previous calls with him lasted no more than 30 seconds. This one would last an hour.We talked about everything from the state of his marriage up to the time Brandi disappeared to his theories on what happened that night. We also talked about rumors going around about him living with another woman.
“The only woman I live with is my 2 year old Peyton and we live in the same FEMA trailer we always have. I have had some old high school friends come through for me and help out, one being my high school prom date. Her and her husband have been great. We went to dinner and then the rumor came out about the white car and girlfriend. That was really funny because her husband looks like me and I’ve never been to TGI Fridays that they said we were at on the website. It seems now that I can’t even talk to anyone without having to explain myself and I guess that is why I avoided the media. Brandi is the love of my life and everyone close to me knows that and is supporting me any way they can. The people starting the rumors are oblivious to anything that is really going on. I really spend countless nights laying there with Peyton wondering when this will end and will I have answers when she is old enough to start questioning. I see my wife in her face every day and it breaks my heart. I spend my evenings crying wanting things back to the way they were at one time. A family life. All of these painful rumors and things only twist the knife deeper. That is why I don’t even go on the websites anymore. God forbid if I need someone other than the 2 year old to talk and cry to, then I have to answer questions about it, and wonder what the new rumor will be tomorrow!! Funny how the secret service followed me around and couldn’t find anyone but 1 friend to question, but there are this many rumors. The world has turned heartless if you ask me.” His demeanor throughout varied. At times he laughed when he spoke about what he called the “internet gossipers”. Other times he cried when he spoke about how hard life was for him now that he was a single father and trying to make ends meet. He never cried when talking about Brandi. He was very concerned about his image.
“I’m not going to sling mud,” he said. “Enough of that is being done to me and it does no good in helping find Brandi. I gave an interview with a local paper and they twisted my words. People ask why I don’t go to the media here. I’m not out there for them to twist my words and make my wife look bad. I just want to find my wife.”
Despite his statement about not slinging mud, he did just that. I chose not to include it. He made some serious charges against Brandi’s family.
Later in the investigation, Leo was interrogated and given two lie detector tests. “They asked me questions for 6 hours,” he said. “I passed both lie detector tests. They said 100%”
When I asked him about the lie detector tests, I already knew the answer. To give him the benefit of the doubt, I called him again after we talked just to reconfirm he really meant he passed “100%.” He stuck to his story.
For a week, Leo said, he searched for Brandi himself. “I’ve gone door to door looking for her knocking on the doors of drug dealers. It was difficult. These were some of the roughest neighborhoods around.”
I don’t know if he actually did this for appearances sake or it was just part of his story. Regardless, his tone while saying this was pretty cavalier. He was trying to get across he was being put out and risking his life looking for her.
“I was getting little help from the police,” Leo said. “They are convinced that Brandi OD’d somewhere and I have the information. But I think the person who does have that information is Pomeca. Pomeca and Brandi’s mother were talking and Pomeca let something slip along the lines of Brandi didn’t want to be found. Anita got very angry. Pomeca left and has actually left town.”
This was not true. While Leo may have tried hard to convince police Brandi OD’d somewhere, the investigators were not falling for his story. But not falling for a story and actual evidence are two different things.
“I want to find my wife,” Leo said. “But no one in power wants to help me. No one listens to me. They are too busy looking at me and interrogating me. By the time they do something she could be dead. I don’t know where she is but she’s out there. I know I knocked on a door during my search and she was at–I just know it. I’ve gone to the seediest places looking and have even been shot at.”
Remember, he knew exactly where Brandi was. And in this statement was the first of his several “shooting” incidents.
“I’ve been coaching youth teams for 14 years. I’m a role model in this town. This is really blowing people who know me out of the water. The people that know me know these stories are not true. I read that I showed no emotion at the vigil. I couldn’t keep a dry eye. They waited for me to break. People have no heart.”
The infamous “role model” statement. Although I think in this quote there actually is some truth. Some people who knew him were blown away. And that’s natural. No one wants to believe their friend is capable of something so hideous. I think it’s totally normal to believe in your friend and defend them when there is nothing concrete to make you believe otherwise. I’ve seen that in the months that followed, some of his long time friends have actually distanced themselves from him. As a result, he set out to make new friends with people unaware fully of what was going on.
In the months that followed there were several other conversations, emails and instant messages. He was an avid reader of Zero Gossip. When things got rough in the comments section, he would call me or write to me asking me to get control of you (impossible). Frequently he’d tell me he wouldn’t read the comments and just as frequently he’d contact me to “correct” some comments being made. I wanted to keep him talking so sometimes, not always, but sometimes would act on his requests. It would get to the point though I’d cringe when I saw him sign on to the computer or his phone number would show up on my caller ID. I never knew what to expect.
Part 3 will come later. It will be my communications with him after Brandi was found.