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He was the ex-husband from hell. And for nine years, she prepared for when he would finally attack

Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

It was a happy marriage at first, though Dr. Connie Jones would later decide her husband was only pretending to be a good man.

By the end of their 22-year marriage, he was perennially unemployed, he stopped shaving and cutting his hair, and he seemed depressed.

"Looking at his eyes, there was nobody in there," Jones told reporters Tuesday.

The final blow to their marriage came in 2009 when he threatened to kill her and kidnap their son, according to court records.

She filed for divorce and a protective order. But as is the case for many survivors of domestic abuse, her escape from her husband was only just beginning.

On May 31, Dwight Lamon Jones launched a killing rampage that left six people dead across the Phoenix area before he committed suicide as the police closed in.

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The killings unsettled Arizona. But for Connie Jones, it was the end she had been fearing -- and preparing for.

"I really have been on high alert for the last nine years. ... I knew that one day we would be in a situation where he was trying to kill me," she said at a televised news conference. "I felt that I had a personal terrorist."

After she filed for divorce, Connie Jones hired an investigator, Rick Anglin, a retired Phoenix police detective, to protect her and her son.

They made themselves hard to find.

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