Survivors: Thad Phillips & Teri Jendusa-Nicolai by Happy Hour Gets Weird

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This week Cassie & Tiff share two stories of survival: Teen taken in the night and forced to endure the unimaginable; a Mother suffers at the hands of her domestic abuser. We are drinking “Whatta Pear Martini” this week! Enjoy! Cheers!
Thank you for listening, weirdos, drinkers and Wisconsin lovers.

Drink Recipe and pictures on our Instagram.

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Welcome to True. Crime by Indie Drop-In each week, we feature an episode from the best independent creators hit subscribe for more great True Crime content. If you would like to support Indie Drop-In and get these episodes, add free. Check out our Patreon at the bottom of the show notes. Today’s episode is from Happy Hour Gets Weird don’t forget to check out the show notes for links to subscribe and follow on social media. Enjoy the show Are you that weirdo that loves and I survived story. Well, then this is the podcast for you. Welcome to Happy. Hour Gets Weird.

Hello everyone. Hi And welcome back. Or if this is your first time, welcome to your new favorite podcast. I am Cassie and I’m Tiffany, and this is Happy Hour. It gets weird On this podcast. We have a cocktail and talk about Weird shit. We’ve done it. We have done it again. And The perfect intro as it gets better every time. What is our cocktail this week? I am drinking. EI you might hear glass ice clinking in my glass has to, because I have a Martini on ice. I know. Call me crazy. Crazy. It wouldn’t be the first time or the last.

(1m 27s):
Okay. So I am drinking what a Pear cardamom and Pear Martini and it’s fantastic. I put it on ice to keep it chilled during Hour episode, but normally I like it without ice. Yeah, it sounds so good. And what a great we’ll go over the ingredients, but what a great fall cocktail. Okay. So it’s super delicious, super easy and super fall inspired. It is Pear infused vodka or Pear flavored vodka, whatever you prefer, lemon juice, honey cinnamon. And that’s it super simple. And then you shake it and pour it in a glass and you are, you’re having a fall party.

(2m 8s):
It’s harvest time And cardamom bitters, right? Oh Fuck. And cardamom, bitters, Which is the best part. The Scrappy’s bitter. Oh my God. Sorry. Tessa. Cardamom, I think is my favorite flavor so far from bitters. I love cardamom in general. I always add, I bought just cardamom to add a little bit extra to whatever, fall baking stuff I’m doing, because sometimes the rest of you would call for just like, you know, pumpkin spice seasoning or whatever, or just cinnamon and nutmeg. And I always add cardamom. It’s so good. Oh, it’s so, so, so, so good. So this Martini is delicious.

(2m 51s):
It’s delicious. I highly recommend it five out of five. And for the Recipe go to our Instagram, we list pictures And the recipe for our drinks. So yeah, if you’re not following us, go, go do that. All right. Are you ready to get into our stories for today? Oh yeah. Okay. What is our topic in case somebody’s blindly pressed play and I did not read the title of this podcast or skip through a week. We are doing, I survived stories or stories of escape or survival, whatever you want to call it. I’m excited about it. But I just want to say, I’m going to go first.

(3m 33s):
I just want to say my story is a very disturbing story. I’m going to talk about the details of a, the experience and listener discretion is advised. Thank you for that. All right. So my sources for this episode are I survived season five, episode 18 escaped season one, episode three on the ID network, an article on ranker by Laura Allen and court documents. From this case, Baraboo, Wisconsin, two hours from Milwaukee. The small town of Baraboo is populated by cheese, loving beer, drinking Midwesterners.

(4m 17s):
Don’t share it out. It was in this small Wisconsin town. Thaddeus Phillips would experience an unthinkable in terrifying story of survival, July 29th, 1995, 13 year old dad, Philips and his family had just moved into a new house in Baraboo, falling asleep and watching TV on the couch. That was a woken by someone picking him up, thinking it was his dad bringing him to his room for the night that it wasn’t alarmed. He quickly realize it wasn’t his dad, but an unfamiliar man. The man carried that outside and asked him to run with him, thinking he was a friend of the family meeting Help that went along and ran with him on episode 18 season five of I survived that explained he wasn’t alarmed because he thought the man needed help fixing his car.

(5m 13s):
He thought, okay, maybe the guy asked my dad for help. My dad said no. So he’s asking me for help. He was confused more than scared. They arrived at the house, just a mile from dad’s own house. On the episode of I survived that said the house was a quote, a real dump. It was disgusting with trash, everywhere, old food or dishes. And it was then he realized this guy, wasn’t a friend of the family. In fact, he wasn’t a man at all. He was a boy, just a few years older than himself. The boy introduced himself as Joe Joe said he was going to throw a party and named a few other boys that that’s recognized.

(5m 56s):
And in the meantime, asked if fad liked model cars in baseball cards. He let him upstairs to his room. At once there, he showed his model cars and his album of baseball cards, and then was talking about the party and who was coming. And when it was happening, all of a sudden, almost like a switch being flicked. Joe stopped talking as Thad looked at baseball cards on the bed. Joe took hold of his right foot and twisted it until the bone above his ankle snapped and splintered. Oh my God. Crying out from shock and pain fad Nu at that point he was in trouble.

(6m 39s):
Joe, then put his hands on his head almost as if he was sorry that he did it in that moment, that jumped up, made a run for it because of the adrenaline. He didn’t feel the friction of his broken bone. Oh my God. Reaching the top of the stairs. He managed to hop down on his one good foot. Dad made it as far as the kitchen before Joe was behind him, putting him in a choke hold, dragging him to the living room floor where he raised his right leg up over his head until his thighbone snapped into fad, asked him why he was doing this. And Joe said he had a fascination with the sound’s a breaking bones, Joe then takes that left foot in his hand and twist it until the bone breaks.

(7m 31s):
But yeah, this is horrible. Thad said both his feet were backwards. At one point God, this, he said the skin between his shin and his foot was like a rubber band. This is like giving me chills in making me physically sick. Yeah. Like I don’t feel good. When I watched the episodes, I was like physically sick. Joe threw fad on a spare couch and tells them to get them, get some sleep that had a, obviously you can’t fucking sleep a night. He said he had too much adrenaline running through his body.

(8m 11s):
And he, all he could think about was his family. The very family that was searching for him. Totally unaware that he’s less than a mile away from his house in the morning. After a few hours asleep, Joe wakes up and picks up right where he left off with that is torture. He twists his feet and ankles again and again and again, multiple times a day, like almost every hour on the hour he would go in and retwist the brakes and rebreak the bones. And at this point that tried to fight back when he was laying down and Joe was twisting his ankles Joe’s back was to dad’s face. So he said he would sit up and like punch them on the back on the head.

(8m 52s):
He would scream. He would hit him. He would try to fight back he’d to rip his legs away from him. And Joe eventually put a pillow over dad’s face and said, if you don’t stop fighting, I’m going to break your back. Jesus Christ that at that point knew if you wanted to survive. He had to do what he was told. And he just took the, the torture and the beating and screamed into the pillow. As it continued, eventually fad realized, okay, I have to make this guy, my friend, maybe if I humanize myself, he wouldn’t wanna hurt me anymore. So Thad tried to strike up a conversation between himself and Joe, a in between the bouts of abuse.

(9m 40s):
He asked him at one point, have you ever done this before? And Joe said, yes, I have any asked that if he knew a boy by the name of Chris Steiner. Oh no, that said he didn’t know him. And a year ago, 14 year old, Chris Steiner’s body had been found tangled in branches, in a secluded area, an area of the Baraboo river. His cause of death was drowning. And his manner of death was determined, was ruled undetermined. And I learned research in this case, if there is a difference between cause of death and manner of death, the cause of death is, would be like drowning, like water in your lungs.

(10m 23s):
And manner of death is there’s like four categories, I think. And it’s homicide, suicide, undetermined and natural causes. Okay. So it was ruled. The manner of death was ruled undetermined, but the cause of death was drowning. So they didn’t know why he had drowned. No. Or how he got there. What had happened a year ago is a Chris’s parents woke up in the morning and he was missing and his screen was slashed open. And there were muddy footprints in his room and also outside the house and a slider door that was normally locked, was open, was left, unlocked, but closed.

(11m 3s):
They were suspicious about Chris Diner’s death, but they didn’t have any proof. They didn’t know. Okay. Did he cut his own screen and run away? Although he was a good, a good boy. He wasn’t a runaway. He didn’t have problems like that. They just didn’t have any proof. So it was, it was basically left opened and kind of unsolved. So a year later, almost to the day that became Joe’s next victim fad was concerned that his captor was so freely confessing. It, it, it could only mean one thing. He was going to kill him 15 hours into his torture. Thad her Joe talking on the phone and made a mental note that there was a working phone in the house.

(11m 47s):
Jo would go over the broken bones in his legs and ankles twisting and turning them, hitting them, stomping them, jumping on them. I mean, he was, he’s a fucking psychopath. A he’s a monster like pure evil. Yeah. This is brutal. And it’s also so impressive that fad had any sort of presence of mind to think, try to be as friend, remember this phone. And he was so young and going through this horrible experience, it’s incredible that he could even think straight at all. Yeah. He had a presence of mine and there was a psychologist that gave an interview on the episode of escaped.

(12m 32s):
And the psychologist said, you know, that had his body taken from him. And the only thing that he had in his possession was his mind. And he really used his mind to survive. So not only did this fucking nutcase, Joe torture that, but what he would do was he would make rudimentary casts for his legs in between the torture. And then he would force that to walk on his legs. What? Yeah, it was a real, Holy fucking weird and strange. And it is scary. So the internal bleeding caused by Thad brakes made his legs swell up is as big as basketballs.

(13m 19s):
They were like, God, huge. They were purple. They were green. They were yellow. At one point, his knee cap, his left knee cap was totally backwards. It was at the back of his leg. Oh, his feet were misshapen and grotesquely angled. And after about a year of torture, Jo would layer. Now this is where it gets real, like fucking strange. So after he would twist and turn and beat on dad’s legs, Jo would layer perfectly clean white cotton socks on at that speed, like layers, like one after the other.

(14m 1s):
And despite Joe’s house being a garbage dump, it was disgusting. Like disgusting. They showed a video, have it on escaped. It was disgusting. Despite that filth that he lived in his drawers were full of 300 pairs of perfectly clean brand new white socks. So this was like a fucked up a foot fetish. Also. It seems like a lot with a bow. Yeah. It w it w it was weird. So he would place the socks perfectly. The toe line had to be just right.

(14m 41s):
The ribs that go up the ankle and the shin has to be perfectly straight or the heel has to be just right. And it was layer after layer after after layer. So he would put several pairs of socks on his feet over and over and over again. Strange fucking strange. Yeah. So Friday night is when that was kidnapped. And by Sunday afternoon, that baked Jo to let him go. He begged him to let him go. He said, I’ll tell people I fell over a table. Like I won’t, I won’t tell anyone. And Joe actually toyed with him saying, maybe I’ll let you go.

(15m 23s):
Maybe, maybe I will. And then he would say, ma no, it’s too late for that. I can’t let you go then fat ass. Okay. Well just let me call my parents. Like just to let them know I’m okay. I won’t tell them where I am. I know they’re going to be looking for me. I just want to let them know I’m okay. And Joe said, all right, I’ll let you to call them. And he got up from the couch and he went across a living room, any, grabbed a phone, any, brought it back to that. And he said, okay, you can call him. Dad picked up the phone, went to dial, put the receiver to his ear. And there was no dial tone. It wasn’t plugged into anything. He was just fucking with him. So not only was he physically torturing him, he was psychologically torturing him there the entire time Joe left that night.

(16m 8s):
But before he left, he made sure that he jumped and stomped on dad’s legs, leaving that on his bed. He was picked up by his girlfriend that took his chance to escape. As he heard the car drive away, he rolled off the bed and slithered out of Joe’s room. His legs were completely useless. He was pulling and dragging himself by his arms. And he got to the top of the stairs and he had no choice. But to throw himself down the stairs, headfirst, there is no way to get down the stairs. So he threw himself down the stairs and he passed out at the bottom of the stairs from pain. Once he came to, he dragged himself to the kitchen where the one working phone was in the house.

(16m 53s):
He only got as far as the living room before he passed out again. And he woke up and he dragged myself a few more feet, and then he passed out again. And then you woke up and he dragged himself a few more feet and he passed out again. And I woke up and it was this time that he realized Joe was home. Oh my God. Yeah. He was in the kitchen with his girlfriend and the girlfriend was still there. She had dropped them off and they were saying goodbye. They were like hugging and kissing and saying their goodbyes and dad was so terrified. He didn’t know. Should I call out? Is she part of it? Will she, will she join in on it? Will he get so mad and kill us? Both. He didn’t know.

(17m 33s):
So he was frozen. So he hit himself and then Joe found him and he said, actually, Joe was so surprised that he had made it down the stairs. He was kind of shocked for a minute. And then the shock turned to a fury and he dragged him back up the stairs for more. And he just was pounding and twisting dad’s legs. He just took all of his fury out on that spotty in it. I mean, it, this, that has so much grit. Like I can’t even imagine the willpower of it. He could literally do anything in this life with a willpower that he has seriously.

(18m 15s):
This is incredible. I know. So on the third day of torture, which that said was by far, the worst day, Joe is waiting for his girlfriend to pick him up. But he really beets on him this day. Like he said, he would run and jump with landing, like aiming both of his knees on his legs. Oh my God. And this guy has a girlfriend. Imagine that this monster has a girlfriend. Well, this one, The monster is only 17 years old. And he lives by himself though. No, he doesn’t live by himself. In what I left out was he actually lives with his parents, but they were out of town visiting his sister.

(18m 55s):
Oh, okay. Okay. I was thinking it must of been 18, but he was only 17 When you were 17 and his parents were at a town for the weekend. Jesus Christ. I know, I know. This is such a sick, sick kid. Yeah. He’s fucked up for sure. So bad. The only thing, like I said, the only thing he had in control was his mind. So he knew because he had heard the phone conversation between Joe and his girlfriend. So he knew that Joe was waiting for his girlfriend to come pick him up. So what he would do is he would say, Oh, I think I hear something. I think you’re, I hear her girlfriend and Jo would stop torturing him and go to the window.

(19m 37s):
He basically tricked him for like 10 seconds of peace. That happened several times. And after each time Jo would come back from the window. He would be angrier than the time before. And he would beat him even harder. But that said that 10 seconds, that 10 seconds where he wasn’t torturing me was all I needed for the next to get to the next 10 seconds. Finally, ready to leave. Joe, put that in the closet this time. Because last time when he left, he left them out on his bed. And this time he put him in the closet to keep them there. Now this is Wisconsin in the summer time. This is July, August, and Wisconsin is fucking hotter than hell and the summertime and it’s humid.

(20m 21s):
And this closet was fucking hot as hell. He knew he had to get out because time was running out for him. He hadn’t had anything to eat. He didn’t have any water. He had internal bleeding. He knew this. This was, it was now or never. He looked around for anything in that closet and this, because it was death gusting. And he found buried on the bottom, have a dirty clothes, Powell, a wooden guitar. And he beat the door down with a wooden guitar and got out of the closet, dragged himself to the top of the stairs. And again, threw himself down, headfirst, passing out at the bottom.

(21m 5s):
Once he came to the ad, made his way to the kitchen by dragging himself, passing out every few feet. And he knew, he said, I have to get to the kitchen. I have to, there there’s no other option. I’m going to die. If I don’t this time, he was able to make it to the kitchen and able to make it to the phone. And so it was one of those phones that’s on the wall and it has a long curly dangly cord. And he said, thank God it had that court. There is no way I would have been able to get up and reach it. Yeah. So he yanked the cord down. And another thing in his favor, the key pad was on the receiver. Thank God for a house phones.

(21m 45s):
I know seriously. So he, he was severely dehydrated, starved bleeding internally, and yet he still managed to dial nine 11 and they have a recording on escaped of his nine, 11 phone call. Okay. And I can not imagine how calm and collected. He sounds. This is a 13 year old boy. He had just survived, probably one of the, the worst torture that you could ever do to somebody. And he is not hysterical. He is in full survival mode.

(22m 28s):
Like he is just I’m here. This is where I’m at. I’m alone. Come get me. So the police got there. They were shocked by what they saw. They were shocked at the state of the house, how disgusting it was. And they were shocked that that had, they said specifically the grit to survive. The ordeal that he went through, his legs were so swollen and they were black from all the bruising and the internal bleeding and all the brakes. So they got ’em on a stretcher. They took him to the hospital and they were trying to save his life. They said he was within hours of death.

(23m 8s):
They arrested Joe at a party. He was at a party just partying. It’s fucking sick, man. Yeah. So at the hospital, even though he was heavily medicated, heading into surgery, the police interviewed that they wanted to get his interview as soon as possible. And that told them he I’m not the only one. He did this to somebody else. In fact, he had done it to two other kids, two other boys. And that remembered the name, Chris diner, but he couldn’t remember the other boy’s name. So they never found out who that third boy was.

(23m 49s):
Oh no, Joe never confessed. And that did his best to remember. But he said, I can’t remember. I cannot imagine living through that. And knowing there is someone else and then not being able to remember the name. Yeah. But I mean, no, like the, the, the what a heavy burden. Yeah. To have to carry it with you. Even though it’s not your fault. This, this kid was a monster, Honestly surprising. He remembered anything from any of it. Yeah. Well, what happened was he is remembered his first name, Chris, and he said, his name is Chris. And then the last name starts with an S and I, I can’t remember the last name. So what they did is his dad brought him a phone book.

(24m 31s):
And in the hospital, he went down the list of names of asses and the phone book. And he found Steiner. And he’s like, that’s it, that’s his name? Chris Steiner. This kid was already like a serial killer when he was 17. Yeah. I am an absolute monster. So they assumed. And the x-ray Chris Steiner’s body, normally they, according to the district attorney on escaped, she said, normally they do a long bone x-ray during an autopsy. But for whatever reason, they didn’t, they just did a skull x-ray for Chris Steiner. So they had to exam his body and the Steiners wanted to know what happened to their son.

(25m 11s):
So they consented to the exclamation of his body. Yes. Thank you. Exclamation of his body. So they x-rayed the long bones in Chris Steiner’s body and they layered fads x-rays on top of Chris diners x-rays and they were nearly identical breaks. Every place worth that had a broken bone in his legs. Chris Steiner had a broken bone in his legs as well. This is, so this is such a sick and bizarre. Like, what is it, pathology? This is just so intense. It’s, it’s very intense and very strange and so fucked up he’s 17 years old.

(25m 58s):
Yeah. Ugh. Imagine if he hadn’t have gotten caught the escalation, have somebody in 17 who is doing this kind of behavior. Mm yeah. I mean, yeah. During the trial, Joe admitted to taking fad, but he says he blacked out during the torture sessions. O of course he was found guilty and sentenced to 100 years for the kidnap and torture specifically. I think the charge was mayhem. He was charged with mayhem and he was a, a, a a hundred years. Yeah. Good, good fucking riddance.

(26m 40s):
All right. So after he was sentenced to a a hundred years for a fad, a year later, he was found guilty of Chris Steiner’s murder and he received an additional life sentence in prison, and he will be eligible for parole in 21 to 10. And he will be roughly a 150 years old. So he is never 150. He can, he can be paroled. He, ah, and then I hope when he comes out of prison, walks out of the Gates at a 150 someone fucking pushes him over and breaks his legs seriously. So he will never get out of prison. Thank God Thad said on, I survived at the end of that show.

(27m 23s):
They say, you don’t ask, why do you think you survived? And he said, I survived because of my family. All I thought about was my family and being with my family and then on escaped, he said, I hope it said he doesn’t hear much about Joe’s life in prison. But he said, he hopes he gets beat up every single day in prison. That’s fair. Which yeah, I do too. I do too honestly. So when the police went through the house, they found a notebook in Joe’s room and it had three lists, a get to now list can wait list and leg thing list.

(28m 5s):
And then on those lists were names of boys in the town, teenage young, 12 to 14 year old boys in the town. Jesus. So he absolutely would not have stopped. No, that saved every young teenage boy that would have come after him. He would not have stopped. He would not have stopped and getting back to Chris Steiner. So when the police found Chris Steiner’s body, he had been missing for six days. And he actually, I think, was taken on July 3rd, 1994. And they asked his parents.

(28m 48s):
Was there anybody that you last saw your son with? Well, the only name that they came up with was Joe Clark. That was his name by the way, Joe Clark. So they interviewed Joe Clark. Joe Clark was a friend of Chris Diner’s older brother. So he was familiar to Chris Steiner. They interviewed Joe Clark and they were suspicious. They thought it was strange, but they couldn’t find any proof. And then his mom provided an airtight alibi for him. She said that he was asleep all night in his bed. Hmm.

(29m 28s):
So they had, and they, they had run out of Leeds for Joe Clark. And I just think that his parents were obviously, they were disgusting. Like this was, it was like the landfill. It was disgusting. Were they on drugs? I wouldn’t be surprised. I wouldn’t be surprised. And I feel like if they came home and saw what Joe had been doing while they were gone that weekend, they probably would’ve covered for him. Oh, that’s sick at that mean their mattresses and the house were sheetless. There were soiled, there was a black stains.

(30m 9s):
There was yellow. I mean, it was disgusting. So they were either like on white drugs or hardcore alcoholics. Nobody just lives like that in a normal state of mind. Yeah. It was gross. And I can imagine Joe’s girlfriend going over to that house and like wanting to date somebody after seeing the state of his dwelling, it, it was, I was like out of a episode of hoarders, it was bad, but even worse in hoarders because it was just Phillips. Ugh, God, it was filthy. So yeah. Fad saved everybody, everybody that was supposed to come after him, he saved their life. And he, the, the we’ll have a team of a 13 year-old who is new to the town.

(30m 54s):
They have just moved there two weeks ago. Oh my God. They had just moved there two weeks ago. Holy hell. Just this small suburban Midwestern town was the way it was this monster. That’s 72 year old psychopathic monster was hiding within like Midwestern suburbia. It’s just, it’s just crazy. It was crazy to me. And that is a hero. Yeah. There’s no telling how many lives he’s saved by the way, by his sheer we’ll to live and to survive. I’m so sorry that that went through that, but he definitely saved lives and he is definitely a hero. Yeah. He had multiple surgeries after, for several years and he still walks with a limp.

(31m 39s):
He still lives in Baraboo and he doesn’t really talk much about his experience, obviously. So that is the survival story of Thad Phillips. I mean, if that is like fricking wild and crazy, You did such a fantastic job. That is an amazing story. And I can’t believe, I didn’t know it. Great. Thank you. It was, it was hard. It was as a parent, It’s hard to do the kids’ stories. A thousand percent Really is especially the, the, the, so I’m horrific about this story. As a parent, you feel like the safest place for your child is in their bed, in their home. And then you just have this monster coming in and plucking your children out of their home.

(32m 23s):
And you would never suspect it to be another kid. No, and this is a good lock. Your fucking windows. People. If Richard Ramirez didn’t teach you anything, let this fucking psychopath, Joe Clark teach you lock your fucking windows. And I am not a victim shaming by any means. This is a reminder. No matter how rural, how suburban, how safe it could happen to anyone lock your windows. Yeah. As a, I have a teenage son and I did get a little emotional. When you were talking about that, it was really sad. But, but like I said, you did a great job. Thanks. Thank you so much. Okay. Are you ready? It just started raining.

(33m 3s):
So if you hear a little pitter patter it’s it’s rain. I don’t mind pitter patter. I like it. Sorry. We don’t have a podcast loft. I’m just at home. How’s your Martini. It’s fantastic. I think Every every sip. It gets better. Good. Sorry. I just feel like I need to decompress a tiny, but after your stove, so what is it asking you? Honestly, I’ve needed to decompress for like the last four days. All right. So my source, my main source was a women’s article by Maria Carter. And I also watched an ice survive and I have a few other sources, but we’ll just list them in our episode description.

(33m 53s):
So January of 2004 in Wisconsin, can you believe we both did that? No. Pretty crazy. Teri Jendusa Nikolai was at her ex-husband’s house attempting to pick up her children. It was the three-year anniversary of their divorce. Their marriage had been a nightmare for Teri. David Larson had changed once they were married, he was abusive. He was incredibly controlling. He made her use the bathroom and shower with the door, open.

(34m 36s):
Their doors had locks on the inside, for which only he had the key. Okay. That is freaky. Yeah. Any small thing could make him fly off the handle. And finally, Teri, couldn’t take the abuse any longer. And with her two young daughters left David Good For her. Now, three years later, Teri had remarried and was expecting a baby with her new husband because of the violence in their marriage. Teri usually insisted on meeting at a public place.

(35m 16s):
But on this day, like I said, Oh no, she was at their former home. So this was the house that they had shared together when they were married. And this house, which is another similarity. Our stories share was at borderline hoarder levels. Oh, gross. Those poor girls that had to Live in that. David had kept all of the relics of their past relationship. Oh my God. Including get this their wedding video, which is shown, okay. So he had their wedding video and he would show it to their daughter’s as proof that mommy lies What a fucking creep.

(35m 58s):
Yeah. It’s so scary to be in a relationship with someone and have children. And then it doesn’t work out. Maybe it’s an amicable, maybe its not. And then be able to trust that person with your, the care of your children, you have to share custody. And if you can not prove that he was abusive to those children, you have to share custody. And then they do fucked up things like that. And now, sorry, kind of go off on a tangent, but they have just alien parent parental alienation is a form of child abuse. And that’s basically like alienating the co-parent or the other parent, which is exactly what he was doing by, you know, gaslighting them and abusing them with parental alienation by showing him that, them, that video.

(36m 47s):
And then saying that your mom is a liar to see this. Yes. And it’s so hard to prove. And back then, even if it was probably not even a thing. Yeah. Probably not. Even though it’s only 2004, probably not. So Teri knocked on the door and David answered alone saying the girls were playing hide and seek and wanted Terry to find them. Hmm. She was hesitant, but finally entered in the, I survived. She said something to the effect of I’m a mom first. And I just know they like playing hide and seek games. He fucking used her love against her. Her Daughters were four and six years old.

(37m 28s):
Oh my God. This guy, When she entered, David began beating her with a baseball bat. He attempted to suffocate Terry with her socks that had been pulled off in the struggle, but Teri kept turning her head. So he couldn’t really get to her mouth during the struggle. Her sweat pants had also been ripped off David then put tape over her face and taped her hands together. Oh my God. Finally, after a brutal beating, that included part of her skull being crushed. Oh my gosh. David began to push Teri into an empty garbage bin, Fucking monster, man.

(38m 8s):
Teri remembers having the presence of mind to flip around. So she went in feet first. Hmm. Which is like I said, during your story, it’s just incredible that she could even think at this point It’s a power of a human survival. It’s just it’s it’s like the strongest instinct and will that we have as humans and it it’s, it’s incredible. It is. It’s so impressive. So then after Teri was forced into the garbage bin, David dragged out the garbage bin outside, filled it with snow because this was January in Wisconsin. Yeah.

(38m 48s):
Yeah. I put the lid on it and loaded it into the back of his truck. The girl’s we’re in an upstairs bedroom for the entire time. When the truck begin to move, Teri remembered that she had her cell phone, she dialed nine one one. And through the tape that covered her and the snow that surrounded her body. She said David’s address over and over. Fuck you Teri then they lost connection shit. Teri called back again. This time Teri was able to say that her ex-husband was trying to kill her. And she was in the back of the green truck finally, after an hour and a half of driving the truck stopped.

(39m 31s):
Teri heard her daughter’s laughing and running around. She stayed quiet because she didn’t want to traumatize them. And she also knew that there was nothing they could do. Oh my goodness. What an angel, this lady is, She was such a mom on. I survived. It’s just issues. She is just incredible. Unfortunately at this point, her cell phone rang. Oh no. David heard it and pulled it from the trash can Shoot. Was it a nine 11 calling back? Oh God. If it was literally your car warranty is running out. I swear if it was a telemarketer, I would have hunted them down.

(40m 14s):
Yeah. On the I survived. She said that she didn’t know who hit It called. It was probably a nine one one calling her back. So Terry’s last connection to Help was gone at this point. By this time Terry’s husband, Nick was alerted to something being wrong. He called the police and they realized that David’s address was the same address they had received in a nine one, one call hours earlier. Police officers had been to David’s house, but it was empty. They had already left. By the time they got there, officers were putting together the pieces to this puzzle very quickly though. Now everyone knew something was seriously wrong and Teri was in danger.

(40m 59s):
Also. No one knew where the girls were. Hmm. Nobody knew if the girls were hurt at amped up the whole situation because there were two young children involved. Detectives returned to David’s house again and found Teri sweat pants. She had worn that day and a large amount of blood on the floor, approximately 100 police officers and countless volunteers searched for Teri around town, like in abandoned buildings, anywhere that they thought that she might of been hidden. An Amber alert was put out during all of this time. Terry was an hour away fighting for her life in a storage unit. Oh, crammed into a garbage bin.

(41m 39s):
It was packed with now melting snow. Oh my goodness. She said she just kept trying to move to keep her body temperature up. Oh my goodness. She said thinking of her daughter’s unborn baby and her husband kept her fighting. This is crazy. Police Picked up David that evening when he arrived at work. Oh my yeah. Everything’s fine. Going to work like a normal fucking day. Just not a monster or anything. Just a regular old single co-parent dad just going to work. Yeah. Detectives, Chris and Thomas nos spent six and a half hours questioning David every minute of them questioning him. Just imagining Teri in this trashcan covered in snow with no pants or socks on too.

(42m 24s):
It’s just, Oh God. It’s just brutal. At first, David claimed that Teri hadn’t shown up. So he took the girls to a sitter before work and the girls were found at the sitter safe. Thank God. Yeah. Thank goodness. Just thank goodness for Teri in the moment of trauma to have the foresight, to think about where girls, because what if, what if she would have screamed and the girls would have seen her? I mean he would of had to make a choice. Yeah. And it, and who knows what his choice was. She Probably saved their lives. So, you know, at first David, like I said, he S he was denying everything.

(43m 6s):
He said that Teri, hadn’t even shown up at the house that day to pick up the girls. Finally, the police officers told him that they found Teri sweatpants at his house. Yeah. We know you’re a lying. We know you’re full of shit. Then his story changed. David claimed he had acted in self-defense and the events of that day were at a blur. Hmm. And I watched another show called three days to live . And David told the most absurd bullshit story that he had turned around to grab the girl’s backpack. And while his back was turned, Terry had a hammer that she held above her head. And for some reason, her sweat pants were also down around her ankles.

(43m 48s):
And it was in the fucking dumbest thing. The police officer was like, I cannot believe that this was the story he concocted. And so like, he, David basically hit her with the baseball bat and in self-defense it’s it was just so such bullshit. And it just like, nobody’s going to believe you, especially not detectives. Right. Because I always pull my pants down around my ankles before I attack some with a hammer, because that’s just so logical. Yeah. I get the audacity Seriously. So even though his story was so, so stupid, now detectives could search him. And in David’s wallet, it had tons of shit.

(44m 30s):
Tons of paper, business cards, whatever in it. They found a business card for the storage unit. Fuck. Yeah. Stupid David. You’re a stupid idiot. Yeah. David sucks. Those detectives are awesome. Yeah. They are. Police found the storage unit. And when they saw Teri, they decided to wait for paramedics to arrive to transport her because her condition was so severe. Oh my gosh. Poor Terry, The police officer that found her, I think was just on like a routine, you know, routine day for him, he wasn’t expecting to be called to find something like this. And it was, it was Oh, Oh, right. Because it was an hour away.

(45m 10s):
Yeah. Yeah. And they probably called another department to go out and do a check on, on the store. Exactly. Exactly. The same shit. Oh my goodness. Yeah. Oh my God. Terrible for everybody. Teri was in the garbage can for 26 hours. Oh my God. Teri lost her toes to frostbite. She spent weeks in the hospital and had 10 surgeries. Oh my goodness. She also lost her baby on August 16th, 2005. David Larson was sentenced to 35 years in prison for attempted first degree, intentional homicide. That’s it. Since this horrible event and Terry’s life, she has become a victim’s rights advocate.

(45m 52s):
Teri has been instrumental in creating laws that protect domestic violence victims, like Wisconsin safe act, which takes guns away from abusers. She is the state chairman of Marsy’s law. The goal of Marsy’s law is to give victims continual rights victims had statutory rights. Well, the criminal’s rights were protected in the constitution. Teri said that constitutional rights are more guaranteed and victims should to have the same rights. Yes, absolutely. This law was passed this year in Wisconsin. Oh my goodness. Go. Teri fucking go. Teri Teri also speaks at events to teach people about domestic violence and share her own story.

(46m 32s):
Her story has been told on 2020 oxygen’s three-days to live. I survived and countless other news interviews, things like that. She’s she’s been on a lot of shows. There is also a book about her story called left for dead, the abduction and survival of Teri Jendusa Nikolai by David Elfin. If you years after Terry’s harrowing ordeal, she and her husband, Nick had a baby boy. Oh my goodness. That always gets me furiously Teri Jendusa Nikolai says she is not a victim. She is a survivor. Absolutely it. Fuck you up. You go Teri congratulations. I just loved stories like that because of, of someone going through something so traumatic and then coming out and helping other peoples specifically domestic violence, because it can be so insidious you that your abuser starts off probably not abusive at all.

(47m 34s):
And then it just slowly gets worse and worse and worse. And I think there’s a lot of shame with domestic violence victims or survivors feel shame. And I would just say obviously We they shouldn’t. No, No. And I think that can, in some cases can keep them in abusive relationships among other things. It is, you know, people say, well, why don’t you just leave? It’s incredibly hard to leave an abusive relationship. And it’s also dangerous to leave. Most of the time, your abuser is very good at isolating you and taking away your resources And belittling you to the point where you feel like that you don’t even deserve to leave.

(48m 16s):
Exactly. And it’s just so amazing that Survivors like, Teri give back to other domestic abuse survivors and victims because it’s, it’s important. It is. And it’s, she went through something so hard and so horrible, but she is strong enough to use her own story in her own experience to teach other people and hopefully prevent something like that from happening again. And it’s just beautiful and it’s empowering. And she is a fantastic woman And the woman, Mother it. She’s amazing, amazing to be fighting for your life, but still have the, like the, the instincts of a Mother to protect our children before yourself is just it’s.

(49m 7s):
So I can’t even think of it where it just is so amazing. Yeah, it is. It’s incredible. Well, I guess that wraps up our, I survived. Yeah. We’ll have a poster of emotions. Episode, upper roastery almost cried twice. I’m fine. We’re fine. I mean, it’s so it’s Interesting that we both picked, I survived stories that had to do with being a parent or child. And it, because I think because we’re parents and that’s probably the scariest thing, the most true, you know, scariest thing who are finding out that we could go through it as a parent or have something happening to our children.

(49m 48s):
You know, it’s, if you’re a parent, you know, like we aren’t, we are just like balls have like worries at all Behind it for a year facade, everything is going to be fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. But Terry is an inspiration that as an inspiration and look, if Teri, and that can survive the fucking fucked up things, they went through. This is going to be a, one of our closest episodes coming in to Thanksgiving. You can survive your family this year. You can, you’re your conservative grandma. You got this, you can do It over cooked Turkey.

(50m 30s):
No problem. You’ve got this before we say our goodbyes. We just want two as always. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting our show. Thank you for the rate, the ratings reviews and subscribes and the shares. We appreciate you. Absolutely. So on that note, don’t forget to love yourself like your doors and your windows and light some Sage. Cheers to that. Cheers to that.

(51m 20s):
Thanks again for listening to True Crime by Indie Drop-In if you would like your show featured, reach out to us at Indie Drop-In on all social media or go to Indie Drop-In dot com. See you next time.