It was November 13, 1983, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. The night began much like any other evening for Janyce and Richard. They went out for dinner at the El Torrito Restaurant, where they started drinking. But on this particular night, instead of driving home, they decided to stay at The Denver Marriott Hotel SE. It was only a couple of blocks away, so they left their car where it was parked and walked to the hotel. Richard checked the two of them into Room 335.
They barely got settled into their room before he was on the phone ordering a bottle of their best champagne from room service.
… They sat around talking and having a few more glasses of champagne, and then got into bed and began making love.
… He turned her over onto her stomach. “No,” she screamed. “I’m not going to let you do this. Just get off me and let me sleep.”
Richard, enraged, got out of bed and grabbed his cowboy boot. He walked back to where she was still lying on her stomach.
“I’ll teach you never to disobey me, you bitch.” He lifted his boot and started beating Janyce. It took her a second before she realized what was happening—Richard must be hitting her with something hard. She was thinking: Oh dear God—help me—what have I done?
Richard continued striking her on her head and back, over and over again. He pushed her head into the pillow to stifle her screams for help. She tried to roll over, but he kept hitting her. Then he tore the lamp off the wall next to the bed and began striking her with it. Janyce felt something warm running down from her head, onto her face and mouth. She realized it was blood. She could see it pooling onto the hotel’s white sheets and spreading as she struggled to move.
Richard dropped the lamp and went into the bathroom. He got into the shower and yelled at Janyce, “Get your ass up and get in here now.”
None of the beatings she’d endured over the years was as severe as this one. She felt that if she didn’t get away this time, he would kill her. She mustered what strength she had left and bolted out the door. Then she ran down the long hallway, naked and bleeding from head to toe. It played in her head like a scary movie. The hallway seemed to go on forever. And if she looked back, she knew he would be there ready to grab her.
Finally she reached the elevator. The doors wouldn’t open. The elevator was in use. She kept hitting the down button, feeling her heart pounding in her chest. She was overwhelmed with a sense of fear that Richard was going to grab her at any second.