By Leigh Clifton
This is the original open letter (below) I wrote to Melissa Walker in August of 2011. I wrote it on the off chance that she might see it and that it might have some impact or maybe even change her mind. Little did I know that it would ultimately have the biggest impact and perhaps saved her life. I am proud of this; not for the writing, but for the reading of it. I’m proud that common words of sense and decency transcended an almost demonic grip on a young, vibrant, beautiful woman, and made her change her mind. It’s as simple as that.
But Kelly Rothwell was a young, vibrant, beautiful woman, who saw the demon too little too late. She paid the ultimate price for her loyalty and her decency.
On Tuesday December 27, three days before Melissa Walker made her announcement on Fox News that she was divorcing David Perry, I received these two emails below the original letter. Because David Perry has written to me before and used aliases, I wanted to substantiate the source before I printed them. I made some calls and ultimately came to the conclusion that the one from her sister Cassandra really WAS from her; the other one from Melissa I had to conclude was genuine as well. I waited to speak to Melissa’s sister Cassandra because I wanted to give Melissa her privacy for as long as possible, knowing that once the news broke she would get no peace.
Cassandra Williams is a powerhouse and she is very protective of her sister Melissa.
“Melissa is a very smart girl, a personal trainer and licensed esthetician. She gets bored easily because she always likes to be on the go all the time. I mean, who hikes 20 miles before breakfast for fun?”
Cassandra suggested she enter the Reserves and Melissa, in her 30’s, aced boot camp and every test they gave her. So they asked her to enlist for a year,telling her she could be stationed in Hawaii at the Army Medical Center. She had no specific interest in the psychiatry field but did so well on her trials there, they asked her to stay on for the year.”
Cassandra was surprised to learn that Melissa had married David Perry; the family wasn’t told until after the summer wedding. By that time, Cassandra had read some of the stories circulating about Perry and his possible involvement in Kelly Rothwell’s disappearance.
“I did wonder if he was guilty, but I and my whole family wanted to be supportive of my sister. She is a smart, beautiful and talented woman and we trusted that she would make the right decisions.”
But even superior intelligence can be no match for a psychopath, not when they want to charm you and subtly gain control over you. It starts slowly and like Kelly, David had Melissa’s phone put in his name. There were other signs, small ones, but none that were glaring enough to cause Melissa any alarm, according to her sister.
“I just made sure I talked to her (Melissa) every day,” Cassandra said. “We’re very close and always talk about our day, no matter where we are.”
Then,last week,an immediate family member of Cassandra’s called her in tears, reading my open letter blog post over the phone. Cassandra then read it and called Melissa, who also read it. She had no idea it was even out there; David Perry had her convinced NOT to read anything about him and not to answer media requests, telling her they were “all lies”.
Cassandra said Melissa was appalled and suddenly realized she had made a huge mistake in marrying David Perry. Cassandra assured her she did, because by this time Cassandra has started doing her own investigation on David Perry and was alarmed at what she found. Cassandra was also upset that it was also affecting her whole family.
“My sister knew that she needed to clear her name and no longer wanted to be associated with Dave. She realized that he probably was guilty. So we talked and she decided that she should divorce him. She wants nothing more to do with him. All I want is to protect my sister. She really fell for this guy and it hurts.”
One interesting note to all of this; when Perry and Melissa got married, he took her last name of Walker. He has a Hawaii driver’s license as David Walker. Coincidentally (or not) his mother’s last name was Walker too.
Melissa Walker will never know how close to danger she may have been, but thankfully she will be safe and away from David Perry. Her family will love and support her through this hard time.
Kelly Rothwell tried to get away from the danger, but could not. She paid with it with her life.
She is still missing……
An Open Letter to Melissa Marie Walker
Dear Ms. Walker,
By now I’m sure you know who I am and the many others that comprise the family, friends, colleagues and advocates of Kelly Rothwell. She is the woman who has been missing since March 12th, with a high probability that it was her then-boyfriend Davis Perry who it is widely believed has killed her and moved on to you.
I heard that you refused to listen to law enforcement when they initially told you how dangerous a man David Perry is and I am very surprised that you not only have maintained a relationship with him, but are actually thinking of marrying him, if you haven’t already. I can think of several reasons NOT doing this, which I will enumerate:
Could it be that you and Perry already had a relationship going on behind Kelly’s back and she found out about it, wanting to confront Perry. Is that why he killed her? I would have to further suppose that you knew about it... it that true?
Did the two of you plot this together or are you just a pawn in his game of lies and deceit? I find it extremely difficult to comprehend how a woman like you can NOT see what Perry is really all about.
There is documented proof, in graphic detail, of how abusive Perry was to his wife Luana and their three children. Yes, the records are sealed, but CAN be opened in a military enquiry, if Law Enforcement is so compelled. There is also proof that Perry stalked Kelly, followed her around, hacked her computer and phone records, (the phone by the way, was in HIS name)… and generally exerted a gradual control over her life.
He did this with Luana, and several OTHER women he was with; ask him about Ann Morris, who he left after almost 13 years when he met Kelly. He told his friends he had met a “rich bitch with money” and was moving to Florida. Ask him about another Kellie, a woman with who he had an affair AND a child while he was still married to Luana. He got fired from the Outback Steakhouse for trying to choke out a cook who didn’t cook his food right. Luana said that he would often choke her so tight that she would lose consciousness. He also told her he could kill her and they would never find her body.
Doesn’t it bother you at all that he is a SUSPECT in Kelly’s disappearance AND has been charged with 2 Felony Grand Larceny counts of Work Comp fraud? Since you work in healthcare yourself, I would assume that any negative mark on his record would also reflect poorly on yours as well.
I hear he’s quite the charmer… has he tried to “teach” you how to iron yet? Has he done the laundry “for you” to be nice? Has he picked out what he wants you to wear? Has he shown up with flowers at the hospital or when he comes home to your place? Has he called you MANY times a day “just to say he loves you”? Have you seen him vacuum until he can see the lines in the rug? What about his car? Or yours? Is it meticulous? Can you eat a French fry in it if you want without him getting paranoid? What about the linen closet? Has he folded everything perfectly and lined the colors up just so? What about the kitchen cabinets? All the food labels facing forward and lined up like ducks in a row? How about the bathroom? Shower curtain just so as well?
I ask these things because abusers and sociopaths almost always start out like this; they make you think they are indispensable to you and little by little you lose yourself, until you are under his control and can’t get out. Then you end up like Kelly “missing” and presumed dead. Because that is what will happen to you. I could almost lay money on it.
But perhaps you have some intimate knowledge of Kelly’s disappearance….Maybe you know something. Maybe you like the rush of the “bad boy” image.. Is it exciting to lay next to a man who may have killed his girlfriend, thinking there’s no way he would EVER hurt you like that… Think again... again I say there is documentable proof of his prior abuse.
We heard that he applied for a marriage license… could it be to keep you quiet? So you couldn’t testify against him in a court of law? Interesting how things are working out, eh? What does your family think of all this? Do they even care about you? David Perry only thinks about himself, let’s be clear on that. It will only be a matter of time before you start to see the real abuser he is known to be… again... DOCUMENTED PROOF. Because trust me.. He WILL show his true colors and you will be blindsided by it. Be careful; you could be his next victim.
Perhaps you are a nice person; I don’t know you and can’t judge your character. But I DO know that YOUR military salary is being paid for with OUR tax dollars. I don’t think I should have to pay for you to enjoy a life with a man who took one.
The Rothwell Family and
Friends of Kelly who Demand Justice
I met Dave Perry in April. He treated me like an angel from day one, through and to the moment I told him I no longer wanted to speak with him. By the way, he has respected my request. Was it wrong of me to ignore the media? Maybe it was wrong. There was never any evidence to prove the accusations. Still there is no evidence. I wanted to believe his words that he is innocent. I pray he is. Was it stupid of me to follow my heart? Maybe it was stupid. I try to live life with an open, honest, loving, forgiving heart. Do I hope and pray that he who is responsible for the disappearance/murder of Kelly pay in full for what he has done? Yes, please, find the evidence today to put that person away. Whoever it is should pay and I have prayed for that from the beginning. Try not to be judgmental. You do not know me.
By melissa on An Open Letter to Melissa Marie Walker on 12/27/11
First I want to say I am Melissa’s older sister, And I am just as disgusted as you all are, and I send my prayers to Kelly’s friends and family and I also want to say I want this case to be solved and the truth to be revealed. Then I want to say that Melissa is smart, she’s kind, she’s beautiful, she is a great sister, and a wonderful aunt to 2 little boys. She is also woman that was sucked in by Dave’s charm and his lies. She is not the only woman that has fallen for it RIGHT???? There is no way that she had any knowledge of his intentions to harm Kelly in any way, or that she even knew about Kelly until it was too late. I want to be clear one thing.... MY SISTER WOULD NEVER EVER HURT ANYONE, SHE FELL IN LOVE WITH A MAN WHO LED HER TO BELIEVE HES SOMETHING THAT HE’S NOT, DID SHE MAKE A MISTAKE? DID SHE HAVE BAD JUDGEMENT IN CHARACTER? IT SEEMS SO, BUT SHE WOULD NEVER, I MEAN NEVER, CONDONE, SUPPORT OR STAND BY SOMEONE WHO HAD DONE SOMETHING SO TERRIBLE.YES SHE HAS BEEN WARNED BY PINELLAS COUNTY DETECTIVES, BUT THERE’S THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF HORRIBLE CRIMES AND DONE YEARS IN PRISON THEN LATER RELEASED, ALL CHARGES DROPPED AND AN "IM SORRY", LIVES RUINED FOR NOTHING. WHAT I WANT IS FOR PINALLES COUNTY DETECTIVES TO GET THE EVIDENCE THEY NEED FOR A CONVICTION SO I DONT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MY SISTER, AGAIN MY PRAYERS ARE WITH KELLY AND HER FAMILY, AND I WRITE THIS IN SUPPORT OF THE TRUTH.
By CASSANDRA on An Open Letter to Melissa Marie Walker on 12/27/11
I always encourage to listen and to follow your intuition. I also encourage to hear others intuitions and make your choices wisely. Woman or man, if you think you or someone close is in an abusive relationship (physical or emotional) please know you deserve better! You deserve LIFE! Speak up! Stand up! LIVE!ReplyDelete
Dear Leigh, Thank you very much for such a compelling piece. As time has gone by and Kelly has not been found her disappearance has touched many people. And some of these people like myself have never met Kelly or her family. But Kelly and I have something in common that connects us forever and always as sisters. And that is because we are sisters of Domestic Violence. Some of us make it out and some of us don't. Falling into the hands of a monstrous psychopath can happen to anyone and I should know because it happened to me. Everyone I knew could not understand how I got tangled up with a convicted felon that is also an alcoholic drug addcict and controlling abuser. My experience in working in the field of mental health as a therapist did not save me from getting sucked up into his drama and violent filled world. It took me a few years to finally make the break and I did. And because I was one of the lucky ones I knew it was important to give something back to my sisters that have suffered from the hands of a violent abusive man. I now volunteer my time to work as a Domestic Violence Advocate and have been asked to participate and speak at vigils as well as lectures. This is something that I am extremely humbled by and grateful to be able to do because I survived living with a man that put me in life threatening situations. I also want to say that my heart goes out to Kelly's family and Melissa and her family as well. Please let them know that even strangers such as myself are capable of reaching out with genuine love and sincerity in supporting all of you. Bless you all. JReplyDelete
Thank you Leigh for putting this together like you did. I'm so glad someone grabbed on to your open letter and helped Melissa process through this monsters mode of operation! Love reading your blog...keep up the good investigative work you do in Kelly's name! Justice for Kelly...is always on my mind!ReplyDelete
Melissa no one was blaming you for your relationship with David. He is a real charmer until something happens and no matter if you are to blame or not it will be your fault. Everyone wanted to get your attention so you could see what the true David Perry was about, not just what he told you. I went through it for over 10 years and still deal with his retrobution every chance he wants to blame me for something. Did you know he sent me a email telling me it was my fault he killed Kelly. He did he used a fake name but he thinks I didn't know it was him. I am not a stupid woman either neither are the rest of the women he treated like dirt or worse. We all just want you to know we are so happy you are safe and saw through his bologna. If you ever need to talk my name is Luana and you are more than welcome to email me or even call. Leigh is a great woman and she is so happy you are safe from the grips of Davids lies and hands. Leigh has my number and email address. I am so proud of you, Luana Rae GreenfieldReplyDelete
Leigh you did a great job in bringing this open letter to light. Melissa I am happy and sad for you right now. Happy that you finally got away from David Perry and sad because you loved him and believed him and that had to be a very hard decision for you. I for one as I cannot speak for others couldn't understand how you could marry an individual that the police had warned you about, so one can draw the conclusion that you were somehow involved or knew more than you were saying. For that I am sorry that I doubted you. As you can see from what you have read Kelly has a lot of supporters and we all have the same thing in common, we want Kelly found and we want justice served. I hope you can move past this and find the true happiness you deserve. I also thank God that you did not endure what others have at the hands of David Perry. God Bless you and your family Melissa and as always God Bless the Rothwells. NLHReplyDelete
I am so thankful that your blog was instrumental in Melissa seeing what danger she was in! There may not be evidence to charge David Perry YET....but there sure are glaring signs of suspicion from that fateful day when Kelly disappeared to be called the ONLY SUSPECT in her disappearance! Justice for Kelly...always! Keep up the good work Leigh!ReplyDelete
Great Post Leigh. Anyone who knows this story, or followed it since day one knows the great amount of work and heart you have poured into this story. When Kelly Rothwell is found, or at the very least the right answers are discovered, it will be because of you. I never understood with all of what was facing Melissa, why she would agree to marry David Perry with the lingering Kelly Story and his state fraud case and pending social security case. It didnt make sense. She is such a beautiful, bright woman. I do understand how she was manipulated, as many of Daves exes have discovered and how love is blind. I applaud Melissa for coming to her senses before she experienced some of the terrible things he has done to his exes that I have read about. The reaction and support of Melissa and her family are that of a caring support system and what a normal individual or family would do when faced with a situation like this that would damage a person or family, especially when they are innocenct. David Perry should take a lesson from this, but then again you'd have to be innocent, I suppose. Bravo to Meliisa and her family. Bravo to you Leigh.ReplyDelete
Maybe its time that David (Perry) Walkers children come forward to tell what they know! Davey was sent on "errands" for his father, Britney and Brandi were at home when he arrived back in Elmira! They had to see "odd" behavior that could link all the pieces! Melissa and her family and friends saw the truth...how can David Perry's children go on with their life without helping all they can? Please step forward Perry children and help the Rothwells. You would want the same if your child was missing!ReplyDelete