Jill Owens was 4 months pregnant when she acquired horrifying information about her unborn baby’s father.
It was Halloween 2006 when the police sergeant discovered Dean Jenkins, a self-made businessman, had been arrested for being the getaway driver of a robbery gang that had stolen over $400,000 from constructing societies, which give monetary providers within the UK.
“It was like as if I’ve been hit by a bullet,” Owens recalled to Fox Information Digital. “I used to be completely floored. I couldn’t consider what I used to be listening to in any respect.”
Owens recalled how a fairy story romance shortly was a nightmare for a restricted podcast sequence from Wondery and Novel, “Stolen Hearts.” It particulars how the embellished member of regulation enforcement from rural Wales fell for what she thought was Mr. Proper.
The 54-year-old beforehand wrote a guide printed in 2020, “Two Cops and a Robber,” which described her “match made in hell.”
“Within the aftermath of the whole lot that occurred, I struggled extraordinarily laborious to attempt to take care of the whole lot,” she defined. “Once I got down to write the guide, I needed to place a few of these demons to relaxation. … I needed to eliminate all of the rumors. I needed the reality from my perspective to return out. And it’s been therapeutic.”
As a baby, Owens had large goals of becoming a member of the police power. She typically discovered herself in entrance of the mirror sporting a Trilby hat just like the one worn by Inspector Clousau from “The Pink Panther” series. In 1990, she joined the Dyfed-Powys Police Division. She served for 17 years and even acquired an award for bravery after risking her life to assist a suicidal younger man.
“With out being boastful, I used to be superb at what I did,” she recalled. “And I used to be fairly happy that I managed to get the job that I all the time needed to do.”
Whereas Owens’ profession flourished, she privately discovered herself searching for love. After being married and divorced twice to 2 cops, she was hopeful the third time can be a allure.
Regardless of her reservations, the one mom of two gave online dating a try after being coaxed by a pal. That’s how she met Jenkins.
“On the time, on-line courting was fairly a brand new factor. It wasn’t like it’s now,” she stated. “There was a little bit of a stigma about it. I stated, ‘I’m not feeling it, so I’m going to return off.’ After which I stated, ‘I’ll have yet one more go.’ This time, moderately than wanting on the profiles, I’ll simply take a look at the photographs and see if I’m attracted.
“That’s once I noticed Dean wearing a blue Armani go well with. There was an on the spot attraction to the image, which made me click on on him. … We bought to chatting, and it took off from there. It was an on the spot connection. We chatted as if we’ve recognized one another for some time.”
Owens was shortly swept away by Jenkins, the charismatic self-made businessman who had his personal line of males’s grooming merchandise. While he was in London and he or she in Wales, distance didn’t matter. They eagerly met in Cardiff, a midway level. The romance blossomed in a short time.
“I met his household. I went to his place of job. He met my household,” stated Owens. “There have been no lacking gaps in anyway. We had been three hours aside, however we noticed one another each different weekend. I had my kids right here, and he had his children there. It was a long-distance relationship. However in the course of the time that we had been collectively, we packed rather a lot in on these weekends. And I met everybody. I met his sisters, his mum, his dad. There was completely nothing to recommend that there was something mistaken in any respect.”
Owens acquired a shock. She was pregnant.
“I supposed there will likely be quite a lot of opinions of, ‘That was far too quickly,’ or, ‘They shouldn’t have gotten into that in any respect,’” she stated. “However … when is the best time? It was a case of, we discovered one another, and we need to be collectively, so we’ll transfer that one step additional. And once I discovered I used to be pregnant, we had been over the moon. It was needed.
“It was the icing on the cake. It was completely good. … I suppose everybody desires to really feel that they’ve lastly met their soulmate, and so they’re going to spend the remainder of their life and be proud of them. At the moment, that’s what it appeared like. It was in all probability too good to be true, but it surely all felt so proper. There was nothing to query there.”
On Halloween night time 2006, Owens immediately discovered herself frightened. She hadn’t heard from Jenkins in two days, which was uncommon. She was elated when his sister despatched a message, asking her to name.
“He was all the time consistently messaging or calling, after which, swiftly, there’s nothing,” stated Owens. “So when his sister known as, it was a reduction as a result of I used to be lastly getting some information. I wanted to know what was happening as a result of one thing wasn’t proper. And I used to be so determined to seek out out what the hell was happening.”
Based on Jenkins’ sister, there was a theft in Kent. One of many armed thieves had been shot lifeless. And Jenkins was the getaway driver for the gunman.
Owens discovered that Jenkins was a part of a gang that focused safety guards delivering money to constructing societies throughout Kent. Raids occurred between March and October of that yr.
“I’ve heard 1,000,000 occasions, ‘She should have recognized. She ought to have recognized,’” Owens admitted. “However, at the moment, there was no felony file for him. … I used to be pregnant. My job was on the road. My residence was on the road. My relationship was gone. All the pieces expensive to me was blown up in a single fell swoop.
“It’s taken so a few years to course of what had occurred,” she added. “I consistently questioned myself, ‘Why did he do that?’ or, ‘Why did I react that means?’ There is no such thing as a larger critic than me.”
Owens quickly turned the topic of disciplinary proceedings. Two to a few senior officers would interview her without delay, Owens stated, insisting she should have recognized about her beau’s double life.
“They stated I ought to have recognized as a result of the names of two of his bathe gels had been Beat the Filth, and It’s a Stick Up, and so they had been clearly referencing armed robberies,” she stated. “One way or the other, I ought to have recognized with him having that bathe vary that he was an armed robber, which was ridiculous. There was no signal in anyway that he was concerned with something like that. And there was no file of him in any respect.”
Her profession as a sergeant was formally over. Owens stated she was “required to resign” in 2008. A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information Digital’s request for remark.
Jenkins was sentenced to 17 years behind bars.
“My profession, my earnings and my household had been fractured over this,” she stated. “I misplaced mates. Colleagues wouldn’t communicate to me. I used to be very a lot alone. I’ve gone from being on this fairy story to discovering myself within the absolute depths of hell. And I remained there for a very long time – a few years. It was nonetheless a tough climb as a result of I couldn’t belief anybody. I couldn’t make sense of something. I used to be naturally defensive. I constructed a wall up. It got here to some extent the place I used to be like, ‘You’re both going to be taught to like once more and have a life, otherwise you’re going to let this entire factor be the top of your life.’
“I nonetheless don’t really feel [Dean] realizes and even desires to acknowledge the enormity of the impact this had on me,” she stated. “He was the one concerned within the theft. I wasn’t conscious of it, and but it affected my entire life.”
Whereas Owens was left with unanswered questions from her former lover, she has since moved on. At the moment, she runs her personal enterprise and is fortunately married. She has additionally acquired letters from many others who additionally discovered themselves on the mistaken aspect of affection.
“[My past] doesn’t minimize me anymore,” she stated. “I do know the place I’m now, and I do know what’s proper. There hasn’t been a day once I don’t go over all of it and query what I did.
“However this was a one-in-a-million likelihood that these circumstances all fell on prime of me at one time. It’s been a tough street, however I’ve come to phrases with what occurred. And, in telling my story, the objective was to avoid wasting myself.”