Episode 11: I Will Survive
In this week's episode of Blood & Wine, Brittany and Tyler switch things up with two heroic tales of survival against all odds: Sydney and Kristine.
Wine Pick: Blood & Wine Sangria
Little is known about the origins of this Spanish drink. According to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol, sangria's origins "cannot be pinpointed exactly, but early versions were popular in Spain, Greece, and England." Sangaree, a predecessor drink to sangria that was served either hot or cold, likely originated in the Caribbean (West Indies), and from there was introduced to America, where it was common beginning in the American colonial era but "largely disappeared in the United States" by the early twentieth century. Sangria as an iced drink was reintroduced to the U.S. by the late 1940s through Hispanic Americans and Spanish restaurants, and came to greater popularity with the 1964 World's Fair in New York.
Tyler's Sydney Notes:
Source: I Survived on Lifetime
Sydney was 15 years old and living in Gary, IN
One night, she was in a school play and her parents went out on date after, but she decided to go home because she was tired
She finally fell asleep around 9PM
Suddenly she jolts awake for some reason, not sure why, something doesn’t feel right
Sydney gets scared and hides under her bed and tries calling mom but it goes to voice mail
She then hears footsteps and sees red and white shoes going through her shit
The intruder leans down pulls her out by her hair
He puts a paper bag over her head and keeps asking where the money is
Sydney has no idea, but he keeps asking
A second intruder goes and gets tape from Sydney's dad's office and starts taping her hands together and taping her eyes
They ask for money again
Then guy takes tape off her hands and takes her clothes off and sexually assaults her
She thinks to tell him she knows where money is in her room
He leaves to get it and she stands up and takes the tape off her eyes to run
Sydney looks down the stairs and the other guy is there with a gun
They look at each other. He shoots twice and she turns and runs
Sydney was shot through the kneecap but she doesn’t realize it
Sydney runs to her parent's room and out onto the balcony and jumps
She lands and runs down the street screaming for help, but cars are just driving by
She keeps running and 5 houses down one of the intruders has caught up to her and tackles her in front of her friend's grandma's house
The other guy with the gun catches up and they’re yelling that they need to taker her into the alley
She knows if they do she will die
Sydney starts screaming for the grandma by name and finally she opens the window and is confused and like “Sydney???”
The attackers run away and Sydney runs to the door
Her friend's grandmother opens the door and is like “what’s going on? Where are your clothes?”
Sydney is screaming and crying and telling her to close the door so they don’t come back
Her attackers were never caught
Brittay's Kristine Notes:
Source: I Survived on Lifetime
Two months after a divorce in March 2007 in Simi Valley, CA, Kristine started dating a man named Matt. Matt starts to emotionally abuse her just a few months into the relationship. Matt tried to distance Kristine from anyone she cared about and who cared about her such as her sister, her son, all her family. Kristine wanted to rescue him, and thought she could bring something good to him. But he dominated her life.
Her sister hated Matt. She didn’t understand why Kristine, who was a beautiful and successful woman, was staying in this awful relationship. Her family never liked him, and were not supportive of the relationship. As it got more serious, they saw many signs that she should not be with him.
The first violent episode was when her friend a kid were over. Kristine’s son was there. She had just gotten over a surgery and didn’t want to cook dinner, so she ordered a pizza. Matt was not happy. He was mad about the pizza and not a home cooked meal, and also mad about the specific one she ordered. He threw pizza on the ground and yelled at her, slamming the table which broke the glass. He picked up Kristine, threw her on the ground, and her left knee went completely out of socket. She had to push it back in herself. The pain was excruciating. She didn’t call the police and told her friend she fell going up the stairs. She was not telling her the truth because of embarrassment and shame. The shame involved prevents you from telling those you love the most.
Matt told her on many occasions that if she broke up with him he would kill her, her son, her dog, and burn her house down.
He told her if she went to the police, he’d just have to take a few domestic violence classes and would be out in a couple days. Then he’d come back and do what he told her he would do: Kill you, your son, and burn your house down.
My family was so disturbed later knowing he was treating me this way, and that she wasn’t forthcoming. She was completely brainwashed. During some of the time her son lived in the house, but as the violence escalated, she asked her ex-husband to take her son.
In desperation, Kristine reached out to Matt’s family for help. They saw some of the violence, it happened in front of them too. They took him and he was diagnosed as bipolar and put on medicine. He was in counseling, and he was getting much better. He got on his hands and knees and said he was sorry, it’d never happen again, and he just wanted to be in her life. She knew he was lying it wasn’t the truth. Some switch would go off, and that was it, his demeanor would change. His eyes would change. His hazel eyes would turn black. The look on his face was enough to scare you to death.
The medication was helping, his anger was less, as long as he wouldn’t drink. One day, Kristine, Matt and a friend Chris spent the day doing yard work. It was a gorgeous day and they were all enjoying it. Matt was trying to get the dog to eat a lizard, Kristine said no and wanted the lizard to live. So Matt decapitated the lizard with a shovel. It ruined the day, and she knew something dark was going on.
That evening, Kristine was preparing dinner and Matt and Chris left briefly. When they left, all was well, happy. When they got back, Chris was quiet and Matt’s demeanor entirely changed. Matt had drunk an entire bottle of brandy before returning home. The look on his face was threatening. It is the scariest look she’s ever seen in her life. She said “you’re not going to hit me are you?” With that, Matt moved around Chris and began pulling Kristine’s hair and hitting her in the face. Chris immediately left. He left knowing what was happening and Kristine was in shock.
Matt took Kristine and dragged her into the bathroom that was right off the kitchen. Punching her more, ripped off the toilet seat and was banding her head on the inside rim of the toilet and she could see blood in the toilet from him cracking her eyebrow. And he tried to drown her in the toilet. She held onto the rim, locked her arms, saying she will not drown in the toilet.
Matt left for just a moment and returned with a 12 inch knife from the kitchen. It was one she was using to prepare dinner. He came back into the bathroom and he held the knife up to her throat but kept slipping, he was slowly pressing it against her throat and blood began to flow down her neck. He then looked at her like she’s a bug he’s going to squash and stabs her in the chest. He leaves the knife in her chest. He ran to the counter to grab another knife, this time a steak knife. As Kristine is pulling the knife out of her chest, Matt stabs her in the side of the head with the second knife. It’s sticking out of her skull, Matt had rammed it in as hard as he could. Kristine said she could hear it, like a grinding – like a knife on a bone. Kristine said, to know there is a knife in your brain is one of the most terrifying experiences a person can go through. Especially knowing Matt left it there for her to take out. She knew he just wanted to watch her die.
She kept thinking about how she needed to get the knife out of her head. It was more difficult because of the bone. All the while, Matt is just looking at her and smiling. Like “how you gonna get outa this one?” She got the knife out and dropped it. He is looking at her, watching her bleed, knowing he damaged her, and he’s just watching her to see how this plays out. She ran for her life. She was covered in blood head to toe. Matt was behind her. She was trying to run, but kept slipping in blood. She made it to the front door, out to the street and saw a police officer and paramedics. She felt such relief seeing them, that they were going to help her and save her and Matt couldn’t hurt her anymore.
Turns out, Chris had called the police when he fled from the house during the attack. If the police weren’t there, Matt would have continued to stab her. He had another knife as he followed her out the front door. But Matt didn’t win. She survived because she fought for her life.
Kristine was in the ICU for 4 days, then another room. She had a series of follow ups with a neurologist who kept telling her how lucky she was that she was stabbed in her temporal lobe and is able to stand there talking. It was a miracle.
Matt Shear pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to 8 years in jail. There was no trial, he just pleased guilty. He had no chance of parole and was scheduled for release in Oct 2015. Kristine found out later that Matt was violent to other women as well, and she felt she survived so he couldn’t do this to anyone else.