FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) - The ex-wife of D.C. Sniper, John Allen Muhammad, delivered a strong and emotional message in our area Wednesday morning.
Mildred Muhammad was the guest speaker at a forum on domestic violence at Fort Lee. She spoke for nearly two hours and painted a vivid picture of her life as a victim of domestic abuse.
In a room filled with soldiers, Muhammad told her story. A mother of three and ex-wife of the D.C.Sniper.
"I was terrified of John," she said.
Muhammad says the abuse started when John, a combat engineer in the Army, came back from war in the late 90's.
"I noticed John as being more possessive and more quiet," she said.
Muhammad eventually asked for a divorce which she says, sent John over the edge.
"He said, 'you know you're not going to raise my children by yourself. You have become my enemy and as my enemy I will kill you,'" she told the crowd.
Muhammad went into hiding.
"I couldn't get anyone to believe me. I had no physical scars," said Muhammad.
Although the topic was heavy parts of Muhammad's speech were light-hearted. She spoke about an emergency custody hearing where she saw John for the first time in 18 months.
"John put his hand on the courtroom door and said, 'gotcha'. My attorney said, 'hell no. You are leaving here tonight,'" Muhammad told the crowd with a smile.
Muhammad ended up in the D.C. area in 2002. Shortly after, a string of shootings began. Ten people were killed --three others wounded.
Investigators told Muhammad, John and his associate Lee Boyd Malvo, were suspected of being the D.C. Snipers and that the shootings were part of bigger plot to kill her.
"I took a pillow, went to the bathroom, turned on the water, sat on the floor and screamed," said Muhammad.
In 2009 John was executed. Muhammad says she's at peace.
"I just pray and ask God to prepare me for the future,"said Muhammad.
October is domestic violence awareness month. Muhammad was married to John for 12 years.