After learning I was married to a serial bigmist, I decided to develop a blog to help fight bigamy. I met my counterpart in the UK, Julia Johns, and became familiar with her website, Stop Bigamy-UK. I realized that the United States needed a similar site. I began researching bigamy and found little information. I researched state statutes and thought there needed to be one place for people to go to read each state's law regarding bigamy without the cumbersome task of going to each individual state's Code of Statutes.
Throughout my journey that began on April 13, 2005, I've met so many victims, kind, trusting men and women, who not only have been victims of bigamists, but also victims of con artists, psychopaths, narcissists, and Internet predators. The emotional abuse these creatures hand out affects their victims forever. It is my goal to make people more aware of what bigamy is, its implications, current bigamists in the news, and each state's law regarding bigamy.
To me, bigamy is the ultimate deception, a betrayal and a fraud so mammoth that few can understand, usually only those that have been its victim. Bigamy is a serious social and criminal problem that is overlooked, laughed at, and enabled by the way in which applications for marriage licenses are haphazardly given to applicants, especially in the United States.
For example, if you apply for a marriage license, no background checking is done, and you are "at your word" to provide honest answers on the marriage application. A man or woman who is already married, could easily go tomorrow and get married and no checking would be performed.
Furthermore, there is no centralized database for jurisdictions to check to see whether or not a person is being truthful on their application.
The sentences and fines for bigamy are deplorable. If a National Marriage Database were in place, this would not be a problem. I urge you to sign Donna Layne Roberts' petition urging Congress to institute such a database.
Bigamy is classified as a felony in most states, yet rarely do bigamists ever spend one night in jail and many get off with fines less than what most of us get for traffic violations. Not only do many bigamists inflict emotional abuse upon their targets, but they also ruin them financially. Marriage is a legal contract, and bigamy is fraud. It is a felony in all but thirteen states.
In my case, a little quirk in the law forced my bigamy complaint against Charles Edward "Ed" Hicks to be dropped. Since Hicks had not obtained a divorce from Wife #5 when he married Wife #6, that makes Wife #6's marriage null and void in Virginia. Therefore she has the bigamous marriage, and being Wife#7. I did not; I was legally married to him. Wife #6, Julie Flint filed a complaint in Chesapeake, Virginia. A grand jury there handed up an indictment for the class four felony charge of bigamy against Charles E. "Ed" Hicks on December 6, 2005.
A warrant was issued for his arrest; Hicks was no where to be found. Linda Hembree from North Carolina was watching Julie Flint-Hicks and me on Dr. Phil December 12, 2005. She recognized Ed Hicks as the man who had recently proposed to her sister, Barbara Grant. Hembree contacted police. Within three hours, Ed Hicks was arrested by the Mecklenburg County North Carolina police.
Hicks was returned to Virginia where he was released on a surety bond on January 7, 2006 and was told not to leave the Commonwealth of Virginia or he would be in violation of his bond. Hicks immediately fled to North Carolina that day, and he was arrested again on January 8. For a second time, he was returned to Virginia courtesy of the Chesapeake Virginia Sheriff's Department on January 18. Ed Hicks was placed in the Chesapeake Jail again and was denied bond.
On March 2, Hicks plead guilty to felony bigamy and on May 8, 2006 a judge sentenced Hicks to five years in prison, suspended four and gave him one year supervised probation and an undetermined amount of active, supervised probation. On May 26, a judge signed the final order for my divorce. Ironically, this was the day I married the serial bigamist.
Ed Hicks has been married at least seven times and four of those marriages overlap. This has been a pattern of life for him for forty years. How many more lives have to be affected by Ed Hicks? How many more hearts broken? How many more finances ruined? How many more lives shattered? For more, read the rest of my story.
Bigamists wreak havoc on the lives they touch, not only emotionally, but also financially. And, in my opinion many bigamists are psychopathic (sociopath) con men who prey on trusting, kind women and men. And it is my belief that the Internet has given these emotional vampires a whole new supply. Online dating sites allow these predators to be anyone they want to be and they present themselves as charming and charismatic, but they are MASTER manipulators that exhibit antisocial and narcisstic traits.
Unless people who use these dating sites start doing full background checks on the people they meet there and start a relationship with, they may find themselves in a situation similar to mine....or worse. I met Ed Hicks on an online dating site. I was not too smart because I did not do a background check; however, since I knew he was a Federal Government employee with a Department of Defense Secret security clearance, I thought that signaled verifiable integrity. I was wrong.
Hopefully, this site will help you understand bigamy a bit more, understand bigamy is a felony in all but thirteen states. Moreover, understand bigamy is an overlooked crime and is rarely punished. You can research the bigamy laws in each state, learn about other resources available to help victims of bigamy and victims of emotional abuse in general, and above all understand that most bigamists throw people away like we would a used candy wrapper without remorse, without conscience, and without guilt.