Caitlin Maxwell's diary, Part 1
YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Investigating Officer(s): Det. T. Armstrong, Det. S. Murphy
Incident No.: 000073-05A-2014
Case Description: Cameron & Caitlin Maxwell Homicide Investigation
Forensic examiners at the crime lab analyzed Caitlin Maxwell's cellular phone, which was recovered in the luggage found at Hurricane Creek. They found data on the phone that led them to Caitlin's online journal, which dates back to mid-November 2013.
The first nine of the 17 entries are duplicated below. The remaining eight entries are available in Part 2, or you can view the entire original diary.
Tonight, I'm at home, getting ready to go to Virginia. I'm really, really not looking forward to it, but I can't tell anyone that. Mom is making her special dinner plans, and Dad is all excited. He's giving us pep talks and making us do visualization all the way back from Memphis. He says we're going to win and keep on winning.
I tried to talk to Cameron, but as usual, he didn't want to hear it. I'm not saying I depend on him for support. I can't judge him for that, but it's like he doesn't want to hear anything I have to say. I feel like he's just using me to get what he wants. He's only in it for money. I can't judge him for that. I know that's not right, but sometimes I just don't understand.
I used to like to practice, but not anymore. I tried to tell him during break today, while we were eating. You just can't keep doing it if you're heart's not in it. I told him that, and he just said I'd better put my heart back in it.
But then right after that, we went out and he was messing up all over the place. He was wobbling coming off his turns. I wanted to yell at him, "You're the one who needs to put your heart in it!!" I practiced for years to nail my turns perfectly and did all those stupid drills, and he hasn't bothered. I'm trying to just accept him as who he is, but it's hard because he puts so much pressure on me. I love him and everything, but it's hard.
And now Mom and Dad and everyone is coming to Virginia. I just know it's going to be a disaster. I'm praying for all of us that it turns out OK.
This entry was posted on November 16, 2013.
It's 4:00 a.m. I should be asleep, but I can't. Had the worst nightmare. It started out visualizing our routine the way Dad tells us to do, and it was beautiful. I had on the best long flowing skirt in an ice blue color, and it was floating and moving with the music. I felt so good. It was perfect. The best. Everything I love about skating. Then all of a sudden, everything went wrong.
The music changed, it was awful. I was in position for a lift and turned, and Cameron was grinning at me. His face was so weird. It was a skeleton, but he still had skin, no lips. His teeth were grinning but it was evil, pure face of evil. He said, "if you won't put your heart into it, I'll do it for you" and reached out with a metal sort of jagged claw, but it was more like a claw of saw blades, and it was spinning and grasping and moving toward me, and I knew he was going to cut my heart out.
I tried to spin away and I fell, and he was moving this thing closer and closer and I couldn't get away. I was so scared. I couldn't breathe or move, then I blacked out. In my dream, I mean. It was so weird.
Then this misty stuff was in front of me, and I realized it was my skating skirt and I pulled it off my face. I was so relieved. I thought I was awake and the dream was over, but then all of sudden out of nowhere, there was Dad yelling at me for not working hard enough. He kept yelling, and his face got all weird too. It was hideous. It writhed like snakes, then it was Dad, then it was Cameron, then it was Death. It was so awful.
I'm shaking and freezing cold. I want to go to the bathroom, but I don't want anyone to know I'm awake, so I'm writing instead. I'll try to force myself to go back to sleep. So much work to do tomorrow, but how can I close my eyes?
I have to get out of this. I want a normal life, far away, with a wonderful man that loves me. Keep faith and pray. But can I?
This entry was posted on November 18, 2013.
Well, we're here in Virginia, and I think it's going to be fine. Maybe it'll even be great. I'm feeling really good about our program. It just feels really strong and sometimes I even feel like we're being artistic, like it was before last year.
Mike and John took us out to lunch and said they were real happy and they think this is the best we've ever been. Maybe they were just trying to cheer me up but maybe they're right, too.
Cameron seems happier. I think he really needs this to work out, otherwise I just think he'll go nuts. I'm just going to keep praying and hope everything works out for the best.
This entry was posted on November 19, 2013.
I don't believe it. We came in fourth. Barely. We made it to Nationals, but Cameron and Dad were really mad that we didn't do better.
Cameron tripped once. He didn't really fall, but it was pretty obvious. And then I didn't want to do the final lift. I gave him the signal, and we just skipped it. I thought it was going really well, at first, but then he just wasn't keeping it together. I guess I should have trusted him to try the lift, but I didn't want to fall again.
Afterwards, it was so awful. Mike and John and Dad didn't really say much. Mom gave me a hug and squeezed me really tight, but she didn't really say anything either.
Cameron and I had a big fight. He was yelling at me about not wanting to do the lift. He kept saying I should trust him. (He's right, I should.) But I was mad about him tripping. I told him that, and he said it wasn't any of my business, I just should have finished the routine like we planned.
I was just so mad. I know I'm not supposed to get mad like that, but I couldn't help it. I told him I didn't want to skate with him anymore, and I said I want to skate on my own. I guess I really didn't even know what I was saying because I also said I wanted to quit skating. He got really mad and said there was no way I could quit skating. He said he would kill me if I ever left him. He said we're going to be a big success.
That just made me madder, but I didn't say anything else because I was scared too. But now I'm still mad. I don't want to be, but it just seems unfair. I've been working so hard, and he isn't working as hard as I am. Then he blames me when it all goes wrong. All the pressure's on me and I can't stand it. Sometimes I think I'll go crazy, and I definitely don't love it anymore. I swear, he and Dad have totally ruined my life.
I know it's awful for me to write these things down, but I can't help it. I'm always praying that God will take away these feelings.
This entry was posted on November 23, 2013.
The more I think about it, the more I really want to get out. I didn't think I meant it when I said it in Virginia, but now I think I kinda do. Cameron and Dad are the ones who really love skating, and they've been making my life hell since we got back to Memphis. They've been making us practice all day every day, but I'm not the one who messed up at Sectionals, so why are they punishing me?
I just have to figure out how to tell them I want to quit and how to get them to let me. They're both going to be really mad. Maybe if I say I'll compete at Nationals, but then I'm done, they'd be OK with it. I guess if we made the Olympic team, I'd do that too, but that's not going to happen if Cameron keeps doing what he's been doing.
I'm really scared. But I'm also excited. I can't sleep.
This entry was posted on November 26, 2013.
I can't sleep again. I'm really afraid of Cameron right now. I think he knows what I'm planning, even though I know he doesn't.
He was so rough today. I fell and twisted my knee a few times. We're working hard, but it's never enough for Cameron. It's like I'm supposed to work for both of us. Like the harder I work, the better he is, but he isn't. He said again today that he'd kill me if I didn't come through.
I want to run away and go to California. I think I'd like to be a dance teacher there. I have a really good sense of rhythm. That's what John and Mike always say.
This entry was posted on November 30, 2013.
My left knee is hurting again. These last couple weeks have been really hard. We've just stayed in Memphis pretty much the whole time. That's the way Cameron wants it. He really wants to train hard before Boston. I do too, but I'm getting pretty tired.
I'm glad we're not just hanging out in Oxford until we leave for Boston though. Cameron never goes out at all when we're there. He just hangs out with Dad in the garage, looking at old scrapbooks, or else he sits around reading magazines and being restless.
I've been trying to stay out of his way. I mean, I love him, and we get along most of the time. I just think he wants to be alone. Maybe he'll start working harder now. Maybe that's what he's been thinking about. This week, he's been great.
I keep dreaming of just running through a field full of yellow flowers. I'm all by myself and it's a beautiful day, and no one is chasing me or forcing me to do anything I don't want to. I'm just completely free. It's sunny and bright. I love that dream! Sometimes when we're practicing, I think about that dream. I try to think about it a lot. I think it has a positive influence. I feel more artistic with the dream in my head.
This entry was posted on December 10, 2013.
We're going back to Oxford. Dad announced this when he dropped us off at Allison's with Mom. He said he thought we should all just come home and think about our mistakes.
I really, really don't want to feel this way, but I hate him.
I definitely want to get out. I want to go back to school and just be free. I could be a doctor like I've always wanted. Sports medicine, because I know so much about it already. That would be the advantage – I would know what it's like from the athlete's perspective.
I haven't told anyone yet, but that's my plan. I won't let Cameron psych me out. I love him and everything, but if he wants to be famous, he can do it without me.
I can't sleep. It's almost midnight, and every sound from the street keeps me awake. It wasn't like this before we Sectionals. I guess I was training really hard and went right to sleep. But now I'm right back where I've always been.
This entry was posted on December 13, 2013.
We just had a huge fight. We were through with lunch, and we all sat in the living room. We were having a big talk about what was going to happen next, and I told everyone my plan. I said I wanted to go to school to be a veterinarian or a doctor.
Mom didn't really say anything. She just got up and poured herself another glass of wine. (She drinks wine at lunch and dinner now, not just dinner.)
Cameron and Dad were both really mad like I knew they would be. They both started yelling at once. They wanted to know how I could do this to them, after all these years. Dad said he and Mom had sacrificed so much and all that.
I told him my heart wasn't in it anymore. When I told him I felt like I was just living out his dream, Dad got crazy mad. He asked why I refused to do what was best for the family. He tried to make it sound like I was being the selfish one.
I hate to admit it, but I pretty much lost it then. I don't even remember everything I said. I yelled at everyone about how Cameron wasn't working hard enough, and why should I have to put up with that since he's the one who wants all the money. He's the one who wants all the endorsements and TV shows. I told them I had worked really hard for nothing.
Then Mom said maybe we should all just think about it for a while. She said it might be healthy to take a break. Dad was really mad about that, I guess because it was like she was taking my side. He yelled at her not to butt in because she didn't know what she was talking about.
After that, Mom just ran into the kitchen. Cameron and Dad got up and left the room. I guess they probably went out to the garage to talk about how they're going to force me into doing what they want. I just went up to my room and locked the door.
I wish Austin was around. He went out with some music friends. I want to talk with him about what it's like. I just want to have a normal life like him.
I don't want to blame anyone for the way I am.
This entry was posted on December 15, 2013.