In 1991, Cathy Mills had no idea her then-husband Robert Walden was a serial rapist and murderer. Now, 30 years later, Cathy feels like he ruined her life and she wants the world to know that she was unaware of his heinous actions.
Cathy was a 16-year-old mom in Arizona when she met Bob, who was 21-years-old at the time. He was in the Air Force and had come from Chicago to Cathy’s neighborhood, which was where his parents were living. At the time Cathy was worried about the future for her son Andrew, and felt like maybe Bob could provide for them the stable life she was dreaming about.
She fell in love with the fantasy of him, and now sees that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing who targeted her because she was young and inexperienced.
Signs something was wrong
The first red flag for Cathy was the fact that her mom did not like Bob at all. She was suspicious and protective of the fact that Bob was over 20 and was trying to date her 16-year-old daughter. He glared at Cathy’s mom in a way that made her think he was evil.
At the time Cathy didn’t believer her mom’s instinct about Bob and his eyes. She now realizes her mom was right. Later, Cathy started to see that same chilling blank look in his eyes.
Bob convinced Cathy to marry him at only 16
Cathy defied her moms wishes and secreted dated Bob for six months before he proposed marriage to her. He told her that if she married him, she could escape her mom’s influence.
Her aunt talked her mom into letting Cathy marry Bob when she was only 16. She felt like a princess, and thought she was in love.
It only took two days for the fairytale to crack for Cathy. One morning she was getting ready for work when Bob walked in on her and told her she looked fat and “awful.” He had previously only called her beautiful, and she was confused because she looked the same as she always had.
She told him that she had always looked that way, which triggered him to hit her. She was completely shocked. He warned her to never speak to him like that. She suddenly realized that she had no idea who this man that she married was.
His mood also changed. He was not happy or smiley anymore. Instead, he was irritable and demanding. One night Cathy made Bob’s soup too hot, and threw it against the wall. He demanded that she clean it up while he went out. He said she was his property and there was nothing she could do about it. He kissed her on the cheek, which made her feel humiliated.
Bob was sexually aggressive in the bedroom and forced Cathy to do things that she didn’t want to do. It made her feel disgusting, and she felt her being “going way.”
She felt like she was severely abused in every way possible, but she so badly want to be loved, and to have a father for her son, so she stayed in the marriage.
Bob also turned his attention towards Cathy’s 14-year-old sister, who he said looked older than she was. Cathy warned her sister to stay away from Bob and to never go anywhere with her.
Worst violence so far
Cathy gave birth to a daughter with Bob. One day she asked to stay home to breast feed their baby, and he attacked her while she was holding the baby. It was the worse violence she’d ever experienced with him, and she feared that he would not stop until he killed her.
She was saved by a neighbor who knocked on the door. She asked to go to the hospital because she felt so bad. He dropped her off there and warned her to not tell them what really happened. It turned out that her jaw had been broken in three places.
The day at the pool
Cathy had an encounter with one of Bob’s victims without knowing it. One day when she was pregnant, she and Bob took her son Andrew to a pool. While they were there, a woman made a nasty remark about what Cathy was wearing at the pool. Cathy was upset by this and complained about it, but Bob had a strange look on his face and watched the woman leave through the gates.
He told Cathy that he was going to go get a drink and asked her to wait. Cathy thought he was going to go flirt with the woman, but that wasn’t the case. The next time she saw that woman was in a court room testifying against him. She had been attacked by him.
The woman said he had come up from behind her and tried to strangle her with the cord from a curling iron. Cathy felt guilty because she had suspected that this woman was having an affair with Bob, but she was really his victim.
Bob got a job at a pest control company shorting after he married Cathy. He would go into people’s home to check for termite and other pests, and often came home with scrapes and other injuries. One day his shirt was torn at the shoulder. He said he’d been caught by a nail under a house. It looked more like the shirt had been pulled from the front.
He had deep scratches on his neck, which turned out to be wounds from his victims.
Cathy also got a job at the pest control company, and Bob would ask Cathy to clock him in or out for him. It was against the rules to do it, but she continued to do it because they were husband and wife. Later, Cathy realized she was being used to provide an alibi for Bob.
Bob had a lot of rules at home. He wouldn’t allow Cathy or the kids on his chair. He also sometimes wouldn’t allow Cathy out of the bedroom.
He was hiding lots of things in his chair. He stored knives, phone chords, and women’s underwear in the recliner, which were discovered after his arrest.
One day there was a commotion in the neighborhood after a woman was found murdered with a lamp chord wrapped around her neck. There were sirens, and Cathy wondered what had happened.
Bob casually ate pizza while telling her that something bad must have happened.
The wanted poster
One morning Cathy put all the pieces together to start to realize her husband was hurting people. She was at the
laundromat where she saw a wanted poster with a composite drawing, which she immediately recognized as her husband.
She pulled off the contact number. She was now terrified by the idea that she was married to a rapist and murderer. She immediately when home to find Bob at home. She brought up the fact that there was a serial rapist and killer around. He looked at her in a way that terrified her so she told them that she thought the drawing of the man looked like someone Bob worked with.
She went to work and called the number. It took her several tries to get the courage to finish dialing the number. But she did call them and told them that she thought she knew who the culprit was. They told her someone would contact her later, which scared her because it put her in danger now to wait for a call from the police.
Cathy slept on the couch that night. She was pregnant at the time, and used that as an excuse. She worried about the safety of herself and her two kids. Still, she felt like the police would soon help her.
Bob is finally arrested
The next day the family went to a movie. Cathy had not wanted to go because she was hoping the police would come. Soon after they got home, the police kicked in the door and arrested Bob. This brought Cathy immense relief.
Bob glared at Cathy as they put him in handcuffs and put him in the police car. She immediately felt a huge burden lifted. She was extremely happy to have the freedom to be alone with her kids and feel safe. Because of that relief, it was one of the best days of Cathy’s life.
Robert Walden was convicted of two murders and multiple rapes. He was initially sentenced to death. Since then, he’s made appeals and has not yet been put to death.
Cathy says she would like to be there when his death sentence is carried out. “I would like to be there when they execute him,” Cathy says. “I would like to watch him take his last breath. I want to see that and I will have my peace too.”