It’s hard to imagine how some people are capable of unspeaking crimes. In the case of serial killer Wayne Adam Ford, his ex-wife Kelly Pletcher saw him as something other than human.
Kelly decided to sit down for an Evil Lives Here episode (Season 9, Episode 4) titled “He Pretends to Be Human” to describe what it was like to live with a killer because she was diagnosed with cancer and wanted to tell her story.
Kelly never wanted to call her ex-husband evil, but says looking back at their relationship she did always see the potential for evil.
Interrogation footage shows Wayne Adam Ford sitting on the floor and crying while he says “I hurt people” over and over. He said he didn’t want to hurt people, but he did and “that’s why you guys gotta kill me.”
When he walked into the police station to confess he had in his possession one of his victim’s breasts.
Wayne and Kelly’s relationship
Wayne and Kelly eloped at 19-years-old and Kelly was proud of him being a marine, and was attracted to his mysterious silence.
After marriage, Wayne treated Kelly different than when they were dating. She soon found out he had an image in his head of what he wanted her to be. The marriage wasn’t a nightmare all at once, Kelly says, but it crept in.
One day he gave her a bikini as a random gift before a pool party with his friends. Kelly realized that he had wanted to show off her body to his other marine friends.
Kelly had wanted to stay inside during the party, but Wayne forced her to wear the bikini at the party. She felt objectified and used by Wayne in this situation.
She also started to notice that Wayne liked to scare her by driving recklessly. Wayne would often be enraged and Kelly walked on eggshells around him. “Nothing was ever good enough,” she says.
One evening while they were having a glass of wine, Wayne was upset by Kelly asking him why she’d never met his father. Kelly wouldn’t let it go, so Wayne exploded and punched the wall near Kelly’s head.
Kelly felt like he had hit so close to her head that he meant it as a threat.
She felt her confidence slowly diminishing as Wayne’s behavior escalated. She didn’t want to confide in her parents because she didn’t want them to think she was in a bad situation because they had been angry that she eloped.
Wayne sexual appetite became insatiable, and he demanded sex all the time. It got to the point where Kelly felt she was being sexually assaulted every day.
She wanted to leave, but she had no financial resources and Wayne threaten to hurt her if she left. She saw no way out.
When Kelly got pregnant, Wayne forced her to get an abortion. At the clinic, Kelly was questioned if she was being forced to do this. She asked what would happen if she said yes, and they said they wouldn’t do it. They asked Kelly to think about.
Wayne was upset to find out she didn’t get an abortion, and Kelly realized that she didn’t want to bring a child into this world with him. She went back in the office and went through with the abortion.
Wayne’s sexual appetite escaped to bondage and wanted to try out bondage on Kelly. He also requested to make molds of her breasts out of wax.
He requested that Kelly take off all of her clothes anytime she was at home so he could touch her whoever he wanted. She felt like a toy, not a human. “He had always made it clear that women were objects and were disposable,” Kelly says. “He cared about my pieces and parts, but not me.”
While on a trip with his friends at Big Bear, Wayne and one of his friends raped two minors girls and he called Kelly asked for help running from the police.
Eventually, the charges against him were dropped.
Kelly got a new job and met some male friends. She went to dinner with Bob, one of her coworkers, and had him drive her home. When then came home, Kelly saw Wayne’s car in the driveway when he wasn’t supposed to be there.
Kelly asked her friend to drive away because she didn’t expect Wayne to be home. She found out that Wayne had been hiding in the bushes with a crossbow because he suspected the Kelly was cheating on him.
Wayne attacked Kelly on the day she tried to leave. He had been calm at first but lost it when Kelly said she wanted to keep her motorcycle. Wayne was triggered because her friend Bob liked motorcycles.
He called Bob, who offered that they should all go out for breakfast to talk about everything. Wayne raped Kelly one more time before they went to meet Bob at the restaurant.
While out to eat with Bob, Wayne asked Bob he knew any large breasted girls he could date since he was single. Bob told Kelly to go home and pack and he would pick her up.
Kelly drove her car, Wayne walked, and Bob drove his car. Kelly was able to successfully pack her bags and go live with Bob. After a while she and Bob began to have a romantic relationship.
Wayne was still obsessed with Kelly though. He would call her at work to let her know he knew everything she had done the day before. One day he wrote “I see you” in the dust on her car.
Kelly was terrified, but she had to wait to file for divorce until she saved enough money. When she finally did, she and Bob moved to Palm Springs. She thought they had moved in secret, but one day she saw Wayne.
Kelly and Bob spent two years moved from place to place in an attempt to hide from Wayne. Even with her best efforts, Kelly never felt safe.
Meanwhile, Wayne was hurting a lot of women. By 1997, Wayne had dropped off of Kelly’s radar and she had finally relaxed. She and Bob had gotten married and had a baby.
In November, 1997, Kelly’s sister called and told her to turn on the news. Kelly saw on the news that Wayne had turned himself in for murdering four women over the course of 14 months. He had a severed breast with him, which triggered Kelly’s memory of the breast bondage he had engaged in with her.
Wayne had been become a truck driver and was picking up girls on the side of the road. His victims were Tina Renee Gibbs (26) of Las Vegas, NV, Lanett Deyon White (25) of Fontana, CA, Patricia Tamez (29) of Hesperia, CA and an unidentified woman near Eureka, CA.
Although he confessed to killing and hurting “lots” of women, he pleaded not guilty. Despite this plea, Wayne was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder on June 27, 2006 and sentenced to death.
Kelly’s hope in telling her story is that other women is similar situations can gain the courage to leave their abusive partners.