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Brandy, you were a fine girl

Friends of mine have told me I should share more of my personal story to make the experience more real to people who’ve never experienced abuse or violence of any kind.

“Get your own story out there. Write about it passionately as you do… what you went through, and marry that with your deep expertise in technology. And, then send that post out into the world.”

Some day, I will tell my story. But, I really don’t have to to make this real for my friends. Because someone is writing my story every day. This week’s starring ghostwriter is Brandy. I’ve been obsessed with this story since it broke on Tuesday this week here in Florida. The similarities to her story and mine are haunting. Lucky for me, I’m alive. It’s for Brandy and all the millions of other ghostwriters, I’ve launched Big Mountain Data.

These relationships are complicated. But, are we blind to the signs of real tragedy?

Brandy Johnson and her boyfriend Jeffrey shared an apartment about a half hour from me in a small town here called DeLand. Brandy is pictured in the photo above with her 4-yr old son, Tommy, whom she adored. She was a single Mom. Her relationship with Jeffrey was abusive. Neighbors could hear them fighting all the time. Brandy was trying to make a new life for herself without Jeffrey. She had just received a scholarship package from a local university, where she would start in the fall as a pre-med student.

Brandy had had enough of Jeffrey. She threw him out.

But, he came back. And murdered her.

So, here’s a question: did we know Jeffrey was capable of such a thing? Why, yes, yes we did. It’s hidden in the data. Could we have warned Brandy that she was playing with fire? Why, yes, yes we could have.

Here are some questions I don’t have easy answers for: who’s responsible for Brandy’s death? Jeffrey, who was eventually arrested and confessed to the murder?

Or is it Jeffrey and us too?

What role does a civil society play in domestic violence? Are we all enablers?

As a society, how do we deal with domestic violence? Where do we invest?

The truth is — we invest in helping victims escape. We spend virtually nothing on tracking and holding offenders accountable. Over $4B a year is spent on victim-centered programs. Note: the victim is not the PROBLEM.

We want to change this paradigm and disrupt the cycle of violence. If you want to explore a new way to address domestic violence, consider working with us.

We can do this. Ask us how. Let’s prevent the next homicide by predicting who has the capability of cold-blooded murder.

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