Connie Jones spent nearly a decade living in safe houses and taking different routes to work, waiting for the day her ex-husband — who police say killed six people — would try to “get his revenge.”
“I felt that I had a personal terrorist,” Jones told reporters Tuesday. “I had someone who was specifically targeting me, someone who had time and nothing else to do than to think about how to hurt me.”
“His death, I think, it’s the best thing that has come out of this whole ordeal,” she added.
Her ex-husband, Dwight Lamon Jones, shot and killed himself last week as officers were ready to arrest him at an extended stay hotel in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona, police said.
Authorities believe Jones killed six people in and around Scottsdale less than two weeks ago. Some of the victims had links to Jones’ acrimonious divorce.
Connie Jones says she feels “grateful to be alive today.”
Over the course of her 20-year marriage with Dwight Jones, she saw him struggling. He couldn’t hold a job very long, would not shave or cut his hair and refused mental health help, she says.
“Looking at his eyes, there was nobody in there,” she recalled.
When she filed for divorce in 2009, he repeatedly threatened her saying he would kill her, take their son to Mexico or kill the three of them, she said.
She said he told her that “he could wait for a long time before he would get his revenge.”
Living in fear
Following her divorce, Jones was forced to make many changes for her and her son’s safety.
“I knew that one day we would be in a situation where he was going to try to kill me,” she said.
She hired Rick Anglin, a retired Phoenix police detective, as an investigator and he helped them change their routines or habits.
She and her son could not go to their favorite restaurants for birthdays or Christmas Eve dinners. They avoided going to the same grocery store twice or going shopping without planning. And she would only pick seats in the back of the movie theater.
When going to work, she would take a different driving route everyday and rotate through rental cars.
“We had three safe houses, countless rental cars. We had attack-trained dogs that we had to bring in and 24-hour security,” said Anglin, who is now married to Jones.
She was also given “extensive” training on firearms and defense driving.
Jones was vigilant for nine years believing that someday she was going to be the one to confront her ex-husband.
“I feel relief in my chest, that for me, this will be the last time I have to deal with him,” she said.
Four of Jones’ victims were involved in his divorce proceedings or have a connection to someone who did. Two others were friends who played tennis with him.
The first victim killed was famed forensic psychiatrist Steven Pitt, who had examined Jones under court order during Jones’ divorce proceedings, Scottsdale Police Commander Richard Slavin said.
Pitt, 59, had been involved in several high-profile cases, including the investigation into the death of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in 1996.
The next two victims, 48-year-old Veleria Sharp and 49-year-old Laura Anderson, were killed at or near the law offices of Burt, Feldman and Grenier. The attorney who represented Jones’ ex-wife is a partner at the firm.
Police say that Sharp and Anderson, who worked as paralegals for the firm, might not have been the intended targets.
The third victim was Dr. Marshall Levine, 72. Levine had nothing to do with the divorce, but was renting space in the offices where a therapist who examined Jones’ child once rented space, Slavin said.
The last victims identified by police were Bryon Thomas and Mary Simmons. They met Jones four to five years ago through tennis and would occasionally meet to play at local parks, police said.