On a sunny beach in Florida, second-grade teacher Candy Williams met the man of her dreams in what felt like an instant connection. As their relationship progressed, she thought she knew everything about him. But she was dead wrong. Their relationship blossomed into a 4-year romance until the chance discovery of a devastating photo led to her lover’s 33-year secret hidden in a farmhouse.
That’s when Candy uncovered a secret that Jovan had been hiding since he was a child, and it changed their perfect relationship forever…
In 2005, a school teacher named Candy Williams met Jovan Collier at the beach in St. Petersburg, Florida, and their connection was instantaneous. Within three months they were living together. The young woman felt that her quest to find true love was finally over. “It was a whirlwind. We hit it off that day,” she explained.
Both Candy and Jovan had recently moved to the area, and they soon discovered that they had a lot in common. Namely, they bonded over the fact that they’d both lost family members. “That first day at the beach, he told me that his (adoptive) parents had been killed in a tragic car accident by drunk drivers. He had always felt like he was missing something,” she remembered.
Sharing similar experiences was largely what brought the couple closer together than they ever could’ve anticipated. Yet, in the blink of an eye, Candy was about to learn something about the man she was falling in love with that would turn their budding romance into a horror story…
He had been previously married—twice—and he had two children. During a brief split, she also discovered that he’d been making trips to Indiana in an attempt to win back his wife, who it turned out, he was still married to. And that wasn’t even close to the worst of it.
Soon after, Candy discovered something that shook her to her core. Though he was, indeed, put up for adoption, it turned out that Jovan had been lying about his adoptive parents dying in a tragic car accident. Candy didn’t fully understand how bad things could get until she tracked down his actual birth mother…
After reconnecting with her some years ago, Jovan and his birth mother had formed a cordial relationship for a time, though they disconnected again in 2008. That’s because his mother learned about a dark secret from her son’s past he hoped no one—especially someone like Candy—would ever discover.
Jovan’s birth mother learned that, in 1983, police were called to a home in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where they made an extremely horrifying discovery so gruesome that even seasoned officers were disturbed. They found the bodies of a man named Hans Zimmer, who’d been shot five times; his wife, Sally Zimmer, who’d been stabbed to death; and 11-year-old Perry Zimmer, who’d been stabbed upwards of 25 times.
The murderer behind the crimes was a 14-year-old boy named Peter Zimmer… who had later changed his name to Jovan Collier. Even though he was caught, Wisconsin laws protected minors, so he was only charged as a juvenile. After serving just one year at Ethan Allen School for Boys, he was released.
Candy was still unaware of all of this and continued to date him, despite his infidelity. But when she found his online dating profile, she reached out to his birth mother and learned the truth.
“I just thought, if anyone’s going to know if this is true, his birth mother will know,” explained Candy. “I called and Joe’s stepdad answered the phone … He’s like, ‘Well, you know about the murders, don’t you?’ I was like, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’ And right then, I just could feel like all the blood just drained from me.”
After she exposed his crimes, Jovan was furious with Candy. In an email, he said, “What comes around goes around, so just remember that.” It also read: “You took my life from me and I am very lost and angry at you for that… I am here in St. Pete and hope to hell I run into you. You messed me over and I will pay you back, your rep, your job, all of it.”
Later, Jovan was charged with felony stalking of Candy and was, thankfully, placed in a Georgia jail.
It just goes to show that you never truly know whether or not you know someone. All you can do is hope they’re being honest with you.
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