Woman About To Marry Criminal Says "He's Committed A Few Murders But I Understand The Risks"

Woman About To Marry Criminal Says "He's Committed A Few Murders But I Understand The Risks"

"Please you have got to figure out a way for me to marry you," said Ernest Otto Smith to Tracy Bottomley.

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A 42-year-old woman from West Yorkshire is more than willing to get married to a man who has killed two people in one week. Tracy Bottomley is planning to marry Ernest Otto Smith, 53, who is serving life in prison after committing two murders within a week. The divorcee says she understands her future husband has "committed a few murders" but says she "understands the risks" when she accepted Smith's marriage proposal. Smith, a US serial killer, robbed, shot and killed James Dillingham in Toledo, Ohio, on January 2, 2005, as per reports by Manchester Evening News


According to Mirror Online, Smith brutally murdered his companion Cathy Barnett while they were on the run in Kentucky because he was afraid she would report him to the police. The mentally ill fugitive tried to break her neck before he beat her to death with a tree branch, and finally, he was arrested. He was then convicted for his murder of Dillingham in March 2006 and sentenced to 32 years in prison. 10 years later, Smith confided in his parole officer about him murdering Barnett, and eventually, he admitted the crime in court in March 2016 and was handed a life sentence.


However, Bottomley isn't afraid of marrying a double murderer. "Ernest doesn't scare me. I've never been someone who gets frightened easily," said Bottomley, to Real Fix podcast. "Yes he is a serial killer. He's committed a few murders, but I understand the risks of what could happen and I still love him. At first I had slight intuition that these things could happen to me. He’s killed these other people. As time went along, we started getting close and trusting each other more to feel secure." Smith, who is serving life in prison at Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, is said to have proposed to Bottomley via voicemail. 


They apparently have plans to get married this year. In his phone proposal, Smith said: "Please you have got to figure out a way for me to marry you. It's hard. You make me a very a happy person, more happy than I have been in years. You're crazy just like me so we should be married. What do you think?" Bottomley fell in love with Smith after she saw an ad, asking for a pen pal for him. Soon, they formed a bond as they exchanged details about their life. In 2019, they confessed their feelings for each other. "I'm still in shock that Ernest proposed. I didn't see it coming at all, but I love him so obviously I said 'yes.'"

"You can't help who you fall in love with no matter what the circumstances. Just because it’s a situation like that, it doesn’t mean you are deluded," says Bottomley. She justified Smith's crimes, saying that they were influenced by his troubled childhood, which led to him using drugs to combat depression and anxiety. "He got me in touch with a few members of his family. They were explaining that deep down he did have problems in his past but he's never literally gone out of his way to hurt somebody. I connected to his problems and I was interested in finding out more about what he'd been through," she concluded.


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