Eternally Yours

Life as Gloria Lamar knew it ended almost five years ago. But her heart beats on.

The most startling revelation, however, came in a deposition Bauman gave in the civil suit. He maintained that he had no memory of anything he'd done between the time he left school after third period and the time of the accident, other than having dinner with his mother. (In the hospital, he had told an officer he'd been at his sister's house, watching television. His sister said he hadn't.) He admitted it was "probable" that at some point he had driven past Charity's house. He was upset, he said, because hurtful things had been said to him that day at school. Then he was turning onto 75th Street, listening to a Metallica tape and weeping, turning back, coming to Highway 66.

Had something distracted his attention? Yes, he responded: "Just before I saw the stop sign, I saw Charity's face overlaid--overlaid of the headlights of the other car as it was approaching me in the intersection."

"Like a hallucination?" Kerr asked.
"I won't call it a hallucination. I'd just call it like a vision..."
"Did you still know that it was a car that was there even though this vision was overlaid on top of it?"

"Describe the face as you saw it."
"Well, she had long, wavy blond hair, and her eyes were like glanced right at me; and she had a big nose, small mouth, kind of an oblong head."

"Was she frowning? Smiling?"
"Just a plain expression."
"A cold expression?"

"What did you think was happening in terms of what you were seeing there? Did you think this was a reality? An illusion? What did you think at the time?"

"I felt as though she was really there, and she was scaring me at the time."
Bauman's attorneys maintained that his assets could not be taken from him because they stemmed from his malpractice suit: By statute, "proceeds of a claim for damages for personal injury" cannot be collected by creditors. They also said that Bauman was prepared to file for bankruptcy to protect his money. Kerr argued that the statutory exemption covered only the direct proceeds from the malpractice suit, not the interest on them. To avoid the threat of bankruptcy, Kerr intended to prove both that Bauman was intoxicated at the time of the accident and that his conduct was malicious and intentional. The suit was settled in March 1995, and a fund of an undisclosed amount was set up to help Gloria Lamar.

Through all the legal proceedings, Bauman continued to stalk Charity Mudd. In January 1995 she'd asked for a restraining order against him. "I do feel like I'm in danger..." she told Judge Carol Glowinsky. "I don't like people following me around. I don't like people knowing my comings and goings. I change my patterns constantly..."

The order was granted, but Bauman's harassment continued. Four months later, on May 1, he left a note for Charity at work: "Did you know I still like you?" he wrote. "The things that happen in court don't matter any more...I feel better that all that legal bullshit that you [illegible] in is finally OVER!! I am sorry that you where [illegible] I think about you all the time and the memories will never die. I enjoy thinking about you. I also hate the fact that you got involved and harrast by that STUPID lawyer KURR." (Kerr had alerted the Mudds to Bauman's testimony in his deposition.) "He's an asshole and a pile of shit. Forget about him."

On May 5, Bauman twice walked past the Hatch's bookstore at the Twin Peaks Mall where Charity Mudd worked. Then he came inside and approached her. As she turned to run from him, he growled. Bauman was arrested. He told the arresting officer that he "understood the violation but has a compulsion to talk to and be with Mudd." Eventually he was ordered to leave the state.

Donald Bauman, who is now 21, is believed to be living in New Jersey. His father, who also lives there, said he would tell his son that Westword had asked to interview him; Bauman never called.

Last February, Gloria Lamar's father and legal guardian, Lyle Cook, who lives in Tennessee, decided to move her to a nursing home in Manila, Arkansas, near the home of her mother and where he could visit his daughter once a month or so.

"Her family's quite religious," Cook explains. "We believe in, hopefully, a miracle one day. They have churches come into the nursing home and hold services. We told them anytime that happened, she should be there."

Cook has been working with Baine Kerr to protect Lamar's Medicaid benefits. He, too, would like to see more therapy provided for her. Recently he's noticed that she can communicate by blinking her eyes.

Although Cook says he appreciates much of what Tom Hoh did for Gloria, he now would "kind of like him out of the picture...He left word at the nursing home that she was not to be subjected to any religion at all. I countermanded that right off the bat. We wanted, if anything, more religion in her life rather than less.

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