CHERYL'S PAGE

This book is about love and trust--incest, murder and what can only be called a miracle 



My tragic story awakened the country to the taboo of being sexually, physically and mentally abused while finding the strength to endure it all. I was a victim of the worst kind, but finally there were a few who gave me the love and support I needed to become a survivor. For those who are fortunate enough to never have known abuse, the raw truth in this book will open the door that allows you to see into our world.

I was only sixteen years old when, out of desperation, I hired a schoolmate to kill my father after years of his sexual, physical and mental abuse. Incest is one of those things frequently swept under the carpet, and that was especially true in 1986. No one wants to believe it exists, even now, but let’s call it what it is—rape. In my case, it led to murder. 

I DISCOVERED AT LEAST 20 PEOPLE SUSPECTED WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME--NONE OF THEM HELPED!

During my trial I discovered dozens of adults apparently suspected what was happening to me, but nobody did anything to help me! For whatever reasons they had, these adults kept quiet and never came forward until it was too late. Then there were the other adults, the ones who questioned why, as the child living in the terrorizing environment with the abuser, I had not been the one to come forward to tell anyone.

There were people who gave up on me and a lot of people who didn’t believe in me, but the few that did are the only ones that counted. 

I'D PROMISED MY DYING MOTHER TO PROTECT MY SISTER


I’d promised my mother as she lay in her coffin that I would watch out for my younger sister JoAnn. That I would always protect her from him. I was not much more than a child myself, but I knew I couldn't let my little sister be raped by the monster my father had become behind our closed doors. I stood trial for arranging his murder, spent time in jail, and although helped by extensive therapy, I do have lifelong PTSD.

Throughout my trial and afterward newscasters speculated, righteous people pointed their fingers at me, my father’s relatives and so many others lambasted me. Some people said I lied about the abuse and wanted him dead for the insurance money. None of them had an understanding of what I’d endured or how successfully my father controlled me through fear of what would happen if I didn’t obey his every command. Those people couldn’t feel the terror that filled me every minute of every day—the desperation that consumed me especially when he threatened to go after my eight-year-old sister. The signs were there. He had begun to do the same things to her he did with me when I was ten and the abuse had first started. 

As an adult I’m not the same terrified, beaten teen anymore. I have risen above being a victim and found my strength. The strength I called upon when my husband Rob needed me to be the strong one. When he was pronounced dead on my forty-third birthday, I refused to give up on him. I pleaded with the doctors tp keep trying to revive him. The man who was my salvation for so many years just couldn't be dead. To their own astonishment, they brought him back to life after he was dead for forty-three minutes. Today he is alive and almost completely back to normal, working again as an oncology nurse. The doctors called it what it was—a miracle.

I WROTE THIS BOOK TO HELP OTHERS LIKE ME

My desire to help other people has always been there, and I hope by writing this book it will send the message that you are strong enough to get through anything you set your mind to. If you feel you are all alone, please remember those of us who have walked in your shoes are there for you. We belong to a certain kind of club. A club no one chooses to be a part of, but once you are in you can never get out. Abuse or trauma of any kind is our bond and the reason we embrace the need to help each other.

This book isn’t just about the murder and trial. It’s also about what followed. During our years of living a normal life—which was something I’d never had in my youth—we had no idea disaster would strike again with such a vengeance.

From the day I met Rob our lives have been so intertwined, my story is Rob’s story and his is mine.

As you read, you may think some of what we say is dramatized or even made up, but nothing is fiction. Everything is backed up with documentation.


~Cheryl Pierson Cuccio

49 comments:

  1. I'm eager to read this book. I was abused as a child too and no one believed me. Many people just told me not to tell anyone. I suffered mentally and emotionally for years. I saw the TV movie about you as a young teen and I felt I wasn't alone in my suffering. Thank you for having the courage to speak out.

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    1. Hi Ashley, When I read your comment my heart had such mixed emotions. First I was so happy that you took the time out of your day to write a comment on our blog that my story had impacted your life. Second it also made me sad that you too had to endure something so devastatingly painful in your young life. I hope our book will help you realize if not for nothing else that you are not alone in your feelings and you can and will over come anything you set your mind to. I am sorry no one back then believed you and that is truly the hardest part. Know that I do, and will always be a friendly ear to listen if you need me to be. You can blog me anytime and I will always answer you back. Stay Strong your friend Cheryl

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  2. Hi Thank you so much I too was abused by my uncle, I was 3 or 4, of course i don't remember all that much, but my therapist i saw for many years believed something happened to me back then, a few years ago my sister told me that uncle was sexually abuse his daughter, I was at his home many of a day at 3 because my mom was in hospital in city with my dying brother, he had cancer died at 15, even after it was found out that my uncle was a abuser no one believed me, i always hated him wanted to kill him I wanted my dad to kick his ass,none of that happened now I'm old and still not completely over that.
    thank you for your strength !!
    Ginny
    ps I must get book!!

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    1. I am sorry for your pain. I hope our book will show you that you are not alone in the things that happened to you and that it was not your fault. You have a right to feel angry but know that you can overcome any obstacle you set you mind too and what happen especially to you does not have to define you as an adult. Keep strong. You should be proud of yourself. You are a survivor ☺ Feel free to reach out to talk anytime .Take care!

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  3. First Degree murdering pieces of shit!

    What is it about New York that values life so little?

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    1. Maybe your completely right Mr.Les Garten because what my father did to me day in and day out he didn't deserve to die quickly and painless wishing all my life that maybe I should have just killed myself instead so I would still have a lifetime of all this emotional scars and torment from what he did to me. And if I were dead then he could of had fresh meat and moved on to my 8 year sister or maybe he would have waited until she was 10 at least like me. I guess we will never know. I'm not sure what state your from but I'm glad that possibly you have never been affected by any kind of abuse or just maybe you feel that way because you feel guilty over something!!!! Thanks for your comment that's why I will continue to fight for our cause!

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    3. Les Garten continues to post, and each one is nastier. Unfortunately, we will have to delete future posts because this blog is about helping others in the same position Cheryl was in, not calling them liars. That is why so many abuse cases go unreported, and -- yes -- many abuse victims die. There are many more organizations to help incest and abuse victims now. That was not the case in 1986. Mr. Garten, you are entitled to your opinions, but maybe you should read the posts of so many other abuse victims who have been helped by this book because they understand exactly the position Cheryl found herself and her vulnerable sister facing.

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    4. Thank you Morgan for stepping in an such an appropriate reply. Cheryl you did and continue to do the best that you can. Use every trigger as an opportunity to heal.

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    5. Les Garten the only piece of shit I see here is YOU ^^^^^^

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  4. Hi Cheryl. I'm sorry it happened to you. I read this story in 1989 and was haunted by it. People who were never abused won't understand. You guys did what you had to when you were just kids. It was first degree but justified in my opinion. I'm glad you had Rob to help you (emotionally). I'm surprised that you guys got married and are still together which is wonderful to know! I saw your episode on I Witness, but missed the beginning. Will have to see again. Will check out book. Good luck with the rest of your life!

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  5. Yeah, y'all didn't like a little truth laid on ya...

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    1. Les --- where do I begin , well it seems to me you have a problem, one you don't have the slightest clue of what your talking about, you may have an opinion and that's fine but how dare you be so vulgar and abusive to someone who has been abused for many years, maybe it could be because your an abuser yourself ?? I would like to know why I have some much interest and so much to say about something you know nothing about, unless of course you do know something... you sir and people like you are the reasons why raped and molested people don't come forward and I must say ... I myself would have done the same thing and have that son of a bitch murdered he didn't deserve justice he got what he deserved ... how dare anyone especially a parent raped their own child.. that is a sick sick person and in no way was anyone going to believe a child who's father was so vulgar and nasty that people feared him when all along he was a coward, because of the abuse he did ... les maybe you should find a hobby, get some help or counseling your self

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    2. Les -
      You are an idiot !!! Air time and sell books , hmmm maybe Cheryl has found courage over the last 30+ years to finally speak about the pig animal her father was, people have opinions and that's great, but when a stranger comes on a blog being a bully and being abusive makes me wonder what kind of person are you ? Makes me wonder did you know the family or have some personal ties? Or maybe you are an abuser yourself ? We're u abused ? What makes you say such hateful things .... please I'd love to know because you seem to be begging for attention which being so vulgar and nasty isn't doing you much good but it doesn't seem you have very much good in you and who the hell do you think you are talking to Cheryl and Rob and Morgan the way you do .... u want to post an opinion great .... you want to be nasty GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!! Get a life or a job or something but don't you dare be abusive to someone who has to deal with nightmares, pain, hurt , you don't know what Cheryl has to deal with on a daily basis and in my eyes Cheryl is a hero and that bastard deserved what he got... and as for Cheryl's little sister she's very lucky to have someone care and love her so much that she would never let anyone hurt her .... Cheryl is hero !!! So Les take your negative nasty comments somewhere else

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    3. I posted a long post that addressed a lot of things that people didn't like, so they deleted it.

      Murder is a Moral and Legal sin.

      There are many solutions to this problem

      1) Run away
      2) Tell your teachers
      3) Tell the police
      4) Call the newspaper
      5) Tell the rest of the family

      etc, etc, etc

      I got a million of them. NONE of these things were done.

      FIRST degree pre-meditated murder was done. The guys who served long time in Jail, his life was ruined.

      When you kill someone, you take away the only thing that we really possess, or life, all else is an illusion.

      I hold murderers in utter contempt.

      Let say this ABUSE occurred, even though there is no evidence that it did, that man should have gone to jail for a long time, not be premeditated murdered.

      Since you started, tell us all the other things you would murder people for doing?

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    4. Solutions you say !!! Hmmm go to a principle that the father was very close, tell family members that would never believe Cheryl because the father paid for all of the families bills, tell a teacher who would call the abusive father so when she got home she would get beat, run away you say and leave an 8 year old child there with a monster who was raping you... wow you got good suggestions except one problem Les, the father beat his child and was raping his daughter, do you honestly think that would have made it better , ??? Gone to jail you think he would have went absolutely not, he would have gotten away with it, he had a lot of many and many people were too afraid of him to go against him and as far as the guy who murdered the monster well he seems to make out pretty well for himself running an education program so.... until you know facts about any of this , keep your opinion about should've could've would've to yourself because what's done is done and that monster got what he deserved... maybe if you were getting raped and threaten by your father you may feel differently and who are you to judge

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  6. Morgan St James, hopefully nobody perceives one of your loved ones did them wrong and blows their Brains out.

    Amazing that people come out to justify First Degree Murder and sell some books and some air time

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    1. Les did someone do you wrong or blow one of your family members brains out ??? That's just a nasty thing to say and if I recall the fathers brains were not blown out ,

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    2. It's First Degree Murder, there is no excuse for it.

      Just walk away

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    3. You sir should take your own advice.... and walk far far away .... like I said before WHO THE HELL ARE YOU !!!! Do you have ties to this case , ???

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    5. Just walk away was what she should have done, or call the Police.

      Cheryl admiited to committing First Degree Murder, Murder for hire. The person she "hired" to kill her father got real time, not enough time, but his life was ruined.

      I guess you are friend or Family of the Murderer?

      Did you watch the I, Witness story that came on before this one?

      That story was about a girl almost the same age as Cheryl who conned her older boyfriend into committing murder to keep her mother from calling the police on her boyfriend for statutory rape charges. Sound familiar? Why do you think they ran those stories together?

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    6. Just walk away and let her little sister be raped by a monster ???? I really want to know what makes you so interested and nasty about this case ??? What's your story Les ? Nothing better to do or do you have something to hide and your afraid ..... and yes you need to walk away this blog is to help survivors feel safe ... not to have some pompous ass like yourself ridicule People who have been through enough and I must be related ??? Whys that ? Because I feel what your doing is wrong and have no right to post the crap you post ???? You really should get a job

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    7. This page is about selling books and providing Contact info for her "Agent", where her "Appearances" are, and of course making money. You use the time tested attack policies of trying to smear and call the questioner names instead of addressing the real question, defending a whole group of people who committed First Degree Murder.

      The Police were not notified of this supposed abuse, school counselors weren't, the teachers weren't, family wasn't, Newspapers, Doctors, NOBODY. Nobody was told of all this abuse.

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    8. Oh there's an agent ??? Good to know do you know the agent I would love to get ahold of this "agent" I know you were alive in 1986 and back then things weren't spoken about like they are now... a whole group ????? What's your deal Les why so angry ... yes I'm going to question you because you are the only one spewing hate but I see others who have been in the same situation of abuse coming forward

      How do you know this ?? Who are you ?? Are you part of the family? How do you know all of this information.... because you seem to have a whole a lot of information....
      I'm actually done talking with you Les have a good life ... move on, this will be the last time I respond to your ridiculous comments and opinions you need help sir ....

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    9. Janis, you have some issues with reading comprehension don't you?

      If you go to the Contact Page here, you'll see the "Agents" contact info as well as the rest of the Conspirators with the exception of Sean Pica the "Homeroom Hit Man."

      She was found to be pregnant with her boyfriends baby who would have been charged with Statutory Rape. Why aren't you talking about that rape? Maybe a motive to murder the dad, just like the story beore hers on Investigation Discovery?

      In 1985 a lot of people went to jail for false accusations of child rape. All those daycares that the children said all kinds of things about were found to be untrue. So your allegation that "everyone" would not have helped Cheryl are crap on it's face.

      Why'd she kiss her father's coffin at the funeral? Riddle me that.

      You are defending murderers plain and simple who want to capitalize on the murder of her father with books, TV shows and sounds like they are trying to swing a movie.

      She has an Agent for God's sake...

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  7. I have so many questions can you help?

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    1. What do you need help with Erica?

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    2. I read your book and you don't give to many details on your abuse with your dad you talk a lot more about your present struggles with your husband. Anyway you can explain to me more the best you can the abuse you had to go threw from your father in trying to get a sense of your story and try to understand my moms abuse by her father. I have never been abused and I thank the lord everyday for that! Thanks again Cheryl

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    3. Unless I missed something which I might have in your book but I have read it for a bit and I just see seen the id story on tv and you did great!
      I just want to understand your story the best I can for my own sanity from what my grandpa did to my mother. She does talk to him like it didn't even happen breaks my heart

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    4. Erica I'm not sure what kind of personal details you are exactly looking for. I thought I have given more than enough in our book but just know every abuser is different anyway and your mom might not have suffered the same as me or anyone else exactly .Abuse comes in many different forms and she would need to talk and tell you what had happened to her in order for you to understand and help her through it and by her talking about it is her first way of getting through the healing process. Also she might still be talking to your grandfather like it didn't happen because she is in denial. If you admit the abuse than it happened and then you have to deal with the pain and some people aren't ready for that. She has to be ready! My father controled every part of my life. He was very scary .Heather threaten to kill me if I told anyone about the incest that happen 2 to 3 times a day and he was physical and verbally abusive as well. I lived in fear constantly for me and my 8 year old sister. I'm not sure what else you would want me to tell you other than that. I hope it helped.your mom needs to talk to someone

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    5. My father has tried to help her for 17 years and she's just not going to change or get as well as we would hope. I just wanted to know more stories on how your fathers abuse was making you feel and think because it's so close to what my mom went thru being that it was her father and the same age is just closer to your story then many I could talk to and ask about. Did you say heather?? Threaten to kill you or your father? You said your grandfather came over once and you and your dad were in bed how did you not want to confirm that with your grandma? My mom won't even talk to me like a mother she's got a lot of issues with communication she's been drinking for along time and has finally stopped for awhile now for about 3 years but I can't have a relationship with my mother

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    6. Hi Erica, I meant to say he even not heather.it was a type o. Sorry. There is no heather.as fat as my grandfather I did not know he saw my and my father until after he and my grandmother had passed. I was told from someone who testified at my hearing so I could not confront anybody.

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  8. Hi Cheryl,
    I just saw your story on I Witness. My heart knows and shares your pain and journey well. I too lived with many years of incest, violence and other trauma. You did an amazing job of sharing your story. I am so thankful that the justice system was not too harsh and that your husband stayed by your side. I pray that you are able to continue to overcome all the negative messages. Helping others helps doesn't it. I am a counselor and continue in counseling as needed. I have finally accepted that there may always be another layer and that is ok. Thank you for your courage and strength. I pray that you will know the unconditional love and peace of Christ with each passing day as I also am learning to rest in His love.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and your strength. I am sorry for your pain also. I hope the show on the ID channel and our book Incest Murder and a Miracle will help other victims and survivors know that they are not alone and it does not define them and is never their fault. Thank you again.God Bless you and stay strong.

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  9. Cheryl~
    You are a true hero and survivor ... don't let anyone tell you different especially ignorant people, your amazing and your family is very lucky to have you, you did what you had to and he got what he deserved ... stay strong YOU GOT THIS

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  10. You see multiple references to "air time." Yes, air time is very important because that is what is helping Cheryl and Rob deliver their message of hope and courage to (1) those who are victims and live in fear, and (2) those who have no idea of what a victim endures and what drives them to certain actions, or in most cases prevents them from reporting the abuse or taking action. This is a message based in love and encouragement, and the media is necessary to help deliver it. Trust me, writing this book was a gut-wrenching experience in order to help others. Look at some of the Amazon reviews. Victims are coming forward knowing that they are not alone. We use this blog to boost awareness and in some cases post sites and agencies that offer hope.

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  11. I just found out recently that my sister was also raped by one of our family members our cousin and she was 10 and my mom didn't believe her and now that she has finally told my father they are saying it's not true because our cousin was also 10 years old at the time so it would be impossible. I talked with my husband and he said it's not I know it's not because I see 11 year old boys being suxually active with their girlfriends
    How can I help my sister out besides talking about the abuse to help her get threw it

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    1. Hi Erica
      I'm really sorry I must have missed your post.as far as your post i am not by any means a professional so I would say maybe you should take your sister to see one. Mine really helped me a lot. Just be there for her.let her you you believe her and if in fact the abuse did happen make sure she knows it's not her fault. That means the most. Always be there for her.that's a all you can do.

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  12. Hi Cheryl- I just watched your story on the ID channel and you are so brave for sharing the humiliating torture you endured. I love that you and Rob married!
    Do you still speak with your sister>?
    I wish you and your family the best!

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    1. Hi thank you for reaching out to me and for your kind words. Me and my sister and our brother Jimmy are all extremely close. We have all stuck together through some hard times and protected each other. Thank you again.

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  13. Cheryl, some just don't understand the long term affect of child rape. Yes, you were a child! How it affects almost every aspect of your life, especially relationships. After 29 years, Robert must of really loved you and vice versa. I know sooo many victims that took the drug and alcohol road unable to cope with horrific child abuse. To that idiot Les,you just don't walk away because it follows you threw life.In 1985, the authorities probably would of put her back into the house of horrors with different consequences. Cheryl keep speaking loud and louder until they hear you. Start a social media campaign...Name your abuser! Silence is Golden for the abuser! Good Luck with your mission and ignore the haters.

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    1. You are so right about the authorities, Caching. I worked on another book with an abuse victim/survivor before this one, "La Bella Mafia," and that is exactly what happened to Bella Capo when she was eleven. The system took her out of a loving foster home and gave her back to her abusive father. Her mother was in drug rehab, having taken that route to deal with her own abuse by this man. After Bella was forced back into her father's home, although she begged Child Protective Services not to make her go back, he beat her and threw her down the stair and broke her back. Bella has also become a very strong woman due to what she endured and, like Cheryl, works on behalf of abuse victims.

      I know everyone has their own opinions about how things should be handled in these situations, and many say go to the authorities. They should look up statistics on children being given back to the abuser and non-reported cases for exactly this reason. Some of those children even die.

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  14. Chaching- thank you for reaching out to me and for your kind words. Yes you right Rob and I have a love that is unbreakable and I am blessed for that. That is what has saved me along with my beautiful girls every day especially the days I felt I wanted to just give up.as far as drugs or alcohol I could never go down that road because I could never, would never want to be not in control of my life ever again.I hope our story along with our book helps others know that they are not alone and incest does not have to define you. Thank you again for your support its nice to know there are nice people in the world like yourself that are supportive that make it a little easier to talk about our story.thank you.☺

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  15. Hi Cheryl and Rob
    I am currently reviewing your book for Readers Favorite. Once I'm done, I'll also be sharing and podcasting my review at http://www.vianvi.com and possibly on my website for memoir writers at http://www.memoirabilia.ca

    I can't tell you how closely your story of incest with your father parallels my own. And the greatest irony for me is that your mom died on the same date, Feb 13th, that you were charged. Feb. 13th is my birthday! What a coincidence.

    Like you, I also wrote the true story, not because the media told lies about me as they did you (my heart broke as I read those details...only a victim knows how we feel about our abusers and only the victim and the abuser know the full truth) but because I kept my secret hidden for over 40 years. That's how ashamed I was. And they ask us why we keep silent! I was 65 when I finally told my truth, thanks to the encouragement of my daughters and husband, who, incidentally, knew nothing of the abuse till that day. Imagine his shock.

    I hope you'll find time to visit my personal website where I have been podcasting chapters of my book. In my latest podcast, I mention your names and the title of your new book. I hope it helps bring you more readers. You can count on my review helping you with that too.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Viga Boland, author and survivor of incest.
    http://www.vigaboland.com

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  16. Hi Ms.Boland, Thank you for reaching out to us and for your review of our book. I too am sorry for your pain that you have endured but am glad you are finally able to talk about it because it does help to finally let some of it go. I will definitely go to your site and thank you for any help you can give me.The more help we can give others the better this world will be. Thank you again. Stay strong and God bless ❤

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