The Wallowing

Everybody knows everybody.

It’s a saying they throw around a lot in Raymond, Washington. An eclectic Pacific Northwest town known for its logging, oyster farms and the salty air blowing in from the Pacific Ocean.

There’s another saying locals would also come to know well: Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.

They were referring to the quaint little red farmhouse just outside Raymond with the white picket fence. Even the mailbox was cheery. Little yellow suns had been painted on the side with smiley faces alongside pink hearts.

But, the gate to this idyllic little home, complete with bird feeders and wind chimes, was always closed.

Michelle Knotek’s daughters were always well appointed at school, outfitted with the latest fashions. Shelly’s third husband, David, was a local boy. Everybody loved David.

Michelle, or Shelly as she preferred, was known to be nice when she wanted to be. Behind her back she was called “Crazy Shelly” because of her volatility.

She was known to run hot, like a kettle full of water left boiling on the stove. It was certainly an apt metaphor for Shelly’s temperament. It just happened to be one of her favorite tools of torture, watching what scalding hot water did to the skin and the reaction of her victims.

But, Shelly wasn’t alone. David, was a willing recruit. And the kids were forced to take part as well.

The power to abuse and manipulate others was too sweet an intoxicant for Shelly, who reveled in her victims suffering.

Now, those victims fear Crazy Shelly could be getting out of prison and looking for retribution.

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