Scared Silent: A Memoir written by the ex-wife of the DC Sniper

I just finished reading Mildred Muhammad’s memoir titled: Scared Silent: When the one you love…becomes the one you fear.  Not only was it a powerful title, but once I started reading it, I could not put it down.  I had come across the book at a local Barnes and Nobles, read the first page and was hooked. 

The book is a biography written by the wife of the man named the DC Sniper, John Muhammad.  Him and his accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and harmed many more in a shooting rampage that terrorized DC, Virginia and Maryland for days.  But there’s always more to the story and Mildred explains just that in her book.  John was an abusive husband and Mildred knew that he wanted her dead.  She had left him and he felt that she had taken his children away from him.  Mildred felt that John randomly shot all of these victims so that when he shot her, she would be just another victim as well.    

As I continued reading the book, I looked in disbelief the entire time.  It wasn’t that I didn’t know what her husband, John, was putting her through.  I had experienced abuse myself and I understood all of the crazy-making that he was creating.  But what shocked me, was that the purpose of the shootings was that John was going to kill her and make her another innocent victim, and I was convinced that it was true.  I lived through the horrific events of the DC Sniper shootings in 2002.  I remember it on the news everyday how innocent victims were being shot down and killed randomly just doing every day things.  But the news had never reported what was really going on.  They portrayed John as part as a terrorist group, and hid the fact that he was after his ex-wife.  Maybe they didn’t believe her, but I do.  Mildred had a reason to be scared of John and he made that clear to her.

There’s a line in the first pages of the book where Mildred explains that her husband, John told her “When a man hits a woman, it means that he has lost all respect for her.  It would easy for him to kill her after that”.  Reading that line scared the crap out of me.  My abuser had hit me many of times.  That sentence made me realize that if I caught him at the wrong moment, he could easily end up killing me.  I always asked him why he never respected me and reading that made it all to clear.  I allowed him to hit me.  When he did, I stuck by his side, letting him know it was okay.  But it wasn’t and it’s clear to me now why I never got the respect that I deserved.

This book gives a powerful insight on what women in abusive relationships go through.  I was a real eye opener for me.  Mildred is a powerful voice in the world of abuse and we all can learn a lot from her.  Not only has she written her own memoir, but she also runs an organization called “After the Trauma”.  It is a website that helps women of abusive relationships.  It provides many resources and information for victims.  Her site can be found at:  Not only did she write Scared Silent, but she also has another book titled: A Survivors Journal.  It will be one of my next reads.  If you are interested in either of these books, they can be found here:


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