Peter Perry managed the Vic Tanny Health Club, which is where the serial killer, Russel Johnson worked out. More than that, it’s where he chose many of his victims.
Competition images of Peter Perry at the IPF Word Powerlifting Championships. November 7, 1980 in Arlington, Texas.
Body weight of 207 pounds height 5ft9.
Mike nods. “Won gold two years in a row,” Mike looks at Jessica. “Tell you what,” Mike begins, “When I go to the championship for the North American Powerlifting Competition, I’ll dedicate any trophy I win to you.”Origen: A True Story of Evil. Inspired by True Events.
Usually I’m a good judge of character. I started working out with weights at the London Central YMCA. I started at the age of sixteen and worked out at the Y for a number of years before the gym burned down to the ground. This gym produced a number of world powerlifting champions. This is where I met the killer. He seemed like a good guy. He would spot me on occasion during bench press. This would be when I would be trying a max or heavyweight reps. There would have been times when we would be the only ones in the gym during the spot. He could have easily done something during the spot that would have put me in danger. But this was not the case.
He seemed to be a good guy.
I saw him at a bar once, where we talked, and he bought me a drink, feeling sorry for me because I would have been young and would not have much money with me. He introduced me to the group he was with. This group included a female companion. To this day, I wonder if she was a victim. Usually, I would think that problem individuals are a little strange in character or would make you feel uneasy. This was not the case with him. He seemed to be a good-looking, kind, and soft-spoken individual that was one of the boys at the gym.
The only strange thing about him was that he always wore gloves. This was strange because everyone at the gym lifted heavy. Everyone had a tub of chalk that they would use on their hands to help with the heavy lifts. But he wanted his hands clean. But besides thinking it was strange, I did not think anything more about it. When I heard that he was arrested and charged with multiple murders, I was shocked. How could someone so nice be so evil? There must have been a switch that turned him into someone so evil. How could there be such a contrast in character? Boy, did I judge his character wrong.
Over forty years later . . . These are feelings and memories of a victim’s victim. My mother was a surviving victim, as I am a victim also, because he afflicted our entire family, and now we look at life so differently. This vile attack changes everything. But we are also very blessed she is a free survivor of these horrific acts of evil.The phone call to tell us he had struck again and that our mother was the one he had attacked, but that she wasn’t dead, was the single most uncomfortable, heart-wrenching call anyone could ever expect to get, even with the relief of her still being alive.
After all the trauma had been dealt with, our way of life still changed and didn’t go back to how it used to be. We are now always locking doors and windows, even in the daylight, never wanting to be anywhere alone. Shopping, at home, the beach—it didn’t matter where, she wouldn’t go anywhere alone.
What could happen to any one of us because my mother could be his revenge place to go to, because she survived his violence? She is the one to point at him and say quietly, “You can’t tell others how our life feels like, you’ve become imprisoned, and yet the evil still lurks about, looking for his next victim.”
I can trust that same person from before that saved my mother will be the one who will protect me. I never know which side of the coin will fall. The nightmares, the fear that has been instilled, has changed the entire way I look at life.
I’ve tried to trust again, but I never give 100 percent of my trust. Because along the way evil has found its way to me since that time in my life. When I have let my guard down or tried once more to trust, I’ve found not all is evil out there . . . but I found out it still exists in other forms as well. My guard has never really been allowed to be let down totally, for I fear in small pieces, but I let my intuition alone be my guide throughout. My gut instincts are usually on the mark to warn me, but it took me some time to learn how to listen, and to go with that first impression, those warnings, and like a friend with a heads-up view, I’ve learned to listen to it first.
I have had my own family and friends, myself raising my children as well, with that knowledge instilled in there from a very young age. And all three go by that feeling, and see the outcome if by chance they ignore it just one time. They know the story of their nanna’s survival; they have read the newspaper clippings and very much understand my view of how to be aware of your surroundings and people.
My grandchildren are still young but are also being taught that there is hope and evil out there to be aware of. So, there has been an effect on our family for generations because of his evilness stepping into our lives. But it will never be a part of how we love one another, or the friendships we form. They may be free and strict, but they are evil or bad, because they choose to walk that same walk we have.
We watched out for our mother and were there at the drop of a pin. But we always remember that good wins over evil and that karma does come back to you. So down the road, when you help just one person, know that there will be one person there to help you, no matter how small or big the task, for the lending of a shoulder, or a helping hand. It does come back.
Evil isn’t everywhere, but it is there to be well aware of. Most days may be limited to share with them. We were lucky to have our mother survive that evil and cancer until her triple bypass in 1999 when we lost her. A true survivor of lots of trials, but a teacher of the good you can find in life.
And to only realize thirty-odd years after meeting Peter that our connection brought us together once again for another reason, to tell our stories in one book, one novel, and to be here as survivors to tell their stories of these victims will keep us all alive forever.
My only regret is that a lot of people this affected have already passed on. But I think it’s because of their help from the other side all of this is possible, through the love they have left behind, to tell their stories for them, and their families.You all will never be forgotten, or never not loved, by all of us you had to leave behind, not by your choice.
Loving you forever,