In the wealthy community of Westfield, New Jersey, Derek and Maria Broaddus could not have been happier about moving into a new perfect home at 657 Boulevard. However, as the family plans to settle down with their three children, they got this threatening letter in the mailbox.
Signed only "The Watcher," the letter had no return address. Yet, whoever wrote it seemed to have been observing the Broadduses. Whats's even more disturbing, The Watcher noted the Broadduses' three children and asked if there were more on the way.
The Broaddus was only a completely average suburban family until they purchased in 2014 what would now be known as "The Watcher House."
On the evening of June, the first message came to The Watcher's House. At his family's new house, Derek Broaddus had painted a few walls, and, upon having finished, he opened the mailbox to find a white card-sized letter addressing "The New Owner" in a strong script.
The typed message began with good wishes of welcome and soon turned into strange and threatening sentences explaining how, for decades, the writer had carefully watched over the house.
Derek Broaddus, troubled, contacted the Westfield Police, who suggested bringing some construction machines just outside of the home in fear the Watcher would be motivated enough to throw it in one of the house's windows. The local police also instructed the Broaddus family not to tell their neighbors anything, as they were all suspects now.
The Watcher Letters Continue
Two weeks from the first, the second letter from The Watcher came. This point was addressed by name to the Broadduses, and by birth order, including their byname, the writer mentioned their three children. Their renovation work has been placed on hold, and they stopped bringing their children over to the house.
The Broaddus, profoundly disturbed by the letters, chose to continue to call out to the authorities in Westfield. Detective Leonard Lugo headed the investigation. Lugo suspected their neighbor, Michael Langford, for a while, who was born with schizophrenia.
DNA showed that a woman had closed the letters with her saliva and that nobody in the Langford household matched the sample.
The Broaddus, searching for solutions, hired a team of experts to investigate thoroughly. Derek called out to the real-life FBI officer who, in Silence of the Lambs, influenced the portrayal of Clarice Starling, who happened to be on the community's school board of trustees.
The Broaddus Decide To Sell The Watcher House
Eventually, Derek and Maria placed the house up for sale six months after the first message came, hoping for a little more than they had spent as they thought their renovations could increase the value. Even so, all deals fell through after they revealed the strange Watcher letters to potential customers.
The Broaddus made a quick attempt in 2016 to get the house taken down and redevelop the property. Their proposals have not been accepted, so a final letter came from The Watcher, promising to exact vengeance on them if the house was destroyed.
The Watcher House was eventually sold in 2019 despite years on the market, with the Broadduses suffering a $440,000 drop when they originally bought it at $1.3-million.
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