.

In 2010, I met a psychopath. That psychopath presented a story about himself that was a complete lie – from his profession, to his family, to even his birth name. By the time I learned that he was the suspect in the murder of two people (his own mother Alma Collins and his ex-girlfriend Shawn Mason), it was too late. I had already given birth to our son Prince.

Two weeks after Prince was born, I fled Rams’ house at gun point. I ran to the police for help, but trusting the Virginia police ended up being one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Instead of helping to keep my family safe, they helped my abuser.

I fought to keep my son safe from Rams for 15 months. Finally, after a judge in MD granted Rams unsupervised visitation, Joaquin Rams murdered my son Prince. Two weeks after Prince was killed, I learned that Rams had taken out over 500k in life insurance policies on my child.

-------------------------------------

On Saturday October 20, 2012, I lost my son.  I became a mother without a child.  He died tragically while he was on one of his first court ordered unsupervised visits with his father.  I have heard a lot of terrible stories, but how my son's story ended is unimaginable.  I now live for my baby boy.  His name was Prince.  He is my guardian angel and will always be in my heart.

This blog started out anonymous because I didn't want to lose custody of my son by exposing the people who were putting his life in danger; however, now that my son is gone, I am not staying silent anymore.  My name is Hera McLeod and my son's name was Prince Elias McLeod Rams.  This is our story.  It might not sound real to those hearing it for the first time, but I can assure you that I am not a good enough storyteller to make this all up.  I wish this were just a story, because then it wouldn't be happening to me.

-------------------------------------

June 2012

I am a mom - but this is NOT a mommy blog.  I start out with the reality of me as a mom because since July 2011, that will always be part of who I am.  It's a very important piece in my journey because he's the love of my life.  That little boy has truly saved my life.

Shortly after my son was born, my life was thrown into chaos that I could never have even imagined.  If I was honest with myself, however, that chaos had really started from the first moment I met my sons father.  I was sucked into the vortex of evil.  Since the night I left that vortex, I have been desperately trying to get out of the vortex.

I used to think my story was unique, but the more I tell it - the more I hear of others who have had horrible things happen to them.  I have also heard of many parents who are struggling to keep their children from enduring the pain of a broken relationship...and worse...sometimes shielding them from a parent who is "socially maladjusted" or a parent who has a personality disorder or a parent who is just downright dangerous.  It's the extreme that I am talking about here, but there are likely elements that a lot of parents can relate to regardless of the degree of craziness that they are dealing with.

I have been through hell in the past year and now I am trying to move on with my life, raise my little boy, and manage the fact that I don't have a choice but to be connected to a psychopath (thanks to our not so glorious justice system).  Gaining sole physical and legal custody of my son was the hardest and the most important thing I have ever done (and the most expensive).  I still continue to fight each day to save myself and save my son from this terrorist.  If just one person reads my story and gains some hope, tools to deal with the man/woman who terrorizes them, or feels less like a fool because they learn someone else has been conned too - It will all be worth it.

A lot of people like to claim that their ex is a psychopath.  Well, mine really is.

In 2010, I met a psychopath. That psychopath presented a story about himself that was a complete lie – from his profession, to his family, to even his birth name. By the time I learned that he was the suspect in the murder of two people (his own mother Alma Collins and his ex-girlfriend Shawn Mason), it was too late. I had already given birth to our son Prince.

Two weeks after Prince was born, I fled Rams’ house at gun point. I ran to the police for help, but trusting the Virginia police ended up being one of the biggest mistakes of my life. Instead of helping to keep my family safe, they helped my abuser.

I fought to keep my son safe from Rams for 15 months. Finally, after a judge in MD granted Rams unsupervised visitation, Joaquin Rams murdered my son Prince. Two weeks after Prince was killed, I learned that Rams had taken out over 500k in life insurance policies on my child.

-------------------------------------

On Saturday October 20, 2012, I lost my son.  I became a mother without a child.  He died tragically while he was on one of his first court ordered unsupervised visits with his father.  I have heard a lot of terrible stories, but how my son's story ended is unimaginable.  I now live for my baby boy.  His name was Prince.  He is my guardian angel and will always be in my heart.

This blog started out anonymous because I didn't want to lose custody of my son by exposing the people who were putting his life in danger; however, now that my son is gone, I am not staying silent anymore.  My name is Hera McLeod and my son's name was Prince Elias McLeod Rams.  This is our story.  It might not sound real to those hearing it for the first time, but I can assure you that I am not a good enough storyteller to make this all up.  I wish this were just a story, because then it wouldn't be happening to me.

-------------------------------------

June 2012

I am a mom - but this is NOT a mommy blog.  I start out with the reality of me as a mom because since July 2011, that will always be part of who I am.  It's a very important piece in my journey because he's the love of my life.  That little boy has truly saved my life.

Shortly after my son was born, my life was thrown into chaos that I could never have even imagined.  If I was honest with myself, however, that chaos had really started from the first moment I met my sons father.  I was sucked into the vortex of evil.  Since the night I left that vortex, I have been desperately trying to get out of the vortex.

I used to think my story was unique, but the more I tell it - the more I hear of others who have had horrible things happen to them.  I have also heard of many parents who are struggling to keep their children from enduring the pain of a broken relationship...and worse...sometimes shielding them from a parent who is "socially maladjusted" or a parent who has a personality disorder or a parent who is just downright dangerous.  It's the extreme that I am talking about here, but there are likely elements that a lot of parents can relate to regardless of the degree of craziness that they are dealing with.

I have been through hell in the past year and now I am trying to move on with my life, raise my little boy, and manage the fact that I don't have a choice but to be connected to a psychopath (thanks to our not so glorious justice system).  Gaining sole physical and legal custody of my son was the hardest and the most important thing I have ever done (and the most expensive).  I still continue to fight each day to save myself and save my son from this terrorist.  If just one person reads my story and gains some hope, tools to deal with the man/woman who terrorizes them, or feels less like a fool because they learn someone else has been conned too - It will all be worth it.

A lot of people like to claim that their ex is a psychopath.  Well, mine really is.

Hera McLeod | Author | Blogger | Speaker

About Hera

Hera McLeod is a Seattle-based writer, speaker, and civil rights activist. She is known for speaking out against the silence, particularly on the topics of civil rights for women and children, domestic violence, and Family Court reform. She was a 2017 Jack Straw Writing Fellow, and has published OpEd pieces in The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and The New York Times. Hera has made several television appearances to include The Today Show, The Tony Danza Show, Crime Watch Daily, and DC news affiliates for CBS, ABC, and Fox. In addition to television appearances, Hera has also testified before the United States Congress on the topics of civil rights and the protection of children. The manuscript for her memoir, a cautionary tale about one woman's journey from self-conscious to self-confident, from victim to advocate, is currently on submission with major American publishing houses.

What is a Psychopath?

The first time I tell anyone my ex is a psychopath, I usually get some variation of a “this bitch is crazy/bitter/overreacting” look.  Hell, the first time I told my story to my therapist, he told me he thought I might be the crazy one or at least one good story teller.  (he later independently verified parts of the story and has now become a believer)

Part of the problem I faced when I lived with Luc was that I didn’t know what it meant to be a psychopath.  I didn’t know what to look for and didn’t understand that all psychopaths don’t present themselves as nuts or look like the serial killers from the movies with the close set eyes and the evil grimace.  Many of these people can be extremely charming and their level of deceit and ability to con can be very impressive.  These people can fool anyone -from an average Joe to professionals with PhDs.  After the cold bucket of water was poured on my head and I saw a bit of who Luc really was, I looked up the definition of a psychopath on google and this is what I found on Wikipedia:

Psychopathy (/sˈkɒpəθi/[1][2] from the Ancient Greek ψυχή “psyche”, -soul, mind and πάθος, “pathos” -suffering, disease, condition[3][4]) is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guiltegocentricitysuperficial charmmanipulativenessirresponsibility, nonplanfulness, impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality. There is no consensus about the symptom criteria and there are ongoing debates regarding issues such as essential features, causes, and the possibility of treatment.[5]

Then, I looked everywhere to try and find some sort of test or scale or check list to see if Luc  really fit this description (though I suspected he would just based on the definition).  I then found Dr. Robert Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R): (I have noted where Luc fits in bold next to each characteristic)

To my knowledge, Luc has never been diagnosed officially as a psychopath (it is my understanding that this particular diagnosis is rare and most psychological evaluators avoid it like the plague).  In open court during the Child Custody War, however, the court heard testimony from many credible professionals as well as Luc’s numerous victims.  All of this evidence that I have gathered has led me to the below conclusions:

Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”

  • Glibness/superficial charm  (Charm – check)
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth (Uh…yes…he would always talk about how I was lucky to be with him because he was so attractive and successful)
  • Pathological lying (He lied about his entire story…and continues to lie even when caught.  He is also famous for lying under oath and then denying he lied in the face of clear evidence)
  • Cunning/manipulative (check…he has conned people out of thousands of dollars and was able to manipulate me into paying his mortgage for months among other things.  He also effectively manipulated the court into allowing him to have unsupervised visitation with Prince.)
  • Lack of remorse or guilt (check…he will never apologize for anything because he doesn’t think there is anything wrong with what he has done)
  • Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric(He is a professional at crocodile tears.  He sat on the stand in court and cried about how much he wanted to take Prince to chuck e cheese for his birthday.  When court was over, however, he never followed up or asked to change the visit to Chuck e Cheese as he had requested)
  • Callousness; lack of empathy  (this is clear – child abuse, exploiting women, etc)
  • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions  (Check – he believes everyone else is at fault.  Even after assaulting someone, he tries to turn the story to make him look like the victim instead of the person he victimized.  Two weeks after my son was born, Luc took my sister to a concert and had sex with her.  While he claims it was concentual to this day, the evidence shows otherwise.  Depending on whom he talks to about this event, his story changes.  Never once, however, has he been able to accept responsibility for this intensely immoral and reprehensible act.)

Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.

  • Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom (maybe this is why he can’t hold a real job?  His sexual deviation would also likely fall into this category)
  • Parasitic lifestyle (yep, lives off of women – his ex girlfriend before me, his own mother until he was found dead in his home, me, and now the older couple with whom he lives)
  • Poor behavioral control  (He was arrested for assaulting his now 13 year old son back in 2010.  What he did with my sister would also represent poor behavioral control)
  • Lack of realistic long-term goals (check…a 40 year old still telling people he is counting on becoming a singer and maybe winning the lottery.  Note:  He is not a good singer.  Luc actually told the custody evaluator in our court case that he had been on tour with major artists.  He told me he was on tour with Rihanna in the summer of 2010.  Anyone who has access to google could see that this was a bold faced lie.)
  • Impulsivity (His rages and abusive nature – his habit for impulsively buying hundreds of dollars in lottery tickets without even having an income)
  • Irresponsibility  (Check…thousands of dollars in civil judgements and again the lottery tickets)
  • Juvenile delinquency (While I don’t have personal experience as I did not know him as a child, I suspect there may have been problems here as well.)
  • Early behavior problems (Same as above)
  • Revocation of conditional release

Traits not correlated with either factor

  • Promiscuous sexual behavior (Check – porn sites and his desire to sexually exploit women while calling it “swinging”)
  • Many short-term marital relationships (Check – also tends to be violent in its end)
  • Criminal versatility (check – He has been charged with assault, embezzlement….he has been named as the prime person of interest in at least one murder.  He provided the courts with fake tax paperwork and forged paperwork to make it look like he held a job that he had not held)
  • Acquired behavioural sociopathy/sociological conditioning (Item 21: a newly identified trait i.e. a person relying on sociological strategies and tricks to deceive) (check)

9 Comments

  1. Billie Jo Lear on November 28, 2012 at 9:23 am

    …and mine is real. I live the opposite end of your horror. My ex took our three week old son during his ‘supervised’ visitation the court gave him into a restaurant bathroom and beat him within inches of his life. My son lived. He spent a week in the PICU at Albany Medical Center, and few more days in the step down program and the doctors called it a ‘miracle recovery’. The only problem was, it was not a miracle recovery. My son was brain injured. My x husband who the Judge gave visitation to had just been released from prison and I had divorced him for his crimes. He was arrested, violated on his parole, and then charged. His case was made so public I had to stay with my parents to hide once my son was released. Almost nothing printed in the papers was true. Then, to add insult to injury they rushed him into court on Thanksgiving weekend and gave him the deal of a life time that allowed him to serve only 4 years for his crime before they again released this psychopath to the public. People say to me, you chose him. I try to explain it could happen to them to. They do not seem to understand that psychopaths do not come gift wrapped with a label and are not all these raving mad men they see on television… I am not ‘saying’ I married a psychopath, I know I married a psychopath… and now he walks this world a free man trying to get his son, who does not really understand easily, to friend him.

    • cappuccinoqueen on November 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to your son. See, its stuff like this that just reassures me that I need to keep fighting. No child should have to suffer the way ours have.

  2. Shanna on November 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

    My heart breaks for you and all parents, grandparents, and other family members who have had to endure the loss of a child to abuse. While I praise God for my 5 children who are alive and well, I’ve walked this road with not one friend, but two separate friends who didn’t even know each other. Really….what are the odds? In 2007, my childhood friend John was denied his regular weekend visitation with his 2 year old daughter Samantha. Her mom left her with her boyfriend (who’d been drunk for days) and headed to work, but decided on the way that she was “sick” and spent the day with a friend instead. She returned home later to find Sam’s cold, lifeless body…the boyfriend got life without parole, but we got life without Samantha.

    18 months later, my best friend’s 3 year old nephew Javon was crying for his mom when she left him with her fiancee to go to the dentist. The fiancee, who had never harmed or raised his voice at either of her children (per her then 8 year old son), yet on this day he couldn’t take the crying and hit Javon in the head, face, and neck cause his brain to swell. Sweet little Javon left us 6 hours later. The fiancee tried to lie through it all that he didn’t know what happened to Javon, but he eventually took a plea for 40 years…he’ll be out in 20 years or less, and then deported back to Africa since he was here on an expired student visa.

    I ache for you that you will never know what happened to Prince. The only person who knows won’t be honest enough to give you that closer…not that you could anything he did say. I know his type, seen them several times before, even married one like that. My prayers to you, Hera, and so much love and hugs, although I know it won’t make it better. I really don’t even know how I came across your blog, but look forward to catching up on the old posts and following along to see this piece of s**t get what he deserves.

  3. Susan on November 30, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. We do not know each other, but you should know that people are listening to you, and hearing you. Reading what you’ve endured, I just cannot believe you are going through this terrible pain. I wondered a long time whether I should comment here, and I finally thought, yes, she should know that her beautiful, honest words, first a warning to others and now a tribute to her precious boy, are affecting people. They affected me. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  4. Lee Strong on November 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Hera, firstly, may God continue to guide you and protect you in this fierce battle against the lowest of scum in this universe. I thank God, even though I cannot imagine how much you miss your son, that he is safe, sitting among Angels where no one and no entity can harm him. You will be together again. I know this and yes, he is now your guardian Angel.
    My daughter was not killed physically. Her biological father, a demonic entity such as the one you engaged, has slowly, over the past 16 years, tried to murder her soul. I have had to stand by, watching as idiots and ignorant fools in the court, legal and child welfare system continue to ignore her cries for help, the evidence of diabolical abuse in her more than 13 diaries…watching as slowly, the life is drained from her.
    I have prayed and begged God to annihilate this demon from our lives, yet he persists. I have survived 23 years of unspeakable agony because of this one depraved and fucked up entity who is permitted to lie in court and treat our daughter as an object.
    Thank you for sharing your story and your pain, your hopes and your thoughts. We stand by you, you are never alone…and soon, we will look to our left and right and see how many others there are like us who have gathered, taken a stand and are ready to fight the final battle against these evil pieces of shit. I long for that day.
    May God bless you, keep you and shine His light upon you. May the peace that passes all understanding descend from heaven, infused with your son’s love and precious grace, and envelope you so that you are shielded from the freak’s actions. May you continue to be a great warrior who will inherit the earth.
    Sending you so much love and light, Lee Strong
    Views of the Child Society, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    viewsofthechild@gmail.com

  5. Brenda on December 3, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have a 2 yr old daughter and cannot even to begin to imagine what you must be going through. I have been in an abusive relationship and know the very real fear of a psychopath. You’re so right in that they don’t come w/a warning label. If they did, why would anyone ever choose them? They are always Prince Charming at first until they suck you in. HUGS.

  6. erica on December 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Love and light to you and your angel Prince. May God bring you peace someday. There is no way to adequately punish this man but I hope the “system” sure tries to. You have such clear thought and I don’t know what you do as a career but you sound like you would make a great lawyer or Director of a non-profit that works with women and children.

  7. […] son, Prince, was drowned by his father during an unsupervised visit. Her story can be found at  (http://hera-mcleod.com/?page_id=17). The Washington Post also covered her […]

  8. […] The scars that a child takes into their adult years shapes the kind of woman, mother, wife, man, father and husband a child will become. We should not take this fact lightly.  The repercussions of contact with a dangerous father can be life threatening. […]

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