A Florida woman was shocked to learn the incredibly disturbing secret that her boyfriend had been hiding for decades.
Candy Williams was on a Florida beach when she was approached by Jovan Collier. The pair immediately bonded.
“It was a whirlwind,” Williams told ABC News. “We it it off that day. … It was really quick. He was very charming, [a] smooth talker, sweet, you know, funny.”
Both Williams and Collier had recently moved to the St. Petersburg area for a fresh start and the timing of their meeting felt perfect.
“I was looking for someone to share my life with,” Williams said. “I was just missing a significant other that I really wanted.”
The pair also learned that they had both experienced a great loss.
“I’d been through a lot of tough times, lots of deaths in my family,” Williams said. “That first day at the beach, he told me that his parents had been killed in a tragic car accident by drunk drivers. He had always felt like he was missing something.”
What she didn’t know at the time, however, was that while Collier’s parents were deceased, his story wasn’t true.
Collier regularly left Florida to visit his son, ex-wife, and friends in the Midwest. Williams also learned, eventually, that he had another daughter that he hadn’t been in contact with for about six years. He had reconnected with her, though, and Williams was supportive.
“I do care about his daughter,” she said. “[She’s] a very nice young lady.”
His daughter, Nicole, felt the same way about Williams.
“It was very neat to see that,” Nicole said. “I mean, my dad was getting his life back on track, settling down, hopefully for good.”
Collier revealed eventually that his parents — the ones who died in the car crash — were his adoptive parents and that he had been in contact with his birth parents.
Then, in the summer of 2008, he told Williams that he was no longer speaking to his mother. He told her that she had badmouthed Williams, saying that he was too good for her. That was also a lie, however.
As it turns out, Collier stopped talking to his mother because she had uncovered a dark secret.
In 1983, police received a tip and went to a home on an isolated road in the small town of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. When they arrived at the home, they found a gruesome scene that shocked even some veteran officers.
“I have been involved in well over 100 homicide investigations,” said Bob Hille, an Iowa County deputy sheriff who responded to the scene. “And this is the only case that I ever have bad dreams about.”
On the back porch of the home was the body of Hans Zimmer, who had been shot five times. The body of Sally Zimmer, who was stabbed to death, had been placed in a shed behind the home with a rosary laid on her body.
Upstairs, inside the house, was the body of 11-year-old Perry Zimmer, who had been stabbed more than 25 times.
The culprit behind the crime was 14-year-old Peter Zimmer. Peter later changed his name to become Jovan Collier.
Police eventually found and apprehended the murderous teen. Despite his disturbing crimes, Wisconsin law at the time said that the teen could only be prosecuted as a juvenile.
He pleaded no contest to the murder of his parents and served just over one year per murder at the Ethan Allen School for Boys.
In 1987, he was released from the school and left as a free man.
He later changed his name and moved to Florida, where he met Williams. His birth mother didn’t know about his horrific crimes until the Sumer of 2008. She became suspicious and hired a private investigator to look into his past.
The private investigator uncovered the dark truth.
Williams was still unaware of his past and continued to date Collier until she found his profile on a dating site in 2009.
After the couple split, Collier began sending her emails that became darker and more threatening over time. She decided at one point to call his birth mother to find out if there was something wrong with her ex-boyfriend.
“I just thought, if anyone’s going to know if this is true, his birth mother will know,” Williams said. “I called and Joe’s stepdad answered the phone. … He’s like, ‘Well, you know about the murders, don’t you?’ I was like, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’ And right then, I just could feel like all the blood just drained from me.”
Williams was disturbed by the revelation.
Collier reportedly blamed Williams for exposing his past. He sent her an email saying, “What comes around goes around, so just remember that.”
He added, “You took my life from me and I am very lost and angry at you for that… I am here in St. Pete and hope to hell I run into you. You messed me over and I will pay you back, your rep, your job, all of it.”
Collier was charged with felony stalking and was jailed in Georgia in 2012, according to the Daily Mail.