What I am including is my victim impact statement from the trial for the State of Wisconsin VS Randy Holt and my story of what I went through.
For the last 20 years, I knew Holt prior to our year-long relationship. He always wanted one with me but when I finally agreed, I didn’t think it would end up the way it did. It seemed normal at first, however, Holt slowly and methodically brainwashed me. He constantly reminded me of his financial support while pointing out how my family and friends weren’t supportive. He told me they weren’t good enough but his only support was financial.
I believe that he was afraid that my therapist would find out about his jealousy and emotional abuse. He said therapy drove us apart in the past. I quit therapy to avoid arguing with him until Dexter died. Therapy gave me the confidence to go out and interact with people and friends. He was more inclined to keep me to himself with a sole focus on him. I believe he isolated me from friends and family so they wouldn’t see how he was treating me. I started noticing changes in his behavior where he became increasingly displeased with things with me, which I called his “Jekyll and Hyde”.
Things escalated after I moved in with him at the Bing Street apartment. We never slept in the same bed nor shared a room because of my sleeping habits. I had to talk quieter, chew quieter, be quieter; all forms of making me into a mouse. After arguments, he left me feeling isolated, intimidated by the look he would give me that had me in tears with him threatening to kill himself. He stated several times he was better off dead and became alarmingly cold and distant. Then, the sweet side would pop up minutes later and I’d be his sweet girl as if everything were fine. Everything wasn’t fine.
Luna, my 5-year-old calico who was almost always by my side, suspiciously wouldn’t leave the kitchen when Holt was home. I was attending an online college and on July 28th I heard strange noises from the kitchen. When I ran into the kitchen and saw Luna, her breathing seemed distressed and I wasn’t sure what was going on. Holt stood behind me telling me how he wasn’t going to pay or take her to the vet. So, I called Paula and my Dad in a panic. I would’ve paid since I was working for NRG. Paula came in enough time to have Luna pass in my arms. I was deeply saddened and distressed as I grieved my sweet Luna. My only comfort as I grieved was cuddling my Dexter while crying myself to sleep for days. A couple of days later an old friend of mine from NYC passed away and Holt was neither supportive nor comforting as usual.
From August to September we started moving to the house on Sycamore and I started working two jobs. My time was limited between Dr. appointments, school, and work so it was hard settling into the new place. I noticed Dexter becoming more skittish around Holt. In hindsight, I believe that Holt was abusing Dexter and that’s why he sneezed blood, urinated, and defecated when Holt was going after him. Also why on September 17th, Alison French, the veterinarian, and I had to pull carpeting out of his split bloody claws, and I had to clean urine from Dexter’s body after what I believe Holt rubbed him in his own urine as punishment. As I nursed Dexter back to health but he was still scared around Holt and continued to cower and slink away from only Holt.
On October 7th, I went to my Uncle Louie’s funeral and the next day Dexter was sleeping next to me on my pillow. Before I left for work I made sure he had food, water and that his box was clean. Holt knew on September 17th that the vet suggested Dexter not be bothered so there was no reason for him to enter my room. I got home at 6:30 pm and opened my bedroom door and was not greeted by my sweet boy. Instead, after moving my hope chest I found Dexter dead so I wrapped him in a blanket and sobbed my eyes out until my Dad came to get me. Dexter’s eyes were closed and he was in rigor mortis. Dad took him and felt his body but said he didn’t feel any obvious damage. To this day, I regret not taking Luna or Dexter to Dr. French to be examined post mortem.
I continued living with Holt after Dexter’s death, who was strangely happy and tried to be inappropriately intimate, even though I was grieving my babies so much I could hardly breathe. My Dr. had to adjust my medications nonetheless I wasn’t sleeping well. I’d wake multiple times to see Holt standing in my room in the middle of the night scaring the hell out of me.. My stomach was giving me issues, so Paula and I went to the Aspirus walk-in where the Doctor stated I was severely stressed and should relax. Planning to stay with Paula for the weekend on Oct 26th to get some things at home and he told me in front of Paula if I didn’t stay he was going to change the locks and get a gun and kill himself. He argued with Paula and then me but then the sweet part came out and he said I should go and relax. I called the Sheriff’s Department on October 28th and reported the suspicious circumstances surrounding Dexter as well as her other recently deceased cat, Luna, to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office. Upon questioning, Holt eventually confessed to killing Dexter. I wasn’t prepared to find out Holt confessed to strangling and beating Dexter and leaving him under my bed for me to find.
I learned in a later conversation with a vet that, based on Holt’s testimony, the absence of blood, feces, or urine indicated that someone had cleaned up the scene — and possibly even glued Dexter’s eyes shut. Holt was released from jail on a $2,500 bond and awaited trial.
I don’t want Holt near me nor do I think anyone should trust him near animals, children, or loved ones. I am frightened for my life and feel had I remained at home on October 8th or the weekend of Oct 26th that I would’ve ended up like Dexter. Dexter and Luna were sweet babies that were therapeutic for me and I no longer have them in my life.
Holt is a danger to society because it is well documented that animal abuse is a precursor to more serious criminal behavior. I feel he will push his boundaries with the restraining order until he finds a loophole. For instance, on February 20, 2019, Holt went into the liquor store which he never frequented before that he knew was next to my place of employment on the day he knew I was working indicating to me his disrespect for the law.
I suffer from panic attacks every single day, multiple times a day. I’m angry, depressed, anxious, stressed and my doctors are treating me for PTSD. I’ve become increasingly agoraphobic, not being able to handle being in public alone. Because of this trauma, I have been unable to hold down a full-time job, I have been diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and PTSD. The trauma that Holt inflicted upon me and my babies. This concerns my feelings of physical safety and how this will continue to impact my future.
This hasn’t just impacted me but it has also devastated my entire extended family who will now always be concerned for my safety if he’s allowed to walk free or come near me. And I will, unfortunately, the picture clearly what Mr. Holt stated he did to my baby Dexter which will continue to haunt my mental health.
This is what he was being charged for and below is the maximum punishment for Count 1: MISTREATMENT OF ANIMALS The above-named defendant on or about Sunday, October 28, 2018, in the Town of Pelican, Oneida County, Wisconsin, did intentionally treat an animal, in a cruel manner, resulting in the animal’s death, contrary to sec. 951.02 Wis. Stats., a Class I Felony, and upon conviction may be fined not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) or imprisoned not more than three (3) years and six (6) months, or both.
It is now March 12, 2021, and my restraining order is good until late 2022. Holt was given 5 days jail time of which 2 were discounted from when he had been arrested which left 3 days jail and 2 ½ years of probation and a psychological examination. I made sure that for the record it is open and all the evidence I had was included and not sealed. He was charged with a felony but because Wisconsin men who it is their first felony are given probation that was why he was sentenced as such. It should’ve been crucial that the courts should’ve viewed the case with the severity it deserved, and work to protect animals from such abuse in the future. But they did not and because it was a domestic violence situation of course it was not given much thought.
As for me, I am still in therapy, DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), and living in Ohio far away from Wisconsin where I feel safer from the violence and abuse of Holt. I keep fighting the good fight for equal rights for women and work strong with the Luna Projects and Dexter’s Daily Quotes with my writing and my art to try to help change the way we view equality in our society. After watching the documentary Equal Means Equal I thought I would share my story.