The Devil and Doyle Davidson

Did a preacher's obsessions push Dena Schlosser over the edge?

Davidson responded by calling his critics devils and sorcerers.

Dena's soul roiled at every twist in this nightly drama. According to court testimony, after a series of encounters--Lisa chasing Davidson with a fly swatter, Lisa telling Davidson her children hated him--the Statons went into hiding. Davidson says he last spoke to Lisa in June 2005. "She came by and said some things to me. She was mad."

In e-mailed letters, Davidson vilified Lisa for joining forces with a group of former believers who were plotting against him.

"Do you ever consider that your tongue is set on fire from hell?" Lisa shot back in one of her e-mails.

Davidson still expects Lisa to return to him some day. "I saw the power of darkness take Lisa over," he says. "I was horrified to watch her. She lost control, and that devil had her. She became an enemy of mine." But God, he says, will bring her home.

On November 21, 2004, Dena went to Sunday services with John and the children. That day, Davidson severely criticized the Plano Police Department and cursed Lisa's rebellion. He had not been drunk; the accusations against him were from lying spirits. The whole thing was a "set-up by Satan" to destroy his ministry.

Indignant and upset, Dena told John after church about her desire to talk to the police, to demand they drop the charges against this man of God. John took Dena to Davidson, who insisted he could handle the police himself.

The couple argued in the parking lot. "I want to give the baby to Doyle," Dena insisted. "I want to give the baby to God." She was convinced Maggie was supposed to marry Doyle. John didn't take it seriously. Later that day, according to a confidential CPS report obtained by the Morning News, John spanked Dena with a wooden spoon to curb her rebellion.

Dena must have felt her world closing in. Her mother was dying, and her husband was self-absorbed and angry. John had announced they were moving to Grapevine, far away from Thomas. They'd only be able to go to church a few times a week. The post-partum depression now flared into full-fledged psychosis.


Dear Lisa,

You have been my wife from the foundation of the world. The Lord says that any man that hath touched you is a dead man.--Doyle Davidson, March 4, 2006

On the morning of November 22, 2004, Dena had been reading the Bible, as she had nonstop for four or five days, when she was overwhelmed by a feeling something was wrong. A Bible verse from Matthew was reverberating in her mind. "If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: For it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."

After the arguments at church the day before, the Schlossers had gone to an electronics store, and Dena heard John say, "little arms, little arms" as he picked up 11-month-old Maggie to put her in a cart.

Little arms, little arms. Dena had to overcome the Jezebel spirit by making a new start. She was incomplete. Parts of herself and her daughter would combine to be whole. God would heal them; Doyle could marry Maggie then. The baby would be gone, the baby John hadn't wanted, and John would be happy again.

Dena went to a kitchen drawer, pulled out a 9-inch knife and walked into the baby's room. While gospel music played, she cut off Maggie's arms. The infant flailed, suffering 50 cuts on her face. Then Dena stabbed the knife deep into her own left shoulder.

Covered with blood, she sat at the computer as the baby bled to death. She answered the phone and talked to John, then Carolyn.

When police arrived, Dena had a dazed look in her eyes, and while being read her rights she smiled randomly, sometimes chanting, "praise God, thank you God." An officer wrenched the knife from her without realizing it was embedded in her flesh. When asked why she killed her child, Dena said, "I felt I had to."

Placed on suicide watch, Dena was uncommunicative and banged her head against the cell wall. She initially refused to take the anti-psychotic prescribed by a jail psychiatrist, telling him there was no such thing as depression, "there's only God."

Dena later told a psychiatrist that she wanted to kill herself or provoke her husband to kill her. All the repressed anger, fear and resentment she felt about the baby and John--and her obsession with Doyle Davidson and his demons--had built up, accompanied by frightening hallucinations that began after Maggie's birth:

Her deceased grandparents' voices whispered to Dena from behind a door.

A message came through the TV that the woman in a commercial was going to come out and replace her, the defective mother, and Dena would disappear.

Blood on the streets turned into apostles who told her the "end of days" was coming and to be ready.

During a walk with the baby, she'd heard the buzz of an engine and thought someone was building an ark for the coming cataclysm. She looked in vain for the builder because God wanted him to have Maggie. She told John her dilemma. His response: "God brought you home."

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