Remember the scathing obituary written about a mom by the children she left behind? Well, they have been tracked down by reporters and have now given more details regarding why they are so happy their mom is dead.
- Completely unrepentant, Patrick Reddick, 58, says he can finally breathe easy knowing mother Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, 78, is dead
- Scathing tribute was published in the Reno Gazette-Journal and quickly spread around the world because of the shocking level of vitriol
- Patrick reveals he wrote it with his sister Katherine, 57, a teacher
- Reveal mother would beat them with steel-tipped belt when they were forced to return home from foster homes at weekends
- Their mother also ran a prostitution business and forced them to sleep on the floor when her clients were at their home
- Johnson-Reddick lived her final days alone with her 13 cats in a trailer park where homes go for $5,000
By DANIEL BATES
The son who co-wrote a vicious obituary for his mother that went viral because of its shocking claims of abuse and torture today revealed that he sang ‘ding dong the witch is dead’ when he heard about her death.
A completely unrepentant Patrick Reddick, 58, said that he smiled and felt a wave of relief at the news Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, 78, had passed away on August 30.
She terrorized him so much that even when he went to see her a week before she died he insisted doctors sedate her – and wore sunglasses as a disguise in case she woke up.
Patrick told MailOnline that only when he was sure she was not long for this world was he able to sleep well because his terror had finally ended.
He and his other brothers and sisters are now planning a celebration at the end of the month where they will toast the passing of the woman they accused of being a monster.
Patrick, who runs a green energy firm, and his sister Katherine Reddick, 57, a teacher, wrote the scathing obituary which appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal on September 10. It quickly went viral on the internet across the globe.
The newspaper’s original obituary incorrectly published the date of death as September 30, 2013 – instead of August 30 – and the obituary has since been removed from its website. Many readers were shocked that any child could be so cruel about their own mother.
But the death notice was revenge for Patrick and his siblings who were scarred by decades of abuse.
They claim that she used to beat all of her family and forced her children to sleep on the floor while she ran a prostitution business around them.
Patrick, from Minden, Nevada, said that all the children suffered ‘terror from the time we were born’.
He hasn’t even kept any pictures of his mother because the sight of her makes him anxious and sends his blood pressure through the roof.
Patrick said the obituary was without doubt designed to ‘shame her’.
He said: ‘She thrashed the maternal instinct out of her children and replaced it with the hate she had for us.
‘We wanted people doing this to their kids to ask themselves: “Do you want this to be your legacy? Do you want this to be your obituary?”’
Johnson-Reddick died on August 30 at a hospice near her home in Reno at the age of 78.
The obituary begins by saying she ‘spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them’.
It goes on: ‘When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.
‘On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children.
‘Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.
‘Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgivable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a “humane society”.
‘Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.’
Patrick said that the last time he saw his mother alive was a week before she died and was on her deathbed in hospital.
Reluctantly he made the journey to see her but he asked doctors to make sure she could not see them.
He told MailOnline: ‘They made sure she was asleep and we went in there just to make sure they had the right person.
‘We wore sunglasses as a disguise so she didn’t recognize us.
‘Once I was sure it was her I slept like a baby for two nights, when I knew she was never getting out.
‘When they called me a week later to say she was dead, I said: ‘Ding Dong, the witch is dead!’
The death notice was written by Katherine with his approval.
Not everyone was on board however as some of the six brothers and sisters still left alive – two others have died – turned out ‘exactly like our mother’, Patrick said.
Johnson-Reddick was born in 1935 and grew up in a convent. She was a sister of Good Shepherd for eight years before getting married.
In the 1960s six of her children were admitted to the Nevada Children’s Home in Carson City, a now shuttered orphanage.
They would not leave there until they were 18, with Katherine Reddick being the last to go in 1974.
The abuse would come when they were spending time with mother at weekends – typically she would line them up and beat them with a steel-tipped belt.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Johnson-Reddick died after contracting bladder cancer and became a ward of the state.
According to her public guardianship files, she told doctors that when she got married some of her children ‘went their way. I went my own way’.
Records also show that in 1968 she applied for a licence to operate an escort business in Reno.
The reason that the children were forced to spend time with their mother even though she was being abusive was that at the time Nevada law stated that parents’ rights are more important than those of their children.
After they got out of the orphanage Johnson-Reddick’s sons and daughters contacted then state Senator Sue Wagner and lobbied for a change in the law, which went through in 1987.
Patrick said that this meant ‘nobody else will have to go through what we did’.
Johnson-Reddick lived her final days alone with her 13 cats in a trailer park where homes go for as little as $5,000.
She appears to have made a living by forwarding on mail for companies who would base themselves in Nevada for its preferential tax rates, and she would handle their post.
She also worked as a paralegal.
Public records show that Johnson-Reddick was married at least twice, to a Grant Crumley in 1970 and then to a Dale Vreeland in 1976, though it is thought that she was married many more times.
Another of Johnson-Reddick’s children, who MailOnline has chosen not to name out of her request, said that she had been ‘in hiding for years’ away from her mother. She was unable to talk about what happened because she is still so scared.
She said: ‘My brother (Patrick) and sister (Katherine) are the ones who protected me. They saved my life and I owe them my life.
‘They are my protectors. They have protected me since I was tiny.’
Retired physics professor Richard Valentine used Johnson-Reddick’s address in Nevada for tax purposes and paid her to redirect his mail to his home in San Francisco for more than 30 years.
He said that whilst you ‘don’t know the reality’ of it, from his dealings with Johnson-Reddick she was that she was ‘perfectly fine’.
He said: ‘She seemed to be religious. She would send me these cards with pictures of Lourdes on them, the place of miracles in France.
‘She was just normal. She didn’t seem to be that eccentric.’
Pedro Guajardo, her neighbour of 30 years, said that Johnson-Reddick was disabled and was in a wheelchair for ‘most of the time I knew her’.
He said: ‘I can’t say bad things or good things about her. To me she was just a person. I didn’t ask questions’.