Then in 1993, not long after Rebekah was born, things took a turn for the worse for the Clarks, Eileen claims. Apparently, John lost his job, and he spent four months unemployed. Eventually, then, he persuaded Eileen that the family should leave their home in Atlanta and start a new life in New Mexico, some 1,400 miles away. So, the Clarks settled in Albuquerque, where Eileen supported John financially while he established his own window blinds business.
Now according to Eileen, John had always shown a violent and verbally abusive side to his character. But at this point, she said, it grew worse as the stress of his new life began to take its toll. Suddenly, she claimed, she found herself on the receiving end of a torrent of serious threats and abuse. And finally, in February 1995, Eileen decided that it was time to act.
After writing a letter telling John that she had taken the kids to an amusement park, Eileen and the children left the family home. At the time, Rebekah, Hayden and Chandler were, respectively, just two, five and seven years old. And at first, the four found refuge at the home of one of Eileen’s friends in California.