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‘The Watcher’: What happened to Derek and Maria Broaddus?

If you are a fan of Monsters: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, family friend, other spirit hunter you won’t want to miss the observer on Netflix.

Created by Ryan Murphy, the true crime series is eerily based on the jaw-dropping real-life story of Derek and Maria Broaddus, whose move to their dream home in New Jersey was far from smooth and quickly became a very dangerous reality. Their chilling story was first detailed in a 2015 article in The Cut/New York Magazine by Reeves Wiedeman.

Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale play the couple in the miniseries where their names were changed to Nora and Dean Brannock.

What really happened to the real Derek and Maria Broaddus? Pleasemynews has everything you need to know.

In 2014, Derek and Maria Broaddus bought their dream home in Westfield, New Jersey, shortly after Derek Broaddus turned 30.

The $1.3 million home was a six-bedroom house, built in 1905 and located at 657 Boulevard in Westfield.

However, their dream soon became a terrifying reality when they began to be harassed by letters signed simply by “The Watcher”.

Just three days after closing the deal for their new home, they received a letter addressed to the “new owner” and inside they found a typed note. At first the letter welcomed them to the neighborhood, before taking a sinister turn.

“How did you end up here?” the letter read. “Did 657 Boulevard call you with its inner strength?

“[The house at] 657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been instructed to watch and await its second coming,” the letter continues. “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my dad was watching in the 1960s. Now is my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what is hidden within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I want to know.”

The writer had also taken note of everything the Broaddus family was doing when it came to renovations, writing, “I can already see that you ‘Tsk, tsk, tsk…bad move. You don’t want to make 657 Boulevard miserable. flooded 657 Boulevard with contractors so you could tear down the house the way it was meant to be.”

They also noted Broaddus’ three children, writing, “Was your old home too small for the growing family? Or was it greed to bring your children to me? Once I know their names, I call them and draw them too [sic] me.”

After receiving the note, Derek Broaddus contacted John and Andrea Woods who had sold the house to them, asking if they had ever received any letters from “The Watcher”. Turns out they did, but only once in their 23 years of living there.

The next day, Detective Leonard Lugo ordered the Broaddus not to tell their new neighbors about the letters as they were now all suspects.

Over the next few weeks, they continued to receive letters containing haunting comments such as “I’m glad to know your names now and the name of the young blood you brought me”, referring to their children and “who Has the rooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in. It’ll help me know who’s in which room. So I can plan better.

After the police failed to find who was responsible, Derek Broaddus launched his own investigation to catch The Watcher, suspecting that the nearby Langford family might be responsible due to their home’s view. However, they were eventually cleared as suspects.

Six months after buying 657 Boulevard, the Broaddus decided to try to sell the house after Maria Broaddus was diagnosed with PTSD. They also filed a legal complaint against the Woods family, arguing that they should have disclosed the letter they received from The Watcher to them. Their case was later dismissed.

When a local Westfield reporter caught wind of the legal complaint, the story quickly went viral, with many parlor sleuths hoping to crack the case. However, things only got worse for the Broaddus when they found themselves suspected by local neighbors of sending each other letters in an attempt to avoid moving into the house and paying for the renovations, which which they denied.

In 2016, the Broaddus attempted to sell the house to a developer, a plan which met with resistance from the local community. The proposal was eventually rejected by the city planning council, but luckily they had good news, a family had agreed to rent 657 Boulevard to the Broaddus.

Just before the family moved in, Derek Broadus came across a letter at home that read, “To the vile and wicked Derek and his wife’s daughter Maria” and was dated February 13, the same day they made depositions in their lawsuit against the Woods.

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