On a sunny beach in Florida, second-grade teacher Candy Williams met the man of her dreams in what felt like an instant connection. The two began dating, and their relationship blossomed into a 4-year romance until the chance discovery of a devastating photo led to her lover’s 33-year secret hidden in a farmhouse.
Williams was looking for love and someone to share her life with when it found her in the most idyllic location — under the sun, on a pristine beach, in front of crystal blue water. Jovan Collier struck up a conversation with Williams that wound up lasting for hours since they connected through so many shared life experiences. However, there was one detail they didn’t talk about, and it would leave her sick months later after finding out who Collier really was.
According to ABC News, Williams told 20/20 that she had been through some tough times in life, suffering the loss of several family members, which she opened up to Collier about. He sympathized with her on that heartache, detailing his similar experience with the loss of his parents, who he said were killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.
Collier expounded on his tragic family history, explaining that his deceased parents were his adoptive parents and that he hadn’t talked to his birth parents in years until they recently reach out to him. After spending some time reacquainting with the biological mother and father, Collier had a falling out with them, which he blamed on his mother not liking him. However, as Williams would soon find out, it was because the birth mom learned of the man’s dark secret and wanted nothing to do with him.
Suspecting her boyfriend was cheating, William’s fears weren’t unfounded when she came across Collier’s online dating profile. Unfortunately, his infidelity was the least concerning of what she was about to learn of him. Upset that he was dating other women behind her back, she broke it off with her boyfriend, which sent the man into an obsessive rage, sending Williams hundreds of emails that ranged from begging to take him back to hostile threats. Concerned about his psychotic behavior, Williams called Collier’s birth mom, and that’s when the bomb dropped.
The woman’s husband answered the phone and, not knowing if she knew about Collier’s past, asked if she had heard about what happened in Wisconsin. Williams was clueless. That’s when he explained that in 1983, Collier, who was actually named Peter Zimmer, brutally murdered his adoptive parents, Hans and Sally Zimmer, and their 10-year-old adoptive son, Perry, by shooting and stabbing them, then he dragged their bodies to the porch.
Peter was found guilty of the murders, but since he was a juvenile at the time, he was only sentenced to three years in jail (one for each death). In a sick twist, when Peter was set free, he was awarded all of his victims’ money, which he used to start a new life as Jovan Collier.
Horrified that she had been dating a killer, who had now become her psychotic stalker, she was afraid for her own life and reported him to police. Having left a massive trail of evidence, he was quickly charged with felony stalking and sentenced to another three-and-a-half years in a Florida state prison, Opposing Views reported.
Thankfully, this woman found out who he was before she became his fourth victim, but it should have never come this far. He proved himself to be a threat when he killed his entire family and was given a shorter sentence than what those who have done less are serving. To make matters worse, he was financially awarded for his homicides. If that’s not a defunct judicial system, I don’t know what is.