Tag Archives: forgive

at least quit thinking about revenge

Thank You.

Dear Amy, You changed my life today. I just listened to your Ted talk, “Have You Ever Met a Monster?” and I want you to know that you changed my life.

You are also helping me to forgive my father – if not to excuse him, to at least quit thinking about revenge. Thank you.

All the best,


February 7, 2018

Leave a comment

Filed under reader comments

what an inspiration in the woman who was able to forgive Brent

Ms. Herdy, I recently saw your Ted Talk, “Have you ever met a monster” and wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. What a story. And what an inspiration in the woman who was able to forgive Brent by seeing him as a victim as well- and having the clarity to do so in spite of her being his victim!

Thank you for all that you are doing in bringing attention to such a serious societal problem. I also want to share an interesting article with you that discusses the question you mentioned in your talk.


December 29, 2017

Leave a comment

Filed under reader comments

It is easy to hate violent people. It is harder to see what creates them.

Note from Amy: This was a reader comment sent to this Diary of a Predator website:

It is rather seldom that I have tears in my eyes when reading accounts of trauma. But I did this time. It is easy to hate violent people. It is harder to see what creates them. In Brent’s case, he was abused so horribly in childhood that it is astonishing that he survived. I bow down to Margaret in respect and admiration. How she can forgive, I don’t know. I doubt if I could forgive. It is true that hatred does more harm to the hater than the hatee. Thanks for writing this.”


Time: January 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Leave a comment

Filed under reader comments

Reader Questions: Does Brent Brents Believe in God? Has He Apologized?

Note from Amy: Earlier this month I received a couple of questions to this website, Diary of a Predator, which I forwarded to Brent Brents. I received his answer today by mail, so here are the questions from the reader, and below that, my reply and Brents’.


Hello Amy Herdy,

I wonder if you’ll ever meet others.

One question–you or Brent Brents  believe in God?

He already apologized to God or to the families he destroyed?

Daniel Costa

Hi, Daniel,

Thanks for writing. In answer to your first question–I have interviewed other sexual offenders over the years, although none as predatory as Brents.

As for your second question-I do believe in a higher power, albeit not necessarily a traditional one. I write about that in the book, Diary of a Predator: A Memoir.

And here is what Brent Brents wrote:

Q: Do I believe in God?

A:  Simply Yes. I practice the Catholic faith (much to learn).

Q: Have i apologized to God or the Families i have destroyed?

A: I have asked God for his forgiveness and Mercy. As for the families, I have but i have Never expected any of them to accept my apologies. Instead i work at being a better human being, and i pray For them daily.

To Return to Q #1: I find this quote sums up faith:

“For i do Not seek to understand that i May believe, but i believe in order to understand. For this also i believe: That unless i believe, I will not understand.” –Saint Anselm

Leave a comment

Filed under Brents' writings

acid in my guts

I have forgiven Dad. It wasn’t easy. It took years. I hated him for years. And that hate was like acid in my guts every day. Eating away at my soul. Now that i have let it go i feel good.

Brent Brents 6-1-2012

Leave a comment

Filed under Brents' writings

A Conversation on Forgiveness

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Stephanie
Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM
To: Amy Herdy

Conversation Cameron and I JUST had. I thought you’d be amused.

Steph:  I’m okay at understanding and forgiveness if it’s something done against me. But if someone hurts someone I love, it’s a completely different story.  However, I have found myself to be more close minded and judgmental than I would like to admit.
Cameron:  really? didn’t expect that, to be honest. and i can forgive anything done to me not so much to others.
Steph:  I’m trying to force myself to see other people’s perspective when I don’t agree with them, and I find that to be very difficult.
Cameron:  fair. someone’s reading amy’s book.
Steph:  hahahahaha. finished it yesterday.

Leave a comment

Filed under The story

How do we help the Margarets of the world?

When producers with Investigation Discovery called Margaret for an interview, she told them she would feel more comfortable if I was there. I had interviewed Margaret for a story in February 2005, shortly after she was raped and beaten by Brent Brents in her home. He had stalked her for three days, and attacked her as she returned home from a walk. At the time of that first interview, she still had bruises on her face and throat from where he hit and choked her.

Margaret and I talked often while her case wound its way through the court system. During a hearing in Aurora in July 2005, Brents pleaded guilty to Margaret’s attack and also to molesting a little boy.

The day of the hearing, Margaret astounded me when she asked me to deliver a message to Brents for her: “Tell him I forgive him.”

After it all ended, we would call each other from from time to time, and she would update me on her life since the assault. It’s been a constant struggle. I have tried to help Margaret in small ways–by lending an ear, offering encouragement or helping her find resources, such as how to get her dog recognized as an emotional support dog because she needs him to be able to go out in public.

I don’t think most people, unless they are a survivor themselves, ever truly realize how hard it can be to piece one’s life back together after a sexual assault. So here are Margaret’s words that I wrote down before that interview with her a few weeks ago, describing the hell she’s been through and her own personal journey to try to not hate the man who took so much from her:

Now I feel like I should crawl in a hole and hide my face. One advocate told me that she’d been raped at 15. She fussed at me that I should help my husband pack up our things because I didn’t want to stay in the house anymore. One victim advocate told me that the way I looked caused him to attack me–that I was small, vulnerable. I felt like after that it was my fault. She told me, ‘You’re going overboard with this.’ I started crying, ‘I’m sorry, this is the way I feel right now, I can’t help it.’ I felt like I was just a monster, too.

Someone told my husband, ‘What was she thinking taking the RTD (bus)?’ It was my fault for looking dumb and short and small. That I look like a victim.

I’m not feeling bad for the man who tried to kill me but for the little boy who had the same thing that happened to him.

I’m always scared. Always jumpy. I’m treated differently everywhere I go.

I’m not the same person any more.

In my dreams, it’s like I have to save him.  It wasn’t the way he was born. What can a little boy do when his mother and father treat him that way?

I never think that little boy says, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.’ I’m sure he wasn’t doing that because it made him happy. And he’s still a person. I’m not going to say he’s an animal.

If it was me, I would want people to try to help me or try to listen to me and not look at me like I’m an animal or a monster.

When you hate somebody, it’s always there, torturing you. I’m not about to be judging anybody.

What would I say to other victims? Stay busy. Forgive. Forget. Because if you hate somebody, you’re never gonna get cured, ever. The best thing to do is forgive.

Hating is not hard. If I go on hating the person for what happened to me I will never get over it. I have to forgive in order to forget and move on.

Leave a comment

Filed under The story