“The Predator Next Door” — And I’m In It?

Well yes. But not as a predator. One of my first deep features for D Magazine was telling the story of Darlene Calvin (now Darlene Ellison), whose husband — a prominent Lakewood-area dentist — was a pedophile preying on young boys. The story ran in the January 2006 issue. Click here to read the full feature in D Magazine.

It took a while to gain Darlene’s trust. Who can blame her? Can you imagine how scarred she was? She’d been burned by her ex-husband, Todd Calvin, and by the media. But she finally let me in and I became the first person she really opened up to about it.

Well, that got her over the hump, and she’s become a crusader for both the children and women who’ve been victimized by child molesters. Tomorrow she debuts her book, The Predator Next Door: Detect, Protect and Recover from Betrayal.

From the release about the book:

Four years ago tomorrow, the “singing dentist” of Lakewood (Todd Calvin) was arrested as part of an FBI sting operation. He was a member of the infamous organization NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) and later served two years in prison for his actions as a child predator.

Many folks have wondered about the secondary victims of Calvin’s crimes – his family. This predator’s ex-wife (Darlene Ellison) had her life shattered, but has fought back. Tomorrow, she will release a new book: The Predator Next Door: Detect, Protect and Recover from Betrayal.

Darlene Ellison wants to prevent other people from suffering at the hands of predators. She fought against NAMBLA and today speaks to community groups, law enforcement and others about detecting predators before they strike. Her new book tells about her personal journey, but also assists victims of betrayal during their recovery process.

Darlene wants people to know that there is life after betrayal. But we all must be ever-vigilant. For example, just because the FBI sting operation drove NAMBLA members underground does not mean they aren’t seeking new victims.

[Emphasis in the original]

Darlene apparently mentions me in the book, which is very generous. I’m due a copy soon. But she’s the hero, and a more courageous woman I don’t think I’ve met. Look for it on the bookshelves or Amazon.com.

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Wow. What a well written, absolutely horrible story. Is there an epilogue, 3 years later? Was this guy convicted, and if so, what was the sentence?

  2. Matt says:

    Ah, missed the part in the blurb. Two years wasn’t enough.

  3. Candice says:

    Great job on the D Magazine article. I can understand why she mentions you in her book.

    There was a case out of Pensacola recently. A U.S. Attorney (yes, he prosecuted criminals at the federal level for a living), president of the youth sports assocation. Married with two children. Arrested at an aiport in Chicago, if I’m not mistaken, where he thought he was meeting a 5-year-old girl through a “pre-arranged transaction” with her mother. Upon his arrest he was found to have KY gel and a baby doll. He did society a favor by hanging himself in jail just days after his arrest.

  4. Jack E. Jett says:

    What a horrible sad story. I always wonder with this sort of story if they had a normal sex life.

  5. amanda says:

    Trey, I remeber this story from when it was originally published. It is an excellent story…well written, thoughtful, and sensitive.

    This is an example of what good journalism can do: inform AND empower. You did good.

  6. Darlene says:

    Trey, you brought a tremendous amount of integrity to the original story. You also approached me with honesty. The “elephant in the room” that I write about in “Predator Next Door” is NOT the horrific crime itself. That elephant is the fear of speaking to anyone about it, as a result of shame, humiliation and concern for “what will people think?” I was TERRIFIED to speak, but Trey’s story was exceptional and, yes, empowering…I was able to remove that elephant and teach my kids to live life, heads held high, and be a light for others. Funny thing is– I never told you, Trey, that this was the result of just a really great piece of journalism :)

  7. Darlene, I’m just humbled you let me in the door, and moreso in seeing the powerful woman you’ve become.

  8. Kimberly says:

    I am speechless. I have not read the book yet…I have lived it in very similar circumstances. My husband was arrested three years ago (I was 5 months pregnant with my 3rd child) and am only now dealing with the real issues instead of his lies, cover-ups and manipulation. We separated only days ago. The pain is completely mind-numbing, so it’s been so easy to just believe him. How did I not see this happening? He did everything at work. Since we relocated to another state, I had no one to confide in but his family who enabled and protected him. We are now living back in the D/FW suburbs. My family has opened their heart and home to me and my small children and have been in counseling. My counselor says I will make it to the other side of this journey I have been roped into. I’m not so sure.
    I am literally in tears this morning, overwhelmed by the fact that someone else knows the feeling of being told the man you know intimately, every inch of this man you have etched in your memory, is actually another creature when you’re not watching. “Betrayal” is a word that is commonly used to describe what has happened in my life. How can one little word – 4 consonants and 3 vowels – encompass all of this emotion. The word is so little yet so big. The amount of emotions running through me wrapped up in betrayal and given a little bow called fear will swallow me whole if I release it….
    I am slowly opening my eyes…I feel like I’ve been in a coma and will have to relearn how to live again.
    My husband has spent the last three years convincing me that he just did something wrong, that’s not who he is (a pedophilie or hebephile)…and that he’s a good guy. My brother/attorney gave me the best tidbit that helped me open my eyes. He said, “Hitler thought he was a pretty good guy. Jeffery Dahmer thought he was a good guy.” When those comparisons are made to the man lying to you, you open your eyes quickly…my children and I were living with a dangerous man, who never spent a day in prison.
    I am ready to tackle this and know there are many others in our boat, sitting quietly in the shadows, not wanting to be shamed or judged for his actions.
    I once contacted the Dr. Phil show to find a counselor for my husband–they wanted to do a show on us–the stress put me in labor and I had my daughter the next day. I very much regret not jumping ship then, or any other time.
    Trey, you must have a warm heart and a soul at peace to have gained the confidence of a woman so ashamed and humiliated by the media. Thank you for seeing the other side of this terrible crime.
    Darlene, how did you learn to trust yourself and your judgement again? I have so many questions…
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with the world. You are very courageous and must feel so empowered to have conquered his demons = )
    I will be reading the book soon!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] The book is called The Predator Next Door, and no, it has nothing to do with the Bowie knife Trey keeps tucked into his boot at all times. It’s by Darlene Ellison, and it has to do with ground Trey Garrison covered in this 2006 D Magazine story, about a prominent Lakewood dentist (Ellison’s now ex-husband) preying on young boys. Apparently, Trey fits into the narrative somewhere. [...]