Holly Collins Witness Testimony

“On Saturday, January 30 1993, when I came to pick Holly Ann up after visitation, I observed and heard her discussing with the visitation supervisors the fact that Jennifer had related to her that day that she and Zachary Collins were still being hurt by Mark and Rena Collins. Holly Ann told the supervisors that she wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do with the information. The supervisors advised her to report it to her caseworker on Monday.” Denise Eng 02/09/93

“In May 1990… When Zachary and Jennifer returned home [from visitation] they were visibly upset. Holly-Ann asked them what was wrong. Jennifer said ‘Mark strangled Zachary.’ Zachary said ‘Mark said he’d kill me if I didn’t stop acting like the Bitch! – That’s you mom! Mark said I got in trouble because of you!’ Both children were crying and Holly-Ann tried to console them…

I witnessed the children returning home complaining that Mark had hurt them again, especially Zachary. There were several incidents where the children reported that Mark shook Zachary by the neck and threatened to ‘kill him,’ ’strangle him’ and ‘break his neck.’ I also recall other incidents in which the children reported that Mark had hit them. Jennifer also mentioned an incident in which she was kicked by both Mark and Rena for bringing her blanket into their kitchen.

She also told us that Rena (Marks wife treated her like a slave and kicked her in the bottom because she wouldn’t get her a glass of wine. Both children stated that Mark and Rena taught them how to make ‘adult drink’ in the blender and that they put this ‘stuff’ in it spelled R-U-M. Jennifer said that it looked like a shake but Zachary said that it smelled awful…

I would like to restate that I was also present on several occasions from 1990-1992 when Mark telephoned Holly-Ann and called her a 'slut' and 'psyco-bitch' and threatened to 'kill her' or 'make her pay.'" ~ Wade Solberg 02/15/93
“I was present as Holly Ann was preparing to take the children to a scheduled doctor’s (Dr. Cline) appointment. Zachary was concerned that his father was also going to be present and seemed very reluctant about attending because of this. Holly Ann tried to downplay this issue and instructed Zachary to get ready. Shortly afterwards we heard loud and repetitive thumps coming from downstairs. Holly Ann rushed down to discover that Zachary was violently banging his head against the wall. Holly Ann was able to eventually calm him and called the doctor, and later was able to take him to the appointment.” Eric Almond 07/14/92

"I went with Holly Ann Collins on July 29 1992 to pick up her children, Jennifer and Zachary from visitation with their father Mark at Circus-Circus… Then Suddenly Zachary stated that his father said he wasn’t allergic to tomatoes if they were home grown fresh like the ones from his garden. Jennifer then stated that Mark said he would bring the tomatoes from his garden to their next visitation and cut them up and make them eat them on their sandwiches. This statement was followed by both children stating concerns that their father wanted to poison them… I said that their father would not intentionally poison them. Zachary then stated tht his father would and that I didn’t understand.

We then dropped the subject and Holly Ann said that their counselor told them (the children) to say what was good that happened each day. Holly Ann then asked the children to say what happened that was good. Zachary stated that his father did not hit him and that their father did not drink in front of them. Jennifer agreed.”
Ruth VanHatten 08/03/92

“Spring 1991… Mark’s wife [Rena Collins] walked up to Holly-Ann, put her face within inches of Holly-Ann’s and said ‘You’ll be lucky if you ever see these fucking kids again.’ The children overhead this and became understandably upset. Holly-Ann was trying to calm them when Mark and Rena grabbed the children by the arms and literally dragged them across the ball field with the kids looking back at their mother and calling for her… Holly-Ann reassured them, told them to be brave at that she’d see them tomorrow. The kids kept trying to get their arms free. Make and his wife would not let go. I will never forget the look of utter despair on the faces of those children.” ~Ranna Grant
“On the evening of Thursday July 16th (1992) I was working late at the office and began a phone conversation with Holly Ann, after she had put the children to bed. At one point during our conversations she told me to ‘hang on’ because the children said they heard some noises outside. After assuring he children that everything was fine, she came back to the phone. Soon the children began screaming that here was a man tapping on their window. At that time I urged Holly Ann to dial 911 and report this activity. Because Jennifer then told her mother that she had seen Mark outside, Holly Ann instead wanted to confront him to have proof that it was indeed him.

While Holly Ann was looking out the door, I was on the phone with the children trying to assure them that they were safe. Both of them were terrified and certain that they had seen their father and that he had come to hurt them. Once again, I insisted that Holly Ann telephone the police. While she did this, I dialed the father’s home. The woman who answered the phone refused to put him n the line, suggesting to me that he was not present at the time...

On Sunday July 26th, Holly Ann once again asked if I would be available to accompany her on another visitaiton. This time, at the Como Park Zoo... I am very disturbed by Michael London’s representation of the children’s reaction to their father. He states in his report ‘The children sought out physical contact with Mark i.e., holding hands, sitting on his lap, leaning on him, etc. Even though initially each visit began with the children’s statement that they did not want to see their father, they soon warmed up with him… I observed this relaxed behavior at… the Como Zoo…’ This is absolutely untrue!

The children were obviously apprehensive and visibly afraid of their father. With the encouragement of their mother, the children reluctantly went with Mr. Collins. Mr. London was present at the exchange for less than 15 minutes total, during this time the children never ‘warmed up’ to Mr. Collins. In fact Mr. London left immediately after her sternly instructed the children non the visitation. Holly-Ann and I waited for a while longer. I personally observed the children’s interaction with Mr. Collins. Both, Zachary and Jennifer appeared to be quite afraid of their father and kept looking back to their mother. Mr. Collins made an attempt to hold the children’s hands, yet they refused.

An additional note, on our way off the zoo grounds, we ended up behind Mr. London in traffic, and followed him out to highway 280. it was not possible for Mr. London to observe the children seeking out physical contact with Mr. Collins (for the children did not) and Michael London was not present long enough to observe the children alone with Mr. Collins at all!

...On Sunday, August 1st, I again accompanied Holly Ann and the children as they drove to another visitation with their father at Highland Park in Bloomington. It is disturbing for me, having worked with children for many years, to see how uncomfortable Jennifer and Zachary are when they have to see their father...

I feel that Holly Ann is put in the position of reassuring them they will be safe, yet when she confides in me tht she feels she’s lying to them about their safety… I feel also, these children and their mother are not receiving the necessary protection they require , and are living in deep fear of what may happen to them.” ~ Eric Almond 08/03/1992
“I am certain that Ms. Collins did indeed exhaust her legal remedies. I also saw the bruises on those children when they returned from their father. I heard them waking from nightmares. I saw Holly Ann's face bloodied and bruised. I heard that horrid man, Mark (her ex husband) boast of what he had done to her and threaten to do worse again and again...

I had to hand the children over to Mark one Christmas Eve many years ago. They were shaking. He threatened them that night... right in front of me. I have never forgotten. I have never forgiven myself for not having done more to help." ~Heidi Burns
"My children attended school with the Collins children… I had friendly yet limited contact with their mother, Holly –Ann. On August 10, 1992 I took my children miniature golfing… I recall noting how odd it was that both of the Collins children were distant from the three adults present. There was lack of expressed emotions and phsycial contact. The children appeared to be restricted and rather uncomfortable throughout the whole time they were there with their father, his wife, and the court supervisor.

I have read Mr. London’s Guardian Ad Litem report on this visitation, and I have to strongly contradict his accounting of the Collins childrens behavior. I observed the entire supervised visitation the Collins children had with Mark and Rena Collins… Contrary to Mr. London’s report, the children did not seek out physical contact with their father and his wife! The children did not engage in holding hands, sitting on Mr. Collins’ lap, etc… I am shocked that this court officer could make such a statement which is absolutely not true.” Susan Walker

"To whom it may concern,

This letter is to serve as my affidavit regarding my observations of Zachary and Jennifer Collins and to relate what they told me about their father and step mother.

I first met Zeke and Fi-Fi two years ago when their mother began to provide part-time daycare for my son. At the time Mr. Collins was seeing the kids on Tuesday and Friday evenings I believe. Because Mr. Collins picked the kids up at about the same time I picked up my son, I was able to observe how they behaved when they were to go with their father. Mr. Collins would be sitting outside in his car. Holly-Ann would be having to shoo the kids out the door 'Hurry up! Get your stuff together' etc…

The kids were extremely anxious and they would start in on their mother:
'Why do we have to go? Please Mommy, don’t make us go! I won’t go! I hate him!'- Zeke

'He’s so mean.' – Jennifer.

This was not just a one time thing. The children were, and for that matter are, plain and simply afraid. I observed this not once, not twice, but literally dozens of times… Zeke would come home with breathing difficulties – in at least two instances that I know of, Zeke had to be hospitalized to get his breathing stabilized. I asked Zeke after one instance why he didn’t stay away from food that he was allergic to at his dads and he said 'Because he hits me if don’t eat. I told him I couldn’t eat sausage… he was gong to hit me!'

Jennifer piped up and said “He laughs when we get sick. He’s so mean!’

In June 1991 I came to drop off my son and Jennifer was in the living room. Her lips and nose were swollen 3 times their normal size. Her eye was turning black and blue and here face was severely scraped from her chin to her hair line. I asked 'Fi-Fi, what happened to you?'

She said 'Rena pushed me!' (Rena is Marks current wife.) Jennifer went on 'I told her, I never rode a bike without training wheels. I couldn’t steer down the big hill! I told them I can’t. Dad was real mad. He yelled at me to get back on the bike. Rena laughed. She shoved me down the hill. Then I fell.'

Jennifer is crying now. 'I told them I’d fall.' I asked Jennifer what her father did when he saw how hurt she was. She said 'They'(Mark & Rena) 'laughed at me & called me a "big baby." He made me get up & put me in the car. They teased me & called me names and I was bleeding. They just laughed.'

I asked 'What happened when they brought you home? What did they tell your mom?'

'Nothing, dad just told me to get out (of the car) Zeke went & got mom.'

Zeke came into the room at the tail end of this conversation and said 'They like to hurt us.'

April 1992 – Holly-Ann Zeke & Fifi were staying with us for a few days while the ‘court’ was determining their fate. Holly–Ann went out with some friends for a while one evening. I was in my living room reading. Fi-fi came in and asked me

'Why do they make us see Mark?'

I said 'Because he’s your father.'

'But he’s soo mean. He doesn’t even like us.'

I asked her what she meant when she said he was so mean. The rest of the conversation went like this.

'Why don’t they listen to us?'

'Who won’t listen to you Jennifer?'

‘The people at the court place.’

I said: ‘I’ll listen to you. I promise. What does your dad do? Yell? Put you to bed early? What?’

Jennifer then proceeded to say: ‘I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to bring my blanket in the kitchen. She kicked me.’

‘Who kicked you?’


‘Because you brought your blanket in the kitchen?’

‘Mark got real mad. He was yelling. He knocked me down & kicked me. Then Rena kicked me real hard in the stomach and I crawled out of the kitchen. It hurt soo bad.’

‘Where were you? Which house?’

She looked at me as if I were incredibly obtuse and said: ‘That house they live in.’

‘The house they live in now?’ I said.

She said: ‘Where else? Geez Terry.’

I then wanted to clarify this. ‘Was it summer, winter, when?’

‘Summer before we moved to Boston.’

I asked Zeke to come upstairs at this point. I asked Zeke ‘Is what your sister said true about Rena and your Dad kicking her?‘

He said ‘Yeah... Mark hit me in my privates and I couldn’t go to the bathroom.”
‘Why? “ I said.

‘I was goofing around & I accidently kicked him in the butt. I hardly even touched him.”

I asked ‘When this happened.’

Zeke said ‘I guess I was Molly’s age.’ Molly is my daughter. She is five years old. I just sat there stunned.

Then Jennifer said that her father had a list of stuff their allergic to one the door. (I’m fairly certain she said refrigerator door) but door is absolute. She said ‘Rena and Mark look at the list.’ At this time she is pantomiming someone running their finger down a list. ‘Then mark would fix us food we aren’t supposed to eat. Sometimes we’d get real sick and need our puffers (aspirators) and they’d make us get down on our knees and beg for our medicine. We’d say "please, please" & they’d laugh at us. I asked if they gave them their medicines then & Jennifer said ‘No’ & Zeke shook his head ‘No.’

Zeke said ‘He chokes me and Fi-fi & says he’s going to kill us. break our arms & stuff, and he says we’re never going to see mom ever again!'

I asked Zeke about the picture he drew (which the court has) depicting himself & Fi-fi hiding in the closet while mark was beating up his mother. I asked him if this was just one time or was it pretty often. Zeke said ‘Mark hurt mom a lot. He’d slam her on the wall & punch her face.’ I asked him if it scared him. He said ‘It sucked’ and looked down at the floor & all the color drained out of his face.

Then Fi-fi said ‘It scared me.’ We all just sat there for a while. I hugged the kids and Jennifer said ‘Mark acts all nicey-nicey to the judge and people, but he isn’t He’s mean.

Zeke looking incredibly sad said ‘I hate him.’

At this juncture I want to make one thing perfectly clear. The next day after this conversation with the kids, I took Holly Ann, Zeke & Fi-fi downtown to Family Services to meet with Susan DeVries. Apparently they had met a couple of times prior. Anyway I was introduced to Susan she met with the kids & came back out. I went up to her & said ‘Susan may I please speak to you for a few minutes. There are some things that I know about the children & that the children told me you should hear.’

Susan looked at me & said ‘No Terry. I’m not interested.’

I said “But he’s hurting them.”

Again she said ‘I’m not interested.’ I was flabbergasted...

Approximately three weeks ago the children were to be taken to French Park in Plymouth to spend the afternoon with their father. Holy Ann’s car broke down so my husband and I had to help out. Jennifer Rojer was there when the children were dropped off. The children refused to get into Mark’s car to go to the other side of the park. Jennifer Royer said she would not be staying the whole time but the Guardian ad Litem, Michal London would be there, and be there when Holly Ann came to pick up the kids. Michael London was not there… I said ‘Well the most important this is you had fun.’

Fi-fi said ‘No the most important this is he didn’t hit us!’

Zeke said “It sucked.’ I told the kids I was sorry they had to go through all this. Zeke said ‘Yeah they shouldn’t’ (meaning people like Michael London) ‘lie to us. They said they’d be there.’

I asked the kids a couple of days ago if they told Susan DeVries or Jennifer Rojer or anyone down at the family services what they told me. Zeke said ‘No. Not really.’ I asked him why. He said ‘They don’t care. They don’t listen. All they do is ask us if mom tells us to say stuff. I keep telling them Mom just tells us to tell the truth. They don’t care.’

Jennifer said ‘Why can’t we just go home?’

‘I don’t know.’ I said.”
~Terry Dunham 08/03/92

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