As Miami stations worked hard over the weekend to find answers in the bizarre cannibal attack that occurred on Saturday, ABC-affiliate WPLG landed an interview with the former wife of Rudy Eugene, the man who was killed by a police officer while he ate the face of another man.
Although she refused to appear on-camera, Eugene’s ex-wife told WPLG that the two filed for divorce in 2007 during a violent point in their relationship.
“I wouldn’t say he had mental problem but he always felt like people was against him type of attitude. No one was for him, everyone was against him,” Eugene’s ex-wife told the station, adding that she hasn’t spoken to him in three or four years.
Other stations reached out to Eugene’s ex-wife but were apparently unable to convince her to do an interview.
Here’s WPLG’s coverage of the incident from the station’s 11 p.m. newscast on Monday, including the interview with Eugene’s ex-wife…
>Update: Asked about how he was able to land the interview, reporter Terrell Forney told TVSpy today via email that it was a mix of “good luck, great contacts, and even better timing.” Here’s his account…
Thanks to a police source, we were tipped off about the suspect’s identity early on–which allowed us time to do some digging before the decision was made to make the name public. Everything was developing over the Memorial Day holiday so we relied heavily on public data tools online.
It also helped that Rudy Eugene had a lengthy criminal record within the Miami-Dade court system which helped to provide somewhat of a paper trail of old addresses. I also printed out a prior mug shot so we would have visual confirmation as well.
It turns out, the very first door we knocked on happened to be Eugene’s ex-wife.
After identifying myself, a voice initially told me through a door that the home was not the Eugene residence and the man we were looking for did not live there. I convinced her to open the door and that’s when the truth flowed. She told me she had a short-lived marriage to the man but divorced in 2007. (Court records confirmed her statements). She agreed to talk only if we didn’t show her face or reveal her name. I agreed and the awkward yet telling interview through a half-cracked door began.
That’s when the woman described his violent tendencies and troubled life. Her eyes were filled with tears. The two hadn’t spoken in several years.
She had not yet heard about the cannibal-like attack that happened a few days earlier–which means she was also unaware of his death by police bullets.
I did NOT inform the woman of how things ended but I did tell her to contact police.
It’s my belief that had she been made aware of every gory detail before we arrived, the woman probably would not have answered my knock at the door.