The Watcher Is Actually An Unsolved Jersey Mystery

The Watcher Is Actually An Unsolved Jersey Mystery

Drew Eldridge, Staff Writer

On June 6, 2014, Derek and Maria Broaddus purchased 657 Boulevard in Westfield, N.J. after its longtime owners, John and Andrea Woods retired. The Broaddus family, which included three children, was very excited to be in their luxurious new home.

On June 9, the family began preparations for their move-in. The kids inspected their rooms and chose the best place for their toys. Derek and Maria started painting and moving in small pieces of furniture. As Derek was painting the sunroom, a thought struck him. He had not brought in the mail.

Derek made his way to the large mailbox on the end of the house’s walkway. There, he found a stack of new bills, some advertisements, and a large white envelope. The envelope was strange, it looked almost old. Even stranger, on the front of the envelope, in large hand-written print was the phrase “TO THE NEW OWNERS.

Derek opened the envelope and found a letter, which read: Dearest new neighbor at 657 Boulevard, allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood. 657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades now and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming. My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I will find out. Who am I? There are hundreds and hundreds of cars that drive by 657 Boulevard each day. Maybe I am in one. Look at all the windows you can see from 657 Boulevard. Maybe I am in one. Welcome my friends, welcome. Let the party begin, The Watcher.

From here the case of “The Watcher” begins. The Broaddus family reported this letter to the police. They were told to keep the letter strictly to themselves, as revealing this to the public may endanger the family more. The Broaddus family abruptly stopped their move-in and decided to keep the children away from the home at all costs.

The “Watcher” was watching the Broaddus family and doing so with immense ferocity. Several more letters were sent to the Broaddus family. Each letter increased in anger, specificity and violent language. The letters mentioned the Broaddus’ children, their names and even their hobbies. The letters also mentioned specific details about the home. Renovations, furniture, and even the Dumpster brought from renovators outside the home were mentioned.

Derek and Maria decided to sell the house. However, because of media attention surrounding the horrifying ordeal, the house was not very popular. In January of 2017, The Broaddus decided to be rid of the home all together. They planned to demolish the home, construct two new homes in its place, and rent them to recuperate lost financial damages. There was only one problem, this was against Westfield’s land ordinance.

The Broaddus family appealed to the Westfield local government, begging for lenience due to their peculiar situation. The Westfield local government denied their plea and refused to give them an explanation as to why. The Broaddus were now being forced to keep the dream home that had turned into a nightmare.

In a last-ditch effort to rid themselves of the home, the Broaddus had set the house up on several popular renting websites. It was then that they were contacted by a new family, who were eager to rent their home. The family was aware of the house’s past, but it had been months since a “Watcher” letter arrived. The family was undeterred and began renting the home in early 2017. They moved in, celebrated and adopted two dogs, all without one word from “The Watcher.”

Two weeks passed, and Derek visited the home to clean the yard. The new renter exited the home, and handed Derek a letter, “The Watcher” had returned. This letter was perhaps the vilest and most teasing of them all. The letter mentioned the capability of “The Watcher” and threatened Broaddus and the police. “Maybe a car accident. Maybe a fire. Maybe something as simple as a mild illness that never seems to go away but makes you feel sick day after day after day after day after day. Maybe the mysterious death of a pet. Loved ones suddenly die. Planes and cars and bicycles crash. Bones break.”

It was here that the investigation into “The Watcher” ended. There are no prime suspects, all suspects have been presently cleared by police. There is no physical evidence, besides a female DNA impression taken from one of the letters; not enough for a full profile. There are currently no leads to “The Watcher” identity.

You may be wondering, “How on earth can this happen today?” as modern technology has led to a record number of “cold cases” being solved; surely “The Watcher” must be next on the list. Reader, I urge you to visit NAMUS or simply Google “Cold Cases in my state.” There are millions of unsolved cases in “modern” America. Advancements in technology mean nothing without suspicion, evidence or justice. One does not guarantee the other.

However, you would be remiss not to be optimistic. “The Watcher” in all of his/her glory, will reveal themselves in time. Look no further than the “impossible” cold cases solved within the last year: The Golden State Killer, Boy in The Box and The Torso Killer. All of them were identified or brought to justice after experts deemed their cases “completely cold” or “impossible to solve.” “The Watcher” should be anxious about their apprehension, and as time ticks on, the closer, it comes.

Forgive me for ending with a quote from the Bible, but it is ever so useful.

You cannot hide injustice. It will surface sooner than later. What is done in the dark in the countryside or in the closet will eventually come to light” – Genesis 4.