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657 Boulevard

A secret watcher caused the Broaddus family great fear

By True Crime WriterPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
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Derek Broaddus and his wife Maria purchased an immaculate home at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey, eager to raise their family in the affluent neighborhood. Sadly, weeks after the couple dished out $1.3 million on this lavish property, they began to receive anonymous letters from someone calling themselves The Watcher.

A Mysterious Letter in the Mail

The letters started in June 2014. Derek was busy decorating his children’s bedroom when the mailman delivered the day’s bills and junk mail. A thick white envelope addressed “To the New Owner” immediately grabbed his attention.

He curiously opened the letter.

The letter began with a warm welcome to the neighborhood, “Dearest new neighbor at 657 Boulevard. Allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood.” The letter then took a sinister turn.

“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. Look out any of the many windows in 657 Boulevard at all the people who stroll by each day. Maybe I am one. … You have children. I have seen them. So far I think there are three that I have counted. … Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me. Was your old house too small for the growing family? Or was it greed to bring me your children? Once I know their names I will call them and draw them too [sic] me.” - The Watcher

Derek immediately contacted the police who advised them to remain quiet about the letter so it did not create media attention. They began an investigation, suspecting neighbors of writing the letters.

He did as advised, but letters continued to pour into the mailbox.

“You have children. I have seen them. So far I think there are three that I have counted... Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me. Was your old house too small for the growing family? Or was it greed to bring me your children? Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them to me. 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. Look out any of the many windows in 657 Boulevard at all the people who stroll by each day. Maybe I am one Welcome my friends, welcome. Let the party begin”

Derek canceled important trips, fearful of leaving his family alone. Maria never let him or the kids out of her eyesight. And the family never moved into the home at 657 Boulevard, their dream home. Even the slightest odd noise caused instant paranoia.

The family attempted to sell the home but rumors swirled and they could not find a buyer. After two years passed with no leads on the letter writer, the Broaddus family grew more fearful by the day. The slightest noise sent them into a panic and a diagnosis of depression and PTSD came along. Finally, someone agreed to rent the home under the condition they could break their lease if another letter arrived at the home.

Sure enough, another letter arrived in two weeks.

Another Letter Arrives in the Mail

Addressed to “The vile and spiteful Derek and his wench of a wife Maria,” the letter read in part,

“657 Boulevard survived your attempted assault and stood strong with its army of supporters barricading its gates… My soldiers of the Boulevard followed my orders to a T. They carried out their mission and saved the soul of 657 Boulevard with my orders. All hail The Watcher!!! … Maybe a car accident. Maybe a fire. Perhaps 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. You are despised by the house… and The Watcher won.”

The letter scared the tenants, but they decided to stay in the home provided security cameras were installed.

Who Sent the Letters?

Police could not trace the letters to a suspect due to a lack of fingerprints or a digital trial, though did put together a list of three suspects; a man named The Gamer who enjoyed playing a game called The Watcher; Michael Langford who had a tendency to watch his neighbors; and the Brodeuses themselves. Police say it is possible they had buyer's remorse and wanted out of the home purchase. They also say they could have planned this story to land a movie deal.

As it turns out, letters sent to the new families signed “Friends of the Broaddus Family” turned out to be written by Derek. He claimed he sent them due to his frustration and denied writing the original letters, though it created suspicion.

Lifetime Releases Horror Movie Titled “The Watcher”

Months later, the letters stopped by the family continued to live in fear. Lifetime released the movie “The Watcher” in 2016 based on the Broadduses story. They filed a cease-and-desist order, but it did them no good. The home sold in July 2019 and the Broadduses moved on.

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About the Creator

True Crime Writer

The best of the worst true crime, history, strange and Unusual stories. Graphic material. Intended for a mature audience ONLY.

Follow me on Facebook @criminalmatterspage facebook.com/criminalmatterspage

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