A woman got engaged to an imprisoned serial killer who proposed to her via voicemail.
42-year-old Tracy Bottomley from Shipley, UK, claims she has fallen in love with 53-year-old Ernest Otto Smith who has been jailed for life following his brutal murders in 2005.
While the man has been serving his sentence at Ohio State Penitentiary, he and Tracy have allegedly developed feelings for each other thanks to a Facebook group that aims to find pen pals for inmates.
Two years after the pair began exchanging messages and started bonding over their negative experiences, the couple is ready to tie the knot and hopes they could be married by the end of the year.
“Please, you have got to figure out a way for me to marry you. It’s hard. You make me a very a happy person; more happy than I have been in years. You’re crazy just like me so we should be married – what do you think?” Smith said as he proposed to Bottomley last year.
As Tracy already confirmed, she has accepted the proposal because of her love for Smith. She also insisted he “doesn’t scare” her because she’s “never been someone who gets frightened easily.”
“Yes he is a serial killer. He’s committed a few murders, but I understand the risks of what could happen and I still love him,” she said on the Real Fix podcast.
“At first I had slight intuition that these things could happen to me. He’s killed these other people. As time went along, we started getting close and trusting each other more to feel secure.”
Smith has been serving life in prison without parole following his conviction over the murder of Ohio residents James Dillingham and Cathy Barnett.
On January 2, 2005, Smith robbed and killed Dillingham, who was accompanied by Barnett at the time of the crime. Five days later, on January 7, he also killed Barnett due to fears that she would report him to the police.
According to the reports, Smith and Bottomley first started talking to each other back in 2018. After bonding over their troublesome childhood experiences for one year, the couple got engaged. They are now hoping they can find a way to get married by the end of the year.
“You can’t help who you fall in love with no matter what the circumstances. Just because It’s a situation like that, it doesn’t mean you are deluded,” Bottomley said.