True Story: My Father Is A Pedophile

What would life be like if your father was a pedophile? This is one woman's story of how she learned about her dad's pedophilia and how she's dealt with it. >>

This is the story of ‘Renee,’ her father, and his pedophilia.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m originally a west coast Canada girl but I grew up all over the place so I don’t really have a place that I call “home,” I’m in my early 30’s and a run a location-independent online business, and for fun I do a lot of stuff but mostly I travel! 

What was your family life like growing up?

My childhood was okay – my mom was a stay-at-home mom to me and my two siblings and my dad was never around because he was an airline pilot. But my mom kind of lived in a fantasy land – June Cleaver style – and couldn’t really handle any conflict between us three kids so we’d get punished by our dad when he came home.

When I was ten my parents went through a very ugly divorce and my dad got custody of all three of us. He didn’t want custody of us, he never wanted female children to begin with, but because my mom “crossed” him by asking for a divorce, he swore he would leave her poor and childless and that’s exactly what he did.

When I was 14, my dad moved my little sister and me to Central America because white guys with money can get away with pretty much anything there. At that point we were truly on our own in raising ourselves.

When did you begin to realize that your dad was different from other dads?

I realized he was different when he ramped up his relationship with a boy in Central America. All of a sudden, his guard was down and it became so blatantly apparent that there was a very inappropriate relationship going on, and in my own home to boot.

How did your dad’s pedophilia affect his life? 

It’s not even that he made excuses, he just made it look like he was a benevolent rich man who cared about the well-being of kids who didn’t have as much as our family did. He has a huge God complex and played on that to make it look like he was just being generous and charitable.

I don’t know 100% how he hid all this in Canada because I was so young, but in Central America no one was really paying attention so he had a certain degree of impunity. I do know that before I was born he was a leader in the Boy Scouts, and was dismissed under questionable circumstances.

And then in my early teens he bought a van with dark tinted windows when we already had one vehicle per driver in the family. It seemed odd, but apparently that’s common with pedophiles because they can’t bring their targets home.

How did your dad meet boys? How did he convince them to be part of his life?

When I was really little he preyed on the children of family friends but didn’t get very far. Then he targeted my cousin and actually got him to move into our house and then cut him off from his parents. Hard to believe, I know. And later when we moved to Central America he targeted poor boys and lavished their families with money and gifts.

Did anyone else in his life realize what was going on?

Nope. Well, not that I’m aware of. He’s extremely smart, handsome, and charismatic. But he’s also a classic psychopath. He lacks all ability to empathize with other humans, and once you get past the charming veneer, you realize that the only way to have any kind of relationship with him is if you allow him to control you.

There is zero dissidence allowed – which is why he has almost no friends. His carefully curated circle of adorers only see one very small part of what he really is.

Did you or your sisters ever contact the authorities?

Yes, but I can’t discuss it and to date, nothing has come of it because he’s THAT good at covering his tracks.

What is your dad’s situation now? What’s your current relationship with him?

I stopped speaking with him over a decade ago as did my siblings and he proceeded to marry a woman in the Dominican Republic, adopt two sons, and then divorce her later after he had brought the boys to Canada. From what I know, the boys escaped him after years of abuse.

Do you feel that your dad’s behavior has affected your feelings about romantic relationships or children?

I’m fortunate in that it made me be drawn to the nicest, most honest, most lovely people as romantic partners and I’ve now been with the same super mega wonderful guy for almost a decade.

After 20 years of someone treating me like a dog or a possession, I was more than ready for the opposite. And as for children, I think it’s made me
a) be realistic about how common dangerous people are (they ARE our dads, our teachers, our cousins, our neighbours) and
b) given me an astoundingly accurate danger detector.

I am less worried about my kids because I know the anatomy of a pedophile/psychopath and can help them navigate the world and recognize those danger signs.

What advice would you give to someone else whose parent is engaging in illegal, unethical behavior?

If you’re young and totally dependent on them, survive. Do what you need to do to get by and know that this too shall pass. Once you are free you can heal and if possible, get them locked up! There’s no doubt in my mind that my dad could have and would have physically harmed me badly if he thought I was onto him and a threat for exposure. First order of business is always to protect yourself.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Renee.  Do any of you guys have questions for her?  Have any of you struggled with unbalanced, unsafe parents?

photo by steven van loy // cc

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  1. Jenny

    This is an amazing story. I commend your strength and courage to stand up to him! Congrats on your ability to gravitate towards positive people.

  2. Allie

    Wow. This is fascinating and so eye-opening. Way to go for being mature enough about this to share it. I love how you realize that your father's choices don't show anything about the person you are/have the capacity to be.

    Allie @

    • Anonymous

      Allie thanks for your comment and I think you make a very important point – that our parents choices have little to do with the person that we are and the possibilities available to us in life. We get SOOO caught up in our society around these myths of familial relationships, but the truth is no matter WHO your family is made up of and no matter what you must endure, every day that you wake up you get to choose how the story goes. *Especially* if you are a financially independent adult.

      Your parents are not you. Your parents actions are not a reflection of you. You aren't doomed to be a certain way because of what your parents did. Etc etc. Both of my parents are just people operating in the world the best way they know how – yes…including my dad. I know that sounds crazy, but he is very mentally ill and he is in fact, operating the best way that his brain knows how. It's sick, and dangerous, and awful, but he is what he is. It has NOTHING to do with me. My only job in this life is to make every day count. To cut out the bullshit with reckless abandon, to be happy, to help people all the time…that's my focus. No sense dwelling on the past.

      I wish you the best Allie!

  3. Devi Bliss

    Tbanks for sharing…what you have said will prove helpful to all those who are encountering this issue either as a victim or relative…It shows that you one can move beyond the poor choices their parents have made.

  4. Caitlin

    Damn, this was intense, and so goddamn sad. How horrible that someone can get so adept in terrorizing people weaker than they are (and that they are essentially given carte blanche to do so by an unwitting system).

  5. Estrella Explores

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad things have worked out for you!

  6. Girliest Nerd

    Thank you for sharing, this was really brave of you. You wrote "I am less worried about my kids because I know the anatomy of a pedophile/psychopath and can help them navigate the world and recognize those danger signs."

    What are some of the warning signs? Do you (or anyone here) know of a good resource? I know I'm vigilant about strangers but how would you detect a family member or close friend? I never thought about this stuff before I had kids but I worry about everything now!

    • Anonymous

      Hi, this is Renee! So, your question is a really tough one to answer because the 'detection skills' I've developed are much less empirical and much more intuitive. I don't think I could give you a reliable list of things to look for because it really is just a keen feeling, a sensation I get based on the tiniest little signals I get from someone. For example, when I started dating my partner a decade ago, he had a very good friend who after a couple of meetings I just *knew* was a predator. To this day I've never seen him around children but there's something about the way he carries himself, and that same thing missing in his eyes that was missing in my dad's. I told my partner that it's fine if they remain friends but that guy is never, ever allowed in my home nor near my children. The truth is I think we all have the ability to sense when something is off…my ability is just more finely tuned than most peoples. With a family member or close friend, one thing to look out for is if that person wants to take your kid to do 'fun stuff' on a regular basis. My dad always had toys like snowmobiles that he would invite our male cousins to come over and enjoy. Also, any divisive behaviour…if you feel like your child is being influenced away from you. And following on that, any time you see your child retreating into themselves at all. I know this isn't helpful because this is often noticed after the fact. But I'm just trying to think of any signs that may be helpful to you. Rather than looking for warning signs, you might want to consider just having a super open dialogue with your kids as soon as they're able to understand and let them know that they will never be shamed for telling you the truth if something weird happens. Does this help?

  7. Ness

    Girliest Nerd,

    I don't know where you're located, but in the States, there's a program called Darkness to Light that helps educate adults about the signs of child abuse. The organization's website is I went through the training they provided (required by my church for anyone working with kids), and it's really fantastic. I hope that helps.

    • Girliest Nerd

      Thanks! I'm sure that will be very useful for someone in the US. It sounds like a great organization.

      I should probably clarify I'm more looking for signs or indicators that someone is a pedophile and less for signs of child abuse. Not that I'm not concerned about child abuse, it's more that I'd like to be able to notice things about an individual before they harm someone.

      I know I had a friend (a girl) who I always had a bit of an off feeling about but couldn't place. She volunteered as a big sister but was kicked out because of something that happened. I don't have the details but it freaked me out because although I that "off-feeling", it was not very specific or helpful and I really have no idea what to look for.

      • Tara

        Trust your intuition. They’re never wrong. Most people tend to feel maybe they are exaggerating and want to give the predator the benefit of the doubt because they have not shown a real reason to not be trusted. These people have the ability to molest your child in front of people around and no one notices. The child doesn’t say or do anything because of the shock and since they didn’t react, they feel they are equally at fault. I remember saying to myself that I am so ashamed that I will keep this secret forever and hope that no one finds out.

    • Anonymous

      Hi again, I just googled signs of a pedophile and WOW, this article describes my dad with about 85% accuracy Maybe this helps more? My dad always targeted shy boys, always used money, presents, building model planes, etc as a way in. He had a sexless marriage with my mother…really just a cover to make himself look more 'normal'. He has almost no friends and the ones he does have are meek and kind of scared of him. I could go on! I hope this article helps you.


    • Girliest Nerd

      Thank you Renee! You're very brave to share your story and I truly appreciate your insight 🙂

  8. tianna


    Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so happy to hear that you (and hopefully your siblings) have healed and moved on as mush as one could. – In your story it sounds as though it was pretty easy for you to move on and leave your father in the past, I wonder, was it really that easy for you, or were there times of emotional hardship for you?

    – tianna 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Hi Tianna,

      Great question! In one sense it was very easy because I had been wanting to escape his hold for years. The last time I saw him in person, I was sick to my stomach for days before he arrived. That's when I knew I couldn't do it any more. He also started telling me on phone calls that he wanted to have my younger sister killed for all the "grief" she had caused him. (meanwhile, HE emotionally abused her for all of her formative years!!) And that's when I broke. I really hated him at that point. The hard part about breaking free was that I was terrified he would come after me in some way. I had seen him destroy people's lives (like my mom) who had crossed him in the past. But at that point it was worth the risk of dealing with the fallout. You can't keep humans locked in a mental prison forever.

      It was one of the single best and bravest decisions I've ever made. He has tried numerous times to get back into my life…sending me e-cards and once even depositing money into my bank account when he knew I was living in a garage. I returned the bank transfer that very day. My freedom is not for sale.

      So yeah, it was super hard in some respects but that's life, right? Life requires courage. Life asks us to stand up for ourselves. So I did. And I don't miss him because he was never a father to begin with. He was a keeper. At no point, even when I was living alone with him for years, could he even name my three closest friends. I was like an "it" that lived in his house. He never knew me. And I'm fine with that. We get very caught up in what our family/relations are 'supposed' to be but I don't buy that. My true family are the people I've chosen to be a part of my life and provide the support I need. I hope this answers your question! And thanks for reading.


  9. Smaggle

    This was fascinating. A great read, I particularly love how she doesn't over dramtise anything. Just facts. She seems very pulled together.

  10. Anonymous

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story! You sound like such a strong person and it sounds like you used it to help you and inform you for parenting and protect your children (also to help inform you in dating). My reaction would have been so different than yours; way to be empowered! Thank you!

  11. Michelle Thiele

    This was a really moving post, and I too have to commend 'Renee' for her bravery. I don't have any personal experiences with abuse, but it's certainly something I think about with a baby boy, and I am so grateful that you shared her story.

  12. Hannah

    This really is an incredibly story. I can't even imagine what that kind of knowledge of your own parent must be like. Kudos to Renee for coming out the other side of this a strong woman.

  13. Anonymous

    Renee, I hope that you will continue to share your story. You briefly mentioned that the courts awarded your father custody. Today, courts are STILL awarding pedophiles with custody of their victims, at alarming rates. When people hear of these cases, they simply assume that the mother was "crazy" and was simply
    "brainwashing" the kids to make the allegations. In today's courts, 90% of fathers, who have been accused of molesting their children, are awarded custody. 58,000 children PER YEAR are handed to their identified abuser. I hope that you will speak out on behalf of these victims.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Anonymous,

      Renee here. I didn't realize the rates were so high but somehow, I'm not surprised. There is something seriously broken with the system. Not to mention, it was easy for my father to discredit my mother because he purposely married a woman who has the emotional intelligence of a 13 year old. Making her appear "crazy" or "neglectful" (even though she was a stay-at-home mom for my entire childhood) was easy for him because he's hyper-intelligent and she could never stand up for herself. Just didn't have the tools. Shame. I imagine there are so many more stories like this. I will continue to do what I can, and once he's gone (and I don't have to worry about my safety), I will be very vocal and public about it. Thanks for your comment.

  14. Anonymous

    This is a really brave and inspiring story Renee! I really hope you and your siblings have got over it and I'm so glad you're such a strong woman now.

  15. Anonymous

    this was so hard for me to read. in fact, I didn't even finish it. my dad was a paedophile but my story is so different to yours. we grew up in a small town – not in the states – and everyone knew our family and everyone loved my dad. he was the classic groomer so no-one ever suspected anything. I was already out of the house when he was finally arrested.
    strangely (and to show how well grooming can work) a child spoke up to his parents because he was jealous of the attention his younger sister got from my father.
    this is suddenly too hard and I feel a little sick.

  16. Anonymous

    A good resource for parents is the book Protecting the Gift, by Gavin de Becker. He’s does security and threat assessment and is also the author of The Gift of Fear, another good book about trusting instincts that is applicable to anyone.

  17. Patrick rock

    The stepfather sexually abused my sister and I. As adults we are dealing with the the repercussions of a man who like your father worked and lived overseas and used that and the protection of his church to advantage. My half siblings have treated my anger with dismissive contempt and their lack of support and antagonism have left me devastated. They protect their dad at all costs even hiding it from their spouses. My efforts to have him criminally investigated have come to naught and my sisters attempts to have the church prohibit his work with children and youth has likewise been met with zero results. Sadly our mom has been left broken by these events as she assumes so much responsibility for marrying a child molester. This man like many others is white, religious, employed, volunteered with youth programs like Boy Scouts and uses his charm to keep control everyone around him. They only see what he lets them see. I am miserable from the recent responses from my siblings – kids I grew up with that they would defend and protect a monster at our expense. It saddening and frustrating. He lives in Thailand and no one is doing anything to prevent him from abusing others.

    • Leigh

      I completely understand what u r saying. My dad also is a pediphile n he was NEVER busted or arrested even though the police were called a couple times. My dad sodomized me n my younger brother when we were VERY young. I don’t even know how young we were when it started. My mother caught him in the act n she NEVER turned him over. Why?? Why??? Can someone tell me why a mom would not turn over her husband n father of her kids? I’m having so much trouble trying to come to grips w this. My mom is dead.

      • Renee

        Leigh, I feel so much pain for you. I have the same questions about my mother. While our dad didn’t sexually abuse us, he was very physically abusive in other ways and my mom always let it happen. When they divorced, she didn’t even fight for us. She just let this psycho have custody of her little girls and last month, out of the blue she said to me, “I hope you didn’t feel abandoned”. (!!!!!) WTF? OF COURSE I felt abandoned! You let this pervert abuse all of us physically and then move us to Central America where he abused little boys in front of me! Mothers are not always the loving protective saints people paint them out to be, so just know that I understand your pain. I hope you are able to find some peace.

    • Renee

      I’m so sorry to hear this Patrick. It’s astounding how much these monsters are able to get away with. And so disheartening to hear about your step-siblings protecting him. I can’t even imagine the pain you must feel. I hope you’re able to get help/therapy and surround yourself with good people. Since your stepfather lives in Thailand there’s not much to be done, but I know it’s a horrible weight to bear being in your position. I hope you are able to find some peace.

  18. Once Frozen with Fear, No More

    Thank you so much for posting this article. I am not the daughter of a pedophile… I was the wife. I have just finished a very stressful year and a half divorce from him… My children have no clue how lucky they are I got us away from him. I won custody and he only gets supervised visits with the kids. Sadly he is still taking me to court again. He is trying to make my life miserable and hurt me because I tried to expose who he really is and got away.
    Your article gave me chills and hit me hard… this right here summed up my ex:
    “He lacks all ability to empathize with other humans, and once you get past the charming veneer, you realize that the only way to have any kind of relationship with him is if you allow him to control you.”
    I was married 17 years he was my first boyfriend my first and only everything. I realize now I never had a marriage I was just his prop for show, his thing to control and pretend to the world he was normal. It always struck me a little odd we didn’t have kids and he liked to watch kid shows on Disney with young girls and boys I always thought it was a little weird. There were very long periods up to 10 months at a time no sex in the marriage. He was obsessed with the computer and internet would click off the screen anytime I entered. He was obsessed with buying and spending money we didn’t have on toys and action figures, guns, ammo, weapons, and silver coins. He never came home till very late a few hours after his shift was finished. He had a very short fuse, explosive at times. He was not affectionate at all with me. At times he did not want me having friends or leaving the house. He portrayed to his coworkers he is a wonderful dad and husband. He has never really had friends, only coworkers. I discovered countless pictures of child models on one of the computers… I confronted him he said our son should be a model that’s why he had all those pictures there. He had lots of computer devices… He started insisting on giving our children their bathes he would take them both in the walk in shower, he would have the children sit on the floor legs open and he would be naked in there sitting that way too his legs open. He would spend a really long time up to an hour or morein there. I would walk in get an uneasy creeped out feeling and I would tell myself Stop it! This is your husband, get these sick thoughts out…. I tried to deny what I was seeing. I know now it was wrong their dad is sick. He started volunteering at my sons school which was weird, he seemed really interested all the sudden and would talk about how cute a couple particular 6 year old girls were, in a creepy way, and he had a happy look on his face which made me uneasy and uncomfortable. The fog I was under started to lift I was slowly waking up to the reality. I finally started to investigate and was appalled at what I found on the computer devices. I confronted him on it and I almost died… when I showed him what I found he beat me up that night… I survived I didn’t call the police on him. The only way I can describe the last few months with him was that I felt “frozen” frozen by fear and trauma… It took almost 3 more months, my sons punishments were becoming more and more severe, he would pull down his pants and spank him so hard my son was also becoming terrified of his dad. Another night of terror happened and another time he took all the phone lines out the home do I wouldn’t be able to call anyone for help. I was terrified survived again but this time when he left for work the next morning and he took the phones with him and threatened that I better not leave or I’d be in a world of hurt and trouble… I finally got up the courage became unfixed got my kids and we fled away to safety. There is so much more to what happened to me and my kids I was with this guy for 21 years, But to any lady that reads this don’t make the mistake I did DO NOT confront an abuser DO NOT expose to him you know he is a pedofile IT IS DANGEROUS!!! I could have died. Go to the police don’t give the pedofile time to destroy or hide evidence don’t tip him off you know GO GET HELP!!! Had I done it more efficiently and safer the police would have the evidence, my ex wouldn’t have have had time to destroy or hide evidence he would be in jail, I wouldn’t have been beatin up scared for my life. I am lucky concidering the circumstances because I’m alive today and my children are supervised with their dad, but it could’ve been much worse, it also could have been much easier had I gone straight to the police. It’s still creepy my ex is suddenly a Godly man goes to church belongs to a divorce club at the church, I just think about the poor single mothers in his divorce group who might fall for his charm and become his next victim.

    • Renee

      Dear wife of a pedophile, I am so sorry to hear your story but I do understand and I am really glad you left this call to action. Women should never mistrust that gut feeling that something’s not right. The way you describe your husband is SO similar to my dad. Many of the things your husband did/said were things my dad did and said. I’m really glad you got out of there and I hope there’s a way that you can get him on the Watch List with the local authorities. Please do. You have enough information about him to get him on the police’s radar, as he should be.

  19. Lyn Utermark

    I suspect a father with pediphilia intentions with his 18 month old daughter, but how do I prove it? He has isolated her from everyone except himself and his father.
    They are very wealthy and usually pay to get out of the punishment from breaking the law. I am raising her brother, and he won’t even allow her brother to see her but twice a month. The courts seem to be in his favor. He has used every excuse in the book, including a desperate attempt of fabricating a story of myself threatening him. To the courts system, and sadly, without approaching me about it, they believed it.

    Some help here!!!

  20. Sarah Ferguson

    very similar story…
    My father, now in his 80’s is a child molester/pedophile.
    He was an airline pilot for over 30 years
    He abused my closest cousin for many years and recently found out he abused many many more, including more cousins and close neighbours. He is a monster. I don’t speak to him anymore and he will never see his grandchildren again. He is exactly how you describe your dad, extremely intelligent, charming, unempathetic, controlling, manipulative…a psychopath. Like your dad, he hasn’t been charged with anything yet; here’s hoping someone has the courage to press charges so he can finally pay for what he did as he shows NO remorse for his actions. The rest of us ( siblings, mom and spouses) remain strong as he’ll never break that bond. They are his actions, not mine. Sad that I have to teach my 4 year old about “who’s allowed to touch your penis” though.

  21. Ellie

    Hi my dad’s a convicted pedophile, I forgave him twice but told him if he looked at kids again that will be it between us, guess what!!! He looked AGAIN. He doesn’t care about me, I’m not coping well, I don’t know how

  22. Jenny M

    The airline industry is filled with high functioning alcoholics and closet homosexuals. My Dad has met tons. He was a captain in the airforce at 25, was ‘honorably discharged’ after 10 years then went into helicopters. He was a protective father not pedofile but he was also not correct in the sense that he kept getting fired for siphoning gas from the company tanks. Anyway he had no problem getting hired because he was in a class all by himself as a pilot. Employers would routinely send him on dangerous rescue missions and he’d make it look easy. He loved to tell stories and embellish them, something he called ‘bullshitting’. The stories would change slightly every time he told them. He was also an expert smuggler and knew how to get anything to Canada from South America. He made a killing with coke in Columbia (he had his own private plane) and even managed with two Amazon parrots across two borders, tucked in under the roof of the car. I can’t say none of this affected me. Even though my father was not pedo, we lived in hiding in constant fear the mafia would find us and sell us on the black market. My sister kept her best toys in a box by the door…

  23. Jazimine

    When i was in elementary school,my dad was active in our parish and he “liked helping out” as he always told people.For several years he did this and finially we found out later on why.At every Easter vigil we would get there early and dad would tell us he had things to do to get set up.What he actually did was go into the furnace room that was next to the bridal dressing room and peer thru a hole in the wall at the preteen and teen girls being dressed in their white baptism outfits for their baptisms during easter vigil! All of the preteen and teen girls wore the traditional white,poofy,short sleeve,knee length baptism dresses with a matching bonnet,lace anklets and white shoes and a white tee shirt with a cloth diaper and plastic pants under their dresses.Dad would watch thru the peep hole as the girls were diapered and put into their dresses! He also did this on First Communion sunday when there were girls being dressed in their communion outfits.He got caught and arrested and is now in prison!

  24. Chino

    This book given to husbands’ sister, as proxy her parents’ malignant narcissism, family cult leader. Cyberbullies, cyber harassment as she became her parents to continue molesting her adult children and next generations. Yet, she’s cremated and gone as the rest of us live with internal scares of these monsters deliberately enjoyed others suffering. This book will be read by her family and hope it helps to heal.

    Times of the 1960s’ behavior locking children in closets and not being molested that time would be a relief in my thoughts.

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