Manny Regalado - The Con Man's Perfect Victim
My friends are reading the “Conned” blog and giving me advice.
“You talk too much about Quixote getting killed.”
“You talk too much about your mother.”
“People don’t care about where your head was at.”
“People don’t care about your brother or mother dying.”
“Just talk about what Manny did to your house.”
In light of all this advice I remind myself this is not a literary venture. I’m writing to gain what little justice I can on this reprehensible human being - Manny Regalado. Unlike Regalado’s other victims, I am not going to waste my money suing him, knowing he has never paid any of the judgements currently against him. He cannot ever be held legally accountable. What Regalado did to me and dozens of other victims is not a crime. He knows that. The Shoreline Police and Allstate Insurance agents clarified, “shoddy workmanship is a civil matter and being a despicable person a crime”. Rod Ronquillo, my Allstate agent confessed, “even if we knew he was a fraud, we are not allowed to tell you.” Manny Regalado has found the perfect fraud and his perfect victims.
I can’t go back and undo the circumstances that caused me to let my guard down. Nor can I stop analyzing why I let someone into my home while holding suspicions. It is obvious to anyone awake at the wheel the guy lacks character and tells ever-changing stories that don’t ring true. Why I let someone I didn’t like, knew was a liar, a thief by practice, wander freely through my home, meet my friends, and access my credit cards is alarming. I can explain why Manny Regalado saw in me, the perfect victim.
My investigation of Regalado has taught me about “types”. I have much in common with nearly all of his victims with the exception that his victims in Los Angeles are far more successful and some have great wealth. I’m a self-made average person like the rest of my family and most of my friends. I’m reasonably successful, in that I own my home, I’m self-employed, my friends are kind and respected and I proudly earned a lifelong perfect credit score. These are all obvious to anyone who knows me by the company I keep. You won’t find a single asshole, ne-er do well, thug or creep among friends, family or associates. Manny Regalado holds that distinction. With all this I am able to financially back Whisker City during financial shortfalls, the animal shelter I founded. Whisker City is a loving sanctuary for other caring people to fulfill their life’s purpose along side mine. My work as a fundraising auctioneer means I’m around people I admire and learn from and causes that make me aware of just how lucky I am. No question that people suffer far beyond any life circumstance I’ve been exposed too. Still, this past couple of years have been difficult to navigate and all that I have accomplished as difficult to sustain. I’m still off-balance and unable to see an end to the purposeful damage Regalado caused.
My somewhat insular life was upended on September 21, 2017 when Whisker City was broken into and Quixote the cat was stomped to death. Erin Balda, the shelter manager discovered the enclosure door open, dis-shelved bloodied blankets, overturned food and water bowls and fresh blood on the floor and walls and the leg on his blue velvet chair broken and blood on the underside. Erin noticed the missing padlock and that our beautiful Bengal Quixote was gone. His safe and cozy blood stained haven a crime scene. A short time later, his mutilated body was found under trash in the dumpster. Minutes after Erin’s grizzly discovery, I was staring down at his crushed body, eyes exploded from its flattened head and his mangled legs and twisted torso and rare spotted coat matted and stained. We called the Shoreline Police and after a big show for the press, no arrest was made. We were devastated. We felt sure we knew who killed Quixote. There could be only one person and months later, I hired an attorney and deposed the suspects. The depositions confirmed for me that the renter living next door to Whisker, Ken Patterson, stomped Quixote to death and his girlfriend Ashley Geary covered up the murder. Ken Patterson is an admitted blackout drunk holding an ever perking uncontrollable rage.
This was a terrible start to nearly 2 years of one bad thing after another. Quixote’s murder held all of us in a blanket of fear. Locked doors, alarm systems, video cameras and the police did little to help. The failure of the police to properly interrogate Patterson fueled his bravado. He knew he had gotten away with another violent crime. I live across the street from Whisker City and Patterson and the rental he shared with Geary. Emboldened he did little to hide his drinking binges. Fearful he might harm or kill me, I began saving the videos of his aggressions and the 24 packs of beer he carried in several times a week. When I was gardening he would stand on his porch and stare or yell until I left for the safety of my house. He pulled his truck into my driveway to back into his poking the bear. Although his build was small, he was stocky, and had bragged to our volunteer Warren, he owned a gun and that he is a bow-hunter, both weapons he denied he owned to the police. He wanted me to be afraid and I was and so were all the Whisker City volunteers. We all agreed we had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Beyond knowing who the killer is, we never got any justice for Quixote.
My father had been visiting from Salina when Patterson stomped Quixote to death. Our visit had been perfect and then everything shifted. He left the next day and my entire focus was on investigating who killed Quixote. I was not optimistic King County Detective John Hawkins would make an arrest. I railed to the detective in emails, and entertained other theories, some ridiculous, like the notion that some guy from Spokane County drove all the way to Shoreline to commit this violent crime. King County has an abysmal “solve rate”. And King County Animal Control was useless and rarely if ever makes a case against an animal abuser. So when my brother passed on unexpectedly on November 2 it was a bitch slap of disbelief. Now what? He was too young and had been living with my mother and caring for her allowing the rest of the family to do do our life uninterrupted. We rarely worried knowing mom was safe. Mom was the ultimate mother and she mothered Mike until his death. She was lost without him and her grief escalated her dementia. Everything changed for the family.
I don’t think I ever realized how depressed I had become. I stayed busy with Whisker City, my work and driving back and forth to Wenatchee and spending time with mom. My departures meant that I needed help at my house to care for the fosters in my charge. Everyone pitched in and we all dealt with things as they came. In the Spring of 2018, Manny Regalado found his way to Whisker City offering to volunteer. He dropped by almost daily. He got acquainted with Erin and other volunteers. He heard me building an addition on my house so my cats could be confined while I was at my mothers. He offered to help. Manny had finally found his perfect victim.
Filed v. Manny Regalado cases in Los Angeles County