N.J. Couple Sells Home That’s Been Stalked for Decades

August 12, 2019

Five years ago, a New Jersey couple and their family bought what they presumed was their dream home. But soon after Derek and Maria Broaddus closed on the purchase, they started receiving letters from a stalker dubbed “The Watcher,” who claimed to be casing the house. News of the stalker and his letters to the family has gone viral over the past few years, and a suspect has not been found. But the family recently made headlines again—after they sold the house for $500,000 less than they originally paid for it.

The Broadduses paid $1.4 million for the six-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom Dutch Colonial home, built in 1905, in Westfield, N.J. Three days after they closed on the home in 2014, they began receiving menacing letters. One note read: “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.” The letter were signed from “The Watcher.”

In other letters, the writer referred to the couple’s children by name and called them “young blood.” One letter read: “Will the young blood play in the basement? Or are they too afraid to go down there alone? I would [be] very afraid if I were them. It is far away from the rest of the house. If you were upstairs you would never hear them scream.”

The couple eventually moved their possessions out of the house and stayed with other family members while trying to rent or sell the home over the past few years. They have gotten police involved and hired several investigators, including a former FBI agent, to try to find The Watcher. But investigators have yet to learn the person’s identity.

The Broadduses tried to sell three times prior to the recent successful sale. They also sued the former owners of the home for not disclosing the letters. But the previous owners said they only received one letter—just days before they moved out. That letter was described as “nonthreatening” and made “no claim of any possession” of the house, Richard J. Kaplow, the lawyer representing the previous owners, told The New York Times

The Broadduses sold the home for $959,360. Beth Sullivan, a real estate pro with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, told TODAY Home that the new homeowners would like to remain anonymous.