Two years ago today, Bill Ulmer was arrested by federal officials at the Denver International Airport. This is a link to the first news story to come out a few days later. The reporter mistakenly states that Bill was attempting to travel to Hawaii with his brother’s passport on that day. This statement is not true. Bill was arrested in 2015 for traveling with his brother’s passport in 2010, when he fled from Costa Rica to North Carolina after the suspicious disappearance of his girlfriend, Barbara Struncova.
I’ll venture to say that seeing badges flash out and being read his rights was big surprise for Bill, and certainly his worst nightmare. Ok, no, not the worst one. His worst nightmare hasn’t happened yet–that would be the unlikely discovery and identification of any part of Barbara Struncova’s body. It must have been a terrible day for his wife, who believed she was leaving for her honeymoon with him in Hawaii. She will probably not ever thank her lucky stars that he was arrested before they boarded the plane, but she should.
Last year, on the first anniversary of Bill Ulmer’s arrest, he was still waiting to be sentenced.
For me personally, as Barbara’s friend and someone committed to telling her story, Bill’s arrest was a bittersweet victory. And although he has not admitted to doing anything to Barbara, nor was he charged with doing anything to Barbara, her name and her story have been woven into his arrest and his sentencing. A document filed by the prosecution at Bill’s sentencing describes the findings of the Costa Rican OIJ, removing this information from secrecy and making it public knowledge.
Sometime within the next 12 months Bill will be released from prison, we can suppose. Two years, of his three year sentence, have been served. He’s capable of all kinds of charm and good behavior, so will he be released sooner? I don’t know yet.
What will he do then?
Go home to his wife? Bounce around the country spinning tall tales? Get a job and become an upstanding citizen? Show up in the oil fields again? Move to Hawaii? I wonder if, with all the time he’s had to think, he’s come up with any interesting new stories about what happened to Barbara. He’s told so many different ones. Why stop now?
I would like to invite him to start over, to do honest work (which he is capable of), to be faithful to the woman who loves him beyond reason. I would like to recommend a support group for anger management. There’s not a lot left to lose.
Barbara Struncova is a ghost who will haunt Bill Ulmer through Google searches. If he remains faithful to his devoted wife, it shouldn’t matter. If he goes on the prowl, Barbara Struncova will be here speaking the truth from behind the screen, beyond the grave, to anyone with the sense to listen.
Barbara, because she is gone, will never go away.