By Charlie Loran •
Published: 16 Oct 2020 • 20:21
A BRITISH woman from Yorkshire engaged to an American man who killed two people has spoken about the moment he proposed to her over voicemail when the two bonded as prison pen pals.
Tracy Bottomley, 42, from Shipley, West Yorkshire, never expected to fall in love, but couldn’t help developing feelings for killer Ernest Otto Smith, 53, who is serving a life sentence.
He was jailed, without parole, after he brutally murdered a man and woman in 2005 and is serving his life sentence in Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.
After bonding over their childhood experiences, Otto proposed to divorced Tracy on a voicemail from prison, and they plan to get married this year.
In the recording, he said, ‘Please, you have got to figure out a way for me to marry you.
‘It’s hard. You make me a very happy person, happier than I have been in years.
‘You’re crazy just like me so we should be married, what do you think?’
Tracy told the Real Fix podcast that she accepted his proposal and isn’t scared of marrying a confessed double murderer.
Speaking to the podcast, which helps people share their real-life stories, she said ‘Ernest doesn’t scare me, I’ve 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.
‘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.’
Ernest Otto Smith, 53, robbed, shot and killed James Dillingham in Toledo, Ohio, on January 2, 2005.
He was accompanied by Cathy Barnett, who he murdered whilst on the run in Kentucky on January 7, after fearing she would report him to the police.
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