Like a TV movie plot: Woman systematically torments couple who outbid her on a home

Some people are just poor losers, as a San Diego couple found out in an example of what Fox News host Megyn Kelly called “home ownership gone terribly wrong.”

For a year after Jerry Rice and Janice Ruhter purchased what was to be their “dream home,” the woman they outbid for the property turned their life into a nightmare, Fox News reported.

The losing bidder, Kathy Rowe, was devastated at losing out on the Carmel Valley property, Fox News reported, so she began systematically tormenting the young married couple.

It began with simple things — signing them up for unwanted magazine subscriptions, canceling their mail — then it snowballed into something more frightening, according to the Fox News report.

Rowe took out Craigslist ads, offering the couple’s home to swingers for parties and claiming Ruhter harbored a rape fantasy. Two men showed up at the one-time dream home after seeing the ads, Fox News said.

“Home should be a place of safety and sanctuary, but I never truly felt this way in our house,” Ruhter told the cable news network. “The house became my prison.”

The experience has taken a toll on her marriage, she said.

Rowe pleaded guilty last month and said she was sorry – but only after she was caught. She’s serving a year of house arrest, according to Fox News.

Ruhter said she believes had Rowe not been caught, the harassment would have continued.


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