6. Nash Azarian
CONTENT WARNING: This story is about a teenager named Jen and it’s about Nash, her best friend and the author of this article. It is about their friendship, which developed throughout highschool. AND it involves the retelling of the kidnap, rape and murder of Jen through the reflections of Nash’s lived experience, as well as Nash’s reaching out to Jen’s convicted murderers as a method of processing.
This is a difficult experience to live and I can only imagine it’s a harder story to tell. But Nash began telling it through his blog through Instagram and I began to read it. I asked Nash if he would be willing to complete the story for Coochie’s Fables because Nash showcased an impeccable degree of honor in his regard for Jen, his younger self, his current self, those on the receiving end of sexual and physical violence and even Krystal. This is an incredibly challenging thing to do and I believe it deserves proper recognition.
18 year old Jennifer went out with a friend in New York City on July 24, 2006. They had spent the night at The Guest House, a lounge in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. When they went to find the car in the early morning hours of July 25th, the car had vanished. They tracked it to the tow yard but they wouldn't release the car because they were both intoxicated.
Jen's friend had alcohol poisoning and passed out, prompting the tow yard employee to call an ambulance. Fearing getting in trouble, Jen wandered off by herself.
She called her boyfriend around 4 am, begging him to pick her up from the City. She told him she was walking up the West Side Highway, alone. He told her to take a taxi to his house, 45 miles away to a small town in New Jersey, despite the fact that she didn’t have any money. He says he will pay for it when she arrives, his parents won’t let him drive to New York City at 4 am.
She told him a “large man” was following her and that he is frightening her but offering her a ride.
As he is pleading with his girlfriend to get to safety, the phone call abruptly ends with no warning. Her boyfriend calls back incessantly to no avail.
This was the last time Jen was heard from.
By 4:30 am on Thursday July 27, her body was found inside a black suitcase in a dumpster in Weehawken, New Jersey.
How did she end up with two complete strangers, one of them nearly twice her age?
Why didn’t she run?
Why didn’t she scream?
Why didn’t she fight back?
When I was about to start 8th grade, my parents decided that I would begin at a different school.
My assumption was that they were sending me to a private school with dress code requirements in an attempt to persuade me to conform gender wise. In reality, they were frustrated with how much I was being bullied at my public school.
Bergen County, New Jersey, as a 14 year old lesbian that looked more like a boy than many of the boys in her grade, I didn’t exactly fit in. I got picked on, a LOT. Most of it was in direct response to my boy clothes, my bowl cut or my desire to hang out with guys instead of girls. I think my parents hoped that a private school would be easier for me.
They couldn’t have been more wrong.
From the first day at the new private school, I could tell things weren’t going to be as different as my parents had promised. Day one kicked off with a bang, full of insults, nasty looks and judgmental stares, just like before.
That weekend, one of the girls in my grade had a birthday party. 24 out of 25 students were invited. I’ll let you figure out who wasn’t.
I guess they were pretty fucking bored at this “party” because they spent a decent amount of time calling me at home and taunting me over the phone. In the background of the call, a girl’s voice was heard yelling “what are you doing? Just leave her alone already!” That same voice, the voice of a popular girl named Jen, then came on the phone, apologizing for the other kids.
Come Monday morning, the name calling didn’t stop.
The only difference was that now I had a friend.
Our school was so small that Jen and I ended up having nearly identical class schedules. I learned that we shared a love of books, Law and Order SVU, One Tree Hill and hazelnut iced coffee (okay, maybe I made up my love for iced coffee just so she’d think I was cool).
The most boring class I had also happened to be my favorite class because Jen and I were seated close to each other.
It was one of the only classes that didn’t also include at least one of my bullies. That meant a whole class without judgment, without comments, without snickers and taunts.
Jen sat in front of me, her brown hair dangling over the back of her blue plastic chair, landing on the edge of my desk top. Mr. Mangini’s class bored me to sleep, so I spent the time writing stories in my comp book. Jen would turn around and ask to see. I never hesitated to hand her my notebook, a gesture I didn’t make lightly. When she was done, she would hand it back, usually with a handwritten note in the corner. They were words of encouragement, questions of “AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?”. But the one I will never forget is when she wrote “when ur book gets published, I get the first signed copy, k?”
I’d return her question with a smile.
Jen loved soccer and went on to become the varsity team captain. In ninth grade, once she found out that I played soccer, she harassed me until I joined the team. I started playing soccer when I was 5 and like most cliche love stories, I couldn’t stay away. I felt like I owed it to myself and to her to play. I struggled to decide what to do because 8 hours of school with bullies was already hard enough. Could I handle after school practices and traveling to games with them?
As teammates, the bullies and I ended up mostly ignoring each other. That didn’t stop them from picking on me during school hours, but it was a little easier to ignore knowing that I could kick their ass on the field.
Despite butting heads with a majority of my soccer team, most of our team was incredibly close when it came to the sport. We functioned well as a team.
A mutual love for the game among our team was enough to usually put aside the dislike they had for me. The team captains often arranged soccer parties at someone’s house and everyone would attend.
Going to these parties was one of the few times that I felt normal, even if it was superficial. My feelings were real.
One of the girls would order pizza while we all changed into our team sweats and began to loaf around on the couch, gossiping. It felt like the closest thing to a girl’s slumber party from 90’s teen movies that real life could get. I usually lingered near Jen and another girl named Austin, leaning into their protection and friendship. We even got matching team sweatshirts made with our own money. We wore those light grey sweatshirts everywhere, like an unofficial uniform. Our respective soccer numbers were on the back of the sweatshirt and the front read, “bring it down", an inside joke that originated during one of our (drunken) sleepovers. I never drank which only gave people another reason to pick on me. This just served as another gentle reminder that I’d never be the same as these people, that I’d never really fit in.
Senior year, we finally received the coveted Senior Privileges that had been talked about for years. Senior Privileges were for seniors in good standing, grade and behavior wise. If in good standing, we were given the privilege of leaving campus during our free period(s) to do whatever we wanted: food, coffee, shopping (there was a shopping center a few minutes away with stores like The Gap, J Crew, Anthropologie that everyone seemed to love).
As though a gift from the Universe, Jen and I were assigned the same free period. That meant that most days we would get lunch together, driving down the picturesque Tices Road toward the many restaurants that lined the street. Jen would roll the windows down and we’d blast whatever song she was obsessing over that week, usually an Usher song made an appearance at least twice.
We’d stop for coffee at the Bagel Shop and then negotiate whether we should get General Tsao’s chicken from the grungy Marco Polo’s or something healthy, under the guise of but soccer season…]
In the end, it didn’t matter what we ate because Jen’s tiny frame could consume more than most would imagine. And I was right behind her.
Back in the day, the Senior Pranks were said to be legendary. The last time that a Senior Prank happened was in the late 1970’s. It was my dad’s class.
When I ask him about his Senior Prank, he tells me it was “just chaos.”
Back in those days, the school administration embraced the pranks. So much so that they would actually hand students the keys to the school to facilitate the upcoming prank.
I’ve heard the story of dad’s Senior Prank for years, but it doesn’t make it any less unbelievable. And he doesn’t laugh any less each time he tells it.
Things started out as innocent and good natured, but at some point took a wild turn and the entire night turned into “complete madness”. Someone showed up with 100 live mice. Another pulled up to the school in a VW Bug and instructed the rest of the group to remove the doors to the building. Once the doors were removed, the boy was able to drive the VW Bug into North Hall and park it in the middle of the hallway. Then the group proceeded to fill the ENTIRE hallway with crumbled up newspaper stacked around 4 or 5 feet high in an effort to conceal the illegally parked car.
While this was happening, another student went from classroom to classroom physically ripping the mounted telephones from the wall. One student wrote on the blackboard of one of the teachers, a former priest, “kill priests”, something my dad found to be excessive.
What did you do with the mice? I ask.
“We gave them their freedom.”
The next day was Senior Cut Day. Obviously this was before cell phones, but the Headmaster’s Secretary called every single student’s parents. Each parent was told that if their child didn’t arrive on campus within an hour, they would not graduate. Every student somehow made it to school. They were told to wait in the gymnasium for an Assembly with the Headmaster. On the opposite side of the gym floor, the Headmaster stood at a podium staring ahead at the crowd of Seniors seated in the bleachers.
Right on cue, as if it were a scene from a movie, a group of mice ran across the floor, right behind the Headmaster.
Every senior was required to help in cleaning up the mess they created. Sometime during clean up, someone determined that the VW Bug was stolen. The Police arrived, but every student kept quiet about who brought the car there, each agreeing they hadn’t seen the driver.
On that fateful day, the Headmaster made the decision to ban Senior Prank for eternity.
28 years later, my senior class decided to attempt the unthinkable—our very own Senior Prank. The unanimous thinking was that if it was a harmless, good natured joke, the administration would find it funny and Senior Prank would be allowed again. We would throw our hands up in unison and scream “we did it!” just like in the movies. We would be heroes!
For our prank, we decided to remove every single chair from the school and put them on the Lower Soccer Field.
Our school consisted of three separate building units, so this task would be tedious. Most of my classmates were desperate to go out with a bang, I was just eager to do something that made me feel connected.
So that night, we met up at one of our classmates house and conjured up our plan. Someone knew the schedule of rehearsals for the school play or something, so we decided it would be an easy opportunity to slip in the back door and prop it open with a chair, allowing for us to enter the building once the Theater Teacher locked up and left for the evening.
And that’s what we did.
We parked our cars several streets away and collectively jogged to the school, diving behind trees, ducking behind large bushes, trying to hide underneath black clothing. We must have looked like the co-ed teenage version of the team of thieves from Oceans 11.
We snuck along the perimeter of the building, staying away from the lit paths and the shine of the Streetlamps. In the rear of the building, we waited in the grass. One kid snuck around and propped the door open, running back to alert us. We all waited quietly for the Theater Teacher to leave.
It had to be at least an hour that we ended up waiting, taking turns to joke about what was taking so long.
A secret affair? Stealing other teacher’s supplies? Avoiding going home to responsibility?
I stuck close to Jen, a habit I developed early into 9th grade. Her and Ash* were my Safe Haven, so I tended to hover. She giggled when it was suggested that we put chairs on the roof of the building so that we could sit in them as the students rolled in the next morning.
I watched the boys Mark*, Josh*, Billy*, and JJ* climb the side of the building to the roof. They needed one more person up there. Greg*, the tallest guy in our class, didn’t want to risk being caught. He was a good kid who had a basketball scholarship waiting for him.
I ran over and climbed up, channeling the same energy I harnessed during the Presidential Fitness Test a few months earlier. I followed Mark’s lead as he bent down to grab chairs from the people below, then twisted his body to the right to pass it to Billy who was behind him. Billy would then find a spot on the Roof for the chair. I grabbed chairs one by one from the people below. When we were done, we each jumped back down and the group took off running.
While we were spreading the chairs across the Roof, the rest of our classmates were on the Lower Field. In a perfectly running Assembly Line, they were lined up passing chairs back to four different people who were working to spell out “2006”, our Graduation Year.
The way we worked together was like a well oiled machine, something I desperately wish spanned throughout my five years at this school.
A miracle occurred and I made it through four years of high school in that Hell Hole. Graduation Day felt like what Church described the Gates of Heaven to be—pure bliss. It was the last time I would ever have to see my bullies Lisa*, Megan*, or their minions ever again. From Graduation Day forward, their existences would take place only in my memories, a place I was ready to wash clean.
July 22, 2006 was the day of my high school graduation party at the Chart House restaurant. I had been to the Chart House with my family before and melted over the city skyline views. The waterfront restaurant was situated right near the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal that took visitors across the Hudson River to New York City, my parents preferred method of travel when my sister and I were young.
As a family, we’d take the Ferry to 39th Street in Midtown and hop a taxi to FAO Schwarz where my sister and I would argue over who got to play the giant floor piano first.
I loved watching the ferry drift through the water as we progressed toward our destination, knowing a fun filled adventure awaited us on the other side.
From the restaurant, you could watch the ferries drift in and out of the port. While comfortably seated, diners could watch as the people waved from the bottom floor of the ferry, excited to make their arrival. The familiar horn would always startle me as it blared in the distance, causing me to cover my ears.
At the party, we filled ourselves with food from the elaborate buffet that lined the glass perimeter. Music filled the room and drinks filled the adults. I watched from my seat as Jen and her boyfriend danced to the song “Confessions” by Usher, a memory that’s still burned in my brain. I envied the way Kofi smiled at Jen, the way his eyes turned soft when he looked at her. He was just a cool dude—handsome, popular, kind hearted, compassionate. He was one of those guys that made other guys look like fools by simply being himself.
One month later, we would be leaving for our freshman year of college. Jen would be attending the University of Hartford in Connecticut, fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse. It was a choice I remember playfully laughing at, thinking “of course you’d do that!”
As the night was coming to a close, my dad gathered all of my friends in front of the humongous glass windows that overlooked the water, forcing a group photo.
I was irritated at how embarrassing it was that he was making us pose for a picture, something I would thank him for years later.
I had no way of knowing it at the time, but the view from that window overlooks where Jen would go missing from three days later.
The day after my Graduation Party, my girlfriend left for a trip to England with her parents. Our three year old relationship was as turbulent as a stormy flight and a secret from all who knew us. Her mom didn’t exactly like me: I was the weird local lesbian, she was the girl next door. The girl that every mom wanted their son to date. Porcelain skin, rosy cheeks, and straight brown hair. A Rory Gilmore look alike. Because of that, we will call her Rory.
The first time I slept over Rory’s house was New Years Eve 2005. Sleepovers were next to impossible for us. Because I was out to my parents and they knew Rory was my girlfriend, they felt that her sleeping over was the equivalent to my sister’s hypothetical boyfriend sleep over. And it felt like her mom would call in an air strike if I stepped foot in her house.
Days before New Years Eve, Rory sheepishly approached her mom while she was cooking in the kitchen, her version of Heaven. It was equipped with everything a Professional Chef would want and need. From the corner of the kitchen, Rory begged and pleaded while her mom stirred the fresh pot of soup. Sensing that Rory wasn’t giving up on this, her dad stepped in.
Just this once, he said. Rory internally erupted before rushing back to her room to text me the good news.
The night of our sleepover, Rory’s mom curbed her hatred for me with red wine and a home cooked meal. Conversation between us was non-existent aside from her offer of a snack. She entered Rory’s bedroom without knocking, hoping to catch us engaging in illicit activity so she’d have a reason to send me home. Once inside, she offered me an orange. Upon accepting, she ‘tossed’ it to me, a gesture that nearly gave me a bruise on my forehead.
As an only child, Rory’s mom was the quintessential Helicopter Mom. During one of our covert night time phone calls leading up to her trip to England, we researched internet cafes near her hotel to coordinate logging onto Instant Messenger.
This was during a time before unlimited texting, WhatsApp, or Instagram. My flip phone could barely take a clear photo!
The time difference between New Jersey and London proved to be another challenge we hadn’t considered. Butterflies made a home in my stomach during the days leading up to her departure. I knew she’d be visiting a guy friend that I long suspected of liking her and sometimes feared she harbored similar feelings back. I was young and jealous of every boy that looked her way, how could I compete with them?
A few days after my Graduation Party, after Rory had left for England, I was in my basement bedroom shredding chords in Guitar Hero. My TV lived in the corner opposite of my bed coupled with a cream colored LoveSac. Behind it sat my makeshift desk, a rickety card table joined by a folding chair that I stacked with pillows for comfort. In between songs, I noticed the red and green lights of my silver flip phone were lit up with a text notification.
Jen was missing.
She hadn’t come home the night before and her phone was turned off.
No one had heard from her.
My confusion twisted to frustration as I fired back texts.
Where was she last night?
Who was she with?
Every second I had to wait for answers was filled with a gurgling belly and sweaty palms. With racing thoughts and lingering questions. With perimeter-of-the-room pacing.
What if she didn’t have money to get a taxi ride home?
Or what if her phone died and she couldn’t contact anyone because she didn’t have phone numbers memorized?
What if she was cold?
What if she was hungry?
What if she got hit by a car and was alone in the hospital without identification?
I stayed by my mom’s side the entire day, following her on errands to the grocery store, to our neighborhood lake to pick up my siblings, to the pharmacy.
I repeatedly, desperately shot off emails to Rory.
No one knows where Jen is. I don’t know what to do.
The irony dawned on me: my protector needed to be protected. My savior needed to be saved.
I attempted to put together a Search Party. With Midnight approaching, the plan was to leave early in the morning and drive to the city. We’d hand out homemade MISSING PERSON flyers. Someone would recognize her because she made an impression on everyone she met. Then we’d find her.
I sent a picture of her yearbook photo to everyone I knew that frequented the city. There was nothing left for me to do except wait until morning.
I lay in bed staring up at the ceiling of my bedroom counting the intentionally placed holes in each tile. Like counting sheep.
Was Jen counting ceiling tiles too?
I was 11 when I experienced a friend’s death for the first time.
It was Labor Day weekend. We were in Florida on our annual summer vacation when my mom walked into the bedroom I shared with my younger sister. The look on her face made me quickly recite in my head a list of things that I could’ve possibly done to disappoint her. Nothing came to mind as she squatted in front of the bed and spoke to me.
My friend Bitsy.
A homemade tire swing.
A weathered tree.
A Natural Disaster, of sorts.
Butterfly clips in her pin straight brown hair.
Her fragile, tiny body.
Her bangs mashed against her forehead, caked in blood.
Her body beneath the fallen tree.
Back to Jen. That’s what you’re here for, right?
Wednesday, the morning after we found out Jen was missing, some details started to come together. Jen’s boyfriend received a call from her around 4 am early Tuesday morning. She told Kofi that she was walking along the West Side Highway and had no way home.
Why was she alone?
She asked him to pick her up. Kofi knew it was too late for him to leave his parent’s house with a car, so he urged her to take a taxi to his house. She said she had no money. He said he would pay for it. Then Jen told him a large man was following her, offering her drugs and a ride.
Kofi could hear the man speaking in the background, unable to make out exactly what he was saying.
Then the phone cut out abruptly.
He tried to call her back but the phone was turned off.
That was the last time he spoke to her.
Kofi called her parents a short while later, telling them about the phone call.
Jen’s parents thought she was sleeping at his house or a friend’s house, unaware that she actually spent the night before in the city with a friend.
No one knew who she was with because all of her school friends were accounted for. Myspace hadn’t reached a level of popularity with our school and Facebook hadn’t yet opened itself up to people outside of college so following a digital footprint wasn’t in the cards.
A classmate said that Jen’s parents didn’t want us to venture around the city out of concern for our safety so we had to navigate things from our homes. My bedroom became my Command Center. I was completely engrossed in phone calls, text messages, and scribbled notes of new developments that could be helpful to her parents or the Police.
Still, Jen’s phone was off.
Another 24 hours lapsed without anyone knowing where she was.
Another 24 hours wondering if she was alone, if she was hungry, tired, cold, scared. Was she hurt? Was she lost and confused?
I felt like I was involved in an episode of Law and Order SVU.
Not my friend.
By Thursday morning, the search was over. 48 hours later, it was all over.
The Police found her body in a suitcase in a dumpster in Weehawken. She was beaten and strangled. My heart wouldn’t let me head wrap around the fact that her body was small enough to fit in a suitcase.
How did she end up in Weehawken?
Someone confessed. There was a witness. A man, maybe also a girl.
Was it an accident?
What the fuck happened?
Many of the national newspapers were reporting about the beautiful teen girl from the Upper Middle Class town that attended the elite private school who was violently murdered.
Nearly every newspaper in the Tri State area covered the funeral, including Jen’s professionally shot yearbook photo.
Family and friends were told to arrive early to avoid unwanted media attention. As soon as my mom made a left onto East Saddle River Road, we could see the news vans surrounding the entrance to the Church.
Seated in the back of my mom’s black SUV, my stomach began bubbling up like a geyser. Waves of emotion washed over me and I alternated between heavy sobs and isolating silence. It served as icing on the cake that I would have to face all of my bullies once again, this time without Jen to protect me.
Not one for punctuality normally, my mom made sure to arrive early. As we reached the stairs of the Church, a reporter stepped in front of us.
She flooded me with a bunch of questions without giving me a moment to respond. Then she landed on her last one, “how does it feel to be here today?”
I blinked, hard. Blood moved quickly from my head to my arms, to my hands, to my legs.
Tightness enveloped my chest.
“How the hell do you think it feels?”
Her eyes got big as my words made their way to her ears. My mom wrapped her arms around my shoulders and pulled me inside the Church. My mom did not apologize for my behavior.
Inside, my mom and sister took seats close to the back. My mom noticed and gestured ahead towards a section reserved for Jen’s friends.
Wiping my eyes with the back of my hand, I immediately recognized Megan’s strawberry blonde hair draped over the seat.
Don’t turn around.
I made my way forward.
Don’t turn around.
Don’t turn around.
The brunette next to Megan turned her head. Lisa.
Her eyebrows dipped down and her face changed from soft to sour.
She only looked at me long enough to say “don’t even think about sitting here.”
My head hung low as I found a seat near the back of the Church.
Then Jen’s mom saw me. She pointed toward the front pews, mouthing for me to take a seat up front.
Puddles formed in my eyes.
I moved forward toward the Reserved Section, aware of the eyes that were still lingering on me.
And then I realized that Jen would never truly leave my life.
After the funeral, more details came out in the News. We finally had a vision of what went on for the days Jen was missing.
Jen went to the city with a friend named Talia. Talia didn’t go to school with us, though some of us knew of her.
They went to a club called Guest House on West 27th. Although 18 at the time, Jen used her older sister’s license to get into the club. Later when the girls left the club, they noticed their car had been towed. They had parked it in a ‘No Standing’ space for hours. From there, they hailed a taxi to the Tow Yard on West 38th and 12th Ave. Once they arrived at the Tow Yard, the Attendant noticed that both girls were intoxicated. The Attendant refused to release the car to the girls, prompting an argument and Jen walking away.
Then came the phone call to her boyfriend and the mention of a man pursuing her.
The Man was actually a pimp named Dray who was living in a seedy Motel in Weehawken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River with his prostitute girlfriend, Krystal.
A security camera captured Jen and Dray entering the Motel. It also caught Jen standing alone in the lobby. But then she was quickly escorted back upstairs.
At some point, Dray struck Jen in the face, beating her until her eyes swelled to closed. He found time through all of this to rape her. While still alive, he put her body inside a suitcase. When she started fighting to get out, he removed her, placed a laundry bag and a trash bag over her head and strangled her.
Then Dray and Krystal purchased bleach and nail clippers that they used to rid Jen’s body of evidence before putting her back inside the suitcase. Later, they disposed of the Suitcase in a nearby dumpster. At some point, Dray used Jen’s phone to call his ex girlfriend and his mother. Police used Jen’s phone to catch her killers.
But the more information that came out, the more questions I had.
How did Dray convince Jen to get in a taxi with him?
Why didn’t she run or scream or ask the Motel employee for help?
Then there were rumors that Jen had known her killer. Had they spent the night together at the Club? Did her friendly disposition give him the wrong idea so he got angry and snapped?
Who was the other girl and why didn’t she do anything to help Jen?
Did she help end her life too?
About two months later during my first month in college, I went on a trip to NYC with a school club. The club set up a trip to a comedy show in NYC. It would be my first time back there since Jen’s death. Swallowing my fear, I signed up for the trip. At the comedy show, one of the first jokes was a rape joke. I walked out.
And there I was, alone on the streets of NYC, just like Jen had been a few months earlier. I tried to envision what she saw that night: the darkness around her as she attempted to find a way home. The bubbling in her belly as Dray followed her along the West Side Highway. Her head spinning with panic as she was drunkenly transported in a taxi from New York City to New Jersey. The pain of her short life coming to an end.
Through college, more bullying and relationships, Jen rested in the back of my mind. So many questions still nagged at me. As time passed, I vacillated between wanting to know every detail of what happened and wanting to block it out.
In 2010, after almost four years of delays, Dray and Krystal were sentenced. Dray was sentenced to 50 years in prison for Murder. Krystal received 25 years for kidnapping and hindering apprehension.
In 2014, a few months’ before I came out to my family and friends as transgender, I wrote a letter to Jen’s mom.
In 2016, I wrote letters to Dray and Krystal. A week later, they each responded.
Dray doesn’t want to speak to me. He doesn’t trust me.
Krystal wants her story told. She wants the world to believe in her innocence. She wants everyone to believe she is a victim too.
In ways, she is.
She was sexually abused as a five year old by a close family member and pimped out by her mom.
She was placed in an abusive foster home and then adopted out to an abusive family and separated from her oldest sister. Her protector.
Then there was the Elan School. It closed down in 2011 after a Reddit uproar brought to light the many, many stories of physical and psychological abuse.
Every adult that was supposed to protect her, failed her.
So how much does her victimhood contribute to her circumstances?
Or was she a victim of circumstance, like Jen?