LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) - She has 23 years of newspaper clippings neatly placed in a scrapbook. You won't see her name in the headlines, though, her life depends on no one knowing who she is.
"You live once and you die once." She is a confidential informant for police. She is the one that goes into a drug deal armed with just a camera. She has to gain the trust of drug dealers, fast.
"I get scared out there sometimes but you try not to show fear. To me a doper is like a dog, a mad dog. It will smell the fear on you and you can't show any fear. My guts will shake but on the outside I'm laughing," she explained.
For more than two decades she's been working with law enforcement all over Kentucky. "I slept in my car for two years chasing those dopers. I'd go to the creek to take a bath." She remembered Rockcastle County. "They came at me with a circular saw at my legs. They tried to get me to admit I was the law and I laughed it off."
Her first drug round-up in 1991 resulted in 100 cases on 67 people. "It gets in your blood, you have to keep doing it," she said. She has logged all the arrests in her scrapbook, like checkmarks on a to-do list. Because the drug deals and arrests are a personal mission for her, based on a past of pain.
"I got raped by dopers and I wanted to fight back." She said she was raped when she was 40 years old while walking down a road near her home. Months later, she showed up at the police department and started working cases, putting one drug dealer at a time behind bars.
"I had to fight. I had to make peace with myself. That's how I made peace with myself going to work and chasing dopers and catching them." By the time her rape case started moving through the court system, she had already become a successful and valuable informant for police. She said officials asked her to drop the rape charges so she could continue a career by their side.
"A rape case is real hard on the victim and it downs the victim as much as it does the rapist. And they didn't want it to reflect on the dope cases I had at that point," she explained.
The decision to drop the rape charges was a turning point, and she never looked back. "Pretty tough. But I was fighting to get the dope cases. You know, eventually those boys will get their own."