24/7 Surveillance and a Christmas to Remember. What Was Fugitive Chris Burns’ Involvement with Secret Security Group Goshawk?

Two Christmas’ ago (2019), Chris and I were separated. I was laying on the couch curled up under multiple blankets shivering, hoping that my nausea would hold itself back through the opening of presents. I had been a single parent for sixteen days by that Christmas. Philip says that all he remembers is the gift he got from Gavin because Gavin took the time to wrap Philip’s gift in 6 nesting boxes. He doesn’t remember what the gift was, and it’s his only memory from that Christmas–trauma really fogs up memories. Arabella was four years old.

This was the second time I had asked Chris to not come home. I texted him while he was at his company Christmas party and encouraged him that it would be better if he spent the weekend away. I was trying not to be vengeful, but I’m sure there was some place inside me that wanted him to hurt as much as I felt he had hurt me. I had gone out the night before and purchased a gold sequined romper to wear to the dressiest event of the year for me, and on the day of the party, I was disinvited. Chris had decided that he would go alone to the Christmas party for the company that he had been building for a few years–the company where I had stayed home so that he could work whatever hours suited him and begin to build what appeared to be his ambitions for an empire.

I have to go back in time and piece together elements of this security group to figure out how we had gotten to this place of separation again. After my car was keyed and the lakehouse was seemingly broken into, Chris hired a company called Goshawk out of Texas to provide 24-hour security for us. From the beginning, there were a few key members who never left our family’s side. I can’t be 100% sure because I’ve never seen the actual numbers, but I believe Chris decided to pay four hundred thousand dollars for a six-month contract.

My perception at the time was that he was choosing this because my car had been targeted, our home had been broken into, and we had been involved with a couple I was encouraged to believe was connected to some type of sex-trafficking activity.

Looking back, I can definitively state that the couple had nothing to do with sex trafficking or the perceived need then to have a security detail 24/7. I don’t know why someone keyed my car. My guess now is that it was probably a crime of passion from someone Chris was involved with who finally discovered that he was married. And as for breaking into the house, my guess is that it was a scare tactic–but all I have are guesses.

 The majority of those two years are guesses because the mountain of lies is so big, I can only wonder if any parts contained truth. From his credit card statements and a woman named Kim (who admitted to having an affair with Chris), I know that he secretly spent a lot of time in Vegas. Kim lives in Vegas, and there are even charges of around $800/visit at a liquor store in Vegas. During this particular separation, I only knew about one trip to Vegas years before during our first separation–once he went on the run, I could see he was paying Kim thousands of dollars through Paypal on a monthly basis, paying for her condo which was within a ten-minute walk to Red Rocks Casino, and flying compulsively to Vegas–even taking Robert and Erick Erickson out there for a few days on a “guys trip” I was told was in Denver, Colorado.

 I was beginning to question things and in early January after that Christmas day, I decided to call my Uncle who is a police chief. I look back now and realize how scared I was–I made secretive plans to have lunch with my Dad so that I could make phone calls to lawyers and my Uncle through the landline at his office; somehow I had planned that the landline would hopefully be secure. I was worried if I called on my cell phone that it would somehow get back to  Chris or the security team. In that conversation, my uncle so clearly said to me, “Meredith, you need to get out. Nothing good comes out of Vegas. That city is built on organized crime.” I hadn’t really talked with him about our phone call since that day, so I  called him last night to see if he could help me fill in even more gaps.

He said, “I only had 3×5 notecards sitting in front of me on my desk, so when you called,  I began writing as fast as I could on the front and back–I still have those 11 cards from that one fifteen-minute conversation. All I remember is underlining like crazy and adding exclamation marks to what I was writing down. You didn’t realize what you were telling me was scary stuff.” 

Sitting in my Dad’s office holding a bulky phone with a curled up cord attached to a black box that could pass as an operator’s board reminiscent of my childhood, my adult voice overtalked my inner child’s intution and began justifying that he was a  cop who was probably overactive in his approach because of all the bad he had seen in the world. Now I wish I had listened to his sage advice–and to the child-like knowing that I consistently ignored. Today, I can finally look back and feel such depth of gratitude because he was the first person, and the only person at the time, to validate my intuitions–even when I couldn’t do it for myself.

I look back now, and wonder, how does it happen that you get to a place where his initial fear about Vegas feels like one of the most valid theories for what has transpired?

The security group was supposedly made up of ex-special forces. One in particular, became Chris’ closest companion. His name was Robert. Robert was one of the nicest people you could ever meet…until he wasn’t. And I had seen both sides of him. I had seen him turn on the charm in an instant, and I had seen him manipulate anyone who came into his orbit with almost magical skill. It was well known among all of the people in the security group that Robert recorded every phone call and most conversations he had.

One night all of the security team went for drinks. Afterward, apparently, as they were driving home, a car cut in front of them, so they decided to follow the car into a gas station parking lot where yelling and threats escalated between four ex-special forces and two black men. Robert threw the first punch while the rest of the security guys laughed. And Robert laughed. Making someone more vulnerable bleed was a game. 

One of my biggest fears came true when I discovered that, while he had a fiancé on the West Coast, he was asking one of our babysitters–who was much younger than him–out to have drinks or smoke pot after work on a daily basis. I have texts from almost every day she worked for us–Robert asking her to get drinks after work. In one text, she even tells him it is weird that he keeps asking because he is her boss. And he laughs. He was harassing her–he was her only boss–the only person who managed her. She had no one to talk to about his behavior. The day she was hired, he became friends with her on all of her social media platforms, including Snapchat–it was a way of covering his tracks and tracking her movements. He was grooming her, pushing hard for her to give in, and guilting her into feeling bad when she said no. I couldn’t believe that I had missed it. That someone working in my home was having to go through this kind of daily degradation. When it was brought to Chris’ attention, he eventually decided to do nothing. Quite honestly, I have never been more disappointed in a person. I believed I had married a man of integirty–especially integrity towards women. He again proved himself a coward. We fought over it for the next four months. I did not want an arrogant male like Robert who harrassed vulnerable young women anywhere near my family. But the more I brought it up, the more Chris got closer to him and further from us.

Fast forward to seven months after Chris decided to run from the FBI. I was told that Robert had actually been dishonorably discharged from the special forces for having an affair, I saw that he was consistently degrading me through his texts and calling me crazy, and that he openly admitted that he was the person who broke into the lakehouse after Chris left. I had consistently felt my intuition telling me to get away from him, to get him out of our lives–I begged Chris for months to consider if he was a healthy person for the business and for our family. The more I begged, the more Chris ignored me and aligned himself with Robert.

In fact, Chris eventually broke his contract with Goshawk to hire Robert as his COO–Robert would become the only other person connected to any of the financial dealings with the business.

The day after Chris went on the run, Robert called me four times asking me if he would be able to run payroll–I told him the same answer every single time…but he was relentless calling multiple times a day throughout that weekend. I answered every time “I have no idea Robert, you know more about the bank accounts than I do. I don’t even know which banks Chris uses for his business.” Looking back, I wonder if he was trying to figure out how much I knew about the business, the financial side of the business–he called so many times and was only concerned with whether I knew if there was money in the Dynamic Money accounts–as time went on I realized how odd I felt that he wasn’t concerned about Chris, or me, or the kids. He was coldly adamant about bank accounts and payroll.

I don’t know who or what Chris got involved in–but I do know that his right-hand man for those months leading up to Chris disappearing was Robert. As much as I asked Chris to choose our family over Robert, Chris consistently chose Robert.


Chris chose Robert at the Christmas party that Friday night. Earlier that week we were driving in the car, and Chris asked me what I wanted to do about the Christmas party–did I want him to disinvite Robert.

I answered, “I want you to choose. I am tired of making hard decisions. I’d like for you to not place the responsibility of the fallout on me.”

“Well, I just don’t know what you want. I mean, he is my COO.”

I answered, “I can probably come and sit with some of your other employees and do fine.”

“I just think that I’m going to hear about it if that happens. I can’t seem to do what you want me to do. You’re just kind of hard to please.”

“I don’t know what will happen, but I have made my concerns very clear, and I have made my feelings very clear, especially in regards to harassing our nanny. I don’t choose to have people like that in my life.”

“Well, I guess just come then,” he said.

“Okay.”

I remember wishing that he would stand up for me. Wishing that he would want to protect me. That he would believe me, believe my intuition about Robert. Instead, I consistently wondered if I was seeing the situation incorrectly. My mind was all confusion when it came to Robert–and Chris’ infatuation with him. Every time I tried to wrap my mind around it, I felt like I was hanging upside down confused as to which direction would point me to the sky. I ended up reading number of books and spent a lot of time on how to accept and forgive…I went to counseling to try to work out his constant knot in my stomach whenever I was around him.

The Friday night of the Dynamic Money Christmas party, I got a text from one of my friends who worked with Chris saying she was sad I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the party. I was stunned. I was in the middle of putting on my sequin romper as I read her words. I texted back, “I’m not sure what you mean? I’ll be there!” After close to two minutes, she responded, “Oh! Chris told us you weren’t able to make it tonight.”

I immediately tried to call Chris. After five rings, it went to voicemail. No answer. I tried again, the end result was still his voicemail–but this was the ignoring I had normalized on a daily basis. By the end of our relationship, I was not allowed to call during work hours, on his drive to work, or on his drive home from work. I wasn’t allowed to call him when he was out-of-town on business. In fact, I was never even given his flight times and numbers when he went on business trips. I was told I was controlling for asking for those things. Eventually, my mind believed him. I believed I was controlling and jealous for asking for access to him throughout the day and for wanting information about his whereabouts. I remember that it still always brought up feelings of anger and frustration. But at some point, I must have continued to feel the neglect, but also I gave up and thought “he must be right.”


So, I texted, “What’s up? I was planning on coming tonight?”

“Well, I thought from our conversation this week you didn’t want to come.”

“I said I would come. Of course I want to be at your Christmas party–I have planned all of them until this year. All of the people working for you mean a lot to our family; they support our livelihood. I’m really confused.”

He quickly interjected, “You said you wanted me to make the decision. Listen, I already told everyone you’re not coming, so it would be really strange if you ended up coming now.”

“But, it’s Christmas, I already got a babysitter. I never said I wasn’t coming.”

“Well, you really kind of did, and I just thought this would be easier,” he said. “I have to go everyone’s arriving,” and hung up.

I was humiliated–there is no other word for it. I don’t have any. In the depths of who I am as a person, I was again being asked to make myself invisible. I pulled off the gold sequins, and put my pajamas on. I curled up on my side of the bed. My thoughts were shooting through my brain faster than I could process them. And then, emotions were welling up, spewing, overflowing, and burning as they slowly rolled down my cheeks.

My mind finally screamed, “Enough!” Enough of the roller-coaster days, enough of being ignored, enough of confusing conversations. Just enough–that was all I knew to say. But, it was enough. It was enough for me to text him to find a place to stay for the weekend. It was enough for me to call a locksmith and have the locks changed on the house. It was humiliatingly enough when I would later see social media posts of Robert with his fiancé at the Christmas party. Chris later said that she flew in from the West coast to surprise Robert, but if I listen to my instincts, they say Chris knew she was coming and decided he didn’t want me there while she was there. I knew too much and was a liability. 

Enough. I was his wife, mothering the children he said he adored, and I wasn’t allowed a seat at the table.

Here’s the hardest part to for me write because I still feel shame. By Sunday, he was driving with me to take the kids roller-skating. On average, it takes a victim of domestic violence seven times to try to leave an abusive relationship.

This was my third attempt, and I believed all of the right things he said that he was going to do to make it better. I thought I was saving our family, or fighting for it. I couldn’t imagine a world where my kids didn’t see their father every day.

My kids haven’t seen their father in a year and ninety-seven days now. I am thankful to be out–I have spoken with many friends and wondered if I would have ever actually left out of my own will. I had no concept that I was in an abusive relationship. It wasn’t until 6 months after Chris left when my friend sent me this diagram. I can check off statements in every single area–statements there were consistent lived experiences.

He came home with us from roller-skating and promptly asked me for a key to the house. I asked him if we could discuss it in our marriage counseling already scheduled for Monday–that is what I felt comfortable with. 

“This is my house, if you don’t give me a key, I am going to tell the boys that I am leaving for good.”

“I understand that is what you feel like you need to do, but I am only asking for one day. I would really like to discuss the past few days with our marriage counselor.”

“So you’re really going to break up our family over a key?”

“No, I’m not. Are you?”

“You are breaking up our family. You already had me leave after my Christmas party and not come home, and now this!”

He walked out of the room and screamed from the bottom of the stairs up to the main floor; his voice filled every room  “BOOYYYYYSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!”

I heard the boys slip down the stairs and saw them walk into our master bedroom with their heads lowered.

“Your Mom has decided that we are going to separate. I’m going to pack my things and leave. I still love you. I’ll always be here for you. But, I wanted you to hear it from me.”

They were silenced. I didn’t have anything else to say anymore.

We all stood in the master bedroom as Chris sprinted from drawer to closet to shoe rack throwing his things in a bag. He carried his suitcase past the three of us, and we heard his car squeal out of the driveway. The next four months were the hardest have ever experienced. But, they were also the calmest I had experienced in the entirety of our marriage.

We were separated at Christmas in 2019. I was incredibly sick; I was heartbroken; I was begging God to save me. My hope was that we would restore our marriage and figure out how to treat each other with love and respect again. But in the documentation that I have now seen, Chris had other plans. He was planning to bury me. He did come back into the home when Covid started, but that March through the September when he left, were some of the darkest days the kids and I have ever lived.

2 thoughts on “24/7 Surveillance and a Christmas to Remember. What Was Fugitive Chris Burns’ Involvement with Secret Security Group Goshawk?”

  1. I love you. I love your bravery, intelligence, coherence and intuitive parental fierceness. You are the real deal and have everything [and more] needed to re-craft a beautiful life and watch over the kids getting stronger. Every DV victim I have ever talked to was amazed when they discovered the wheel. Your blog underscores how Power and Control was used against you — I love to see you discovering YOUR power. <3 The very best things are made slowly and carefully and that is how you are proceeding. Very proud of you!
    Diana

  2. Meredith
    You know after reading three of your posts
    And frankly not really knowing what you’re talking about when you said “he’s on the run”

    I came down stairs read the dramatic part which I had to Google search

    with my beautiful wife Sherri

    Here is what she said after all these years

    And after i read the official bla bla bla

    “I don’t remember what she looked like but I remember that she was totally real

    that she was authentic

    And amazing !

    And that I really liked her! “,

    As for me after reflecting on all this

    I’d rather let Sherris words speak to you.

    I feel like I’d rather take this time to
    Reflect on how i am using my talents and abilities with words. Solemnly keeping in check lest my words are used to charm others and primarily promote myself.

    But that being said, its only right
    to say how proud we are of you for making this so easy for us to learn from

    Thank you brave soul!

    Mr. G

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