When a woman killed her abusive husband out of self-defense, she found out that 'he' was actually a woman wearing a prosthetic penis.
Angelo Heddington and Elizabeth Rudavsky from Canada had a whirlwind romance, which was followed by a shotgun wedding after four months of dating, and then escalating domestic violence.
But when a battered 27-year-old Elizabeth stabbed Angelo, 30, after he attacked her in 2003, it was the paramedics who discovered a prosthetic penis under 'his' clothes on the way to the hospital.
Elizabeth says on the Investigation Discovery program, Fatal Vows, which premieres December 13: 'I never saw nothin'. Things were dark.'
Throughout their seven-month relationship, Angela had never been 'bare' in the light with Elizabeth, and always insisted on having sex in the dark, according to a police report.
Angelo, born Angela, actually told his wife that a previous girlfriend had gotten angry and burned his genitals.
'I never passed judgment,' Elizabeth said.
According to the book Cruel and Unusual Idiots: Chronicles of Meanness and Stupidity, a former girlfriend of Angela told a reporter: 'Ang had soft hands, but she spit like a guy. The whole time you were talking to her, she'd have her hands in her pockets, playing with herself like she was a guy.'
The couple met while Angela was living at a Glencoe-area farm while recuperating from a back injury and Elizabeth was traveling to farms to sell dog tags.
It wasn't long before Angela started beating Elizabeth, who said during the investigation that she genuinely loved her husband.
Over seven months, Angela continued to hit Elizabeth, threatening her with guns and violating her with a metal pipe.
In the early stages, at the couple's wedding announcement, Elizabeth recalls: 'I had to explain to everyone how I could be so happy, getting married, when I had a black eye.
'But I knew how to pull the wool over people's eyes. It was one thing Ang taught me how to do.'
As a result of an investigation, a second-degree murder charge against Elizabeth was dropped when it was determined that she had been acting in self-defense when she killed Angela.
Information from Angela's family painted a picture of a violent person who left her home near Chatham and had been pretending to be male since she was 14 years old.
Police and medical investigations brought forward overwhelming evidence Angela had a history ofsimilar types of abuse in at least three past relationships, in which she also acted as a man.
Angela had both male and female lovers, however, and was apparently controlling and abusive with both. While pretending to be a man, Angela starved a male lover until he lost 99lbs.
As Angelo, Angela had threatened to kill Elizabeth's family and also once beat her so badly that her lung collapsed. Her own weight fell from 200lbs to 130lbs.
Angela exercised 'food control' on Elizabeth, who was whipped with a horse crop, and beaten for 'not answering questions quickly enough, not cooking supper fast enough, not sitting upstraight and not acting like a lady,' Crown Attorney Paul Bailey said during the investigation.
The night Angela died, Elizabeth broke free from her abusive grip and and ran toward the door, grabbing a 12-inch butcher knife along the way.
She stabbed Angela in the abdomen after being cornered at the door, which was blocked with a bicycle.
'In a case of clear self-defense, it is only proper to withdraw the charge. A murder has not been committed,' Mr Bailey said at the hearing.
George Flikweert, of the Chatham-Kent Police Service, said at the time: 'We all come across terrible cases of abuse on children and on spouses. But I've never in my career seen one as horrific in nature as this particular case.'
Elizabeth's lawyer, Fletcher Dawson,added: 'It was as if she was a prisoner of war, and it was similar to the Stockholm syndrome.'