NEW PORT RICHEY — She brought her 16-year-old son and a trash bag full of clothes on the first date.
Bobbie Jo Curtis, 40, told the suitor she met online she didn't have a car. He'd have to pick her up at her motel room.
Joseph Bruno, 44, made the trip in his white utility van. They stopped for pizza on the way back to Bruno's house, sat around the table and got to know each other.
She told him she was being evicted and asked if she could sleep on the couch that night. He never objected. She never left.
Bruno says he had a bad hunch about letting her stay. She was a stranger, but she looked like she was going through a hard time...
...The first crack on the head was blinding.
Bruno had been watching the Yankees-Rays game on his computer Sept. 14 when he felt it. He reeled in his chair and met the pale blue eyes he'd first seen in the profile.
"What the hell?"
Curtis stood behind him clutching a 2 by 4, he said. "You're lucky I ain't kill you two days before," she told him. The 2 by 4 came down mercilessly, he said.
The first hits didn't put him under like they do in the movies. He watched the blood spill out of his head, so much that a cleaning crew would later have to pull up the dining room floorboards because of all the dried blood stuck between them.
He said she beat him 20 times before his world went dark.
Pasco sheriff's reports that describe the attack also say she took Bruno's van and brought back her friend Vanessa Musson. It was Musson's 26th birthday.
Reports say they used a thick tow rope to bind him to his office chair while he drifted in and out of consciousness. They beat him several more times.
Reports don't specify who did what, but a gun was pressed to Bruno's head. He surrendered the combination to his safe.
They snatched comic books, rare baseball cards, two guitars, his wallet, his gun collection and his flat-screen television and loaded it into his van.
David Ragon, a 69-year-old neighbor, saw them loading the van and came over to check on Bruno. That's when, he said, Curtis' son, Bryan, came behind him with a hammer. The blow to the back of his head knocked him out. More hits broke his jaw.
Then the three left...