Hera McLeod and her father Gus were the fifth team eliminated on The Amazing Race 6 in 2004.
In 2012, her 15-month-old died during visitation with his father, who was charged with first-degree murder and faces trial for the child’s murder Jan. 11. His father had taken out more than $500,000 in life insurance policies on his son.
Last night, BuzzFeed News published a story about Hera’s sister, Lara McLeod, who says she was raped by Hera’s fiance, Joaquin Rams, the man charged with the child’s death.
He denies the assault, just as he denies killing his son—or killing his ex-girlfriend (he’s a suspect in her 2003 death) and denies having any role in the 2008 suicide of his mother.
Readings about Hera, Prince, Lara, and Joaquin:
- The Washington Post’s four-part report on The death of Prince McLeod Rams. A year after it was published, the chief medical examiner in Virginia changed the cause of death for the child to “undetermined” from drowning, saying, “the possibility of a natural death cannot be totally eliminated.”
- BuzzFeed News’ story about Lara McLeod: The Police Told Her To Report Her Rape, Then Arrested Her For Lying. In it, Hera says, “I wanted so badly to believe that [Joaquin] was who he said he was. But then it was like someone finally threw a big bucket of water on me and I woke up screaming. I realized I didn’t know this person at all. I just saw a monster.”
- For the past three years, Hera has been blogging about the case on Cappuccino Queen; its tagline is “a mama honoring the memory of her son by pursuing justice.”
- Joaquin Rams also wrote a blog, which was subtitled, “Rumors and lies are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots.” Among other things, he published a photo of a card Hera sent him before their son was born, as evidence that he is not the “psychopath” she now says he is.
- Hera sued and won $550,000 “from the psychologist who testified that it was safe to leave the boy with his father,” the AP reported.