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National Examiner - 05/19/98

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More demonization and fantasy by a Kurth. Constance Kurth claims Stephen would kill Barbara if she did not get out of there.



PALM BEACH socialite Stephen Fagan, whom cops say kidnapped his two daughters, hired a hit man to kill members of his wife's family, says his ex-mother-in-law in an exclusive EXAMINER interview.

Constance Kurth exposed her former son-in-law's 20-year ruse, in which he changed his identity and raised her two granddaughters in the lap of luxury in posh Palm Beach, Fla.

There, he happily hobnobbed with the rich and famous – who never got a glimpse of his dark side. Until now.

Recently, investigators put an end to the devious dad's double life. They revealed to his stunned daughters, Rachael, 23 and Lisa, 21, that their mom, Barbara Kurth, is very much alive, remarried and working as a research biologist at the University of Virginia Medical School.

Fagan, 58, was arrested and charged with two counts each of kidnapping and parental kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

"Stephen was disgusting and I loathed him from the minute I met him," says his mother-in-law Constance Kurth. "When Barbara confided to me: 'Mom, I want to get away from him,' I said: 'come home.'

"But Fagan had an awful hold on her. I could tell she was always afraid of him and that was one of the reasons she eventually left him.

"I told her: 'Get out of there or he will have you killed.' He's a really evil person."

Constance had reason to worry. After her daughter divorced Fagan, a judge awarded custody of their two daughters, then 5 and 2, to Barbara and granted Fagan visitation rights.

But a horrible legal battle ensured in which Fagan charged that neighbors of his 48-year-old ex-wife had reported seeing their children hungry, and unattended, while Barbara was drunk or in a stupor.

After an investigation by child welfare officials, Barbara was allowed to keep the kids.

During the worst part of the flight, says Constance, she, her daughter and Barbara's attorney, Jacob Atwood, were marked for death by a contract killer. "Stephen solicited a hit man to...

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