PHOENIX - A Valley woman who was stabbed 40 times by her husband during an hours-long attack nine years ago lived to tell about it and now is trying to help others.
Tracy Stombres was the victim of violent domestic violence attack and recounted the details in an interview with 3TV.
"After I had the baby, years after we got married, he then started not liking the way I dressed, telling me what kind of clothes to wear,” Tracy Stombres said.
Then one day Stombres’ husband snapped.
"He had us both by the hair, and everybody was struggling on the floor, and he pulled out an 8-inch serrated knife,” she said.
Stombres' husband not only stabbed her 40 times, he also turned the knife on her mother, Vina.
The violent rampage lasted for hours.
"He'd come by and he'd kick me to see if I was still alive so I played dead,” Stombres said.
While she played dead, the couple's son watched in horror.
"He had gone into his toy box and got his squirt gun and he put them in his pants right here, and he lifted his shirt up and said, 'Do you want me to shoot dada, do you want me to shoot dada?'” she said.
When police arrived, they found her mother lying dead across the street and Stombres barely breathing.
The couple's 2-year-old son was still visibly shaken and clutching his tiny, silver squirt gun.
Keith Perkins, an attorney and founder of The Never Again Foundation, took on Strombres’ civil case after her criminal case against her husband fell apart.
"He was looking like this perfect guy in court who had never done anything to me before and he was claiming self-defense against my mother, that my mother came after him,” she said.
Even though he killed Stombres' mother and tried to kill her, a jury acquitted him of first-degree murder. They did convict him of lesser charges, aggravated assault and kidnapping.
Strombres won her civil case but was disappointed with the damages awarded.
Since the attack nine years ago, Strombres has endured many reconstructive surgeries and she wrote a book titled "Serrated."
"I did it for my mother and what I want to do with the proceeds from the book I want to open up a domestic violence shelter in my mom's name,” she said.
She is also educating police officers, prosecutors and detectives about domestic violence and how victims should be treated.
Her book and the seminars have helped her heal over the past nine years.
Her son is now 11 and is still haunted by that day in the summer of 2001.
For Strombres' and her son's safety, 3TV chose to leave out certain details in this story.
Strombres' now ex-husband was sentenced to 12 years behind bars but will probably only serve nine.
If you'd like to learn more about the Never Again Foundation, visit www.neveragainfoundation.org or www.serratedbook.com.