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Todd Gobeille: A Pimp's Redemption

Life as a pimp and drug dealer didn't offer the satisfaction Todd wanted. Read Transcript


Reporter: AS A LITTLE

BOY, TODD GOBEL WAS

LIKE ANY OTHER CHILD,

PLAYFUL AND HAPPY.

ALL THAT CHANGED WHEN HE WAS

PUT IN DAYCARE.

I WAS ABUSED AT A DAYCARE

CENTER, A PRESCHOOL TYPE

PLACE.

AND I KNEW THAT WAS WRONG,

BUT I DIDN'T KNOW WHY

EXACTLY.

I WAS A LITTLE TOO YOUNG TO

UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANT,

BUT I KNEW IT WAS WRONG.

Reporter: THE WOMAN WHO

ABUSED TODD ALSO THREATENED

HIM.

SHE TOLD ME IF I DIDN'T

GO ALONG WITH THIS AND GO TO

WHERE WE WERE TO GO, SHE

WOULD TELL MY PARENTS.

IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST

AMAZING CONS OF ALL TIMES.

BECAUSE I, OF COURSE, AS A

KID BELIEVED THAT.

I THOUGHT, I WOULD BE IN BIG

TROUBLE IF MY PARENTS KNEW

WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

Reporter: THE ABUSE

CONTINUED FOR ALMOST A

YEAR.

I REMEMBER FEELING UNSURE

ABOUT SEX STUFF.

I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS RIGHT

AND WHAT WAS WRONG.

I THN DIDN'T THINK IT WAS

RIGHT TO HAVE THOSE FIRST

YOUNG INITIAL SEXUAL

ASSAULTS.

GUILT AND SHAME CAME UP,

LIKE IT WAS SOMETHING THAT

WASN'T OKAY.

Reporter: IN HIGH

SCHOOL, THOSE FEELINGS

TURNED TO RAGE.

I BEGAN FIGHTING IN

SCHOOL.

GETTING IN TROUBLE FOR

PHYSICAL FIGHTS.

I WAS IN A WHOLE LOT OF

TROUBLE.

Reporter: HE STARTED

EXPERIMENTING WITH DRUGS AND

ALCOHOL.

THE SECOND I TASTED

ALCOHOL -- I DIDN'T KNOW AT

THE TIME I WAS AN

ALCOHOLIC.

FROM THE FIRST SIP, IT HAD

ME.

BY THE TIME I WAS IN MY

FRESHMAN YEAR IN HIGH

SCHOOL, I HAD GOTTEN INTO A

FIGHT AND WAS EXPELLED FROM

THE SCHOOL DISTRICT.

I WASN'T IN SCHOOL AT 15.

ALL I REALLY CLUNG TO WAS

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL.

Reporter: AT 17, TODD

MET A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR WHO

WAS MAKING HUNDREDS OF

DOLLARS A DAY AS A PIMP.

ONE DAY HE WOULD COME IN

A PORSCHE, AND THE NEXT DAY

A CADILLAC, AND WE SAID,

BOY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT HE IS

DOING, BUT WE WANT TO DO

WHAT HE DOES.

I REACHED OUT TO HIM, AND WE

INSTANTLY BECAME BEST

FRIENDS.

Reporter: TODD QUICKLY

LEARNED HOW TO LURE WOMEN

INTO PROSTITUTION.

ALL MENTAL MANIPULATION.

ESSENTIALLY, YOU HAVE TO

TRUST ME.

I'M YOUR MAN AND I AM ALSO

THIS MANAGER.

I CAN SEE PAST THIS CURVE IN

THE ROAD YOU CAN CAN'T SEE.

YOU HAVE TO TRUST ME AND PUT

YOUR FAITH IN ME.

IT WILL BE RIGHT IN THE

FUTURE, AND YOU'RE JUST

GOING TO HAVE TO TRUST ME ON

THAT.

I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECT

FOR WOMEN.

IT WAS KIND OF THIS WEIRD

PARADOX WHERE WE LOOKED AT

THEM AND CONSIDERED THEM

NAMES I WOULDN'T SAY ON

CAMERA.

Reporter: ENFORCEMENT

WAS A PIMP'S PRIMARY

RESPONSIBILITY.

HIS GIRLS HAD TO PERFORM AND

HIS COSTUMERS HAD TO PAY.

ONE DAY A CUSTOMER REFUSED

PAYMENT.

I WENT INTO A BLIND RAGE,

IF YOU WILL.

AND I GRABBED A HATCHET, A

MACHETE-TYPE OF THING AND I

WENT AHEAD AND WENT BACK TO

HIS HOUSE AND I ATTACKED THE

MAN, AND BEGAN TO CHOP HIM

UP WITH THE AX.

AT THAT POINT IN TIME, I WAS

ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH

ATTEMPTED MURDER/ROBBERY IN

THE FIRST DEGREE BECAUSE I

WAS DEMANDING MONEY INSIDE

THE MAN'S HOME.

Reporter: HE SENTENCED

TO FOUR YEARS.

AFTER HE SERVED HIS

SENTENCE, HE WASTED NO TIME

REVIVING HIS CRIMINAL

SKILLS.

HE COMMITTED A STRING OF

VIOLENT CRIMES AND WAS YOU

IN AND OUT OF JAIL.

AFTER HIS LAST RELEASE, HE

RETURNED TO BEND, OREGON,

WHERE HE GREW UP, FOR A

FRESH START.

A FRIEND OF HIS FATHER'S

HEARD ABOUT TODD'S CRIMINAL

PAST AND WANTED TO HELP.

HE SAID WHAT YOU'RE DOING

IS YOU'RE ON THE TITANIC,

AND THE SHIP IS SINKING, AND

YOU'RE REARRANGING THE DECK

CHAIRS.

SO YOU'RE IN A DIFFERENT

POSITION, BUT YOU'RE STILL

GOING DOWN.

FOR SOME REASON, THAT

ANALOGY REALLY HIT HOME.

HE TOOK ME OUT TO WHERE THE

THREE MOUNTAINS ARE.

AND HE SAID, YOU SEE THOSE

MOUNTAINS, HOW THEY'RE

WHITE-COVERED IN SNOW.

THAT'S HOW GOD LOOKS AT YOU,

AND THAT'S HOW GOD LOOKS AT

YOUR LIFE, REGARDLESS OF

WHAT YOU HAVE DONE.

WHAT MOVED ME SO MUCH WAS

THE MAJOR CONTRAST FROM WHAT

I FELT INSIDE ME -- I FELT

IF YOU COULD RIP OVER MY

CHEST AND LOOK AT THE

INSIDE, IT LOOKED LIKE ONE

OF THOSE SMOKING

COMMERCIALS, THE BLACK

LUNG.

I FELT SO DIRTY AND DECREPID

INSIDE.

LOOKING AT THAT MOUNTAIN,

THERE WAS THIS CONTRAST.

I SAW THAT'S THE OPPOSITE OF

WHAT I AM.

THE POLAR OPPOSITE.

TO THINK THAT GOD LOOKS AT

ME LIKE THAT, THAT

SEEMS, LIKE, IMPOSSIBLE, AND

YET SUPER PROFOUND.

HE LED ME THROUGH THE

SINNER'S PRAYER AND LED ME

TO CHRIST THAT DAYMENT AND I

WANTED JESUS IN MY LIFE.

IT WASN'T THAT I TURNED A

CORNER TO BE ON FIRE FOR THE

LORD WHATSOEVER, BUT I KNEW

WHAT I WAS DOING DIDN'T

WORK.

AND THE THOUGHT OR IDEA --

THERE WAS THIS GLIMPSE OF AN

IDEA THAT I COULD BE

FORGIVEN.

Reporter: TODD SAYS HE

SINCERELY ASKED JESUS INTO

HIS HEART.

BUT HE STILL STRUGGLED WITH

HIS OLD LIFESTYLE.

HE DIDN'T NO WHAT TO DO OR

WHERE TO GO.

SO HE DECIDED TO GO HOME TO

HIS PARENTS.

THE IDEA I COULD GO HOME

AND MY PARENTS WOULD TREAT

ME LIKE I WAS THE PRODIGAL

SON AND THEY WANTED TO ROLL

OUT THE RED CARPET FOR ME.

I KNEW ONE THING, I DIDN'T

DESERVE IT.

BUT THEY DID.

AND THEY SHOWED ME THE REAL

LOVE OF JESUS.

THESE PEOPLE THAT I USED TO

HATE AND THINK ARE JUST FULL

OF IT ARE ACTUALLY --

THEY'VE GOT MORE LOVE THAN I

COULD HAVE SHOWN ANY HUMAN

BEING.

MY DAD SAID THERE WAS 20

YEARS ON HIS KNEES PRAYING,

WAKING UP AT 2:00 IN THE

MORNING, PLEADING WITH GOD,

BEGGING GOD TO CHANGE ME,

BEING ANGRY WITH GOD.

I NEVER COULD IMAGINE

SOMEONE PUTTING THAT MUCH

DIRT ON MY LIFE AND MY

FAMILY AND MY NAME, AND HAVE

HIM COME HOME AND TREAT HIM

AS SOME KIND OF PRINCE.

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN YOU

TAKE YOUR CHILD AND LAY HIM

ON GOD'S ALTER AND SAY I'M

DONE.

I CAN'T DO ANYMORE.

WHEN YOU FINALLY RELEASE

EVERYTHING AND LAY YOUR JOB

ON GOD'S ALTER, I THINK

THAT'S WHEN GOD DOES HIS

BEST WORK AND WE SEE THOSE

MIRACLES TAKE PLACE.

Reporter: TODAY TODD IS

MARRIED AND HAY HAVE A SON.

HE OWNS A GRAPHIC DESIGN

AGENCY, AND HE AND HIS

FAMILY LIVE IN BEND,

OREGON.

I THINK GOD PURSUED ME

BECAUSE HE LOVES US SO

MUCH.

IN THAT WAY I'M NOT ANY

DIFFERENT THAN ANYBODY

ELSE.

GOD PURSUES US.

HE LOOKS AT US LIKE HIS OWN

CHILDREN.

THERE IS NOTHING YOU COULD

HAVE DONE IN LIFE THAT COULD

MAKE GOD NOT WANT TO PURSUE

YOU AND LOVE YOU AND HAVE

SOMETHING FOR YOU.

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