Burned By Her Husband
The remarkable words, "I can't complain, life is everything I ever wanted it to be," come from a woman who was set on fire by the very man who'd promised to love her until death do they part.
Audrey Mabrey brings new meaning to the word "survivor." She was in the midst of a turbulent split from her husband, a retired New York City police detective, when her whole world turned upside-down on November 17, 2009.
INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney asked Mabrey, "Your own husband set you on fire?"
"Yeah. It was surreal," said Mabrey.
"What happened that day?" asked McInerney.
Mabrey said, "I was completely blindsided. I had no idea this was ever coming."
Mabrey walked into her Tampa, Florida, home to find a startling sight.
"I opened the front door and there he is, stark naked, with a butcher knife," said Mabrey.
She says Christopher Hanney, father of her two young sons, then forced her into the garage. Mabrey had to recount the whole horrific ordeal in court.
"He begins to rape me with a knife to my throat," Mabrey told a Florida courtroom.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Mabrey tearfully described how Hanney bashed her head with a hammer, doused her with gasoline, and threw a lit candle at her.
The prosecution asked Mabrey in court, "After he tossed the candle at you what happened?"
Mabrey said, "I instantly go up in flames."
The flames burned 80% of her body, miraculously; she was able to flee the garage.
Mabrey told INSIDE EDITION, "Because it was fire, he couldn't stop me. You don't grab someone who's on fire."
A neighbor heard her cries and helped douse the flames. Mabrey was flown to the hospital by helicopter.
When Hanney had his day in court, Mabrey looked him right in the eye so he could see what he'd done to her.
Mabrey said, "He looked at me and shook his head, and said, 'Oh my God.' This is someone everyone adored. He turned out to be a monster."
Hanney was found guilty of attempted murder and faces life in prison.
Mabrey gave a shocking response when McInerney asked, "You forgive him?"
Mabrey responded, "Absolutely. I forgive him for me. That sort of hate in your heart is poison to your spirit."
Mabrey believes she knows why her husband was able to do such a horrible thing.
"It was a situation where there was a man who felt he'd lost everything. Therefore, he was capable of anything," said Mabrey.
Mabrey has now become an advocate for other victims of domestic violence. If you'd like to learn more about how you can help, please visit:
http://handsacrossthebay.org/ -- The Tampa Bay organization Mabrey directly works with against Domestic Violence
http://www.thehotline.org/ -- National Domestic Violence Hotline
http://www.ncadv.org/ -- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence