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Erika Slezak Library

LIFE STORY 1970's, Snapshot of Victoria Lord Riley's Storyline in 1970's A Glimpse into the past.

CHAPTER 1: Not available



After Gillian Spencer left the show as Viki, she was replaced by Trish Van Devere, who was replaced by Erika Slezak, who has been playing the role since then. Viki (Erika) married Steve Burke, an executive on the Banner. What Viki didn't know was that Joe Riley was still alive!


CHAPTER 2: A DOUBLE LIFE


Viki's life was shattered. She tried to believe Joe was somehow still alive, but she just couldn't keep up her hopes forever. She finally signed Joe's death certificate and tried to resign herself to his death. But that proved too difficult for her to do. Her mind began to go; she developed a multiple personality.

Although she usually remained sophisticated, controlled Viki, at times she would be transformed into flamboyant, sexy, uninhibited "Niki." Niki used so much makeup she managed to look quite a bit different from Viki. And when Viki had these episodes involving her other personality, she would wake up with the incident entirely erased from her mind. The dual personality caused its share of complications, too. Vinnie Wolek, Joe's best friend, fell in love with the fascinating Niki.

Finally Niki was unmasked and Viki got help. Dr. Marcus Polk, an excellent psychiatrist, was able to help Viki return to normal.

Quite a while had passed since Joe's fateful accident, and Viki was not a woman who enjoyed loneliness. Steve Burke, an executive at The Banner, had long been attracted to Viki. She now began to realize his merits in return. Their affection grew, but since the course of love never seemed to run smoothly for Viki, a new problem popped up in the person of Marcie Wade.

Marcie harbored a secret passion for Steve and hoped to break up his relationship with Viki. She hit upon an ingenious plan for doing so; she began to impersonate Niki so that it would appear that Viki was losing her grip on reality and becoming a crazy person once again. It worked for a while, but Steve finally exposed her, accidentally causing her death in a violent encounter. He stood trial for murder, but was acquitted.

Steve and Viki were free to pursue their relationship once again, and decided to be married. But as their plans for a beautiful ceremony at Victor Lord's estate, Llanfair, were progressing, complications were brewing in another part of town.

Joe Riley was alive after all. After the accident nearly two years earlier, he had suffered amnesia. When his memory finally returned, he made his way back to Llanview to the woman he loved-his wife Viki. But he had other problems. A brain aneurism, brought about by the accident was, he believed, going to cause his death in a matter of months. He read of Viki's impending marriage to Steve Burke and felt it would be wrong to spoil her happiness with his problems. She would only have to suffer his death allover again.

A waitress in a Llanview restaurant, Wanda Webb, had meanwhile fallen in love with Joe, but did not know his true identity. One day, because of his aneurism, he collapsed in her restaurant and she had him brought to her house to recover .

The day of Viki and Steve's wedding arrived and Joe couldn't stay away. He hid in the bushes in the yard, where he was able to see the ceremony without being seen. On her way back from the altar, Viki dropped her handkerchief near him. It was embroidered with a "V" and Joe couldn't resist picking it up and taking it with him as a token to remember her by.

In the meantime, Wanda was trying to solve the mystery of Joe's identity. She had found a piece of paper in his pocket with Vinnie Wolek's phone number on it, and the handkerchief with the "V." She read the papers and, putting two and two together, realized he was the long-missing Joe Riley. She called Vinnie and told him she had a friend of his at her house, and he had better come to pick him up.

Vinnie was stunned to find that Joe was alive, although just barely. They got him to the hospital to try to have his aneurism operated on. They succeeded and in what was nearly a miracle of surgery, Joe's life was saved-he would be well again. Viki and Steve had been away on their honey-moon, where they experienced a brief period of happiness. But what should they find on their arrival home but the news that Joe Riley was alive and back in Llanview! .

Viki was in a state of unbelievable turmoil, suddenly finding herself with two husbands, both of whom were well-loved. She decided her duty was to stay with Steve Burke, and resigned herself to trying to erase all traces of her love for Joe from her memory.

Complicating this heroic effort on her part was the occasion of Joe's complete recovery, when he returned to work at The Banner.

Caught between the two men all day long, Viki found she had been placed in an intolerable situation. The two men were bitter rivals for her affection and Viki found it hard to keep her equanimity and live contentedly with Steve. When she was with Steve she wanted Steve, when she was with Joe, she wanted Joe. But she tried to remain firm in her resolve to stay with Steve.


CHAPTER 3: FATE STEPS IN


A big story, necessitating coverage by The Banner, caused the next near-disaster in the triangle. Victor Lord assigned Viki to cover the Greenfield avalanche disaster, unbeknownst to Steve who, in turn, sent Joe Riley to cover the story. Joe found Viki's name on the hotel register in Mt. Jefferson when he arrived but, respecting her decision to think things through alone, he decided to leave without seeing her.

Fate stepped in, though, and Viki and Joe accidentally ran into each other in the hotel hallway. They decided to stay and cover the story together, as they used to do in the old days, and planned to celebrate over dinner when the assignment was finished. Their feelings proved too strong for them, however, and they ended up making love and spending the night together.

In the morning Viki told Joe that the previous night had been a mistake and that she would remain with Steve as she felt he really needed her. She felt that Joe, who had always been a loner , could live without her. An argument ensued and Viki ran off, got into her car and recklessly drove away. Too recklessly-she skidded into a tree, fractured her skull and lapsed into a coma.

Viki's doctors felt there was no physical reason for the coma, and that it was psychologically induced. Joe, however, had decided to tell no one about the night he and Viki spent together, so Steve and Victor could only wonder about Joe's possible involvement in the accident.

When Viki emerged from the coma, she had selective amnesia and could not remember anything that happened after Joe's accident in California. The doctors felt it was important for her to try to remember things on her own. Eventually, they did tell her she was married to Steve. Meanwhile, Joe and Steve had a confrontation over the accident. Joe told Steve that Viki had indeed planned to stay married to him, but only because she felt Steve needed her more. Joe also implied that Viki really loved Joe more than she did Steve. Steve, who always felt unsure of Viki's love when Joe was around, admitted to himself that Joe might be right.

With the aid of a tune from a music box which Joe had given her on their romantic night together , Viki recovered her memory and asked to see both Steve and Joe. She told them that while she wanted Joe's friendship, she intended to remain with Steve for the rest of her life!

Steve was thrilled, but Joe was stunned and angry, insisting Viki was making the wrong choice for the wrong reasons. Steve suspected in his heart of hearts that Joe was right, but he wouldn't give up the woman he loved under any circumstances.

Bitter and angry, Joe decided to move to New York to start his career, and his life, all over again. Viki and Steve, however, went to Rome for a second honeymoon. But Viki found she couldn't forget Joe that easily.

When Steve discovered the music box in Viki's old room at Llanfair, he remembered that Joe and Viki were together covering the disaster story I right before her accident and again wondered if there was any connection. Steve continued to feel very unsure of Viki's love for him. This lack of assurance was intensified when Victor Lord asked Joe to return to Llanview to work at The Banner.

The same old feelings bubbled to the surface; Viki's love for Joe and her feelings of indecisiveness, Joe's bitterness, and Steve's jealousy. Steve and Joe had another of their interminable arguments which ended in Joe's going off to get drunk.


CHAPTER 4: ENTER CATHY CRAIG


After Joe returned to The Banner, Viki felt that he was bending over backwards to be cool to her -- so much so that it was impossible for them to have any semblance of a friendship. Meanwhile, Joe was encouraging Cathy Craig, a former Banner reporter in her first attempts at writing a novel. Cathy was beginning to feel drawn to Joe, as he was to her, but his real love would always be for Viki.

When Joe discovered that Viki gave the music box he had given her to charity, he bought it back and presented it to her again. Her ambivalent feelings led to an argument, and Joe went to Cathy's apartment.

While Cathy's novel was being considered by a publisher, she asked Joe to vacation with her in Mt. Jefferson, the scene of Joe and Viki's one-night reunion. He refused at first, but after having an- other scene with Viki, he decided to go after all. Upon his arrival, he found that, ironically, Cathy was staying in the room he and Viki had shared.

When Joe returned to Llanview, more of the same treatment from Steve and Viki was in store for him: Steve insulted him, and Viki came to apologize to Joe for Steve's behavior. Joe tried to make her realize that her contradictory behavior was serving to keep him hoping. Angrily, he gave her an ultimatum: either get out of his life and stay out, or come back to him once and for all. Viki left to mull this over, and in her absence Cathy Craig went to Joe's to provide consolation. When Viki returned to Joe's, she was greeted by a bathrobed Cathy telling her she was too late.

Really miserable, Viki decided that even if Cathy and Joe had become sexually involved, it didn't matter. She had chosen Steve for all the wrong reasons and she informed him she wanted a separation.

Cathy immediately suspected this might happen and convinced Joe to go to New York with her to see her publisher. He went, only to be overwhelmed by their growing relationship. Cathy succeeded in seducing him, but when he found out that Viki was leaving Steve, he rushed back to Viki. As usual, Joe and Viki met obstacles -- Cathy was determined not to give Joe up. Steve refused to give Viki a divorce, telling her she was simply throwing her life away for the wrong man. Even when Viki begged her father to reason with Steve, he refused, feeling Steve was the proper husband for his daughter.

Although Steve realized that Viki would not return to him, he remained steadfast in his refusal to give her a divorce. As a result, Viki decided that she would spite them all and simply begin living with Joe. Although Joe wanted nothing more than to have his true love with him, he realized that with Viki's conventional upbringing, living in sin would only bring her pain.

Viki found a letter Steve had written her just before their wedding which gave her hope that he would give her her freedom. In it he had written that he loved her so much, that if she ever changed her mind and stopped loving him he would let her go, grateful for any amount of time he would have had with her. Viki took the letter to Steve, reminding him of his prior intentions. She said that the man who wrote the letter would give her a divorce. Steve countered that while he was the same man, he would not give her a divorce, as he felt that in this case she was making a grave mistake. Furious at his treating her like a child, Viki informed him she could be every bit as vindictive-she would never, ever go back to him.

Steve and Cathy commiserated together on the subject of Viki and Joe's unsuitability for each other, and Steve ended up by hiring Cathy back onto The Banner. Her presence there only served as a further complication for Joe and Viki. But Cathy's life now had a complication of its own; she was pregnant with Joe's child due to their brief liaison in New York.

Victor Lord planned a last-ditch effort to reconcile Viki and Steve. He invited them to Llanfair for dinner on their anniversary. But his plan backfired. Viki explained to Steve that her love for him was dead. She didn't yet hate him, but soon would if he persisted in keeping her from Joe. Bending to the inevitable, Steve consented to a divorce, and Viki flew to the Caribbean to obtain one immediately. While she was there, Joe's sister Eileen told him of Cathy's pregnancy so he could do whatever he thought was right.

Viki returned to Llanview overjoyed at the realization that she was free at last to marry Joe. The news of Cathy's pregnancy hit her like a thunderbolt, and she blamed herself, feeling that if she hadn't stayed with Steve so long she could have prevented this unfortunate occurrence. Joe, trying to do what was best for all concerned, proposed to Cathy. But Cathy turned him down, explaining that she didn't want to marry a man who didn't love her.

All the while, Joe found himself becoming more and more attached to his unborn child. Viki, seeing this, sadly realized that she and Joe had no future together as long as his feelings for the baby remained so strong. Viki even turned Joe down, when he suggested they get married. The longer the situation remained up in the air, the more Cathy felt she was weakening toward accepting a proposal from Joe. She was being pressured into it from all sides.

Finally, Cathy had to be admitted to the hospital with, cramps symptomatic of a miscarriage. Although she felt that Joe's indecisiveness was the cause, her father, Dr. Jim Craig, suggested that perhaps Cathy wasn't really feeling too comfortable with her liberated approach to single motherhood.


After many problems and misunderstandings,
Viki and Joe were finally reunited when they were secretly
married in New York City's Central Park. A horse drawn
carriage chauffered the happy couple through the city
after the ceremony.


CHAPTER 5: NEW FAMILY MEMBERS


Viki finally saw that by waiting too long to marry Joe, she could ruin things once again. She went to New York with him and they were married secretly. Cathy, meanwhile, was having second thoughts about refusing Joe's proposals, and confided to Steve that she might eventually change her mind. But she noticed the wedding band on Viki's finger before she could do anything about this change of heart. She was shocked, realizing that no matter what her intentions, it was too late for her. Eventually she gave birth to a daughter, Megan, and was plunged into unwed motherhood, like it or not.

Dr. Dorian Cramer, a less than honorable woman, found out that all was not well with baby Megan. Megan was born with a serious heart problem inherited from her father Joe Riley. So serious was this problem, that it was expected that Megan could not live past adolescence. Dorian, up to no good as usual, informed Mark roland of this news. Mark was a disgraced former Llanview doctor whose whereabouts were unknown by other Llanview residents. Mark knew he could blackmail Viki with this powerful information. He had an unknown person call Viki and set up an elaborate blackmail scheme, one he knew Viki would comply with.

He was right. Once Viki knew that Joe passed on a fatal illness to his child, she realized he'd never consent to have another, for fear the next, child would also inherit the illness. Viki, on the other hand, wanted desperately to have a child by Joe and would do anything to prevent .him from finding out about Megan. Mark needed $50,000 to buy himself a new medical license in Mexico and Viki tried desperately to raise it. Finally she confided in Dr. Larry Wolek, Vinnie's younger brother and the widower of Viki's deceased sister Meredith. But Mark Toland was murdered, thus absolving Viki of that particular worry temporarily.

Other worries involving Dorian cropped up, however. Ever since Victor Lord had suffered a serious heart attack, Dorian had been attending to his convalescence. Viki worried about the motives of this unprincipled woman. She was able to prevent a trip to New York Victor and Dorian were going to make together, but she sensed it was only the beginning.

One evening, Viki baby-sat for Megan while Cathy was on a date with newcomer in town, Tony Harris. Unknown even to Tony, but shortly to be found out by the whole town, Tony was the illegitimate son of Victor Lord, and Viki's half brother. Viki was alone in the house caring for Megan when she was horrified by what appeared to be a resumption of the baby's heart disease. Unable to reach Dr. Jim Craig by phone, Viki took the baby to her car to rush her to the hospital. As Viki sped through the rainy night her car was hit by another car which seemed to appear out of nowhere.

Viki and Megan were rushed to Llanview Hospital. Viki was unconscious and had a fractured pelvis, but Megan was in critical condition. Megan was unable to pull through the severe accident, and her death caused Joe nearly unbearable grief. Cathy took the news so badly she was actually unable to accept it at first, and deluded herself into thinking Megan was still alive. When Joe finally managed to convince her of the truth, Cathy began to think that Viki had always wanted to see Megan dead and that she had always resented the child.

After a week in a severe comatose state, Viki regained consciousness and told Jim that she and Megan were out that night because she was bringing the child to the hospital. Viki was in terrible pain from injuries sustained in the accident and Jim warned everyone to keep the news of Megan's death from her as long as possible to speed up her recovery. Finally, Cathy flew into a rage and threatened to tell Viki, so Jim decided to tell Viki the truth immediately. Viki was crushed and completely grief stricken by the news, feeling she could never forgive herself for having driven so fast on her way to the hospital that night.

Other problems were brewing for Viki while she was in the hospital. Her worst fears had come to fruition and her father had married the despicable Dorian. Dorian, bringing flowers to the convalescing Viki, told her that since they were both concerned about Victor, they should try to make peace between themselves. Viki agreed.

Joe, in his efforts to comfort Viki after this latest development, told her her father still loved her. He also promised her that as soon as she was well they could plan for a child of their own. Viki still hadn't told Joe the truth about his transmitting the fatal heart defect to his children, and realized that her guilt over not telling him was actually hindering her recovery from her automobile accident.



Victor Lord held a formal dinner party to unveil a portrait of his new wife, Dorian Cramer. Much to Viki's dismay, Dorian's portrait replaced Viki's mother's portrait over the mantelpiece at Llanfair. Left to right (sitting): Anna and Jim Craig (Doris Belack and Nat Polen), Viki Riley (Erika), and Patricia Kendall (Jacquie Courtney). Left to right (Standing): Joe Riley (Lee), Victor Lord (Sheppard Strudwick), Dorian Cramer Lord (Nancy Pinkerton), and Larry Wolek (Michael Storm).


After Viki was released from the hospital, she and Joe attended a party that Victor and Dorian gave at Llanfair. The highlight of the evening was Viki's entrance, descending the main staircase without the use of her cane. It would have been a very happy evening for her if Dorian hadn't had other tricks up her sleeve. Just before Viki and Joe were to leave the party, Dorian called all the guests into the library, as Victor unveiled a portrait of Dorian hanging over the mantelpiece. Dorian knew this would upset Viki, but Viki decided to stay at the party to prove to Dorian she couldn't be driven out by her irritating schemes.

After their return home from the party, Viki and Joe made love for the first time since her accident. Viki was again in emotional turmoil as Joe happily planned for their future child. The next morning, Viki confided her feelings to Larry who offered to break the news of the hereditary heart defect to Joe, but she put him off once again.

Later in the day Victor arrived with the portrait of Viki's mother which used to hang in the place of honor at Llanfair-before Dorian's took its place. Viki was hurt that it could no longer hang at Llanfair, but Victor said it belonged where her mother's memory was still honored.

Dr. Jim Craig asked Viki to take a position on the board of directors at the hospital in the hopes that it would keep Dorian from interfering too much (she was also on the board). But Viki had decided that her place was home with Joe, making him happy. For once, their lives together seemed to be doing beautifully, and Viki had finally learned her lesson. She was not about to do anything to jeopardize their happiness.


Set Designer Sy Tomashoff spend many hours designing
the carriage house set for newlyweds Viki and Joe.
Here's a sketch Sy did showing the finished set.


CHAPTER 6: APPROACHING MOTHERHOOD



Joe Riley (Lee Patterson), Carla Hall (Ellen Holly), Cathy Craig (Dorrie Kavanaugh), and Megan. Cathy suffered an emotional breakdown when her own baby was killed and Viki, her arch rival, became pregnant with Joe's child.


Viki began taking birth control pills, intending to keep from getting pregnant. As much as she wanted Joe's child, she knew she couldn't cope with another tragedy like Megan's. However, she had resumed marital relations with Joe two weeks before she went on the pill and Jim Craig suggested she have a pregnancy test before she felt too secure.

Viki had her pregnancy test and her broth-in-law Larry confirmed her fears. She was pregnant. Larry urged her to tell Joe immediately that the child could be born with a defective heart. He felt the deception had gone on for far too long already, but Viki was stubborn. She suddenly said she would tell Joe about the pregnancy, but she had every faith the child would be born healthy, and she and Joe would spend the next several months looking forward to the birth of their baby.

Viki broke the good news to Joe and he was ecstatic. But Viki was reticent in her expressions of happiness and said that a lot could happen in eight months, and that they should be prepared for any eventuality. Joe was appalled at her morbid thoughts and she agreed that perhaps she was being foolish. Joe had plans to treat her royally throughout her pregnancy and couldn't have been happier. At last he would be having a child of his own whom he could acknowledge and raise. The three of them would be a family. He had nothing but high hopes for the future.

Once again, Larry appealed to Viki to tell Joe the truth. He felt that if Joe were to learn of the problem from someone else, knowing that Viki had known all along, he would never forgive her. But Viki was adamant. "Our baby will be born with a perfectly good heart!" she exclaimed. She refused to even acknowledge the danger, at least while she was awake. But Joe was awakened by Viki's nightmares concerning the birth, evidence that it was troubling her deeply.

However, Viki told Joe the nightmares were of her new and much-resented stepmother. She told Joe that her father was thrilled about his coming grandchild and Joe suggested that if the baby was a boy they should name him after Victor. Viki, meanwhile, told herself she would continue to keep the secret.

Viki told Larry that she wasn't sleeping well, but said that if she told Joe the truth she would wait until the second trimester, when It would be too late to have an abortion. She thought that if she was wrong, and the baby's heart was defective, there would be plenty of time for Joe to be upset. Eventually, she decided once again that she would never tell Joe, and would just take her chances. She told Larry that she wished she had never gotten him involved, since he was pressuring her too much. Larry replied that he cared so much because she wasn't exactly just a sister-in-law to him. As viewers knew, Larry had loved Viki for quite a while.

Joe told Viki that he wanted to be in the delivery room at the baby's birth. When Viki, her fears activated, asked him what he would do if he could see into the future, see something bad, he replied that no one could foretell the future, that was part of a master plan.


CHAPTER 7: BIRTH AND DEATH


Viki had just discovered that she had a long lost older brother. Tony Lord (played by George Reinholt), when her father died of a stroke brought on by his new wife's treachery.


Meanwhile, Cathy managed to cast a shadow over Victoria's shaky happiness any way she could. The sight of Viki in her first maternity dress brought all of Cathy's feelings of hatred and jealou- sy for Viki back into prominence, and Cathy's latest book, as yet unpublished, featured a very thinly disguised Viki as a leading character. Dorian, too, had done her share to wreak havoc as usual. She was the direct cause of Victor Lord's severe stroke during a confrontation in which he discovered one of her mare unforgivable lies-knowing that Tony was Victor's long-sought-after son, she had kept the news from him. Viki now had to face the possibility that her father might never speak or move again. She was horrified that he was like a prisoner caged in his own body.

Whenever Viki visited her father, she could see his agitation when Dorian would walk into the room. Victor finally began trying to speak, but Dorian effectively prevented anyone from knowing about that development. Finally, again thanks to Dorian, Victor suffered a relapse: and died in the hospital. His last efforts at speech were while trying to talk to Viki, but he was simply unable to get the words out, he was in too much pain. If Viki had arrived at his bedside even a few minutes earlier, perhaps he could have spoken his mind to her. But Dorian, knowing that Victor wanted to see his daughter and fearing that he would expose her as the unscrupulous person she was, threw Viki off the track, preventing her from spending more than a minute or two with him. Dorian was trying to protect herself, and she succeeded.

When Viki confronted Dorian with the fact that Dorian had sent her on a wild-goose chase, her stepmother told her she never would have kept Viki from seeing her father at such a time. She feigned such distress, that Viki accepted what she said. Once again, Viki was determined to block out her suspicions of Dorian and try to tolerate her.

Predictably, Dorian could not contain herself forever on the matter of Joe's possibly passing on a heart defect to his new child. She called on Joe at his office and dropped hints that she was worried about Viki "at a time like this." When Joe asked her what she meant she said she assumed he knew, but if he didn't they had better not discuss it further. But Joe pressed her to tell him what she meant. Since it was Dorian's intention all along to tell Joe the truth, it didn't take much insistence on his part for her to spill the beans.

Joe was stunned at the news and immediately summoned Viki from a party she was attending. When Joe came into their house, where he was to meet her, he asked if she knew about Megan's congenital heart defect. When Viki conceded that she did, Joe was outraged and asked what kind of love it was that could conceal such a lie. He was especially hurt when he found out that Jim and Larry also knew the truth, although Cathy did not.

Viki immediately realized that Dorian had given this information to Joe in order to hurt her. But that didn't matter to Joe at this point. Although Viki, begged him to stay and talk out their differences, Joe replied that she should have thought about that earlier. He stormed off to a bar; he always reverted to his drinking in times of stress.

But this night, for once, he drank only ginger ale. He thought back on the past few months with Viki, realizing how much he loved her and how important their relationship was to him. He returned home.

Viki was overjoyed to see him and told him she was terrified that he had left her for good. He replied that when two people loved each other as much as he and Viki did, they could make it through anything.

While Joe was upstairs showering, Viki charged over to Llanfair to pay Dorian a visit. Dorian tried to make excuses, but Viki brushed them aside. She told Dorian this was it, to stay out of her life from that day on.

Cathy returned from a trip to New York thinking she was pregnant. She was thrilled and told her husband, Tony Lord, Viki's half-brother, the good news. Tony asked her to see a doctor to confirm it and she told him she would. When she later told him the doctor had confirmed it, he, of course, believed her. But the truth was, she hadn't seen a doctor at all. When Tony found out about this deception, he was predictably furious and sent her to the doctor for real. The test showed that she was not pregnant. Tony was in shock, but Cathy still maintained she was pregnant and intended to go for another test.

Meanwhile, Viki was in labor. When she opened the door to Larry and doubled over in pain, they both knew immediately it was time to go to the hospital. Tony worried about how Cathy would take the news that Viki was about to deliver her child.

When the doctors monitored Viki's baby's fetal heartbeat, they found it was irregular and had fears that, like Megan, this child would be born with a heart defect. Finally Viki gave birth to a little boy that she and Joe named Kevin Lord Riley. It turned out that Viki's feelings so long ago had been the right ones. Her faith that the baby would be healthy was justified, much to the inestimable relief of both Viki and Joe.


CHAPTER 8: KIDNAPPED!


At this time Cathy's hostile feelings toward Viki were raging out of control. Why should Viki have all the things Cathy wanted, but couldn't have? Cathy had wanted Joe, but Joe loved Viki. Cathy had a child by Joe, but the child died and Viki, to Cathy's way of thinking, was responsible! Now Viki and Joe were smugly content with their new son, while Cathy wasn't even pregnant. It was too much. Tony was deeply worried about his wife's obsession with Victoria, and he was beginning to think she was becoming quite irrational. She was fantasizing again that Megan was alive. But she was more seriously disturbed than anyone, even Tony, could guess.

Cathy told everyone she was going to make a trip to New York, but instead, she went to the nursery at Llanview Hospital and kidnapped Kevin Riley! Minutes later it was discovered that the baby was missing, and no one had any idea who could have taken him -- but suspicion would inevitably fall on Cathy because she, too, was gone.

The police investigated and came to the conclusion that Cathy was the kidnapper. She had even been seen in the hospital moments before the baby was found missing.

Cathy's car was found in Portland, Maine, but without a trace of either her or the baby. Viki started having nightmares that her child was dead.

Joe and Viki gave a televised press conference, shown nationwide, asking for help in recovering their child. Cathy saw it and wrote a nasty letter to her former Llanview friend Pat Kendall, thereby inadvertently giving the police a clue to here whereabouts.

After the televised report, Viki received a call from a man claiming he knew where Kevin was, and he sent her the baby's I.D. bracelet to prove it. He demanded a quarter of a million dollars in ransom money-and got it. Dorian raised it and Joe paid it, against police advice to the contrary.

But the person who had Kevin was hanging on to him. Cathy had ended up in the town of Hobart, Texas, where she stayed with a Mr. and Mrs. Magruder. She gave her name as Mrs. Johnson and said that Kevin was her child. Mr. Magruder soon headed north and Cathy decided to catch a ride with him, leaving Mrs. Magruder to care for the baby. By this time, Cathy was going insane. She developed amnesia and blocked out everything that had happened. She no longer even knew who she was. Mrs. Magruder, however, was secretly hoping that "Mrs. Johnson" would not come back for the baby, she was growing to love Kevin dearly and she wanted to keep 'him.


CHAPTER 9: HOPE TURNS TO DESPAIR


Cathy's intuition led her back to Tony's restaurant, but she didn't know why she was there. In a daze, she left without anyone seeing her. She was finally discovered in a motel, after having applied for a job in a Llanview restaurant. She called herself Kitty Mainwaring -- the name of a depressed character from one of her own books. The police booked her for kidnaping, but she did not have Kevin with her, did not recognize Joe or Tony, and did not consciously know anything about the child's whereabouts.

Viki was horrified to learn that Cathy no longer had Kevin with her. She vowed, "I'll make her remember!" But it was useless, no one was able to get through to Cathy. She reacted violently to visits from those who knew her, and psychiatrist Will Vernon's hypnosis therapy didn't even work.

Joe was in despair. Finding Cathy seemed to be their only hope for getting Kevin back, and now he greatly feared he would never see his infant son again. Not only was his work suffering, but he had begun drinking heavily again. One night, after one of his drinking bouts, he returned home to accuse Viki of having "too much strength." This was too much for Viki, who was using every bit of her strength, too. They had a huge argument in which Viki informed Joe that if he hadn't had an affair with Cathy in the first place, this never would have happened. So, indirectly, he was to blame!

Dorian was encouraging Joe's drinking, trying to make him dependent upon her. She was definitely becoming romantically interested in Joe and resolved to get him away from Viki. Night after night Joe spent hours drinking, either at a bar or at Llanfair with Dorian. And night after night, Viki was left home all alone.

Mrs. Magruder, minding Kevin in Texas, saw a picture of Cathy on the news. She recognized her as "Mrs. Johnson" and realized that the baby she was caring for was the kidnaped Kevin Lord Riley.

But she didn't speak up. Although she realized that Viki and Joe were suffering, she loved Kevin too much to give him up.

Cathy, meanwhile, finally began to remember selected incidents from her past. She remembered Tony, and much of her life in Llanview after a while, but she still had no recollection of kidnaping Kevin. One night she dreamed about the hospital nursery. Will Vernon hit upon an idea.

Will took Cathy to the hospital nursery. The visit triggered her memory and led to the eventual return of the Riley baby.

It's safe to guess that the loving, steady heroine of "One Life To Live" will somehow triumph over any predicament, and something tells us she'll have many more trials and tribulations in store before we see the last of her.

 
 
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