When people hear that someone works as a prostitute, there’s a lot of assumptions go along with that sort of work. That they’re “forced into it” by some dangerous pimp, that they’re drug addicts, they’re the scourge of society coming from broken homes. Sometimes women are working in the sex industry because that is the case, and I certainly do not want to discount women who are being abused and forced into doing things that they don’t want to do. For Heather Saul, none of this rang true.
Some women see the sex industry as a viable source of income for a person who hasn’t gone to college and have little job skills to bring to the table. Some women do this as a way to get through college, since you can make in a matter of an hour or two what you can make in a week working at a job like McDonald’s, hence leaving plenty of time for classes and studying. And then there’s women who work in this industry simply because they like it. Heather Saul is one of these women.
Setting up advertisements on a website called backpage.com, women like Heather offer their services and set up appointments with clients. It’s run like a business, and their cellphones are their personal home offices. It was through her business that she came in contact with Neal Falls.
On July 18, 2015, Heather’s life would be changed forever and she would be thrust into the media spotlight. Between the media fighting to break a story, the outpouring of support she received, and the physical and emotional trauma she sustained from the attack, Heather was wholly unprepared to become an instant celebrity. When Neal Falls came to her apartment and gave her the choice to “live or die” she fought back, and whether it was luck or some sort of divine intervention, she shot him down with his own gun. When police arrived to see the list of other women in Falls’ pocket and the materials stored within the trunk of Falls’ Subaru Forester, Heather became a hero, and a patron saint for sex workers across the country.
Screen shots taken from the WSAZ story shows the state of shock Heather was in after the ordeal.
She had sustained multiple injuries from her attacker and suddenly had to reconcile that within a matter of weeks her name would be on every news station across the country.
A lot has been written about Heather in the months following the attack, but the question remains: Did Heather really kill a serial killer, or was it his first day on the beat and his inexperience allowed his first victim to kill him before he could go on to kill again?