Almost Free – the Story of Ellen Gregory

This episode includes discussions about domestic violence.  If that subject is a trigger or difficult for you to hear, then I encourage you to skip this episode.  Listener discretion is advised.

Do you know the moment a relationship goes bad?  Is it one moment or thousands of little moments, or big ones, that add up over time?  Do 5 years or 10 years or 20 years eventually culminate into one instant where everything turns and you suddenly know it’s over, you know you’re over it and you have to get out. For Ellen Gregory Robb of Upper Merion, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, that moment came in fall 2006 when she told her brother she was leaving her husband Rafael Robb.

Ellen was almost free. 16 years of a difficult marriage to a difficult man who emotionally and physically abused her would soon come to an end. She had plans to leave; Ellen hired an attorney, found an apartment where she and her daughter could start over and Ellen had the support of her family and friends. But her escape never came. Just three days before Christmas in December, 2006, Ellen Gregory Robb was found murdered. The prime suspect was the one person who stood to lose the most in a divorce, her husband.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or abuse please call the national domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233.) If you can’t call, or would prefer to talk online, go to their website and click the CHAT NOW button at

In Pennsylvania you can also contact the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence at

Research sources for this episode include:

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • The Philadelphia Daily News
  • Philadelphia NBC 10
  • Philadelphia ABC 6
  • Philadelphia Magazine
  • The Court of Montgomery County, PA: Prothonotary Case Search
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Psychology Today
  • Every Great Reason foundation website
  • Cruel Games by Rose Ciotta

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