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Home: The Toast

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Ronald Stan’s life was starting to burn down around him, so when the big century-old barn full of pigs caught fire, he saw a chance to escape.
He’d been cheating on his wife — regularly — and in his mind his marriage was about to fall apart.
Amid the roar of the flames and squeal of the pigs, the 32-year-old father of two had a thought: Better to just leave. Sure, I have some debt but she’ll get the life insurance money.

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It was 1977 when Stan bolted into the forest to begin a new life. Now, 37 years, three more wives and another child later, Stan’s world would turn to ash again. The Ontario Provincial Police discovered he was living in Oklahoma as Jeff Walton, a 69-year-old plumber with a wife and 35-year-old son. His family there had no knowledge of the barn fire, his disappearance, and the Canadian wife, toddler and newborn child left behind…
Gail Stan, Rose Ann Walton, Holly Kelley and Debra Proctor. These are the women who Walton married. He cheated on all of them, with the exception of Proctor, he’s careful to note.

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Thirty-seven years after running away from his first wife Gail, Ronald Stan says he still loves her. He is revealing his story to the Toronto Star because he hopes she reads it.

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“I stayed in the French Quarter a little while then I realized in all actuality I had to do something to get me legal,” said Walton. “So I thought well the first thing I do is I gotta find me a local girl with a little bit of money. Didn’t have to have a lot, just a little. And I did.”
By 1978, he married Rose Ann, who took his last name and kept it to this day.

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He introduced himself to her as Jeff Walton, a freshly concocted identity. Jeff, because his infant son in Canada is named Jeff, and Walton, because of the TV show The Waltons.

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He says he found a name in the obituaries and obtained the associated social security number…Rose Ann had a steady income from a job in waste management. Almost immediately he began cheating on her, she says, with people she knew.

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In the meantime, Jeff Walton Sr. began reaching back into the world of Ronald Stan. Over the years he would keep tabs on his family through a few select friends in Canada who knew the full story. Once in awhile he’d even reach out.
“I wanted to (keep in touch) so bad, and I did call a couple times just to hear their voices,” he said, laughing. They’d say hello, and he’d hang up without speaking. “That’s silly. But no, I didn’t think it was right for me to talk to them, so I didn’t.”

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Walton met his match with his third wife, Holly Kelley, a New Orleans woman who appeared in Playboy’s October 1981 issue and claims to have psychic abilities.

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Kelley is now working in Hawaii, running a business with her identical twin sister, Bobbi, and providing 30-minute psychic readings over Skype or the telephone for $75 U.S. When reached by the Star, she inquired whether or not she would be paid for an interview. The Star does not pay interview subjects.

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He took a job with a company in the Virgin Islands where they gave him a computer — still a novelty in 1998 — and set to work right away.
“I thought wow, what kind of trouble can I get in with this? And I did. I would look up those dating sites and that’s how I found Debra,” said Walton.

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“It’s been almost 40 years that I’ve lived this lie. And actually I’ve been a real good boy, except for the philandering. I paid my taxes, I did everything right,” said Walton.

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He starts from the beginning, when he took a job at Fanshawe College teaching plumbing.
“Wow — I’ve never seen so many women in my life. That’s where the trouble started. So, I cheated on my wife. With more than one woman. A lot. Everyone I could,” said Stan.

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His explanation is that the fire started from a bale of wet hay.

This man has an appointment with a fire.

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