She scraped together just enough to rent a 676-square-foot garage apartment that she shared with a roommate, a gangly buffet cook a dozen years her junior.
Elrod never let this money linger: She always showed up at the bank a few hours after a transfer cleared, to withdraw as much as $9,500 in cash.
She would then return on subsequent days to make additional four-figure withdrawals until the account was nearly empty.
Despite her hand-to-mouth circumstances, Elrod’s new account soon began to receive a series of sizable wire transfers, many of which originated abroad.
Over the course of one December week, for example, almost $30,000 arrived from Norway; on January 2, someone in France sent $16,977.
She was in the midst of divorcing her husband of 14 years; his legal woes (including arrests for benefits fraud and making a false bomb report) had strained their marriage.
Anxious about her future as an older single woman, Elrod lapped up the kind words about her looks—too few men seemed to appreciate her soft chin, wavy hair, and prominent brown eyes.
The boy wrote her bubbly emails about his closest school chum and his plans for Senior Day.
He also expressed a fervent desire to visit her in the US and perhaps even live with her full-time—a dream come true for Elrod, who lamented that she’d never had kids of her own.
Mc Gregor often talked about the agony of losing his wife, Susan, who he said had died in a car accident in Edinburgh in 2003.