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'The Watcher' real family: Where the Broadduses are now

Derek and Maria Broaddus bought a house in New Jersey. Then, they started receiving mysterious letters from a stranger who knew all about them.

Derek and Maria Broaddus thought they were buying a house. They were actually buying a nightmare scenario — one that inspired a 2018 story in "New York Magazine" and the 2022 Netflix show "The Watcher," created by Ryan Murphy.

In case you're not familiar with the haunting true story, here's a recap: Derek and Maria Broaddus closed on a $1.3 million, six-bedroom house in the suburban town of Westfield, New Jersey, where Maria had grown up, in 2014.

Before moving in to the house on 657 Boulevard with their three kids, Derek opened up a letter from a stranger who called himself "The Watcher."

The story gets stranger from there. Here's what happened, and where the family is now, per a 2022 follow-up article.

‘The Watcher' sent a series of letters to the Broaddus family

In the first of many letters sent from an anonymous source, the writer said the Broadduses' new house had been an object of fascination for family for decades, and that he was now "in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming" as the house approached its 110th birthday.

Future letters identified the family members by name, with the writer indicating he would monitor them further once they moved in.

"All of the windows and doors in 657 Boulevard allow me to watch you and track you as you move through the house," the letter writer said.

The letter writer expressed a desire for the house to be filled with "young blood," or children: "Let the young blood play again like I once did. Let the young blood sleep in 657 Boulevard."

The Broadduses never moved into the house on 657 Boulevard

The Broaddus family decided to renovate the $1.3 million home before moving in. As they worked on renovations — which were mostly interior and not visible — they continued to receive letters.

"The house is crying from all of the pain it is going through. You have changed it and made it so fancy," one letter said.

A later letter asked for the "young blood" — or the Broaddus' children — to return: "Let the young blood sleep in 657 Boulevard. Stop changing it and let it alone."

Six months after receiving the first letter, the family decided to sell the house. At the time, they were living with Maria’s mother. They rented their house out for some time.

The Watcher’s identity is not known

The letters’ origins were investigated by the Westfield police department, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, a private investigator and the couple themselves.

While there were leads, the writer’s identity has not been conclusively decided. The investigation is not active but not closed, according to the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

The family sold the house in 2019

The Broadduses put the house back on the market in 2019, and it sold to a couple for $959,000, per

According to The Cut, the new residents have not received any letters from 'The Watcher."

As for where the family is now? They still live near the house

Though they didn't ever move into the house on 657 Boulevard, the Broaddus family still lives in Westfield, per The Cut.

Westfield is a town just under an hour away from New York. In March 2018, Westfield was ranked the 99th highest-income place in the U.S., per Bloomberg.

And yes, the Broaddus family knows about the TV show

According to The Cut, the Broaddus family made two requests when selling their story's rights: The project not use their last name (it's Brannock in the show) and the family not resemble theirs.

In the show, the central couple is played by Bobby Cannavale and Naomi Watts.