Woman throws divorce party, destroys wedding dress with explosion felt from miles away
MEDINA COUNTY, TX - A Texas woman celebrating her recent divorce made sure her 14-year marriage went out with a bang this week.
Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler, 43, told the Centre Daily Times that she decided to celebrate after her divorce had been finalized Friday in a Medina County court. The next day, she threw a divorce party along with her friends and family in a rural part of the county. The main event of the party was to be the burning of her wedding dress.
“I wanted to remove all things from our marriage from our house,” Kimberly said. “Photos in the attic, ring in the safe (but probably going to sell it) and the dress I wanted to burn."
But her dad and brother-in-law had an idea on how to ratchet up the "burn the dress" idea. They rigged it with $200 worth of Tannerite, the explosive component of those explosive targets used for longer range firearms training. The dress was then set to explode with a single rifle shot.
“We have a friend who is a bomb tech, and he kept saying, ‘that’s really a lot,’ like five different times, when we told him our plan. So we had to back it up,” said Carla Santleben-Newport, Kimberly’s sister.
When the time came Saturday, Kimberly hit the bullseye and detonated the 20-pound payload. The shockwave was reportedly felt for miles.
“We were all getting messages asking if that was our explosion people were feeling and hearing around the county, up to at least 15 miles away,” Carla said. “It was like, ‘Uh, is everything okay over there’?”
Kimberly said it was a much-needed punctuation mark to the end of her relationship.
“On the one hand, it was like being on set of some action movie. The explosion was huge,” Kimberly said. “It was liberating pulling that trigger. It was closure for all of us.”
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