One short sentence was all it took for Mary Turner Thomson's life to crumble around her.

With three children, an adoring and handsome husband and a beautiful home, Mary had successfully built the life she always dreamed of.

Then came the phone call. On April 5, 2006, she answered the phone and a woman on the other end asked her if she was Mrs Jordon.

"Yes," Mary replied, before the words came, "I'm the other Mrs Jordan."

Her husband, then calling himself Will Jordan, was a bigamist with two wives, five fiancées and at least 14 other children.

Jordan had scammed her out of hundreds of thousands of pounds as well as leading a horrific double life, luring Mary in with love and affection only to abuse and manipulate her.

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He was later jailed for bigamy, obtaining funds by deception, failing to register as a sex offender and possession of a stun gun, and then when he was released from prison in the UK he was deported to his native America.

Back in the US, Jordan continued his campaign of predation on vulnerable women so Mary, who lives in Edinburgh, joined forces with another victim to orchestrate a sting operation that saw Jordan arrested again.

Since then, Mary has focused on, first, digging herself out of the pit she had fallen into and then, in her own words, climbing a metaphorical mountain to rebuild her life.

But her motivation is not only to help herself and her children, she is also propelled by a desire to ensure other women are protected from men like her ex-husband.

That has led her to write a second book - her first was about Will Jordan's deceptions - called The Psychopath, which details her extraordinary story and theories around what she believes about her ex-husband's psychopathy.

"I decided to write this book because I don't want to wake up one day and find out about people who have died, people who have been raped, and know I did nothing," Mary said.

"I felt like I had to do everything I could to inform the public so that people knew.

"When I first Googled Will Jordan there was nothing. Now they can at least find out his real name."

Having split from the father of her eldest daughter, who was then aged one, Mary met Jordan on an internet dating site in 2000 when they were both 35.

He was initially a dream catch: handsome, intelligent, stable and laying claim to having a fascinating job - a spy for the CIA.

Jordan, however, was using a technique called "lovebombing" to win Mary over, showering her with intense affection.

They were in touch multiple times a day and she was swept off her feet by his romantic nature.

Jordan, in a lie he has used on multiple women, told Mary he had had mumps as a child and so was infertile but she was impressed that he could talk so openly about his feelings.

He proposed after just weeks, although Mary initially said no as she felt it was too soon.

His CIA job - "the man in the van, rather than James Bond" - was the perfect cover for being away so often.

After four years of happy marriage, Jordan began to tell Mary that powerful criminals wanted to kidnap their children and began taking huge sums of money from her.

Eventually she would find out that he had used her name to take out credit cards amounting to £56,000. She also sold her property and car to free up nearly £200,000 for him.

Stressed and exhausted, when the call came from the "other Mrs Jordan" Mary felt, as well as distress, a sense of relief that she could move on.

Her main support throughout was her mother who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and died in August 2006.

But Mary's mum had given her the resilience and determination to carry on and so she delved further into Jordan's life and found multiple abandoned women and children.

It turned out that when she believed she was pregnant with Jordan's first child, she was actually pregnant at the same time as his other wife and their nanny.

The man never showed any remorse or guilt, not even in the dock in November 2006 when he was found guilty of his crimes.

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Mary, whose first book on her ordeal is called The Bigamist, said: "That's when I realised that he was a psychopath. He looked nothing but bored in court, there was no emotion.

"And I decided to find out all I could about psychopaths - I've become something of an amateur expert."

After serving two and a half years of a five year sentence, Jordan was released on parole and deported to New Jersey in 2009 where he carried on as before.

Just seven months after his release Mary was contacted by other victims, one who was pregnant and homeless having met Jordan on an internet dating site.

In 2014, Mary was contacted by Mischele Lewis, another victim she describes as being her "twin pillar across the Atlantic", holding Jordan to account for his crimes.

Mischele agreed to wear a hidden camera and record Jordan's confessing he had conned her out of money.

He was again arrested and again jailed but, on release in 2017, Mary learned that he was again victimising women.

It was this that prompted her to write her second book, The Psychopath, which she will be discussing at Glasgow's CrimeCon in the city on September 10.

"I genuinely don't think that Jordan is an actual paedophile but he was using the child to alienate them from the mother so the mother did not have that support.

"That's how low this guy goes, he doesn't care about his children, his family, they are all pawns to him.

"One of the traits of psychopathy is criminal versatility. A lot of criminals will stick with burglary or assault or rape, that's their crime of choice.

"Whereas a psychopath like Jordan will try other things."

Research estimates that as many as one in 100 people are psychopaths with the prevalence in certain professional industries being higher than others.

Mary said: "The chances that you've not met a psychopath or not been affected by one are pretty much zero.

"Psychopaths range from sleazebags to serial killers. They might be the sh*t-stirrer in the office, they might be the person who just messes things up for the sh*ts and giggles of it.

"They might be there person in your life who you've always thought, 'Why did that person do that? It makes no sense.' And then you go 'Psychopaths? Ah!'

"The thing that drives a psychopath is pure boredom. They have no reward structure because they have no empathy for other people and if they have no empathy for other people then they don't care what they think.

"That's a very empty life so their only reward structure is money, sex and power.

"The three professions that they like the most seem to be police, social work and the priesthood. Because these are the three that get to manipulate people the most."

An official diagnosis of psychopathy will not be made until a young person turns 18 but Mary believes this is stopping help reaching families who could benefit from support.

She wants to change the perception of psychopaths to remove the stigma around diagnosis in the belief it will stop people with the condition from "going off like a bomb".

Mary said: "If we were allowed to identify children as psychopaths like we do with autistic children, we could say, 'If you try to bring that child up the same way you would a neuro-typical child it's not going to work'.

"If you can bring a child up with a good moral code and find a different way of bringing them up then we could raise these children to be decent members of society.

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"We need to have the knowledge and understanding to be able to say to a parent, 'Your child is a psychopath' without it being a cause for horror.

"We must be able to say to parents they need some help in place to make sure their child grows up to have a happy and healthy life and doesn't become a bomb that goes off in a community.

"Because when they do, it's massive."

Mary is now a member of the campaign group Psychopathy Is, which aims to raise funds for research, education and awareness raising.

Her three children, Robyn, Eilidh and Zach, are all thriving thanks to Mary's determination to move on with her life without shame or embarrassment.

She is a prolific public speaker, un-phased by telling her story. She puts her resilience down to her mother's influence.

"I was brought up with a great mother who taught me I was loved, she was very intelligent with a great mind, and very, very supportive. She said that children learn by example," Mary said.

"So I had to teach my children how to deal with it. What would I say to my children? Would I say, 'Just lie in a puddle and cry yourself to sleep every night? Or would I say pick yourself up and do something with the experience?' So I decided to take that second choice and make something of the experience."

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Mary also says early childhood trauma shaped how she viewed what happened to her as an adult and she has also just written a children's book, The Zebra That Got Away from the Lion.

She said: "I was sexually molested as a child and what happened stopped when I was six years old.

"I tortured myself from six to 26 by feeling self loathing because I had participated in the paedophile's game. It took me to the age of about 26 to realise that what happened to me stopped at the age of six but what happened from the age of six to 26 I did to myself.

"I promised myself I would never do that again. So when this happened I knew I was not going to be a victim again.

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"It put me in a unique position to say I am not going to let this destroy me.

"I'm the zebra who got away from the lion. A zebra who gets away from a lion is not going to spend the rest of its life going, 'I got caught by a lion'.

"It's going to spend the rest of its life saying, 'I got free'."