It can be an immediate bad vibe or conversation, or it can take a massive pile of red flags to finally get through to someone that they know a psychopath. For my friend who is currently dating one, that flag pile is continuously growing. For these Reddit Users, they saw the signs, opened up their eyes, and got the heck out of that situation.
"When I was about 7 or 8 there was a kid who was about 6. We found a baby bird that fell out of its nest. In the time it took for me to go home and tell an adult he put it on the road and ran over it on his bike and laughed. Last I heard he's in jail for beating his girlfriend. Forget you, Kevin."
"I’m a college librarian, he was one of my students who came in a lot. He was super charming and good-looking and altogether empty inside: no depth, no emotions, no regard for others.
One of our staff straight up said, 'that boy’s a psychopath'; she had been a social worker so I trusted her opinion and agreed.
He collected types of women – he told me about seducing a female, married, military chaplain, and getting her to do physical things she didn’t want to. Then he got bored with her and moved on.
He eventually got his Master’s degree and now works on the military base making big bucks, getting everyone else to do his work for him.
Sometimes psychopaths are dangerous in other ways."
"When I was 8 I let my older cousin who was probably 11 or 12 at the time hold my hamster, she was being really rough with it so I told her to put it back into its cage. She got really mad after this and just stared at me for about 2 minutes before she turned around and threw my hamster into the wall, my poor hamster died instantly and I was crying because my hamster had just gotten murdered. I knew after she threw it something was extremely wrong with her and my mom made my aunt come and pick her up and she wasn’t allowed to be near any animals after this, it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve talked to her but apparently she gets into fights almost weekly, and beat somebody so bad they had to go to the ER. She’s in therapy and has spent time in juvenile detention, all of my other cousins are afraid of her and many of us think she’s going to eventually kill somebody, I honestly think the best place for her would be a mental health hospital."
"I met an individual who later pled guilty to his involvement in about 14 murders. During an interview about his childhood and personal life, it became very apparent that he had no interest in other people and that they were basically NPCs to him - even his girlfriend and child. He was in a gang and his behavior was basically shadowing the other guys with status. He had a girlfriend because that’s what the other guys did. He had a fancy car. He wore the right clothes. The other guys figured out early on that he was not bothered by murder or gunfights, so he was their hitter. During the interview, he was perfectly polite, but utterly flat in his effect and didn’t attempt to disassemble or minimize a lot of terrible things that happened to him or the things he’d done. It made for an interesting interview!"
"This one won’t be crazy or frightening, but I remember the point at which I recognized sociopath tendencies in my ex. We sat down on his bed at night and I asked him to tell me things about himself (because even though we were dating I knew nothing about him). He could not give an answer beyond surface level on any emotional topic. I looked in his eyes and saw nothingness. I realized why I could never emotionally read him or get any sort of feel. He did tell me after we broke up that he can’t feel emotions and how much it sucks. I didn’t understand this until much later.
Before we dated, I remember him telling me how manipulative he is, with a smile. He lied constantly about everything and had 15 other relationships before me, all ending within a month. (Yes, an obvious red flag that I ignored). He would jump from religion to atheism every other month. He would repeat cycles over and over. He was known by everyone and liked by many. Very charming. Had a 'flirty' personality. Loved risk-taking for no reason. Always got into trouble."
"My mom was very bad. She would enjoy breaking up marriages and the stray animals I would rescue as a kid would always mysteriously disappear. My siblings and I could never have pets because as soon as we did, they'd be gone in a few weeks. I just recently found out from one of my siblings that she would tell them that she killed them. We were all kids at the time and they were too afraid to say anything to anyone including me (I'm the eldest).
She was neglected and abused as a child and in turn abused us but we didn't grow up to be psychos, well I know I didn't. So, definitely not all people end up evil. I don't really understand what makes someone like that."
"When I was in my junior year of high school I was wonderful friends with this guy we will call Nigel (not real name). Nigel was a very charismatic guy, always cracking jokes, super fun to be around, and overall what seemed like a good guy.
Nothing had ever made me think differently until one afternoon I got let out of school 2 hours early (I was taking college classes so my days were shorter) and Nigel was waiting for me near my car. We were pretty good friends so when he asked for a ride home I didnt have a second thought, just agreed.
As I was taking him home he asked if we could go to the store near his house. I thought no big deal it's not too far but when we got to the parking lot of the store he asked if instead we could go to the park behind the store and hang out for a while. At this point, I was mostly just confused, all of these places where within a block of his house, if he wanted to go why did he need me to drive him? But I agree to take him to the park and let him know I'll have to head home after that to get ready for work. He agrees and we pull into the park and he starts giving me directions on where he wants me to drop him off.
Now this park is pretty big and it's mostly known as a hiking/biking trail and over half of it is just dense forest. Nigel is directing me to take him to the most secluded section you can reach in a car and by now I'm starting to get worried. There's nothing good that is going to happen in an abandoned spot in the woods. When I reach the end of the road he starts trying to convince me to come for a little walk with him. Just pouring on all the charm and I was pretty much second away from going with him when the craziest thing happened.
My passenger door (where Nigel was sitting) flew open and it looked like someone or something physically dragged him out of my car and closed the door behind him. Nigel started screaming and banging on the door to be let back in but I just threw the car in reverse and got the heck out of there. I had no idea what he wanted me in those woods for but I knew it wasn't good.
Two years later, I had moved away for college and Nigel was working at a local gas station. One day a very popular and pretty girl came in and as she used the restroom Nigel locked the doors, turned off the open sign, and waited for her to come out where he then murdered her. He was caught within an hour as he was driving her car, with her in the trunk, and trying to find a place to hide the body.
After this girl's murder, I got a call from local police asking about Nigel and my relationship with him, just kind of standard questions. Until they informed me that Nigel had a notebook filled with girls' names and the ways he was going to murder them and where he would leave the bodies. Apparently my name was included. He had planned to lure me into the hiking trail two years earlier and stab me to death leaving me in a thickly wooded section.
So yeah I basically had no idea until he murdered another girl and I never would have dreamed that my friend could be capable of plotting out and attempting to execute such a horrible plan."
"Played soccer with a guy in high school that had a real short temper & enjoyed playing the sport as rough as possible (even at practice). Coaches had to tell him to calm down all the time. Everyone hated him and stayed away from him.
Several years later he murdered a classmate of mine over some weed. He hid the body under a pile of leaves in his backyard.
When I heard the news, I wasn’t surprised in the least."
"My older sister used to absolutely TORTURE me when I was a kid. When I was 5-6 (She was 7-8), I was afraid of bugs. She would spend hours trapping bugs and putting them in my matchbox cars. Then she'd say, 'Hey, wanna play cars?' I would get SUPER excited because she never wanted to play with me. I'd run to my cars and there would be bugs crawly all over. :(
Then when I was 7, I was obsessed with Barbies. One day she grabbed my favorite Barbie and Ken and threw them under the bed. I stuck my tongue out at her and climbed under the bed to get them. As I army-crawled in the cramped space, my arms started to hurt. I was getting pricked all over every time I moved. And, I was bleeding. It took me until I was halfway under the bed to figure out what my psychopath sister had done. She had spent ALL MORNING weaving push pins into the carpet so the points would STICK UP AND STAB ME. She then tricked me into climbing under the bed. So, there I am, halfway in with my precious Barbie and Ken at the back wall. I had to decide to cut my losses and abandon Barbie and Ken, or climb the rest of the way through the Saw-esque minefield AND BACK OUT. I bit the bullet."
My ex was always weird and emotionally stunted. Would never come out of his shell or let anyone in, which was a big problem to the relationship. But that's just background.
One day we were at our friends' house and the conversation turned to creepy and weird things. He brought up the dark web and said something about a YouTube channel that discussed weird things that can be found on the dark web. Then he asked if we had heard of 'crush films' and the look on his face and his tone told me that this was more than a casual inquiry. It seemed more like he was gauging us for our reaction to see if we were into 'crush films'. We asked what it was and he said it was videos of women in stiletto heels crushing things like kittens, filmed from below through glass and the like. It was... oddly specific. And still his tone and careful considering expression told me he was hyper-aware of our reaction. When we reacted negatively to that being a thing he immediately switched gears and started laughing like 'right, how could anyone be into that?'
When I finally did break things off we had a heart-to-heart about all the ways our relationship had deteriorated. He was able to admit that he never let me in because he was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle the truth. Still, have no idea what he was hiding. But I think it may have been at least partially related to that crush film conversation, among other things."
"This happened to my mum and I at a laundromat a few years back: My mum and I were sitting down, watching TV at the local laundromat while we were waiting for our clothes to get done in the washer. Eventually, a woman approached us and began talking about everyday things such as her job and whatnot. She seemed like a pretty normal person at first, but then, things got very weird very quickly. I decided to go to the bathroom mid-conversation, leaving my mom with the lady to converse some more. After I finished in the bathroom, I came back to see my mom who was now alone, pale as a ghost. I asked her 'hey, what happened? Where did that lady go?' After a long and awkward pause, she told me that soon after I left to go to the bathroom, the lady told my mom that she makes routine trips to low income neighborhoods, steals people’s lingering pets, takes them back to her house, and brutally beats them to death with either a hammer or a shovel. I felt sick to my stomach. My mother said for a woman who seemed so charming and lovely at first, she showed zero remorse or shame in what she did."
"When I had a parent-teacher conference with a student of mine’s mom and dad. This was maybe 15 years ago, but it stuck with me. The daughter had some minor issues with math (3rd grade) and the father insisted that he was a physics professor at an Ivy League university nearby. When I told him his daughter was struggling with the US standard algorithm, he got upset and told me he didn’t understand what the word algorithm means. And he’s a physics professor? Um. Ok. When I began to explain, his face got completely flat and devoid of any expression. His wife immediately noticed the look on his face (he was staring right at me, not blinking or saying anything) and her face blanched, and she started pulling on his arm and trying to get his attention (off me, I assume). When I described it later, I called it a 'serial killer face'. He eventually let her pull him out of the room and end the conference. I immediately told my principal and said I refused to do another conference alone with these people. I definitely felt as though if I were alone with this man, he would have come after me physically. His wife’s response was very telling. I only dealt with her from then on."
"My parents stayed at the same church from the start of their marriage up until I was about 13 (roughly 20 years), and most of the families in the church had been there about the same time. The classic small-town church, so everyone knew everyone there.
One family, in particular, had a really rough backstory; the grandmother took care of about 7 of the grandchildren (all aged 8 and under) as her daughter was in and out of relationships and on and off of substances. This caused the grandmother to not be able to be very present in her own son’s life. The son was named Stephen, and he was about six years older than me. I have many memories of him just being downright odd and creepy. Overall, he was known for having issues, and everyone tried their best to steer clear of him. It’s like we all thought that it wasn’t a matter of 'if' he was going to do something one day, but 'when'.
Lo and behold, 9 years ago, he broke into a woman’s apartment at his school and DISMEMBERED her body. He then dumped parts of her body in the trash bins behind her complex, but some body parts were never found. The woman was known for being the only person to be friendly with him, and there have been reports that she rejected him on a romantic level, and that’s what set him off. He murdered her just days before she was set to go back home for summer break.
His name was Stephen McDaniel. Look up the case if you’d like. The woman was considered missing for a few days, and there’s an interview of a news reporter actually talking to Stephen. He’s talking about how much he misses her and how he hopes nothing has happened to her. Then the reporter tells him that a body has been found, and he just goes blank. The rest of the interview is him sitting in the ground trying to grasp the situation at hand. It’s a very freaky turn of events. He also strategically placed her body in that dumpster because he knew when the trash was to be collected; the ONLY reason her body was not taken away in a dump truck is that the investigating cop car had blocked the lane to it. Had the trash been collected that day, this case could very well be an unsolved case to this day."
"In my university days, I lived with a guy whose girlfriend used to come over to our apartment and hang out fairly often. She was always friendly and a superb baker who frequently brought cakes over to our place, so she was always welcome and we became a fairly close group of friends.
Towards the end of our final semester, the guy came home one day and told us he needed to talk about something... and promptly told us that she had confessed to him that she had stabbed her roommate's cat in a fit of anger for failing a class, and then hurriedly buried the corpse in a nearby field.
We told him to report her and dump her immediately, which he refused to do believing that she just needed someone to support her.
Still to this day I can't believe someone as pleasant as she was could have done something so horrific."
"I dated a cop for about a month and a half. He was super controlling and obsessive. We went on a trip where he met my best friend and he was furious the whole time. I think it was because we spent a lot of time with my friend and we didn’t have alone time.
Anyways, we drove back and during the whole drive he was asking “you’re not going to break up with me right?” He was driving my car and I was kind of scared to be honest. He was trying to talk about my past and would get mad because he would ask questions and I would answer. Like if I wasn’t allowed to have dated anyone before him.
We get to his house because he needed to be dropped off and I could go back home, but he told me to get out of the car and he came face to face with me and told me that I better not break up with him. I remember him saying a few other things that made me feel super unsafe. I just said no and then left.
I got home and texted him telling him it was over. I was living with my parents at the time but I have a feeling if I lived alone, he would have shown up at my house. He blew up my phone to the point that I couldn’t be on it. He was non-stop texting and calling till the morning. He called me every name under the sun and tried to make me feel absolutely horrible, but I was just shocked that someone would stoop as low as he did.
He also made offensive remarks against Asians and Hispanics. My best friend is Asian and her boyfriend and I are Hispanic. I think that’s when I really noticed that there was something really wrong with him. It was weird."