Content edited for clarity. Every family has its own history and usually a few interesting tales. The folks have their fair share of shocking stories involving crimes they or a member of their family committed. There is everything from elementary school kids getting up to no good, to grandfathers protecting their family name and everything in between.
She Took Things Too Far
“Last year my psychotic mother burned down my childhood home (that her, my dad, my niece, my sibling, and siblings partner lived in) because she believed my dad was cheating on her, despite no evidence and this was not the first time she accused my dad of cheating with no evidence.
Effectively, she destroyed everything we had built and kept in that home.
Then after the fire in what I can only construe as an act of desperation, she went to my bank and stole all of the money out of my accounts because she was secondary on the accounts (I was working on changing banks, but my new bank had yet to finalize the creation of my new account). The moral of the story is to take your parents off your bank accounts when you turn 18.
She’s now serving time in a county jail for the arson because she took a plea deal and got a reduced sentence, which I still believe was utter baloney. She played the poor old lady act to the judge and he took pity on her she did not deserve.
This is the woman who eviscerated my self-esteem and made my life fire and brimstone ever since I was born. She was toxic and abusive, never told me the truth about anything, and is a greedy, manipulative person. I feel no shame in saying that I do not care about her. She’s lost any right to my love and respect.”
A Mean Son Of A Birch
“My grandfather’s father was a mean, abusive, hateful drunkard, who would come home from working in the mines long enough to terrorize his children and impregnate his wife and then leave again for mine work. He tried to set the house on fire, with wife and kids (13 of them) inside…twice.
One day my grandfather and a couple of his siblings were picking berries across the road from the house and his wasted father started taking potshots at them. My grandpa, one brother, and his oldest sister took off running for the house with the agreement that the first one there would kill him (their father). My grandpa’s sister got there first and shot him to death. She was never charged with a crime, due to her age and the fact that everyone knew my great-grandfather was a mean son of a birch and had it coming.”
Bootlegging At Its Finest
“During the Prohibition, my great-grandfather was a bootlegger. He was a fisherman before the Prohibition but he smelled an opportunity and he took it. He lived in southern Florida, so he’d periodically take his little boat out to Cuba and load up on the liquid gold and then boat back to the States to resell it. He always kept his haul in a bag so he could just toss it over the side if he was caught.
Well, one day he wasn’t quick enough and got picked up by…either the coast guard or the police, depends on who’s telling the story. Anyway. He got caught, pulled onto the police boat as they’re towing his boat to shore. As they’re approaching a mangrove swamp, he tells them he’s gotta take a leak, they tell him to just go over the side of the boat. So he goes over the side of the boat. As in, dives in while they’re giving him a few feet to pee. And then hides all night in the mangroves while they’re searching for him.
Now, they’ve got an escaped bootlegger who they picked up with no ID and a little boat that also doesn’t have any ID, so they don’t exactly have much to pursue. Supposedly they wanted to keep an eye out for him but had no idea where to look. So he lays low for a bit. Then his boat goes up for auction by the police, so he strolls right in, buys his own boat back with his drink running profits, and continues making ‘business trips’ to Cuba until the Prohibition ended in 1933.
There’s plenty of other stories about him and all the other wild rebels on that side of the family but my great-grandpa’s bootlegging adventures get high marks in my book for the sheer ballsiness of it all.”
He Really Should Stop Getting Married
“My grandma, and her lover, murdered my grandpa. Probably nine, or ten years later her lover, now husband, went on to kill her. After she was dead, he went on to remarry, and killed THAT wife, too. They suspect he killed his previous wife, who had passed shortly before my grandpa did.
He confessed on his deathbed, and mentioned that they killed his 90 something year old mother, as well. My extended family likes to try to pretend that he made my grandma do it, but he didn’t. She did it because she wanted out of her marriage – my grandpa was a nasty, abusive kind of guy, but she wasn’t any better at the end of the day. He was in his 30s, married her when she was 17, and then had six kids with him. At least one of them ( my mom ) isn’t actually his, and there are probably plenty of his unknown kids out there, as well.
Grandma died on my 13th birthday, and I used to think that the number 13 was legit cursed because of all of the superstitions surrounding it. It was just bad timing, that’s all.”
A Little Young To Have Those Kind Of Charges
“When I was a young teen, the boys from the neighborhood and I loved playing pinball and video games at our local bowling alley. The problem was we didn’t have enough money to enjoy our new addiction. We decided to do something about that little problem.
We started with a very rudimentary system. We actually taped a piece of thread to a quarter and were able to fish it up and down a couple of times before the string would break, or the tape would give out. This worked fairly well, but we wanted and needed more.
Our next plan was a little more professional. We somehow concocted a scheme to ‘make’ quarters. A few lessons in science class had actually stuck, and we realized that we needed something to fool the coin mechanism in the pinball machine into thinking that whatever it was we made our quarters with was an actual quarter. We ended up deciding lead would be our material of choice. We used lead for a couple of reasons. A couple of the guy’s father was an avid hunter. He even reloaded his own shells. Because of this, he had a burner set up in his shop to meltdown lead. Another reason is that lead is not magnetic (science!). We made a mold out of plaster and used the burner to melt lead to make our quarters. But where to get more lead??
One of us came up with the brilliant thought that tire weights were made of lead! Carrying screwdrivers and pliers we scoured the parking lots of shopping centers. We would wander through and drop down out of sight between cars. Using the tools we had brought we would manage to get the tire weights off with little trouble. We were in business!
Our production line was soon up and running. We would melt lead, pour it into our mold, cool it and then move on to finishing our new ‘quarter.’ The finishing process was crude but effective. We would snip off the burr where the lead was poured. We would then file down the edge, making sure it stayed mostly round. Using steel wool and a polishing cloth, we would then shine the quarters. Now came the trial run.
We went to the bowling alley with a few quarters to see if our harebrained scheme would actually work. In they went, and the pinball machine lit up and was ready to be played. Success! We intensified our production and soon we had bunches of quarters. We were thrilled! We could play video games any time we wanted! Every day after school, you’d find us at the bowling alley, happily playing our games. But our downfall was soon to come.
We never thought of the fact someone might notice a bunch of fake quarters being used in their video games and pinball machines. It literally never crossed our early teenaged minds. We just knew we were having a blast. One fateful day we went to the bowling alley as usual. We started playing games and soon some men approached us. They started questioning us and accusing us. We were scared to death!
One of the guys yelled, ‘Run!’ and we took off as fast as we could.
We made it to the doors and down the steps we went. We all lived on the same cul-de-sac and that’s the direction we headed. Running as fast as we could, we briefly split up. The men that were chasing us only followed one of us kids. He made the colossal mistake of running straight to his house and through the front door. From there our crime spree ended.
A few days later I was in class when I was called to the office. When I got there, my father was sitting with a man I’d never seen before. He was wearing a black suit with a black tie. I had to go before the principal, my father, and a member of the United States Secret Service! Although they take the counterfeiting of US currency very seriously, they understood that it was just a bunch of knucklehead kids making quarters to play video games. He actually told me that he was impressed with the quality of the quarters. He also said that they had recovered over $75 in fake quarters! We had made, and used over 300 quarters! We had to make restitution for the money and the charge was placed on our juvenile records. It was explained to us that if we kept our noses clean the charge would be expunged. Luckily for me, I learned my lesson and stayed on the straight and narrow for the rest of my young adult life.
And that is how I was charged with counterfeiting US currency. If that doesn’t define the meaning of a crazy crime, I don’t know what would.”
“My uncle was a small kingpin in Northern California in the 90s. He had a compound out in gold country, had to drive through three gates with guards to get to his house. I like never questioned it as a kid, just enjoyed heading up so I could fish in the stocked bass pond (which also had snapping turtles (as a line of defense)). He’d take me out shopping at the mall with a film canister full of coke that he’d take hits off of occasionally, shadowed by some bodyguards. One time we were out for a ride in his corvette going well over a hundred and got tagged by the highway patrol. He talked his way out of the ticket (told the officer he was showing off for his nephew and got carried away, the officer thought it was hilarious), and told me it was lucky since he had a ton of illegal nines and substances in the trunk and would have made a run for it.
He got arrested when I was 15. It was a full-blown; Feds descended upon the compound in helicopters and swung through the windows with flashbangs. The whole nine. He was arrested, and since if he snitched on anyone above him he was, very bluntly, a dead man, he took the rap, was extradited to Lee in Virginia to serve a bit over 10 years. All he asked for while he was there was protein powder, he got prison ripped and apparently beat someone near to death with a sock full of quarters for cutting in front of him at the payphone.
At some point in my life, all four of my uncles on both sides (and my dad) have spent time in prison for substance-related offenses, but this particular uncle takes the cake. He got out a while back, is a used car salesman in some midwestern city now.”
“My aunt had a boyfriend – let’s call him Mike because that was his name. He was always the life of the party, everyone loved him. Always holding my aunt from behind and kissing her neck. A little too much PDA but hey, they were happy.
Turns out Mike was abusive. Like, very abusive. Physically and mentally. The neck kissing was him whispering in her ear, berating my aunt for making a fool of herself dancing. My grandfather found out about the abuse.
My grandfather was a short Jewish man from Brooklyn. He went into the military at a young age, and came home from WW2, wanted to be a cop but was too short. Tied some rope to his ankles and hung upside down to try to get the extra inch he needed. Believe it or not, humans do not stretch much. He became a lawyer instead.
My grandfather went over to Mike’s place and knocked on the door. When Mike answered, my grandfather, put a piece to his head and said, ‘If I find out you ever touch my daughter again, I’ll kill you.’
Welp, a few weeks later my aunt showed up with a black eye and a sling. Mike.
He was found dead on the roof of his apartment building the following weekend. We all have zero doubt it was my grandfather’s doing. As a successful lawyer, I am sure he had connections who could help.
My grandfather never mentioned it. He simply said, ‘Oh what a shame,’ when he found out. Never admitted to anything but as far as I’m aware there was not enough crime scene evidence found to charge anyone with a crime.”
Good Heart, Bad Decisions
“So before I was born, my parents were apparently going through some tough financial issues and were facing eviction if they couldn’t come up with a certain amount of money by a certain date.
My father decided the best way to handle this situation would be to rob a bank.
So the story as I was told goes like this… my father walked into a small bank with a ski mask on and his hand in his pocket. He went up to a teller and handed her a bag, telling her he was robbing the place, he had a piece, and exactly how much money he wanted, which turned out to be exactly the amount he needed to avoid eviction. He got the money, apologized to the teller, and then left. He was never caught. And I should clarify, he never actually had something in his pocket.
The next part of the story is a little weird and even I have a hard time believing it but I know my dad, he is no liar. Apparently a year or two later my dad went back to the same bank he robbed every day until he found the teller he robbed previously. He walked up without a mask and handed her an envelope and immediately left the area. In the envelope was the exact amount of money he stole and a note saying that the money was for the teller, a gift, and how incredibly sorry he was for scaring her when he robbed the place. Again, he was never caught.
My father is a very honorable man who was raised in poverty on an Indian reservation. Because of the abuse, he went through, both at home and at school (Residential schools have a bit of history to them) he vowed that his kids would never have to go through what he did. I truly believe that robbing that bank as a result of that vow but emotionally hurting that woman at the bank really ate away at him so he risked getting arrested to try and make it right.”
But It Was An Accident
“My grandmother ‘accidentally’ killed her second husband. He asked her to shut off the breaker while he did electrical work but she didn’t do it. She shot her daughter’s second husband in the back and claimed self-defense. He was an abusive drunkard cop. She got community service. She ‘forgot’ to buckle in her brother, who had muscular dystrophy, and had a car wreck on her birthday. When he didn’t die, she used a rock to bash his head.
Cops found the bloody rock but for some reason didn’t think the case was strong enough. She ‘accidentally’ let her elderly charge drown in the bathtub when she was a home care nurse. The last one I know of, she suffocated her last elderly charge with a pillow. She was found incompetent to stand trial because she faked senility. That was 10 years ago. She’s now 88, and still driving even. So many men have proposed to her over the decades. They have no idea how lucky they are she said no.”
Well That Was Unexpected
“Back in the mid-90s, I lived in a shared rented house in the north of England with four ex-schoolmates. It was a bit of a pill and potion den, right next to the bus station so everyone called in on their way into town for a cup of tea and a spliff, and same again on the way out. So it was always rammed, lots of acid and mushrooms on weekends, people crashing everywhere.
One morning, my girlfriend and I were woken up by the police coming into my bedroom room (illegally – they claimed to have pushed the door and it swung open) and telling us all to gather in the front room. I assumed the police were there for illicit substances of course, so I hid my stash before I came down.
So we’re all sat in the lounge hungover and that, and the policeman said, ‘So, who knows about the credit card?’
We all just went, ‘Wha–?’
It wasn’t what we were expecting, except one of my housemates stands up and said, ‘No one else knows anything, it’s me,’ and goes off with the police.
Turns out, a bank card had been delivered for a previous tenant, and then shortly after a new pin. My housemate had taken it and emptied the account of a load of cash. And what had he bought with his stolen cash? A gecko, in a big fancy glass cabinet. He was struggling to pay his rent – we all were – but here was this massive green mother sat sunning itself in our front room. All six or so of us just sat and looked at it as he was taken away. He had to take it back to the pet shop and get some money back for it, to cover the money that needed to be repaid.”
A “Really Weird Habit”
“My dad has this really weird habit of stealing signs, which has manifested in a bizarre way twice. Firstly, his family has lived in our small town since it was founded and as such, we have a street named after us. My dad insists that because the street sign has got his name on it, it’s technically his property so he annually steals it.
The second I’m not even quite sure how he pulled off… You know those GIANT highway signs that direct you to what lane you need to be in for your turn off? (Where I’m from they are huge and green) Somehow, this mad man managed to get one into his shed overnight BY HIMSELF. This thing could easily weigh a literal ton, I was so impressed. He has also acquired other strange things such as a Ford factory sign (also one of the giant ones), several billboards, bull skulls, commemorative plaques, carousel horses, and a bunch of other misc. Whenever he runs out of space he just builds a new shed. Of which he has seven now and shipping containers. He’s also not allowed in Canada but won’t tell me why.”
He Could Have Been A Spy
“My dad was traveling through Tibet in his 20’s. I don’t know exactly where but he came across what was evidently a secret Chinese military installation. Being my dad, he decided to take some photos and was somehow spotted. Armed guards presumably shouting Chinese expletives started running up the hill toward him. He turned around and high-tailed it back over the hill to the road where he hid in an irrigation pipe. He had to hide there for several hours while they drove up and down the road looking for him. Makes me wonder what in the world was in that base but it could be they just thought he was a spy.
Anyway eventually he paid a passing farmer to hide him in his cart and he made it to the nearest town. After spending the night in his rented room, he packs up to get on the bus out of there. The small problem was he happened to look out of his window and saw a Chinese Soldier standing by the bus. I will always admire this bit of quick thinking, he decided to shave off his (quite big) beard. It evidently worked because he’s here snoring in bed right now and not rotting in whatever Chinese equivalent there is to the gulag.”
A Fun-Size Accomplice
“My dad, mom, and I test drove a Nissan when I was a kid (around six years old.) Back then, you didn’t have to have someone accompany you in the test drives, and from what my dad said they didn’t even make a copy of your driver’s license. Well, we lived in Ohio at the time and there was a lot of snow on the ground since it was winter. The Nissan they test drove was a two-seater. My dad was driving, and I was in my mom’s lap. My dad wanted to ‘play around,’ and he did donuts in the snow like normal him. Well this time, this little Nissan was too fast for him to control in the snow. So when he did that, he lost control and hit a light pole. My parents and I got out of the car and walked back to the dealership. My mom and I waited a little bit further down the road. My dad got our family car and picked us up. A lot of years went by and I asked my parents did they ever pay for that and/or had to deal with a lawsuit.
My dad told me, ‘No, I didn’t even go inside the dealership. We just never went back to them again.’
So I guess I’m sorta an accomplice to stealing a car and wrecking it.”