For some, it's not difficult to tell when something is off about a person, but for others it takes them by surprise.
It Happened In Front Of The Kids
“My mom was a teacher, so I grew up with a lot of teachers and being at their houses a lot, too. I was at one of my mom’s teacher friends’ house a number of times. Her husband was okay, but he had this need to prove constantly how ‘funny’ or ‘cool’ he was. It was really weird how even at 10-years-old I could see this 40-year-old man was trying too hard. They eventually divorced and both remarried. He also got divorced from the woman he remarried and apparently had a gambling addiction. When I was about 25, I saw on the news that he killed the woman he had remarried right in front of her kids. He went on the run but the police caught him. The police had a suspicion that he was on his way to kill my mom’s friend. His family is somehow blaming her for all this but it’s clear he is just no good. Trial is still going on, but he’s getting convicted.
I never expected this to happen. He just always struck me as a guy who would get married a lot but have it always end in divorce.”
He Saw It Coming
“One of my classmates turned out to have stabbed a girl. I thought he would grow up to be a murderer, he had many, many issues. He struggled being overweight and was not a good kid. When he was pissed off, he would grunt extremely loud and start borderline screaming. He made racist comments towards his own sister, even ripped off his clothes to whip her in full view of everyone. He talked about inappropriate things at lunch, like microwaving babies and jacking off to it. The kid threatened to fight people for almost any reason, describing in detail how he would create bruises on people and beat them. As we went into middle school, these morbid explanations went from explaining how he’d beat someone, to how he would kill someone. I wasn’t surprised when I saw he was convicted.”
What’s In The Pig Trough?
“In my hometown in rural Southern Oregon, a woman was generally helpful to pig farmers. She helped out one of my close friend’s dad, even joined them for dinner once. Everybody knew her and came to her for pig advice. Turns out, she killed people and disposed of the bodies by feeding them to her pigs. The woman was caught because she used a handyman’s food stamp card after she had killed him. She was in my neighborhood for years. Always helpful in offering her services to people who didn’t know how to do something farm/pig related. Super nice.”
She Reached Her Breaking Point
“When I was seven, my neighbor (and occasional babysitter) murdered her husband at work in a failed murder-suicide. The trigger was that he was planning to divorce her and it sent her over the edge. My neighbor was so sweet, kind and caring of others. He was a mean old man, very controlling and cruel. I remember he did crazy things including setting a pile of lawn clippings on fire, yelling a lot, and abusing their Pekinese dogs. My parents thought he was nuts. He was a “respectable” pediatrician in the community and she had a mental health history (depression and paranoid-delusions that he was drugging her to make her look crazy, I don’t know if he was, but I kind of think he might have been). She didn’t have much of a chance during the trial and went to prison for life.
She would send me letters from prison and even got a cell mate to send me drawings once. She’d tell me how sad she is in prison and how she is getting old and finds it very difficult and often gets bullied by the younger inmates and some of the guards.Honestly it was just super sad that this amazingly kind woman with some mental health problems and a history of domestic violence is still behind bars as an elderly woman in her 70’s. I think she just couldn’t take it anymore and reached her breaking point and snapped.”
He Said, She Said… Who Knows?
“He was two years above me in school, but we had friends in the same circles so we bumped in to one another occasionally. Really sweet guy, he was super loyal to his friends and he always tried his best. After school ended, I hadn’t heard much about him until an old school mate got in touch out of the blue. He came up in our conversation and my schoolmate passed on the news that he had been convicted. I was pretty shocked so I did some research, found some articles on it, etc.
After school he joined the army. When he returned from deployment he shacked up with a girl from our town who I also knew as an acquaintance. They’d moved in together and had a kid. Then one day, the kid died. Articles say that their original story was leaving the kid alone for a minute, coming back and finding out he wasn’t breathing so they called 911. The medical examiner was suspicious, however, and an investigation ensued. His girl confessed she’d been stressed and gotten angry when the kid wouldn’t stop crying, so she’d picked him up and shook him while yelling at him to stop in a fit of rage.
Later, it came out she was actually covering for him and that he was the one responsible. Personally, from my own experiences with the girl, I find it more believable that it’d be something she’d do and that he is the one covering for her and taking the rap. Then again, I haven’t had contact with either of them for at least a few years before this happened, and who knows how much, or in what way, his time in the army may have affected him.”
He’s Changed Since High School
“My best friend in high school attempted murder on his own daughter in a odd attempt to get out of his relationship with his wife to meet up with a girl he met on the internet. He tried to stage it like a robbery gone bad. The daughter, who was two at the time, didn’t have to go to the hospital but has a scar on her neck. In high school he was a pretty normal guy. I swore his innocence all the way up until when he confessed. Haven’t spoken to him since.”
He Knew The Shooter
“A kid a few grades below me in a small town. Didn’t seem like a bad kid, though. Killed 5 people in a school shooting at 13 in Jonesboro, before Columbine, when this stuff was fairly unheard of. No clue what set him off. He was charged as a juvenile, so he only went to prison(or wherever juveniles go) until he was 21. But he’s been in and out since for probation violations and such. In more than out, I’m pretty sure.”
Her Crush Got Crushed
“I met a kid in youth group when we were around 15. I admit, I had a crush on him. We would hang out alone, flirt, and I talked to him a lot when I felt I had no one else. We even planned on hooking up a couple times, but I always chickened out last minute but I never knew why. A few weeks ago, he was arrested for stabbing his female roommate to death. He had stabbed her between 60-70 times. When I found out, it felt surreal. I was surprised. I was alone with this guy. The scariest part is that when I found out, I knew there was no doubt he did it. He was always a bit weird and he even scared me sometimes when we hung out. He would get angry. When I found out he stabbed her so many times, I felt sick, I knew he killed her in total rage.”
One Thing Led To Another
“My younger brother snapped and killed my mother and himself. He also tried and failed to go after my sisters, who were in the house at the time.
In retrospect, our entire family suffers from some degree of mental disorder. He was the one who suffered the most from it, and there were a lot of things that could have prevented what happened. Our dad ended up offing himself after he turned abusive towards our mom and she moved to get a divorce. We were all pretty young, and my brother was only 2 so he grew up without a father. Our mom always had to work to provide for all of us, so we were left to our own devices for the most part. My sisters and I would always treat him pretty poorly, it started off as just being directed towards the youngest sibling, and grew from there into us always having a strained relationship. My youngest sister always got into spats with him, he or she would always instigate arguments with one another. In time he ended up growing isolated, and was always the odd one out. He was hard to get along with, and inherited our dad’s short temper and stubbornness.
When puberty hit, his mental health got worse. He became more and more argumentative, and he became louder and more threatening. At one point my mom ended up committing him to a children’s psych ward for a time. She was convinced that my father suffered from schizophrenia, and that my brother had inherited that. I think it was truly a combination of anxiety, depression, and ADHD, all exacerbated by his upbringing.
Some time passed, and at one point my mom found that someone had broke into our basement. Nothing was stolen, but that was incentive enough for her to purchase a weapon for self-defense. I don’t remember the details, but at one point she gave him access to the key to the safe and forgot to take it back. One night he was being incredibly hard to deal with, she was at work and he was texting her and being rude. She made the mistake of texting him flat out that she was going to have to commit him again. I still don’t know why she made that decision. He had said before he would kill himself before going back.
That night she went back home and everything was seemingly normal. At some point he brought the weapon out of his room and shot and killed her in the kitchen. My sisters were headed upstairs and ran and hid in their rooms, locking the doors. He went upstairs to kill them as well, but tried and failed to shoot the locks (it was a .22, the door knobs were filled with holes, but he didn’t get in). I am still thankful that he gave up after failing to shoot them open, he could’ve have kicked open those doors with no trouble, but didn’t think to do so.
One sister escaped out of her window, but slipped on her way off the roof and broke her back, leaving her as a paraplegic. The other waited things out in her room until it was safe to leave and escape through the other sister’s bedroom. The police were already there at that point and brought her a ladder to get down safely.
In the meantime, my brother had gone and shot himself in the bathroom. After some time, the SWAT team threw tear gas grenades through most of the windows and then breached the house, finding the bodies and bringing a close to the night’s violence.
I was in my apartment in another town, as I was away for college. I woke up that night to someone hammering on the apartment call button for my unit, but I ignored it as I figured it was one of my idiot friends. Then someone had let them into the building and I heard them hammering on my door. Imagine my surprise to find 3 police officers at my door in the middle of the night. I thought I was caught, my apartment reeked as I had just smoked a bowl earlier in the day, and I was still a minor.
Turns out they weren’t there for the pot, but to tell me that my mom had died. They did not give me more details than that, not that my brother had died or that he was behind it all. My younger sister had told them not to fill me in all at once, as I had to make my way down and she was worried that I would be too emotionally charged to drive safely in the snow. In the end the police drove me to my friends’ house and they took me down to my home town, where I learned all the grisly details. I met with my younger sister and we stayed the night at her boyfriends’ family’s house. We laid in bed crying and talking until the sun came up, then we watched cartoons with the family’s dogs in a light-hearted moment amidst the turmoil.
I think I’ll end the story there. There was a lot that could have changed the way things turned out, but of course that is all in hindsight. Life doesn’t allow us do-overs, so we’ve just had to keep moving forward with what has been handed to us.”
First Boss, Worst Boss
“The woman that hired me for my first job was super friendly and loved her two children; talked about them a lot. Her life revolved around them. A year later she was sentenced to 40 years for murdering her first baby several years prior. She was tied to some information found in the garbage bag she put the baby in that she tossed into a local lake. It completely shocked everyone. She did eventually confess.”
They Didn’t Have A Clue
“My grandfather died and my grandmother remarried a pretty great guy, Ron. Ron had a brother, Robert.
Ron and my grandmother lived in Louisiana and we’d frequently drive down there to visit them for Thanksgiving. My father, Ron, and Robert would go duck hunting and we’d dig up some crayfish.
We played hide and seek with Robert for awhile while dinner was being cooked. I sat and talked with him about my life view as an 11-year-old. We ate dinner, drove back home, no issues.
During the same time period, he picked up a drifter, killed her, and threw her body off a bridge. He eventually was caught and the family was devastated. They tried him for two murders, but he confessed as many as 48. Reading through his confessions and the case is terrifying. There were times he came to visit while we all lived in Colorado Springs and he killed people. He even sent letters to the police.
The truth is, nobody could tell. There was no telling sign. As a kid, nothing seemed off about him. Even his own brother was shocked.”
They Weren’t Expecting This
“My cousin’s stepbrother was the most unstable red flag guy we knew. He locked his wife in the attic and laughed about it while we visited. Wouldn’t let us talk to her without shouting through the ceiling. We called the police on him and they came. All that happened was a bit of talk, she was allowed down, then the next day she’d ‘been in a car accident’ and in hospital, although both their cars were fine.
He was the stereotypical steroid user too, and as I understand, it there’s not as strong a link between steroid abuse and anger issues as once thought, he fit the stereotype. He put both his older daughters in hospital when they left with their mum, and took a pair of weapons to his wife’s parents place and threatened that if they didn’t tell him where she was, he had a bullet in each one for their kids.
He once drew a knife on both my dad and uncle, and my dad pressed charges. We watched their domestic life from a safe distance and wondered just why they were still together, there was so much hatred and fear. What we saw was only part of it. I joked to my dad that that marriage would end in a murder.
About six years ago his wife was making moves to secretly get her and the kids out again, and he picked up their infant son and a bullet, and asked her to pick which of their three kids he was to shoot first, because if she left then she had to pay with one of the kids’ lives. Then he’d come after her. So she served him sleeping tablets in curried prawns and shot him in the head twice as he dozed, dumped his body and set fire to it.
I didn’t expect the murder to go that way”