Anonymous Relatives Of Murderers Share The Tell-Tale Signs They Noticed
Guess somebody has to be related to a murderer, right? Still, it's frightening to think about.
You have to wonder what the relatives went through, or what they thought when the major drama was going down.
deliriousplays asked Reddit:
Here were some of the answers.
He Kept His Promise
My uncle said he would kill his wife if she ever cheated on him, and then killed her when she cheated on him. He now says he regrets what he did (not because of the jail time, he is actually out of jail), but because he destroyed a life instead of just walking away.
So Many Red Flags
My mother's ex husband is in jail for murdering 2 people.
I've not seen him (or my mother) for years, but was not surprised in the slightest when I heard.
broke several of my bones on a couple different occasions, choked me until I passed out, cheated on my mother constantly. Gave her numerous STIs. Crashed 2 of our family cars, totaling them each time and always had severe drug problems
I could go on but you get the idea. Complete piece of s***. 'Luckily' he has multiple priors so he won't be getting out for a long time if he ever does. Society is better off.
I have a large family. One of my second cousins is doing 50 or so years for a double homicide. I didn't see him often, but he seemed completely normal. I talked to him the week of the murder, and he was fine. I actually was setting up my best friend to babysit for him. He had a girlfriend and two kids with her. Seemed like a normal good ol' country boy.
One night a couple in the area went missing after camping by the river. The girl was found shot in the back of the boyfriend's truck not far from the campsite. The boyfriend was nowhere to be seen and had just recently gotten back from Iraq. It was also known that he had a wife in another state, so the whole town thought the boyfriend had a psychotic break, killed her, and skipped town.
Then the police found my cousin's bumper near the crime scene and followed up on it, hoping to find the boyfriend. My cousin acted super suspicious, and after hours of interrogation, he broke down and confessed and told them where to find the boyfriend. He was a couple counties over, well hidden. It's likely that the case never would have been solved if he hadn't confessed. They used the confession to get a warrant for a DNA sample and matched it to the DNA left behind on the girl.
It still haunts me because there just weren't any signs, and it was the most heinous thing to happen in my tiny hometown. I knew the guy he murdered better than I knew him, and he was a great guy. It just makes me sick to think about it.
My Cousin tried to kill his girlfriend after doing a cocktail of drugs on a night out. He came home and got into bed with her and told her he loved her then repeatedly stabbed her- once in the neck too. Luckily she survived the attack and he is serving time in prison where he belongs.
He was always a naughty kid. One memory that stands out when we were really young is him kicking a hedgehog full force like a football - I was mortified.
I didnt have much to do with him after childhood but I know he was always in trouble with the police (court orders, arrests) for one reason or another.
Although not technically a murderer- he 100% attempted it. Glad his ex partner and child are ok.
About a month ago, I heard that my brother killed his old boss. It was surprising, to say the least. I hadn't talked to him in a long time- but when i heard, I instantly knew he was guilty.
There was a night when we were young, I'd say around 11-12 years old. It was maybe 4 in the morning. We shared a room, and for whatever reason, I woke up. Not that burst awake with random energy wake up, just sorta opened my eyes. He was standing in the middle of the room, with a kitchen knife, spinning it in his hands and running his finger down the blade. I watched him do this for about 5 minutes, then he left to go put it back, I assumed. I went back to sleep.
A few years later, I told my dad about it. It turns out, it didn't end there. That night, he went into my parents room and just stood over their bed. My dad woke up, asked him what he was doing, and he just replied "watching you sleep."
There were other signs, but this is the biggest.
The husband of one of my cousins went to prison for a very long time for murder. His entire existence was a red flag. He abused alcohol and drugs. He abused my cousin during their thankfully brief marriage. He was a monster so no one was surprised to learn he'd beat and stabbed a woman to death and was arrested with her body in the trunk.
A Total Surprise
Guy I Worked with (Only for a few months). This guy was amazing. We worked with people with disabilities, he was kind and legitimately compassionate. Was enrolled to start med school in the fall in hopes of supporting this same population. Get a call from my supervisor one day saying he'd been arrested for murder. Turns out he was a massive drug dealer. No details are official obviously but by the sound of what came out at trial he was meeting this guy to buy 20kg of Marijuana. Something went wrong and he ended up killing the guy. No body was ever found.
Worst part was I worked a shift with him after the murder but before he was arrested; didn't seem to have a care in the world.
I have a cousin currently serving life in prison for trying to murder her parents. Didn't like her new stepmother & wanted their $$$, recruited some friends to help her kill them. Stepmother died, father lived.
I was never super close to her, but saw her fairly regularly. She was always kind of the stereotypical 'spoiled rich kid' - thought she knew everything, always wanted her way - but still friendly enough & could be fun sometimes. After her parents divorced & her dad remarried the stepmother, her behavior changed completely. Every time I saw her after that, she was either angry or sulking. I remember her ranting about her stepmother to a bunch of us with this look of pure malice & hate on her face. That was maybe 8-10 months before the murder.
Maybe An Accident
I had a Nanny as a child. Nice latino woman that my parents had grown up with, about their age. Her husband was a convicted murderer, in and out of prison for parole violations at the time. Really nice guy. Taught me how to draw when I was around three and it remains a very vivid memory. (This wasn't exactly a violent murder. He and his buddies at work were on the scaffolding, drunk as hell, and got into a fight. The other guy fell and died but they charged him like he pushed him.)
Deathstyles Of The Rich
When I was 8 my uncle shot my aunt and then shot himself. There were a few red flags but not many. They were incredibly well known in my small town and everyone started noticing they weren't coming out as much. They started spending incoherent amounts of money. Don't get me wrong they always were pretty wealthy and spoiled me and my cousins rotten, but they were buying new cars, incoherent amounts of nice jewelry etc. Turns out they were in millions of dollars worth of debt because of credit card fraud and my uncle knew they were about to lose everything and killed them both.
I had a high school friend that I spent quite a bit of time with. He drove a tricked out Mustang with a major stereo system, and was very popular. He was an only child and probably would be considered spoiled, but he lived in a modest home with very nice parents. He was always kind of flaky and after school went through lots of jobs. He was an expert stereo installer though and could always find work doing that. He was pretty well liked and even admired by many.
I came home to visit from the Navy and read in the local paper while eating breakfast that he had been stalking his girlfriend and went to her work and laid in wait in the parking lot. When she came out he shot her after a brief argument. He then went to his car and shot himself.
The first thing that came to mind when I found out was how quickly this guy would fall in love with girls he liked. He was handsome and had a lot going for him and I never understood this about him. I remember one night at his house we were drinking and he had passed out. There was a cute girl there that we had met earlier that night. We were talking and she was weirded out because he had already told her he loved her and was making plans for their relationship. I assumed at the time he was doing it to get laid, but I guess not.
I have a good friend from high school, let's call him Jim, who is now awaiting his trial for aggravated assault, attempted murder, and a few counts of murder.
Growing up he had a great group of friends and was well known, mostly because the town was small and his parents were upstanding people in the community. But he had extreme anxiety and a slew of other mental issues that have yet to be diagnosed.
There were several occasions Jim would invite people over and then avoid them when they arrived, which was the start of it all.
Later on in high school he began to ask questions regularly like "are y'all really my friends? Are you sure?"
He would begin to fight if he drank, or climb super tall buildings if he smoked, or text us nonsensical words or phrases
Then one night we were at a party the night before everyone was supposed to leave for college, so it was a big night. Everyone was drinking and smoking and having a ball except for Jim.. Jim was sitting on the couch, beer in hand, and staring into nothingness. I asked him what was up and he looked at me and began speaking slurred gibberish. I immediately went and got my buddy, Chris, and told him that Jim may go into an episode soon. We came back to find him in the same spot, looking at the tv. Out of nowhere, he got up jumped on a chair and grabbed an old clock off the wall and said "time is isn't real.. none of this is real... if it was real, I would bleed." And he punched the glass in on the face of the clock. He held his hand up to look and blood began flowing everywhere. He looked at a girl on the couch who he had had a crush on for a while and jumped on her. At this time Chris tackled him and Jim began screaming. Several of the guys in our friend group were able to restrain him, calm him, then call his parents. When his parents arrived he took off running across the neighborhood stripping his clothes off screaming about how he needs help. It was a rough night, and he had no recollection.
About 2 months later I got a call from Chris, my friend from that night, and he said "sit down, I've got some sh-t to tell you" he then explained that Jim had run his car into a building killing 3 people and injuring another 2. On the video from the security tapes it shows the car running into the building, the people being hit, him getting out of his car and looking at everything he had just caused and then began trying to help the people he hit.
He didn't know what he had done or why he had done it.
In his first cell he wrote gibberish all over the walls, wore a paper jumpsuit, had a padded cell. Nobody was allowed to see him except his parents and lawyer. We are just now allowed to send letters.
I check in on his family regularly and they are absolutely distraught, but maintaining composure. Right now we are awaiting the trial.
Mental illness is not a joke, this has changed my perspective on life and how others see it.
Dunno if it's a red flag as such, but a distant relative-in-law (who murdered his wife). He never talked about his work, he'd always just stop talking and just leave the room. He was also really weird with money, wouldn't trust banks etc, always carried rolls of cash and refused to pay, because he'd 'forgotten' his card. Later turned out he was dealing in arms and was massively in debt. So murdered her for the insurance pay out.
My great uncle is in prison for multiple murders. He's been in prison my entire life. When I was young my family went once a year to see him - it was an "honor visit." We'd board the ferry with all kinds of goodies he wasn't typically allowed; the one that sticks out was buckets upon buckets of KFC.
Nothing stood out when I knew him. He was pleasant, charming even; he's both frank and remorseful about what he's done. Every year he tries for parole and every year the victim's son shows up. The parole board denies him each time, despite now being morbidly obese and wheelchair bound.
I completely believe he's reformed, but I don't think it's such a bad thing he's in prison. It's been 30 years. My grandmother and the majority of his siblings are dead. What's out here for him now?
Anyway, sorry if this is too far from the question. Just wanted to share.
Just A Little Jerk
I was friends with a kid in junior high who murdered someone and then killed himself many years later as an adult.
He was one of my best friends for a brief time and I would hang out with him almost every day for about a year. Weren't any red flags I can remember, other than him being a little bit of a jerk, but nothing too out of the ordinary for a teenage boy. Seemed like a normal kid.
I heard he got very into drugs later in life though.
So my mom was definitely trying to have my dad killed while they were divorcing. Long story, but she was sleeping with several young (19-20yr old) boys, told them he beat, stole his gun.. anyway she wasn't very good at this plan and it didn't work.
But she probably (?) did kill her little sister a long time ago, when I was a baby, they were in their early 20s. So this is the info I have from my grandparents and dad. Sister got a mysterious 'blood disease', never was a real diagnosis, her hemaglobin just stopped working so her blood wasn't carrying oxygen properly, resulting in multiple organ failure. It was her kidneys, I'm told, that finally did her in. It all took a few months. And it started just when my mom went for a visit. So I'm thinking poison.
Obviously I can't prove anything, but knowing - now, and for the last couple of decades, that's also a long story - that my mom's a total sociopath, the timing, lack of diagnosis, is highly suspicious. The red flags, which we totally didn't see because we (my 3 younger sisters and I, and I guess my dad) weren't looking for them were the ways she talked about her sister. Never anything about them growing up together, never anything positive. The only things she told us about our aunt, her sister, was that she was a junkie and probably was one of the first undiagnosed AIDS cases, that she got it from sharing needles. Well.. turns out no one else thought she was on heroin. And as a member of the LGBTQ community I've learned a good bit about the 80s/90s AIDS crisis in my adulthood. Dying from AIDS doesn't look anything like what I've been told about my aunt's illness and death. And how fucking weird is it that as a mother, who's lost her only sister, would have nothing good to say about her to her kids? I mean even if she was a junkie, don't you talk about something good about growing up with her? Anything?
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.