There is the potential darkness in all of us.
We're all capable of far more wrong than we believe.
That is why it's always a shock when we learn of the evil doings of people we knew.
"We never would've believed it..."
Redditor notlayingnow wanted to hear about the people we've known with some dark pasts.
So they asked:
"Redditors who knew murderers, and other hardened criminals, what was it like knowing them, and how did you react to finding out?"
I've been shocked by the murderers I've met. Didn't see it coming.
"I've know a few murderers through work. I mean, nothing much to talk about really. I remember being 18 and visiting jail for a school project and talking to a guy who killed his mother and lived with her corpse for about a week. Always struck me how boring and very human he looked."
"Up until that point I had figured that something so intense, even if it was violent and gruesome, would somehow impart some form of... 'wisdom' in you. Nope. Turns out you are still a regular human being, probably very bland and boring, only that + you killed someone."
"Makes me believe pretty much anyone can be a killer if the conditions are right."
"A kid who me and my best friend used to infrequently hang out with turned out to be a murderer, stabbed his ex girlfriend about 40 times because he was so upset they broke up. Finding that out was horrifying but honestly not surprising, he always seemed kind of off when he was younger."
He wouldn't have stood out...
"My father had a work friend for years. I only ever knew him as a hard working, nice guy with a good sense of humor. He'd had dinner with us many times and he was a good friend of the family."
"Years later I was reading a book by a local author about the criminal history of my area and I came across a bit about a grisly murder with three suspects and only two convictions."
"This guy was the third suspect, but dodged the charges. I asked my father about it and he confirmed it was true. I asked what he thought and he told me that chances were pretty good he was involved based on his history."
"He wouldn't have stood out in the crowd for any reason I could think of."
"Back when I was a teenager there was this guy who was into skydiving and was always wearing military fatigues. He was older than us and he had this crazy look in his eyes. I wasn’t comfortable around him but he wasn’t a threat because we liked rock music and so did he."
"I even remember him protecting some of the kids from some wannabe skinheads. A couple of years later he was involved in a robbery where the cashier girl was shot dead. Later I read in the local paper that it wasn’t him who pulled the trigger. He went to prison and I’ve never seen them again."
"I worked at a knights of Columbus hall as a teenager and would usually stay until around midnight cleaning up, sweeping etc. There was an older guy who would come in, quietly sweep, take out the trash, and then go outside and smoke before leaving."
"I smoked with him one day and he told me he had been in prison for 30 years for murder. He said he was a dumb kid who made a mistake. Given the area was prone to gang violence I have to assume it was related. Nice enough guy who did his time and recognized his mistakes."
That is a lot to process. Do we know anybody we've met?
The New Hire
"Had a coworker who was hired shortly after getting out of prison halfway across the country. His wife claimed it was because he got into a fight at a bar while drunk, but I don't think that's the whole story. Turned out to be an abusive, cheating, drug addict b**tard who blamed all his problems on everyone else."
"Starting in my teens and into my twenties, I worked in a warehouse with a much older guy who had done 10 years in prison for killing a police officer when he was younger. I found out about his past after knowing him a few years, but learning it didn't change our relationship much."
"I heard from other guys that he still had a temper and could be violent, but never saw it myself. We weren't friends, but I joked and swapped stories with him much the same as I did with my other older co-workers. I can remember wondering why he wasn't still in prison, but I never heard the full story of the crime itself."
"Truthfully, it felt normal because of the environment I grew up in. Here, everyone knows someone like that. It gets frustrating though when you realize that it’s not normal and is disgusting. Like it genuinely took me to hearing about normal people’s experiences through life and reactions to those sorts of things to realize that something is fundamentally wrong. However, these things are normal in certain neighborhoods or high-crime cities."
"Old buddy from high school who had an unreciprocated crush on me got involved in a gang and caught a first degree murder charge. He’s in jail now. Found out from another old buddy and while disturbed, wasn’t exactly shocked."
"My friend is a former gang member from CA."
"One early morning, as we were traveling between cities in Texas, he told me stories of the rival gang members he killed at point blank range, I guess he was doing so to keep me awake. Needless to say, I was up the whole 5 hour ride."
"As a mental health worker, I’ve always seen signs of PTSD. After hearing those stories, I knew my sightings were accurate. I still keep in contact with him to check up on him to this day."
The world is full of a lot of darkness.
Do you have any experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.