WARNING: some sensitive material ahead
There is something so unnerving about disappearances.
There are so many stories out there about people who went out one day, never to be seen again.
What must that be like for those left behind to ponder what happened, to go through life without any closure or definitive answers?
Redditor ikalwewe asked the online community:
"Redditors who personally knew someone who went missing, what happened?"
"He went missing from a small town..."
Jacob Wetterling was a friend of mine. He went missing from a small town in MN in 1989. A guy in a car approached three kids and asked their age. They told him and he told two of them to leave and Jacob to get in the car. He was never seen again. Remains were found in 2016 of an 11-year-old believed to be him. His mom had become an advocate for missing child laws and the Wetterling Act.
An interesting fact:
Jacob Wetterling's parents, Jerry and Patty Wetterling, formed the Jacob Wetterling Foundation, an advocacy group for children's safety, just a few months after their son disappeared. The Jacob Wetterling Act, which instituted a state sex-offender registry, became federal law in 1994.
"The country where she went missing..."
An acquaintance from college who is legally blind and loved to travel went missing while visiting South America. She is of South American descent and speaks Spanish, but something must have happened to her. The country where she went missing and the U.S. have investigated and her family has gone there to look, but there are no leads. She just vanished.
I can imagine it's all the more devastating when you just don't know.
"I think about it a lot."
The younger sister of a girl I knew in my hometown went missing while riding her bike home late at night back in 2012. She was 21 or 22 at the time. Really pretty, vivacious girl. The whole community was upset over it.
They found her smashed-up bike a week or so later 25 miles or so from where she was last seen. She rode past several businesses on her way home, so there was a lot of video surveillance footage. Police tracked down a truck that seemed like it was following her.
The owner of the truck was arrested and they found her body about a week later. She apparently put up a good fight when she was abducted - her killer checked into the hospital the next day with multiple stab wounds. He confessed to the crime in exchange for no chance of getting the death penalty and said that she pepper-sprayed him as well. I remember her sister talking to the press while she was missing saying, "Keep an eye out for someone that looks beat up, like they got in a fight". She knew her sister would go down swinging.
Really sad story, I think about it a lot. It's a college town and it wasn't uncommon at all for young adults to walk or bike home after a night out. At her age, my friends and I were doing the same thing. I feel like the city was never really the same after she was killed.
And truthfully, how could it be?
At the very least, this person was arrested and taken off the streets. However, that is by no means a balm for the family that has to live with the loss.
"Her car turned up..."
A friend and co-worker of my mom's just didn't make it home from work one night. Her car turned up beside a dirt roadway outside town a few weeks later with her purse still in it. This was in the early-mid 80s, so there was no cell phone to track, no indication she stopped anywhere with security cameras, she was just gone.
Her skeletal remains were found by a hunter in a completely different place from her car about 2 years later, and as far as I know, I'm pretty sure her murder is still unsolved today.
This is scary to read and honestly, it's an example of what a lot of people would find baffling today. It's quite difficult to just disappear but it still happens (and at the time this crime took place, it was much easier to do or get away with).
"Nobody is sure..."
My cousin's toddler disappeared somewhere between eight to ten years ago, having been last seen by a neighbour wandering on the road in front of their house. This is a small village where most everyone knows everyone else, but it's very racially divided (natives vs immigrants). One of the neighbours said they saw a truck owned by a couple of natives with poor reputations drive slowly by the house right around the time the little girl (immigrant) went missing.
Nobody is sure what happened, but the child was found days later, dead, in a field about two miles from the house. This was a baby less than two years old.
A child taken away.
For many parents, there is no greater pain. And a crime like this ultimately leaves a stain on a community.
"He went to San Diego..."
A cousin left his wife and a newborn boy, which he claimed was not his, in our Midwestern state. He went to San Diego, worked his way through law school, passed the California bar on the first try. Mid-nineties he's living with a girlfriend helping her prepare for the bar exam. By the end of the decade, he's vanished, none of us family know what happened to him.
My own family experienced something similar, though this story involves an aunt of mine. She pretty much vanished and we heard nothing from her for over 12 years. We didn't have an idea of where to find her. It turned out she was in the same city but had been dealing with mental health problems that contributed to her falling off the map.
"A hunter found her remains..."
8-year-old kid. She took a shortcut between her house and the neighbors' (rural area). Her sister and friend made it home but she never did. The army was in town for the entire summer and they had heat-seeking helicopters looking for her. A hunter found her remains outside the search area 5 months later. Super sad.
And no one was able to figure out what happened?
Terribly sad for everyone involved.
"One day his wife reported..."
Local man went missing. Town of 300 and he hitch-hiked from one side to the other every single day because nobody's works and he was a bored 65-year-old.
One day his wife reported that he'd never come home. It wasn't entirely impossible that he'd huddled in the woods for the night, but after two days without his heart meds, they assumed the worst.
His body has still not been found, but a guy was arrested four weeks later after his ditched truck was found in a random place. There was blood on the front that he claimed to be moose blood, but it turned out to be Andy's blood. He had run him over and didn't know what to do, so he drove his body to the causeway and dumped him into the ocean. RIP Andy.
This is horrific. To hit and run (and attempt to cover up the crime) is egregious.
"We hired a PI..."
My uncle went missing. He was kind of the black sheep of the family. Stole money, he was an alcoholic, absentee father. It didn't raise too many questions initially. A missing person's report was filed, but nothing was really done due to his track record. We hired a PI, and they traced where he ended up. He'd been murdered by his then-girlfriend and the girlfriend's son. Legal proceedings are still going on over a decade later.
It is sadly not astonishing that legal proceedings are still going on.
Legal battles can take years and the court system can revictimize families. We extend our condolences.
"He went hunting..."
Good friend of mine disappeared 12 years ago. He went hunting with a couple of good friends of ours and one morning they woke up and he was just gone. His tent was perfectly fine and it didn't even look like he had slept that night. His truck, rifle, and dog were still there, but he was gone. The only thing he took was his knife and .44 Magnum. We spent a full month looking and never found a trace. Four years ago I went back and I found him. He had probably gone to take a sh!t and fell into a cave. He had lived for maybe two weeks before he died. His funeral was in 2018.
These stories are heartbreaking...
...but they are sadly a reality for far too many people out there. Remember, even when you read the paper or watch a true crime documentary, that the people being discussed were often once part of a family and had people who loved them.
If you have your own stories to share, feel free to share them in the comments below.
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Why do bullies bully? More importantly... how do we get bullies to back off?
Can we just use words? Does it always have to resort to violence?
There is no reason in this world for anyone to be a bully. It's all about power and self worth.
The bully has none and it's all they want.
RedditorYaboi2tallwanted to hear about how bullies can be stopped.
"How did you get a high school bully to never mess with you again?"
I swung on my bully, with a pencil. Never had an issue again.
"Vomited all over him. After that he never messed with me again."
Linklee2Throw Up Season 2 GIF by Amazon Prime VideoGiphy
"A group of sociopaths from my school that always tormented us followed me and my friends to my house one day in a pick up truck. They stole my friends shoes, pushed one of them until she fell, and took my sketchpad and threw it in a puddle. My stepbrother came outside, beat one of them badly, stole his pants, and threw his keys into a sewer grave before hitting him with an empty vodka bottle. It was traumatizing for me on both ends, but that group of kids never even looked at us again."
"He tried to shove me down an embankment while on a field trip. Had I fallen, I would have broken my leg or worse, because the embankment ended about 25 feet down, then dropped off into some deep brush and trees. Anyhow, my best friend was next to me, and said 'Watch it!' as he came at me."
"I side-stepped him, and he tumbled down the embankment and over the edge into the brush. Fractured several ribs, dislocated his shoulder and broke his ankle. He never did anything to me again. F**k you Darren! You b**ch!"
"She told me, my face made her want to kill herself. So I told the school counselor that she had confided in me she wanted to kill herself. She had to explain to the everyone what she really said. She would call me fat, and ugly everyday. She also would tell me I was trash because I was adopted. 'Your own mother thought you were so ugly she didn't want you.'"
"Made friends in the football team. Bullies think twice when you are buddies with a 6'2 250 pound Samoan. Crazy how nice so many Samoans are."
Large-Statistician-3serie a football GIF by U.S. Sassuolo CalcioGiphy
I do like Football players. I knew they'd good for something.
"I was bullied for my wheelchair, so I ran their feet over."
"Fast and furious."
Sigmrpaul walker family GIFGiphy
"A bully was harassing my daughter on the bus. Instead of calling his folks, or jumping on him, I did this…"
"I pulled him aside at the bus stop one day and asked for his help. “Hey Danny. I was hoping you could help me out. I guess there’s a kid on the bus who is picking on my daughter. She’s a girl and small and I’d like for you to help protect her. If you see anything like that, could you stick up for her please and let me know about it.'" That was the end of the bullying."
"Pretty much the same. Stopped associating with our mutual friends when I realized they're not my friends if they're friends with a bully like this person and ever since we graduated, and I've been out of that social bubble, it's just was over."
"Not a bully per se, but a d**k." In my French class a guy who sat behind me would always kick my chair repeatedly, and I was at the point where I was visibly infuriated by this happening every lesson. The girl who sat next to me turned to him and said 'Hey, you should probably stop doing that, he looks like he's about to hit you.'"
"Guy laughed it off and said I wouldn't. I didn't, but I turned around and cocked my arm back. He was leaning back on the hind legs of his chair with his feet on mine, so when I did this, he flinched, fell backwards off his chair, and got a few laughs from the people behind us. He never kicked my chair after that."
"Challenged him to a fight at lunch, left during the period before lunch to move 800 miles away."
undercoverhippieJosh Whitehouse Duel GIF by PoldarkGiphy
Sometimes all it takes is one good punch. Not that I'm advocating violence. But most bullies are just cowards.
As much as we love to have eyes for others, those eyes are witness to some yuck.
We are easily turned on by many things and people.
We're humans, humans are easy.
But turning off and shutting down is also easy.
And once we see certain things, they can never be unseen.
And so... we move on.
Let's make a list so people stay vigilant.
Redditorfiginjosejospewanted to hear about what makes us yell a big NO for some things.
"What is your biggest turn off?"
I am easily turned off. It's my one flaw. Anything can do it. Alas...
"When people smell bad. Hygiene is important."
ccherry124Violet Reaction GIF by Murdoch MysteriesGiphy
"One-uppers. Whatever you have done/seen or place you have gone, they have done it better."
"I struggle with this SO BADLY. I hear someone’s story and think 'I can relate! I’ve done XYZ' and tell the story. As soon as I see their facial expressions change I know they’ve taken it as me one upping. It’s so hard for me to relate without telling the story WHY I relate."
"Deception. Say what you freaking mean, and your actions must match your words."
"I don't know if this counts as deception but I have the hardest time verbalizing my thoughts in the way that I think them. So I say something that doesn't match my thoughts but it's like theres a disconnect in my brain that doesn't let me say what I want to say. I've had multiple tbi's from a young age but I don't know if that has any to do with it."
"When they constantly cut you off during a conversation."
"I noticed my bad habit of interrupting when I started dating my partner. I worked on it because it bothered him so much. Now when I'm around my family who I don't see often, I'm keenly aware of how bad we all are at it. Dinners, drinks, video calls are a literal cacophony of people talking over each other and having to repeat yourself because no one listens."
"Having been on this earth almost six decades, I can say this has definitely gotten worse over time. Now, you can see it getting worse by the year."
Cautious-Damage7575Blm Fight Me GIF by Holly LoganGiphy
I hate entitled people. Nobody is owed anything.
"When a person is rude or just behaves poorly and everyone around them says, 'that's just how he/she is.' No. There is no excuse for piss poor behavior."
Sarahkm90No Way Do Not Want GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
"Over sharing at social media."
"I had an ex who would straight up get pissed if I didn’t post about us on instagram or facebook back when I had it. Even if we just hung out and did nothing Lol. She got even more upset if I did post something and not include her... or if I got more likes than her."
"Social media has completely ruined our brains… it’s so sad to realize the damage that’s been done in such a short amount of time."
"Littering. I absolutely hate it when people litter just because 'there is no trashcan close' or 'Yeah, but everything here is anyway already dirty.' That makes me so annoyed and just ugh. I can understand that it's annoying to keep on holding onto trash but like... It's not that difficult."
"Open mouth chewer. Or any kind of lip smacking while eating."
"At a family reunion, I got seated in front of a woman I hadn't met before. Food gets there and we started loading ourselves up. I still remember what we had: tostadas."
"They're a flat baked or fried tortilla topped with pretty much whichever ingredients you want. Usually meat, some veg, cheese, cream, and salsa. This is relevant because half of that food ended up smeared on her face. I have never seen a grown a** adult eat like that. Open mouth chewing, with food actually spilling out as she ate."
"Loud, boisterous talking and laughing, with more, half chewed food spilling out everywhere. And napkins seemed to not be a thing for her because she never used one, making all the cream and salsa get stuck to her lips and cheeks. I was freaking disgusted, as was everyone around her. That was not a pleasant meal."
"Using phones every time we hang out."
"My wife has a friend that if you aren’t talking to her about only her, she zones out and just stares at her phone."
mofoofinventionphone glow GIF by jjjjjohnGiphy
When the turn is off. It's off. And that's all.
When trying to eat healthy you have to do research.
We have to be vigilant and read the labels.
Just because it says "healthy"... that means nothing.
That was just years of gaslighting.
Also, just because it says "diet" you can't have 10 of them.
RedditorJoltyJobwanted to dissect what's on the menu.
"What food do most people think is healthy but is actually unhealthy?"
I love fruit. But... some fruits are just sugar. Now they tell us.
"Can confirm this. I used to work there and most of the smoothies on the menu are made with frozen juice concentrate which was just liquid processed sugar and multiple scoops of sherbet. Not sorbet. Sherbet."
Coconut_LessJoseph Sikora Drinking GIF by PowerGiphy
"Naked smoothies/juices and flavored yogurt."
"Looking through the various yogurt's nutritional information while trying to find a good High-protein Greek Yogurt recently was very eye-opening. The majority of them were pretty much just softer ice cream."
"Some people think 'Gluten Free' means 'healthy.' Not automatically, it doesn't. This is NOT about people who MUST follow a GF diet."
"As someone with celiac disease it’s astounding how often I have to explain this to people. Gluten free diets are no healthier than regular diets. Gluten is just a single protein being omitted from your diet. The difference is you’re probably eating way less bread, or you’re just generally more anxious about eating so you might lose weight as a result."
"I'm shocked how many moms think Nutella is better than peanut butter."
"When it first came out in Australia they advertised it 'less fat than peanut butter' and 'less sugar than jam' so that sounds great..."
"Until you think about it, peanut butter is high in fat but low in sugar and jam is high in sugar and low in fat. So of course Nutella has less fat than peanut butter, it's got to make room for all the added sugar. And of course it has less sugar than jam, it's gotta make room for all that palm oil."
Same for apples...
"Granola bars. They're chocolate, oats and sugar for the most part. Oats can be healthy by themselves. But a granola bar is unhealthy due to all the sugar, chocolate and stuff along with them. Same for apples. Apples are healthy, apple pie, not healthy."
SinisterMeatballSnacking Hey Girl GIF by Nature ValleyGiphy
The truth about granola bars has been out there forever. Beware...
"That's because when I was kid the food pyramid posters were printed by the American grain council. They said we needed a couple of servings of both meat and vegetables and like 9 servings of bread and various grain products."
"Juice. Most packaged juices you get are super high in sugar."
"Ha. One of the reasons why I switched providers last year for my prenatal care was because the first one told me, in all seriousness, I needed to drink three cups of milk and two cups of juice per day. I was like, say what now???"
"Same with ketchup 25% of it is sugar."
Check the Bag
"This is actually a pretty good response. A surprising number of people didn't check the back of those packages to find that they're just Pringles that included a little bit of vegetable dust in the potato chip mix. People actually think they're just eating salty crispy vegetables."
"Anything 'natural' doesn’t immediately mean healthy. At least in the EU when a product is natural, it doesn’t need to go through all the testing that is required for other products. This doesn’t mean that the product is safe, as many natural products can be harmful."
"Panera Bread...healthy 'clean' ingredients. It's full of salt, sugar and processed crap."
Carrann82312. Panera for the Win!Giphy
Just because it says healthy or diet doesn't mean it's true. Lesson learned.
It's hard not to look back on history and be disgusted by a number of things which were at one point deemed acceptable, even not so long ago in the grand scheme of things.
The endless list includes segregation and women not having the right to vote.
We'd certainly like to think that we've come a long way.
But when we look back on how much we, as a culture, have evolved for the better, it also makes us stop and wonder what current customs or practices accepted in society today people twenty years from now will look back on in disgust.
This piqued the curiosity of RedditorSalt-Campaign6402,leading them to take to Reddit to ask:
"What modern day practice/ belief is most likely to be considered barbaric and outdated in the future?"
A revaluation of medical practices
"The way that f*cking speculum is shaped."- PopK0rnAndMMs
"Gynaecology procedures being done with out sedation or some type of proper numbing agent."- baconbutt96
The end of stigma
"The entire system surrounding mental health."- crapgarbage
More respect for the environment
"Deforestation hopefully."- CrumbledTheCookies
More sustainable materials
"Single use plastics."- Lemilli000000n
Improvements in wages and working hours
"Working long hours to the point of sleep deprivation and exhaustion."
"Right now people brag about it."- HonestlyPizza
"It's a scam made up by the rich to make the poor feel good about being exploited."- whythatusername
More humane treatment of animals
"Breeding dogs that can’t breathe."- username-alrdy-takn
Possible life saving advancements in science?
"I feel like organ transplants from strangers will seem bizarre in the future."
"I imagine we will be able to grow genetically-identical organs and use those instead."- thunderbiird1
Twenty years from now, we'll likely find ourselves relieved that some things have finally changed.
Then too, we might look back in horror at many things we wouldn't even take a second thought about at the time.