I used to live in a small town that I had honestly no business living in because I'm far too much of a city boy. While there I heard all about some of the small time controversies. Perhaps people knew I wouldn't stay for too long because I heard all about them.
There was the young woman who had to have her child taken away by child services because she would drink too much to cope with the pain of having ended her relationship with a married man. A young man who worked at one of the local shops had recently gotten out of prison after serving a sentence for manslaughter. Still another person killed a local in cold blood (but had seemed perfectly normal to most everyone else beforehand). I remember thinking that quite a lot had happened for such an out-of-the-way place.
After Redditor sunflwrxxr asked the online community "What is your small town dark secret?" people shared some of their own stories.
Warning: Some sensitive material ahead.
"It's a crazy story..."
I don't know if it's considered a dark secret, but in the county I lived in from ages 10-18, we had a soldier die under some extremely questionable circumstances. They said he was high/drunk/experiencing mental distress and raided a nursery (the plant kind). They claimed he was attacked by wasps and ran. He called 911 several times and claimed that someone was chasing him, and was trying to kidnap him. In the last 911 call, he said everything was fine suddenly. Just 14-15 minutes later, he was struck by a woman who stopped and called 911. He was ran over 2 more times, and died. The autopsy showed no signs of bee or wasp stings.
The connection to the nursery is due to the fact that it was just up the road from where he died, the place was ransacked, pizza eaten, money taken. But his wallet and phone were sitting on the counter, undisturbed.
HOWEVER! The family was not ok with that explanation, especially because he had previously texted that there were some problems with the "local boys" since the soldier wasn't from this part of the state. So the family had a private investigator look into it. They analyzed the 911 recordings, and found several instances of other people talking in the background, though most of it couldn't be made out. Except one. In the 911 call where he told the operator that everything was fine, a male voice could be heard saying "Tell her". And the nursery? There was no DNA, no fingerprints, no footprints that lead back to the soldier, even though his phone and wallet were there in the building.
A lot of people, his family included, think he was killed by some of the local guys there after they got into a fight about something. They chased him down, and caught him. He was able to run again after the final 911 call, and was hit by a driver while trying to get help. And the police in the county covered the entire thing up because the boys involved were connected to the department somehow. Of the three drivers, none were charged for hitting/running over him. I think only the first driver stopped, but it was discovered that one of the other drivers was connected to the department either through family or friendship.
It's a crazy story, but you can look it up. Just search Austin McGeough. I wouldn't be too surprised since there is a lot of shady stuff happening in small town police departments, including covering up rapes that officers commit. I really hope his family gets him justice.
"It hasn't gotten any better..."
A freshman with Asperger's was being abused by his family at home. He was a problem child and got in trouble on purpose but no one went too hard on him because of his home life, he was a well loved kid at school and in the community. One day just before Holiday break in December he was really sick but his mom sent him to school anyway. Locked him out of the house.
He decided to try and get into one of the empty houses down the street, through the chimney. Now this kid was the size of a 2nd grader, but he was too big to fit through since chimneys taper down thinner.
Mom never answered her phone when the school reported him missing. Went a whole day without reporting her kid missing. No one knew what happened to him.
It was about a month and a half before we knew what happened to him. We all thought he ran away, was alive somewhere, maybe went to his sisters house. Nope. Dead in a chimney.
The schools organized an entire week of counseling and such, they wore pink for a day and handed out little pink ribbons on pins for him since his favorite color was pink. Everyone was hit really hard by it.
That's how our small town started 2020. It hasn't gotten any better as you can see. So weird that its almost been a year now.
"People don't like to talk about it..."
About 10 years ago a lot of homeless people disappeared and when the police did the investigation they found out a guy was kidnapping and eating those people. Police found his hideout and found a half eaten body and bones from another person. People don't like to talk about it but everyone knows what happened.
"Oh, I have a doozy...
Oh, I have a doozy. Short version: popular kids in high school run a secret towel fight club and accidentally kill one of their friends in the house of a local politician, who proceeds to bury the story.
Towel fight club: tape towels over your hands and beat each other up. It's supposed to be just boxing but it sounds like they got out of control and hardly could call it that.
"One of them had an older brother..."
This is a sad one to me. There was an older couple here who ran a halfway house for troubled kids who'd recently gotten out of juvie; they fostered a few as well. They were loved in the community, wonderful people.
One of them had an older brother who was a gangbanger in the nearest big city. During a visit, he snuck his 15 year old younger bro a handgun. Younger bro ended up holding up a local gas station and killed three people. One of them was my friend's cousin.
The foster parents lost whatever credentials they needed to do what they did, the kids went back into the system, and the giant house has been abandoned since around 2009.
"The mayor of the town..."
The mayor of the town I live just outside of was murdered by his girlfriend a little while back. And there was a realtor that was using his company as a front for smuggling drugs. Other than that it's the usual small southern town crap.
"Killed a bunch of students..."
Look up the Gainesville Ripper. Killed a bunch of students and dismembered the bodies in really gross ways. This was about 30 years ago. I guess it's not really a secret if there are podcasts about it but it's slowly being forgotten.
"He killed them both..."
A girl I went to high school with vanished one day. From day one everyone was telling the police that her ex boyfriend had something to do with it, she already had a restraining order cause he held a knife to her throat and threatened to kidnap and kill her but with no evidence they couldn't do anything. Over the years several people went to the police saying that he had admitted to killing her but they did nothing. He eventually got in trouble for threatening to kill another girlfriend and choking her and went to prison for 3 years.
After prison he came back to town and eventually asked another ex of his for a ride home from a party and then she went missing after that night and they found her car burned and they arrested him again and he had burns on his hands. A few months later someone found a set of remains outside of town and during the recovery they found another set of much older remains. He killed them both and the failure of our local police department caused the second girl to be murdered.
Not so much a "secret," but the city where I grew up in Eastern MA became rather infamous thanks to the opioid epidemic. One of our T stations/neighborhoods became a memetic "Junkie Central," that's how bad it was.
There's also a number of bodies found here that have been attributed to Whitey Bulger and his gang, found buried under bridges, along beaches, even one in a tuxedo found in a car, riddled with bullets, that was submerged in a quarry, and a torso stuffed in plastic found in a creek (where I took part in a yearly summer sailing/kayaking program for kids) in the mid 90s.
"Instead of spending money..."
The funeral director in my home town had a bad coke habit.
Instead of spending money on cremating bodies he spent it on coke and left them in back of the winter casket storage. He'd spray them with spray on deodorant. Bodies were also buried in the wrong graves, fake ashes were given to families.
"I got fired..."
I got fired from my first job bussing tables when I was 13 for taking a dare to snort a line of Sweet and Low one day when we had no customers. The boss had heard about it and flipped his s***.
Turns out it was because he was––not so subtly––selling tons of coke out of the shop and it became a well known drug front until he was busted shortly after.
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We are in a fragile place right now when it comes to bringing children into this world.
Not everybody is meant to be a parent.
In fact, many people should never be one.
So I find it commendable how many of us acknowledge that and chose not to procreate.
Redditorucinangel wanted to everyone to vent about why children are a "no thank you" in their book of life. They asked:
"What is the biggest reasons why you don’t want children?"
I have never wanted children. Best decision ever. But y'all do you if you feel differently. How do we feel?
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"I like sleep too much."
"I took two naps today.. definitely couldn't do that with kids."
"I don’t want to be a parent."
"This is reason enough."
"I am a parent. One of my friends told me she didn’t want kids and said she hoped she hadn’t offended me by saying so. I said absolutely not, no one who doesn’t want to be a parent should be one. It’s an unquittable job. You have to want it for the long term."
"I don't want kids because they're expensive and I don't have any free time. I have yet to break it to them though. Maybe after soccer practice tonight."
"I miss having free time. I can't hang out with friends last minute after work because I have to pick up my kid and feed her and get her to bed."
"It can really wreck you physically and emotionally. Even if it's an easy pregnancy, your whole body/hormonal makeup changes wildly. People act like it's 9 months of sitting in a field, making flower crowns and serenely stroking your growing belly."
"Nah bro, it's mood swings, having your guts kicked from the inside, your hair changes, eyesight might change, all kinds of crap I had no idea about until my friends started popping out kids. Like I knew it was intense before, but I had no idea how intense."
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"A two person income with no children is too sexy to pass up on."
Kids are EXPENSIVE! I like $$$ too much as well.
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"All that noise… hurts my head."
"I'm barely capable of taking care of myself, so I definitely shouldn't be responsible for a child. I also think it would be a crime to make a child using my DNA."
"I commend this sentiment so much, and I wish more people would follow. My brother is 40 years old and never had kids, simply stating he knows he wouldn't be capable of taking care of them. There's so many unwanted kids in this world because people don't think this through before having them."
"I got a cat and the amount of anxiety and panic I regularly have over being responsible for an animal that doesn't need to be taught to walk is nuts."
"I don’t even have any pets, but I watch my sisters dog and a friends cat every few weeks, and the amount of time I spent staring at them when they’re sleeping to make sure they’re still breathing is too high."
"I grew up poor so u bet ur a** I'm enjoying my money not having to worry about diapers and baby formula."
"I feel this so much. I was the kid who never had the money to go to the movies or the concert or whatever it was my friends wanted to do. I make decent money but am so stuck in poverty mindset I'm terrified to spend it and I genuinely don't feel like I will ever feel financially stable enough to feel comfortable supporting a kid."
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"Wouldn't make a good parent. I'm 56. I don't see myself changing my mind on this one."
"My older brother got a vasectomy at like 27, no kids. He knew it was a very good idea. I actually agreed (I have three myself, he, ummm, probably wouldn't have been a killer dad). They're not for everybody, and you have to really spoil 'em if you expect a decent nursing home someday."
Kids aren't for everybody. That is truth and that's ok.
When visiting any place for the first time you want to do your best with the locals and the culture.
You're a guest.
Whether it's someone'e home or if it's as vast as the scope of the entire country.
You want to experience all you can while being respectful.
So let's discuss hitting up America for the first time.
RedditorPraglikwanted to share some must knows for the people whole and visit our land.They asked:
"Americans of Reddit, what's something anyone visiting the US for the first time absolutely must know about or be aware of?"
Welcome to America. A few beginner rules...
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"Do not under any circumstances try to bribe a cop depending on where you come from that might seem odd but trust me you will get in trouble if you try."
"Don't get out of your car if you're pulled over by the police unless directed to do so. Police here take their own safety very seriously so they may see someone quickly getting out of the car as a sign of aggression. Coupled with the fact they carry guns and generally don’t have a track record of deescalation, it’s possible you might get shot."
"Drinks come with ice by default."
"And refills! Soda is cheap as hell. No one's coming to pour it into a glass for you, it's made on the spot and you can have as much as you want."
"And everybody wants to put lemon in them but they never wash the lemons you have to ask specifically for no lemon in your water."
"If the price says for example $5, you need to be aware that is $5 plus taxes."
"Plus extra recycling taxes on plastic water bottles in certain states (like California) So that pack of water bottles listed for $3 will cost over $5 after taxes."
"That’s literally false advertising. If a product is advertised (say on television) at a certain price, that’s how much you pay."
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"Plus tip, if it’s served to you."
Tip. Tip. Tip. And tip properly. 20%.
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"24 hour Diners. According to stuff I read in Reddit, our diners are legendary. ETA: I’m American and I eat at them a lot. I was just surprised how much visitors from other countries love our diners so much."
"I think it’s really funny that the CA DMV official drivers manual says, 'do NOT make eye contact with another driver, this will make them MORE angry.'"
"If you screw up while driving put your hand up as a way to say sorry/my bad to the other driver. It diffuses situations because it shows them you didn’t mean to do that. Many times drivers think something was intentional when really it’s just human error."
"I live in SoCal, and the Los Angeles area has the most brutally aggressive drivers I know. Sure, other countries like Vietnam etc. are a free for all, but Los Angeles drivers literally want you dead."
"The CD is not free, never accept something from someone on a street."
"People will follow you around and thrust the CD (usually their mixtape) in your hand and then as you’re walking away with a CD you didn’t even ask for they start telling you you need to pay for it and then they refuse to accept the CD back so they make you pay for it or they keep harassing you. Happened to me in Venice beach."
"GO TO NATIONAL PARKS!"
"But be respectful! Our parks are beautiful, but often dangerous! Stick to set paths, look up local wildlife, and get an idea of common dangers. A park in the northeast will have drastically different dangers than Utah. And always have plenty of water with you. States often have very gorgeous state parks, too."
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"Do not eat exclusively at chain restaurants then go home and talk about how American food sucks."
So much to do and see. What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
The world is full of crazy people.
It feels like that more and more as I meander in my local shopping center.
But a little crazy I can deal with.
I want to discuss the people who leave an imprint of fear.
The people who lack empathy, remorse... and a soul.
You met many of those?
Redditor playmesomethinnice wanted to see who would fess up and discuss the person or persons that leave us shook.They asked:
"What type of people are you scared of?"
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"It's a bit hard to categorize, but for me it's people who can't be reasoned with."
"Like flat earthers. I met one in the wild last summer and it was the weirdest experience. My friend slept with him anyway and I'm still mad at her for it, like don't reward him????"
"People who are manipulative liars. Who get you to care about them and then play the victim just to watch you suffer."
"This. It scarred me so much I lost faith and trust in humanity. I was not the target but I’ve seen it with my eyes on a dear friend of mine."
"Had an ex who lied about having cancer and a twin sister who died in a car wreck, makes no sense to me we were in high school at the time lol."
"There is an odd category of people who seem to be able to get away with anything they do. May it be with their looks, skills, wits, power and everything in between. Them. I'm afraid of them."
"My ex husband is this type. I witnessed him get away with crimes, and not just get away like not get caught... like he got caught, went to court, and somehow convinced the prosecution and judge to drop all charges. It was at that moment I knew real fear from that man."
Lacking in Brain
"The dangerously stupid. F**king up and hurting others but come out unharmed to sheer luck."
"Oh like my father in law who was torching weeds right by his shed that then caught fire and spread to an electrical box, deck, tree, and outdoor bar and then laughed about it cause 'I did something just like this at our old house too.'"
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"I don't remember who said it but, 'It's not the people that are unsure that bother me, it's the people that are so certain that scare the hell out of me.'"
It's all about sanity levels. Or lack thereof.
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"The drunk guys at bars that always have that stare."
"People with a short temper."
"I would add people with a short and unpredictable temper. Those kinds of people who can be totally fine one second, then you do something that doesn't even cross your mind could be 'wrong' and suddenly they're yelling at you. People who explode at seemingly random stuff, no consistency, and particularly at moments you wouldn't expect."
"That's the worst. I'm not particularly used to being yelled at and I'm also rather non-confrontational, so I just don't know what to do when someone does yell at me when I'm absolutely not expecting it. Those people scare the sh*t out of me. I'm constantly on edge when I'm around them and I always feel like I have to walk on eggshells."
"People who refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes."
"They think it keeps them out of trouble, failing to recognize it causes so much more trouble for them in long run. A former friend of mine seems to have their brain constantly working on writing excuses for everything (to the point they can't keep their owns tory straight much of the time)."
"With the idea that any decision they make has to be the fault of others. They convince themselves that their every move was beyond their control and they were forced into it by others and then if they still suffer consequences they think it just means they are the victim of injustice. Tragically failing to realize they effectively deprive themselves of any control over the decisions."
"People who who are unwilling to accept the limits of their knowledge."
"I hate that my limits are there. I want to know more. And I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about James Joyce books and the NASCAR jeopardy questions I don't know."
"My boss hates me but said I'm the only person who is the best on all the machines. I suck at people, but I'm the machine whisperer. I'm the skinny *itch who can tell an autoclave to behave. A DSD to suck it up Sally. I'll even help the front desk with Bob Marley printer."
"Because he be jamming, not my job, but I have a personal vendetta against that machine. I fixed a Gameboy that was sitting in water for 2 weeks. Nintendo does make them good. Yet, I cannot for the life of me can't use an automatic car. Stick or nothing."
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"Be scared of the man who has nothing to lose. Be very scared."
"With money diminishing more people are feeling trapped and in a corner."
I believe I've met all of those people. God help me.
There are just some people who need a good, spiteful talking to.
The amount of poor behavior I witness on the daily is astonishing.
How are we like this in these modern times?
Instead of serving shame, we're serving justice for improper deeds.
Be a better human.
Redditor ValenFrost wanted to share what people need a little bit of bad spotlight. They asked:
"What do you think people actually deserve to be shamed for?"
I shame anyone who doesn't use a turn signal.
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"Leaving pee on the toilet seat when you have guests."
Stay with the truth...
"Knowingly spreading lies about someone."
"My life was legitimately destroyed by someone knowingly spreading lies about me. I’d been in a new town just a few weeks. It’s been almost 10 years and I still can’t make friends and my kids still have issues with their friends being allowed to hang out with them over it. All over something that never happened."
Don't Toss It
"I remember when I was a kid this guy in a 7/11 threw trash on the ground and another little girl looked at him and said 'you're littering' in that you're in trouble voice. And the guy just said something along the lines of 'I'm an adult, it's ok.'"
"Ummmm so I’ve had a work training that I planned, for MONTHS, and we already had to move the training once because of an internal work crisis. The training was moved to today. It's in an hour."
"This morning alone, 4 people have asked me to move it and they’ve known the training date for months. It’s so disrespectful. Moving the training from our previous date was a $500 fine, and if you can’t make it, that’s on you. Your poor planning does not constitute an emergency on my behalf."
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"Selfishness that harms others."
"I think most of us do in some ways. Hopefully people might decide to try harder at minimizing the harm we do while surviving and entertaining ourselves and others."
Humans really need to be better.
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"Trying to skip a line."
"A lady came up to me once, asking to skip 30 people in line to buy a banana for her crying daughter at Disney, and I told her I can't speak for all 30 people behind me."
"Especially a traffic line where it is going one way and you get every other 15 vehicles behind that will go to the middle lane just cut in line to wait behind even more traffic."
Not Always Right
"Being entitled and treating customer service workers badly."
"I work in a restaurant and my boss will argue with you and kick you out if you don't behave, downright telling people they are the worst people are so surprised every time they get told to leave after insulting a staff member."
"I dealt with this hard during the early days of the pandemic at Gamestop. When we got crappy no-mask customers when I was working with my friends, we would be rude right back and borderline harass them out of the store. The next several customers would always praise us for not taking s**t. Everyone hates crappy customers, including other customers."
"Finding the fault in others while ignoring the same fault in yourself."
"An unfortunate truth is that a lot of adults stop emotionally maturing when they’re still children. When we’re kids, we can’t really imagine that there are adults who are less mature than us, but it’s actually depressingly common. Something stunts their ability to mature and then they’re just stuck with the emotional maturity of a teenager."
"They develop physical skills just like everyone else, and seem to live successful lives. They have careers and homes and families. But they also can’t connect with people on a deep level, lack the ability to introspect (so they can’t handle any criticism of themselves), and they can’t grow as people. It’s very sad."
“what the hell dude?”
"I watched someone try to run over a cat with their car in the Walmart parking lot, like 3 times. It was 2 am and they were speeding and swerving trying to hit the cat. Poor thing was running away terrified. I got out of my car and shrugged at them like 'what the f**k dude?' and they drove off."
"Tried to give the cat food and be nice to it but it wouldn’t come near, I think it’s just going to be terrified forever."
"Edit: I don’t understand it at all. I can at least conceptualize evil for the sake of personal gain, but what do you get from trying to murder a cat? It’s evil for the sake of evil and it’s freaking sick."
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"Listening to music from their phone without using earphone in a public place."
Well all of those people deserve a little shame. Some... A LOT of shame! What is wrong with people?