Serial killers in movies feel far away, like pieces of fantasy that couldn't actually be a part of real life. Serial killers on the news inch closer to possible, but still remain at arms length.
But they are out there, and that means some people know them, and knew them before they were caught and began carrying that permanent identity.
A recent Reddit thread asked for stories from those out there who actually knew a serial killer. Particularly, they shared what that person was like before they began killing.
Or, at least, before the news broke. And that's the eeriest part of these responses. Many describe memories of well-adjusted seeming people, but tinged with the belated realization that those memories were made at the same time the person was committing such violent acts.
Ryfi12 asked, "Ex-Friends of a Serial Killer What Were They Like?"
"He was a jerk. His wife was my friend, and she started slowly telling me a few things about him. They came to our home for some gatherings we held, and he was simply 'off' and very controlling of her social life."
"When several of us reached out to her, she happily accepted our help to get her out of the marriage and into safety. Soon after, he showed up at my door one day demanding money, which I did not give him. He left, angry."
"A few months later, he was evicted from his rental in the next town over, and came back into our town, hell bent on killing everyone who helped her and who was associated with the rental situation and another circumstance that he was mad about. I was not home that night, thankfully."
"He hunted down and killed five people, one of whom was a friend of mine. He committed suicide when the police had him cornered. That was nearly 30 years ago."
"Andy, my friend, I still miss you and your goofy grin."
"Charming, had lots of friends. I remember sitting on the school bus thinking I should try to be more like him. He was always smiling, and girls would flirt with him."
"About 8-10 years after that, he was arrested along with another guy his age for the burglary and murder of a very old woman and her dog."
Hiding in Plain Sight
"He was fairly normal. My ex gfs brother. Nobody had a clue until the police gave their theory and then the whole family pretty much agreed it was him."
"They estimated 6 sex workers between Maryland and New Jersey."
Likely Caused by Trauma
"I went to school with the guy that murdered Chris Kyle (American Sniper) and Chad Littlefield. He was a pretty normal kid, kinda funny, had ADHD I believe and was in some of the academic assistance programs if I can remember right. Class clown type for the most part, don't remember him getting into a bunch of fights or anything."
"Nothing specific really stands out. His mom was one of our teachers in elementary. He left school early and joined the military. Did a couple tours, including the Haitian disaster relief in the early 2010s. Apparently fishing bodies out of wreckage is what messed him up really bad. After that he had horrible PTSD and developed some bad mental health issues."
"Chris and Chad were doing a range therapy business for veterans. Eddie snapped and murdered him for his truck (big modified diesel) and took off. Horrible story and outcome from someone who was once pretty normal. I knew him from 3rd grade or so until Senior year."
"Not great friends or anything but he seemed like a decent guy. We'd been out of school for about 10 years or so when it happened so a lot changed over that time I'm sure."
Suddenly Fell Off the Face of the Earth
"He was so sweet, he was basically my childhood friend. Then one day I stopped hearing from him, 1 or 2 years later he called me and asked me out. I said yes and was so happy. I really did love him. On the way to the restaurant someone hit my car and I wasn't able to go."
"The day before I was supposed to meet him, he got arrested for having 3 bodies of sex that had recently went missing, stored in his basement. all of them severely damaged and beaten."
A Breaking Point
"I worked with a guy who killed his wife and her new boyfriend (they were separated) and then himself. He broke into his wife's apartment (she called cops but they didn't get there in time) and lined them up along a wall, including their kids."
"Didn't shoot the kids thankfully but they witnessed this all, and were part of the lineup probably thinking they were next."
"He was the world's nicest, most easy-going guy. Never had an unkind word for anyone. Hard to believe he could do something like that."
"I think he bottled it up inside until he just snapped. I think losing your temper and spouting off at people who deserve it, once in a while, is probably good for you. Don't always pretend to be happy if you're not. Someday it might be too much for you."
On the Other Side of it
"Was roommates with one, He was a cool guy. Serial killer in the sense that he was born in crime and killed multiple people in his 'career.' He went to multiple prisons in multiple countries."
"He made a 180 and bettered his life in the way that he sits at home, watches tv all day and enjoys cooking. I was in a dark place during that time and him being able to better his life was a huge motivation to change my life for the better."
"Cool guy. Last I heard he was still on the right path. I still think about him sometimes, only wish him the best."
Tell Tale Warning Sign
"He was the nicest guy in the world. Everyone loved him. There was just one sign. His best friends family went on a week long trip when we were in middle school/early high school. They asked him to feed their bunny. When they got back, the bunny was dead under fairly disturbing circumstances."
"Everyone made excuses because we didn't want to believe it."
A Long-Held Secret
"Really great dad. When I was little I wished he was *my* dad. Dirt poor, but always took time - took us sledding when it snowed. Backyard barbecues. Took us fishing at the river once and we found these big old turtles. Beautiful. Probably ancient. And we ran to tell him."
"He came over with a machete and chopped their heads off. Made a game of it. With his 6 year old boys helping pull the head out and laughing. I was pretty traumatized by that incident."
"But other than that, he was just a guy. Liked drinking. And fireworks. He was a little bit drug addled, maybe mentally slow. There was a murder and not long after they picked him up for it."
"And while he was in jail, awaiting trial, he confessed to a bunch of other stuff. Other murders, dozens of assaults on women. I'm not convinced he did them all. He definitely did the last one - but the rest - i sometimes wonder if they didn't get him to confess because he just wasn't very smart, and was probably easy to manipulate. It was national news."
"His family had a hard time shaking the stigma, so I don't want to be too detailed. I feel like I owe it to them to let that time in our lives be forgotten."
When the Discovery Changes How You See Them
"He was like a big, goofy, brother. I loved him to bits but fell out of contact with him when I split with my ex. Last year his ex (we were friends through him) sent me an article via FB Messenger detailing how he murdered his new wife and her three young kids then set the trailer they were all living in on fire."
"The pictures of him in the article chilled me to the bone, the guy I knew back then wasn't there. There was just a cold blooded emptiness in his eyes. He's still waiting to be put on trial."
Of a Crowd
"Friends with him in high school. Normal kid. Smoked drank like usual delinquents nothing terrible. One day someone was picking on his friend in a park and he beat that dude nearly to death with a bat. Went to CYA for 4years , cal youth authority, until like 18 or 19."
"Saw him on his 2nd day back. He just sat there and watched porn like it was the godfather. Not jerking it or alone in a room. But just sat there quietly and watched porn."
"Anyways fast forward few years he moved to Minnesota or Michigan i forgot. Started some gang had some followers and went on like a 2 week rampage killing cops and store owners and sh**. I think 10 people in 2 weeks. His whole crew got caught and sentenced to hundreds of years."
"I knew he was busted for murder but disnt see the whole story until.it was on some NBC show. Im like thats @#$@"
"Sh** was sureal"
"He was one of those people that I looked forward to seeing everyday, one of them that I would be exited to be pairs up with during a project. Then he got roped into drug dealing, and I saw less and less of him everyday. When I did see him, he would be more grumpy, as if he had given up on life."
"One day I was watching a TV show, with not a care in the world, until I saw some commotion going on outside. Opening the curtains slightly, and was aghast to see him being tackled to the ground by the police."
"Apparently, he had stabbed 2 people in the eye and when I saw him being tackled to the ground, that was just when he had come back from hitting a child over the head with a sledgehammer."
"A relative. He lied, a lot, but they were always dumb little innocent lies. He babysat us from time to time. He was a 'gentle giant.' He was sent to prison before we even knew he had committed a crime (he committed murder in another country.)"
"He called on Christmas and we all passed the phone around to talk to him, with only his mom knowing he was calling from prison. We all figured it out when we read it in the towns news paper. I found out that his mom had sent him pictures of the family, including my toddler daughter."
"I absolutely lost my sh**. I want nothing to do with him."
"Best friend's dad turned out to be a hit man. I stayed at her house all the time because my parents were pretty bad. He was so nice, he even took us to driving school together so I could get my license. I remember her saying at one point, 'I can't imagine what it would be like to have dysfunctional parents.' "
"They had a seemingly fairytale marriage with four kids and two dogs. Then he randomly got busted for being a hit man and went to prison our senior year of high school. Everybody was shocked."
An Escalating Plan
"Not a serial killer, but I went to school with kids who wrote a kill list. I knew one of them pretty well and we were close. He would pass me snacks in class sometimes and check up on me when I was upset."
"Very caring, but he got rlly on edge the week him and his friend planned to go threw with their plan, he was less talkative and any time we talked he would tell me to be careful from now on and school isn't important rn, even suggested I should miss school one time he ended up dropping me altogether after I kept getting nosy."
"When I tried to talk to him for the first time in days he snapped on me. Once I found out what happened I pieced everything together."
Hiding in Plain Sight
"The most charming and 'innocent' person I have ever met. Only a master of manipulation can get away with any and all crimes."
"Look up psychopathy and narcissism and you will find many great explanations, from the predatory stare to how efficiently they frame others. The most vicious and dangerous people out there are the ones you would N E V E R expect to even harm a fly."
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Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
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Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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